A mere two-hour flight from New York City, South Carolina’s oldest and largest city Charleston is a perfect weekend getaway, especially for those who love to eat and drink, play golf, visit historic homes or just chill out. Here are some of our favorite spots visited during a recent December long weekend trip. It’s hard to choose just a few restaurants to hit—and you’re certain to return home several pounds heavier.
CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) — If you take a trip down Unity Alley and have a meal at McCrady’s Tavern, you’re taking part in an experience shared by some of histories most influential people.
This establishment on East Bay Street was founded hundreds of years ago by a man named Edward McCrady.
McCrady wore many hats. In historical records, he is listed as a barber, an inventor, a breeder and racer of horses, but he was known best for his tavern.
Not everyone is ready to consume freshly shucked oysters and caviar in the mornings (though, why not?), so McCrady’s Tavern updated its menu with some new brunch-crowd-friendly items. Chef Orlando Pagan, who joined Sean Brock’s Gilded Age-inspired restaurant as the new chef de cuisine in April, added more updated, crowd-pleasing items.
A few of the existing favorites are still available, including the quiche lorraine, but now diners can order preserved lemon souffle pancakes with sorghum syrup or baked eggs with Carolina Gold rice boudin noir or a croque madame with country ham. Pastry chef Katy Keefe also creates a weekly brunch pastry, which is a pumpkin cinnamon roll this weekend.
McCrady’s Tavern offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The restaurant has earned high praise from local critics for the dinner service, so brunch is worth a look.
The split personality of Chef Sean Brock’s McCrady’s and McCrady’s Tavern, one part envelope-pushing, tasting-menu-only experience and one part classic Franco-American gastropub, appeals to Pastry Chef Katy Keefe’s dessert philosophy that she learned baking with her mother: get creative when you have to and appreciate the classics. As the overseer of the sweeter offerings at both restaurants, Keefe creates historically informed modern marvels like Foiechamacallit, cured foie enrobed in peanut chocolate with puffed rice and caramel, on one side while serving a perfected, no-fuss slice of French Silk Pie at the other.
There are few Southern cities with as dizzying food scenes as Charleston. While in the past, it was known as a sleepy, historic town where visitors could find a plate of genuine shrimp and grits, now the peninsula is packed with some of the region’s best restaurants, and new ones are constantly opening.
For a first-timer, or even a returning visitor, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide where to spend precious vacation days. This list mixes classic and current favorites so whether you’re strolling on King Street at breakfast or driving by Hampton Park during lunchtime, you’ll always be able to find an option.