Best Gelato
Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar

Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar owner Brian Solari opened the Italian-inspired cafe in 2014 with the intention of bringing a little piece of Europe to Charleston. 

“Charleston has such an amazing European feel to it. It’s a very old-looking, beautiful city, and I just thought that bringing some of that European flair would definitely fit well,” Solari said. 

Solari, who comes from an Italian family, learned to develop and fine tune his business with the help of other family members who have worked in the food and beverage industry. The cafe makes all its own gelato, desserts and breads in house. Though vanilla is the most popular gelato flavor, Solari likes to mix Carmella’s blackberry and limoncello varieties together. 

“Nothing goes into the case that isn’t A+,” he said. “I’ve had people from Italy who are in the business say that we have the best gelato they’ve had this side of Italy. And we really worked hard over the years to fine tune and perfect that gelato recipe.”

Carmella’s is mainly known for its desserts and sweet treats, but the cafe also serves a variety of Italian-style ciabatta sandwiches and pizzas as well as cocktails, beer and wine.

“We really do take pride in what we make, the ingredients we use and that all of our recipes are recipes that we’ve developed over time,” Solari said. “We’re very passionate about it.”

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