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The 11 Best Spots For Breakfast In Downtown Charleston, SC | Must-Try Breakfast In Charleston Updated January 2024

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Ever strolled through the cobblestone streets of Downtown Charleston, SC, as the first rays of the sun glint off the pastel facades, and found yourself pondering where to grab the day’s first meal? 

You’re in luck because this city, renowned for its historic charm and culinary prowess, serves up breakfast with a side of Southern hospitality that’s as warm as the biscuits on your plate.

Downtown Charleston isn’t just about picturesque views and a stroll down Rainbow Row; it’s a foodie’s morning dream with an aroma that beckons from every corner. 

Whether you’re here for the grits that are smoother than a jazz tune or the shrimp and eggs that add a sea breeze to your morning, there’s a spot with your name on it. Let me be your guide to the crème de la crème spots for breakfast in Downtown Charleston.

First up, we saunter into Sweetwater Cafe, where the red seats glitter and the Ham, Egg, & Cheese sandwich is a love letter to the classic American breakfast. 

Then there’s Daps Breakfast & Imbibe, the hip little joint where hash browns come with a side of cool and the pancakes could win awards for their fluffiness.

Best Spots For Breakfast In Downtown Charleston

Just around the corner, Breizh Pan Crepes spins a French twist on the Southern morning, serving up crêpes so authentic, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve been teleported to the streets of Paris. 

Meanwhile, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is an ode to Charleston’s love affair with the art of the perfect biscuit, offering a cozy nook where the biscuits are hot and the welcome is even warmer.

For those seeking a touch of opulence with their eggs, The Palmetto Cafe awaits within the grand Charleston Place Hotel, wrapping its patrons in a blanket of lush elegance. 

And let’s not overlook Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, the embodiment of Southern comfort, serving up biscuits that are the stuff of local legend.

Together, these six breakfast havens form a mosaic of Downtown Charleston’s vibrant food tapestry, each thread a different flavor, a different story. 

So, grab your forks and your sense of adventure, and let’s dive into the heart of Charleston’s breakfast scene, where every bite tells the story of this historic city.

The 11 Best Spots For Breakfast In Downtown Charleston

Millers All Day

120 King St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States // +18435017342

You know those days when you wake up with an insatiable craving for a hearty breakfast, even if it’s well past noon? Well, I found the perfect remedy for that in Downtown Charleston: Millers All Day.

Nestled on the bustling King Street, this gem is more than just a breakfast spot; it’s an experience. My first impression? A refined bistro that effortlessly marries the charm of a bakery with the allure of a bar. 

The name isn’t just a clever gimmick; they genuinely serve breakfast delights from dawn till dusk. 

And let me tell you, those fluffy biscuits and pancakes? Pure morning joy on a plate! And if you’re in the mood for something savory, their grits, generously accompanied by crispy bacon strips, will undoubtedly hit the spot.

One sunny afternoon, after hearing raves about this place, I decided to give it a shot. The buzz was real, and yes, there was a bit of a wait. 

But as I took my first bite of the frittata topped with creamed feta dressing & leafy greens, I thought, “This? This right here is worth every minute.” 

And for my cocktail enthusiasts out there, their craft cocktails are a dream. I sipped on the Hemingway Daiquiri, a delightful concoction that made me feel like I was on a tropical vacation.

frittata

My buddy couldn’t stop raving about his King Bowl, a satisfying mix of scrambled eggs and grits.

Beyond the food and drinks, what truly stood out to me was the ambiance. The dining room exuded a hip yet utterly comfortable vibe. 

It was the kind of place where conversations flowed effortlessly, laughter echoed, and memories were made. 

And a shoutout to our server, who was nothing short of fantastic, ensuring our experience was top-notch.

In a town filled with culinary wonders, Millers All Day has quickly climbed to the top of my list. It’s not just a restaurant; it’s a testament to the beauty of breakfast, no matter the time of day. 

So, if you ever find yourself in Charleston with an appetite for morning delights at any hour, you know where to go!

