Like everyone else in Charleston, we at Texture are down right obsessed with some good Southern cooking. We love this city's quintessential cuisine so much that we've even devoted products to it: some of our favorite items in the shop are these greeting cards that celebrate love. friendship, and the joys of comfort food.
Whether you are a resident of Charleston or a visitor, one thing is for sure: buttermilk biscuits can be found on every corner, and every restaurant seems to be boasting the best shrimp and grits in town. In the spirit of Southern hospitality, we've rounded up the best of the best. Caution: don't read on an empty stomach!
Best Biscuits: Callie's Hot Little Biscuit
I cannot say enough good things about Hot Little Biscuit. It was one of the first places I went when I moved to Charleston, and has been a favorite ever since! Located on Upper King Street, HLB is about the size of a shoebox, but there's a reason for the near-constant line out the door: the bakers inside are cooking up pure magic seven days a week. The biscuits are in fact little (true to their name), so be sure to grab two or three, plain or filled. My personal favorites include the cinnamon, blackberry, and black pepper bacon, but the fried chicken biscuit (with chicken from neighboring Rarebit) is sure to blow you away, too. As an added bonus, HLB has late-night hours on the weekends, opening their doors from 10 pm-2 am for all you downtown bar crawlers. Be sure to check out HLB's new location, too, which just opened in the Charleston City Market!
(Photos courtesy of calliesbiscuits.com)
Best Shrimp and Grits: Hominy Grill
Hominy Grill is as almost as integral to Charleston culture as grits themselves. With a line out the door rain or shine, every day of the year, it's safe to say this restaurant is doing something right. A famous locale for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's only fitting that Hominy holds the crown for "best shrimp and grits in Charleston," named the winner by the Wall Street Journal, Eater, Trip Advisor, Southern Living, and countless others. What makes this dish so memorable? Grits from local mills topped with shrimp and mushrooms sautéed with bacon. Take our word for it - one taste is worth the wait.
(Photos courtesy of hominygrill.com)
Best Mac and Cheese: Crave Kitchen
Every fall, Charleston hosts one of the most highly anticipated culinary events in the South - that is, the annual Mac Off. For the past seven years, over twenty five local restaurants, chefs, and food trucks have gathered to compete for the title of "Best Mac and Cheese" in the Holy City, and, for the last five years, one restaurant has beaten them all. The reigning winner, year after year, is Crave Kitchen, located in Mount Pleasant. Chef Landon Ganstrom certainly knows his was around the dish - after his multiple Mac Off wins, Esquire magazine called his “The Most Life-Changing Mac ‘N’ Cheese in America.” Needless to say, Crave is not to be missed. Be on the look out for their food truck, Mac Daddy, as well, making appearences all over the area!
(Photos courtesy of cravekitchenandcockails.com and themacoff.com)
Honorable Mentions for Best Mac and Cheese: Cru Cafe, Rarebit, Poogan's Porch.
Best Pancakes: Three little birds
I am convinced that Three Little Birds is one of Charleston's best kept secrets. After stumbling upon it by chance one morning, it has become my go-to breakfast spot. Though the menu is extensive and covers everything from specialty omelets to challah bread french toast, what they're really known for is their pancakes. My personal favorite is the granola maple stack, but Three Little Birds makes a variety of unbelievable pancakes, ranging from banana pecan to pumpkin in the fall, plus daily specials. Just over the bridge in West Ashley, it's a little off the beaten path for Downtown dwellers, but believe me, this place is a breakfast lover's paradise.