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1.5 Days in Charleston, SC

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After spending a week in Hilton Head with my entire family, my girlfriend and I will be escaping to Charleston. We will arrive downtown Friday morning and leave Saturday around 5PM. Please help us decide where to tickle the taste buds while in town.

We prefer culture, atmoshphere, experience and substance over style. Love great seafood. If you only had two lunches and one dinner in downtown Charleston, SC, where would you eat?

Thanks!

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    1. re: charlestonrealtor

      I could be wrong, but I believe Pinckney Cafe is now Cru Cafe, and has been for at least the last 5 years. Anyway, I recommend Cru Cafe for lunch or dinner, comfort food with a twist in an unpretentious setting.

      I think Charleston is beautiful, and if you have the opportunity you should eat outside. If you like seafood I would recommend Fish. Other outside recs...Peninsula Grill or Il Cortile Del Re. I would also recommend FIG for dinner.

      Tristan does a nice lunch and so does SNOB.

      1. re: charlestonrealtor

        Our one experience at FIG was divided between being one of the worst we've ever had and one of the best we've ever had, with the emphasis on the worst, given the prices and the pretentions of the place.

        Two of our plates were amazing, really amazing, and two were mediocre-to-awful. The bad plates just were not cooked/prepared properly, and the service was amateurish at best. We waited half an hour between apps and entrees and watched as tables seated after us were served first. The atmosphere was plain and stark as well. Not an elegant experience. They have real greatness in them, but they are far too inconsistent to survive and thrive, IMO.

        There's too much great food in Charleston for visitors to take the FIG risk. They are not ready for prime time.

        SNOB serves wonderful food in a fun atmosphere, with amazing service. Al Di La is impeccable. Charleston Grill has to be one of the best restaurants in the region.

      2. lunch- Cru Cafe, SNOB, Basil, Hominy Grill downtown
        dinner- FIG, Charleston Grill (even if just for Champagne and an app), McCrady's, High Cotton, Chai's downtown
        ALDILA West Ashley
        Fat Hen John's Island

        1 Reply
        1. re: wineie

          Civilized lunches at Charleston Grill (crab/lobster salad and champagne) and SNOB (shrimp and grits); dinner at McCrady's. After several days in HH, you'll be ready for something along those lines.

        2. Friday lunch at SNOB.

          Friday night dinner Peninsula Grill.

          Saturday brunch at Poogan's Porch. Get there as soon as they open because you want the first batch of buscuits.