[image-1]We are T-minus one day away from the start of Spoleto’s 41st season. This season’s lineup looks to be a another red letter year for the always entertaining, often thought-provoking arts festival, but that’s all talk for the weekend. Right now we’re interested in one thing: making pre- and post-show dining plans.

After years of covering Spoleto, we’ve figured out that when it comes to theater dining, the most important thing is location, location, location. Food quality is all well and good, but ultimately you need a place that’s nearby and can get you in and out before curtain. Here are our suggestions:

Waiting for Godot
Dock Street Theater
You don’t want to be waiting for a cappuccino forever when Waiting for Godot starts in 15 minutes. For quick service in a casual atmosphere, try Minero. Just a two block walk from the theater, a little queso fundido and margaritas before the show will set you right. If you’re feeling really hungry, order The Burrito to stave off hunger through the two hour and 30 minute production.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Cistern Yard
Don’t overlook Leyla before your Cistern outing. This Lebanese restaurant offers so many options, you can take your whole crew and get something for everyone. Pro tip: order the Royal Mezza Sampler of labneh, shankleesh, falafel, and more and you’ll be all tanked up and ready to dance.

Emmett Robinson Theater
Murmurs is a twisted tale where the space between madness and imagination blur. This is why you need a taste of reality post-show. Might we suggest Le Farfalle? That pasta is the real thing.

Eugene Onegin
Middle Eastern cafe and bakery Saffron is literally across the street from Charleston’s incredible neo-Classical theater and is a great spot for some grilled chicken kabobs and cheesecake, but in order to make sure you get a table, make a reservation or go a couple hours early.

Woolfe Street Playhouse
Stars is a short walk from Woolfe Street Playhouse with an impressive grill menu and rooftop bar with gorgeous views. Splurge on the wood-grilled prime rib and balance it out with some bacon cheddar tots, along with a local draft beer.

CofC Sottile
Not to be confused with the 1970s line of Japanese stuffed monkeys, Monchichi is, in fact, a dance where hip-hop meets ballet. And just down the block from the Sottile sits Mellow Mushroom, where you can try one of their creative pizza varieties, or just play it safe with cheese. Don’t miss the stone-baked pretzel appetizer or their draft beer selection.

Sofia Rei
Simons Center
Looking for a pick-me-up before the show? Check out the latte of the day at gourmet market Caviar and Bananas, located a block from Simons. The snack selection is plentiful and always changing, whether you build a box from their deli counter (the Caprese pasta salad is always a win), or grab a custom-pressed sandwich.

Dock Street Theater
Stroll just about five minutes over to the new kid on the block, Pawpaw, and fill up on their Nashville-style fried chicken, biscuits with pimento cheese, or strawberry jalapeño jam, and, of course, one (or two) of their creatively named cocktails before you watch this heavy opera.

Yo, Carmen
Ted’s Butcherblock is tucked just a couple of blocks away from this saucy flamenco performance. Grab a salad, sandwich, or soup to go, and enjoy the evening air in Theodora Park across the street from the Gaillard.

Pedrito Martinez Group
Cistern Yard
If you’re about to go hear Cuban music, you might as well start the night with some Cuban food. This dinner will require a car, as Cortaditos Cuban Cafe is a bit of a drive. However, won’t the night just be all the better with a pre-show Elena Ruz?

Nearby Queen Street Grocery offers a wide array of sandwiches and salads (the turkey, brie, and sprouts panini is not to be missed), plus a wide array of local beers and wine. Choose to dine in or take the food to go; if the weather is in your favor, take the quick walk to Colonial Lake and take in the sights and sounds of historic Harleston Village.

Westminster Choir Concert
Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul
Cozy neighborhood favorite Five Loaves Cafe is just a quick walk down the street from the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul, and offers an array of soups, sandwiches, and salads. Pop over after the show for any of their indulgent pasta dishes. Start off with the goat cheese gnocchi appetizer, drizzled with a balsamic reduction and golden raisins, and don’t miss the salted caramel cheesecake to finish the meal.

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.