Bagel case, Seldon Ink

Sometimes, some of the best things are right under our noses. Such is the case with Rain-N-Bagels at the corner of Scott and Port Republic Streets in Beaufort’s historic district, just a block off Bay and Carteret Streets. It’s been around for a long time, and it has many loyal fans for its tasty breakfast and lunch sandwiches. And, of course, for its bagels.

But for many, it’s still a well-kept secret. So, when the opportunity to come up with a perfect brunch spot with some friends before the Harriet Tubman monument unveiling presented itself a few weeks back, Rain-N-Bagels was our first choice. And the fact that none of the other relative newcomers had ever been was icing on the cake. Or shall we say cream cheese on the bagel.

Owned and operated by Beaufort native Rainey Schott-Donato since 2009 (the shop opened in 2008 with other owners), Rain-N-Bagels is a thriving local business and a true testament to what makes Beaufort such a special place. Originally called Palm and Moon Bagels, Rainey was looking to change things up in 2018 and came up with the whimsical name as an homage to the nickname her mother called her as a child—Rainey Rainbow.

Today, Rain-N-Bagels is a Beaufort landmark and cranks out the made-from-scratch-every-day bagels in over a dozen flavors, bagel sandwiches, salads, baked goods, coffee

Rainey Schott-Donato, Seldon Ink

drinks, smoothies and more. The space is modest, but there’s plenty of indoor seating, outdoor tables in the courtyard (which will soon share space with a new hot doggery/beer garden from the folks at Lost Local), take away, and even DoorDash.

According to Rainey, most of their customers are locals, with lots of regulars. “You can set your watch by some of our customers,” she says with a smile. However, the crowd has grown more diverse over the years, thanks in part to Beaufort’s exploding tourist population and the success of the DoorDash program. She has seen an increase in customers from Charleston, Augusta and Aiken and she’s even met a customer on the interstate who moved from Beaufort to Jacksonville to make a special delivery on her way south.

But the best story is about Rain-N-Bagels namesake, bagels. Now we consider ourselves somewhat bagel snobs. Spending quite a bit of time traveling to New York City growing up and one of us being raised in a Jewish household, bagels are a bit sacrosanct. So, naturally, we didn’t waste any time checking out the local bagel shop once we settled permanently in Beaufort six years ago. And we weren’t disappointed.

Egg salad on salt with bagel chips, Seldon Ink

The bagels are made every night by Mitchell Carter-Heizner, who has pulled the overnight shift for Rainey for more than 12 years. Using the recipe from Howie Goldberg (“The Bagel Guru”) of New Jersey’s Goldberg’s Bagels bagel bible, Mitchell produces the perfectly dense, yet chewy bagel with just the right exterior crisp and ideal texture that make these donut-shaped dough rings delectable (as mentioned, we take our bagels pretty seriously).

Whether your preference is plain, everything, sesame, wheat or cinnamon raisin (or more exotic flavors like blueberry, Asiago, jalapeño or our favorite, salt), Rain-N-Bagels starts every morning with more than a dozen regular and specialty flavors. But they don’t last long and when they are out, they are out until the next morning. But if you miss out, don’t fret. They usually have day-old bagels available by the half-dozen.

The house made cream cheeses are another thing they hang their hat on, with fifteen-plus regular flavors, including plain, lox, chive, olive, spinach artichoke, strawberry, maple walnut and more, as well as seasonal flavors like dill pickle pimento (bless their hearts), jalapeño pimento and Twix white chocolate. But if cream cheese isn’t your jam, they also offer a nice selection of hummus (think traditional, roasted garlic, olive and even everything) to top your bagel as well.

“We tend to stick to the basics,” says Rainey. “But we love getting creative with our specialty bagels and cream cheeses, as well as our daily breakfast and sandwich specials. Sometimes, the specials are so popular that they make their way onto the permanent menu.”

But there are times when you want something a little more substantial than a bagel with a schmear. That’s where Rain-N-Bagels breakfast menu rises and shines. Whether you choose the Traditional with egg, American cheese and a choice of bacon, sausage or Taylor ham, a lox sandwich, an omelet bagel made with two eggs, three veggies of your choice and cheese, the ever-popular Frank—named after a regular—which is a sandwich-palooza filled with egg, bacon, sausage AND Taylor ham and American on an everything bagel, or one of the imaginative daily specials, you definitely won’t leave hungry. There are even baked goods, like their tasty Danish, scones, cinnamon rolls and pastries for the sweet tooth breakfast or breakfast dessert (it’s a thing).

Lunch is actually our favorite time to visit, as much to peruse the creative and voluminous menu as to eat the stuffed sandwiches. The combinations all have unique and clever

Palm and Moon on garlic, RNB

names that either reflect some of their regular customers or familiar landmarks (or people) around town. There’s the Carolina Moon, with roast beef, arugula, tomato, provolone and horsey aioli; the Frogmore, with curry chicken, red onion, spinach and sundried tomato cream cheese; and the Auldbrass, with turkey, arugula, black olives, sundried tomatoes and spinach artichoke cream cheese.

