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May 16, 2009 09:44 PM

2 1/2 days in Charleston - what are the must-visit places?!

Hey everyone! My best friend and I are doing a weekend vacation in Charleston (we're both from the midwest) and we'll be there for 2 lunches / 3 dinners. We both have extremely adventurous anything-goes palates and the only thing limiting us is our budget.

We can't afford anywhere too pricey (nothing more than $20/person per meal) and things close to our hotel are also helpful (the Courtyard Waterfront on Lockwood). We both want to try some awesome SC BBQ but other than that, anything goes!

Can't wait to read the recs!

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  1. It has been years since I've been to Charleston, but a lot of youth time there.
    So I give you the dishes:
    She-Crab Soup
    Soft-shelled crab (in season about now?)
    Low country boil (Frogmore Stew) - a blend of shrimp, corn cobs, new potatoes, spices
    Shrimp grints
    BBQ pork comes in several sauses - I would recommend trying the VERY local mustard-based types

    1 Reply
    1. re: HJHinUSA

      I'm guessing you mean "grits", not "grints?" ;-)

      Do a search for Charleston on this board. It's a frequently, I daresay constantly, discussed topic. LOTS of info and recommendations to be found.

    2. You say close to hotel, but will you have a car? You can walk to downtown but a cab or car would really help.
      The closest BBQ to you is Jim and Nick's on King. Not exactly awesome SC BBQ . More Alabama I would guess. Sticky Fingers on Meeting is ok but it is Memphis style.
      If you can get over the James Island connector (bridge) to Melvin's on Folly Road, you will get more the S. Carolina Style BBQ (mustard base sauce). It if very good (see web site). They are also in Mt. Pleasant but I think James Island is easier to get to. There are others around but Melvins is my favorite.
      The Hominy Grill is close to you. And most of their dishes are under $20. Not pure low country but really good "interpretations". I really like their Shrimp and Grits. They get a lot of press and you should find reviews. They also have a web site.
      I know I will be criticized for this but I like Jestine's Kitchen. It is right on Meeting Street.
      A real homey place if a little touristy (but you are tourist!). Very reasonable. A great place to experience meat and 2 with out wandering around in some isolated location.
      I saw the following on line.


      1. Unfortunately, if you're mostly based in downtown there's nothing really special when it comes to really good BBQ. Wineman was spot on - Jim 'N Nicks isn't bad for a chain (Kentucky I think) and I wouldn't really recommend Sticky Fingers if you're looking for SC BBQ.

        All of the GREAT places are all a drive, including Sweatman's in Holly Hill, Music Man in Moncks Corner, and Duke's in Ridgeville - these are the quintisensial "roll of paper towels on the checkered table cloth covered picknik table" joints. I've created a site to track all of them in the area, you can find it here: - Melvin's or Bessinger's (Savannah Highway), which happen to be from the same family, would be your best bet IMHO.

        1 Reply
        1. re: exposur3

          Thanks for the heads up! We can't afford a rental car so yea we're limiting ourselves but any suggestions are great!

        2. If you are in town over a weekend, I would suggest Poogan's Porch and Jestine's Kitchen for brunch. Hit one Saturday and the other Sunday. Try to get to Poogan's early because the first couple of batches of biscuits are made with bacon grease. Cat head biscuits.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BlueHerons

            Ooooh that sounds AWESOME, we'll definitely go there for our Saturday breakfast. Thanks for the rec!

          2. go to pearlz on east bay- great appetizers ie oysters shrimp and a dynamite lobster roll. Fleet landing is excellent. the best crabcakes i have ever had.