Queen Street Grocery

133 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States // +18437234121

Placed in a charming nook on Queen Street, I stumbled upon a delightful gem that goes by the name of “Queen Street Grocery.”

This old-fashioned grocery and cafe is the epitome of breakfast bliss, offering a cozy mix of indoor and outdoor seating that’s just perfect for either a quick grab-and-go or a leisurely morning sit-down.

The menu of breakfast options, oh the menu – legendary sandwiches in Charleston! It’s a treasure trove of breakfast favorites and more. From hot-pressed sandwiches to a tantalizing array of crêpes, both sweet and savory, the choices seemed endless. And let’s not forget the smoothies – a perfect complement to any breakfast choice.

I decided to indulge in the “Sullivan’s” – a sandwich so delectably prepared, it was a joy for the taste buds. To make it even more irresistible, I added bacon (because, why not?), and it came accompanied by a simple, yet refreshing side salad. 

Sullivan’s

The portions? Generously hearty, leaving you satisfied and ready to take on the day. The food? Bursting with flavor that had me planning my next visit before I’d even finished my meal.

The variety on the menu is impressive, catering to all sorts of cravings and dietary preferences. And the prices? Spot-on, offering great value for such high-quality fare. 

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle, “Queen Street Grocery” is an off-the-beaten-path wonder that’s absolutely worth discovering. Whether you’re a local or just passing through Charleston, this is one breakfast spot you won’t want to miss. 

Marina Variety Store Restaurant

9 Lockwood Dr, Charleston, SC 29401, United States // +18437236325

This waterside diner has been serving up Southern-style breakfast since 1963, and let me tell you, it’s a hidden spot with a view that’s as captivating as its food.

It’s one of those rare spots in Charleston where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Ashley River while savoring your breakfast. And what a breakfast it is!

The star of the show for me was the Crab Benedict. Picture this: perfectly poached eggs atop fresh crab, with a hint of the sea in every bite. 

Yes, you might encounter a shell or two, but trust me, it’s a small price to pay for such a divine experience. 

Crab Benedict

The hash browns? Make sure to ask for them extra crispy – a crunchy delight that perfectly complements the softness of the Benedict. And the grits, oh the grits! Creamy, hearty, and just the right kind of comforting.

For those who enjoy a morning tipple, the spicy Bloody Mary is a must-try. It’s not overly spicy, but has a kick that wakes up your taste buds, garnished with bacon, olives, and okra – a true Southern delight.

The atmosphere in the Marina Variety Store Restaurant is wonderfully laid back, making it the perfect place to unwind and savor a leisurely breakfast. 

The service is top-notch, friendly and attentive, adding to the overall welcoming vibe. And the view – it’s something you have to experience for yourself. 

The prices are a breath of fresh air, especially when compared to the big chains. It’s definitely worth the trip, and I can’t wait to go back!

Sweetwater Cafe

137 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States // +18437237121

Next up, stumble upon Sweetwater Cafe and you’ll swear you’ve stepped right into a scene from a classic flick – complete with 50s-era photographs and a vibe that’s as authentic as it gets.

Nestled on Market Street, this cozy nook is just a stone’s throw from the bustling King Street shopping area, making it the perfect pitstop for a hearty morning meal in Downtown Charleston.

When the morning hunger pangs hit, and you’re craving something that feels like a warm hug on a plate, Sweetwater Cafe is the spot. Their breakfast? Nothing short of phenomenal. 

Trust me, this is not just flattery; it’s fact. The ingredients? As fresh as the coastal breeze. If I were to frame a guide to the best breakfast restaurant, this gem easily makes the cut, elbowing its way into my top two without breaking a sweat.

sandwich

Now, if decision fatigue hits and you’re hemming and hawing over the menu, let me nudge you towards the Ham, Egg, & Cheese sandwich. 

It’s simplicity perfected, a no-frills classic that packs a punch of flavor. Each bite is a reminder that the best things in life don’t have to be complicated.

