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Nov 20, 2012 04:40 PM

What are the local specialties in the Charleston, SC area?

Looking forward to a trip to Charleston next summer. What foods can I eat there that I can't in California? What is quintessential South Carolina cuisine?

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  1. Shrimp and grits, fresh local oysters, wreckfish, okra and many more. Not all may be available in the summer. Best thing to do is read the many posts on here about Charleston, pick the places mentioned most frequently that interest you, and see what local food they have at the time.

    1. carolinadawg is right. Search the posts for detailed descriptions and good restaurant recs.

      Here's a link that describes some traditional lowcountry food. I'd write it all myself but it's Thanksgiving and I'm seriously pushed for time:D

      1. She crab soup, red rice, field peas and snaps.

        1. I read some of the previous posts. I will be attending a conference at the Francis Marion Hotel, but would like to eat at some places which I think are out of Charleston proper: Dave's Carryout, SeeWee, Page's Okra Grill, Village Bakery, Hominy Grill, etc. Would it be practical to take cabs or buses to these places and Mt. Pleasant? Or would I need to rent a car? I should be in your fair city for most of a week.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chocolatetartguy

            Dave's Carryout and Hominy Grill are within walking distance of your hotel. I think you'd need to rent a car to get to the other places you mentioned. There are many others places within walking distance, however.

            1. re: chocolatetartguy

              The Francis Marion is now "ground Zero" for whats been going on in Charleston of late.I'm not sure I'd rent a car just to get to Mt Pleasant ,but Seewee is tempting since it is so representative of traditional local food.charleston is one of America's most walkable cities,but it will be summer in the south after all.Unless you will have a lot of free time, I think I'd focus on spots within a half mile or so from the hotel,and there are plenty!

            2. I'm not sure what's in CA. Andrew Zimmern had an excellent episode on Charleston. I remember a gas station restaurant outside Charleston that showcased a BBQ joint that helped to originate what is considered SC BBQ. Might be the usual hype, but it sure looked good. I'll look it up when I go again. There are other recommendations on his show.


              I ate at a restaurant called Fig, which I enjoyed. I am a fan of Manhattans. The menu had a list of bourbons, vermouth, and bitters that, IIRC, would produce over 1000 different Manhattans.

              In general, I found the food in Charleston to be very good. Enjoy your stay!

              6 Replies
              1. re: ttochow

                I'm sorry,but forget Scott's BBQ.It's about 80 miles from Charleston.Charleston is not a BBQ town.Don't get me wrong, Scott's is a gem it just Isn't in Charleston.

                1. re: mollybelle

                  Where is it? I'll be down there this weekend - maybe I'll try it if it's on my route.

                    1. re: carolinadawg

                      Thanks, carolinadawg. That's a bit out of my way for this trip. I'll put it on the list for the future!

                      1. re: Leepa

                        Yeah, unfortunately it's a bit out of the way in general, lol. But definitely worth a visit.

                        1. re: carolinadawg

                          We really looked forward to Scott's. Once there it was a total disappointment. The barbecue itself was mediocre and their sauce is horrendous.

                          Not worth a visit to us...and we're through Hemingway on a regular basis.