New restaurants and bars pop up in Charleston almost every week. An unforgiving contingent of savvy diners, food bloggers, and critics quickly distinguishes the good from the bad. Which is good news for the rest of us.
For the hungry athlete with a discerning palate, Charleston's food scene is arguably one of the most enjoyable in the country. The extreme farm-to-table movement, coupled with the race to provide the best possible foods at realistic prices, has turned the Holy City into a foodie playground. The ability to step out of the office for some fresh local veggies, seafood, or farm raised provisions would sound unrealistic to most, but that is the reality in Charleston, and it’s awesome.
Lately there has been an influx of new joints to hit the food scene, all of which appeal to the outdoor-loving locavore. The restaurants and hangouts listed below have you covered for a five-star recovery meal after a trail run, ride, or surf session. And we've even thrown in a few of our old favorites for good measure—places with an ever-evolving menu of food and a rock solid selection of local brews on tap.
Queen Street Grocery
No Charleston restaurant round-up is authentic without including Queen Street Grocery . QSG is the original neighborhood corner store pumping out tasty crepes and breakfast croissants that will make your head spin. No frills, just good food with a true local touch and atmosphere. Get the Murray-a crepe filled with green apples, sriracha, Brie, and turkey.
The Palace Hotel
From the outside, The Palace Hotel looks like a dumpy old Charleston single house in disrepair, and that’s exactly why we love it. The Palace Hotel knows where their priorities lie—conjuring up the best damn hotdogs in the Lowcountry, not swanky furniture and waiters running around in $300 selvage denim aprons. If you don’t mind the dark, hipster-esque vibe inside, and the smell of beard oil and hand-rolled cigarettes outside on the patio, head here for outstanding food and ice cold local beer. To confirm, it's NOT a hotel.
As of late, a lot of new, creative businesses and restaurants, like Spero, are popping up on north King Street and the surrounding area, leading locals to explore further afield. The crew at Spero is producing some of the best small plates in Charleston, varying from pork belly served with boiled peanuts, to scotch eggs and fried chicken sandwiches—protein for your sore muscles! If you want the best experience, come here with a group, order everything on the menu, and feast like champions.
Garcia’s Tortilla House
Charleston finally has an authentic Tex-Mex, hole-in-the-wall actually run by Texans. There have been a few commendable taco spots in town that have survived their first year, but Garcia's Tortilla House is the real deal. The owners are from San Antonio, and their passion for fresh flavors shows in their tacos.
Two Boroughs Larder
Are you reading this on a Wednesday? Stop what you’re doing and go to burger night at Two Boroughs Larder . You’ve never had a burger as good as this, we promise. It looks like any other burger, but once you taste a burger made from the finest ingredients possible, you'll understand the difference. Thursday? Hit up Noodle Night. Building your own ramen bowl from options like pork neck and confit, hen of the woods mushrooms, and farm fresh vegetables is always tasty too. TBL buys their produce from the back of pick-up trucks coming from farms on Johns Island. (Editor's note: we know this fact because the author used to drive one of those trucks.)