With its rich history and miles of sunny beaches, Charleston SC is undeniably one of the most popular travel destinations in the South. A vacation in Charleston may include everything from a whirlwind weekend getaway downtown on the Charleston peninsula, filled with shopping, dining and nightlife, to deep sea fishing, water sports on the Atlantic, or just relaxing in the sand. With so many options, it can be difficult to decide just where to eat, especially if you’re only venturing to town for a few days. While the list of new eateries that are hot and trendy seems to be ever-growing, many locals stick to a few favorites that serve up exceptional fare but might not be a James Beard award winner or listed on Eater.  Here are a few places downtown on the peninsula where locals eat in Charleston.Breakfast

The Harbinger Cafe

We can’t say enough lovely things about “The Harb.” The honey latte alone will have you returning week after week. Locals love this cafe because of its perfect pastries, charming interior, and back porch. Pro tip: go on Saturday for their once-a-week bagels that are boiled for a crispy exterior and chewy inside. They pair them with unexpected flavors in handcrafted cream cheeses… need we say more?

1107 King St, Charleston

The Daily

If you love green juice and avocado toast, look no further. This bright, fresh spot matches its modern interior with equally-fresh breakfast options. It’s situated perfectly in the “northern neck” of the Peninsula and is the perfect pre-beach destination. Staying somewhere closer to the heart of historic Charleston? The Daily has a secondary location inside The Gibbes Museum of Art and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am-5pm.

652 B King St, Charleston


Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French

Is it Paris or is it Charleston? It’ll be hard to tell the difference when dining at Gaulart & Maliclet’s Fast and French, or just Fast and French as the locals call it. Dine on a variety of French dishes including baguette sandwiches, delightful fondue and cheese plates, ever changing daily specials, and of course, an expansive wine menu.

98 Broad St, Charleston

Little Jack’s Tavern

This little establishment is nestled on the Upper King District right near the tech corridor. The Little Jack’s burger rivals the rest of the town’s best. It’s got vintage appeal and fast WiFi.

710 King St, Charleston


Pane e Vino

Located down a hidden street in downtown Charleston, this is one of the best Italian restaurants in the Holy City and has a romantic, intimate atmosphere. However, it’s not so expensive that you can’t make it your regular date night choice. You can’t go wrong with any dish you order, but let us be the first to tell you: order the spaghetti alla carbonara. Don’t forget to order their delicious homemade tiramisu for dessert!

17 Warren St, Charleston

Cru Cafe

This restaurant is right in the heart of Downtown in an old Charleston home. It’s perfect for couples and small gatherings. Although they have a semi-private room for larger parties, you can’t squeeze more than 10. The vibe is perfectly Charleston with great wine selections and you should definitely start with the mussels.

18 Pinckney St, Charleston

Note: While it’s certainly true that there are an abundance of amazing and delectable restaurants in Charleston, these are a few that we know you simply can’t go wrong with.  Start your weekend getaway in Charleston by booking a stay at one of our luxury vacation rentals and then let our Concierge team help you plan the perfect itinerary.  We’ve put together our “Insider’s Guide to Charleston” that includes some of our favorite places to see, do and eat in Charleston.  Click below to DOWNLOAD … and start planning today!

Insider's Guide to Charleston