Deep Dive into Hidden Charleston Restaurant Experiences

By Mark A. Leon

By Mark A. Leon

There are world renowned restaurants in Charleston.  There are even world renowned dive bars and eateries in Charleston who have made a name for themselves.  What about the real deep dive establishments.  The ones you don’t read about in the papers.  The ones that can’t afford the marketing and promotion, so they get left out of the fanfare.  Here is the catch, they offer a great product and an incredible customer experience.  They aren’t on the top of anyone’s list, but for those that know the secret places, they are worth the excursion.

Today, we are going to ride through the urban jungles of Charleston to unleash some of the great spots, you may never have heard about.

Huriyali Gardens: Juices, Smoothies and Snacks – 401 Huger Street, Charleston, SC

Start with the Green Dream – Kale, Cucumber, Apple, Kiwi, Berries, Herbs and Ginger, come together in a harmonious mix that will please your body as well as your palate. This juice has more that 100% of your daily intake of vitamins A, C and K.

If you are feeling nutty, Nuts Over You will inspire:  Cashew, Vanilla Bean, Ceylon Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Himalayan Salt, Raw Local Honey, Raw Cacao Powder combine to make our Fall inspired spiced cashew milk.

If that doesn’t do it, AC’s OG will fuel up your day:  Kale, Celery, Cucumber, Cilantro, Lemon – designed specially for our multi marathon running customer.

Charlie’s Grocery – 1 Jasper Street, Charleston, SC – Without a doubt the Falafel sandwich is nothing short of addictive.  This family recipe has been carried down and has warmed the taste buds of locals for years.  Get a sandwich, add some homemade potato salad and go to a small park on the campus of MUSC to enjoy great food and nice weather.

Dukes Bar-B-Que – 4428B Spruill Avenue, North Charleston, SC – Do not let the location scare you.  The limited hours may be a challenge though.  Dukes has been a foundation for over 55 years and now this small one room restaurant is open Friday and Saturday only from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM for dine in and take out.  This buffet will run you less than $10.00 each and the ambiance is just fascinating.  When you walk in you will see long picnic tables with rolls of paper towels, loaves of bread still in the bad and plastic condiments containers.  The staff is warm and friendly and reminds you of a cool day on the ranch.  The buffet is simple, but amazingly delicious.  Pulled pork, hash, two types of pickles, slaw, unsweetened tea and sweetened tea.  That’s it.  Of course a variety of BBQ sauces.  The only advice, come early, they tend to sell out.

Thai Bowl - Dellz Uptown

Thai Bowl – Dellz Uptown

Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen – 218 Presidents Street, Charleston, SC – Finding authentic Chinese food on the peninsula easier said than done.  Often the venture to North Charleston must happen, but just around the bend from Joe Riley Stadium and The Citadel is a little corner place that will satisfy your cravings for dumplings, Orange Chicken or Kung Pao Shrimp.  Be patient, as owners Lily Lei and Karalee Nielsen Fallert and their staff will bring you an intimate level of family style service.

Dellz Uptown – 511 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston, SC – Just north of the Crosstown is Dellz Uptown.  This baby blue building has been the home of a number of eateries, but this one looks like it could stay for a while.  This Caribbean-themed vegan/vegetarian restaurant offers artistic walls, healthy menu options and mouth watering food that will not leave you hungry.  A few recommended options to help guide you along are:

Jazzy Pizza
Workout Wrap
My Thai Bowl
Uptown Elvis Smoothie

Luke’s Craft Pizza – 271 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC – When you are driving through the Crosstown, you may see the sign and think, “wow and ode to Gilmore Girls”.  At least I did, but Luke’s is the brain child of EVO alum Chef Luke Davis.  He has converted this little corner take out place to a home for artistic pizza design and comfort.  Don’t let the tiny exterior or cozy setting distract you from absolutely great and imaginative pizza.

There you have it, a small list of some of the really out of the way places to indulge your appetite.  Behind the hidden corners and the glamor of the big name restaurants, Charleston has a little hidden world of great food made with love.  In a city build on dreams, family and intimate relationships, these are the places that define who we are.

Thank you to all these businesses for giving us the fruits of their passion.

Falafel Pita Sandwich - Charlie's Grocery

Falafel Pita Sandwich – Charlie’s Grocery

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