Charleston City Guide 2024

Hi there! We are the sisters behind HART –  proud seventh-generation Charlestonians who were lucky enough to grow up downtown behind Rainbow Row, and spent our childhood climbing crumbling garden walls and collecting shells on Sullivan’s Island. Here we share our insider tips on the long-standing Charleston classics… and also the fun new spots in town!

To keep it succinct, most of these are spots are downtown on the Peninsula. 

xox Hart and Curry 

Coffee at Babas


Babas on Canon: This is where the town’s top tastemakers have their coffee catch-ups – the peanut-butter mocha is a must.

Harken: Housed in a mega-charming historic building with an outdoor patio.

Harbinger: Harken’s uptown sister location is a healthy lunch spot that’s more Birkenstock than Chanel ballet flat (and laptop-friendly).

Second State: a spare, sunny serving special, rocketfuel-esque coffee in a minimalist oasis.

Welton’s Fine Foods: Pastries, sandwiches and coffee await you at this charming coffee shop.

Sightsee: Damn good coffee, cool swag, and allll the good vibes at this neighborhood darling coffee shop.


The Daily: A fast, unfussy, and truly delicious healthy-ish fare like smoothies and breakfast pitas served right next to our King St. store (howdy, neighbors!). 

Babas Uptown: This chic Meeting Street location is where the design cohort powwows over spendy shrimp salad lunches and rosé. Grab a bottle of bubbly to-go from the interior cheese shop, Goat Sheep Cow.

Queen Street Grocery: The sandwiches here are soul-saving (looking at you, The Egypt), and everything here, from crèpes to salads to smoothies, is served with a hefty side of character in a very low-key setting.

Xiao Bao Biscuit: Slide into a sunny picnic table and tantalize your spicy taste buds with their pan-Asian dishes.

Huriyali: Bask in the happy, hippy, surfer vibes at vegan cafe Huriyali, or pack a picnic under an ancient oak in the neighboring Hampton Park.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: We consider coffee and buttery ham and cheese biscuits at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit the breakfast of champions in Charleston.


Leon’s: Yes, Leon’s fried chicken, frose, and fresh oysters in a funky car-garage ambience live up to all the hype.

Post House Inn: Hop over the bridge to Post House Inn, which is so f*cking perfect, you’ll want to redecorate your house, like, STAT. Walk off your lunch with a stroll in Mt. Pleasant’s quaint neighborhood of the Old Village.

Hometeam BBQ: Hungover? Sip a boozy ‘Gamechanger’ and hoover some pork cracklins at Hometeam BBQ downtown

167 Raw: If you’re extremely patient and really love lobster rolls, 167 Raw is considered by many as a “must-eat.”

Basic Kitchen: Local favorite Basic Kitchen is a bright, cheerful spot serving “cleaner fuel for longer adventures”... and Instagrammable vignettes.


Sorelle: A quarry’s worth of Italian viola marble was unearthed to become the perfect place setting for your dirty martini at Sorelle.

Le Farfalle: Relax under a shady tree in the courtyard of Le Farfalle and soak up your dirty martini with crispy bread and whipped ricotta.

 The Ordinary: A raw seafood tower is a splurge-worthy, perfect accompaniment to your dirty martini at the bar.

Renzo: A lowkey local favorite spot to slide up to the bar for some salty pizza with homemade ranch and a dirty dirty tini.


Frannie and The Fox: All of our shopgirls rave about Frannie and The Fox as the numero uno chill outdoor place for nibbles and cocktails.

Bin 152: A delightful, dark and intimate wine bar with creaky chairs and warped antique tables overflowing with locals noshing on charcuterie and cheese.

Graft: Uptown near Melfi’s and Leon’s, the friendly and vibrant Graft is owned by two cool, handsome dudes who blend their passions for incredible wine with hip-hop and soul music.

Bar Rollins: Serves topnotch wines with super-chill vibes and happy ambience with a dog-friendly patio.

Malagon: The intimate Spanish taperia Malagón is a cozy spot to linger over several bottles of wine with friends as you slowly graze the entire menu of savory, salty small plates. Don't be surprised if you come for a snack, but stay for dinner.

Babas on Canon: People-watch while relishing negronis and pickled shrimp on a sidewalk bistro table at the buzzy Babas on Canon. 

The Ryder Hotel: The playful pool-side bar at The Ryder Hotel has a tiki-meets-Palm Springs-ambience, and its new expansive deck is perfect for if you want to feel like you’re in Malibu, sans plane ride.


Vern's: All of our fun foodie friends are raving about the small-but-mighty Vern’s. Get the sourdough!

Chubby Fish: There’s dozens of reasons why locals line up like devoted disciples at 4:45pm to chow down at Chubby Fish. 

Costa: Coastal Italian fare brought to the Eastern Seaboard. We could eat everything on the menu here, but the chef specifically recommends the Pork Milanese dish.

Edmund’s Oast Restaurant: Hungry dudes and stylish bros always appreciate Edmund’s Oast Restaurant (Morrison Dr.), which serves superb hearty food in a haute brewery with ample outdoor seating.

