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2017 America's Classic: Bertha’s Kitchen

JBF Editors

May 02, 2017

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Bertha’s Kitchen

2332 Meeting Street Road, North Charleston, SC

Owners: Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney, and Sharon Coakley

On North Meeting Street, the flavors of the Lowcountry boldly emanate from this robin’s-egg-blue spot, where Albertha Grant first opened shop in 1980. Her presence is still felt each time a cook hefts a stewpot to the stove and tosses in a seasoning hunk of side meat. Vibrant family portraits by Charleston muralist Charles DeSaussure line the walls. Today, Grant’s daughters Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney, and Sharon Coakley serve fried whiting, fried pork chops, red rice, prioleau rice, stewed chicken neck with gizzards and lima beans. Regulars queue the cafeteria line before 11:00 each morning. Construction workers exit with foam clamshells of Gullah excellence. Okra soup, a dark garlicky stew, thick with tomatoes and clods of pork in a richly aromatic broth, is itself worth the trip. This soulful restaurant connects modern diners with traditional foodways and shines as a paragon of the region’s living culinary history.

Watch our video on Bertha's Kitchen: 

The America's Classic award is given to restaurants with timeless appeal, each beloved in its region for quality food that reflects the character of its community. Establishments must have been in existence for at least ten years and be locally owned.

Learn more about the 2017 James Beard Awards.