Ma'am Saab | Photo by Rūta Smith

More Charleston restaurants have departed than normal this year, but the ones sticking around are responsible for shaping the future of the city’s food and beverage industry. Lucky for us, we’re in good hands. 

We might have been stripped of much of the comradery that comes with dining out, but local restaurants have become essential beacons of light, developing safety protocols on the fly with little guidance or direction. 

We’ve seen a heightened focus on supporting Black-owned restaurants, helping us rediscover establishments integral to Charleston’s past, present and future. As Parker Milner discusses on page 6, upscale restaurants are getting creative with takeout, and some newcomers have found an offering that fits the time, adding to the growing list of Charleston’s hidden gems.  

Sure, difficult days are ahead, as local figures point out on page 14, but our city has proven itself resilient, ambitious and empathetic in the last six months. A special congratulations goes out to all the Charleston restaurants featured in this edition of Dish, places where employees are grinding everyday, keeping customers fed with a smile on their faces. 

In this issue of Dish

Our top restaurants in Charleston for Winter 2020

Where to find Charleston’s delicious hidden gems

Charleston chefs and restaurateurs on the pandemic’s impact and long-term ramifications

Ghaznavi: My family and Ma’am Saab are surviving, but it has not been easy