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“Great way to begin our SC stay!”

Martha Lou's Kitchen
Ranked #116 of 932 Restaurants in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $8
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Delivery
Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Had a fabulous lunch here after flying in to Charleston on Monday morning. Based on other reviews decided to make this our first stop - and so glad we did! Fried chicken, Mac cheese, collards - everything was delicious, and the warm welcome was wonderful.

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Thank okmaine1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 28, 2013

The bottom line: $11 for made-to-order fried chicken, pork or fish, three incredibly delicious sides and a drink. This food will make you rethink any southern cooking you've ever had and is more than worth it.

We saw that a local chef loves visiting this establishment and thought if it's good enough for Sean Brock, it's good enough for us. While you can't compare Martha Lou's to McCrady's, you can make a statement about pure, honest, simple, delicious, lowcountry cooking done really, really well.

After passing on breakfast, which I suggest when heading their for lunch, we didn't even realize that we had passed this humble little restaurant about 6 times until after we put into our nav. We drove up around 11am (remember, we didn't eat breakfast) and they were still closed and I heard the front door creek open with formidable woman in the doorway yellin' that she'd be open in about 30 minutes. After a quick trip downtown, we made it back around 11:45am.

It's a casual deal. You walk in and sit down and someone will take your order. Many people called ahead including the local police. When I saw him walk in, I knew we were in the right spot. Our order was taken right away and it took about 15 minutes to get our food.

When I tell you this is the best fried chicken to be eaten, it is the best. Again, simple and delicious, this is a story about years and years of execution. Doing the same thing over and over again, making sure that every last bit of chicken is moist and piping hot on the inside while staying crispy and crunchy on the outside. Listen up.. this ain't no KFC. You don't get bark on the outside of your chicken, you get crispy and light.

The sides are to die for. The lima beans and red rice are absolute musts. The mac 'n cheese is true southern mac 'n cheese and the cabbage is sweet and spicy.

The best part is when the woman came by (who I believe is Martha Lou's daughter) and saw that we had gobbled up our food she started dancing in the aisle - literally. When I told her that she made every fried chicken I had before null & void, she almost did a backflip. You don't get that these days and it was nice to see the passion and excitement about what she does.

If you are in Charleston, you must make the stop at Martha Lou's. For $11? Seriously. Just go.

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1  Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We already had a trip planned to Charleston. Saw Adrew Zimmer's episode on Charleston. Decided to make Martha Lou's our first stop yesterday around 12:30 line standing outside waiting.

Wasn't long and we got a table.

Was it worth the Wait?

Yes, the very first restaurant we have eaten that actually lives up to it's press clippings and reviews.

We will stop one more time before we leave Charleston...

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1  Thank Tom H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

Martha Lou's not only has some of the best Southern soul food, but perhaps the friendliest family owned and operated kitchen you will find anywhere. When we arrived in the Charleston area on a Saturday, my brother-in-law (who used to live in Charleston) called to see if they had any collards so we could pick some up. He was told they didn't at the time, but "come back tomorrow and we defintely will!" When he called the next day to make sure, they not only said that they did have the collards, they even remembered talking to him! Like I said, very friendly! We also ordered some fried chicken to go as well. That was by far the best I've ever had. Perfect on the outside and very moist.

We enjoyed the food so much that we went back later in the week and our entire group of 10 ate lunch there. We had a little bit of just about everything between us: fried chicken, pork chop, mac n' cheese, okra soup, collards, corn bread, bread pudding...... ALL of it was absolutely delicious. Whatever you decide to get, you will not be disappointed.

It is very small and unassuming outside and in, but once you experience the food and hospitality, you will know it was worth it. You are greeted by one of Martha Lou's daughters and she is such an engaging, pleasant person who was always smiling that you can't help but feel good to be there, almost as if you are a guest right there in their home. There are many feature articles from various publications on the wall about Martha Lou's. One of them mentions how the recipes have been passed down from generation to generation, but they have never been written down.

They will always ask where you are from and genuinely make a big deal about it too, so make sure you sign their guestbook as well!

You also never know who will walk through that door either as we were entertained by an Elvis impersonator and wife that were passing through and stopped in for lunch. As odd as that was, he never broke character and the entire staff loved it. "Elvis is in the house!" is what we heard just before they came in.

Word of caution: They accept cash only, no credit cards. Seating is roughly for about a maximum of 20

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1  Thank PRNap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2013

Martha Lou's is an anomaly! A few minutes away from the bustle of downtown Charleston and cloaked in a pink, unpretentious small building is some of the BEST southern food you can taste in The Lowcountry! I recommend the chitterlings, but anything you order will be unforgettable! Am I going back again? Guilty as charged!!!

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1  Thank Loretta T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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