The islands confused me.
I’ve been to Charleston maybe six or seven times in my life, but it wasn’t until I came seeking burgers that I truly understood the geography of the city and its surrounding towns and islands. Well, understood is an overstatement. Maybe the right phrase is “became aware.” As I was building my list, recommendations came in from all over the place: “Go to James Island.” “Go to Johns Island.” “You have to hit Mount Pleasant.”
Just putting together an itinerary gave me anxiety. But island hopping was worth it, friends. Charleston is a lovely burger town. And with a little help from Post and Courier Food Editor and Restaurant Critic Hanna Raskin and a variety of chefs and other local friends, I was able to narrow down my list to nine burger places, which I hit over the course of 24 glorious hours in the city.
In case you’re new to my rankings, here are some guidelines: If the restaurant had multiple burgers, I tried to order its signature burger, or if that was too outlandish and stunt-y, the closest to a classic cheeseburger. If it came with options, I always picked American cheese and grilled onions. If you think I missed a place, please write an episode of Southern Charm in which Shep accidentally ends up telling someone he loves them while simultaneously shouting out all the burger places I missed. But until then, here is my ranking of the nine best burgers in Charleston.