THE PARK CAFÉ
730 Rutledge Ave.
Had your fill of heavy, indulgent fare? Then head north to this little bistro in Wagener Terrace. Many of the delicious salads and creative entrées are crafted from local, seasonal produce, but there are plenty of picks for meat- and fish-lovers, too, including country pâté and a “daily dog.” And best of all, because it’s a quieter neighborhood spot, you won’t have to jockey for a seat. www.theparkcafechs.com
THE OBSTINATE DAUGHTER
2063 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island
If you’re beach-bound, make The Obstinate Daughter a priority pit stop. Chef Jacques Larson’s enclave by the sea is a veritable Italian wonderland of wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas, and skillful seafood dishes. For a gluttonous post-dinner bonus, head downstairs to Beardcats, a gelato shop with frozen treats in a rainbow of flavors. www.theobstinatedaughter.com
CALLIE’S HOT LITTLE BISCUIT
476½ King St.
Carrie Morey and her mom, Callie, have taken the staid old country-ham biscuit and turned it into a national sensation. Once available only by mail order, their salty-sweet treats are now served piping hot on charming china at a tony niche on Upper King. Grab a seat at the counter for blackberry- or bacon-filled versions of the signature offering, French press coffee, and grits in a biscuit bowl. www.calliesbiscuits.com
710 King St.
This latest enterprise from Brooks Reitz of Leon’s vibes like a hipster’s take on a Parisian coffee shop, which feels just right on the burgeoning north side of town. Stop by in the morning for an espresso paired with buckwheat waffles; after 11:30 a.m., the focus changes to mini tartines, cheeses and meats, and paninis, all washed down with vino or suds. www.saintalbanallday.com
ARTISAN MEAT SHARE
33 Spring St.
When chef Craig Deihl and his team birthed this sandwich shop from sister restaurant Cypress’ charcuterie share last fall, it was an instant hit—and the lunch lines prove it’s got staying power. If you can squeeze in the door and grab one of 25 seats, order the house-cured porchetta sandwich, made from local heritage-breed pork and rich enough to feed two. www.artisanmeatsharecharleston.com
6 Payne Ct.
Finding this house-turned-restaurant in residential Elliotborough is a worthy excursion: since its debut last spring, executive chef Jill Mathias and crew have earned quick renown for their romantic French meals. The menu consists of just six rotating dishes each night, but each is delicious and few repeat—so there’s really no need for more. www.cheznouschs.com
MY THREE SONS
1910 E. Montague Ave., North Charleston
Years ago, the best soul food in town was cooked up by Alice Warren, whose eponymous buffet inhabited an Upper King landscape very different from today’s gentrified scene. As of late 2014, she’s back with this café—worth a drive to North Charleston—where she turns out classics from stuffed and smothered pork chops to collard greens. Find My Three Sons on Facebook