Great places to brunch in Charleston
By Elise DeVoe
If you’ve ever walked around Charleston early on a Sunday morning, it’s a ghost town until around 11 a.m.—also known as brunch time. The city comes alive when people head to their favorite spots to enjoy breakfast classics with a Lowcountry spin like crab cake eggs Benedict, chicken and waffles and more. Since brunch is weaved into the culture in Charleston, there are a lot of spots to choose from, but check out our list of ten to properly kick off your day.
The Honey Hive
563 King St., Charleston
Charlestons first late night, elegant dessert bar is also fast becoming King Streets’ most sought after brunch spot. Known for its signature desserts such as The Kinsey cake, peanut butter crème brûlée and the history rich hummingbird cake, the brunch menu reflects their rich, savory counterparts. Enjoy a savory local mushroom tart, an elegant French omelette topped with caviar and house made champagne beurre blanc, or opt for the rich bone marrow with their fresh made bread. If you are more “sweet than savory, ” try the towering banana bread souffle pancakes which are as light and fluffy as the whipped ricotta that adorns them. Brunch is served every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5pm. Brunch and a show? They have you covered! Stop in for Burlesque Brunch the second Sunday of every month. “Don’t just do Brunch, do it beautifully,” invites owner, Angela Marino. Reservations are recommended.
The Swamp Fox Restaurant
387 King St., Charleston
Located in the heart of Downtown Charleston on the ground floor of the Fancis Marion Hotel, The Swamp Fox Restaurant sits at the corner of King and Calhoun Streets overlooking Marion Square. The Swamp Fox, named for Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion, features classic Southern cuisine along with regional specialties. Their breakfast menu includes something for everyone—award winning shrimp & grits that also includes lobster, a Lowcountry Skillet for the seafood lovers, buttery cinnamon French toast or a loaded Charleston omelet for the classic brunch lovers. If you are looking for classic Lowcountry cuisine, The Swamp Fox Restaurant is the perfect taste of the South.
171 East Bay St., Charleston
Get a taste of the undeniable spirit and soul of New Orleans at Ruby Sunshine. Appropriately located in the French Quarter of Downtown Charleston, this eatery, which first opened in New Orleans, celebrates the craveable and creative flavors of brunch. Their most popular dishes include decadent white chocolate bread pudding pancakes, BBQ shrimp & grits and biscuits and gravy. Live your best brunch life and pair these items with their signature Ruby mimosa or boozy iced coffee to kickstart your morning. You can enjoy this exciting morning meal either on their spacious patio, inside dining room or cozied up to the breakfast bar.
Grace & Grit
320 Wingo Way #100, Mount Pleasant
Mimosa flights are a must at brunch, but have you ever had a grits flight? At Grace & Grit, you can have both. The grits flights allow you to sample a few of this Southern eatery’s unique flavors like blueberry grits, and truffle and chive grits, which have been voted the Best in Charleston. Other signature brunch items include variations on eggs Benedict, seafood entrees and rotating chef specials every Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Enjoy these Southern specialties alongside locally-roasted coffee, a mimosa or Bloody Mary either inside or on their expansive patio.
Daps Breakfast Imbibe
280 Ashley Ave., Charleston
Found in a cozy corner spot in the Westside neighborhood of Charleston, Daps Breakfast + Imbibe has become a town jewel. Daps specializes in fun, playful spins on breakfast, including its infamous Fruity Pebble pancakes and Cinnamon Toast Crunch sticky buns. They utilize local purveyors, like Holy City Hog and Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse, to curate hyper local, fresh dishes like the ham and brie sandwich and the breakfast burrito. Come for the food, but definitely do not miss out on the mimosas on tap made in-house! Drink them straight out of the can or pump up the party with a porrón (Spanish wine pitcher).
The Junction Kitchen & Provisions
4438 Spruill Ave., North Charleston
There are few things more exciting than all-day breakfast, and The Junction has been fulfilling the breakfast cravings of Park Circle residents since 2015. They are known for the buzzed doughnut, which is a house-made biscuit doughnut filled with coffee-rubbed bacon and an over-easy egg served alongside mocha dip and crispy hash browns. This all-day breakfast eatery also has vegan and vegetarian-friendly dishes, like a BLT made with shiitake bacon. They serve breakfast Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and brunch on the weekends from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Day Drink Brunch Lounge
106 E Doty Ave., Summerville
Day Drink Brunch Lounge is the newest social eatery to hit the Charleston area. Located in historic Summerville, this highly Instagrammable spot offers a boutique casual dining experience that is perfect for solo diners and groups of friends alike. This Black-owned and woman owned restaurant has a relaxing vibe with a tasty menu of signature cocktails and small plates including brunch favorites like crab cakes, shrimp & grits and mini Belgian waffles. Keep the party going with a Daisy mimosa, which is accented with elderflower for an elegant sipping experience.
Acme Lowcountry Kitchen
31 J C Long Blvd., Isle of Palms
This Isle of Palms favorite serves brunch every day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu combines upscale, yet casual elements of traditional coastal cuisine with classic fare. Kick off the meal with their signature gouda grit fries or crab dip made with blue crab from North Carolina. Local seafood is highlighted throughout the menu, whether you’re in the mood for an Acme Islander omelet with local shrimp and lump crab or crab cake eggs Benedict. To wash it down, they offer several varieties of Bloody Marys. Enjoy a classic version with mix from right here in Charleston or branch out and try the BLT Bloody Mary with Bakon vodka.
Early Bird Diner
1644 Savannah Hwy., West Ashley
This West Ashley staple has been “cracking eggs and taking names'' since 2008. This no-frills diner was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” back in 2012 for its unique twists on Southern classics. Breakfast is served all day, every day here, but on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., there is a separate menu with specialty items including an everything bagel seasoned biscuit with homemade sausage, eggs and cheddar and a fried green tomato sandwich. Any of the staples on the menu, including the chicken and waffles, are a delicious bet, but the restaurant has daily breakfast specials that are worth branching out for.
Rita’s Seaside Grille
2 Center St., Folly Beach
Rita’s has a laid back vibe that perfectly matches the energy of Folly Beach, especially around brunch time. Ease into the day with biscuits and gravy or Rita’s signature fried chicken and pancakes. They also offer lighter fare like a smoothie with dark cherries and kale, yogurt parfait with tropical fruit and loaded avocado toast. Finish the meal with a cinnamon roll with vanilla glaze and you are properly fueled for a beach day. Rita’s Seaside Grille serves breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, and brunch from 8 a.m. to noon on the weekends.