Charleston is a top foodie destination in its own right. Even if you're not in town for one of the city's culinary events (like the Charleston Wine + Food Festival or Charleston Restaurant Week), you'll still get a chance to sample some low country cuisine at any one of the city's top restaurants.
Travelers and locals alike heap praise on Husk and Magnolia's for their contemporary Southern menus and attentive service. Favorite dishes at Magnolia's include the down south egg roll, the buttermilk fried chicken breast and the parmesan crusted flounder. FIG and The Ordinary are equally popular for their seafood-centric menus and trendy interiors. Poogan's Porch (a great place for brunch) offers a similar low country menu in a charming, restored Victorian house. High Cotton, another purveyor of low country fare, hosts a popular Sunday brunch that features live jazz from local musicians. If you're in the mood for more casual breakfast or coffee spots, consider The Daily or Black Tap Coffee. And if you're not too full from a hearty brunch, head to 167 Raw for lunch, an oyster bar that's popular for its oyster selection and lobster rolls. During peak tourist season, waiting for a table at one of these eateries can turn into a long night. If you already know where you'd like to dine while in Charleston, make reservations before you get into town.
You can't make reservations at Hyman's Seafood, so be prepared to battle the line snaking out of the door for a seat at this perennial tourist favorite. With a more casual atmosphere and budget-friendly menu than some of Charleston's other downtown area restaurants, it's easy to see why travelers (especially those with kids in tow) prefer to stake a claim in the line than pay some of the city's other restaurant tabs. You won't encounter too many locals, but you will find a big menu with just about any seafood you could imagine.
Along with its impressive food menus, Charleston also boasts a bevy of trendy drinking establishments worth checking out. The Gin Joint, The Belmont and The Rooftop Bar at Vendue are all praised watering holes to consider.