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Charleston Wine + Food

Tasting Notes


CHSWFF + I Love That For You: Your Charleston Weekend Itinerary

Hey, y’all! We’re Michael & Ian of @ilovethatforyou. Although we’re two dudes originally from Texas, we’ve found our home here in Charleston and surrounded ourselves with lots of local loves. Are you planning on a weekend in Charleston? Well, we’ve got all the hot spots, tasty bites, and perfect activities to fill your entire stay. So check them out below, because I Love That For You.


A view from the top: Ravenel Bridge

There is literally no better way than to catch a glimpse of the entire Charleston peninsula than on the Ravenel Bridge. Take a casual walk on the bridge connecting Mount Pleasant and downtown at sunset for premium photo opportunities.

Location: Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge, Charleston, SC 29403

What We Love For You: Catch the sunset for a golden hour unlike any other.

Blissful Bites: Xaio Bao Biscuit

This Asian Fusion wonder is where your foodie dreams come true. Prepare yourself for an eclectic interior as beautiful and delicious as the meal itself while one of the best restaurant playlists underscores your experience.

Location: 224 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

What We Love For You: Pro-tip. Order the menu and share everything. We are longing for the day they bring back the Pork Sandwich Special.

Charming cafe cocktails: Babas On Cannon

An old-world cafe, wine sourced from Europe, and the best martini you’ll ever taste. Need we say more? Take a seat and soak in the charm of high ceilings, marble surroundings while letting your olives soak in your martini glass.

Location: 11 Cannon St, Charleston, SC 29403

What We Love For You: If you aren’t imbibing, get the fresh squeezed juices!

Funk it up: The Commodore

Feeling in a funk and ready to bust a move? Then head to The Commodore for some of the best live music in Charleston. Located in the Eastside, this neighborhood bar with a speakeasy vibe is where you can get your dance on all night long.

Location: 504 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403

We Love This For You: If Emerald Empire is performing, book them for your next event. We did for our wedding!


Dab for DAPS: DAPS Breakfast & Imbibe

Breakfast for dinner, brunch at brunch, and premium day drinking. You’ll find these three at the super chic DAPS Breakfast & Imbibe. Dive into your favorite savory dishes but enhanced with a creative flair. Don’t forget the breakfast porrons - glass pitchers the size of a bottle of wine - and enjoy taking a drink without it touching your lips. How fancè.

Location: 280 Ashley Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

We Love This For You: Order the Fruity Pebble pancakes.

Shop (local) until you drop: Cannonborough-Elliotborough

Of course, there’s plenty of shops on King Street. But did you know some of the best local shops are in the downtown neighborhood, Cannonborough-Elliotborough? Some of our all-time favorites include J. Stark, Taxidermy, Cannonborough Collective, and Mac & Murphy

Location: Downtown Charleston

What We Love For You: Run don’t walk to Taxidermy. Amy is creating one of a kind pieces that Beyoncé herself is obsessed with.

Loving Lewis BBQ: Lewis Barbecue

If you’re approaching the hanger danger zone, then look no further than Lewis BBQ - the heaven of smoked meats. Don’t worry about the meat sweats while eating this Texas barbecue, because you can grab a cooling drink at the bar extending the length of the entire restaurant.

Location: 464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403

What We Love For You: We order a Sandia pitcher and ALWAYS get a side of Mac and Cheese.

Downtown tour? Holy Spokes!: Holy Spokes Bike Share

There’s only one way to truly see it all in downtown Charleston, and that’s on the Holy Spokes bike share. Travel to Charleston’s most picturesque spots, whether venturing to see the famous Charleston Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park or the tip of the peninsula at The Battery. Don’t be afraid to feel adventurous and opt for the alleyways - it’s where you’ll find some of the most historic and beautiful picture-perfect backdrops.

Location: 31 hubs across the peninsula. View the map!

What We Love For You: The Day Pass is the best way to utilize the bikes. 24 hours and unlimited rides.

