Here are my favorite downtown spots to pick up THAT something special for your kitchen! Whether you're searching for the latest gadget, a great cookbook, or some hard-to-find edibles, come along as we "shop ‘til we drop" in the name of great taste!

First Stop:

We'll start our shopping spree on North Main Street at Charleston Cooks! This shop is a great place to find everything from kitchen tools and barware to linens and edibles. Be sure to ask about their cooking classes! Insider's Tip: Did you know that Charleston Cooks! is part of the Maverick Southern Kitchens group of restaurants and shops birthed in Charleston and now found in Greenville? This group also includes well-known restaurant, High Cotton.

Second Stop:

Now we'll head a block south on Main Street to Mast General Store. This is my go-to spot for Fiesta Ware. Also, whether you're roughing it around a campfire or cooking something up at home, their cast iron cookware selection is great! Be sure to check out their food offerings, too...everything from pickles and relishes to grits and cornmeal!

Third Stop:

Just two blocks further south on Main Street and three blocks left on East McBee Avenue, we'll find another great foodie destination-Kitchen Arts & Pottery. This quaint shop, owned by local chef and entrepreneur, Elizabeth Bardsley, has a really cool selection of pottery and hard-to-find dry goods (their pasta selection is fantastic!). Also be sure to grab some beautifully framed food art to jazz up your kitchen or eating area!

Fourth Stop:

We'll need to get back on Main Street and head south just past Falls Park to the beginning of the West End Historic District. It's here we'll find The Cook's Station. This locally owned shop has a great selection of unique serving platters and trendy barware, as well as gourmet olive oils and South Carolina-themed kitchen items. This is also THE place to go for all sizes of gourmet appliances, from ranges to espresso machines, and their cooking classes offer something for every taste and skill level!

Fifth Stop:

Now we'll turn right from Main Street onto River Street, and then take the next left onto Rhett Street. Ballentine Equipment Co. is about two more blocks down. Their selection of pots and pans is dizzying! Although they service the wholesale restaurant community, walk-ins are welcome and they are open to the public!

Last Stop:

Our last stop, locally owned Foxfire Gallery & Kitchen Shops, is found on Augusta Street (a few quick turns from Rhett Street back to Main Street and then to Augusta Street). This two-story shop (the top floor is ground level...the basement holds even MORE foodie treasure!) is full of cookbooks, dinnerware, appliances, unique kitchen tools and foodstuffs. During the holidays, check out their amazing selection of ornaments and gifts. They also offer cooking classes to suit every foodie! Insider's Tip: Foxfire offers a great knife-sharpening service with a two-day turnaround to help keep your kitchen cutlery performing at its best! Visit their website or call (864) 242-0742 for more info.

THAT Something Extra:

Kiddos can learn to cook like the pros, too!
Many of the same great places that offer cooking classes for adults also cater their class offerings to the younger foodie, too! Check out the kid-focused classes offered through The Cook's Station, Charleston Cooks! and Foxfire Gallery & Kitchen Shops and let your junior chef pick his or her favorite!

Meet and greet famous foodies!
Did you know that area cooking and food shops offer great chances to meet local, regional and national food celebrities and cookbook authors? It's true! Stop by or check each shop's website for info about upcoming events.