Charleston, the oldest city in the state of South Carolina, is home to a large number of award-winning restaurants. In a city known for its food, it is certainly easy to find a good meal, but the challenge can actually be making the decision. On a recent trip, my friend and I practically made it our mission to try as many restaurants as humanly possible. We were fortunate to try quite a few, and we really enjoyed sampling different breakfast and brunch destinations. From the casual to the exquisite, we saw – and tasted it all!
Here’s a list of my favorites that I think every Charleston tourist should try:
- Bagel Café at 520 Folly Road (James Island)
Before heading to Folly Beach, you might want to stop at Bagel Cafe, which offers the best freshly made bagels, cinnamon rolls and muffins in the city. This bagel shop used to be known as Bagel Nation but it is now independently owned, so they changed their name to Bagel Cafe. But don’t worry, the same tasty treats stay on the menu. A must-try is Bagel with Specialty Cream Cheese!Bagel Café has many hearty options, like bagel sandwiches, soups, salads and paninis. I especially loved Philly Cheese – Hot roast beef, topped with melted provolone cheese, grilled onions and green peppers and mayonnaise. Sooo good!!!
- Hominy Grill at 207 Rutledge Ave. (Downtown)
Nationally acclaimed and locally beloved, Hominy Grill could easily get crowded with tourists, but we were lucky enough to be comfortably seated. This Charleston institution offers generous servings of classic Southern specialties, all prepared from scratch with fresh, locally raised
ingredients and are reasonably priced.At breakfast, Hominy offers traditional fare and long-standing local favorites like omelets with home fries & toast, buttermilk pancakes, fresh house granola with bananas and yogurt, and a big tasty biscuit w/ fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese and sausage gravy. The lunch and dinner menu includes house specialties shrimp & grits, shrimp creole and low country purloo. I especially enjoyed curried chicken salad with apples & toasted almonds on a Kaiser roll for brunch. But be sure to try the homemade sausage too!The restaurant welcomes diners for breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays. It is open every day of the week for breakfast so no excuses for missing this one!
- Baked at 160 E.Bay St. (Downtown)
A great place to start your day or keep it going, this specialty bakery serves breakfast fare such as quiches, scones and muffins, along with marshmallows, big cookies, cupcakes, and whole cakes. My favorite, or should I say the best sinful pleasure I had during my Charleston trip, is the Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Bar. Also try anything with butter cream, especially the pistachio cupcakes!Famous for distinctive Sweet ‘n’ Salty Brownies, Baked is the best spot in Charleston for dessert. This place is A-mazing! As soon as I walked in I was overwhelmed by the aroma and great display of espresso, pastry, cakes, and other sweets.The bakeshop is cozy and comfortable with a rustic and retro vibe. You can enjoy sipping intense and delicious coffee while sitting in a dark library-like side room, or camp out at the sunny booths and appreciate the view of the sidewalk.
- Lost Dog Cafe at 106 W. Huron (Folly Beach)
Nobody leaves Charleston without going to the Folly Beach and while there, you should absolutely indulge in a hearty oversized pancake with maple syrup for breakfast or the chicken salad croissant brunch at Lost Dog Café.
Of course the food here is great! Menu favorites include shrimp and grits and the “fresh fish thing.” Lost Dog Café put its own little twists on the traditional breakfast, so the place and the food both have personalities.
True to its name and adhering to the spirit of Folly Beach, Lost Dog Café has a laid back atmosphere, decorated with pictures of dogs. They encourage dogs to visit and even give doggie biscuits for free. It was difficult to keep from petting all of the friendly pooches on Folly Beach.
I wondered if they loved me so much because I had syrup all over my hands…?
If you are planning on stopping in on Saturday or Sunday, come early or there may be a short wait.
And there goes Maxine’s top breakfast eateries! If you dine at my favorite places in this charming and mysterious old city, I’m sure you’d enjoy it as much as I did. Go eat some wonderful food and have a great time in Charleston!
P.S. Besides breakfast Charleston also has historical tours, art museums and inspiring architecture.
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