The moment you slide into those glittery red seats and take in the stainless steel décor, you’re transported. 

It’s an old-time diner feel that’s become all too rare, a place where the past and present mingle over a cup of joe. 

And the staff? They’re the real MVPs, greeting you with a warmth that rivals the steam rising from your coffee mug.

Poogan’s Porch

72 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States // +18438294332

Imagine wandering into a whimsical Victorian townhouse in the heart of Charleston, where every corner whispers tales of the South. 

This is Poogan’s Porch, not just a restaurant, but a portal to the soul of Southern cuisine, complete with beckoning porches and an enchanting wine cellar that feels like a secret discovered.

As I crossed the threshold, I was greeted by an ambiance that felt like a warm hug from an old friend. The walls adorned with captivating paintings, and the open seating arrangement beckoned me to settle in for a story told in flavors.

The culinary adventure began with an ode to hospitality – biscuits so airy and light, served with a duo of honey butter and jam, a prelude to the symphony of tastes that awaited.

The menu was a love letter to Southern classics: the she crab soup, a creamy concoction that sang of the sea; fried green tomatoes, a crispy, tangy delight; and Lowcountry mussels, a dish that whispered secrets of the nearby waters.

fried chicken

But let’s talk about the masterpiece – the fried chicken. This was a dish that redefined tenderness, each bite a melt-in-your-mouth revelation, harmoniously accompanied by collard greens, the likes of which I had never savored before. 

These greens didn’t just accompany the meal; they told their own story of Southern tradition and culinary finesse.

And for the final act, the hummingbird pecan pie. This was not just a dessert; it was a crescendo of indulgence. 

Each forkful was an intricate dance of gooeyness, bursting with bold bourbon and caramel notes, a pie that didn’t just satisfy my sweet tooth but serenaded it.

A visit to Poogan’s Porch isn’t just recommended; it’s essential for anyone looking to taste the heart and soul of Charleston.

Daps Breakfast & Imbibe

280 Ashley Ave, Charleston, SC 29403, United States // +18437181098

There’s a rhythm to the mornings at Daps Breakfast & Imbibe that’s as intoxicating as their blend of java and cocktails. 

Imagine a breakfast place where hash browns are crispy, pancakes fluffy, and breakfast sandwiches are so divine that they’re fit for gods – Welcome to Daps, nestled amongst the restaurants in Charleston, a quirky little spot that turns breakfast into an art form.

With just a handful of tables inside, this hip nook masters the intimate breakfast scene. The outdoor seating is where you’ll want to bask in the Charleston sun, savoring every bite amidst the quaint charm of the neighborhood. 

No fuss with reservations here; just line up, order your heart’s desire, and let the magic happen as they bring the feast to you.

Now, let me tell you about the food – it’s not just good, it’s “cancel all my morning plans” kind of delicious. 

Take the pork sub, for instance. I swear, with every mouthful, there’s a fiesta happening on the taste buds. 

pork sub

And the French toast? It’s not just a French toast; it’s a journey of sweet, eggy bliss. Even the coffee here stands a notch above – rich, robust, and exactly what you need to kick-start your day.

The staff at Daps? They’ve got friendliness down to a fine art. You’ll be greeted with smiles that are just as warm as the morning brew they serve. 

And I’m not just throwing around compliments; I mean it when I say that Daps Breakfast & Imbibe is the pinnacle of breakfast and brunch spots I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in a long while.

So, if you find yourself wandering the streets of Downtown Charleston, do yourself a favor and swing by Daps. 

It’s not just a meal; it’s a whole vibe, a perfect slice of this city’s vibrant food scene. And from one foodie to another, I couldn’t recommend it more.

Mercantile & Mash

701 E Bay St Suite 100-1, Charleston, SC 29403, United States // +18437932636

Strolling into Mercantile & Mash, right at the base of the Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, is like stepping into a culinary wonderland. 

Here, an expansive setup brilliantly merges a grocery, whiskey bar, coffee shop, wine and butcher outlets, all complemented by dining spaces and games. It’s a unique concept that turns breakfast into an adventure.

