7 must-see restaurants in Charleston

Gillie’s Seafood

Shrimps and Grits. Seafood boils. Red rice. Charleston is known for its good food and rightly so. This historic Lowcountry town is teeming with a rich and diverse culture. One (delicious) way to learn more is through food. After all, the area is arguably the epicenter of the incredible Gullah Geechee community. Since October is Gullah Geechee Heritage Month, we’ve rounded up 7 must-see Charleston black-owned restaurants that serve, among other mouth-watering things, popular Lowcountry fare.

Disclaimer: ESSENCE.com is not responsible for any extra pounds gained as a result of this article.

RODNEY SCOTT’S BARBECUE (1011 King Street Charleston, SC 29403) – Scott, an award-winning James Beard chef, is a real celebrity on the Southern food scene and for good reason: his mouth-watering ribs, chicken and pulled pork are good at licking your teeth. fingers. The precision with which its highly trained staff manage the kitchen and the pit where the meats are smoked is legendary.

ESSENTIAL DISHES: BBQ ribs, pulled chicken, king catfish platter

MA GLORIA’S TRINIDAD RESTORATION (3640-B Dorchester Rd North Charleston, SC 29405) Authentic Caribbean cuisine in South Carolina? Don’t hit it until you’ve tried it! Offering island flavors with touches of Asian, Eastern Indian and Southern Indian influences, Ma Gloria’s caters to a wide range of palettes. Food is an indisputable link for everyone in the African diaspora.

ESSENTIAL DISHES: pineapple chicken, blue crabs with curry and ravioli

GILLIE’S SEAFOOD (805 Folly Road Charleston, SC 29412) – Have you ever eaten out and literally tasted the love in food? Don’t be surprised if this happens to you at Gillie. Owner and chef Sean Mendes, who named the establishment after his beloved grandmother, understands that soul food is as much about the kitchen itself as the feelings it elicits when it comes to it. eat. The latter could explain his popular gallery wall featuring his grandmother Gillie as well as a host of other grannies from near and far.

Insider tip: Take an Instagram-worthy photo in front of Grandma’s wall before you go, like Food Network star and Charleston native Kardea Brown does when in town.

ESSENTIAL DISHES: meatloaf, fried okra, soul rolls, fried seafood baskets.

NIGEL’S GOOD FOOD (3760 Ashley Phosphate Road N. Charleston, SC 29418)Comfortable and cozy accurately describe the atmosphere of this soul food restaurant serving tasty and familiar classics and regional Lowcountry specialties. The portions are generous, so bring your appetite and childhood nostalgia too: Nigel’s has an assortment of Kool-Aid flavors among its drink offerings.

ESSENTIAL DISHES: Geechie Wings and Shrimp and Oatmeal, Nigel’s Banana Pudding

The cuisine of Hannibal’s soul

HANNIBAL’S KITCHEN (16 Blake Street Charleston, SC 29403)No-frills home cooking is what you’ll get at this multigenerational family-run restaurant just minutes from a bustling city center. Admire the stunning interior artwork while you wait for your food. While some restaurants lose their credibility once tourists catch wind of it, Charleston residents regularly stop for take-out for lunch – a real sign of authenticity; especially in the South.

ESSENTIAL DISHES: crab and shrimp rice, smothered turkey wings

SLAUGHTERHOUSE (9616 Highway 78, Suite 13 Ladson, SC 29456) – The exterior of the mall is quite unassuming, but if you’re ready to get your hands on and face some delicious home-style barbecue dishes paired with delicious side dishes, Do not look any further. Bonus: there is a Nigel store next door.

ESSENTIAL DISHES: hot ties, blueberry cornbread, Dirty Harry sloppy Joe

MESU (570 King Street Charleston, SC 29403) If you’re ready to part with the tried and true and want to experience a culinary fusion, Mesu, a refreshing mix of Mexican and Japanese cuisine, is your place. There’s also an expansive bar with a unique selection of sake, tequila, and cocktails worthy of a Pinterest tip.

ESSENTIAL DISHES: street corn skewer, Baja fish tacos, dynamite roll

SUBJECTS: Black-owned food and beverage companies Gullah-Geechee

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