Just a short trip from Charleston is Summerville, South Carolina, a coastal gem and The Birthplace of Sweet Tea. What many don't know is that, in addition to classic Southern diners and Lowcountry fare, Summerville is home to a variety of international restaurants worth making the trip up from Charleston.
Summerville's large French presence is evident in nearly every shop downtown, where you'll find locally made macarons and other French delicacies in nearly every coffee, wine or gourmet shop.
Ever So Sweet Bakery is a locally owned family business offering scratch-made French pastries, including Napoleons, éclairs, Summerville's ever-present macarons, pain au chocolat and palmiers.
Accent On Wine & More is a wine and gourmet shop located in the heart of downtown Summerville, offering delicious tapas, a large selection of international wines and group tastings. They offer plenty of bottles and bubbly for $10 or less, and the knowledgeable staff is on hand to help you choose the perfect wine for your palette-no matter what your taste or budget.
For the pie lovers in the crowd, Famulari's Pizzeria is revered in Summerville as one of the best places in the Lowcountry for pizza and calzones, as well as authentic Italian desserts, like cannoli and tiramisu. Voted best pizza in Summerville many times over, Famulari's shares a passion for quality ingredients in every bite.
Meanwhile, over on Richardson Ave., The Continental Corner (or simply "The Corner" as locals refer to it) has been cooking up authentic Greek cuisine since 1975. From the Greek flags flying out front to the spanakopita and sliced lamb baked with lemon and oregano, you'll feel like you've been transported to the Mediterranean.
If you're looking for delicious Asian cuisine in Summerville, Pad Thai 1 on West Doty Ave. comes highly recommended and offers everything from fried rice and curry poppers to drunken noodles, tom yum koong and, of course, pad Thai. With five levels of heat to choose from, Pad Thai 1 is sure to please even the spiciest of palettes!
Madra Rua Irish Pub is a multiple award-winning bar and restaurant that serves up Irish favorites, like shepherd's pie, fish and chips, fisherman's pie, and corned beef and cabbage. Known for their perfectly poured Guinness and a selection of layered draughts, Madra Rua is a local favorite for food, fun and authentic Irish fare.
And when you're ready to experience the taste of authentic South Carolina, rest assured - there's plenty of Palmetto State beer, fried chicken and sweet tea to be found in Summerville.
Homegrown Brewhouse on Main St. features an unbelievably large selection of brews from all over South Carolina, as well as gourmet sodas in flavors like Lemon Laurel from Charleston's own Cannonborough Beverage Company. These guys know their beer, and they're happy to help you choose a local craft brew you'll be sure to love.
Eva's on Main St. needs no introduction in the Charleston area, as the delightfully downhome restaurant has been a mainstay for its "meat and three" style menu and traditional Southern favorites, like fried chicken, biscuits and gravy, and banana pudding since 1944 - always remaining true to a belief in "Nothing fancy. Nothing fast. Just simple. Southern. Summerville."
Finally, for a taste of Summerville's own pride and joy, take a ride on the Summerville Sweet Tea Trail Trolley Tour. Sample your way through the town's restaurants, sip on the Lowcountry's favorite beverage, and get off the beaten path to discover the place where sweet tea got its start.