A National Historic Landmark, the Charleston City Market is a former 19th century meat and produce market that still bustles as the city’s central city location for social gatherings and retail transactions. Spanning four blocks in the French Quarter neighborhood, the architecturally significant Greek Revival arcade hall comprises one-story market sheds in continuous stretches, divided only by intersecting streets. Contrary to myth, the Charleston City Market was not a market for enslaved captives.
The Charleston City Market is Open 365 days a year—just as when it opened over 200 years ago.
Filled with shops both inside, and on flanking North and South Market Streets, the Charleston City Market boasts restaurants and bars for a great eating and sipping mix. Slurp local oysters off the shell at eateries lining North and South Market Street and up intersecting routes (ya gotta try Folly River, Beaufort and Bull’s Bay varieties.) Savor She-Crab soup — made famous by former Charleston Mayor Rhett’s butler, William Deas whose recipe includes roe from female crabs as an essential ingredient. Take home some local flavor from retail food product vendors offering Benne “Bantu” Wafers, Carolina Gold rice, and stone ground grits.
Peruse galleries of fine local art, snag a prized cultural handicraft (relying on a 300+ year old tradition, local Gullah artisans handcraft bulrush into durable Sweetgrass baskets), catch a horse-drawn carriage tour, pop up to a rooftop bar for creative cocktails and skyline steeple views, or simply stroll southern style — hoop skirt optional.