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“Time and money well spent” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Charleston Culinary Tours

Charleston Culinary Tours
161 1/2 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401
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Ranked #26 of 195 Activities in Charleston
Type: Tours, Walking tours, Food & Drink
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Attraction details
Owner description: Charleston Culinary Tours combine the best of Charleston history, cocktails and food with unique tours that highlight the Lowcountry. Each Charleston Culinary Tour visits several different restaurants, bars or the Farmer's Market to combine elements of a historical tour with a culinary adventure. The food and drinks on the tours are chosen by various restaurant and bar partners and feature an array of eclectic dishes and concoctions that provide insight into Charleston's cuisine and cocktail scene. On each tour, you will not only have an opportunity to sample some of the Lowcountry's finest offerings, but also to meet the owners, chefs and mixologists behind Charleston's impressive culinary and bar innovations. Five Tours Available:Historic Downtown, Upper King Street, Chefs' Kitchen, The Farmer's Market and Mixology Tour. As most tours sell out, all reservations are required in advance. Groups need to be booked at least three days prior to tour. Each tour is limited in size. Charleston Culinary Tours are held rain or shine.
South Carolina
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Time and money well spent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

My wife and I are very familiar with Charleston and the restaurant scene there, but thought this Historic Downtown tour might give us some new insights and ideas. It did, by exposing us to restaurants we hadn't tried and through Glenn's informal commentary about the restaurants in downtown Charleston. We had sit-down tasting experiences at four stops: Southend Brewery, Amen Street, Leaf, and Kaminsky's, but this agenda varies from tour to tour.

When booking the tour, I started with the website, but also called to get a better feel for the tour and which day to go; I'm glad I did, because I was told Wednesday would be best if I liked seafood, another day better if I didn't (so I chose Wednesday).

The food was generally good (she-crab soup, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, pulled pork, pork belly, shrimp, salmon, meatloaf, risotto, toll house pie, sugar-cinnamon cake) - our favorites were Amen Street and Leaf. The commentary was just right for us, because we already knew a lot about Charleston, but don't expect a history of the city. Also, don't expect an in depth exploration of the culinary arts. Still, it was very pleasant, and more than enough food - we had a light breakfast that day, and then skipped dinner.

The tour ran from 2 to 4:30+, and it was full with 14 people, whom we enjoyed meeting. We could have ordered drinks and additional food at the restaurants, but only ordered coffee at the last stop. The amount of walking was moderate, and most of the time we were seated. Restaurants are not crowded during this time period, so seating was not a problem. There were plenty of opportunities for restroom breaks, and all restaurants served water. The restaurant managers, wait staff, and in some cases chefs were very nice, but did not spend much time with us (which was fine).

Visited September 2013
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651 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
34 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“the best restaurants in Charleston during interesting walk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

Food tours are one of my favorite tours. I try to combine one food tour in every new destination.
it teach you not only where is the best places to eat and what is the typical food of the area but also a lot about the culture and the character of the city.
Charleston Culinary Tours was one of my favorite and tastiest food tour I ever joined.
they choose amazing restaurants and combine it with interesting walk between them with a lot of stories and amazing facts about the are, culture, history and more.
the food was so good and so much that we did not eat until the next day... and on the next day we return to eat lunch in one of the restaurant we visited during the tour and the best bakery in the country.
a MUST if you are visiting Charleston!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anderson, South Carolina
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Do it!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We did the low country tour. It was wonderful!! The food was amazing and not like anything you will get back home. It was 11 courses, at 3 different restaurants. it was a lot of food, so not eat lunch!! Our guide, Glenn, was very knowledgeable and gave us good insights into the culinary happenings in Charleston. We will definitely do this again!!! You won't be disappointed!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
145 reviews 145 reviews
54 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
“Historical Tour is for History...Food is an After Thought...Highly Recommend for Certain Groups”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013 via mobile

Take this tour for an extremely comprehensive review of Charleston...it was started early at 1:45 and I needed to bow out at 445...prior to the last stop. During those 3 hours a very colorful moderator spoke the entirety of the tour. On everything and anything you could imagine regarding Charleston...you need to be one who can listen and desire to learn...this man LOVES his art of storytelling! The food started out as good at Eli's Table then began to go down hill with temperature and spice...missed Kimensky's dessert at the end....the restauarnts offered that day were not top tens but top 100's in the city. If you are searching for a high quality culinary experience just sample the appetizers yourself at Magnolia's for lunch..I would recommend this tour though overall...it is a terrific value of a thorough history tour...with an add on of food.. AND I would definitely pay extra and HIGHLY recommend the company offer an upscale 75 to $100 tour with smaller portions and better quality top 20 restaurants!!!!

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, Ohio
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
86 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Amazing! Best food tour ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013 via mobile

Hoon Calhoun was the best guide ever! Also, I've taken food tours in at least 4 other cities and this was the best one yet! Most food tours include one sample per restaurant. For example, on one tour I've been on, on one stop we had 1 meatball. This tour was completely different. At the first two stops we had 3 different mini dishes. At the third stop we had two. The fourth stop was a choice of dessert from two options. Also different on this tour, and probably owing to how much food we ate, was that we spent more time at each restaurant. So normally while in my experience the guide talks as we walk around the city Hoon Calhoun did all of his talking as we sat in restaurants. He was so passionate and enthuastic about food and his city it was just great! He told us a lot of history, but in the end really tied it all back to food. He really helped us see the history of the city through different food trends and the ingredients used - it was fascinating! I highly recommend this tour for locals and visitors a like. We ate at the following places: Southend, Lowcountry Bistro, Leaf Cafe & Bar, and Kaminsky's.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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