Your not-so-Ordinary dinner: The Ordinary

Every aspect of The Ordinary is far from...ordinary. What used to be a bank in the 1920s, now houses some of the best oysters in town. Designed with high ceilings, clean white tile, and an expansive room remind us of the oysters themselves. What’s a must? A crispy oyster slider paired with a rum cocktail.

Location: 544 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

What We Love For You: The Shellfish tower is not only a visual delight, it is perfect for sharing with everyone.


It’s ok to be bad: Big Bad Breakfast

This new kid on the block breakfast spot serves breakfast all day long. You’ll fall in love with our favorites - the house-cured Tabasco Brown Sugar Bacon and crispy southern fried chicken. Venture to the Eastside for breakfast too good to feel bad about.

Location: 456 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403

What We Love For You: Don’t skip out on the sides. They know what they are doing here.

A Darling bloody Mary: The Darling Oyster Bar

Enter into this elegantly airy seafood restaurant with hints of green and an open design to take your breath away. The Darling Oyster Bar’s star on the menu is the monster Bloody Mary, which is topped with a lobster claw, king crab leg, spiced shrimp, and a hush puppy. The perfect bloody brunch.

Location: 513 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

What We Love For You: Make a reservation. This place is always buzzing.

Tap into (local) craft beer: Edmund's Oast Brewing Co.

Local breweries with craft beer are having a hot moment in Charleston and Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. is one of the best. Located at the Workshop, this massive brewery is the best place to spend an entire afternoon if you’re looking for a laid-back vibe while drinking a nice cold beer. Don’t worry, they have it all. Expect blonde ales and double IPAs to imperial stouts and sours poured for every taste.

Location: 1505 King St #115, Charleston, SC 29405

What We Love For You: Huge space for groups. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples of their creations.

A cheesygoing dinner: Indaco

Pizza and pasta. That’s music to our ears. Located in the heart of Charleston’s “Pizza District,” Indaco sets the bar high with its Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. What should you order? Take a look at all the toppings, which are curated from a lengthy list of local purveyors. It’s where pizza dreams come true.

Location: 526 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

What We Love For You: This was our first date in Charleston! Order multiple things to share.

End the night with a joint: The Gin Joint

As one of the first cocktail bars to open in Charleston back in 2010, The Gin Joint serves up some of the best cocktail creations in the Holy City. Take a seat and relax in this speakeasy-themed bar, which also offers some of the best outdoor seating for premium people-watching. We suggest opting for the bartender’s choice. They are the experts!

Location: 182 E Bay St #2169, Charleston, SC 29401

What We Love For You: Ask 1000 questions! The talented team behind The Gin Joint will find exactly what tickles your fancy.

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Best Summer Beach Bites

Summer is here and in full swing. The sun is shining and the temperatures are most definitely rising. One of Charleston’s favorite activities is unwinding with full days under the sun and wading in the waves at the beach. In Charleston, it’s no secret that there are plenty of options to eat well no matter what kind of activity you may be doing. So, where do we even begin? There are a number of hidden gems for the perfect bite both close to and on the way to each of the beaches in the area. Not only is there ample access to food you can grab-and-go on your way, but you can also easily find something tasty that will make you savor every bite. Here is our guide for the best beach bites.

Sullivan's Island

Sullivan's Island Co-Op

The Co-Op on Sullivan’s Island is your ideal one-stop-shop for all the essentials. For food needs, they provide quick and tasty sandwiches, salads, all day breakfast, and a deli section. They also offer a wide variety of beverages from coffee to juices to their famous frosé (to enjoy before going back on the beach!).  What really sweetens the deal is that the Co-Op offers delivery to any of the beach stations, so you can get any must-haves in a few short footsteps.

Middle-Street Market

The owners of Home Team BBQ have struck a balance between convenience and quality with Middle-Street Market. Whether you’re looking for a smoothie from Hustle Smoothie Bar or artisanal sandwiches inspired by historic residents of Sullivan’s Island, this “happy little market” is the place to go.

