Photo: Millers All Day/Jonathan Boncek

The 10 Top Rated Brunch Restaurants in Charleston

Restaurants + Bars Food + Drink
by Katie Scott Aiton Mar 29, 2024

Brunch in Charleston is a big deal with many great spots to choose from in a variety of cuisines. Yes, you can get your fluffy, buttermilk biscuits and crispy fried chicken and waffles, but many chefs are also adding their twist to brunch staples, and it locals and visitors alike are all in.

“Southern brunch is a quintessential part of Charleston living,” says Nate Thurston, owner of Millers All Day, a restaurant beloved for its all-day brunch-centric menu. A good brunch service to Thurston speaks to the love for hospitality the South is well known for.

And it’s not just food that’s getting attention here. Charleston is a drinking town, and brunch drink menus excel, says Greer Gilchrist, founder of The Harbinger Cafe & Bakery, the highest-rated brunch spot on Yelp and Google Maps.

To help you get a clear picture of what the brunch landscape looks like, Matador took to Yelp and Google Maps to find the highest-reviewed brunch spots across both platforms. Venues with the highest points out of five were then tallied to make an aggregate out of 10. To make sure any new business kinks are ironed out, only restaurants with more than 250 reviews were considered. Although customer reviews are subjective, they help as a guide, offering advice on dishes and helping with the overall decision in choosing where to eat the most important meal of the weekend.

Whether you’re a resident, planning a group bachelor or bachelorette getaway, or you’re on a weekend escape in Charleston, here’s where to get the best brunch in Charleston, according to reviews.

The Harbinger Cafe & Bakery

Rating: 9.5 (4.8 Google Maps, 4.7 Yelp)

Since 2017, Harbinger has served handcrafted, health-conscious breakfast, brunch, and lunch fare alongside excellent coffee. Situated in downtown Charleston, Harbinger is the first of two cafes (the second, Harken, is on Queen Street) owned by friends and founders Cameron Neal and Greer Gilchrist.

Gilchrist says over email that running such busy establishments has been a challenge. Anyone who has worked a brunch service (or waited in a neverending queue) can appreciate how much work goes into running a smooth operation. The support from both the local community and visitors means “the world” to Gilchrist, and this shows in the near-perfect score on Yelp and Google Maps.

Brunch favorites include the ricotta biscuits served four ways. Gilchrist recommends the house-made honey orange butter and compote, which rotates and is blackberry grape at the time of writing.

“Our pastry case is where we really shine in our deliciousness and originality,” Gilchrist says. Everything at Harbinger is baked in-house, and it’s this level of care and detail that has awarded the business loyal return customers and five-star reviews from people visiting Charleston for the weekend.

The Harbinger Cafe and Bakery: 1107 King St, Charleston, SC 29403


Photo: Huriyali
Photo: Huriyali
Photo: Huriyali

Rating: 9.3 (4.6 Google Maps, 4.7 Yelp)

The people at Huriyali know how to have a good time, all while bringing the community together to share delicious and nourishing food. There’s a lot to get excited about here. The menu is health-conscious leaning, colorful, and creative. Take the multi-colored, pink Ambrosia Latte, a whipped espresso with punchy local strawberries; or Farrah’s Green Grits, which is made with creamy cashew grits, roasted seasonal veggies, charred tomato, and fresh arugula topped with crispy tempeh bits. The signature bowls are a hit, too. The Mermaid Bowl, one of the current favorites, blends banana, mango, blue spirulina, housemade almond butter, and fresh cashew milk with plant protein — a brunch dish that will keep you going strong until dinner.

There’s also a heavy focus on sustainability at Huriyali, and the business often hold events like surfboard and gear swaps and regular neighborhood clean-ups.

Huriyali: 401 Huger St, Charleston, SC 29403

Breizh Pan Crêpes

Rating: 9.2 (4.7 Google Maps, 4.5 Yelp)

The owners of Breizh Pan Crêpes, Patrice and Celine, hail from Brittany, France, the birthplace of crepes. Their French origins shine through this small creperie. Even the flour is imported from France. From the bestselling savory buckwheat, gluten-free crepe to the aptly named La Charleston — a perfect balance of berries, Chantilly cream, and housemade salted butter caramel — it’s clear the chefs have a strong foundation in French cookery. Recent five-star Yelp reviewer Iz S says, “It reminded me of my time in Paris,” while others sing Breizh Pan’s praises for value of money and speedy, polite service.

Breizh Pan Crêpes: 39 George St, Charleston, SC 29401

Daps Breakfast & Imbibe

Rating: 9.0 (4.6 Google Maps, 4.4 Yelp)

Daps Breakfast & Imbibe is a casual breakfast spot and neighborhood gathering place located on the west side of Charleston. The restaurant was born out of the need for somewhere for people to get a good, hearty breakfast in the neighborhood, and it delivers. The welcoming and all-inclusive establishment has outdoor seating on its patio — perfect for summer brunch.

Daps Breakfast & Imbibe shares over email that the top dishes include the breakfast burrito with local eggs from Fili West Farms and chorizo from a nearby farmer, the OG pancakes that are fluffy and light, and the cereal-inspired fruity pebble pancakes. Recent patron Grace P recommends the hash browns on Yelp: “Just do it,” she proclaims, “It was so fresh and had tons of flavor — not your average breakfast food.” Another reviewer, Lexi G, raves about the coffee, suggesting the addition of the signature cayenne honey syrup that will “literally knock your socks off.”

