Ok, Huriyali is definitely a toss up when it comes to affordable dining, but that’s because most people can’t resist passing up one of their delicious lattes or smoothies to pair with their meal, which definitely can hike up the price of your meal. The best way to enjoy Huriyali affordably is to just opt for one of their menu items, which typically are enough to fill you up. My Huriyali go-tos are the Immunity smoothie, the Sea Island Sandwich, and the OG Acai Bowl. All these items are priced at $10 or less and are more delicious than you would ever expect a healthy meal to be. What’s even better is that Huriyali is taking super safe COVID precautions. They are not currently allowing indoor seating, but they have the most cozy and quaint outdoor patio that literally makes you feel like you are in a tropical rainforest!
2. Chasing Sage
Chasing Sage is a small restaurant on the corner of Line Street and Rutledge Avenue downtown. They are currently operating only as a pop-up restaurant and are only open for limited outdoor dining, as well as take-out. Currently they are doing a ramen pop-up and let me tell you, this ramen is so delicious I’ve had it twice already. I highly recommend opting for the vegetable ramen, which will only cost you $12. Turns out this price makes this ramen cheaper than most ramen options around town and is well worth the price. The ramen is full of large hunks of mushrooms, so only order this if you’re a big mushroom fan like I am. The noodles are perfectly soft and the flavor is on point, with its slightly salty notes. I also love the large jammy egg that is placed inside the ramen. They also are offering a few side dishes as well as pork ramen. \Don’t miss this before they move on to a new pop-up, which I’m sure will be just as yummy!
3. Baker and Brewer
Baker and Brewer is a unique place located on the upper peninsula in downtown Charleston that is home to EVO pizza and Holy City Brewery beer. Baker and Brewer has both indoor and outdoor seating, and even sitting indoors is safe because they keep the windows by the bar open, making it a very airy and open setting. This restaurant has been my go-to dining out location during the pandemic because it’s the only place I have felt safest. My favorite menu items currently are their Basil and Mushroom Pizza ($15), the Pistachio Pesto Pizza ($14), and the Vietnamese Cabbage Salad ($5). A gourmet pizza for $15 or under is really not one to pass up, nor is a decently sized side salad filled with very unique veggies and delicious nutty flavors. As for beer, I highly recommend opting for their Christmas Song beer ($6), which is a delicious, nutty brown ale brewed with roasted chestnuts. Most of their beer comes from a tap as well, so you’re really getting the best of the best!
4. Basic Kitchen
Basic Kitchen is another one of those places that can be a stretch when it comes to affordability, mainly due to the high price of their drinks and their portion sizes, but their COVID safety procedures are definitely on point. They are allowing indoor, as well as outdoor seating, all the servers wear masks, tables are well distanced, and the outdoor patio has heaters. What more could you ask for during these chilly winter months?? To get the best bang for your buck at Basic Kitchen, as well as a delicious and unique meal, I highly recommend opting for the special they are offering that day. It usually is within the $10-$20 range and will most likely consist of a meal variation you haven’t tried before, and not to mention will be super delicious. Upon my recent visit to Basic Kitchen, I tried one of their specials which consisted of white jasmine rice topped with lightly fried sliced tofu, as well as roasted broccoli topped with sesame seeds. The dish was crazy good and loaded with sweet and tangy flavors. The fried tofu had the perfect crispy crunch and I loved that the dish was light enough that I had enough room saved for their Chocolate Tahini Tart for dessert!
5. Butcher and Bee
Butcher and Bee has been a favorite of mine for quite awhile. I love that they incorporate fresh and local ingredients into all of their food, its mostly healthy and yet hearty and filling. I also love the super safe COVID precautions this restaurant is taking. Upon entry, your temperature is taken, tables are well distanced, and they have plenty of outdoor seating. Some of my favorite dishes at this restaurant include the Anson Mills Brown Rice Bowl ($12), the “Messy” veggie burger ($14), and the hummus ($6). The Brown Rice Bowl is full of delicious tangy flavors, as well as lots of crunchy yummy veggies, the veggie burger literally melts in your mouth, and the hummus is probably my favorite of any hummus I’ve ever tried. The crunchy chickpeas that are placed on top really are what make it extra delicious.