Article & photos by Abby Tierney
It’s no secret Charleston, S.C., is known for its “foodie” scene. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they visit, however, is limiting their vacation eats to the classic, better-known restaurants located in the King Street and South of Broad areas.
What most don’t know is that some of the city’s best-kept culinary secrets lie just beyond the usual tourist trail, past the Crosstown and edging closer to the outskirts of the peninsula. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, branch out for your next meal on the town and try one of these new spots – your taste buds will thank you.
Tucked away deep in Hampton Park Terrace, Harold’s Cabin is unassuming at first glance. Inside, however, the feel is like being transported into some Alice in Wonderland/deep woods cabin hybrid – the interior is rustic, imaginative and completely charming.
After sipping rosemary lattes and devouring everything from biscuits to bison burgers, it’s safe to say you’ll want to cozy up and stay awhile.
At Harold’s Cabin, the rooftop garden is the real star of the show – with a staff committed to local and sustainable produce, most of restaurant’s greenery is cultivated just above diners’ heads or sourced by other local farmers.
Bonus: It’s owned by famed actor and man-about-town Bill Murray. So watch for a celebrity sighting. 247 Congress St., Charleston
Luke’s Craft Pizza
Luke’s, a shoebox of a building on Ashley Avenue, opened last May and has been redefining carry-out pizza ever since. Owned and operated by Chef Luke Davis and his wife, Brittany, Luke’s offers artisan pies crafted on hand-tossed dough.
Patrons are encouraged to have it their way, choosing either the weekly special or from a list of fresh, seasonal toppings. The dough is made by hand in house, the fixins’ include everything from fennel sausage to pickled banana peppers, and every pizza is made to order.
Next time you’re thinking takeout, call Luke’s. But do so quickly – pies are only available each night while supplies last. 721 Ashley Ave., Charleston
Little Jack’s Tavern
It is impossible to talk about Little Jack’s without talking about aesthetics; if you haven’t been yet, you’ve probably seen an Instagram photo of this restaurant.
The tavern has an old school feel – think vintage silver, checkered tablecloths, and scuffed hardwood floors.
It looks like it’s been around for ages, but make no mistake, the menu lives up to the standards of Charleston’s growing culinary scene. Little Jack’s offers everything from signature tavern fare to whimsical cocktails, but the menu’s real winner is clear: a burger slider topped with melted American cheese, available for just $7.
The burger is so indulgent that it appears once more on the dessert menu, just in case you want to go back for more. 710 King St., Charleston
Goat Sheep Cow North
Though a good bit larger than the restaurant’s first location (still open on Church Street), Goat Sheep Cow North stays true to the shop’s devotion to the finest meats, cheeses and wines.
The new shop offers the rich selection of provisions and much more.
Doubling as a gourmet market and sleek wine bar, the expansive building feels European in nature with clear Southern influence.
On the restaurant side (which also includes an expansive patio space), guests cozy up inside the brick interior and indulge on everything from beautifully crafted meat-and-cheese plates to artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches.
If you’re on the go, however, there are perks for you, too – visit the market side for a quick espresso and take home whatever catches your fancy. 804 Meeting St., Charleston
Rodney Scott BBQ
Rodney Scott BBQ opened its doors on North King Street in March 2017, and even after its stellar first month of operation (think line out the door on opening night), barbecue lovers continue to flock here by the dozens.
There’s a reason the city is crazy for what barbecue pitmaster Rodney Scott is dishing up – with a menu dominated by the whole-hog (but also offering everything from rib-eye to pit-cooked chicken to fried catfish and an array of classic sides), this place is the real deal.
From the lifelong barbecue experts to the newcomers to the scene (those surprised to find that pork could have such a devoted cult following), the beauty of Rodney Scott BBQ is that it truly is food for everyone. 1011 King St., Charleston