8 Quick and Cheap Lunches near College of Charleston's Campus
CofC is back in session (go Cougs) and as an alumna I can say that the dining halls sometimes leave something to be desired… I was often looking elsewhere for meals and I figured out the best options for lunch that wouldn’t break the bank and would be quick enough to grab between classes. These lunch spots are all an easy walk from campus and will have you fueled for the rest of the day.
Poke Tea House
I never thought poke would be affordable, but the bowls at Poke Tea House range from $10-$14, which is super reasonable for the quality. Their Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl is a simple combination of tuna, cucumber or avocado, poke sauce, and topped with scallions for $10. Their bowls are so fresh and light, but they will keep you full for hours. I personally like to build my own bowl and customize it with the toppings I like and it usually costs $13 without tip.
Fire Street Food
I had so many Saigon Noodle Salads with chicken in my time at CofC, I basically lived off of it. Fire has a wide variety of dishes ranging from salads to curries to hibachi to pho to sushi. It’s hard to do all those things in one restaurant and do it well, but everything I’ve had from there has always been tasty and affordable. It’s a great casual spot to go to with a friend or order it for takeout and eat it quickly between classes.
Locating your go-to sandwich shop should be one of your first priorities when you arrive at CofC, and Circe’s Grotto is it for many students. Their sandwiches are huge and they have so many options, so you will never get bored of it. Their prices are very reasonable with their cheapest breakfast sandwich costing $8 and the most expensive lunch sandwich costing $13.95. Their Sprouted Turkey sandwich is a must try!
Chopsticks will satisfy your cravings for Chinese food at an affordable price. Their lunch specials like beef with broccoli and sweet and sour chicken are less than $8 for a great serving size. They have a ton of options for lunch and sometimes in Charleston, especially near campus, it can be hard to find places that are even open for lunch. It’s an easy walk from campus down to Society street where there is the added bonus of great scenery along the way.
Mama Kim’s was always the go-to spot for a quick and affordable meal, no matter what time of day. The mix of Korean and Japanese takeout is a great combination for college students looking to get a fulfilling meal on a budget. The hibachi entrees doused in white sauce were a go-to meal when the dining hall wasn’t cutting it. The entrees at Mama Kim’s fall within the $11-12 range, which is a bargain for the portion size.
Sabatino’s was always a savior on the late night with their giant slices, but they also have great lunch specials. Two slices on their pizza with one topping and a can of soda is only $8.75 at lunch time. They have another great deal of a salad, one slice of pizza, and a can of soda for $9.75. They are always super quick, so it’s the perfect place to grab a meal between classes.
Kudu is a coffee oasis for CofC students and even though they don’t have Wi-Fi, you can disconnect for a bit and have a bite to eat on their patio. They have a small selection of sandwiches, quiches, and bagels that will fuel your day. The bagels and quiches are only $4, so having breakfast for lunch is a great move here. That alongside one of their signature coffee drinks will help you power through the rest of the day.
Queen Street Grocery
Historic Queen Street is the perfect place to escape to and have a relaxing lunch. It’s rare to sit there and not see a carriage tour go by. They are known for their sandwiches and they have something for everyone. If you’re looking for a classic turkey sandwich, their Tenacious Turkey ($11) with brie, green apple, sprouts, and honey basil aioli on ciabatta fits the bill. If you want something a bit more unique to spice up your day, go for the Egypt 80 with turkey, roasted red peppers, sprouts, goat cheese, and coconut curry sauce served on ciabatta.