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May We Suggest: Charleston

May We Suggest: Charleston

Our official guide to the city of Charleston, created in partnership with Guest Curator Alexandra Macon of Over The Moon and Vogue Weddings. 




Tucked away on Queen Street in the city’s historic French Quarter, Harken is the ideal place for a quick bite when you don’t want to spend hours on breakfast. From egg sandwiches and quiche, to coffee and pastries, the menu features the finest local ingredients. The atmosphere is delightful with a homey, exposed brick infused feel. I particularly love the patio if you can snag a table. 


Located on Broad Street in Charleston’s Historic Downtown, The Mercato is a great way to get a taste of Sorelle’s modern take on classic Southern cuisine—without the sixty-day advance reservation. Pop in for breakfast or grab a few of their delicious sandwiches for a picnic in the park. For history buffs, the Neoclassical  building dates back to somewhere between 1793 and 1804 and has lived many lives, as a bank, an orphanage, and home of a wholesale liquor-dealer, to name a few.

Alcove Market

Located on the first floor of The Jasper, Alcove Market is my go-to. The marsh hen mill grits and a stroll around nearby Colonial Lake makes for a pretty perfect Charleston morning. 


167 Raw

If a long lunch with Caviar service and a Rose of the day is your thing, it’s hard to top 167 Raw. For dinner, too, it’s the ideal spot for date night. Think New England style oyster bar in Historic Downtown Charleston. Enjoy the freshest seafood in a convivial atmosphere. 

Chez Nous

Do you want to feel like you’re in Paris without actually going to Paris? Chez Nous is the coziest neighborhood spot with a menu that changes daily but always includes two appetizers, two entrees, and two desserts. It’s perfect for a party of two, or a larger group can reserve multiple tables on the patio and enjoy what’s sure to feel like an intimate dinner party.

Basic Kitchen (great with children) 

This light and airy spot is just off of King Street and makes for an easy post-shopping lunch. The food focuses on seasonal, local produce with a menu of creative apps, healthy bowls, and inventive cocktails. (My personal favorites are the Basic Bowl, the Cauli Wings, and Beet Margarita.) Plus, if you’re on vacation and your children have been feasting on chicken fingers and more chicken fingers, rest easy. The children’s menu here offers grilled salmon, and a quinoa and broccoli dish, among other healthy options. 


A favorite of foodies, this old corner store restaurant from Chef Daniel Heinze of McCrady’s fame is quiet luxury all the way. The menu and the atmosphere feel elevated, but never stuffy. I love it for an intimate dinner for two or a double date.


Located on John’s Island, Minero has a climate-controlled patio with cornhole and an indoor/outdoor bar, which makes it well suited for the entire family. The food—think housemade tortillas with meat and fish cooked over a live fire‚—is delicious and the children’s menu features a ‘Lil Cheeseburger for little ones.  


James Beard Award Winner Executive Chef Jason Stanhope presides over the menu at this hidden gem of a restaurant on George Street. Stepping into the historic Lequeux-Williams home is like going back in time, from the antiqued copper bar and wood-burning fireplace in the downstairs Tavern Room to The Dining Room appointed with local antiques. The food is sophisticated without being pretentious and the cocktail menu skews toward classic with a playful twist. 

La Bonne Franquette

This unassuming spot in Avondale is a local favorite with French flare, and yet another example of Charleston continuing to get the European thing right. The entrees are extensive but it's also the perfect place to split some appetizers, oysters, and the Daily Chef’s choice charcuterie plate. Add a crisp rosé from Provence and voila! 



Babas is inspired by the old-world neighborhood cafes of Europe, but with a southeast twist. At both their Cannon and Meeting Street locations, Babas aims to create moments of everyday luxury. From your morning latte with buttered pecan poundcake to an evening aperitif with a nibble of  jamon iberico, it’s all about the finest ingredients in a welcoming atmosphere. 

Second State Coffee

For the serious coffee consumers, Second State sources some of the best in the world. I love the Beaufain Street location in one of Charleston’s oldest buildings. It’s the perfect shade of blue. On a nice day, the outside tables are ideal for a quick catch-up with a friend or colleague. 

Ice Cream: 

Off Track

My children love this ice cream shop just off of King Street. Each traditional and vegan ice cream  is made from scratch, often with Lowcountry ingredients. While the little ones might go for creative flavors like Buttered Popcorn and Malted Hot Cocoa, I usually keep it simple with fresh mint chip. 


Croghan’s Jewel Box

No stroll down King Street is complete without a visit to Croghan’s Jewel Box. Charleston’s oldest family-owned jewelry store has been in the engagement business since World War I, and it’s still a favorite for engagement rings, as well as its extensive collection of estate and antique jewelry. They also carry a curated selection of featured designers like Paul Morelli and Elizabeth Locke. If you’re in town for a wedding, it’s a great place to find a gift for the happy couple. 

George C. Birlant 

For those looking to take a historic piece of Charleston home, George C. Birlant is the stop. A family owned business that dates back to 1922, it’s long been the standard for the finest in antique furniture, silver, porcelain, and more. 


This jewelry line founded by seventh generation Charlestonian Hart Hagerty is a must-shop. Beyond creating beautiful pieces, Hart is all about creating intention with talismans that are meant to remind you of what’s important. From custom charms, to playful pieces for mama and kids, treat yourself or a friend with a gift not to be forgotten. 

