Photo courtesy of Kultura, one of Charleston’s most exciting newcomers

Fall PreviewCharleston

The Resy Guide to Autumn in Charleston


The college students are back at COFC and The Citadel, the water is still warm but the air is a little cooler, and suddenly you feel like moving from your spot in front of the closest air conditioner and again eating something that has seen the inside of an oven. That’s right, we’re talking about Fall in Charleston, one of the best times of the year to explore the area’s beaches, drivable destinations, and restaurants (of course) that are serving up everything from comfort food with a side of beans and rice to pumpkin-themed pastries. Here’s our Fall Bucket List to get your creative planning wheels turning.

1. Clear some time out of your dinner calendar…

… to try some of the new restaurants that have opened in the last few months, including Kultura in Cannonborough / Elliotborough, Tierra Al Mar in Mount Pleasant, or The James on James Island. There’s great dining to be found all over the Lowcountry these days, not just on the peninsula.

Photo courtesy of The James


2. Now that the beach is less crowded…

… spend a day walking the seven miles of it on Isle of Palms, searching for shark’s teeth and shells. Then reward yourself with any of the seven island-famous versions of shrimp & grits at Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. There’s a version of this filling Lowcountry dish for each mile you walk, though we’d probably get some to-go boxes if you go that big for the comfort food classic.


3. Head to Hilton Head for the weekend.

It’s an easy drive down Highway 17 — then pony up at the bar with the locals at Reilley’s in the South End. Not only will the cooler temps be perfect for this open-air bar, they will also be just the thing to get you in the mood for prime rib night, which crowds the place on Fridays and Saturdays.


4. Or if you can’t get out of town, check out a neighborhood you haven’t been to in a while.

Such as Old Village in Mount Pleasant. You can shop for unique treasures at Out of Hand, walk the Old Pitt Bridge, and toast to your staycation with a classic Bee’s Knees and a side of tuna tartare at the Post House.


5. Savor the sweet spot of Charleston’s outdoor dining…

… by booking a long prosecco and pizza courtyard brunch at Frannie & The Fox. When the humidity breaks (okay, just a little bit, but we’ll take it), enjoy a Sunday served up in style with wood-fired pies, eggs Benedict, and a side of blue crab fritters. Pro tip: Here’s how to get in.


6. Celebrate the return of the Royale with Cheese.

Head to The Restaurant at Zero George at their monthly Bourbon and Burgers event, where each ticket includes a selection of rare bourbon and the Wagyu masterpiece that is rich enough to share, although we’re not suggesting you do.


7. Don’t forget to treat yourself to seasonal pastries…

… from Miller’s All Day (that recently opened a second location on James Island) or Babas on Meeting, since post-Labor Day, cinnamon, spice, and all things nice and pecan-filled show up on many Charleston sweets menus.


8. Get the gang together on game day (or any day)…

… and head to an early happy hour at Rutledge Cab Company, where daily from 3-6 p.m., there’s a winning selection of $5 house drinks and snacks, from sangria to Hot Honey Shrimp. Watch the TVs to keep up with the sports action or sit on the patio and don’t.

Photo courtesy of Rutledge Cab Company


9. Let go of light fare for a night and instead go for the comfort food-gusto…

… by ordering the Mixed Grill plate at Rancho Lewis (that’s quail, shrimp, steak, beans and rice, and tortillas), a fried chicken platter at Leon’s Oyster Shop, or Wild Olive’s excellent, classic chicken parm.


10. And definitely embrace oyster season.

Although oysters are almost always in season, when there’s a nip in the air, they really taste their peak-level best, so indulge in one of the city’s favorite indulgences prepared numerous ways, from on the half-shell at spots including The Longboard and Bar 167 to roasted with shallots and sausage at Nico and even Bloody Mary-spiced at Three Sirens.

Photo courtesy of Nico