Top Five: Charleston

Welcome to our Top Five series, where bomb women show us their city's food scene through their eyes. From speakeasies in Cleveland to roadside spam in Hawaii to whole hog barbecue in Charleston, they're showcasing their local haunts and the places you wouldn't find on your own. 


Curated by Lindsay Collins

Lindsay is the host and creator of a comedy podcast about the food and beverage industry called Effinbradio. She is a classically trained pianist who currently runs a podcast studio by day and cocktail lounge by night in downtown Charleston. She drinks coffee well past 7pm and is mildly obsessed with pound cake.

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Credit:  The Harbinger

(1) Coffee

The Harbinger

1107 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

This place has some of the deepest, darkest cold brew on the peninsula and these wildly craveable treats (think caramel brownies covered in mounds of toasted pistachio) snuggled up next to some veggie-heavy grab and go options that don’t make you feel like a garabage person. Plus it’s an instgramable smorgasbord. If you’re into that sort of thing.


(2) Breakfast

SCRAM food truck 

1291 Folly Rd. Charleston, SC 29412

It’s run by Melanie Durant who is this incredibly talented pastry chef that has an alter ego who makes the worlds most perfect breakfast sandwiches. (Not to mention Crullers and this insane creation called a Milk Bun) She also has zero problem making a comically large Gougere and stuffing it with soft scrambled eggs and pepper jelly which basically makes her my hero. The catch is it’s a food truck that only opens from Thursday to Sunday. So don’t blow it by oversleeping or you’ll be heartbroken until the next weekend.


(3) Lunch

Rodney Scott BBQ

1011 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

Rodney Scott has mastered the art of whole hog bbq which is a style specific to our region in South Carolina and is unlike any other bbq I’ve ever had. (Perhaps their most beautiful feature is the fact that there is a drive thru window, although I highly recommend dining in because they always play great music and have the most fun loving staff I’ve ever seen) I’m a pulled pork sandwich purist and choosing a side dish is like picking a favorite band: Impossible because you love them all for different reasons. Whatever you do don’t leave without a to-go portion of banana pudding.

Editor's Note: Rodney Scott just won the James Beard Award for best chef in the Southeast last week. So...yeah. 


(4) Dinner 

Stems and Skins

1070 East Montague Avenue #B, North Charleston, SC 29405

It’s low lit, the wine list is no shit probably my favorite list in the country and they serve exquisite tinned fish with perfectly seasoned, lemony arugula and a crackly baguette. Whipped butter and flaky salt are optional but you would be a fool to skip that. And there’s always something simple and delicious on the menu that’s perfectly in line with the season if you don’t feel like grazing on perfectly preserved fish.


Credit:  Proof

Credit: Proof

(5) Drinks


437 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

No matter which bartender you get (though I’m quite partial to the bar manager Sam Gabrielle) the drinks are effortlessly mixed to perfection. The list is fun without being obnoxious and the classics are encouraged. They also play the entire album rather than some dumb playlist which makes me want to stay even after my drink is cashed.