Charleston is well documented as a culinary paradise, complete with award-winning restaurants on every corner and celebrity chefs for miles — but sometimes when you are staaaaaaaarving, it’s difficult to make a decision. Here, The College Today breaks down what’s available around the College of Charleston campus for a quick bite in between classes or spots to bring your family or friends when they come for a visit.
Caviar & Bananas
Don’t be surprised if there’s a line at the counter at Caviar & Bananas, but know that it moves quickly. This George Street cafe is a one-stop-shop for coffee drinks, baked goods, creative sandwiches, fresh salads and grab-and-go items, such as the delicious chicken salad with pecans and grapes.
Go Greek at Stella’s with mezze plates full of spanakopita, dolmades and hummus. Owned by CofC alums Steven Niketas ’90 and Michael Routzahn ‘07, Stella’s portions are large, so bring friends to share. And it’s located on St. Philip Street near CofC’s Berry and McAlister residence halls.
A little bit on the fancier side, Basic Kitchen offers lunch and dinner to discerning palates looking for a healthy meal like the Basic Bowl with roasted sweet potato, broccoli, citrus-y kale, curried chickpeas, chimichurri and grains. Don’t skip the sweet potato fries with cashew ranch. The outdoor patio full of plants is a dream when the weather is good.
It’s a salad bar, that even carnivores will love. Let the hard-working staff of Verde build a verdant meal for you. Pick a creative creation from the menu or choose your own bowl or wrap full of a large selection of lettuces, vegetables, grains, cheeses, proteins and irresistible dressings.
For breakfast or lunch, Circe’s Grotto offers super filling sandwiches with fresh ingredients. CofC alum Nick Stella ’13 runs the small shop that sits right at the edge of campus on Wentworth Street. From the Italian Stallion to the Thanksgiving sandwich complete with cranberry sauce, you can’t go wrong with a giant sandwich from Circe’s — seriously, it’s enough for two meals.
New to Korean food? Let Mama Kim’s show you the way. This space has been a staple of the Charleston dining scene for well over a decade. The bulgogi is popular here, with the homemade kimchi. This restaurant also offers Japanese dishes — the teriyaki chicken and rice bowl is a favorite among followers of this King Street emporium.
Gilroy’s Pizza Pub
Gilroy’s is among the longest-standing eateries on King Street. If you’re looking for a quick thin-crust pizza, cheesy bread, or wings, this is the place. It’s not fancy, but it will hit the spot.
Fire Grill Asian Fusion
Fans of Asian cuisine should definitely stop into Fire Grill Asian Fusion. The menu covers everything from green curry chicken and pad Thai — and the kitchen is really quick if you’re in a hurry. Fire Grill is a busy lunch spot, often times full of CofC professors and students.
College of Charleston’s dining facility Marty’s Place, a quick-service restaurant specializing in vegan and vegetarian menus that are prepared kosher style with all kosher ingredients, offers tasty fare to both students and the public. Look for quick-grab items like mac ’n cheese, beet and sweet potato chips and loaded baked potatoes. And Marty’s is a Level 1 Certified Green Restaurant, which means the facility’s environmental practices have been verified by the Green Restaurant Association, a national nonprofit dedicated to making restaurants more sustainable.