Mozzo Deli

Mozzo is conveniently located right on Coleman Boulevard less than ten minutes on your way to Sullivan’s Island. This eatery is known for their exceptionally wide variety of provisions that are quickly prepared, in fact, you may even find yourself overwhelmed. You can find just about any kind of sandwich on the spectrum from simple to sophisticated, as well as breakfast, burgers, and salads. Mozzo has something for everyone looking for something speedy.

Folly Beach

Lost Dog Cafe

Whether you want a tasty takeaway with a southern twist or a shady oasis to kick back, Lost Dog Cafe on Folly can do both! Lost Dog Cafe serves breakfast and lunch with options such as classic Charleston Shrimp + Grits, for those looking to indulge shamelessly, or a Very Berry Spinach Salad if you want something healthy. This place has a wide selection that welcomes guests to sit and stay awhile or to quickly take back to the beach that will have you feeling as bright + golden as the dogs you’re likely to see running around here.


If you find yourself on the way to Folly Beach around breakfast time, Scram is definitely the place for grab-and-go. Helmed by former FIG pastry chef, Melanie Durant, Scram is likely to curb even your most relentless morning cravings. Whether it’s a sweet custard-filled milk bun or one of their savory fontina egg and chili mayo breakfast sandwiches, this food truck will give you the elevated pick-me-up you didn’t even know you needed for a day at the beach.

Bert's Market

Known for its motto “We may doze, but we never close”, Bert's is known by many in the area for being the hub of eccentricity and friendliness on Folly. While it may have a humble appearance on the outside, this divey, one-stop-shop has won the hearts of locals and tourists alike. Bert's persistently pleasant hospitality and high variety of commodities cannot be beat. The deli provides unique specialty sandwiches, sweet treats, hot dogs, bagels, and more that are tasty + quick. From pretzel crisps to their rave-worthy homemade peanut butter, everything you need for fun in the sun at Folly is just a block and a half to the ocean and open 24 hours!

Isle of Palms

Cafe Paname

If you’re having trouble finding this place, all you have to do is look for its iconic, Instagram-worthy VW van. This French-inspired haunt is known for its friendly service + croissant-centric creations. Just to demonstrate how creative these croissants can get, you can get anything from dijon mustard to classic provolone + mayo, or even smoked salmon and pimento cheese.

Sea Biscuit Cafe

Sea Biscuit Cafe is a local favorite for quick breakfast and lunch just less than two blocks from the ocean. Their charming atmosphere and affordable prices have everyone coming back time-after-time to indulge in classic southern breakfast done right. While this humble IOP staple may look small and easy to miss upon the first impression, locals and visitors alike have raved over for their friendly service and savory bites. Sea Biscuit Cafe has without a doubt become a go-to for beachside homestyle comfort food.

Papi's Taqueria

Papi’s is a great place to spice up your day on IOP with elevated tex-mex flavor. Rusty Hamilton, “Food Network Star” runner up and chef to country music superstar Zac Brown, opened Papi’s less than a year ago. Hamilton aspired to bring creative southwest flavor to his favorite vacation spot.  This place does the trick whether you want takeaway tacos or to sit and stay a while sipping on one of their signature margaritas, all seconds from the beach.

-Bobby Carey, Marketing + Communication Intern

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Of Rice + Rum: A Middleton Tradition

