Make reservations early! Some of the popular restaurants can book up quickly.
There are so many great restaurants in Charleston you really can't go wrong but here are some recommendations.
Centrally located in historic downtown Charleston, Husk transforms the essence of Southern food. Executive Chef and Lowcountry native, Travis Grimes, reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in the South. A celebration of the South, using only ingredients from Southern farmers and purveyors. Our bar offers a progressive wine list, Southern beers, and handcrafted cocktails. If you cannot get a table a burger at the bar is a great option.
HANK'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Voted Best Seafood Restaurant by locals for 18 years running, this popular Charleston icon serves beloved Lowcountry recipes and the best seafood. Great food and a charming ambiance can only equal an extraordinary dining experience! Hank’s Seafood Restaurant is located in a turn-of-the-century warehouse overlooking the Charleston City Market. Hank’s Seafood has been beautifully renovated to an ambiance that reflects Charleston’s port history and family roots… This restaurant recreates a Classic Charleston Fish House with an old fashioned saloon-style bar and an exhibition raw bar. Dinner served nightly.
Halls Chophouse is a family steakhouse restaurant located in the Upper King District. We value hospitality, superior American cuisine and a dining experience that guests revere. As a premier steakhouse we use the finest freshest USDA prime steaks and meat for the best burgers in Charleston. Our vegan and vegetarian dishes are specially made upon request. Halls Chophouse also provides gluten free menu options and fresh sustainable local seafood dishes.Our fine dining restaurant features live music every night, classic jazz on select evenings and soulful sounds during our Gospel Sunday Brunch. Our restaurant bar is open until 2am for those with active Charleston nightlife's.
The Forbes Four Star Charleston Grill features a unique blend of Southern, French and contemporary cuisines while live jazz creates an elegant, yet relaxed ambiance.
Your enchanted evening awaits. The Four Diamond ranked Peninsula Grill serves the finest ingredients in a resplendent garden setting. Charleston's premier culinary experience.
S.N.O.B. - SLIGHTLY NORTH OF BROAD
Slightly North of Broad, an eclectic Lowcountry bistro bringing together local ingredients, thoughtful culinary skill, expert presentation, contagious energy, & warm service.
82 Queen is known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine. Serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, the restaurant is spread throughout three buildings with eleven quaint dining areas including a turn-of-the-century courtyard featuring a mammoth Magnolia Tree.
Magnolias ignited a culinary renaissance in 1990 and remains a forerunner in upscale Southern cuisine, featuring classics and modern interpretations of local cuisine.
Charleston's oldest independent dining establishment, Poogan’s Porch serves seasonal, elevated Lowcountry cuisine in a restored Victorian home on historic Queen Street.
LEON'S FINE POULTRY & OYSTER SHOP
Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oyster Shop is a comfortable Southern joint serving fried chicken, oysters, lots of salads, cheap beer, soft serve, Rose on tap, tons of grower Champagne, and good cocktails.The restaurant is housed in an old body shop that belonged to Leon Ravenel—a businessman that served Charleston residents for many years. The space preserves much of that industrial history, complete with functioning garage doors, concrete floors, and some remaining memorabilia from Leon himself.
Skip siesta. Let’s fiesta. Charleston’s ultimate taqueria and cantina style restaurant, serving casual Mexican food/drinks. Tacos, nachos, fun margaritas, tequila flights. 2 Locations - Downtown & Folly Beach
Refined Thai cuisine and an invigorating dining experience in the heart of downtown Charleston. Serving lunch throughout the week and happy hour. Indoor/Outdoor dining.
FIVE LOAVES CAFE
At Five Loaves Cafe, we go to great lengths to create a healthy, sustainable and more responsible menu and restaurant for our customers. Every day, we are partnering with local purveyors and makers of food, wine and beer. We also work with local farms to provide fresh vegetables and only serve antibiotic-free chicken and turkey raised in the Carolinas.
EAST BAY DELI
Mouth-watering deli sandwiches with all the trimmings and an abundance of side dishes and specialties are all the rage at East Bay Deli. When nothing but a freshly-made, delicious deli sandwich made with the choicest of meats and fresh-cut veggies will do.3 Locations - Downtown, West Ashley & Mount Pleasant
CALLIE'S HOT LITTLE BISCUIT
We offer all seven varieties of Callie’s Biscuits sold piping hot in pairs or by the dozen as well as a “biscuit of the day” special & fine foods from other local artisans. 2 Locations - Upper King and in the City MarketOpen late on Friday & Saturday nights 10pm to 2am
FAT HEN (Johns Island)
Owned and operated by nationally acclaimed Chef Fred Neuville and his wife Joan, Fat Hen is located in the heart of the Johns Island farming community, minutes from downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Accompanied by a grand variety of local, regional and national wines and beverages, Fat Hen serves dinner and Sunday brunch in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. Accompanied by a grand variety of local, regional and national wines and beverages, Fat Hen serves dinner and Sunday brunch in a casual and comfortable atmosphere. Note: Can get a little loud depending on how busy it is.
WILD OLIVE (Johns Island)
Wild Olive opened its doors in the heart of Charleston’s farming community in 2009. Striving to capture the cultural magic of true Italian dining, Wild Olive places the utmost value on simple, seasonal cuisine, paired with food friendly wines. Delivered by a service staff with a genuine warmth and enthusiasm, the restaurant’s energy is relaxed yet lively.
