As far as food is concerned, it's hard to beat Charleston. The city has been blessed with a bevy of Southern-inflected selections, from barbecue parlors to fish shacks to casual places serving Lowcountry fare like shrimp and grits. And if you'd like to sample something new, there are plenty of places serving updated versions of classic dishes. Before you leave, you'll definitely see why Charleston is considered one of the great food cities in the world.
And the city's status continues to rise, boosted by a group of James Beard Foundation repeat award winners. Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill, Mike Lata of FIG, and Sean Brock of Husk each earned the designation of Best Chef in the Southeast, in successive years. But the city boasts other prodigious talents, too: Jeremiah Bacon of the Macintosh, Craig Diehl of Cypress, Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill, Ken Vedrinski of Trattoria Lucca, Frank Lee of Slightly North of Broad, Nico Romo of Fish, Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder, and Jash Walker of Xiao Bao Biscuit. It's the establishment of the New South, circa now.
As for attire, Charleston invites a crisp yet casual atmosphere. Don't forget, Charleston was recognized as the Most Mannerly City in the union by Marjabelle Young Stewart. Which means that residents are slow to judge (or, at the least, that they're doing so very quietly). But on the whole, the city encourages comfort and unhurried, easy pacing. The result is an idyllic setting in which to enjoy oysters on the half shell and other homegrown delicacies from the land and sea that jointly grant the city its impressive culinary standing.