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Traveling to Charleston SC for a 3 day weekend...help...need dining, etc advice/recommendations

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angeljoy Jun 20, 2010 09:01 PM

Hi,

Me and the boyfriend are traveling to Charleston over the weekend. First day staying in Mt Pleasant/Isle of Palms and rest of the visit will be spent in the Historic District. BTW its my birthday!!! Too keep it sweet and simple...we're foodies...doesn't have to be the fanciest but we want it too be good. (to me, pricey is not synonymous with quality) Cuisine indicative of the region...so coastal is nice. We live in Atlanta...so traditional "southern food" isn't as much of a draw as good seafood. Ages ago I recall going to Virginia's and enjoyed it. We also love dining outdoors when the weather permits. Any ideas? All Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, and Cocktail recommendations welcome. Also, I would love to find the "best" she crab soup; I understand that every restaurant claims theirs is award winning.

Any nice patios or rooftops for cocktails to start evening, end evening or even for a mid day break?

Any tours or sites that are "must sees"??? Must admit that, last fall, we had a ball in Savannah on a "haunted pub crawl"...

Thanks Chowhound for your help. I will be certain to return the favor with reviews when we get home!

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  1. Sue in Mt P RE: angeljoy Jun 21, 2010 04:21 AM

    You will get lots of opinions on this board about your questions. It has been discussed at length. You may want to read through some recent ones.

    Having said that, it's hot. Dining outdoors could be uncomfortable.

    The rooftops at both Market Pavilion and Vendue Inn are both nice.

    My favorite she-crabs are at 82 Queen and Locklear's in Mt. P.

    Can't help you with tours or sights-you'll have to go to Tripadvisor for that.

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    82 Queen
    82 Queen Street, Charleston, SC 29401

    1. l
      lizzy RE: angeljoy Jun 21, 2010 09:45 AM

      For your first day, I would suggest having breakfast at Boulevard Diner, I enjoy their crab cake benedict, you could also do lunch or dinner here as well. A few other choices for the
      Mt P/IOP portion of your trip, Huck's Lowcountry Table on IOP, great view of the ocean with an emphasis on fresh and local, Poe's Tavern on Sullivan's Island good burgers and fish tacos plus you can eat outside, and SeeWee Restaurant in Awendaw, a bit of a drive but good local seafood, sides and homemade desserts.

      My recs for the historic district...breakfast/brunch: Hominy Grill, you will have to wait in line but it might be less of a wait if you eat outside. Joseph's also has good food & it's on Meeting St.

      We really don't have that many good seafood restaurants in the historic district, but most restaurants do have seafood on their menu. Having said that, I do like Fish on Upper King, and Hank's is another good choice for restaurants that specialize in seafood. Other restaurants I would recommend: Cru Cafe, SNOB, and FIG, I believe FIG is the only one out of those 3 that is only open for dinner.

      I agree with Sue's rooftop choices, and just to give you a couple of non-rooftop bar choices, there is the Blind Tiger they have a nice courtyard in back and they serve food, which is supposed to be good but I have not eaten there. I would also recommend Fleet Landing for cocktails, again not a rooftop but they have fantastic views of the water but I wouldn't recommend eating there.

      Definitely look at Trip Advisor for sight info, but I will say there used to be a tour that began at the Farmer's Market and then took you into restaurant kitchens. I don't know if it still goes on or not, but it might be worth looking into.

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      Hominy Grill
      207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

      Poe's Tavern
      2210 Middle St, Sullivans Island, SC

      Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar
      186 Concord Street, Charleston, SC 29401

      Boulevard Diner
      409 W Coleman Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

      9 Replies
      1. re: lizzy
        b
        birgator RE: lizzy Jun 21, 2010 05:57 PM

        SNOB and Cru are both open for lunch and dinner. Hominy Grill is well out of the Historic District.

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        Hominy Grill
        207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

        1. re: birgator
          l
          lizzy RE: birgator Jun 22, 2010 09:56 AM

          Actually Hominy is in the Historic District, it is just not inside what we consider to be the main tourist area. Also depending on where angeljoy is staying, HG could be a 10 minute walk from the hotel or a 10 minute drive.

        2. re: lizzy
          m
          merry8 RE: lizzy Jun 22, 2010 01:40 PM

          Any of these close to the airport? I'm flying in at 11am, but have to wait for my sister to arrive at 2pm. I'd love to find somewhere easy to get to for a great lunch. Any suggestions?

          1. re: merry8
            Sue in Mt P RE: merry8 Jun 22, 2010 02:43 PM

            Nope, none of these is near the airport. Will you have a car? If so go to Sesame in North Charleston (make the distinction if using a GPS).

