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

chocolatetartguy Nov 20, 2012 04:40 PM

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?

  1. carolinadawg Nov 20, 2012 06:58 PM

    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. Sue in Mt P Nov 21, 2012 03:20 AM

      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. AmyH Nov 21, 2012 04:52 AM

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

        1. c
          chocolatetartguy Jan 16, 2013 05:14 PM

          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
            carolinadawg Jan 16, 2013 05:24 PM

            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
              mollybelle Jan 16, 2013 08:43 PM

              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. t
              ttochow Jan 16, 2013 09:07 PM

              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
                mollybelle Jan 16, 2013 11:06 PM

                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
                  Leepa Jan 17, 2013 05:44 PM

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

                  1. re: Leepa
                    carolinadawg Jan 17, 2013 05:56 PM

                    Hemingway. http://thescottsbbq.com/

                    1. re: carolinadawg
                      Leepa Jan 17, 2013 07:23 PM

                      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
                        carolinadawg Jan 18, 2013 03:41 AM

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

                        1. re: carolinadawg
                          JayL Jan 18, 2013 05:46 AM

                          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.

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