7 events that showcase Charleston’s cuisine, culture

As the Southeast grows culturally, all eyes are on Charleston, S.C., as the culinary golden child, alluring and attractive to tourists.

The Holy City is a booming hub of Southern culture, full of gorgeous architecture, historic charm and acclaimed restaurants.

The best way to commend Charleston’s greatness is throwing events in celebration of all the city has to offer.

Here are seven of the most essential occasions exhibiting Charleston’s cultural brilliance.

Spoleto Festival

Generally taking place mid-summer, Spoleto celebrates artists of all disciplines from all over the world.

With about 500 events spanning 17 days, there’s something for everyone, whether it’s a poetry reading, a live play or an orchestra performance.

One essential occasion is the opening ceremony, Sunset Serenade, which features the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the beautiful view of the U.S. Customs House.


Charleston Wine + Food Festival

The mission of Charleston Wine + Food is to “produce world-class programming that showcases, inspires and supports Charleston and the Lowcountry’s rich culinary + hospitality community.”

The festival this organization puts on does just that; it’s five days of eating and drinking the best the Lowcountry has to offer.

One highlight of the festival this year was the Main Stage in the Culinary Village, which featured a live Top Chef cook-off and live music by regional musicians.

All sides of the Charleston culinary scene are covered between the Culinary Village and the abundance of other events around the city.


Lowcountry Oyster Festival

80,000 pounds(yes, you read that right) of oysters are shucked at this festival, which also features wine, beer and food.

Come for the beautiful scenery at Boone Hall Plantation, stay for the live music and oyster-eating contest.

To add to the brilliance of the festival, the profits benefit multiple local charities.



Bands, Burgers and Brews

This festival, hosted by George Motz of the Travel Channel, pits local restaurants against each other in pursuit of the Best Burger title.

This event is sure to feature countless inventive and delicious creations, and not much is better than eating a juicy burger on the beach.

The Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina is hosting it on May 21, and the local victor moves on to the burger competition at the World Food Championship 2017 in Alabama.


Slow Food Charleston Snail Awards


Slow Food USA is an international organization fighting for global access to good, clean and fair food in more than 160 countries.

Slow Food Charleston is the local chapter of this group aiming to extend this mission to Lowcountry heritage and tradition.

This year, the second annual Snail Awards will be held to commemorate Charleston’s leading contributors to Slow Food in the community.


Charleston Restaurant Week

Want to go to some of Charleston’s most well-known restaurants, but don’t have the money?

During Charleston Restaurant Week, restaurants like Hall’s Chophouse and Fig offer fixed, multi-course menus for a reasonable price.

One highlight of last January’s menu was Slightly North of Broad’s four-course meal featuring pan-seared swordfish served with local Charleston Gold brown rice, napa cabbage and shiitake mushrooms, finished with white miso butter.

The two-week event is a perfect time to become immersed in the culinary arts of Charleston and sample delicious and artistically crafted dishes.


Charleston Farmers Market

Every Saturday morning from April 8 to Nov. 25, Marion Square will be filled with local farmers and food trucks selling fresh produce and delicious breakfasts and lunches.

Some favorites are the Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse, showing off all sorts of cheesy goodness, and Roti Rolls, a food truck serving Southern-inspired cuisine with an Asian twist.

Local artists and craftsmen are also featured, and their wares are available for purchase.


by Kristen Kornbluth

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