February 19, 2017
For international travelers, Charleston is not often at the top of their U.S. travel lists, favoring instead large cities like NY and San Francisco. I've always enjoyed visiting bustling cities as well, but for the past 2-3 years I wanted to discover what Charleston was all about; its amazing architecture, the Southern feel, and let's not forget; its important history.
Back in November, I finally found the perfect time to go. My family was visiting and while it was already cold in NY, it was still a lovely 70F degrees in South Carolina. I stayed there 3 days and I would say that was the perfect amount of time; we didn't have to rush, yet had time to visit so many different sites. I will focus on the amazing food I have tried in Charleston, but for any travel information, please scroll to the end of this blog post and like always, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments.
I have to say, I was extremely impressed by the food in Charleston. I knew this city was the epicenter of the fusion between traditional Southern fare and new food trends such as "farm to table", but it was well-executed and did not disappoint.
The first restaurant I'd recommend is Cru Cafe. The setting itself is adorable and intimate; it feels like you're having dinner inside a homey living-room. The dishes were also delicious and very-well executed, influenced by both Southern and French cuisine. I had the duck breast which was cooked to perfection, and the raspberry bread pudding for dessert. The one thing I would say is definitely don't forget to make a reservation. We were there on a weeknight and it was still very busy.
Another restaurant I'd like to mention is McCrady's Tavern. While it is part of the same business as the regular McCrady's, the Tavern is more relaxed and affordable while still delivering notable dishes. For the main course, I ordered one of the specials for the night. If I remember correctly, it was a fillet of halibut served with a buttery, but light sauce. It was exquisite, and tasted similar to a dish you could have while vacationing in France. For dessert, I ordered the chocolate souffle - it was prepared on demand and was also delightful.
Lastly, you absolutely shouldn't leave Charleston without trying traditional Southern fair! I had read about Jestine's Kitchen from my guidebook, but walking by its windows convinced me even more. This restaurant has been there forever and is the perfect place for a Southern food experience. We ordered the fried green tomatoes (so good!) and the fried chicken. I am not usually into fried food, but these dishes were incomparable to Southern-wannabe restaurants you can find in NY and tasted amazing.
Let me know if you have the chance to try out any of these restaurants and what you thought!---What to do in Charleston:Visit colonial-styles houses (I chose to go to the Calhoun mansion and Aiken-Rhett House)Rainbow rowWalk on the Battery (gorgeous, colonial-style houses)Walk along King St to see the old and the new Charleston come together so wellMiddleton Place plantationFort Sumter National Monument