Food in Charleston: 19 Scrumptious Dishes in Charleston for Every Foodie Out There!

Nothing beats the tantalizing love visitors have for the Food in Charleston. They are already in awe of the city, because of its monumental buildings, historic sites, and the long stretch of shoreline with stunning beaches. An amalgamation of classic southern dishes, some of which are long-standing for more than 300 years, is a calling out for the foodies everywhere. While leaving its visitors ecstatic, the exquisite cuisine of Charleston titillates the taste buds for craving more.

1. Savour the Taste of Fisherman’s Breakfast with Shrimp and Grits


Known as one of the iconic Southern Dishes since 1985, Shrimp and Grits is a traditional low country dish in Coastal South Carolina. Served in almost every restaurant in Charleston, it is a dish served with many different variations. Some prefer serving the dish topped with crustaceans or grains, while some toss it up with sausage, peppers, tomatoes, and ham for the added flavour. The perfect blend of creamy grits topped with bacon-grease shrimp makes it an ideal seafood breakfast and a must-try Food in Charleston. 
Try Shrimp and Grits at Acme LowCountry Kitchen, The Glass Onion, Husk, Early Bird Diner

2.Okra Soup- Don’t Pass on this one!


Most of the Charleston Cuisine had its beginnings in Western Africa, and one such example is the Okra Soup or Gumbo. Passed on with generations, Okra Soup has eventually become a signature and staple diet throughout the South. The recipe includes stewed okra pods with onions, tomatoes, butter, salt, and pepper. However, some restaurants in Charleston enrich the taste of soup by adding beef or shrimp to it. Found in every Lowcountry restaurant menu, the perfectly blended flavours of okra and beef is what makes this healthy dish devour-worthy. 
Try Okra Soup at Bertha's Kitchen, Hannibal Kitchen

3.She-Crab Soup- A Treat for Your Hungry Belly


A Charleston's delicacy since the 1700s, the She-Crab Soup, unlike crab bisque, has ingredients that include crab meat, crab roe, and a splash of sherry. While crab roe adds to the intense seafood flavour but also gives it a rich and fulfilling taste. Included as one of the iconic dishes in Food in Charleston, few local restaurants also serve different versions of the She-crab soup.

Try She-Crab Soup at 82 Queen, Charleston Crab House, Poogan's Porch, Fleet Landing restaurant.

4.Rock Shrimp Salad- Get on with Healthy Eating Charleston Style!


Not all salads taste bad which you can concur by trying out the Rock Shrimp Salad in Charleston’s Food menu. The unique dressing, and a perfect combo of protein and fibre, make the salad a perfect blend of delicious and healthy. The Carrot-Ginger Vinaigrette adds an interesting flavour to the entrée while making the visitors satisfied and the right amount of full.
Try Rock Shrimp Salad at O-Ku, Edmund’s Oast, The Ordinary, Grill 225

5.Crab Rice- Not All Carbs are Bad!


Sink your teeth into Crab Rice,- the fried rice version of Charleston. Included in every food in Charleston, the crab goes in almost anything and everything in the city. If you are not looking for something sumptuous to eat, why not have a fulfilling bowl of crab rice. With its flavourful taste and a low price, crab rice is served in almost every restaurant in Charleston. 
Try Crab rice at Hannibal's Kitchen

6.Frogmore Stew is not a STEW!


Unlike its name, the Frogmore Stew does not contain any frogs and is not a stew. People also refer to it as the Lowcountry boil, or Beaufort Stew Originated at the fishing community in St Helena Island called Frogmore. It is a delicious combination of boiled shrimp, corn, sausages, and potatoes. Unlike its cousin bouillabaisse, this stew is drained off its cooking liquid and then served. The recipe of the stew is often tweaked by adding crab or cooking the stew in beer. 

Try Frogmore Stew at FIG, Peninsula Grill, Blossom, Slightly North of Broad 

7.Oysters- Calling Out to all the Seafood-Lovers


Charleston is an Oyster-loving town, and there is no denying that. At almost every restaurant in Charleston, you’ll be spotting an Oyster Dish on the menu. Try the fried oyster-roll or the baked oysters, food in Charleston offers a myriad of options for its visitors. There is a unique variation in every restaurant for the oyster-lovers here. Next time you visit Charleston, don’t forget to try the oysters while sipping your favourite alcohol, or better join-in the Oyster Roast carnival. 
Try Oysters at Royal Tern, The Darling, Gillie’s Soul Food, Nico, Rappahannock Oyster Bar 

 8.Chicken and Waffles- When Sweet and Savory Foods Combine!


This dynamic culinary duo may sound unlikely and strange, but it is the most delectable combo that one mustn’t pass on. Although the Chicken and Waffles’ origin holds numerous theories, it has become a popular dish in Charleston’s Food Menu. Some of the theories that come to the surface are: that it was a popular Sunday dish amongst Pennsylvania Dutch. At the same time, some say it was a special occasion meal in American-African families. Whatever the origin this is a dish that every visitor must have in their Charleston Food checklist. 
Try Chicken and waffles at Poogan’s Porch, Eli’s Table, Early Bird Diner, Another Broken Egg Cafe

9.Cornbread- Carbs in its Variants!


