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Our Favorite Restaurants for the 2021 Spoleto Season

a close up of a garden

After having to go dark in 2020 due to COVID-19, we’re delighted that the acclaimed Spoleto Festival USA is back for it’s 2021 season! There are plenty of fantastic shows on offer this year, so we thought we’d pair the four main festival venues with four restaurants that provide ideal ambiance, superior food, and short travel times from each venue, to help you plan your full festival evening out. Read on for our picks!

College of Charleston Cistern Yard: Basic Kitchen – This aesthetic dining room and bar is known for serving up hyper-local, seasonal, and thoughtful dishes that cast an eye toward clean and plant-forward eating without sacrificing flavor or satisfaction. There’s something for every kind of diner here, but we recommend the corn ribs and vegan Caesar salad no matter who’s at the table. Carnivores will love the Naughty Burger, veg-heads will love the Good Burger, and everyone will enjoy both the Beet Margarita and the deliciously short walk to your show at the CofC Cistern.

College of Charleston Rivers Green:  Stella’s – This cozy-yet-classy eatery is just a quick walk or even quicker rickshaw ride away from the CofC campus, and also bears the distinction of being one of the only Greek restaurants in downtown Charleston! If the weather suits, grab a spot on their charming patio and order up a medley of your favorite Greek meze (we’re particularly partial to their dolmades and spanokopita), along with an order of ouzo or some Greek wine to help summon the spirit of Dionysus – god of wine and theater.

Dock Street Theater: Fast & French   While long-time local favorite Fast & French is far from being one of Charleston’s fanciest restaurants, its uniquely European feel provides the perfect bohemian atmosphere to get you in the mood for a evening of art appreciation. Fast & French is best enjoyed with friends, where you can share a bottle (or two) of red and a pot of fondue over one of their community tables. It’s definitely a Spoleto-favorite with long time Charleston residents, so strike up a conversation with you neighbor and find out what shows they’ve been enjoying this season!

Festival Hall: Le Farfalle – With the benefit of being mere steps away from this Spoleto venue, you really can’t do better than Le Farfalle for dinner before a Festival Hall show. This upscale Italian spot serves up a refined dining experience without feeling too stuffy. We highly recommend diving into one of their house-made pasta options with some glasses of white wine. Savor your minimal required travel time by opting for a quick dessert before grabbing the check – and definitely have an espresso, lest those carbs send you off to dreamland mid-show.

Didn’t manage to snag tickets for this year’s festival season, but still craving a fun, interactive evening activity and excuse to eat out? Check out our amazing Historic Supper Club! Professional guide and chef Mike Jones will walk you through four eras of Charleston’s history by serving up four distinctive courses, each representative of different chapters of Charleston’s dynamic culinary story. It’s dinner and a show, with a hearty serving of history, set amidst the genteel backdrop of our historic dining room on State Street!

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