I just came back from a trip to Charleston & Savannah, places I’ve always wanted to visit. So when we were invited to a wedding there (Congrats Kristin & Hassan!) we started planning a week long trip down south. The architecture, the history, the people, and the shopping were all amazing! The south is famous for its food but not for its vegan options…so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I had some great food but it wasn’t super easy to find so if you’re thinking of heading there then here’s a roundup of some of my vegan meals with my personal rating on vegan-friendliness.
Charleston Farmer’s Market: 5 out of 5
We found a weekly market in Marion Square on our first day there and weren’t sure what to expect but it had fresh coffee, organic fruits & veggies and….a food cart that had vegan biscuits and lentil patties!! I was so excited, I started to have high hopes of Charleston being more vegan friendly than I thought. Rich said that it ‘looked vegan’ and he didn’t mean it as a compliment but it was pretty tasty. He completely finished his in a matter of minutes.
Cru Cafe: 4 out of 5
Cru Cafe was one of the many places that we found through our guide book and it would have been difficult to stumble upon it on your own since it’s a traditional Charleston house made into a restaurant serving southern fixin’s. It wasn’t a big menu but our server was very friendly and had the Chef whip up a Thai Risotto. So although the menu didn’t have a lot of vegan options they were very accommodating. Rich said his salad ‘was the best he’s had in his life’, so the non-veggies will be pleased here too!
Husk: 3 out of 5
First of all this place is stunning! It’s another converted Charleston home but it’s a mansion. This award-winning restaurant features only local ingredients, amazing staff, and a pretty famous chef! Husk will be mentioned in any guide book you purchase and although I couldn’t indulge, they had an extensive cider and beer list from local breweries.
However, not shockingly, there wasn’t anything vegan on the menu. You could request a few changes to make it happen but there was not one option for me. I ordered a salad sans-cheese and some smoked veggies which were both pretty good but since the chef is so talented I’m sure he could come up with something mind blowing for us vegans. (You heard the request here first!)
Cha Bella: 4.5 out of 5
We asked our concierge at our super amazing hotel Bohemian in Savannah if there was anything vegan friendly in the area and she didn’t hesitate to say ‘Cha Bella‘. Another great restaurant that looked like a converted house that served fresh local food. Our server was really friendly and had lots of recommendations for vegan options.
We had the patio to ourselves on a rainy night and my pasta was pretty great. Plus they even had vegan-friendly sorbet for dessert! Rich ordered a meat dish and literally put himself in pain to finish every last bite, so that says something for any non-veggies looking for a place to go!
Basil: 5 out of 5
Can you miss food? Like there’s a pain in your stomach when you realize that something you love so dearly is so far away? Knowing that you might never be together again? It’s an ache that I don’t think ever goes away and that’s the risk you take eating at Basil in Charleston. Located on trendy King St, there were people waiting outside for when it opened at 5pm.
First of all, you can see the kitchen staff and they are ninjas. The restaurant was half full and everyone, I mean EVERYONE was eating at 5:30p. The cooks looked bored. I’ve never seen anything so efficient. The food at Basil is the stuff dreams are made of, no matter what your diet is. I didn’t have to alter anything, I ordered the Masaman and there are no words. Rich said it was the best Pad Thai he’d ever had.
I can’t say enough…just fly there to eat there.
Savannah and Charleston are super cool cities, ones you have to put on your bucket list. There are tons of things to do, see, and eat. Again, I couldn’t experience it myself but Rich said that there were some amazing local beers found in South Carolina. It made me really eager to come home and make some traditional southern dishes but vegan. I want to try friend green tomatoes and make biscuits! So stay tuned for that because I’m home with new inspiration!