College is awesome, there’s no doubt about that. But some high school perks are hard to leave behind, like a fully-stocked pantry — even for some CPers who haven’t seen the halls of a high school for longer than we’d like to admit. With three downtown grocery stores as well as some smaller specialty shops and off-the-peninsula ones, you’ve got options on where to shop that will hopefully keep you from pulling an Old Mother Hubbard.
Burbage’s Self Serve Grocery
157 Broad St.
The Burb is a mom-and-pop shop good for Southern soul food. From tasty baked goods like Dixie Bell biscuits to hearty meals like Big Al’s BBQ with Lowcountry mac ‘n’ cheese, this grocery provides homemade yummies that won’t make you miss mom’s cooking. Burbage’s has Southern food squared away with their pimento cheese cornbread muffins, boiled peanuts, and gazpacho just to name a few. Their selection changes daily, which means you can indulge in something different every time you stop in.
Caviar and Bananas
51 George St.
188 Meeting St.
Looking for something fancy and fresh? Search no further. Caviar and Bananas carries gourmet, packaged foods including sauces, spreads, pasta, crackers, olive oil, and chocolate, as well as in-house meals to make your tastebuds water. With two downtown locations and delivery options available, this “grocery store” gives you lots of delicious options. Their delivery menu includes breakfast specials like jump-start muffins and berries-and-cream-stuffed French toast. Yum. It’s perfect for lazy Saturday morning comfort food. Then, for lunch, you can design your own sandwich, order some sushi, or pick from their crazy big selection of daily features.Upper King hood, the Food Lion serves as a great place to pick up staples like flour, sugar, eggs, and milk. While you may not want to make this your go-to for all your foodie needs, it can definitely come in handy when you need to make a quick grocery run.
290 E. Bay St.
For you College of Charlestoners, your bike might be your only means of transportation. Install a basket and pedal over to Harris Teeter or bum a ride with your smelly suitemate to stock up at the ever-convenient grocer. The killer location does mean that your mac ‘n’ cheese will be slightly overpriced, but the 24-hour schedule, free cookies, subs, and beer aisle may just be worth your extra pennies. Now, getting those groceries back to your room might be a different story …
445 Meeting St.
Another convenient downtown store is the Piggly Wiggly on Meeting Street. If you’ve never heard of this Southern grocery store staple, you should check it out, if only to buy a “I’m Big on the Pig” T-shirt. We suggest browsing their other goods while there, especially since Piggly Wiggly also supports local farmers in their produce section. The Pig also has an inexpensive meat-and-three to-go lunch counter and a pretty stellar growler section, which will be key to your beer education and expanding your palate from Natty Light.
Queen Street Grocery
133 Queen St.
If you came to this city to soak up every ounce of history that comes your way, then absorb some olden-time vibes from the most ancient corner store in town. The Queen Street Grocery started up long before some of your grandparents were even born, 1922 to be exact, and transformed over the years from butcher shop to candy shop to late-night convenience store. Now this quaint space offers eat-in and takeout delicacies ranging from irresistible crepes to hot-pressed sammies. Grab a cold Cheerwine and sit on the landmark Cheerwine bench in the corner, or box up your treats and take them back to the dorm room for a study break snack.
334 E Bay St.
For those tired of all the fresh fruit and veggie talk, here’s the perfect place to indulge in some straight-up meat. Ted’s Butcherblock is a locally owned and operated full butcher service that offers gourmet sandwiches, cheeses, and specialty foods, as well as portions of fresh-cut meats and a new seafood counter. The space is understated but upscale, with retro touches like maps as wall décor and chairs that add pops of color. Steak, veal, lamb, pork, poultry, seafood, and sausage are just a few meaty options that might be perfect for a back-to-school feast, but it also fits the bill if you’re just looking for a cool place to grab lunch.
401 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.
Can we just say best ginger snap cookies known to man? Trader Joe’s has some delicious, specialty finds that come directly from the hands of the suppliers to the shelves. This national hit cuts out the middleman, revolutionizing the food-to-store process and actually making it cheaper for you without loading your keychain with grocery store value cards (we know you have to make room for your bottle opener). Beyond having a completely different stock than any other chain, Trader Joe’s caters to your nutrition concerns, making sure to leave out the artificial preservatives, genetically-modified ingredients, and trans fats in every product they stock. They also have gluten-free, kosher, vegetarian, vegan, fat-free, and low sodium options sure to keep you looking fabulous throughout the semester. Well, unless you indulge in a whole container of those Triple Ginger Snaps we were talking about chased by the famous Two-Buck Chuck wine, which is actually three bucks.
The Veggie Bin
10 Society St.
If you Instagram your daily lunches of one-of-a-kind ninja fruit salads and off-the-beaten-path juices, then you could be a hipster. And that’s OK because a lot of people in this town are hipsters. You’ll fit right in. To keep up your hipster grocery status, ignore all the “name brand” signs like the Teeter and the Pig — even the organic places won’t quench your thirst to be different with your produce choices. We’ve got the perfect place for you to fulfill all your funky fruit dreams. Check out the Veggie Bin, a bare bones shop that delivers local produce and out-of-the-box finds that you won’t see anywhere else. The prices also can’t be beat with some of the cheapest produce you’ll find in the area. Gotta stay fresh, Charleston — and yes we mean that in both the Fresh Prince and the literal ways.
923 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant
Whole Foods is a great choice for the college-goers, who have decided to abandon mom’s questionable mighty meatloaf for a more holistic approach to satisfying your hunger. For a variety of quality organic groceries, this place can’t be beat. It’s worth the drive across the bridge if you’re looking to begin your journey toward a more environmentally friendly diet. The hot bar is also dream-worthy and great for those nights when you want to be lazy but still be conscientious. Be warned: healthy options come with a price tag. But those extra greens might get you better greens.
119 Spring St.
1 Jasper St.
Charlie’s Grocery has two locations stocked with local goodies. If you’ve never tried falafel before, the Jasper location is the perfect place to take your first taste. This Middle Eastern delicacy can only be described as deep-fried balls of deliciousness, and Charlie’s does it right. The convenience store also offers a variety of goods like Boar’s Head meats and cheeses for a lunch spread, as well as snacks like chips and ice cream for a night in.
74 Folly Road Blvd.
If you want food that comes straight from the earth, you can’t get much closer to the dirt than Earth Fare’s products. This Southern store’s philosophy involves cutting out everything artificial, along with hormones, bleaches, and high fructose corn syrup. The self-proclaimed “healthy supermarket” makes it easier for you if you’re tired of reading food labels and wondering WTF am I eating? Insider tip: Sign up for their emails and text messages to get extra discounts.
1015 King St.
As the closest grocer for those in the upper Stay cool. Support City Paper. City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.