The revitalization of Upper King Street has drawn restaurateurs from all different food genres to the area. From delicious desserts and smoothies to savory international cuisine, this lively area on the Charleston peninsula has something to offer even the pickiest of eaters.
If you’re looking for something quick, try Smoothie King just across from Marion Square, or a delectable cupcake from Cupcake at 433 King Street.
If you’re in the mood for something exotic, try one of the many international-themed restaurants on Upper King. Basil, known in the Charleston area for its authentic and delicious Thai food, led the pack in 2002, when brothers Henry and Chal Eang opened the restaurant to instant acclaim. The brothers have since opened restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. O-ku, just down the street from Basil at 463 King, was named one of the top ten best new restaurants by Esquire Magazine in 2010. O-ku styles itself as “sushi and Asian fusion,” and offers a variety of bento boxes, sushi rolls and noodle-based dishes at both lunch and dinner.
For casual fare, try Charleston Beer Works, The Belmont, The Macintosh, or Closed for Business, four popular bar-style restaurants with classic dishes like hamburgers, fried chicken and a variety of salads and soups. At any of these, you should be sure to sample a pint or two of a local beer while you’re there. Another great place to grab a quick bite is the Mexican infused Juanita Greenberg’s, which offers up huge burritos, nachos and quesadillas.
Newcomers to the area include F.I.G. partners Mike Lata and Adam Nemirow who opened The Ordinary in December 2012. This upscale seafood house joins other fine dining options such as Fish and Virginia’s on King.
This area has become such a gastronomic draw in recent years that Charleston Culinary Tours now offers a two and a half hour restaurant crawl through the best of Upper King’s restaurants. Whether you join one of their tours, or you try the food offerings at your own pace, this area of Charleston is not to be missed.
“History of Basil.” Basil Thai Restaurant. http://eatatbasil.com/_pdf/BASIL_CHAI_Post&Courier.pdf
“Upper King Culinary Tour.” Charleston Culinary Tours. http://eatatbasil.com/_pdf/BASIL_CHAI_Post&Courier.pdf
Wise, Warren. ”The Ordinary restaurant opens on King Street.” Post and Courier. http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20121220/PC05/121229955 20 December 2012.
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