Your Guide to Authentic Regional Eats
Sign In | Register for Free!
Restaurants Recipes Forums Eating Tours Merchandise FAQ Maps Insider

Jestine's Kitchen

251 Meeting St., Charleston, SC - (843) 722-7224
“Lunch, Dinner, Supper?” asks Jestine's menu. “Whatever you call it, we serve it all day.” That can range from the so-called Blue Collar Special of a peanut butter and banana sandwich to a big pork chop plate, fried seafood platter, or half-pound slab of meat loaf. There isn’t a nicer table anywhere to taste the time-honored coastal delights of shrimp and grits or shrimp Creole, as well as such stupendously seasoned Lowcountry vegetables as okra gumbo and red rice or the deep-south delight, deep-fried green tomatoes with sweet pepper relish.
84% Approval Rating (70 votes)

Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Fried catfish with sweet relish
Shrimp Creole
pecan whiting
Smothered Cabbage
macaroni and cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
corn bread
Coca Cola Cake
fried okra
Collard Greens
collard greens
Midnight Magic Cake
okra gumbo
Pork Tenderloin
Meat Loaf
Coconut Pie
fried green tomatoes
Banana Pudding
fried chicken
steamed shrimp
Pickles
Sweet Chicken with Limas

Highlighted Reviews

rating
Michael Stern - Photos (15)
Roadfood.com Editor
"Jestine’s is a relatively new restaurant (opened in the 1990s) with recipes that go back many decades. Some were contributed by the kitchen staff, but most were bequeathed to proprietor Dana Berlin by Jestine Matthews, the African-American woman who raised her and for ..."   [Read More]
rating
Alex Bush
October 11, 2010
"This is a tourist trap. To begin, there are approximately 12 tables inside this restaurant. When my friends and I arrived, we discovered that the business did not take names at the door, and instead expected customers to line the outside of the building and wait ..."   [Read More]
rating
Cathy Turner
February 12, 2008
"This is pure Southern comfort food, from the cornbread served with butter and honey, to the okra, collards, ham, fried chicken and fish. Oh, and let's not forget the fried green tomatoes; I could make a meal out of those alone. The veggies are fresh and the entrees ..."   [Read More]
rating
Ellen Bradford
February 11, 2008
"I went to Charleston the week after Christmas, 2007. Charmed by all, we were downtown shopping and ventured into Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville shop. As I was checking out of the shop, I asked the lovely young lady who was checking me out where to eat "locally" that ..."   [Read More]
rating
Kate Duprey
March 03, 2007
"Upon moving to South Carolina seven years ago, we rapidly made the acquaintance of Charleston. Although I enjoy other restaurants in the area, a little write up in our bed-and-breakfast's food notebook turned us on to Jestine's. The relatively inexpensive home-cooked ..."   [Read More]

Submit photos Submit a review See more reviews...

Map & Web Site

251 Meeting St., Charleston, SC
(843) 722-7224

Hours & Policies

Seasons:Open Year Round
Meals Served:Lunch, Dinner
Operational Hours:Always Call Ahead!
Credit Cards Accepted:Yes
Alcohol Served:Yes
Outdoor Seating:No
Reservations Accepted:No
Delivery Available:No
Takeout Counters:No
What a good combination: honey-glazed ham atop a field of creamy grits.
"What a good combination: honey-glazed ham atop a field of creamy grits."
Michael Stern





Amazing!  The best fried chicken I have ever had.  Can't say any more than that.
"Amazing! The best fried chicken I have ever had. Can't say any more than that."
Mukur Hazari


When you order a basket of warm cornbread, you also get some pats of butter drizzled with honey. The cornbread arrives hot, so the butter and honey melt right into it.
"When you order a basket of warm cornbread, you also get some pats of butter drizzled with honey. The cornbread arrives hot, so the butter and honey melt right into it."
Michael Stern


Jestine's is a friendly urban cafe that serves a daily blue-plate special AND a green-plate special.Our favorite day is Sunday, when shrimp and grits is the star of the show.
"Jestine's is a friendly urban cafe that serves a daily blue-plate special AND a green-plate special.Our favorite day is Sunday, when shrimp and grits is the star of the show. "
Michael Stern