            1. re: Sue in Mt P
              l
              lizzy RE: Sue in Mt P Jun 22, 2010 03:21 PM

              I second Sue's suggestion of Sesame, local burger place. Also if that isn't what you're looking for there is also EVO, brick oven pizza, a bbq joint and an Irish pub, Madra Rua, just down the street. It should take you 10-15 min by car from the airport to get to any of these restaurants.

              1. re: lizzy
                Sue in Mt P RE: lizzy Jun 22, 2010 03:48 PM

                Don't forgot Dot's Idle Hour! That link is wrong.

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                Idle Hour
                124 Bull St, Lagrange, GA 30240

                1. re: Sue in Mt P
                  m
                  merry8 RE: Sue in Mt P Jun 23, 2010 06:36 AM

                  Thanks! I'm trying to arrange for a car, so any of these should be perfect.

                  1. re: merry8
                    Sue in Mt P RE: merry8 Jun 23, 2010 07:12 AM

                    The other one on that stretch is Aunt Bea's of "Army Wives" fame. If you watch the show, you'll recognize that street.

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                    Aunt Bea's Restaurant
                    1050 E Montague Ave Ste A, Charleston, SC 29405

                2. re: lizzy
                  d
                  DoubleBaconVeggieBurger RE: lizzy Jun 24, 2010 09:59 AM

                  As if you needed another Montague Avenue suggestion, Cork Bistro has a great lunch. http://www.corkbistro.com/

          2. danna RE: angeljoy Jun 21, 2010 12:08 PM

            Sue and Lizzy both give premium advice.

            I'll just add that my best fish experiences lately have been at Fig and Hucks...just order whatever fish they tell you is local. Tiggerfish, wreckfish, red drum....

            While on IOP, I always like to get a pina colada at Coconut Joes. Do not eat anything there, just get the drink and sit on their amazingly breezy porch which is ON the beach. You can't believe how cool it is on the porch even when it's a zillion degrees on the beach. Actually, you may have to order some chips or boiled shrimp or something, they may not let you have a table on the covered porch if you don't order some food. I'm not a frozen drink girl, but there's just something beachy about that frozen pina colada w/ whipped cream and toasted coconut on top!

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            Coconut Joes
            1120 Ocean Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451

            4 Replies
            1. re: danna
              Sue in Mt P RE: danna Jun 21, 2010 12:45 PM

              So true. And right now that breeze would feel really good because it is hotter than usual. And there's no better view of the beach anywhere.

              And lizzy is right also. My rule of thumb is, if there's a great water view, they don't have to work too hard at being great in the food department. The one exception, IMHO, s the Boathouse. We saw darlin Tyler Florence in there one night!

              1. re: danna
                l
                lizzy RE: danna Jun 21, 2010 01:16 PM

                A pina colada sounds good right about now. I think one may be in my very near future.

                1. re: danna
                  JayL RE: danna Jun 23, 2010 06:12 PM

                  I second the rec of NOT getting food at Coconut Joes.

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                  Coconut Joes
                  1120 Ocean Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451

                  1. re: JayL
                    Sue in Mt P RE: JayL Jun 23, 2010 08:32 PM

                    I think the point was to have a cocktail. Lighten up buster. Did you really go there and expect fabulous food? After moving from Jacksonville?

                2. l
                  Littleman RE: angeljoy Jun 21, 2010 07:46 PM

                  I'm not going to intervene with Ms. Sue and Lizzy but Magnolia's is one of my favoites and it's right in the middle of the historice district. Good luck.

                  1. l
                    Littleman RE: angeljoy Jun 22, 2010 10:12 AM

                    What about Fleet Landing on Corcord St. overlooking the Harbor. They have a beautiful deck outside and lots of good seafood on their menu. I have walked by this place but I never ate there. Looks like it might be worth a try.

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                    Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar
                    186 Concord Street, Charleston, SC 29401

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Littleman
                      Sue in Mt P RE: Littleman Jun 22, 2010 12:49 PM

                      The food there, like with many places with a beautiful view, the food is just ok. It is not bad at all. They don't have to try hard. People line up to get in just to sit on the harbor. The food is not the star at Fleet. Go anyway. It's really fun to watch the dolphins while having supper.

                      lizzy, might be just the spot for that delicious pina colada.

                      1. re: Littleman
                        k
                        ksons RE: Littleman Jun 27, 2010 12:37 PM

                        I went to Fleet Landing while on vacation in Charleston and really enjoyed the fried green tomato and crab appetizer (called the Fried Green Tomato Stack) and the seared scallops. Give it a try!

                      2. p
                        penny35 RE: angeljoy Jun 24, 2010 09:13 AM

                        Actually, for rooftop drinks check out Henry's on the market. And Cru Cafe is doing their food now so win-win.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: penny35
                          Sue in Mt P RE: penny35 Jun 24, 2010 02:47 PM

                          That is great! Thanks for the tip. I'll go when the temp drops below 100 :-D

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