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Charleston: A mini guide

Charleston, South Carolina

We spent a little time in Charleston last summer (read about it here), leaving with the certain knowledge that despite all the fun times we had, the beautiful architecture we gazed at, and the wonderful food and drink we packed in, we’d not scratched the surface. Now we’re delighted to explore it deeper thanks to the on-the-ground insights of the team behind Fuzzco, a world-beating creative agency based in this loveliest of US cities. We’ve long admired Fuzzco’s work and now we admire their taste in everything else too. 

All words and by photos by Fuzzco

The Belmont
Fine craft cocktails in a seductively private atmosphere. With a small crowd and highly attentive staff, every experience feels special. Choose a signature cocktail off the menu, or take a few minutes to talk with bartender Mickey and he’ll concoct the perfect potion for your mood.
511 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403

Brown’s Court Bakery
You’ll never forget the first time you smell fresh baked bread from Brown’s. These bakers have made a name for themselves among local patrons and provide fresh baked goods to many restaurants on the Peninsula. Come in to grab a sriracha croissant and cup of joe, or stock up on fresh loaves for the week.
199 Saint Philip Street, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 724 0833

Chez Nous
You’ll find some of the best food you’ve had in your life in a tiny little house at the end of an unexpecting street. The menu is handwritten in French and English and changes daily.
6 Payne Court, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 579 3060 

Closed for Business
A laid-back pub boasting an extensive beer list. Enjoy a menu of traditional pub favorites and wash it down with a cold one. With 42+ beers on tap, it’s the perfect place to grab a pint of from one of the local breweries, or try something you’ve never heard of.
453 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 853 8466

Cone Ten Studios
A working clay community sharing studio and gallery space. The studio offers memberships for studio space, classes in wheel throwing and ceramic sculpture as well as exhibition events and a gallery of members work.
1080 B Morrison Drive, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 853 3345 

EVO Pizza
Our favourite pizza in town, even though it’s in North Charleston.
1075 East Montague Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405; Tel: 843 225 1796 

Fast and French
We like when a meal comes with a glass of wine.
8 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401; Tel: 843 577 9797

Coast Brewing Company
These guys do it right. A beer adventure.
1250 N 2nd St, North Charleston, SC 29405; Tel: 843 343 4727 

The Commons
Tucked away off bustling Broad St., down a vine covered alley is the store you’ve been searching for. Artfully arranged in the modest space is a treasure trove of American made and handcrafted housewares. Visit this shop to find the perfect gift for a good friend, or for yourself.
54 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401; Tel: 646 408 3447 

Dave’s Carryout
The whitefish sandwich. Get it to go with some french fries. The best, the original.
42 Morris Street, Charleston, SC 29403: Tel: 843 577 7943 

FIG
Our favorite place to go for steak tartare or truffles when they have them.
232 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401; Tel: 843 805 5900

Flowershop
A tiny shop full of sweet smelling things. Dried flowers, flower crowns, fresh flowers, garlands, vases, etc. Choose a ready made bouquet or ask Lily to help you make your own.
4491 Summey Street, North Charleston, SC 29402; Tel: 917 586 7484 

Indigo and Cotton
Our favourite men’s store in town.
79 Cannon Street, Charleston SC 29403; Tel: 843 718 2980 

Leon’s
Deliciously cosy. Post up all by your lonesome in one of the big leather chairs by the fireplace or enjoy a beer in the sunshine with some friends. Leon’s atmosphere is as good and varied as its menu.
698 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401: Tel: 843 531 6500

Macaroon Boutique
Delightful pastries, confections and bread.
45 John Street, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 577 5441 

The Rarebit
An elegant 1950s-styled establishment serving up southern favourites and upscale diner fare. The nostalgia filters through to their classic cocktails, like the Moscow Mule made with fresh ingredients and served in a copper mug you’ll beg to take home with you.
474 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 974 5483

Read Brothers
Now comfortably past its centenary, this historic shop sells hifi and audio equipment, alongside fabrics and notions, all in a beautiful building. Keeping it real amid the changing Charleston landscape.
593 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 723 7276 

Minero
We love this hole in the wall Mexican restaurant for the little details like the silverware in the drawer and the micheladas.
155 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401; Tel: 843 789 2241 

The Ordinary
The Ordinary makes us feel alive. The menu is incredible and the service is impeccable. Check out their daily featured meal, the Ordinaries – we recommend the lobster roll on Tuesdays.
544 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 414 7060 

St. Alban
This cosy cafe is a fast favorite in the burgeoning Upper King food scene. The eclectic interiors and romantic atmosphere make this the perfect for early morning daydreams with your cup of coffee or sharing an array of small plates and a well paired wine at night.
710 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

Sugar Bakeshop
This small batch bakery in Cannonborough is a community driven staple. Their commitment to local ingredients yields cupcakes, cookies and tarts that seem too good to be true. The perfect place to go for a sweet treat or when you want to buy your loved one a cake.
59 Cannon Street, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 579 2891

Two Boroughs Larder
Don’t miss noodle night and burger night. Go for lunch, dinner or to shop their market while enjoying a local Coast beer.
186 Coming Street, Charleston, SC 29403; Tel: 843 637 3722

Worthwhile
This established storefront downtown is home to an exquisitely curated collection of avant-garde fashions and unique, sometimes humorous, objects. The vintage-industrial furnishings showcase distinctive and ethereal silhouettes and create a unique shopping experience. Look here for unusual goods, thought provoking gifts and an escape from King Street’s bustle.
68 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401; Tel: 843 723 4418

Xiao Bao Biscuit
This go-to lunch and dinner spot features Asian comfort food in a space to match. Housed in a converted filling station, XBB offers an evolving menu of traditional Asian recipes with seasonal ingredients. Make sure to try the Okonomiyaki, a cabbage pancake rich with spices, and don’t skip the add-ons!
224 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC 29401

Further afield

Botany Bay
A 3363 acre preserve on Edisto Island, South Carolina. The Plantation includes a wildlife preserve as well as a number of registered historic sites, including a set of three surviving 1840s outbuildings from Bleak Hall Plantation, and the prehistoric Fig Island shell rings. Take the day to walk around and experience the sites, the marsh, the beach and the wildlife.

Cypress Gardens
Paddle through the swamp and enjoy the incredible preserve.
3030 Cypress Gardens Rd, Moncks Corner, SC 29461; Tel: 843 553 0515

Magnolia Cemetery
A cemetery located just north of downtown Charleston. The cemetery is on the land of a former rice plantation. With its beautifully landscaped paths and ponds, trees and green space, you can come to Magnolia to picnic and play.
70 Cunnington Avenue, Charleston, SC 29405;  Tel: 843 722 8638

Magnolia Plantation
Visit the historic house and gardens located on the Ashley River.
3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414; Tel: 843 571 1266 

Middleton Place
The plantation, now a National Historic Landmark District, functions today as a museum and an Inn, and is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States. Spend the day walking the grounds, visiting the animals or stay the night in one of the beautiful modern buildings designed by W.G. Clark.
4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414; Tel: 843 556 6020 

Sullivan’s Island
This quaint barrier island community is located just 20 minutes north of downtown Charleston. The charming residential area and flourishing main street exist in harmony with the surrounding natural landscape, entertaining socialites, outdoorsmen and families alike. Bring a picnic and swim and lounge all day, or grab a bite on the patio of one the neighbourhood restaurants.

Published 26 January 2015

Our guides are printed in England on 100% recycled paper