In the past decade, Charleston has become one of the south’s biggest foodie hubs. New restaurants seem to be opening on a daily basis, many of which feature impossible-to-pronounce menu items and instagram-able (but wildly impractical) dining room set-ups. As much as I love the bright & shiny spots, Charleston is also home to many restaurants that are slightly less glamorous, but equally delicious. Here are a few of my favorite places that you won’t find on Resy or Open Table. .
1. La Pizzeria
A bit cramped and chaotic, La Pizzeria is certainly Mount Pleasant’s most loved Italian spot. Be prepared to be greeted by Eddie, who seems to know everyone’s name, and ushered quickly to your seat by someone speaking a rapid mix of Italian and English. The menu features brick oven pizza and italian comfort food, all of it is delicious. It gets busy on the weekends so go early or pay them a visit on a weeknight - you won’t be disappointed.
2. Tattooed Moose
When you google Tattooed Moose, it is described as “unfussy digs” which may be a bit of an understatement. At first look, the bar, with its sharpie-covered interior, certainly looks a little rough around the edges. However, you can’t find fries this good anywhere else. Cooked in duck fat, they are the perfect mid-afternoon or midnight snack.
3. Pattaya Thai
Nestled in the corner of an unassuming Mount Pleasant strip mall, Pattaya Thai doesn’t look like much from the outside. However, everyone in the south-mount pleasant area knows that this is the place to go if you’re looking for a fresh Vietnamese noodle salad, deliciously-crunchy egg rolls, or authentic pad thai. Much of their business is done in takeout orders so you can almost always grab one of their comfortable booths.
Located on the corner of Rutledge and Nunan St, Dellz offers vegan and vegetarian options that are sure to please even the most committed carnivores. We suggest opting for the Jazzy pizza, which can be done with vegan or non-vegan cheese. Nothing like your average pizza, the Jazzy is topped with brown rice, avocado, peppers, beans, mushrooms and a variety of homemade sauces. Healthy and delicious, Dellz is the perfect laid-back spot to grab a quick lunch with friends.
5. Blackbird Market
Out on John’s Island, Blackbird is our go-to lunch spot here at Speak. You can find the menu, which features many daily specials, on their Facebook page. The inside seating is limited but they also have some outdoor space and offer takeout. Try a barbeque plate and load up with all of your favorite sides, the mac n’ cheese is top notch.
6. Persimmon Cafe
Few people would expect delicious sandwiches and laundry to go together. However, located in the laundromat at 226 Calhoun st, you can find one of the best lunches in town. To get the full experience, order an adult grilled cheese with a basil limeade, but you truly can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.