5 Brunch Destinations Loved by Charleston Locals

shrimp-grits

Everyone has Sunday brunch locked down, but what about your Saturday brunch needs? Here are just a few favorites us locals depend on whenever we get full as a tick on brunch goodness.

Marina Variety StoreDowntown
Away from the bustle of Market and East Bay streets is the waterfront solace of the Marina Variety Store. Located at the Charleston City Marina, large windows overlook the marsh and harbor, and it feels like you’ve stepped inside an actual (big) boat. There’s a casual-diner feel to the room, with its big booths with paper place settings that illustrate fun South Carolina facts. Here you’ll rub shoulders with boaters and locals alike and feast on unbelievably cheap seafood dishes, like ’gator and shrimp with grits and peasant gravy or, our personal favorite, crab-stuffed fried green tomatoes and shrimp with grits and eggs. Technically, “brunch” is on Sunday, but you can find the above breakfast items and more on the menu all day, any day of the week.

Hominy GrillDowntown
Hominy Grill is another one that’s a bit off the beaten path. Go here for the cool “Grits are Good for You” mural and stay for the good grub. We love the salmon potato cakes with poached eggs, the Charleston Nasty Biscuit with fried chicken and gravy, and the sauteed shrimp and cheese grits. You can also always find shrimp and avocado salad, cornmeal-crusted bass, and Charleston shrimp curry on their daily specials any ol’ time. Hominy is super relaxed, so you should be too when you arrive — there will likely be a wait. But, it’s worth it.

Farmer’s MarketDowntown
Locals flock to the farmer’s market on Marion Square every Saturday like it’s their job. Here you’ll find a ton of locally made art and jewelry you can take home as souvenirs, plus you’ll find plenty of nibbles. Sip on locally roasted coffee, craft sodas, or iced mint lemonade, and get your brunch on at Tasty Brunch. Eat while watching folks pass by armed with cute pups, fresh flowers, and produce. You can also find yummy breakfast fare at Outta My Huevos, Greek treats at Alexandra the Greek, fruit-and-Nutella or savory crepes at Charleston Crepe Co., Latin and Asian-inspired goodies from Dashi, and New Orleans fare at Cafe Tippeneaux. You can even have a gander at some baked goods made from crickets over at Jiminy Company — seriously!  And don’t leave without a popsicle made from local ingredients at the King of Pops (link) cart — those have saved us on plenty of times on hot Charleston days!

Glass OnionWest Ashley
We know this place serves brunch on Saturday, because we drove there once on a Sunday and left with an empty stomach and some very hurt feelings. Learn from our mistakes, and go to Glass Onion Saturdays from 10 to 3 p.m. for $2.50 mimosas and Blenheim ginger beer juleps + crazy-good tidbits, like deviled eggs, shrimp toast, pig ears, fries-and-bearnaise, and boiled peanuts.  Also on the menu: pimento cheese omelets, sweet potato hash, pork chops with French toast, catfish over chicken-and-sausage gumbo, frittatas with goat-cheese grits, and buttermilk-fried SC quail. They also serve up all the po-boys you could ever imagine.

Tattooed Moose  – Johns Island
Downtown’s Tattooed Moose was such a runaway success that they decided to expand the empire to Johns Island. If what you need on a Saturday morning is a short, peaceful drive, past the marsh, the Stono River, and live oaks galore, then the Moose has got you. There’s tons of space here, on and off the porches, and you can get a drink from either side of the bar — one side is outdoors. Their fried chicken-wing Bloody Mary is something you must see (and sip, and eat) to believe, and the Tepache mimosa (pineapple wine, champagne, pineapple juice) might change your life. For sustenance, we love the Garbage Plate (meat, cheese, eggs, veg on a bed of duck-fat fries with sausage gravy), Meathouse corned beef hash, and the chorizo huevos rancheros, the latter two of which utilizes the Moose’s own Meathouse Butcher Shop (it’s next door!) goods. Oh, and there’s usually some real fine live, local music to backdrop your whole brunch situation, so you’re a winner all around.

Oh my, is it Saturday yet?