A standout feature, and a sigh of relief for anyone familiar with Charleston’s parking woes, is the ample parking space. This convenience alone makes the visit stress-free and enjoyable.

As I settled at the bar, I was treated to a live show of bakers crafting their delectable goods. It’s a delightful experience, watching the precision and care that goes into each baked masterpiece. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming, inviting you to stay, eat, and enjoy.

The culinary offerings at Mercantile & Mash are nothing short of spectacular. The bakery section tempts with its array of freshly made treats, while the meat section offers an assortment of quality cuts, perfect for a take-home feast. 

avocado toast

The food here isn’t just nourishment; it’s an expression of culinary excellence.

My breakfast selection, a mammoth slice of avocado toast, was a revelation in flavor and size. Perfectly ripe avocado spread generously over a crisp, artisanal bread – each mouthful was a delightful balance of textures and tastes. 

And let’s not forget the vanilla honey croissant, a pastry so heavenly, each bite melted in my mouth with its sweet, buttery goodness.

Mercantile & Mash captures the vibrant spirit of Charleston’s food scene in its cool, brick-lined space. 

With a menu that offers an abundance of choices and a team exuding warmth and kindness, it stands as a must-visit spot for anyone looking to explore the city’s culinary landscape. 

Breizh pan Crepes

280 Ashley Ave, Charleston, SC 29403, United States // +18437181098

Tucked away in the heart of Downtown Charleston, there’s a cozy café that’ll whisk you straight to the cobbled streets of Europe with just one bite. 

Breizh Pan Crepes is a pastel-hued wonderland where the crêpes are king and the espresso kicks with just the right punch.

As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of all things brunch, the savory crêpes at Breizh Pan have captured my heart—or should I say, my stomach. The smoked salmon crêpe, with its perfect balance of flavors, is nothing short of a masterpiece. 

smoked salmon crêpe

And the veggie balsamic? Imagine a salad pirouetting on top of a savory buckwheat crêpe, complete with a perfectly cooked egg nestled within. 

We didn’t just eat them; we devoured them with the gusto of a Mardi Gras parade.

And let’s talk about that coffee. It’s the kind of brew that makes you nod in silent appreciation, a companion to the meal that stands proud in its own right.

If you find yourself facing a wait, let me assure you, it’s a preamble worth enduring for the symphony of flavors that await.

This breakfast restaurant spot is a treasure in Charleston that’s calling your name, and trust me, you’ll want to answer.

Big Bad Breakfast

456 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States // +18434591800

“Big Bad Breakfast” is a charming spot in Charleston where the portions are as generous as the smiles. From the moment I stepped in, I knew I was in for a treat.

The first thing you’ll notice is the size of the place – it’s huge! But don’t let the line intimidate you; it moves quicker than you’d expect, a testament to their efficient service.

With both indoor and outdoor seating options, the vibe is just right for any weather or mood.

 I went for a hearty plate of chicken and pork sausage, accompanied by huge biscuits drowning in savory gravy, and perfectly scrambled eggs.

Each bite was a comforting hug to my taste buds. My friend, meanwhile, opted for a healthier route with avocado toast and cheese grits, paired with a soothing cup of hot tea. Both dishes were a hit, satisfying our morning hunger with flair.

sausage

The coffee deserves a special mention. You’ve got your classic diner coffee – the good kind that warms your soul. 

But for those who enjoy something a bit more upscale, they’ve got fancier options too. It’s like they’ve thought of everything!

And hey, it’s not just about the food. The place doubles as a treasure trove of cool merch. We couldn’t resist grabbing a couple of their stylish T-shirts and a neat coffee mug as souvenirs from our delightful visit.

The decor adds to the charm, creating a festive, family-friendly atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. 

Whether you’re kicking off a busy day or leisurely rolling into the weekend, “Big Bad Breakfast” sets the tone for a fantastic day ahead.

If you ever find yourself in the area, I wholeheartedly recommend dropping by “Big Bad Breakfast.”

