Poke has become increasingly trendy over the last five years, as the movement has helped spawn an entire new genre of eateries in the United States. And what’s not to love, especially given the fact that poke can serve as a healthy lunch or dinner. The sushi rice at the bottom of a poke bowl is traditionally topped with diced pieces of ahi tuna, but poke lovers can now also find other proteins like salmon, chicken or tofu. This combined with countless vegetables, crunchy topping and sauce options like wasabi aioli or spicy mayonnaise makes it apparent that this Hawaiian dish will likely never get old. Mix and match all the toppings or check out a chef’s signature take on a poke bowl at one of these 11 Charleston establishments.Read More
10 Spots to Fuel the Poke Craze in Charleston
Tuna or salmon?
1. Emoji Poke
The bowls at Emoji Poke are photogenic, as patrons can opt for colorful variations like purple rice. Find fun and crunchy toppings like tempura puffs, furikake and crispy onions, and be sure to save room for some mochi for dessert.
Head to Locals’ Park Circle location for multiple poke bowl options. The signature Local Poke features salmon, tuna, edamame, avocado, seaweed salad, kimchi aioli, eel sauce, and a tempura flake topping.
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This poke bowl destination, which is conveniently located steps away from the bars on Upper King Street, offers a long list of sushi rolls in addition to their build-your-own poke. Sushi rolls are half-price during happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
4. Wiki Wiki Sandbar
This sprawling Folly Beach destination is filled with Hawaiian vibes, so of course there’s poke. The restaurant’s version has a jasmine rice base and is topped with avocado, tobiko, seaweed salad, and either tuna or salmon.
5. Poke Tea House
Charleston, SC 29403
Call this Spring Street counter-serve spot the Chipotle of poke bowls. Choose a base before topping with a variety of fish and toppings like mango, asparagus, avocado or squid salad.
King Street’s sushi hotspot is mainly a place for signature rolls and high quality nigiri, but they also utilize their fresh ingredients in a poke appetizer. The dish features big eyed tuna, salmon, assorted veggies, avocado, and is topped with crispy onions and a mustard soy dressing.
Choose tuna, salmon or tofu at this King Street destination that recently added a second location on Daniel Island. Guests who aren’t in the mood for rice can substitute zucchini noodles or a kale salad as their base.
8. Kahuna Poke Bar
The options are plentiful at this Mount Pleasant poke bar, which offers patrons the chance to choose their base, protein, toppings, dressing, and mix-ins like avocado or seaweed salad. They even offer chicken or cooked salmon for those looking to avoid the raw fish.
9. Tres Palmas Acai
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
Tres Palmas owner Wyatt Morris loved the stripped-down poke he had on a research trip to Hawaii, so he decided to bring his variation to the Mount Pleasant shop, where he specializes in smoothie bowls. Find large chunks of ahi, avocado, cucumber, edamame, and a little extra crunch from crispy fried onion strips in his hearty bowl.
10. Poke Bros.
This small franchise, which has two Charleston area locations, is a great spot to spend a lunch break. Find all the expected protein and topping options, and those in a hurry can get in and out of the door quickly.