Looking to eat at Black owned restaurants while visiting “The Great State of Charleston”? KJ Kearney, founder of BlackFoodFridays.com, and North Charleston native, has you covered! Here are some of his favorite spots.Less
Danetra, the owner of this bakery, crafts some of the best macarons this side of France. And on Saturdays, you can catch them (if you’re in time) breaking out their Brioche Bread fried chicken and pimento cheese sandwiches and other savory treats. If you’re just here for the desserts, may I suggest their Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies, salted caramel apple cookie sandwiches, or the sweet potato pie cheesecake.
After learning the trade from his father’s Hemingway, South Carolina shop, Rodney Scott has since gone on to open multiple, highly acclaimed locations of his own. These world reknown barbecue shops allow Rodney the freedom to showcase his idea of what a BBQ spot can be. Obviously, this Hall of Fame pitmaster comes correct with the meats—I’m particularly fond of the half chicken—but don’t sleep on the banana pudding! PRO-TIP: always ask for more white sauce. You can never have enough.
Nigel & Louise Drayton have two restaurants: one in Ladson, South Carolina and another in North Charleston. Both serve the same delicious foods like their super decadent Lowcountry Ravioli, mouth watering baked turkey wings, and expertly seasoned lima beans over white rice, and their finger lickin’ Geechee Wings! They are also one of only restaurants to have Kool-Aid on their menu, if you’re interested in revisiting your childhood.
One of the newer spots on this list, I go to Vined for two things, primarily: their Red Rice combo which includes a large helping of Red Rice (think “West African Jollof”), vegan Mac & Cheese, and fried cauliflower OR their vegan peach cobbler. I don’t know what kind sorcery they used to make it taste all sweet and buttery but the spell works! You’ll be hard pressed to find a better, non dairy version than their joint.
Formerly located on the Charleston Peninsula, they have since relocated to North Charleston and I, for one, couldn’t be happier (I live in the North!). I’m a fan of their garlic blue crabs, their whole fried Red Snapper, and their Seafood Mac & Cheese! But, in my opinion, the real star of the show is their pineapple sweet tea. I lie to you not, I buy this stuff by the GALLON! It’s really that good.
Don’t let the name fool you! You will not have to search for a food truck in order to taste their delicious fried seafood. They started out doing pop-up events and eventually worked their way into a brick and mortar location. Speaking of locations, they are situated directly across the street from the main gate for Joint Base Charleston (most locales just called it the “Air Force Base”). Did I mention that I like their fried shrimp? Because I really do and I hope you will as well!
This is one of my favorite spots for delicious, melt-in-ya-mouth oxtails. I tend to get double collards instead of the rice and peas but I can’t lie, there is something special about them oxtails over rice because that oxtail juice is EVERYTHING! Anyway, if you’re not much of an oxtail person, consider getting the shrimp curry. It’s just as good and they always give you a satisfactory portion for the price! Add a Ting grapefruit soda to complete the Jamaican experience.
DellzVille prides itself on having “healthy, Dell-licious, and dairy free” options throughout their menu. Ran by mother (Dell) and son (Michael), they crank out some of the best food in the area regardless of your dietary convictions. I’m a fan of their Beach Bum wrap but there is no question that they are most known for their Jazzy Pizza: a 12inch tortilla layered with organic wild rice fusion, black beans, and other veggie goodness. I get mine sans avocado because "Eww avocado!" IDK FIGHT ME!
To my knowledge, Chill N Grill was one of the first Black owned restaurants in Charleston to carry Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, which gives them bonus points in my book. But the food is nothing to sneeze at either. I’m a fan of their crab rice, veggie quesadillas, and duck drummettes. The sauce they use is just a tad bit sweet and the meat has a unique quality of sharing the same vocabulary as chicken while tasting like nothing you’ve had before!
James Beard awarded while being approved by the locals, Bertha’s is run by a host of Black women who know how to make Soul Food the right way! They are located in North Charleston but with them being so close to Downtown Charleston, they get their fair share of both “Comeyas” (aka “Come Here” aka “Not From Charleston”) and Beenyas (natives). Don’t let their accolades distract you from the fact that they have some of the best fried chicken, fried fish, and Red Rice in all of South Carolina.