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Reviews of Best Charleston Food Tours

Updated: October 6, 2022

This post reviews and compares the various Charleston culinary tours to help you decide which one is best for you.

Each tour covers a variety of different restaurants and food from the area. We’ll include details about the types of food you can expect and how much each tour will cost.


There are 3 different companies offering general culinary tours in Charleston. Each runs for 2-3 hours and includes stops at 3-6 popular restaurants. Prices are typically around $60 per person.

Charleston Lowcountry Food

Bulldog Tours

Bulldog Tours offer 2 different types of traditional food tours: Savor the Flavors of Charleston Tour and Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street Tour. 

Both tours introduce guests to classic Lowcountry dishes such as grits, southern pralines, sweet tea, and collard greens. 

This company really makes an effort to promote local South Carolina culture, so these tours are ideal for anyone interested in learning more about the city’s culinary history.

Savor the Flavors of Charleston

  • $85 per person
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Availability: Daily
  • Hours: 10 am & 2 pm

Savor the Flavors of Upper King Street

  • $85 per person
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Availability: Fri-Sat
  • Hours: 3 pm

Purchase tickets or learn more.

Bulldog Tours is a very popular tour company that offers several different types of tours. They have a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. 

Though the reviews cover all of their tours on offer, their culinary tours are particularly highly rated. Guests refer to it as “absolutely fantastic” and “excellent.”

Charleston Culinary Tours

Charleston Culinary Tours is a local tour company that exclusively offers food and drink tours around Charleston.

Similar to Bulldog Tours, they have 2 standard food tours: Downtown Charleston and Upper King Street.

Each outing visits 3-4 restaurants and promises enough samples to satisfy most appetites.

They also include a lot of historical information as well to explain how and why these foods became popular in Charleston.

Downtown Charleston Tour

  • $85 per person
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Availability: Daily
  • Hours: 11 am, 1 pm, 2 pm & 3 pm

Upper King Street Tour

  • $75 per person
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Availability: Fri-Sat
  • Hours: 3 pm

View All Tour Options.

Charleston Culinary Tours has an excellent reputation with a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor.

Guests praise the guides for their passion and knowledge, particularly Hoon who is a bit of a local celebrity.

Secret Food Tours

This is one of the most popular food tour companies in the world, and they're currently offering an excellent culinary excursion in Charleston.

Guests can expect to try a wide variety of dishes including fried green tomatoes, grits, She-Crab soup, fried oysters, corn salad and more!

In addition to all the food you'll be eating, this tour will also cover the local history of the city and how popular local cuisine shaped Charleston.

If you're also interested in drinks, you can add an upgraded alcoholic drink package to your tour!

  • $91.35/Adults | $86.73/Teens | $82.12/Children
  • $24.50 for an upgraded drink package
  • Availability: Tue-Sun at 11 am
  • Duration: 3 - 3 ½ hours
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Secret Food Tours currently has a 4 ½ out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor. Many reviewers indicate that their tours are very informative and the food is absolutely delicious!


Aimed at serious foodies, chef’s kitchen tours are a popular alternative to traditional food tours.

These introduce guests to the culinary masterminds running the kitchens at some of the most reputable restaurants in Charleston.

Guests will have the opportunity to ask the chefs about their cooking methods, as well as about the history of their restaurant.

Bulldog Tours 

In addition to their general culinary tours, Bulldog Tours also offers Chef’s Kitchen Tour which is equally highly rated.

This outing introduces guests to some of the best restaurants and chefs in Charleston. 

At each stop, chefs will share more about the history of the restaurants and how each of them has developed their menu.

Though guests are told to not expect any food, samples are often given at various restaurants. 

This tour is ideal for people hoping to improve their culinary skills and get cooking tips from professional chefs.

These Chef’s Kitchen Tours are particularly highly rated. Several guests refer to this tour as the highlight of their time in Charleston and an absolute must for any foodie.

Charleston Culinary Tours

In addition to their standard food tours, Charleston Culinary Tours also offers 2 chef’s kitchen tours: Chef’s Farm-to-Table Challenge and Chef’s Kitchen Tour. 

The Chef’s Farm-to-Table Challenge is a unique experience in which guests explore the Charleston Market with their guide and chef, buying their favorite fresh ingredients from the different stalls. 

After their selection, the guests are then taken for a tour around the market with their guide while the chef prepares a unique and delicious meal for everyone to eat at the end of the tour. 

The Chef’s Kitchen Tour, on the other hand, is a more traditional Chef’s Tour as guests are brought to several restaurants, introduced to local chefs, and told about their professional cooking techniques.

Chef’s Kitchen Tour

  • $60 per person
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Availability: Thu, Fri
  • Hours: 9:30 am
  • Not currently available as of October 2022.

Chef’s Farm-to-Table Experience

  • $85 per person
  • Duration: 2 ½ hours
  • Availability: Fri - Sat
  • Hours: 9:30 am

View All Tour Options

Like their other tours, both of their chef’s table tours are also highly rated with a 5 star TripAdvisor rating. Guests seem particularly impressed with Coon, the company’s most popular tour guide. 

Many reviewers also praise the chefs, who encourage guests to ask questions and engage. Highly recommended!


Though some pub crawls strictly aim to entertain and provide a wild night out, the tours listed below cater to adults who are hoping to learn about the history and culture of Charleston by sampling different craft cocktails from some of the nicest bars in the city.

Charleston Culinary Tours - Mixology Tour

In addition to their several food tours, Charleston Culinary Tours also offers a mixology tour, which they refer to as a “mobile cocktail party in beautiful Charleston”. 

The tour is 90 minutes long and visits 3 popular watering holes in the city. Guests learn about the methodology behind each mixologist’s favorite craft cocktail and then sample their creations.

  • $40 per person
  • Duration: 1 ½ hours
  • Availability: Thur, Fri & Sat
  • Hours: 5:45 pm
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.
  • Not currently available as of October 2022.

Like all their other tours, the Mixology Tour offered by Charleston Culinary Tours is very highly rated. Some guests describe this tour as the highlight of their time in Charleston, saying it was “perfect” and a “must do.”

They also have a tour called Pubs, Taverns, and Taprooms. This outing includes three free drinks and it covers 3 of the best pubs in New Orleans.

View All Tour Options

Bulldog Tours 

In addition to their general culinary tours, Bulldog Tours also offers a haunted pub crawl.

Guests will hear tales of piracy and the rum trade, poltergeists, ghosts and other supernatural happenings in the area.

Throughout the journey, you’ll have several opportunities to sip on some great local craft beer or a glass of wine.

Most guests were very impressed with this pub crawl, some even going so far as to describe their tour guide as the “best in the business.”

Customers felt the pubs selected were very interesting and the stories told were memorable.


Charleston is highly regarded for its incredible food culture and Lowcountry cuisine. There are several different dishes unique to Charleston that true foodies should seek to experience before leaving. 

Below is a list of several blog posts or articles that cover some of the best dishes to try, recipes to replicate, and places to eat. 


About The Author

Scott Nelson

Scott has led over 2,000 tours of Charleston and has more than 1000 5 star reviews. He started working in museums at the age of 16 (Unsinkable Molly Brown House) and hasn't looked back. He was the Executive Director of Heurich House and on the historic interpretation/ education staff at Mount Vernon, both in Washington DC, for over 6 years. Scott moved to Charleston in 2012 for a job with the Historic Charleston Foundation and began leading tours for Free Tours by Foot.
Updated: October 6th, 2022
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