Out of Hand 

Out of Hand is the perfect excuse to visit Mount Pleasant’s Old Village with its small-town storefronts, historic homes, and beautiful views. A little shop with local flare, I love it for hostess gifts, the clean beauty, and unique (and affordable!) jewelry. They also do beautiful floral arrangements that will brighten anyone’s day. 

Over The Moon

Good news! You can channel that Charleston aesthetic from anywhere with my company, Over The Moon. While we started as an editorial site with a focus on weddings, we’ve expanded into an ecommerce platform that features the best in bridal, fashion, accessories, children’s, and home. We highlight local labels like Hart alongside the latest from designers like Carolina Herrera, Cara Cara, and, of course, Hill House Home! We also carry beloved heritage brands such as Ginori, Matouk, and Le Creuset. 


Last Saint

Personally, I’ll try any bar that names a cocktail “Tennis Bracelet,” and Last Saint lives up to such heightened expectations. With fresh twists on old cocktails alongside a small selection of the very best beer, wine, and bubbles, you’ll spend less time grappling with 1,000 choices and more time catching up. The larger front area is a cozy neighborhood vibe, while a small back room is more speakeasy style and you’d be wise to make a reservation. 

Citrus Club, The Dewberry

Some things, like cocktails, are just better on a rooftop and it’s hard to beat Citrus Club at The Dewberry. With a full menu and flawless views of downtown and Charleston Harbor, I love it for an early dinner with out-of-town friends.

Graft Wine Bar

Founded by friends and sommeliers aka people who love wine, Femi Oyediran and Miles White, Graft Wine Bar is a Wine Shop and bar for friends and people who love wine. The sleek interior, laid back staff, and local crowd make it an easy choice for a pre-dinner glass. Plus, Miles happens to be the son of Callie White of Callie’s biscuit fame, and she handles the snacks.


The Gibbes Museum of Art

It’s hard to stand out as a place of beauty and history in a city that is known for both, but The Gibbes Museum of Art does just that. The Gibbes’ permanent collection spans more than four centuries with deep roots in history and the region’s cultural heritage through a lens that is constantly changing to adapt to new research and methods of interpretation. It also features one of the country’s most important American portrait miniatures collections. It’s always worth a repeat visit as the museum stages multiple special exhibitions each year. (Full disclosure: My mother is the longtime director of the museum, and fun fact: It’s also where my sister and I got married.)

Sullivan’s Island

Though it’s hardly the sleepy island it once was, there are still plenty of reasons to visit Sullivan’s. The beach, for one. It’s also home to several popular restaurants like The Obstinate Daughter and the more friendly-family Poe’s, plus a slew of chic boutiques like Bennie & Coco and Goldbug. For history junkies, there’s Fort Moultrie National Historic Park, dating back to the American Revolution. 

Children’s Museum of The Lowcountry

Ideal for rainy days, the Children’s Museum of The Lowcountry is one of the best I have seen. It effortlessly engages your child’s creativity in an environment that does not feel overly stimulating. From the Publix Market to the Boeing Brightlab, and an extensive art room, there are countless ways to discover alongside your children. 


If golf makes you think “boring,” think again. North Charleston’s Topgolf facility combines delicious food, craft cocktails, and yes, golf! Whether you reserve your own “bay” and hit some balls with friends, take to the nine-hole mini-golf course, or just relax in the rooftop lounge, it’s totally worth the trip and your children will beg to go back. 


About Guest Curator Alexandra Macon

Alexandra Macon is the founder of the ecommerce platform and universal registry Over The Moon and the weddings editor at She began her career in the advertising department at Ralph Lauren before landing an editorial assistantship at Vogue. She went on to work at Domino and Interview magazine but ev2entually returned to Condé Nast to help launch in 2010 as the site’s managing managing editor, a position that she held for seven years. During that time she also started Vogue Weddings—a highly popular section of the website that features real weddings, the latest trends in bridal fashion, and curated shopping stories—and started Over The Moon as a source for authentic, fashionable, and informative wedding inspiration—with a focus on real love stories as told by the couples. With that as the foundation, OTM has created a trusted brand with credibility built on years of inspirational content and unparalleled access that’s resulted in a growing, engaged following. In 2020, Over The Moon debuted its e-commerce platform. Today, it’s a destination for discovery with more than 300 brands and niche artisans, plus exclusive product collaborations and capsule collections. In April of 2021, the universal registry launched—it marries practical utilitarian capabilities like the ability to add gifts and experiences from across the internet, convert presents to funds, and a thank you note tracker with a personal and hand-curated touch. 


Over The Moon launched as a source for authentic, fashionable, and informative wedding inspiration—with a focus on real love stories as told by the couples. With that as the foundation, Over The Moon has created a trusted brand with credibility built on years of inspirational content and unparalleled access that’s resulted in a growing, engaged following. In 2020, Over The Moon debuted an e-commerce platform. Today, it’s a destination for discovery with more than 300 brands and niche artisans, plus exclusive product collaborations and capsule collections. In April of 2021, the universal registry launched, which marries practical utilitarian capabilities with a personal and hand-curated touch.