Daps Breakfast & Imbibe: 280 Ashley Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

Millers All Day

Photo: Millers All Day/Caroline Herring
Photo: Millers All Day/Jonathan Boncek
Photo: Millers All Day/Jonathan Boncek and Caroline Herring

Rating: 9.0 (4.6 Google Maps, 4.4 Yelp)

Nate Thurston of Millers All Day tells me that on weekends, there’s a procession of people dressed up for brunch downtown, and he loves being part of the scene. This is a good thing because Millers serves farm-to-table, brunch-friendly plates all day, every day.

And there are no shortcuts. “From homemade biscuit dough to hand-cracked eggs, every dish is homemade with the freshest ingredients,” Thurston says. Relying heavily on produce from local farmers, dishes like the Hot Honey Chick B.E.C. feature local honey in the twist on a classic bacon, egg, and cheese; and the freshly milled, small-batch grains from Marsh Hen Mill make for some of the best grits in Charleston. Pages of five-star Yelp reviews recommend trying the specials, the honey chicken doughnut, chocolate-hazel cream banana bread, and the watermelon basil mimosa. The best thing about Millers? The breakfast menu has no time limit. So you can skip the alarm.

Millers All Day: 120 King St, Charleston, SC 29401

Basic Kitchen

Photo: Basic Kitchen
Photo: Basic Kitchen
Photo: Basic Kitchen

This light-drenched restaurant serves brunch from Friday through Sunday and attracts quite a crowd. Expect veggie-forward dishes such as the Surfer’s Delight bowl with scrambled eggs, citrus kale, sweet potatoes, avocado, and toast, or if you’re hungry, order the Naughty Burger with Brasstown farm grass-fed beef and sweet potato fries. Pair with a Brain Booster wellness shot or a beetroot and orange margarita — or both, it’s all about balance.

Rating: 8.9 (4.6 Google Maps, 4.3 Yelp)

Basic Kitchen: 82 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401

Frannie & The Fox

Photo: Hotel Emeline
Photo: Hotel Emeline

Rating: 8.8 (4.4 Google Maps, 4.4 Yelp)

Inside Emeline, an historic boutique hotel on Church Street, Frannie & the Fox is a chic local hangout with a focus on Southern hospitality and culinary creativity. The central dining area has bistro tables, and a lively bar fosters an Italian cafe vibe.

Frannie & the Fox is well-known for woodfired pizzas (especially the fennel sausage and taleggio with burnt honey and black pepper), and the oven comes into play at brunch, too. Adam Jimenez, the hotel’s food and beverage manager, says the oven-baked eggs and seasonally changing sticky buns are hits on the weekend. Jimenez also recommends trying the bolognese and grits with a poached egg, a dish that “combines the best of Italian and Lowcountry cuisines.”

Frannie’s will be open for brunch on Saturdays, as well as the usual Sunday service from March 30, easter weekend.

Frannie & The Fox: 181 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401

The Daily

Rating: 8.8 (4.5 Google Maps, 4.3 Yelp)

The Daily has locations in Atlanta as well as the King Street Charleston flagship. While The Daily might not be reinventing the wheel, you can rely on it for exceptional coffee, healthy smoothies, fresh bread, and the use of local produce. You can sit in for brunch or grab and go from the cooler. There’s also some nice merch (hot sauces, coffee, totes) for sale that is all Southern-made. Many of the five-star reviews on Yelp mention The Daily’s excellent, friendly, efficient service and the nice range of seasonal hot beverages. Others comment it’s worth getting here early, as the outdoor tables quickly fill up over weekend brunch.

The Daily: 652 B King St, Charleston, SC 29403

The Junction Kitchen & Provisions

Photo: The Junction Kitchen & Provisions
Photo: The Junction Kitchen & Provisions
Photo: The Junction Kitchen & Provisions

Rating: 8.7 (4.5 Google Maps, 4.2 Yelp)

The Junction Kitchen & Provisions is a popular spot in Charleston’s Park Circle neighborhood known for its menu of creative comfort food. It’s another all-day joint, so you can enjoy the breakfast specialties like grits or a tomato pie in the afternoon if you please. They also have sandwiches, tacos, and daily specials, with vegetarian options like the vegBLT and meaty choices like their Philly cheesesteak.

Owner and operator Kimana Littleflower tells me that it’s nice to see more venues in Charleston do brunch a little differently. Brunch is a smooth affair here. Junction started all-day breakfast 10 years ago, and today, dishes like the sweet tea fried chicken and French toast with bourbon pecan butter, rosemary maple glazed doughnuts, and the cactus braised pork have people traveling north of downtown to eat on weekends.

The Junction Kitchen & Provisions: 4438 Spruill Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405

The Palmetto Cafe

Photo: The Charleston Place/Cameron Wilder
Photo: The Charleston Place/Cameron Wilder

Rating: 8.7 (4.5 Google Maps, 4.2 Yelp)

The Palmetto Cafe is a garden-inspired restaurant located within the Charleston Place Hotel. Here, you can enjoy both Lowcountry classics and French-inspired, more sophisticated brunch dishes. On weekends, breakfast is available from 7 AM to 9 AM, and a dedicated brunch menu from 9 AM to 3 PM.

Palmetto serves brunch buffet style (including a carvery with wild cards like roast duck and port belly) with prices ranging from $65 for adults to $35 for kids, and those under three eat for free. “It’s a great place for families,” Michelle Weaver, the hotel’s culinary ambassador, tells me. From the bloody Mary bar to the rotating desserts, Weaver explains that there’s something for everyone at Palmetto. Recent five-star Yelp reviewer Erica N shares brunch here has “become a nonnegotiable” when visiting Charleston.

The Palmetto Cafe: 205 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401

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