The last day of the festival is typically reserved for the events we’re most proud of- annual traditions and historical dinners grace our Sundays full of pride and love for the Lowcountry.  For our twelfth year, we’ll be at the illustrious Middleton Place for “Of Rice + Rum” to learn from their specialists and a few of our own (Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills) about the centuries-old story of rice in South Carolina.  Presented by Mount Gay Rum, those dishes with a backstory will be highlighted by the oldest rum in the world from the island of Barbados.  Join us for an event you won’t soon forget! Keep scrolling to learn about our favorite grain’s origins at Middleton Place and what makes this ingredient so special.  Much of what follows is excerpted from the book, Beyond the Fields – Slavery at Middleton Place: Jamal Hall, a historic interpreter at Middleton Place, demonstrates the process by which grains of rice were prepared for market. Rice was placed in a mortar and “beaten” or pounded with the square end of a pestle to remove the husk from the grain. Fanner baskets to separate the rice from the bran were the final step before the grain was packed into barrels, made by skilled slave coopers, for shipment to English ports. At Middleton Place, the interpretation of rice cultivation has evolved from the display of somewhat romantic images by Alice Ravenel Huger Smith on display in the Mill to a demonstration rice field planted annually with a small crop of the famous Carolina Gold grain. Rice cultivation, although introduced in the 1690s, did not provide a significant cash crop for planters until the 1700s. As the rice industry grew, so too did the need for more laborers to work the rice fields, especially workers experienced in cultivating the grain. That meant the importation of increasing numbers of slaves from the western coast of Africa, an area stretching from what is now Senegal to Sierra Leone and Liberia. In this region the inhabitants had been growing and consuming rice for centuries. On Africa’s Atlantic Rice Coast, rice, along with seafood, was the major source of nourishment. In their clay cooking pots, coastal Africans cooked rice in various ways. One very special dish combined rice, spices, seafood or sometimes meat. These gumbos or pilafs (also spelled pillau or perloo), as we now know them, were introduced into this country by slaves and became staple dishes on southern tables. If you’re craving more, don’t wait any longer- purchase your pass to Middleton Place now! http://cwf.obviouslee.com/events/of-rice-rum/ Programing at Middleton Place includes a number of annual events specific to rice culture. On April 22nd and 23rd (subject to weather conditions), visitors will may join a costumed historic interpreter in planting Carolina Gold Rice – the crop that defined the Low Country. Presentations will also be given on the cultivation, processing and cultural impact of rice in South Carolina during the 18th and 19th centuries. Several months later in August or September, depending upon the weather and growing season, the rice field will be harvested and hands-on activities such as threshing, pounding and fanning the rice will be demonstrated. For more information, visit www.middletonplace.org  
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Hotel Packages: Your One Stop Shop for Savvy Festival Navigation

With over 100 events across the city of Charleston and more than 70 hotel options, who can choose when it comes to Charleston Wine+ Food? Our local hospitality groups make it easy! Whether you’re a savvy CHSWFF devotee or new to the scene, the culmination of hotel packages we have curated for you will help you navigate your travel and the 2017 festival with ease. So don’t let your FOMO get you down. Peruse our hotel packages and find the one that’s right for you! We have highlighted a few of these stellar packages below. The Francis Marion: So Close You Can Taste It Located across from Marion Square, The Francis Marion Hotel has the perfect view of the heart of the festival - The Culinary Village. Enjoy prime proximity and an array of à la carte ticket options including tickets to Opening Night: Rooted in Charleston, Fowl Mouth and A Bourbon Affair.

The Wentworth Mansion: Wine + Food Gourmand Package

Treat yourself to the ultimate Charleston experience with this exclusive three night package for two in the luxurious Wentworth Mansion. Touting the best view of the Holy City, you will savor every minute of your stay.. Rise and shine downtown then make your way to local Runnymede Plantation for fire-kissed dishes From the Ashes, or relish in an afternoon at the RiverOaks for our Iron + Oak Signature Event.

John Rutledge House Inn: Wine + Food Gastronome Package Enjoy the historic elegance that is the John Rutledge House Inn and experience the new ambiance of Anson’s renovated space with a hotel package that has a flavor for every palette. You’ll satisfy more than just an appetite, as local architect David Thompson takes you through a variety of downtown restaurants exposing you to the story behind design in our new excursion Flavor by Design. This package caters to all your senses - you won’t want to miss out!

Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Waterfront: Girls Just Wanna Have Wine...and Food

Grab your girls and head to Charleston for a wine lover’s dream weekend. Sip on wines from Michele Chiarlo during a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Indaco Wine Lunch with Executive Chef Kevin Getzewich + James Beard winner Chef Andrew Carmellini. Then head back to your hotel to determine which local somm takes home the ultimate bragging rights of Sumo Sommelier. The perks continue with available tickets to two Charleston Wine + Food traditions, the Culinary Village and Gospel Brunch. Your seats won’t be saved for long, so grab your tickets soon for an experience like no other!

