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Brunch All Day: Historic Downtown Charleston

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 35 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
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Hot honey chicken marries an unlikely donut partner to become a delicious brunch option at Millers All Day.

Brunches are sumptuous by nature, so it stands to reason they are largely defined as a weekend treat. But when you’re vacationing in Charleston, every day is a “weekend” deserving of such indulgences. Sweet and savory dishes that please the eye and palate, accessorized by a brunchy cocktail or coffee drink, are all-day specialties at some of downtown’s most beloved cafes. Omelets and crepes at 2 in the afternoon on a Wednesday? It’s no problem when you dine at one of these nine Charleston restaurants in historic downtown.

Another Broken Egg Cafe
99 Market St.

Southern-inspired brunches and creative cocktails—that’s what you’ll find at this hotspot for all things egg and more. Think coffee-infused pancakes with whipped cream, crab cake Benedict, fluffy omelets, burgers and crave-worthy beignets.

Brunch on this: Lemon blueberry goat cheese pancakes and a vodka-spiked vanilla cold brew

Big Bad Breakfast
456 Meeting St. 

Bring your big, bad hunger to this brunch hub and fill up on scratch-made fare like house-cured Tabasco brown-sugared bacon, creamy stone-ground grits, biscuit sammies, steak and eggs, wraps, and a variety of skillets. Accessorize with a refreshing mimosa or spicy bloody mary.

Brunch on this: Avocado toast with sliced avocado, arugula, pico de gallo, chili flakes and twin poached eggs paired with the Buena Vista Irish coffee—BBB’s take on the famed coffee cocktail from San Francisco’s Buena Vista Cafe

Café Framboise
159 Market St. 

Delight over the seasonal brunch menu at this quaint, French-leaning cafe. Inspired quiches, frittatas, egg souffles and French toast in flavors like cranberry-orange or bananas Foster have garnered a loyal following of locals. Crepe lovers will find this cafe a worthy object of their affections, too.  

Brunch on this: Banana strawberry chocolate crepe dolloped with whipped cream goes well with a double shot of espresso

Eli’s Table
129 Meeting St.

Lowcountry influences and local ingredients appoint many of the brunch choices at this fine Charleston classic. Start with a fried green tomato napoleon to share, then move on to a wild mushroom omelet, ham and brie croissant or Charleston red rice risotto topped with fresh fish and crawfish butter.

Brunch on this: Lowcountry Benedict layered with fried oysters, wilted spinach, poached eggs, tasso gravy and breakfast potatoes paired with a mimosa

Millers All Day
120 King St. 

Celebrate the morning or afternoon with a sublime selection of expertly prepared frittatas, quiches, biscuits and more, as well as a variety of house-baked muffins, pies, scones and other treats. Craft cocktails make fine accompaniments for just about anything.

Brunch on this: Hot honey chicken donut with house pickles and peach preserves paired with a Miller High Life pony

Poogan’s Porch
72 Queen St. 

This darling of the downtown dining scene offers lots of Charleston atmosphere and the food to go with it. Heavenly biscuits, she-crab soup, shrimp and grits, cornmeal-fried pickled okra and full-blown Southern plates brimming with breakfast faves keep the customers coming back time and again.

Brunch on this: Chicken and waffles served with sorghum butter and paired with Poogan’s bloody mary

Ruby Sunshine
171 East Bay St. 

The new kid on the block is no stranger to Big Easy brunchers who have been patronizing its New Orleans sister restaurant, Ruby Slipper, since 2008. This Charleston spin-off offers a kaleidoscope of flavorful dishes with a decidedly Cajun flair: From bayou shrimp Benedict to crawfish and grits cakes to the rum-flambéed bananas Foster pain perdu, Ruby Sunshine is a bright light on the local brunch scene. The Tex-Mex offerings aren't too shabby, either.

Brunch on this: Sweet heat chicken with French toast bites and fresh strawberries paired with a bacon bloody mary

Sweetwater Cafe
137 Market St. 

Bustling headquarters for generously stuffed grilled omelets, banana pecan pancakes, Benedicts, crab cakes, soups, salads and a host of tasty offerings.

Brunch on this: Signature fish (choice of salmon or catfish) and creamy grits appointed with Sweetwater’s spicy brown gravy

Toast All Day
155 Meeting St.

Downtown staple with a solid lineup of brunchy things like shrimp and grits, house-made corned beef hash with eggs, decadent stuffed French toast, mimosas, bloodys, coffee drinks and a seemingly endless offering of dishes that toggle the breakfast/lunch divide.

Brunch on this: Sweet tea chicken biscuit paired with a fresh-brewed latte

 

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 35 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.