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Charleston’s Top Restaurant Standbys of 2019: Daps, Lewis Barbecue, and More

Local food writers share their thoughts on the year

A dining room with an “Order Here” counter.
Daps Breakfast & Imbibe
Erin Perkins/Eater Charleston
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. To kick it off in Charleston, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.

Q. What were the top restaurant standbys of 2019?

Marion Sullivan, Food editor Charleston Magazine:
The Grocery, Butcher & Bee, The Ordinary, Leon’s, Monza, and Rodney Scott’s BBQ. And looking forward to adding Jackrabbit Filly

Stephanie Burt, writer and host of The Southern Fork:
Although I don’t get the opportunity to eat there as much as I’d like, FIG is a constant recommendation and always delivers.

Hanna Raskin, Food writer and critic for the Post & Courier:
As I say every year, I bop around more than I might if work didn’t demand it. But when I get a weekend morning off, I swear by a very long run followed by carbs and beer: I like pancakes at Daps in the summertime, and dim sum at Kwei Fei when the weather gets colder.

Parker Milner, Eater Charleston contributor:
Daps Breakfast & Imbibe, Trattoria Lucca, and Wild Olive.

Vanessa Wolf, Charleston City Paper critic:
Zero, Phuong Vietnamese, Lewis Barbecue — my dad (who lives in Pennsylvania) is so obsessed, I had a frozen six-pound brisket overnighted to him for Father’s Day.

Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
I’m always trying the new places, so it’s rare to be a “regular” anywhere, but I’d say I’ve visited Basil, Moe’s Crosstown, and Oak Steakhouse (go on Sundays, for half-price wine) several times this year.

Jenn Rice, Eater Charleston contributor:
In Raleigh, I post up at Bida Manda and Garland for lunch on the regular. I’ve also clocked more hours at Heirloom Brewshop than I have sleeping this year, I believe, while Jolie has also become a quick weeknight dinner ritual (at the bar) since opening. Oakwood Pizza Box, Foundation and Bittersweet are also in rotation. I usually work up at the Durham Hotel once a week which means lunch at Mateo and post-work drinks at Alley Twenty Six and Kingfisher. I hit Sovereign Remedies in Asheville many times in 2019 as well and it always delivers.

Kenneth Andrews, Eater Charleston contributor and pop-up enthusiast:
Pink Bellies pop-ups and Sushi-Wa Izakaya were regular ports in the storm for sure.

Barbara Skidmore, Eater Charleston contributor:
Obstinate Daughter, Felix, Lewis Barbecue, Stella’s