Since Thanksgiving is a traditional day of feasting, our 2018 PopCult Gift Guide pick for today follows our tradition of inspiring you to get out and support locally-owned places of dining. Most of our suggested restaurants offer gift certificates or cards. Even if they don’t, you can still take your giftee out and treat them not only to a great meal, but also to the pleasure of your company. Food is a great gift, and you don’t usually have to wrap it.

Charleston is blessed with a wide variety of great, independent eateries. Take that into account when choosing one for the gift-giving experience. You have a lot of great options. Contact info can be found in the links with the names on our list.

New to the list this year is Mountain Pie Company, with locations in Jefferson and Hurricane. Mel and I just started eating here a couple of months ago, but they’ve been doing great business for five years. They have fantastic gourmet pizza and great sandwiches, and most importantly, they will make your food to order, and not quibble over your eating restrictions or desires.

You can find all kinds of great places to grab a bite in town:  Gonzoburger, with their gourmet burgers in the old Chris’s Hot Dog location; Void, just across the street, is a new, hip coffee shop; Also on the coffee front, we have Mea Cuppa Coffee in Charleston, Cafe Crema, now in Dunbar along Route 25, and Coal River Coffee Company on Old Main in Saint Albans. Plus there’s Rock City Cake Company, on Capitol Street, blending cakes and treats and live music.

We are happy to report that Caffe Romeo in South Hills, an authentic Italian-style place where you can get Gelato, Expresso, Sorbet and several other treats is stil as wonderful as we said it was a while back.

The Olive Tree Cafe and Catering, is already a reliable favorite on the Charleston culinary scene. Their tasty Mediterrean fare is top-notch and the service is quick and friendly. They offer up great salads and sandwiches, and their shawarma is the stuff of legend. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 7 PM. It’s a casual dining atmosphere and they have lots of other deli goodies for sale.

Other restaurants you might want to consider for a fun, gift-style special meal are The Block and Bricks & Barrels. And of course, there are all the old favorites. You can buy gift cards or certificates for Bluegrass Kitchen, Tricky Fish, Starling’s Coffee and Provisions, Leonoro’s, Mi Cocini De Amor, Pies & Pints, Lola’s, Bridge Road Bistro, Adelphia, Fazio’s, and Taste of Asia.

These are the stores that we know off the top of our heads offer gift certificates or cards. Your PopCulteer does not get around as much as he used to, due to health issues related to Myasthenia Gravis. You might want to ask around to see if your favorite local restaurant also offers gift certificates. If they do, please feel free to tell us about it in the comments section.