Leon’s Poultry & Oyster Shop (Charleston, SC)

Who knew some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever tasted would come out of a renovated garage in Charleston, SC? Let me start at the beginning. (I dare you not to hum the song!) One Friday morning, my husband suggested we go to Charleston for the weekend. We needed to get out of town. This quarantine life is for the birds. I packed during my lunch break and we hit the road as soon as I got off work.

Chris found a great deal on Priceline (our reliable go-to for accommodations if we aren’t doing Airbnb). His search parameters landed us at the Andrew Pinckney Inn one street over from the Charleston Market.

The location was central. There was a mix of the old and the new-original hardwood floors but newly renovated bathrooms. Amenities included the choice of breakfast delivered to you room or breakfast in the solarium which sounds uber fancy. (Side note: I loved the paint color choices. Also, I love Charleston especially when it’s not a 100% humidity.)

We enjoyed our stay and would definitely stay there again in the future.

The Solarium

The Setting

After perusing King Street’s establishments Saturday morning, we decided it was time for lunch. We fly by the seat of our pants when it comes to eating during our travels which means Chris is googling as we go or I do a Facebook shoutout asking for recommendations when we are en route to the city.

When we arrived at Leon’s, we were given the option of sitting at the bar immediately or waiting 45 minutes. Apparently, everyone else was sitting at the bar to avoid the wait so we went with that. (Note to self: They require reservations.)

I ordered a Sweet Tea as it is my standard beverage for all occasions. You can tell a lot by the tea. When the server brought my drink, he informed me that they only serve unsweetened tea accompanied by simple syrup. Say what?!! I feel like he should led with that. That tea never got sweet enough and I used almost the entire cup of syrup. We were off to an inauspicious start.

The eatery is a converted garage with plenty of outdoor seating and strings of multicolored Christmas lights wind their way down the wooden beams. Plenty of fans give it that summer at your Grandma’s house vibe. That and the great soundtrack could have led to a good nap.

The Main Event

I opted for the Two Piece Fried Chicken (White Meat). Chris went with Leon’s Fish Fry which includes Catfish, Clam Strips, Shrimp, Hush Puppies and Scalloped Potatoes with Tartar and Cocktail Sauce.

Y’all. That fried chicken. It was so juicy and so flavorful. I think they use Old Bay Seasoning in the breading. It was hands down the top five fried chicken I’ve had in my entire life and that includes my Grandma’s fried chicken on a Sunday. Whew! I’d go back to Charleston just to eat that chicken.

I didn’t order any sides because I can’t eat but so much at a time and I couldn’t take it home. I would have loved to try some of the other sides.

Chris thoroughly enjoyed his platter. Everything was great! That batter is key and they had that breader right! The presumably made-from-scratch sauces were also on point. The portion of scalloped potatoes was substantial so we ended up splitting it. So good!

YTC Takeaway

I see why this spot is on so many “best of” lists. It did not disappoint. We are adding it to our favorites. If they could just have real sweet tea, it would be perfect. It’s South Carolina. Why is this not a standard thing? Anyway, that chicken was perfection. We will be back.

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