Where to eat in Charleston when you’re broke af: a memoir

Being a college student in a town that thrives off tourist prices like Charleston is not an easy undertaking.

That weekly budget plan you made at the beginning of the semester can be difficult to stick to when you highly value Taco Tuesdays at Fuel. Before you know it you find yourself broke but with an appetite for some Lowcountry favorites.

For that reason I have compiled some go-tos for ballin’ on a budget.



Located in a laundry mat this unique restaurant has some of Charleston’s best soups and sandwiches. (Bonus: you save gas money by making a one-stop food/laundry run)



Caviar & Bananas


This one may come as a surprise to many. Caviar does have many pricey options, but if you know your way around the place you can find a good deal. My personal favorite is the lunch box- three items from the buffet and weighed together at $11 per pound. What a steal!


Taco Spot


Your “East Coast Tex Mex with a Lowcountry Twist” has everything you want in Mexican food – huge selection and great prices.

It’s a win-win. And just look at all the taco possibilities.

Plus, with homemade guac and salsa – or queso dip if you’re feeling crazy – you really can’t go wrong with good taste or smart budgeting.


Coconut Joes (happy hour)


If you find yourself on IOP between the hours of 4-6 p.m. Coconut Joe’s is a must. $7 burgers! Plus, the view of the beach – one of the only beachside eateries in the Lowcountry – is worth writing home about.

And after a few drinks, a nice stroll on the beach is an excellent idea.


Jack’s Cafe


Jack’s Café is one of College of Charleston students’ favorite hangover cures.

And if you love college football (like everyone should), you can also make this a fabulous pregame spot by taking advantage of the $12 mimosa carafe.

Jack’s Cafe can really be whatever you want it to be. It’s also been a local favorite for years.





For the cheap health nut, Verde may seem a bit pricey, but with the giant salad bowls, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Most of these gourmet salads can really stretch to two good meals anyway.

Plus, Verde has a reward system, so after 9 visits you get a free salad! Who doesn’t love free stuff?


Cook at home


It’s time to watch a few episodes of chopped and channel you’re inner chef because the best way to save money in college is to buy groceries and prepare meals yourself – a meal you can truly be proud about.

Learn how to make some easy and yummy recipes so you don’t have always have to be “broke af.”


by Caroline Schott


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