Carbs lovers will love the version of cornbreads that Charleston offers. From a bacon-laden cornbread to a sweetened one, Charleston offers its visitors a plethora of options. If you are visiting Charleston for the first time, make sure you try this southern dish. Pair the cornbread with fried chicken, or the okra soup, a major plus is that it can be an adjunct to any of your main dish. 
Try Cornbread at Workwomen’s Café, Bertha’s Kitchen, Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Hominy Grill

10.Fried Green Tomatoes: A Classic Southern Dish


Experience the mouthwatering taste of fried green tomatoes, as Charleston's chefs add different flavours to it. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner; this is a dish one can have any time. Its creamy gravy topped with pimento cheese, with drizzles of balsamic syrup, all adds up to a fine southern dish. Chefs also tweak it by adding crab meat, or shrimp for that crowning touch. Pair it with an ice-tea or a bowl of grits; this fried dish is one of the city's major takeaways. 
Try Fried Green Tomatoes at Pogan’s Porch, Magnolias, The Glass Onion, Cru cafe 

11.Country Fried Steak: A Favourite for the Solo Traveller


Served with mashed green potatoes and green beans, the Country Fried Steak is a go-to dish for every solo traveller. This skillet fried steak with buttermilk pepper gravy makes it a standby dish for every visitor. Sip-in your favourite alcohol and enjoy the steak at an affordable price at every other restaurant in Charleston. 
Try Country Fried Steak at Husk, Poogan’s Porch, Virginia’s On King, Early Bird Diner, Bear E Patch Café West 

12.Chicken Bog- Not a regular Jambalaya or Perloo!


Chicken Bog is a rice and meat combination that shares its origins with Spain and West Africa. The dish uses several ingredients like white meat, smoked sausage, and broth to cook the chicken. Unlike its cousins Jambalaya and Perloo, Chicken Bog is a wet dish with stewed and not fluffy rice. As it is an easy recipe and can feed a large crowd, the chicken, is sometimes substituted with shrimp or pheasant. Choose your ingredients and binge-on this southern delicacy, leaving you satiated for hours. 
Try Chicken Bog at 82 Queen

13.Benne Wafers: Crispy Delights!


Benne Wafers entered Charleston’s shores around 300 years ago and contributed to the West African slaves. Made with all the good ingredients ( flour, sugar, egg, butter, baking powder) plus toasted sesame seeds, these light, nutty, crispy wafers are addictive, and a local treat that visitors carry as souvenirs. Wondering which dishes to add to your must-try list of Food in Charleston? Benne Wafers is undoubtedly one of them.   

Try Benne Wafers at Charleston Speciality Foods, Southern sisters Tea Cookies, Olde Colony Bakery

14.Deviled Crabs: Deviled with its Taste!


Dine like a Charlestonian with the Deviled Crabs, which have pretty much evolved from the crab cakes. Deviled refers to the peppery heat of the dish due to added cayenne or hot sauce. The dish's ingredients include white bread, scallions, cayenne or hot sauce, black pepper, and crab meat, which make this dish a morsel to die for. 
Try Deviled Crabs at Charleston Crab House, Hyman’s Seafood, High Cotton Charleston Restaurant, The Crab Shack

15.Okonomiyaki- Enjoy the Japanese Vegetable Pancakes!


Don’t be grossed out by the name, these may sound eccentric but are a lot healthier than the regular pancakes. Okonomiyaki is a crispy cabbage pancake adorned with scallions, kale, bacon, fried egg, and carrots. These are carbs-free and an ideal dish for the fitness freaks. With a crisp outside and a soft inside and vegan options, Okonomiyaki is a popular dish among the Charlestonians and one of the best dishes of food in Charleston.
Try Okonomiyaki at Xiao Bao Biscuit

16.ROLL with the Lobster Roll!


If you are a seafood lover, then this might be the best dish for you, as the roll is as luxurious as its price. Filled with chunks of meat, with sheer aioli and chives, on butter-toasted bun registers as an affirmation of freshness as we sink our teeth into this delicious delight. If you are willing to spend a few extra bucks, do not skip this meaty Lobster roll.
Try Lobster Roll at 167 Raw, Mason’s Lobster Rolls, The Immortal Lobster

17. Nachos not just Soused in Thick Cheese


Besides potato skins, calamari, etc., appetizers have certainly upped their ante, and there is nothing like the satisfying nachos topped with thick cheese. Restaurants in Charleston have upped their game, as you will find nachos not just topped with cheese but a myriad of other ingredients. Some of these include Rojo chicken, eggs, turkey, guacamole, while some even offer vegan options. Quite literally there are nachos for everyone.  
Try Nachos at YoBo Cantina Fresca, Huriyali, Dellz Uptown, Edmund’s Oast, FUEL

18.Five Spice Pork Tacos: One-of-a-kind Tacos with Chinese Spices  


The Five Spice Pork Tacos is a simple flavourful dish that includes five-spice, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Peppercorns, Whole Cloves, and Cinnamon Stick. The meat is cooked with the five spices to give it an exotic flavour, mixed with the crunchy Asian Slaw and Sriracha-spiked aioli. These are perfect size plus are juicy, one-of-a-kind, authentic, and will leave satiated for hours. 
Try Five Spice Pork Tacos at Bon Banh Mi Southeast Asian Kitchen

19.These are No Ordinary CREPES


You might think about how Crepes incorporates in the list of extraordinary food in Charleston. There is more to it than you think. Started by a world traveller named JackBryne in 1997, the Company Crepe Co. accreted in no-time. Crepes here are no ordinary Crepes, coming in different sizes and shapes, crepes here even shape out a cake. Dig-in into this binge-worthy treat and experience the magic of creativity.
Try Crepes at Charleston Crepe Company,Breizh Pan Crepes,Cru Cafe
Southern Food is loved not just because it tastes good, but also because of the love that goes into it while cooking. Topped with a remarkable Southern Hospitability, Charleston welcomes everyone to try-on its exquisite cuisine. If you are someone looking for experimental food, then Charleston is the right place for you. This Holy City is full of surprises., so next time you visit the city, be a Charlestonian with Food in Charleston.

This post was published by Akshita Dhiman

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