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10 Charleston Rainbows Facts Every Chucktown Native Should Know

In commemoration of Charleston’s official minor league team of the 80’s, The Charleston Rainbows, we’re throwin’ it back with a Ticket Launch Party at the Citadel’s College Park Field for a lively celebration of community, culture and outstanding cuisine. Although their reign was short, The Rainbows still hold a sweet spot in the hearts of Chucktown natives, and we want to celebrate in their memory! As fans of this retro team, we’re here to relive the days of the Rainbows with facts that’ll surprise even the most devoted of minor league baseball aficionados!85charai-program
  1. The Rainbows represented Charleston in the South Atlantic Baseball League from 1985-1993.
  2. They were named after Charleston’s historic “Rainbow Row” to celebrate the charm of the city by owner Ernie Passailaigue.
  3. The Famous Alomar brothers, Roberto and Sa ndy, both played for the Rainbows during the team’s much anticipated first season.
  4. Sandy Alomar won the American Rookie-of-the-Year award in 1990 playing for Cleveland, Ohio and continued his legacy for 20 more seasons playing in the major leagues.
  5. Roberto Alomar was elected to the Baseball Hall-of-Fame in 2011.
  6. The Rainbows boasted an attendance record at the time for professional baseball with 131,696 attendees in 1986.  Talk about a home run!
  7. During the year of 1988, the Rainbows fielded a successful team, championing the best record in the Sally League with 85 wins.
  8. The Rainbows were renamed in 1994 to become the beloved Charleston Riverdogs, Charleston’s premier minor league team. Their throwback nights knock it out of the park in remembrance of the Rainbows and their legacy.
  9. The Rainbows played at the 1930’s era ballpark “College Park Field” which still stands today (and will host our Ticket Launch Party on September 15th!) on the corner of Grove Street and Rutledge Ave.  It was also the Charleston Riverdogs’ first home field before moving to the classic Joseph P. Riley field in 1997.
  10. Last summer the Charleston Riverdogs broke out the old jerseys in support of the LGBT community for the Char leston Rainbows Pride Night.  The iconic rainbow that adorns each jersey has evolved as a symbol of support in affiliation with LGBT movements in the Lowcountry.Grand-Slam-Jam
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Charleston Receipts: Southern Storytelling at its Best

The inspiration for the festival's highly anticipated Opening Night Gala celebrates a literary contribution of Charleston culinary history. Many Southern cooks count among their most prized possessions hand-written recipes passed down from generation to generation. These inherited gems are more than butter and sugar calculations; they are stories. They are glimpses into the past, into the homes and hands that fed us. They are warm and comforting, refreshing and life-giving. They are more than recipes – they are receipts.

Recipes are instructions; receipts are biographies, shared at the table. 

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Charleston Receipts, collected by the Junior League of Charleston, is the inspiration for this year’s Charleston Wine + Food Opening Night Gala. Charleston Receipts was first published in 1950, and is known as the Bible of Southern Cooking. This collection of receipts is old Charleston on paper. The book includes beautiful illustrations and through it’s use of the Gullah language, serves to preserve that unique part of our Lowcountry heritage. It also, of course, includes recipes receipts that have inspired and confounded cooks for generations. Through the Junior League of Charleston, all proceeds from the sales of Charleston Receipts have always gone directly back into the local community. As the oldest Junior League cookbook still in print, this publication has raised well over $1,000,000 during its nearly 65 years. Today’s sales will support the Junior League of Charleston’s current focus area of combating hunger and homelessness in the tri-county area, though partnerships with Lowcountry Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Florence Crittenton, Communities in Schools, and others. Please click here to purchase your copy, or click here to get one of the last remaining tickets to Opening Night Gala presented by the Art Institute of Charleston.
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Need Assistance?

We totally get it. The 2018 festival has a lot going on. Let us guide you through the ticketing process, answer any questions, and help point you in the right direction.

Here's how to reach us:

843 727 9998
635 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 101, Charleston, SC 29403