In a city where the drinks are perfectly crafted, the views are endless, and the southern hospitality is widespread, it comes as no surprise that there is an abundance of spots to enjoy cocktails in good company. Whether it’s the first cup o’ joe in the morning or the second glass of wine at night, Charleston has it all!
- The Daily: When homemade almond milk is on the menu, you know you’re in for the best iced latte of life. I am not sure I’ve ever been to a spot serving up their very on almond milk! Seriously, you’ll want to order two; one for now and one for later! Also, their pastries are flaky and delicious. Chocolate croissant anyone?
- Black Tap Coffee: Making my minimalist wannabe heart so happy is Black Tap Coffee. Off the beaten path, but still crawling with locals who know well-brewed coffee when they see it. This is a spot where good conversation and coffee meet.
- Kudu Coffee: Near and dear to our hearts is Kudu. If you want to enjoy your morning coffee in a small, quaint courtyard under the palms, this is the place.
Fun Drink Spots
- The Americano: This retro, eclectic, and fun spot is not to be missed! Located outside of downtown in Mt. Pleasant, The American is a Latin-inspired restaurant that is darling and bright! They have a great happy hour M-F you’ll want to check out. I’d recommend one of their seasonal frozen libations and their Empanada appetizers!
- Blind Tiger: One of our favorite day drinking spots is Blind Tiger. The outdoor patio area is a great spot to lounge on couches and catch up with friends. It also has the “Tiki Toss – Ring & Hook” game, which is a fun way to pass the time with a drink in hand! At night the patio glitters with lights giving it the perfect summer ambiance.
- Skinny Dip Charleston: When you can shop & drink, you’ve hit the jackpot, right?! Skinny Dip Charleston just opened their doors in April. On one level you have a curated collection of beautiful clothes for both men and women! One floor up is a coffee and wine bar, friends! They even have a small balcony area where you can enjoy your frosé in comfortable digs!
- Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge: A fun spot outside of the hustle and bustle of downtown in West Ashley. If you fancy a tiki drink, I suggest the Piña Colada! Also, I’m a sucker for the shrimp po’ boy.
- Leon’s Oyster Shop: A rennovated garage turned restaurant, this industrial spot is one of my favorites. I adore the outdoor seating of colorful mismatched lawn chairs. The food is second to none–do NOT miss the fried chicken or char-grilled oysters! And they have a great beer selection, too!
- Vendue Inn: If there is one thing Charleston does not have a shortage of it’s rooftop bars. In case you didn’t know, there is a restriction on how tall buildings can be. In Charleston, no building can be higher than the tallest church steeple. Not only does that help keep the historic district quaint, charming, and timeless, it also sets up some great landscape views from up high. One you must not miss is Vendue Inn Rooftop. This spot has fantastic views of downtown and the Ravenel Bridge. A little on the pricier end for cocktails.
- Stars: This spot has limited seating, but if you get there early and snag a seat, you’ll be the envy of all the late comers! Soak in the sunset from here while sipping on your drink of choice!
- Henrys: This is a great option if you want to dance, listen to music, and have a rooftop view all in one. Henrys has three distinct levels. Level one is typically live music and table seating. Level two provides a more club/dance atmosphere, and the rooftop with an outdoor bar.
- Grand Bohemian Hotel: The lounge area here is fantastic and unique. With turf and quirky seating, you’ll feel removed from the historical charm below you.
- Pavilion Bar: If you want to drink on a rooftop in style, this is your spot. Fancy cocktails, a pool, music and views overlooking the city market? The perfect way to end the night. Be sure to dress appropriately as they do have a dress requirement.
Pre Dinner Drinks
- Zero George Street Bar: If you, like me, envision one day being a southern belle, you can live out that fantasy for the evening while enjoying a cocktail on the veranda of this gorgeous boutique hotel. You’re transported back in time and experience what true Southern hospitality is all about.
- Gin Joint: If you find you have time for a pre-dinner drink, step into this cozy and intimate bar. They have a great selection, but if you’re feeling daring try the Bartender Choice. Gus has tried this a few different times and has never been disappointed in their concoctions!
- Darling Oyster Bar: Sit at the Oyster bar and watch the men shuck some delicious oysters! The name could not fit the establishment better. It’s as darling as they say. As it is summer, I’m currently obsessing over Brut Rosé and they have a great selection. Also, their happy hour is fantastic!
- Husk Bar: When we arrived at Husk Bar we were already hungry. We ordered one piece of fried chicken and hush puppies. The fried chicken was perfectly fried and amazing, not surprise. And I’m fairly certain I could eat hush puppies every single day with no (okay, maybe a little) shame. Also, well aware this is a post on drinks, but it was important to note I enjoyed delectable fried chicken with my wine here. No one likes drinking on an empty stomach!
After Dinner Drinks
- Kaminsky’s: I like ice cream. I like cocktails. When someone decides to combine the two, they’ve got me hook, line, and sinker. I suggest the dreamsicle martini, but Gus was more of an Adult Milkshake kind of guy.
- Carmella’s Dessert Bar: Chocolate Martini. Enough said. Also, i love the space and the chandeliers.
- Charlestowne Tobacco and Wine: If you’d rather take it easy after dinner, this may be a perfect spot for you. There is usually a guy playing acoustic guitar, and men smoking a cigar outside while the ladies sit sipping a glass of wine. Sophisticated drinking, you might say.
- The Belmont Lounge: Since living in DC, we’ve become fans of speakeasies. There is something about the secrecy, intimacy, and personally crafted cocktails that we enjoy. It is more about the experience than the drink itself. The Belmont provides the speakeasy vibe in Charleston. Upscale and relaxing spot on King street.
- Pearlz Oyster Bar: If there is one thing you cannot leave Charleston without having, it’s an Oyster shot. I won’t pretend that they are good, but it’s a rite of passage. The best one I’ve managed to take down in one gulp was at Pearlz.
Whether you’re escaping the heat for a refreshing beverage, meeting up with friends over a cocktail, or spending an intimate evening as a couple, there are so many options when it comes to having a drink in Charleston! The final post in my Charleston series gives you many ideas on what to do while you’re in the Low Country! Stay tuned!