This Southern city’s known for being polite and proud, but Charlestonians do take “socializing” seriously. Fortunately, there’s shrimp-and-grits-sized breakfasts a’plenty to bring you back to life after a sultry night on the town.
By Holly Herrick
Blind Tiger Pub
36-38 Broad St., 843.577.0088
The Blind Tiger never seems to find time to sleep: By the time her brick-walled patio and celebrated bar close after raucous Saturday nights, dawn sleepily rolls into day with one of the meatiest Sunday brunches in town. The quiet front dining room is the perfect setting for the bleary-eyed seeking comfort food of the highest order. Sink your teeth into a crab cake Benedict slathered with silky, house-made Hollandaise, and forget about ketchup with made-to-order, hand-cut fries; garnish them instead with a chunky, horseradish-spiked BT Blood Mary chaser. Mussels so fresh they practically squeak coat shattered brains and rattled tummies with milky mollusk goodness.
73 Spring St.
Fresh-from-the-oven sticky buns draw legions to this button of a pastry shop on the upper Charleston peninsula from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Sunday. Cinnamon permeates the air, greeting the new day with the promise of chef/owner Lauren Mitterer’s welcoming smile, a steaming mug of chai tea or warm milk, and those celebrated buns served the way you want them—either with a shower of toasted pecans or a thick swath of buttery, sugary frosting. Sweep away the indulgences of the night before as you unwrap your way to the doughiest, sweetest spot at the heart of the bun—napkins definitely required!
10 Linguard St.
Soothing, live jazz and the embrace of upholstered banquettes set an inviting yet unpretentious stage for Tristan’s indulgent Sunday brunch. Just $10 grants you bottomless Bloody Marys or mimosas as you sup on chef Nate Whiting’s exquisite food. Steaming hot She-Crab soup—the darling of Charleston soup lore—gets gently kissed by sherry and the pink glow of crab roe while grits are gussied up with sweet, local Lowcountry shrimp swimming in a smoky tomato-bacon stew. Dress your meal down with pork belly in chimichurri broth, or immerse in divinity with the Bergamo Breakfast, a heady mix of the smoothest polenta on the planet perched on an oozing bed of fragrant Taleggio cheese and topped with truffled brown butter.
LATE-NIGHT NOSH: Folks drink proper and speak easy at The Gin Joint (182 East Bay St.), a pre-Prohibition bar where bowties, suspenders and expertly mixed and muddled drinks are the order of the day. Before calling it a night, explore the kitchen’s gutsy, whimsical food, like gigantic meatballs that conceal milky ricotta centers and the toothsome Berkshire hot dog topped with pungent truffles, sweet caramelized onions and tart pickles.