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FIG, Husk, McGrady's, or all three? Tips for a Charleston 1st Timer!

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Visiting Charleston for the first time in September from NYC. Is it overkill to eat at all three of the aforementioned places? Which would be your pick if you only did one?

My shortlist of food so far also includes:
Indaco
Xiao Bao Biscuit
Bertha's
Hominy Grill
Two Boroughs Larder
The Ordinary
Bowens Island Restaurant

Haven't decided whether or not we'll get a car, as we're staying downtown and are pretty comfortable with riding bikes everywhere, so this might affect whether or not we go to Bertha's or Bowens Island.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Great list! I highly recommend you squeeze in The Macintosh, http://www.themacintoshcharleston.com/. It's slightly out of downtown on upper King, but a short pedicab ride away.

    Another good, casual, lunch spot is Bon Banh Mi - cheap, local and oh so good. The country pate & ham banh mi made me swoon.

    Butcher & Bee is another great lunch or late night dinner spot.

    If I had to pick one of the 3 you mentioned, I'd probably go with FIG. Although, Husk is a close 2nd and the restaurant & bar at Husk is far superior, astecically, than FIG. You could go to The Ordinary and then to Husk another night (or for lunch). If it's not too hot, sit on the 2nd floor porch at Husk - it's lovely. And you must enjoy a beverage at Husk Bar.

    Enjoy your trip!

    1 Reply
    1. re: lynnlato

      Thank you! Will definitely add the places you've recommended.

      I'm considering Husk for lunch because I've heard the burger is good, so we just might do that and then do a dinner at FIG one night.

    2. Loratliff -

      Not sure if you've come down already - but it's def not overkill to eat at all three, you'll just have 3 spectacular meals. Each restaurant is quite different than the other two - so you will have 3 totally different experiences.

      Depending on when you come, restaurant week may be going on, which will affect the menu at Husk - so look into that before you go to make sure you're good with it.

      You don't need a car unless you plan to go to the beach. Every resto on your shortlist is solid - some are open for lunch and dinner, while others are dinner only. You can squeeze more of your selections in if you plan to have lunch at some of these places - for instance Two Boroughs or Xiao Bao -

      enjoy your visit = by the way, i agree with Lynniato's recommendations as well

      4 Replies
      1. re: MichaelShemtov

        We actually just got in today, so I was surprised to see this thread bumped up.

        I used bonus Hertz points, so we do have a car and actually had a lovely dinner at Bowen's Island early this evening. I'm surprised that people are so critical of it on these forums and others–it was fresh seafood simply prepared in a great setting. What more can you ask? Not fancy, but inexpensive and a great place to watch the sunset.

        We also had a few rounds of drinks tonight at Gin Joint and The Bar at Husk. Drinks at both were good, but Bar at Husk really killed it with one drink called the Edward's Sherpa. I will have to have at least one more of those before I go!

        We have McGrady's reservations tomorrow. There is more food here than we have time, so I guess we'll just have to come back... ;) We have a few friends from NYC working at Indaco so hoping to squeeze that one in for sure.

        1. re: loratliff

          Glad you made it to the bar at Husk! The Gin Joint was a great choice. See, you know what you're doing... you're gonna have a delicious time. Enjoy! ;)

          P.S. Not to lump more food on your plate, but if you get a hankerin' for a banh mi sandwich, you must check out Bon Banh Mi, 162 Sprint St. Their country pate banh mi so ridiculously good I can't stop craving another. It's just a tiny sandwich shop but inexpensive an a good bang for your buck. http://bonbanhmi.com/

          1. re: loratliff

            Did Bowen have oysters?

            1. re: Worldwide Diner

              Not yet! They said not until October.

        2. It is McCrady's with a "C".

          1. Do not miss the desserts at McCrady's. The pastry chef is very talented. Do try to stop by Browns Court Bakery. Order the ice cream. the best I have had in the States..I am not joking.
            Skip the Bahn Mi's. You have better, much better, in NYC.

            7 Replies
            1. re: six dower

              "Skip the Bahn Mi's. You have better, much better, in NYC"

              There are certainly better desserts and baked goods in NYC so maybe she should skip dessert in Charleston as well.

              1. re: lynnlato

                Not like the desserts that Sean is making at McCrady's.

                1. re: six dower

                  Sean or his pastry chef?

                  I do like the buttermilk pie at Husk, but it's lovely in it's simplicity.

                  1. re: lynnlato

                    Sean Ehland does the pastry at McCrady's.

                    1. re: cocobinga

                      i'll try to remember that name. McCrady's has unusually, memorably, good desserts.

                      1. re: danna

                        Yes! Had a carrot crémeux there with elements of carrots and grapefruit that managed to taste like an elegant version of fruity pebbles - so good.

                  2. re: six dower

                    Well, we definitely have our share of very talented pastry chefs here in NYC, but I will agree that the desserts at McCrady's were excellent.

                    We just got back into town, so I'll start a separate post with a round-up of everything. We ended up at Bowens Island, Gin Joint, WildFlour Pastry, Bertha's, Black Tap Coffee, Husk, McCrady's, FIG, Xiao Bao Biscuit, and Hominy Grill.

              2. All three! A good option would be to have drinks and apps at one of them, and then dinner at another.