Where to Go in Charleston When You Deserve a Sweet Treat

June 9, 2024

Where to go in Charleston when you deserve a little treat (which is always)

As you walk along cobblestone streets of Charleston, you’ll pass centuries-old homes, beautiful gardens, secret alleys, great shopping options, and plenty of historic landmarks. But let’s be real, exploring this charming city filled with history and southern charm is a workout, especially in the summer heat, so you deserve a Charleston sweet treat! 

Here in Charleston, we love to shop local – here is a rundown of some of the best local spots to treat yourself to some baked goods or other desserts:

Welton’s Tiny Bakeshop

Welton’s Tiny Bakeshop is a gem in downtown Charleston that has locals lining up around the block to peruse the bakery counter in an old historic home. Their menu changes daily – check the updates on their insta – Welton’s sweet and savory baked goods are made with love and precision by a couple who spent years in the Charleston restaurant industry then opened up this bakeshop as a passion project and way to keep a better schedule as a family.

Life Raft Treats

Life Raft Treats is perhaps the most unique dessert options in Charleston! Is it ice cream, or is it fried chicken? You might not be convinced it’s sweet until you take a bite. You can buy Life Raft treats in many local grocery stores and restaurants, or check out their insta to see what events they are popping up at this week.

Christophe Artisan Chocolatier

For the chocolate lovers out there, a visit to Christophe Artisan Chocolatier is a must. Christophe Paume is a third-generation French chocolatier, who grew up in his father’s pâtisserie in Toulouse, France, so don’t miss out on the fresh patisserie every morning. Christophe is one of the only places in Charleston I’ll visit for authentic French baked goods after living in France, and I’m not alone – you may have to fight a downtown resident for the final pain au chocolat – totally worth the battle. Stay and eat it while sipping an iced Stella (half coffee, half French drinking chocolate) on their adorably painted back patio.

Harbinger Cafe

Oh Harbs, how I love thee! This is truly my favorite neighborhood bakery and coffee shop in all of Charleston- women owned, locally focused, and everything is made from scratch and melts in your mouth. They have a whole case of rotating baked goods (the Spice Girl is my current fav), plus daily sandwich and salad specials perfect for vegetarians

Sugar Bakeshop

Sugar Bakeshop is a charming downtown bakery that offers a variety of classic sweets, like cupcakes, cookies, pies, and cakes (including gluten free options). Their tagline is “small batch from scratch,” all of which they bake daily. As it is one of the OG bakeshops on the peninsula, Downtown Charleston residents love to use Sugar for weddings, birthdays, and other events.

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit is perhaps the most famous local spot to enjoy biscuits here in Charleston.  This small, charming biscuit boutique is nestled along upper King Street, and known for their buttery biscuits that are small enough to allow you to try out more than one! Callie’s offers a variety of flavors – and while their signature is a country ham biscuit, my favorites match the sweet treat criteria – cinnamon and blackberry.

Gala Cafe & Bakery

Gala Cafe & Bakery got their start as a catering company, and now have the most darling tea shop in the historic Old Village of Mt. Pleasant. They’re known for their delicious and beautifully decorated cakes, which you can also buy by the slice. Come in the afternoon for tea (official seal of approval coming from my British husband), and you can pick out your own pot of tea and pair it with the daily scone.

BkdShp

Charleston is serious about their donut shop comparisons, and this local spot is my favorite. BKeD was once a food truck that gained such a local following they set up a storefront, and their fluffy donut selection is full of funky flavors, plus fun sweet treat throwbacks like handmade pop tarts and ho hos. Their rotating specialty coffee options also keep me coming back, like the shaken cookies and creme espresso that has me convinced I’m always deserving of a sweet treat.

Annie O Love’s Cookie Cafe

Located in the West Ashley neighborhood, this sweet treat bakery has an *almost* cult following, complete with the option to buy an “I love my cookie dealer” tank or tee. I haven’t gone that far, but can vouch for their amazing cookie cakes, vegan cheesecake options, and the fact you can buy a pint stuffed with gluten free birthday cake! 

Daddy’s Girls Bakery

Daddy’s Girls Bakery is a family-owned business in North Charleston named after, you guessed it, the owner’s daughters. They offer a range of delicious baked goods – but I say go for the chewies, a South Carolina classic that Daddy does right and will happily educate you on when you stop by.

So what’s the lesson learned here? There is pretty much always a good reason to justify a little treat, and exploring Charleston is one of them! Charleston is a city that caters to the sweet tooth in all of us and each of these local spots  is sure to make your hot girl walk or family vacation even more enjoyable.

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