Rainey even has a charming story about the time when Hollywood producer Joel Silver—known for such films as Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Road House and dozens more, and owner of local Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Auldbrass Plantation—was dining at Rain-N-Bagels with a couple of other men. He got to chatting with Rainey about the Auldbrass on the menu and we’re not sure who was more surprised—Rainey that Joel Silver was in the house ordering his namesake sandwich or Mr. Silver upon realizing that there was a sandwich named after his home.

Neveah with lemon poppy bagel, RNB

There’s also the Berenger Blue—an homage to Tom Berenger when he spent time in Beaufort filming The Big Chill, with roast beef, pecans, spinach and blue cheese dressing and The Conroy—a love letter to Beaufort’s most famous resident that has been on the menu since day one, with bacon, turkey, spinach and salsa verde.

Other crowd favorites include The Mick, named after Rainey’s grandfather, with ham, pepperoni, salami, pepper Jack cheese, lettuce, red onion and Italian vinaigrette and The Tiger Club, named for a former employee’s son, featuring bacon, ham, turkey, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, chipotle aioli and mustard.

On the day of the Tubman statue, our hungry crowd divided and conquered the menu, enjoying the vegetarian Mainland on a plain bagel

(“I love the way the vegetables were roasted.”); De Veggie on a wheat bagel (“I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this yummy place for so long.”); the chicken, Havarti and pesto Parmesan Palm & Moon on a garlic bagel (“I loved how all the chicken, pesto and cheese flavors were super-charged with the crispy garlic bagel.”); the create-your-own homemade egg salad with spinach and tomatoes on a salt bagel (“The salt bagel was the perfect choice with the rustic and creamy egg salad.”); and the outlier with the Eastern Salad, an Asian-leaning chicken salad  that was so large that it could have been split amongst the table.

There are also one or two daily sandwich specials that come from the creative minds of Rainey or one of her rock star full-time employees. Or, you can simply order the Deli

Wrap platter, RNB

Cutter with your choice of one to three meats or salads from over 17 choices, up to four veggies from a list of over 18 vegetables and your choice of sliced cheese or cream cheese.

All the sandwiches are served on your choice of bagel or sourdough, ciabatta, hoagie roll or wrap and are served with phenomenal house made bagel chips (trust us—you’ll want to pick up a bag of ‘em before you leave) and a dill pickle. Or you can substitute with a salad or fruit for a small upcharge.

If sandwiches aren’t your cup of tea, you can order a cup (or bowl) of soup, like roasted red pepper with gouda, shrimp and corn chowder and fire roasted vegetable, or one of their creative salads, including: the Antipasto (with ham, pepperoni and salami); Mediterranean (their version of a Greek salad); Cobb (with grilled chicken, bacon, hard boiled eggs and blue cheese crumbles); Eastern Delight (with grilled chicken, tomatoes, cucumber and Asian noodles with Asian dressing); Sunset (Rainey’s favorite, with curry chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, cranberries, pecan and feta with a raspberry dressing); or the classic Caesar. All the soups and salads are also served with those addictive bagel chips.

Rain-N-Bagels women, Seldon Ink

But it isn’t just about the food at Rain-N-Bagels. They also have an impressive beverage program, with tons of coffee drinks (hot or iced, with the vanilla latte being the most popular crowd pleaser), monthly coffee drink specials, teas, frappes, lots of smoothie options, from fresh blueberry and strawberry in season to berry lemonade and orange dream, soft drinks and more.

As is often the case in Beaufort, the staff is part of the success story. Between Mitchell cranking out the bagels every night, four friendly full-time employees in Jayda, Allie, Hopi and Neveah, who have taken ownership in the shop’s success and help come up with creative menu additions and specials, and Chloe, Annabelle and Molly, who are high school students working part-time, Rainey has created a collaborative environment and talks about her staff like they are her family.

Rainey also gives back to the community whenever she has the opportunity. From contributing bagels to HELP of Beaufort and Hopeful Horizons and donating proceeds from the sale of bagels at the DragonBoat Beaufort Raceday, helping others is always top-of-mind. One of Rainey’s top future goals is to get a Rain-N-Bagels food truck so that she can bring her bagels to more events and people around town. And these bagels lovers couldn’t be more thrilled with that idea.



221 Scott St.

Beaufort, SC 29902


Open Monday-Friday 6:30am-3:00pm; Saturday-Sunday 7:00am-3:00pm


Beaufort-based travel journalists Lynn and Cele Seldon ( often cover culinary travel around the world and Lowcountry Weekly lured them to write a monthly feature covering the local food scene. This includes articles about restaurants, chefs, food-focused stores, farms, farmers, farmers markets, and more. They welcome suggestions for topics.