BREAKFAST: Dixie Supply Cafe & Bakery ( www.dixiecafecharleston.com) is the place to head for a slice of tomato pie served with a side of sweet potato cornbread, or their equally famous shrimp and grits.
10 A.M.: Only a block from Dixie Supply, on Market Street, the newly renovated Charleston City Market ( www.thecharlestoncitymarket.com) is one of the oldest public markets in the United States. Comprised of four historic buildings, it is home to 285 local vendors – including more than 50 artisans who weave sweetgrass baskets, one of the region’s prized indigenous crafts – and Food for the Southern Soul (great for a snack or a tasty souvenir).
LUNCH: Cru Cafe ( www.crucafe.com) is in an old house just off bustling Market Street and has a loyal local following for lunch, thanks to their famed Four Cheese Macaroni.
2 P.M.: Just down East Bay Street and owned and operated by Maverick Southern Kitchens (of East Bay’s High Cotton and Slightly North of Broad restaurant fame), Charleston Cooks! ( www.mavericksouthernkitchens.com) is the place to head for everything culinary, including cookbooks, cookware and a full schedule of cooking classes. The “Taste of the Lowcountry” class is held at 2 p.m. on many afternoons.
4 P.M.: Shopping on King Street is a time-honored Charleston tradition, thanks to multi-generation merchants, one-of-a-kind wares and upscale chains. Lower King is an esteemed antiques district, and Upper King is a thriving design district.
DINNER: It’s hard to beat the fresh seafood and lively atmosphere at Hank’s Seafood ( www.hanksseafoodrestaurant.com), which is also just off Market Street.
BREAKFAST: Virginia’s on King ( www.virginiasonking.com) features Lowcountry fare for all three meals, with a breakfast of country ham and eggs a great way to start the day. The Sunday brunch menu includes bottomless mimosas.
10 A.M.: The best way to see Charleston is on foot. Departing from Mills House Hotel, Charleston Strolls ( www.charlestonstrolls.com) offers a perfect two-hour “Daily Tour” every day at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (including holidays).
LUNCH: Caviar & Bananas ( www.caviarandbananas.com) is an epicurean experience, thanks to gourmet prepared entrees, sandwiches, salads, sushi, artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. They also have an outpost in Charleston Market.
2 P.M.: Since 1858, the Gibbes Museum of Art ( www.gibbesmuseum.org) has hosted exhibitions with a regional connection, while its 10,000-piece-plus permanent collection includes many pieces of merit from the 1915 to 1940 Charleston Renaissance period.
DINNER: The Grocery ( www.thegrocerycharleston.com) features an ingredient-inspired menu rooted in Southern and Mediterranean flavors, ranging from small bites to family style portions. The warm, familial setting boasts an open kitchen and wood-burning oven, heightening the atmosphere in the former furniture warehouse.
WRAP UP: For something really different, head up upper King for bowling at The Alley ( www.thealleycharleston.com). This reclaimed warehouse features eight lanes of retro bowling, a 40-foot bar made from recycled bowling lane wood, vintage arcade games and a 150-seat restaurant.
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