To start the meal, every table gets a dish of cucumber pickles. On the right is the silverware, wrapped in a washcloth that serves as a napkin.
"To start the meal, every table gets a dish of cucumber pickles. On the right is the silverware, wrapped in a washcloth that serves as a napkin."
Michael Stern


Barbecue-sauced pork tenderloin is an immense hunk of sweet meat. It comes with porter-stewed collard greens; and I chose fried okra (excellent) as another companion vegetable.
"Barbecue-sauced pork tenderloin is an immense hunk of sweet meat. It comes with porter-stewed collard greens; and I chose fried okra (excellent) as another companion vegetable."
Michael Stern


A close view of the porter-stewed collard greens. Note how liberally laced with meat they are.
"A close view of the porter-stewed collard greens. Note how liberally laced with meat they are."
Michael Stern


I never can resist ordering banana pudding when I see it on the dessert menu. While Jestine's is perfectly fine, I much prefer the restaurant's chocolate cakes.
"I never can resist ordering banana pudding when I see it on the dessert menu. While Jestine's is perfectly fine, I much prefer the restaurant's chocolate cakes."
Michael Stern


Jestine's offers two kinds of fried chicken -- regular, as shown here, and a pecan fried chicken breast. The latter looked mighty good, but our table went with the classic variety and we were not at all disappointed. Mac 'n' cheese and collard greens are in the background.
"Jestine's offers two kinds of fried chicken -- regular, as shown here, and a pecan fried chicken breast. The latter looked mighty good, but our table went with the classic variety and we were not at all disappointed. Mac 'n' cheese and collard greens are in the background."
Michael Stern


There was much debate at the table over which was better -- the Coca Cola cake, pictured here, or the Midnight magic cake. I found the Coke cake to be more super-chocolaty and goopy, almost (but not quite) too rich to finish.
"There was much debate at the table over which was better -- the Coca Cola cake, pictured here, or the Midnight magic cake. I found the Coke cake to be more super-chocolaty and goopy, almost (but not quite) too rich to finish."
Michael Stern


Dark and devilish, midnight magic cake is intense but somewhat more sophisticated than the alternative chocolate dessert, Coca-Cola cake.
"Dark and devilish, midnight magic cake is intense but somewhat more sophisticated than the alternative chocolate dessert, Coca-Cola cake."
Michael Stern


Always in good taste, coconut pie at Jestine's is a pleasant little wedge of cool, smooth comfort. I wouldn't rank it among the best, but neither did I leave a crumb of it on the plate.
"Always in good taste, coconut pie at Jestine's is a pleasant little wedge of cool, smooth comfort. I wouldn't rank it among the best, but neither did I leave a crumb of it on the plate."
Michael Stern


Two sizes of meat loaf are available: 4 and 8 ounces. This is the bigger; and after corn fritter and fried green tomato appetizers, it proved too large for the normal eater who ordered it. By the way, those are excellent mashed potatoes at the upper left of the plate.
"Two sizes of meat loaf are available: 4 and 8 ounces. This is the bigger; and after corn fritter and fried green tomato appetizers, it proved too large for the normal eater who ordered it. By the way, those are excellent mashed potatoes at the upper left of the plate."
Michael Stern


To get taste buds at attention, Jestine's offers each table a bowl of crunch pickles to start the meal.
"To get taste buds at attention, Jestine's offers each table a bowl of crunch pickles to start the meal."
Michael Stern


Every Wednesday's blue-plate special: Shrimp creole. It is a festive bowl of firm shrimp and vegetables atop a bed of white rice.
"Every Wednesday's blue-plate special: Shrimp creole. It is a festive bowl of firm shrimp and vegetables atop a bed of white rice."
Michael Stern


Smothered cabbage is not listed on the regular menu, but was a special the night we dined at Jestine's. It is supremely tender and hardly spiced at all.
"Smothered cabbage is not listed on the regular menu, but was a special the night we dined at Jestine's. It is supremely tender and hardly spiced at all."
Michael Stern



What is Roadfood?  |   Submit Content  |   Privacy Policy  |   Contact Roadfood.com   Copyright - Roadfood.com