Last weekend, I took a trip down to the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina and fell in love. I have been looking at the 1-year MBA program at The College of Charleston and figured I better see if I like the town at all before pulling the trigger. We had fabulous weather while we were down there and I feel like it was a sign that I should make the move to Charleston. While I definitely did not take enough photos while I was there I can tell you what we did and where we ate while there.
Day 1: Brunch at 82 Queen, Carriage Tour, and Dinner at Maya
After checking into our hotel and freshening up we hit the town to explore and find something to eat. We went to 82 Queen, and while there was an hour and forty-five minute wait for a table in the restaurant we were able to find a table in the bar right away. For drinks we ordered at the ultimate Bloody Mary and pomegranate mimosas, which had a little too much juice for the amount of champagne imo, but were good nonetheless. I had the crab cake benedict which was served on a bed of grits and was absolutely delicious. Following brunch we walked down to The Market and went on one of the carriage tours that took us past some of the (many) churches and picked up some fun facts along the way. Even though they are touristy, I would highly recommend going on a carriage tour if you are a first time visiter because it is a great way to see a little bit of the city and learn some new things. There are also multiple routes through the town that are randomly handed out using an old bingo machine in order to keep the streets from getting too congested with carriages, so you never know exactly what tour you’re going to get.
That night we went out in search of a place to get drinks as our dinner reservations weren’t until 8:45 at a quasi-french restaurant off Broad Street. We ended up heading to the North King neighborhood and stopped into a Mexican restaurant called Maya. After a few minutes we were able to nab some seats at the bar and ordered a drink. The bartenders were great an incredibly knowledgable so we ended up cancelling our original reservations and stayed there for dinner at the bar. We got a sampling of things to share including the Tostada de Betabel, on the bartender’s recommendation, which did not disappoint and was a unique but satisfying combination of flavors. We also tried to El Pastor, Pescado, and Brisket tacos which were all amazing. The only item that we ordered that I wouldn’t order again was the Bruselas Bravas. I love brussels sprouts and I love patatas bravas so I thought that these would surely be a win, but for me a prefer my brussels with balsamic.
Day 2: Brunch at Chez Nous, Drinks at Doar Brothers, and Dinner at S.N.O.B
The next day we had brunch reservations for 10 am at Chez Nous, which is an incredible French-inspired restaurant that is tucked back an alley and you would never know it was there if you weren’t looking for it. The building was charming and the executive chef plans a new menu every day so you always get to try something new. The limited daily menu always consists of two starter options, two mains, and two desserts. Each menu item is either inspired by French, Spanish, or Italian cuisine. To start I had the Huevos Rotos, which was a egg fried in olive oil and served over small potatoes and chorizo. The frying technique gave an amazing puffed crispy edge to the egg and the excess oil perfectly ran onto the potatoes. The chorizo added the perfect kick to go with the milder flavors in the dish. For my main I had a dish that consisted of endives wrapped in ham and then smothered in a béchamel sauce that was all cooked until it was hot and bubbly. The best way I can describe this meal is as high-end comfort food, it was incredible. To finish off the meal we shared a lavender panna cotta with honey the was perfectly light and smooth.
I felt so full after our decadent brunch that we dedicated the day to exploring the city and walked down and along the battery as well as by some of the major landmarks such as Rainbow Row as well as some detours off onto some side streets. I was blown away by how beautiful and expansive the historic part of the city is (which really shouldn’t be a surprise given it is the biggest historic district in the U.S. and second in the world only to Rome).
Since we spent most of the day walking the city so at around five or so, we decided to head out in search of a happy hour drink. We stopped in at a speakeasy-looking bar called Door Brothers that’s menu had a mixture of classic drinks and unique combinations all their own. We opted for some more traditional options and went with a paloma for my mom, and a Negroni for me. Both were great, and I loved the personal touch of their large ice cubes being imprinted with their logo. The service was also really good which can really make or break and experience.
Following drinks, we changed for dinner and walked down to Slightly North of Broad (better known as S.N.O.B). When we got there our table wasn’t quite ready so we waited outside, it took us about twenty minutes of waiting before we were seated. The service was a little slow and it took awhile for us to even be able to place our drink orders. We all went with wine as we had drank at both brunch and happy hour. My mother and I both opted to try one of the daily specials which was a stuffed trout that was filled with cornbread stuffing and cranberries that reminded me of thanksgiving which I enjoyed. They had a great live musician when we were there but the crowd was loud (think patrons waiving their phone flashlights and singing along with the musician) and the service wasn’t great, the food while good wasn’t so incredible that it outweighed the other factors. I felt like SNOB was a little overhyped for what it was and with so many incredible food options in Charleston, I think it would be awhile before I returned there.
Day 3: Breakfast at Miller’s All Day, Shopping on King St, and Rooftop Drinks at The Grand Bohemian
On our last day in Charleston we walked over to Miller’s All Day to see if we could get breakfast, given the popularity of the restaurant we weren’t sure without a reservation but it was also a Monday so we thought we would try anyways. We got put on a list for a 45-minute wait but it was probably only 15 before they texted us our table was ready, and since the location is right on king street there was lots to do while we waited anyways. We started with a cinnamon roll to share, they don’t skimp on the frosting which is arguable the best part of a cinnamon roll so they were off to a great start. I ordered the B.E.C. (bacon, egg, and cheddar on brioche) that was so tasty and really hit the spot. I also got a side of home fries, and let me tell you these were legit…they were big chunks of perfectly soft potato with a crispy crust (which if your home fries aren’t crispy you aren’t doing them right). The home fries also had the perfect blend of spices on them that was perfection. This was honestly a great meal to end on and the atmosphere in there like a 1960’s dinner and so so cute.
Once we finished breakfast, we decided to walk up king to burn off some of our meal. King street has the best shopping and I was able to find a dress for my upcoming office holiday party at Mix by Copper Penny as well as a few items to add to my work wardrobe from Beau & Ro and Scotch & Soda. My mom also found a great dress for Thanksgiving at Maddison Matthews which I will definitely be borrowing.
As our last stop before heading to the airport we went over the The Grand Bohemian hotel so we could have a drink out on their rooftop and enjoy the amazing weather before heading back to the cold of Virginia. I got their Kessler Margarita which was so good and soaked up as much sun as I could.
Overall, it was an incredible trip and I am already planning my next trip back and would love to hear any recommendations on places to go and see the next time I’m there.