In our recent travel poll, Food & Wine’s readers named Charleston the most exciting up-and-coming restaurant city. We couldn’t agree more. Here, five rising star chefs on our radar.
Trey Dutton, Mercantile and Mash
The mastermind behind the menus at the city’s first food hall, an Eataly-esque experience opening soon, describes the project as having “everything outside of a traditional restaurant”: a coffee bar serving locally roasted Black Tap coffee, a fresh produce market, grab-and-go morning breakfast, a meet and cheese case, fresh pasta, an upscale dive bar called Mash. That's all in addition to the restaurant itself, Mercantile. After hours, Dutton will teach classes in canning—his side business, Southern Keep, focuses on pickles, jams and chowchow—as well as sausage making and baking. 701 E. Bay St.; mercandmash.com.
Emily Hahn, Parlor Deluxe
The soda-shop reviver creating the menus for what will be one of the city’s most fun new openings (debuting any moment now), Hahn tops hot dogs with dill aioli and shrimp salad; her waffles come with craveable combinations like chai soy caramel and banana, or sesame and miso butterscotch and smoked walnuts. Childhood trips to see her grandmother on Long Island, New York, inspired the nostalgic atmosphere of the shop. “The highlight of my visits to Malverne, New York, were when my grandmother Ruth took me to get a grilled cheese and a chocolate malted milkshake,” says Hahn. “It’s an experience I hold very dear in my heart, and there isn’t anything like that in Charleston yet.” 207A St. Philip St.; parlordeluxe.com.