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

476 1/2 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States // +18437375159

Nestled among the historic charm of Downtown Charleston is a bustling little establishment that might just be the city’s best-kept secret – Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. 

This snug sanctuary is the answer to your biscuit daydreams, serving up a variety of biscuits that have quickly become the talk of the town.

Let’s cut to the chase – their Buttermilk biscuits are a game-changer. I’m talking about the kind of good that has you plotting your next visit before you’ve even finished your first bite. 

These biscuits are a culinary triumph, boasting the perfect golden crust that yields to a tender, butter-laden middle with just a hint of salt. 

Pair them with a dollop of jam or one of the hearty, home-style fillings, and you’ll understand why this place has become a local legend.

Buttermilk biscuits

Their biscuit sandwiches? They’re the heart and soul of the menu. Each one is more delicious than the last, but the BLT is the standout star. 

Imagine crisp, smoky bacon, ripe tomatoes, and fresh lettuce, all hugged between the tender embrace of a Callie’s biscuit. It’s comfort food that’s been elevated to an art form.

And let’s not breeze past the joy of bringing a piece of Callie’s home with you. Snag a bag of their biscuit mix, and watch your friends light up as they bite into the magic that you’ve whipped up in your own kitchen. It’s like carrying a little piece of Charleston’s soul back home.

The service at Callie’s is as warm as the biscuits fresh out of the oven. You’re not just another customer here; you’re family. 

They greet you with a smile, serve you with grace, and make sure every visit is memorable.

The Palmetto Cafe

205 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States // +18448755248

Stepping into The Palmetto Cafe within the grandeur of Charleston Place Hotel is like discovering an oasis of Lowcountry cuisine, served up with a side of lush, garden-like tranquility. 

With windows stretching from floor to ceiling, the cafe bathes you in soft, natural light, setting the stage for a breakfast experience that’s as bright as it is elegant.

If you’re planning a visit—and you absolutely should—booking a reservation is the way to go. Doors open at the civilized hour of 9:00am, but the early birds can catch the delicious worm from their pre-service menu. 

The choices? They’re as abundant as the charm of Charleston itself, and the service matches the city’s reputation for impeccable southern hospitality, attending to your every need with grace and efficiency.

Nestled within the city’s largest hotel, a breakfast restaurant – The Palmetto Cafe is a world of its own, where the hustle of downtown Charleston feels a world away. 

Yes, the menu might nudge your wallet a bit more than usual, but let me assure you, it’s a splurge that pays off in culinary dividends.

Diving into the lobster and crab omelet is like taking a mini-voyage to the coast, with every forkful rich with fresh seafood and fluffy eggs. 

My friend opted for the oatmeal, which was far from your standard fare, elevating a humble breakfast staple to new heights.

The Palmetto Cafe isn’t just a meal; it’s a moment—a moment of tranquility, of indulgence, and of true Charleston flavor. So when you find yourself in the area, make it a point to visit. 

It’s not just another breakfast spot; it’s a culinary retreat that you’ll reminisce about long after you’ve left the Holy City behind.

Best Breakfast In Charleston: To Visit List

1. The Junction Kitchen & Provisions

  1. Cuisine: Breakfast
  2. Location: 4438 Spruill Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405
  3. Price: $
  4. Rating: 4.5 out of 1520 reviews

2. Toast! All Day

  1. Cuisine: Southern
  2. Location: 155 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.4 out of 4698 reviews

3. Virginia’s On King

  1. Cuisine: Southern
  2. Location: 412 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.3 out of 1613 reviews

4. Caviar & Bananas – Gourmet Market & Cafe

  1. Cuisine: Breakfast
  2. Location: 51 George St, Charleston, SC 29401
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.3 out of 434 reviews

5. Eli’s Table

  1. Cuisine: Breakfast
  2. Location: 129 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
  3. Price: $$$
  4. Rating: 4.3 out of 1900 reviews