The Obstinate Daughter: A perfect summer night is a sunset beach stroll before dinner at The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island.

Renzo: We do lowkey, delicious date-nights at Renzo, an under-the-radar pizzeria with killer cocktails.


Zero George: The tasting menu is a gourmande’s wildest fantasy.

The Ordinary: The seafood tower and martini service here is tops tops tops.

FIG: Fine dining is made unfussy at veteran FIG, where we prefer the bustling bar over the white tablecloths.

Melfi’s: Serves perfect pizza and pasta with swank Frank Sinatra-panache.

Sorelle: Charleston’s glitterati are scrambling to get a table at exceptionally-designed newcomer Sorelle, serving fine Italian.


The Dewberry: The luxury hotel has two lovely watering holes: catch the sunset on their sceney rooftop bar The Citrus Club (make a rez!), or exhale into an upholstered wing chair while people-watching in their James Bond-esque lobby bar.

Last Saint: A small see-and-be-seen joint serving proper cocktails in a refined-but-fun setting.

Vintage Lounge: A bumpin’ spot for an upscale, laidback nightcap with your best friends. 

Cocktail Club: Turn the party dial up a notch at Cocktail Club, which our cute shopgirls describe as “a classy place to get pretty tipsy” alongside Southern Charm cast members.


Faculty Lounge: A dark, windowless-but-far-from-soulless hipster bar that gets fun late at night. The DJ is sporadic - check their ‘gram first.

The Commodore: Book a table - or get in line before 10pm - and squeeze your way onto the crowded dance floor of The Commodore, a dusty, sticky-floor time capsule with live music (think wedding band music).

Bangkok Lounge: If karaoke in a hidden hole-in-the wall bar is your vibe, then this is your place. Pro tip - hang onto your cute tiki-themed plastic cup to make for a memorable memento. 

Royal American: Catch a live rock show and drink cheap beer alongside surfers and badboys at Royal American (downtown).

Pour House: Take a 10 minute Uber to Pour House on James Island for live music - from reggae to indie rock.


The Dewberry: Check into The Dewberry for upscale, mid-century luxury.

Zero George: Boutique hotel Zero George is a romantic and elegant oasis in an immaculately-restored historic mansion.

Post House Inn: We would love to live permanently at the lovely Post House Inn. 

The Pinch: Bloggers christened The Pinch as the cool new kid on King Street.

The Ryder: Girls weekend groups flock to the Palm-Springs vibes here and the playful pool bar.

Charleston Place : The sprawling Charleston Place is great for families. 


The Works: Our team are hardcore devotees of The Works power yoga, spin and HIIT classes.

Ravenel Bridge: Want to walk outside? Get in your cardio over the Ravenel Bridge for panoramic Peninsula views.

Sullivan’s Island: Power walk and ogle at the stunning beach-front homes on Sullivan’s Island (quickly becoming a mini Hamptons of the South).

McKlevin’s: Rent a surfboard at this Folly Beach spot and provision your day at Burt’s Market. 

Isla Surf School: Book a surf lesson by Isla Surf School on Folly Beach, followed by tacos and beer on the patio of Chico Feo.


The George Gallery: At The George Gallery, the coveted archives of Charleston's most famous modern painter, Halsey, can be acquired alongside cool, contemporary fine artists in a stately Broad Street building.

Meyer Vogl Gallery: A couple blocks away, Meyer Vogl Gallery carries the work of young, vibrant artists.

Lia Burke Libaire: If elegantly trippy botanical art is your jam, book a private appointment in the downtown studio of chic, chic, chic artist Lia Burke Libaire.

The Gibbes: The city’s preeminent art museum with an expansive permanent collection of Southern artists dating back hundreds of years to today.

The Halsey: A vibrant contemporary gallery with thought-provoking shows.

Redux: A community art center that supports up-and-coming local artists with affordable workspace and frequent group exhibitions.


International African American Museum: Their mission: to honor the untold stories of the African American journey in the very spot where many enslaved people arrived in the States.

History Tours: Besides impressive architecture and gardens, both Drayton Hall and Middleton Place give important tours about the history of enslaved people in Charleston’s dark past.

Walk and Talk Charleston: The fab Tyler Paige Wright - aka The Lid Lady - has an infectious laugh and a passion for history that comes alive on her walking tours.


Edmund’s Oast: Absurdly delicious burgers, wings, and locally brewed beer awaits you at Edmund’s Oast upper King Street location. Let your kids run wild in the spacious interior courtyard with astro turf. On weekends, this is a local favorite spot to mingle with families.

Vintage Cafe: In Mt. Pleasant, Vintage Cafe draws in families with their woodfired pizza, wine, and coffee shop that has a playground on premise. 

The Ravenel Bridge Playground: Right over the bridge into Mt. Pleasant - the pier and playground underneath offers lovely water views.

Hampton Park: Feed the ducks and climb ancient oaks at Hampton Park.