Saffron Restaurant & Bakery
A favorite morning haunt for peninsula residents, local politicians, artists and everyone in between, this is where you can check out what really makes Charleston tick. At Saffron, visitors can start their day with a strong cup of coffee and a plate of Charleston avocado toast (featuring a fried egg and a slice of the best local tomatoes), or give in to a little indulgence with a housemade pastry.
BTW: While it’s a place to see and be seen around town, there’s no need to dress up. Saffron is a diner with a come-as-you-are attitude.
Saffron Restaurant & Bakery, 333 East Bay St. Charleston, S.C. 29401
Get your morning French cuisine fix and practice the language, if you desire. Owners Florence and Dominique Chantepie are known by locals and returning tourists for making customers feel at ease while serving up crepes and quiches. Smoothies, pastries and pre-made breakfast sandwiches are available for those on the go without skimping on authenticity.
BTW: “The Market” has everything needed to start the day. Think egg souffle made with garden vegetables and bacon, then wrapped in a warm crepe.
Cafe Framboise, 159 Market St. Charleston, S.C. 29401
Owner Jesse Sandole’s small, lively spot — named after his family’s Nantucket restaurant — is a seafood experience. Items from the raw bar are the freshest one can get, and the lobster roll is the perfect treat to satisfy a midday craving.
BTW: If you’d like a quick seating, plan on an early or late lunch. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations.
167 Raw, 289 East Bay St. Charleston, S.C.
Caviar & Bananas
For those in need of a sandwich on the go, Caviar & Bananas serves up gourmet sandwiches and prepared foods for every appetite. Most items are perfect for taking on a walk around the city. Try the chicken tenders (for the kids) or a more grown-up duck confit sandwich.
BTW: Hit the bakery counter on your way to the register. A butterscotch blondie is an essential treat.
Caviar & Bananas, 51 George St. Charleston, S.C. 29401
This restaurant boasts charcuterie plates with carefully curated options that are often locally or regionally sourced, and delicious beer brewed on site. Entrees include pub-worthy items like cheeseburgers and roast chicken, but there are also plates for the adventurous eater, like “BBQ escargot” and grilled octopus.
BTW: There are two seating spots that can’t be beat: An outdoor space features a romantic atmosphere under string lights, and a seat at the bar inevitably leads to an education in mixology and international beers.
Edmund’s Oast, 1081 Morrison Dr. Charleston, S.C. 29403
Set in a historical home on Charleston’s Society Street, Muse is anything but stodgy or stuffy. An eclectic crowd of locals and tourists pack the Italian restaurant and wine bar regularly for a bowl of tagliatelle bolognese or some crispy sea bass. The wine selection leans old world but features something for every taste.
BTW: For some of the most interesting conversations anywhere, sit at the bar.
Muse, 82 Society St. Charleston, S.C. 29401
A late-night drink at the Commodore is a step back into the Age of Funk. With black and white tile floors, green velvet bar stools and groovy red-toned lighting, the mood is always set for hitting the dance floor after indulging in one of the bar’s signature cocktails. Everyone rubs elbows together here in the name of good music and a good time.
BTW: Try to get there on a night when local band Lady & The Brass is headlining. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a musician get so into a set that he starts playing the trombone and the keyboards at the same time.
The Commodore, 504 Meeting St. Charleston, S.C. 29403
Cane Rhum Bar
Even in one of the most touristy areas of Charleston, Cane’s vibe stays laid back and local. It’s a respite from the crowded nighttime scene around the Market, and while there’s a diverse offering of cocktails to suit the rum theme (including tasting flights), the menu also offers a variety of beers and Caribbean street food.
BTW: Spicy beef empanadas and banana bread pudding are the best way to end a night out.
Cane Rhum Bar, 251 East Bay St. Charleston, S.C. 29401