Charleston brunch favorites: Five Loaves Café
Full disclosure: I have been to Five Loaves Café twice in the last week. Saturday morning I woke up craving an acai bowl (this is how I wake up every day), so I went to the Five Loaves Juice Bar on Cannon Street, got an acai bowl for myself and a sandwich for boyfran, and brought him lunch at work (good girlfriend, right here).
The next day, I went to the Mt. Pleasant Five Loaves for Mother’s Day brunch with boyfran’s mom. Side note: he wasn’t even with us! See what I mean about being an amazing girlfriend?
I’ve lived in Charleston for two and a half years, and I’ve never lived further than two blocks from the Cannon Street Five Loaves. I intend to keep it this way because you guys, I L O V Ethis restaurant. Here’s why.
Their amazing menu: Five Loaves is one of those places where you can’t decide what you want to eat, and not because nothing looks good. It’s because everything looks good, and everything IS good. Whether I’m there for lunch, dinner, or brunch, I always have a hard time deciding. That’s the sign of a good restaurant, in my opinion, especially since I tend to be picky about what I eat when I’m out.
The menu here is classic Southern breakfast foods with a Five Loaves twist – for example, chicken and waffles is a Southern favorite, and they add a bourbon maple syrup to take it over the top. For out-of-towners who think chicken and waffles sound weird, I recommend Five Loaves as a good place to dip your toes in the chicken and waffles water – I didn’t like chicken and waffles until I tried their version. So good.
Their local love: they source everything locally whenever possible. This is always a good sign, because it means everything is fresh af. Plus, it’s just cool to shop local.
Their realistic prices: Five Loaves would be what you call “sensible” in terms of prices. Their brunch is typically under $25 for me, dinner under $30 (especially on half-price wine night, which you know I hit up), and lunch for less than $20 depending on if I’m drinking or not (sometimes a girl needs a break). Important note: mimosa carafes are $10 at brunch. TEN. DOLLARS. This is unprecedented, y’all.
Their new juice bar: the aforementioned Juice Bar on Cannon Street was just opened and couldn’t be cuter. They’ve got juices (duh), smoothies, delicious acai bowls, and other healthy things that make you feel better when maybe you had a little too much wine the night before. I also really like the little energy balls that they sell - perfect for when you just need a little somethin' somethin'.
Their general vibe: it’s just a cute spot. The servers are sweet, the place is laidback, and the Mt. Pleasant location even has a little outdoor patio with lots of plants and bistro lighting. Adorable.
My brunch recommendations: while Five Loaves does serve lunch and dinner every day, this is a brunch article, so I’ll stay focused.
Hands down, best choice: the Southern Eggs Benedict (crab cakes, nom nom nom)
Runner-up for best choice: the Chicken & Waffles (bourbon maple syrup, people)
If you need to soak up some alcohol: the Biscuits & Gravy
If you’re pretending to be healthy but still need something meaty (me, always): the Country Skillet
If you want something light: the Acai Bowl (only at the downtown location, sad face)
Again, everything here is good. Judge always gets steak & eggs, and the shrimp & grits are popular, too.
If you are in Charleston for brunch and want to experience a local favorite, Five Loaves is your place. The downtown location is right in the middle of Cannonborough, where college students and real life Charleston residents live; the Mt. Pleasant location brings in tons of families and young professionals. There’s also a location in Summerville that I’ve personally never been to but it’s based in an old farmhouse, which is pretty cute.
The food is amazing, the prices are great, and I’m obsessed. If you go for brunch, let me know! Grab one of those $10 carafes and I’ll meet you there.