If you think you know Charleston's culinary scene you probably haven't even gotten to the half of it, this city known for being a seriously sparkling Southern gem full of the finest sights, sounds, and smells that even your kiddos are going to love. From delicious Kid Classic BBQ to Just Dessert Charleston Food Trucks, this guide should cover it all!
So grab your kids and pack your fat pants, it's time to head out and explore culinary Kid-Friendly Charleston!
Best in Town
The Glass Onion - The Glass Onion is one of the most popular local Charleston eateries by far, and kids seem to really enjoy it too, not just the adults! Not only is it delicious and upbeat in atmosphere, it is also local and sustainable! The menu changes daily, updated online or onsite by 4:30 pm. Though we don’t know what the menu will be when you get there, we can give you a good idea with the Instagram photo below. Deviled eggs and shrimp toast, yum!
Fat Hen - One of the greatest things about this place is that it places a heavy emphasis on remaining local and remaining fun, meaning that it provides the freshest Charleston ingredients as well as several fun activities for the kiddos. One of the most popular dishes here at this French-Southern eatery is the Flounder Nicoise with bacon cheese grits, a good choice for mom and dad, though kid favorites are found here too with American staple foods such as burgers, ribs, and pasta.
City Market - This historic market complex makes up the cultural and culinary heart of the city and is actually one of the nation’s oldest public markets, opened in 1804. The entire complex is over 13,000 square feet and contains over 300 vendors weekly selling wares of food and arts, today considered being Charleston's number one most visited location.While here you will be able to meet locals, stop at any onsite eatery or food stand, take a tour of the neighborhood, and of course, sample all the local cuisine along the way.
Kids Eat Free
Screen Door - If you like free food, a family-friendly atmosphere, and the finest flavored southern foods then you will certainly like Screen Door. This spot offers an all day everyday kids eat free deal, the meal free with any adult entree purchase. Not only is this a locally focused James Island establishment, but it also has an interactive kitchen, outdoor kid’s play area, and kid favorites such as burgers and pizza.
Charleston Riverdogs - The locally beloved Charleston Riverdogs offer our most unique kids eat free option with their Family Sunday events. On these family fun themed days, kids under the age of 12 get a free meal with their visit, including a ballpark hot dog, chips, and a beverage. Eat classic Charleston ballpark food, meet the popular doggone mascot, and watch some seriously entertaining baseball while here!
Food Trucks - Though broad in definition, we could not leave out Charleston food trucks from our kid-friendly list. These local food trucks provide the best southern, international, American classic, and organically fresh foods you’ll find around the city, including some fan favorites such as Chucktown Beach Dog, Which Cream?, Charleston Choo, and our personal favorite, Bac’n Me Crazy (this one is gourmet bacon creations, how could you not? And who could not?).
Sticky Fingers Ribhouse - Every kid loves getting messy, and most every kid loves BBQ, so it makes sense that Sticky Fingers Ribhouse would be on our Kid Classics list. Here your kids can enjoy BBQ classics such as ribs, burgers, and chicken with a more messy sauce addition to each. Try the fried pickles before you go, even the kids will love them (after you clean off their hands, of course).
Diggity Doughnuts - While actually a food truck, we consider this to be one of the most popular and kid-friendly (because what ‘Just Desserts’ spot isn’t kid-friendly really) sweet spots in town. Not only does this doughnut shop on wheels pump out some of the most delicious tasty treats, but they do so in a more healthy and organic manner. Try the organic white cake, whole wheat doughnuts, or some wackier less healthy options such as the PB and Sriracha or Strawberry and Jalapeno Doughnuts.
Kaminsky’s - A true 'dessert institution', Kaminsky's in downtown Charleston is one of the best places to pick up a sweet treat in the whole state, according to many. Here the kids can enjoy classic milkshakes, floats, cobblers, cakes, and pies, and tired mommies (and daddies) can enjoy the more adult menu with such items as the popular thin mint martini!