Jessica Tran & Rachel Faith
Instagram: @jessicahopetran & @hiiirachel
Sisters born and raised South Carolinians, we both swore we would move away and live our adult lives somewhere else. College took us to Tennessee for a time, then Rachel flew off to Asia for several years, and Jessica moved to Charlotte. Fast forward through alot of growing up for both of us, adventures all over the world, and having some fun, we both found ourselves living in Charleston, SC. Charleston has forever been a vacation spot for us, so to actually live, work, and explore here has been exciting. Rachel is an English and social studies teacher and loves supporting local spots by eating and drinking her way through the city. Jessica currently spends her time chasing after her baby boy, does some interior design work and antiquing on the side, and occasionally has a date night out in The Holy City.
Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina, with beautiful architecture and homes on cobblestone streets lined with palm trees--all within view of the ocean. Why wouldn't you visit? Voted "America's Friendliest City" for several years, it's definitely a tourist hotspot in the summer, with King Street shopping, new restaurants popping up every week, and three different beaches to choose from. While you could come to Charleston to go the Market, or ride a horse and carriage, and go to Hyman's Seafood, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Charleston gems. Pretend you're a local for a few days. And stay away from Hyman's.
Callie's Hot Little Biscuit. Downtown Upper King. About as big as a parking spot. Open late on Friday/Saturday, 10-2am. Try the Cheese & Chive biscuit.
Warehouse. Downtown. Industrial-chic bar/kitchen. Open for brunch on Sundays & late nights. Try the Forager's Toast.
The Shelter. Mt. Pleasant. Dog-friendly, beachy vibe. Most Sundays there's live music. Try the Bloody Mary.
Hominy Grill. Downtown. Sweet and southern. Try the shrimp and grits (best in Charleston).
Butcher and Bee. Downtown Upper King. Farm to table, menu changes daily. BYOB. Open super late. Try the Roast Beef Sandwich.
Husk. Downtown Queen St. Southern fare made with local ingredients. Try to make a reservation; if you go on a weekday, walk-in wait time is usually pretty short. Try the burger (best in Charleston).
Fire Street Food. Downtown King St. Asian-fusion style menu at reasonable prices. Try the pad Thai.
Minero. Downtown East Bay. Created by Sean Brock (of Husk & McCrady's). Corn tortillas hand made daily (so good). Good date spot (no cell reception ;) ). Try the queso fundido & al pastor tacos.
Xiao Bao Biscuit. Downtown. Seasonal asian-fusion menu. In a converted gas station. Try the Okonomiyaki.
Co. Downtown King St. Vietnamese. fusion/noodles/small plates. Try the Drunken Thai Noodles.
The Ordinary. Downtown Upper King. Fresh, classic, upscale seafood/raw bar. Great service. In an old converted bank. Try the Peel + Eat Shrimp.
Leon's Oyster Shop. Downtown Upper King. Famous fried chicken, interesting oysters, and soft serve ice cream for dessert. Try the Char-Grilled Oysters.
Saint Alban. Downtown Upper King. European-style cafe. Try the banana bread.
Black Tap Coffee. Downtown. Bright space, minimalist decor, good coffee. Try the lavender latte.
Collective Coffee. Mt Pleasant. Serves Intelligentsia coffee and really good sandwiches. Try the pour-over.
Kudu. Downtown Upper King. Grab coffee or beer. They have a large outdoor patio (dog friendly!) or inside bar. Try a latte/beer on tap.
The Daily. Downtown Upper King. Quick in & out cafe from the makers of Butcher & Bee. Try the fresh pressed juice.
The Royal American. Downtown. Local bar where you'll never see a tourist. Skip the glass and drink straight from the pitcher.
Faculty Lounge. Downtown. Bar with a speak-easy feel, hipster DJs, ramen, and a doorbell that you ring to get in.
Closed for Business. Downtown King St. Always open and with a wide selection of craft beer.
Holy City. North Charleston. Brewery is off the beaten path, but the trip is worth it for the free tour and brews like "Notorious P.I.G." and "Plug Mud Porter".
Revelry. Downtown. Really good beer, but even better BBQ (best in Charleston!). Worth the wait.
The Belmont. Downtown Upper King. Vibey, retro spot for some fancy cocktails. They play black and white films on the wall. Try the homemade pop tarts.
The Rarebit. Downtown Upper King. Stylish retro diner with a beautiful bar. Try the Moscow Mule.
The Washout. Folly Beach. Turn left on E Ashley Ave and drive all the way to the end. Great place to watch surfers, walk to the lighthouse, or see the weather worn trees growing out of the sand.
Sullivan's Island. Large beaches with tide pools great for kids. Good place to rent bikes and house hunt for your dream beach house.
King Dusko. Downtown King Street. Art gallery, bar, hangout spot. kingduskocharleston.com
Redux Studios. Downtown. Art gallery and artist studios. Check reduxstudios.org for their exhibitions.
The Charleston Museum. Downtown. The oldest museum in the U.S. Tells the history of The Lowcountry with artifacts, war memorabilia, and even fossils and preserved animals. Pretty cool.
King Street. Downtown. High end shopping boutiques and everything else like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Madewell, and H&M. Wear comfy shoes. Most shops close around 6.
Holy City Consignment. Downtown. Men's & women's clothes and vintage. Drink while you shop--they offer beer & wine!
Worthwhile. Downtown King St. Quality pieces, accessories, and home goods. Worth going in just for the window displays.
Curiosity. Downtown Queen St. Unique antique shop with lots of treasures. Crazy hours, so check Instagram to see if they're open.
Candlefish. Downtown. Curated candle shop. 100 different fragrances in The Library to choose from, plus an abundance of other options.
Mixson Market. Park Circle. Restaurant and cafe selling carefully curated market and home goods. Take a walk around the Mixson neighborhood while you're there.
Mac & Murphy. Downtown. Paper store offering unique cards and gifts.