POE'S TAVERN (Sullivan's Island)
Charleston’s legendary Poe’s Tavern serves fresh burgers and fries, delicious fish tacos and inspired salads in a laid-back oceanfront environment. Our multi-national beer selection is perfect for a night after work or ducking out of the hot sun from a day at the beach. We’ve got something for everyone: We’re chill, pumped, and fun all mixed together. Our regulars will tell you why it is the perfect place to hang, and our visitors will tell you why you have to make it here.
EARLY BIRD DINER (One of David's Favorites)
Located in the heart of West Ashley on Savannah Highway 17, we take pleasure in serving up some the finest made-from-scratch diner fare in Charleston. We get up early and stay up late to feed early birds and night owls alike. When you visit, be sure to check out our daily specials alongside some of our famous staples, like our Chicken & Waffles or our Fried Pork Chop with Red Pepper Jelly. We also line our walls with art for sale by local artists to provide a place in the community where the atmosphere is as comforting as the food.
A James Beard nominated convivial seafood hall and oyster bar, helmed by award-winning Chef Mike Lata. Lata supports local and regional fisherman, farmers and producers. The Ordinary is a Southern seafood hall and oyster bar located in an old bank in Charleston, SC.Our menu celebrates the “merroir” of the Coastal Carolinas and the East Coast, and we strive to support local and regional fishermen, crabbers, oystermen, farmers and producers.From the same team behind FIG, our approach is recognizable: we aim to pair great food with great drink and friendly, detailed service. At The Ordinary, we do so against the backdrop of an historical Charleston building that has been transformed into a high energy, bustling American brasserie.
RITA'S SEASIDE GRILLE (Folly Beach)
The most fun spot on Folly Beach, just steps away from the beach and pier! Dine indoors our outdoors on our patio - enjoy the big games on our outdoor TVs!
The seating is tight at this high-end seafood counter, but the few coveted stools have front row access to super fresh oysters, clams, and crab claws. Crowd favorites include the plentiful lobster rolls and ahi tuna poke. The menu and the space may be small, but the team puts out a mighty meal from the ocean's bounty. Go early and expect to wait (with a glass of rosé in hand).
The super casual, open air setting at old-school oyster shack Bowens is perfect for gathering friends, grabbing a bucket of steamed bivalves, and watching a Lowcountry sunset with a beer in hand. Eater critic Bill Addison says, "It has been a draw for decades and remains luring both for its ramshackle funkiness and the gut-level goodness of its food." Whether you're a first-time guest or a long-time regular, our aim is to serve you simple, excellent seafood. Located at the tip of a 13-acre island, 5 minutes from Folly Beach, Bowens Island is famous for its locally harvested oysters, fried shrimp, hushpuppies, Frogmore stew, cold beer, and its undisturbed view of the river, marshes, islands, and wildlife. Proudly serving Charleston, SC since 1946.
THE GLASS ONION
Saddle into a booth at this roadside cozy kitchen for a small slice of New Orleans and the Lowcountry — the combination is a winner. The menu features local, seasonal specials like shrimp stew with butterbeans and okra, but the standards like deviled eggs, green tomato po' boys, and the decadent fries with béarnaise are always great choices.
The first thing you’ll notice when you pull up to Lewis Barbecue are the massive, custom-made smokers, welded by the pitmaster himself. Inside you’ll order at the counter, where John Lewis is slicing up true Central Texas barbecue, cut-to-order. We also have a huge bar and backyard patio to keep you entertained year-round.
RODNEY SCOTT'S BBQ
Rodney Scott's BBQ serves true South Carolina whole-hog barbecue alongside Southern favorites in a lively, upbeat atmosphere in the North Central neighborhood.
HOME TEAM BBQ
With 3 locations serving award-winning barbecue, ever-evolving bar offerings, a family-friendly atmosphere, catering & live entertainment, it’s easy to root for Home Team BBQ! Owned by University of Georgia graduates, it is a popular spot to watch the Dawgs play. Downtown, West Ashley & Sullivan's Island
THE ROOFTOP BAR AT THE VENDUE
Voted "Best Rooftop Bar" since 2007. The Rooftop bar at The Vendue combines live music, a casual atmosphere and one of the most captivating views downtown.
THE PAVILION BAR AT MARKET PAVILION HOTEL
The Pavilion Bar is a rooftop oasis, complete with views of historic Charleston, a cascading pool, signature cocktails, eclectic cuisine offerings and the city's most spectacular sunsets. The Pavilion Bar is open daily from 11:30a.m. - midnight.
MEETING AT MARKET
Meeting at Market is an upscale sporting pub with 22 flat screen televisions, 20 rotating craft beers and elevated pub fare. Located inside Belmond Charleston Place.
Parcel 32 incorporates the flavors + heritage of the coastal South in a refined, relaxed environment that reflects the building’s history + the modern influences of today.
OBSTINATE DAUGHTER (Sullivan's Island)
The Obstinate Daughter in Sullivan's Island is a casual restaurant and bar that specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, pizzas and seafood. The restaurant's interior has been designed using distressed and salvaged wood to give it an authentic rustic look. Nautical elements like hanging knots and ropes have been used to decorate the dining room. The atmosphere is relaxed with bluegrass music playing in the background. The Obstinate Daughter is popular for providing friendly and efficient service.
ACME LOWCOUNTRY KITCHEN (Isle of Palms)
Acme Lowcountry Kitchen upscale, yet casual elements of traditional coastal cuisine with classic fare. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in a casual beach atmosphere with flavor profiles that exemplify fresh local ingredients and sustainable seafood.
Our approach at FIG is simple. We have a passion for pure flavor, quality ingredients, and for creating an atmosphere that is convivial, approachable, and a haven for people who simply love food.