Local in the Lowcountry: Ladle’s Soups

In the spirit of truly feeling “at home” in Charleston, I’m reviewing some of my favorite “hidden gems” around town. You might not see these businesses on TV, none of them are tacky tourist traps, and most people from outside Charleston won’t have heard of them.

With TV shows filming here and my city gaining various accolades in the public eye, here’s where the Lowcountry locals go!


In May 2012, my husband and I visited Charleston for apartment hunting. After looking at various apartments, we needed a quick meal before heading back to Florence, and since we’ve never been a fan of big chain restaurants, we wanted some tasty local food.

After all, you don’t just come to Charleston and eat at Wendy’s.

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We were scheduled to move down 3 weeks later, so we pulled up at Ladle’s Soups for lunch, just about a mile away from the apartment we eventually signed a lease for. That first meal at Ladle’s was excellent, and the staff was so supportive of our move. They got to know us, told us about the area, and even recommended that apartment complex.

Would two Charleston newcomers get this type of attention at a fast food place or a chain restaurant? Highly unlikely.

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A little less than a year later, in May 2013, after leaving the lawyer’s office from closing on our home and dropping 30K in down payments and closing fees, we knew what we wanted for lunch- Ladle’s Soups.

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Ladle’s is a local chain here with various locations around the Charleston area, but we frequent the West Ashley location since that’s where we live. They offer 10 different soups each day and various sandwiches and salads, as well as pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs. They also have daily soup specials and special sandwiches occasionally.

We always choose Ladle’s over Atlanta Bread, Panera, or McAlister’s Deli. It’s tastier, cheaper, and local. With all the menu options, if we don’t know what we want for dinner, we know we can go to Ladle’s and find something tasty to eat- there’s a ton of combinations.

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Lately, we’ve been purchasing the frozen soups (3 for $10) because we can heat them up for a quick dinner here at the house. You can’t make soup that cheap, and it’s great for busy weeknights. Last weekend, Clay’s mom came to visit before her cruise and we went out to lunch. She loved the soup so much, we had to go back during the week and buy her some quarts of frozen soup to take home with her after the cruise.

If you’re ever in the Charleston area and want something healthy and hearty, with great service and easy on your wallet, check out Ladle’s Soups!

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As always, I’m dedicated to only reviewing products and places I believe in or personally like. I was not compensated for this review in any way, nor was I paid for this post.

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This entry was posted in Buying a Home, Charleston Food, Charleston SC, Local in the Lowcountry, Moving, Rural West Ashley and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Local in the Lowcountry: Ladle’s Soups

  1. I’ve lived here for 5 years and still haven’t tried this place out! Need to put it on my list!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      We should go sometime :). They just opened a location in the Citadel Mall, too! But there is one on James Island near you. We always go to the Bees Ferry/Ashley River Rd. location.

  2. Amy says:

    I love the idea of doing this! I think it is so important to find those little local places where you know the owners in the town where you live! And, I totally want to come to Charleston now 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yup- I love places where you know the people and where they value your business. My friend was in there awhile back at the end of the day, and they had a little soup left over, not enough to freeze and sell later, so they just gave her a bowl to go, on the house. Beats throwing it out, and their soup is delish!

  3. spectacuLAUR says:

    I wish I had more hidden gems around me which were local! All are quite a drive and not worth the gas! 😦

  4. That looks delicious! We have some great local places around here, too and I love sharing them with out of town friends & family.

  5. I love anything local. I’ll go back to this post if we visit Charleston. They all look good!!!

  6. Aw, I liked this read a lot! Of course, I do like your posts anyway, but I like it when you talk about restaurants that we don’t have around here much.

    I would like to try Ladle’s one day! It sounds like their “lunch combo” of the full sandwich and soup is a pretty good deal. I’m not sure if Panera will ever include the full sandwich in a Pick Two, but we’re making changes every celebration. Soon kids meals will be eligible for the drink and 99 cent pastry deal that we have for adults. 🙂

    Yeah, Ladle’s offers a little more soup choices than Panera. Saturdays is usually the day we have the most soup… but that’s cool about Ladle’s having pizza and hot dogs so that kids can enjoy eating there, too.

    I look forward to reading more eatery adventures of yours!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Ladles has a bunch of soups every single day, but each day they have a rotating “special” soup. Also a rotating “special” sandwich. Basically, you do a pick two… but if you want a whole sandwich, you only get a little soup. If you want a lot of soup, you order a combo and get a big soup, half sandwich :).

      Also, not trying to down Panera in this post :). I’m sure your Panera is great, if for no other reason than you working there. But our Panera in West Ashley leaves a lot to be desired, and Ladle’s is closer to my house.

      • Aw, I know you weren’t trying to talk my work down. 😀 Believe me, on my days off work, I don’t even step foot inside Panera unless I’m REALLY craving it… but even I need a break from it every now and then. Hehe. Some of my coworkers spend most of their time there, and wow… i’d go crazy if I did that. 😀

        Well, good! I’ll have to try Ladle’s next time I’m down south, which hasn’t been for two and a half years, so I don’t know when I’ll be back down. The buffalo chicken soup sounds phenomenal.

        And yes, every Panera’s different. My new GM goes from another Panera… our ratings for now just came out. Our Panera is #8 on the list of all the Panera’s in Ohio… and my GM’s former Panera is currently #22. Ouch.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        The North Charleston Panera was fine, just the West Ashley one was really bad. I also visited a Panera in Richmond, Va, when I went to visit my friend and coworker Carol… it was great. I don’t know what’s up with the West Ashley location.

        If you’re ever in the Charleston area, let me know. I can recommend tons of great places to eat!

  7. allieksmith says:

    I LOVE “hidden gems” around town. Those types of places are the best! And apartment/house hunting… I have to actually do that in the future. SCARY!!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      If you need any tips for the hunt, do let me know. From May 2012 to May 2013 I lived in three different residences (lol). Plus we learned a LOT from apartment hunting down here and house hunting. But whatever you do, take your time. we fell in love with our last apartment complex but after living there a few months, we realized we should have thought it over more and considered pros and cons like location and *especially* storage.

  8. The avocado grilled cheese is heavenly!

  9. Barbara says:

    Thanks for the tip! I live here and haven’t made it there! Love having a place to check out!

  10. I went here for the first time the other day and I absolutely loved it!!! I can’t wait to go back because the Mt.P location is literally 1 minute from my church! Hello Sunday Brunch!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it :). I love how they have so many locations too, that way it’s not a “Mt P thing” or a “West Ashley thing”- everyone in the Charleston area can enjoy some Ladle’s!

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