6. East Bay Meeting House Bar & Cafe

  1. Cuisine: European
  2. Location: 160 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.4 out of 448 reviews

7. Saffron Restaurant & Bakery

  1. Cuisine: Persian
  2. Location: 333 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.2 out of 1585 reviews

8. 60 Bull Cafe

  1. Cuisine: Cafe, Breakfast
  2. Location: 60 Bull St, Charleston, SC 29401
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.6 out of 351 reviews

9. The Rarebit

  1. Cuisine: Breakfast, American Comfort
  2. Location: 474 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.4 out of 760 reviews

10. Basic Kitchen

  1. Cuisine: all-day Breakfast / Lunch
  2. Location: 82 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401
  3. Price: $$
  4. Rating: 4.5 out of 995 reviews

Frequently Asked Questions About Breakfast in Downtown Charleston

What makes the breakfast scene in Downtown Charleston, SC, unique?

Downtown Charleston’s breakfast scene is a delightful blend of Southern charm and culinary innovation. 

With its cobblestone streets as a backdrop, you’ll find everything from traditional Lowcountry breakfasts to modern twists on classic morning fare. 

It’s a foodie paradise where each restaurant serves up its own version of hospitality alongside dishes that are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the palate.

Can I find traditional Southern breakfast foods in Downtown Charleston?

Absolutely! Downtown Charleston is the place to indulge in quintessential Southern breakfast dishes. 

Expect to find grits as smooth as silk, biscuits that crumble to perfection, and gravy that’s rich and full of flavor. 

And let’s not forget about the fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits that’ll have you saying ‘bless your heart’ with every bite.

What’s a must-try breakfast dish in Downtown Charleston?

When in Charleston, you simply must try the shrimp and grits. It’s a Lowcountry staple that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the city on a plate. 

Savory, hearty, and bursting with flavor, it’s the kind of dish that’ll have you planning your next visit to Charleston around meal times.

Is the breakfast in Downtown Charleston budget-friendly?

There’s something for every wallet size in Downtown Charleston. You’ll find a range of options from budget-friendly counters serving hearty sandwiches to upscale cafes where the prices reflect the luxurious setting. Regardless of where you dine, you’re in for a treat that’s worth every penny.

Wrapping up: The 11 Best Spots For Breakfast In Downtown Charleston

As our culinary journey comes to a close, let’s take a moment to savor the memories we’ve made while exploring the breakfast nooks of Downtown Charleston. 

This historic city, draped in Southern elegance, has served us a morning feast that goes beyond the plate—it’s an experience that lingers on the palate and in the heart long after the last crumb has been savored.

In every corner, from the sun-dappled patios to the cozy, dimly-lit diners, Charleston has revealed its breakfast secrets. 

We’ve uncovered a tapestry of flavors that tell tales of both tradition and innovation. We’ve tasted the classics, reimagined with a modern flair, and discovered new favorites that have been carefully crafted by the hands of passionate locals who pour their hearts into every dish.

The hospitality here is as warm as the biscuits, as genuine as the smiles that greet you at the door. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned regular, the breakfast spots in Downtown Charleston have a way of making you feel like you’ve come home.

It’s not just a meal; it’s a celebration of community and the simple joys of morning comfort food.

Downtown Charleston doesn’t just feed the body; it nourishes the soul with its blend of historical charm and culinary delight. 

It’s a place where every sip of coffee tells the story of a carefully curated bean and every bite of an omelette whispers of the local farms that provided their fresh produce.

As you step out onto the cobblestone streets, the flavors of the city stay with you, an edible souvenir that beckons you to return. 

And whether you come back for the food, the ambiance, or the sheer joy of discovery, one thing is certain—breakfast in Downtown Charleston is an affair to remember.

So, as we bid farewell to these bastions of breakfast bliss, we take with us not just full bellies but also full hearts. 

Charleston has a way of doing that to you, leaving impressions that are as lasting as the history etched into its very foundations. 

Until next time, keep chasing the flavors and the stories, and always remember—the best way to start your day is with a taste of Charleston.

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