Bull Street Gourmet
Downtown. 60 Bull St. 720-8992
Mon.-Sat: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Bull Street is the cutest takeout spot in town. Michelle Ghastin's beer and wine selections are as tasty as her cheeses and sandwiches, and there's even a courtyard for your dog. It's possible to do takeout here, but the store is such a nice place to visit that you don't want to go anywhere once you go inside. This is the kind of place that makes me want to strangle all the lucky people who live downtown and can ride their bikes to Michelle's little shop.

Earth Fare
Mt. Pleasant. Towne Centre, 284-0240. West Ashley. 74 Folly Road. 769-4800
Mon.-Sat: 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun; 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Earth Fare ain't as fancy as Whole Foods, but the "by the pound" salad bar and liberal selection of sushi are standby healthy favorites. The hot bar is no slouch either, and with several vegetarian dishes, it fills up those who've sworn off meat just as well as it satisfies carnivores. They've redone their interior at South Windermere and the Towne Centre store is shiny and new.

Green Heron
Sullivan's Island. 2019-B Middle St. 883-9474
Sun.-Thurs: 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat; 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
The Green Heron gets a special honorable mention for being the ultimate beach stop for Sullivan's Island. With plenty of sodas, an interesting array of "fishin' foods," and boiled peanuts, the tiny grocery in the middle of Sullivan's main drag inspires trips all the way from the downtown offices of the City Paper.

O'Hara and Flynn
Gourmet Grocery
Downtown. 160 E. Bay St. 534-1916
O'Hara and Flynn's new space on East Bay Street affords a larger area for sampling wines and browsing cheeses. The expert staff at this gourmet wine and cheese shop can guide you through the best cheese selection in town while steering you to the perfect bottle of wine for accompaniment. A must-stop for that impressive party you're trying to throw, and the weekly wine tastings are a great way to inexpensively sample new varietals.

Square Onion at I'On
Gourmet Grocery
Mt. Pleasant. I'On Square. 856-4246
Mon.-Fri: 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Square Onion offers a Southern Living-esque assortment of sandwiches, salads, and casseroles for the busy I'On family. The casseroles are as comfortable as comfort food can get, with choices like hamburger tater tot casserole and the classic poppy seed chicken in white wine sauce with mushrooms and cracker topping. Square Onion will get you through that taxing slumber party or last-minute baby shower with equal style -- at roughly $4 per person, per dish.

Ted's Butcher Block
Gourmet Grocery
Downtown. 334 E. Bay St. 577-0094
Mon.-Fri: 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Ted's is a food freak's paradise. If you've been whining about how there are no decent butchers left in downtown any longer, here's your solution. If they don't have it, they'll get it -- but they probably have it. Duck fat, a zillion raviolis, flatiron steak, Wagyu beef, Virginia cheese. Listing it is impossible and irrelevant -- just go. Cheese, wine, meat, all divine, all fresh. The staff is as brilliant as the selections, making Ted's a very happy addition to East Bay.

Whole Foods
Gourmet Grocery
Mt. Pleasant. 923 Houston Northcutt Blvd. 971-7240
9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Oh, but they have it all. The "Disney World" of organic food also offers plenty for the culinary dork who's less dedicated to organic than gourmet. The takeout section offers sushi, a great selection of hot food displayed in shiny pans on a heated stone countertop, freshly made pizzas and sandwiches, and yard after yard of salad bar. Don't go in a big hurry the first time, because you'll make yourself late trying to figure out what to eat first.


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