Meat-and-Three | Soul Food
Worth a detour

Finding Hannibal’s, in an unstylish East Side neighborhood of port industry and housing projects, is a challenge. It looks more like an unholy bar than a Holy Grail, its low-slung dining room lit with a random array of bare bulbs and fluorescents, its seats a hodgepodge of upholstered chairs, banquettes that resemble automobile bench seats, and a few stools at the order counter.

It appears forbidding, but Jane and I were immediately welcomed; actually, we were treated more like family than customers, enjoying a constant back-and-forth joshing with the staff about how we were enjoying the various items we ordered. Wanting to try everything on the menu, which includes such soul standards as smothered pork chops and fried whiting, but also expands plate-lunch possibilities to include peppery shrimp fried rice, we overordered and plowed into a meal of turkey necks, shrimp fried rice, okra stew with pig tails, and crisp-fried shark, all sided by clove-accented braised cabbage and followed by sweet-sweet sweet potato pie.

Hannibal’s is open for three meals a day, with breakfast offerings that include shrimp and grits, and liver ‘n’ onions with grits and toast. It also is known for its inexpensive sandwiches of ham, bologna, sausage, or other lunch meat. Don’t ask me to explain why, but somehow the bologna on white with mayo and tomato is really, really good.

What to Eat
Fried Rice
Hannibal’s, Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie has all the soft, sweet creaminess that you want to conclude a vividly spiced meal. We were so stuffed that we got ours to go and it fell apart in transit.
Hannibal’s, Lima Bean Supper
Lima Bean Supper
A signature dish of Charleston that is little-known elsewhere -- the lima bean supper. It contains a vast amount of full-flavored pork.
Hannibal’s, Cabbage
Throughout the South, especially in soul-food restaurants, the listing of 'cabbage' on a menu doesn't mean just a steamy mass of bland crucifer. It is a porky fiesta that transforms limp leaves into luscious luxury.
Hannibal’s, Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese
The custardy version of macaroni and cheese served at Hannibal's is a Southern classic.
Shark Steak
Hannibal’s, Turkey Neck
Turkey Neck
Eating turkey necks takes some effort, but the meat retrieved is as luscious as poultry can be. In back of the necks is a heap of shrimp-fried rice.
Hannibal’s, Okra Stew
Okra Stew
Not your average franchised Happy Meal, but a soul food feast! Most of this plate is occupied by spicy okra stew with meat-laden neck bones and a couple of oink-flavored pigtails. At the left are hunks of deep-fried shark.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Monday8 am - 11 pm
Tuesday8 am - 11 pm
Wednesday8 am - 11 pm
Thursday8 am - 11 pm
Friday8 am - 11 pm
Saturday8 am - 11 pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
3 stops | | 1 min

You can dine high on the hog in the sophisticated downtown restaurants of Charleston, South Carolina; you also can feast low, on pig tails and neck bones larded into lima beans at a handful of unassuming African-American eateries that are as alluring a part of the city's sea island flavor as its better-known culinary stars…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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