From coffee houses
You can’t be expected to have the stamina to buzz around the city of Charleston, with all she has to offer, without being properly buzzed yourself. Fortunately, where caffeine is concerned, you have some very fine options. From a sleek and serious coffeehouse to a laid-back and charming European-style café, from sipping in a glorious courtyard to taking notes in a class on all things caffeine, we have much to wake you up to regarding our coffee culture. Tea lovers welcome.
Located a few minutes walk from bustling central King Street, the purple and orange exterior of this coffee house offers a bit of a jolt before you enter. Then, the bright interior of the minimalist one-room space continues the wake-up process as you wait for your caffeine of choice. Owners Ross and Jayme recently started roasting their own beans, the few snacks are of very high-quality, and the pour-over can’t be beat. 70½ Beaufain Street. Open seven days a week.
Sure, you can grab-and-go from their case of prepared food, have a fresh juice made, or browse the shelves for an excellent wine or hostess gift at this “daily” stop of a gourmet shop, but the coffee truly shines. The simply roasted is simply stunning and espresso drinks made with Stumptown beans are just as nice as the staff. For the dairy-free, they make their own almond milk. 652 King Street. Open seven days a week.
Located across from Marion Square in the midst of the college fray, Kudu recently ditched the free wifi to turn tables more quickly, making this a perfect choice for a coffee catch-up or biz meeting. The tea selection is long and the courtyard (dog-friendly) is huge. The quality craft beer selection is a well-kept secret: At happy hour time, when bars are abuzz, you can sip a brew in wonderful peace. 4 Vanderhorst Street. Open seven days a week.
Superior baked goods, including scones and a killer banana bread, go well with your hot drink of choice at this exquisitely-appointed, European-style café, with plenty of seating and parking—a must for its upper, upper King location. Seventies music plays softly, the crowd is cool, and somehow a glass of post-coffee sherry is always a grand idea. 710 King Street. Open seven days a week.
Lemon Currant Scones
from Chef Ari Kolender of Saint Alban
In the heart of downtown, on Market Street between King and Meeting, sits this cozy coffee haven. Locally-owned, the artsy enclave roasts Counter Culture’s beans. Pull up a stool for a French press. 141 Market Street. Open seven days a week.
…to getting baked
Yes, Americans eat cake for breakfast (we’re looking at you, muffin), so stop judging and jump on the sweet train. We’ve got croissants, we’ve got scones, we’ve got schneckens. And Charleston’s bread game is clearly on the rise too.
The smell of freshly baked bread will lure you into this bakery in a Charleston Single house on St. Philip Street. Once inside, you’ll have to forge your own path au pain. For pastries, kick up the heat with a Sriracha croissant or unravel some sweetness with a Schnecken. Keep it rolling, Hawaiian, pretzel, or brioche style and grab a half-baked baguette for later. Don’t forget to treat your pup to some crack cookies and get a monster cookie for yourself to go. 199 Saint Philip Street. Open seven days a week.
“There are so many good bakeries in town now. I think what sets us apart is that we try to do everything from scratch here on the premises. Baguettes and croissants, for example. We do them the traditional way, using starters that ferment for a day before we make the dough. We try to be more comprehensive too, offering breads and savories, as well as pastries and sweets. It’s fun to collaborate with chefs too, hearing what they want to do and then working with them to make that happen. It’s exciting to be a part of those relationships.”
— Brown’s Court owner, Dave Schnell
With daily scones, quiches, muffins, and breakfast sammies, Bakehouse is the place to get that “more than a snack, but not a full-blown meal” morning start. Snag a booth and enjoy their airy, loft-like space as you watch the action on happening East Bay Street. Save a salted brownie for later. 160 East Bay Street. Open seven days a week.
CHRISTOPHE ARTISAN CHOCOLATIER
This precious piece of Paris is tucked away on Society Street, just off King. While owner Christophe Paume is an artisan chocolatier (give the gift of his exquisite truffles, make a forever friend), his sublime croissants and hot chocolate have us making morning visits. Note: His is the only place in town for Tarte aux Normande or mille-feuille. 90 Society Street.
You have to travel to North Charleston’s hip and fun Park Circle to experience EVO’s bakery firsthand, but you’ll be up there for pizza anyway. If you stay downtown, find their bread and baked goods at Saint Alban and Goat.Sheep.Cow. 1075 East Montague Avenue. Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Five more in Five words
Three locations; they have bagels.
32 Windermere Boulevard – 19 Board Street – 3155 Maybank Highway
You need their buttery granola.
710 King Street
Beloved by locals, broad selection.
333 East Bay Street
Truly French, wonderful almond croissants.
45 John Street
BUTCHER AND BEE
Now baking bread, brioche rocks.
654 King Street