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
BUT FIRST COFFEE. ALWAYS COFFEE.
Pair your cappuccino with an eye-full of super swank design gorgeousness at newcomer Sorelle. Influencers have their coffee catch-ups at Babas on Canon – peanut-butter mocha is a must. Harken is housed in a mega-charming historic building with outdoor patio. Their uptown sister location, Harbinger, is a healthy lunch spot that’s more Birkenstock than ballet flat (and laptop-friendly). Second State is a spare, sunny serving special, rocketfuel-esque coffee in a minimalist oasis. Pastries, sandwiches and coffee await you at Welton’s Fine Foods.
JUST A QUICK BITE
Next door to our store, The Daily is fast, unfussy, and truly delicious healthy-ish fare like smoothies and breakfast pitas. Chic Babas Uptown on Meeting Street is where the design cohort powwows over spendy shrimp salad lunches and rose. Grab a bottle of bubbly to-go from the interior cheese shop, Goat Sheep Cow. Slide into a sunny picnic table and tantalize your spicy taste buds with pan-Asian dishes at Xiao Bao Biscuit. Bask in the happy, hippy, surfer vibes at vegan cafe Huriyali, or pack a picnic under an ancient oak in the neighboring Hampton Park. We consider coffee and buttery ham and cheese biscuit at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit the breakfast of champions in Charleston.
A LONG LUNCH / BRUNCH. YOU MAY NEED A NAP AFTERWARD.
Yes, Leon’s fried chicken, frose, and fresh oysters in a funky car-garage ambience live up to all the hype. 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. Hungover? Sip a boozy ‘Gamechanger’ and hoover some pork cracklins at Hometeam BBQ downtown. If you’re extremely patient and really love lobster rolls, 167 Raw is considered by many as a “must-eat.” Local favorite Basic Kitchen is a bright, cheerful spot serving “cleaner fuel for longer adventures”... and Instagrammable vignettes. Gorge on honest-to-goodness organic ingredients of seasonally eclectic dishes outside on the sprawling patio of Butcher & Bee uptown.
A DAMN GOOD MARTINI AND SOME BAR BITES IN A LOVELY ATMOSPHERE
A quarry’s worth of Italian viola marble was unearthed to become the perfect place setting for your dirty martini at Sorelle. Relax under a shady tree in the courtyard of Le Farfalle and soak up your dirty martini with crispy bread and whipped ricotta. A raw seafood tower is a splurge-worthy, perfect accompaniment to your dirty martini at the bar at The Ordinary. Renzo is a lowkey local favorite spot to slide up to the bar for some salty pizza with homemade ranch and a dirty dirty tini.
WINE + PRE-DINNER DRINKS AND BITES
All of our shopgirls rave about Frannie and The Fox as the numero uno chill outdoor place for nibbles and cocktails. Bin 152 is a delightful, dark and intimate wine bar with creaky chairs and warped antique tables overflowing with locals noshing on charcuterie and cheese. 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. The intimate Spanish taperia Malagon 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. People-watch while relishing negronis and pickled shrimp on a sidewalk bistro table at the buzzy Babas on Canon. The playful pool-side bar at The Ryder Hotel draws girls’ weekend groups with its tiki-meets-Palm Springs-ambience.
A DELICIOUS AND FUN DINNER
All of our fun foodie friends are raving about the small-but-mighty Verns. There’s dozens of reasons why locals line up like devoted disciples at 4:45pm to chow down at Chubby Fish. Enjoy a martini and consistently delicious Italian in the courtyard at Le Farfalle. Hungry dudes and stylish bros always appreciate Edmund’s Oast Restaurant (East Bay St.), which serves superb hearty food in a haute brewery with outdoor seating. A perfect summer night is a sunset beach stroll before dinner at The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island. We do lowkey, delicious date-nights at Renzo, an under-the-radar pizzeria with killer cocktails.
A FANCY-ISH DINNER $$
It’s hard to get a reservation anywhere, so book now. Zero George tasting menu is a gourmande’s wildest fantasy. The seafood tower and martini service at The Ordinary is tops tops tops. 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 panache. Tuck into a crescent-shaped leather booth and enjoy an excellent meal at French bistro Maison. Charleston’s glitterati are scrambling to get a table at exceptionally-designed newcomer Sorelle, serving fine Italian.
A GREAT COCKTAIL IN A COOL, LOWKEY BUT NOT BORING BAR FOR 30-40-SOMETHINGS-WHO WANT TO “GO OUT” BUT NOT RAGE
The bar at Sorelle is a sophisticated choice for pre-or-post dinner drinks. Luxury hotel The Dewberry 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 stylish lobby bar. Last Saint is a small see-and-be-seen joint serving proper cocktails in a refined-but-fun setting. Vintage Lounge is a bumpin’ spot for an upscale, laidback nightcap with your best friends. 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.
LET’S GO DANCING!
Faculty Lounge is a dark, windowless-but-far-from-soulless hipster bar that gets fun late at night. The DJ is sporadic - check their ‘gram first. Book a table - or get in line before 10pm - and squeeze your way onto the crowded dancefloor of The Commodore, a dusty, sticky-floor time capsule with live music (think wedding band music). Catch some oontz-oontz beats, bandage dresses, platform stilettos, smoke machines and bottle service at Republic. Catch a live rock show and drink cheap beer alongside surfers and badboys at Royal American (downtown). Take a 10 minute Uber to Pour House on James Island for live music - from reggae to indie rock.
Check into The Dewberry for upscale, mid-century luxury. Boutique hotel Zero George is a romantic and elegant oasis in an immaculately-restored historic mansion. We would love to live permanently at the friendly, cool Post House Inn. Bloggers christened The Pinch as the cool new kid on King Street. Girls weekend groups flock to the Palm-Springs vibes - and playful pool bar - at The Ryder. Sprawling Charleston Place is great for families.
MOVE YOUR BOD
Our team are hardcore devotees of The Works power yoga, spin and HITT classes. Want to walk outside? Get in your cardio over the Ravenel Bridge for panoramic Peninsula views. Power walk and ogle at the stunning beach-front homes on Sullivan’s Island (quickly becoming a mini Hamptons of the South). Provision your beach day at Burt’s Market and rent a board at McKevlins or book a surf lesson by Isla Surf School on Folly Beach, followed by tacos and beer on the patio of Chico Feo.
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. A couple blocks away, Meyer Vogl Gallery carries the work of young, vibrant artists. 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 is the city’s preeminent art museum with an expansive permanent collection of Southern artists dating back hundreds of years to today. The Halsey is a vibrant contemporary gallery with thought-provoking shows. Redux is a community art center that supports up-and-coming local artists with affordable workspace and frequent group exhibitions.
KNOW YOUR HISTORY
The highly anticipated International African American Musuem opens June 27th, with the mission to honor the untold stories of the African American journey in the very spot where many enslaved people arrived in the States.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. The ab fab Tyler Paige Wright’s - aka The Lid Lady - has an infectious laugh and a passion for history that comes alive on her walking tours.
WITH THE KIDDOS…
Absurdly delicious burgers, wings and locally brewed beer await 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. In Mt. Pleasant, Vintage Cafe draws in families with their woodfired pizza, wine and coffee shop that has a playground on premise. Feed the ducks and climb ancient oaks at Hampton Park. The pier and playground underneath Ravenel bridge in Mt. Pleasant offers lovely water views.