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13 Reasons All Foodies Should Put Charleston On Their Travel Bucket List

It's the ultimate food city.

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Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. For drool-worthy seafood: 167 Raw

A must-visit spot for all seafood lovers, this tiny raw bar with roots in Nantucket serves up some of the best fresh catch in the city. Don't miss the sea scallop po'boy — a riff on the NOLA classic, which is served with plump, fried scallops drizzled in spicy Sriracha on a toasted bun. It might very well be the best thing you put in your mouth in all of Charleston.

2. For Southern seasonal cooking: FIG
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Low-country classics meet farm-to-table cooking at this Meeting Street hot spot. It's one of the toughest reservations in town, but don't be afraid to walk in and wait for a table over an insanely delicious house cocktail. The crab spaghetti with lemon butter, bottarga, and toasted bread crumbs is the kind of pasta you'll dream about.

3. For great wine in an adorable setting: Bin 152

Oenophiles, make it a point to visit Bin 152. This adorable wine bar meets antique gallery offers a huge list of wines by the glass and the bottle. Order some vino, of course, but don't forget to accompany it with some cheese and charcuterie.

4. For an indulgent brunch: Hominy Grill

Hominy Grill is the best Sunday brunch in town where you can fill up on Southern dishes like shrimp and grits or the "Charleston Nasty Biscuit," a fried chicken sandwich oozing with cheddar cheese and sausage gravy. You may need to loosen your belt a bit after, but the meal is well worth it.

5. For craft cocktails: Proof

Charleston is a drinking city, and Proof is one joint you don't want to miss on your cocktail crawl. The cocktail list boasts about 40 totally unique drinks like the Pink Rabbit and the Reverb, made with homemade ginger beer.

6. For Asian fusion you'll never forget: Xiao Bao Biscuit
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At any given time of day, this Asian-fusion kitchen will only be offering about eight items on the menu. You should probably order one of everything. The dishes — a mixture of Chinese, Thai, Korean, and Vietnamese comfort foods — are freaking insane. Just don't miss the okonomiyaki, a Japanese cabbage pancake that you can order topped with pork candy and fried egg.

7. For a casual and delicious lunch: Butcher & Bee

You'll see the words "honest to goodness" painted on the walls of this popular lunch spot, where all of the ingredients are sourced locally and everything on the menu is crazy fresh. Trying to eat healthy? Order the Middle Eastern–inspired mezze trio and pick from seasonal small plates like falafel and spicy carrots. Or indulge in one of the loaded sandwiches like the Israeli fried chicken.

8. For the best damn burger: Husk

From the outside, Husk is a stunning Victorian home that you'll wish you could live in. Inside, it's a restaurant you'll wish you could eat at every single day. The menu changes all the time (there's even a blackboard at the entrance that lists where every ingredient is sourced from), but go for lunch and you'll most likely find the Husk cheeseburger. There's a reason why it's lauded as one of the best in the whole country.

9. For serious soul food: Martha Lou's Kitchen

Ask a local where to find the best soul food in the city of Charleston, and they'll probably tell you Martha Lou's. Martha has been serving her famous Southern recipes for over 30 years from this pink standout shack. The meats and sides change daily, but you'll always find the melt-in-your-mouth fried chicken, corn bread, and macaroni.

10. For a refreshing happy hour: The Gin Joint

If you need a break from walking along the Battery, refuel at this cozy cocktail bar. As the name might suggest, gin drinkers will be in heaven here, but you'll find plenty of whiskey, bourbon, rum, and tequila on the cocktail list, too. They've also got cheese plates and snacks like the pad Thai popcorn, which you certainly shouldn't miss.

11. For Italian plates by the beach: The Obstinate Daughter

Here's the game plan: Drive 30 minutes outside of the city to Sullivan's Island. The hard-sand beach is quiet and pristine, and the ocean stretches for so many miles it looks like it meets the sky. But no day here is complete without a meal at The Obstinate Daughter. The Italian-slanting dishes (think summer peaches and prosciutto and Cappelletti with foie gras, truffle butter, and chives) are as delicious as they are beautiful. If you go for brunch, don't miss the heirloom tomato Bloody Mary.

12. For breakfast that'll make you a morning person: Callie's Hot Little Biscuit

When in Charleston, mornings should start with sausage, egg, and pimento cheese served on a hot, buttery biscuit. That's why Callie's is a serious crowd favorite.

13. For an upscale seafood extravaganza: The Ordinary

The Ordinary is, well...anything but ordinary. This opulent eatery with lofty ceilings and giant windows is basically a seafood mecca where triple shellfish towers, caviar, and decadent lobster rolls grace tabletops. If you're celebrating a special occasion, you should probably do it here.

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