Mount Pleasant, rightly recognised for its Southern hospitality, is one of South Carolina’s safest cities and strongest economies. This cheery affluence can be seen in the city’s dining scene, which is diverse and buzzing: from seafood to all-American burgers, Mount Pleasant has something to satisfy all tastes. Our updated gourmet guide brings you some old favourites and some new hot-spots to check out.
Crave Kitchen & Cocktails
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, American, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Fast Food, $
Located just over the bridge from the Isle of Palms, Crave Kitchen & Cocktails is in a tranquil area outside of Mount Pleasant’s city centre. Featuring American fusion cuisine, Crave uses locally procured ingredients, while also being sensitive to healthy nutrition, making the restaurant a real paradise for gluten-free eaters. Weekly changing menus, carefully crafted dinner options, a brunch menu that is praised citywide for its signature breakfasts and a mac & cheese so good it’s won awards have ensured that Crave’s name is engraved on Mount Pleasant’s dining scene. As their name indicates, the venue is also the perfect destination for some handcrafted cocktails: try The Peter Palmer, the house’s cocktail of the month.
Old Village Post House
One of the most iconic venues not only in Mount Pleasant but also in the whole area is certainly the Old Village Post House, a part-tavern, part-inn venue that has a history going back to the early years of the town. For an authentically local experience, sit back on the gorgeous patio and enjoy the city’s vibrancy. Old Village Post House is a place to unwind and enjoy a great selection of food and drinks; and while the menu is rather concise it focuses on quality rather than quantity. Enjoy any of the seafood or burger plates but don’t forget to leave some room for their mouth-watering sweets — try the chocolate pie with salted caramel.
Coleman Public House
Pub, Restaurant, American, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Fast Food, $
A place which has managed to elevate typical pub food to a higher level, Coleman Public House is an upscale yet casual dining venue with a spotless reputation when it comes to the quality of the dishes. Offering a great variety of burgers, flatbreads and salads, you won’t go wrong whatever you pick, but if you need some tips then don’t miss the mac ‘n’ cheese, the California burger or the cut french fries. What makes Coleman Public House a must-visit destination, however, is their outstanding collection of beer on-tap. CPH, as it is popularly shortened to, is a welcoming place with minimalistic but artsy design, where all the focus is on serving great food and ensuring a great mood.
Don’t get misled by the name, Charleston’ Café is indeed in Mount Pleasant and has been since 1986. Winner of numerous awards and votes for its unique and excellent breakfast and lunch options, Charleston Café is known for its Southern fare and matching Southern hospitality. If you’re in need of a quick bite to eat, opt for the Café’s new arm, Charleston’s Café TO-GO; however, if you have the time, don’t miss the opportunity to sit in and enjoy the rich selection of creative sandwiches, omelettes and waffles in a homey setting that makes guests feel like they are just visiting a friend. Their autumn treat is certainly the pumpkin pancakes, while the much-loved Southern Benedict is served all-year long.
Graze may be located in the city’s shopping mall, but it’s far from being a fast-food joint; the elegant modern design and attentive staff immediately prove this restaurant’s credentials. And when it comes to food, Graze easily compares to any luxury venues: full of Southern-inspired dishes, Graze’s menu changes frequently to follow seasonal supplies. The restaurant is a charming venue with delectable seafood, vegetarian and some gluten-free dishes. As autumn arrives, special treats appear on their menu such as balsamic braised short ribs as well as butternut squash soup, something not to miss out.
Page’s Okra Grill
Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, Fast Food, $
A cosy, family-owned restaurant that opened in 2006 and hasn’t stopped winning awards since then, Page’s Okra Grill is the local’s tip for the best value Southern-style food. The menu is diverse and filled with signature dishes like the Hell Burger, DIY burgers or classics like country-fried steak. Come for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but whenever you come make sure you are hungry, as portions are generous and options are many. The setting is simple, with wooden furniture and dining booths indoors and a lovely terrace outdoors with an all-embracing friendly vibe.
Hidden away from tourists’ eyes, Pickled Palate is a quirky little eatery with a lovely garden and much more. This place is ideal for a day away the city’s noise, an afternoon with friends or just some time sitting back and enjoying a book from the free library (bring & take), while enjoying a sip of the excellent coffees. A cheerful, friendly welcome is guaranteed and the rustic vibe with this personal touch makes guests feel at home yet taken care of. Food-wise, the selection is great for healthy sandwiches, panini or salads. Pickled Palate is not a gourmet spot, but what they offer is first-rate nonetheless. Don’t miss the tasty chocolate cookie and the homemade popsicles on warmer days, and make sure to take part in any of the special wine-tasting events if you can.
Bar, Restaurant, American, Gluten-free, Fast Food, $
If you’re looking for a truly local experience, then Red Drum is the place. A hidden gem from tourists but certainly the best pick for some premium meat and seafood, Chef/Owner Ben Berryhill’s restaurant fuses the tastes of the Lowcountry and those of Texan Hill Country, creating a unique cuisine that attracts not only hungry guests but also the attention of food critics, making Red Drum the place-to-be. The food selection is seasonal, and at Red Drum they believe that each dish has its perfect partner; hence they boast an outstanding wine selection ranging from accessible samples to old rarities. Aside from wines, the venue was also named as the Best Places in America to Have a Beer; thus, Red Drum is a real gastro-pub, merging great food and great drinks with live music.
Mount Pleasure’s newest international kitchen is Sushi Taro, which features Japanese cuisine cooked up flawlessly. The setting is minimal, but this is quickly forgotten once you experience the impeccably authentic dishes and Japanese cordiality. Expect a great choice of options, from sushi, nigiri, tempura chicken and the delicious hibachi plates, and as for dessert why not sample the unusual tempura cheesecake with chocolate syrup. Sushi Taro is an affordable fine dining place an expert in great sushi, and a favourite with Mount Pleasant foodies.
Restaurant, Seafood, American, Beer, $
If seeking for the best views in the city then choose Water’s Edge, an American seafood and meal spot right by the waterfront of Shem Creek. With welcoming indoor and outdoor seating the stunning views over the fish boats and the vibrant port are surely unbeatable. As for the food, Water’s Edge stands for quality and variety. Sunday’s brunches are open buffet styled; otherwise a great menu guides guests through the delectable seafood (fish stew, seafood platter) meat (prime rib) or pasta (Shellfish Pasta) assortments that can be paired with any of house’s lovely wine samples.
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