Restaurants & Dining

When you come to Charleston, come hungry, because the Holy City has something delicious in store for every taste and style. If fresh-from-the-dock seafood is on your mind, then you’re in the right place. Indulge in local oysters, shrimp, and freshly-caught fish in diverse and inviting atmospheres. The Charleston dining scene ranges from flip-flop style, on-the-deck seating to white linen fine dining.

If you have a hankering for Southern staples like grits and okra, Charleston’s got it. Italian? Thai? New American cuisine? It’s all here, and it’s all made with the best ingredients. Meals here are prepared by award-winning chefs and served with true Lowcountry hospitality. Charleston dining has gained worldwide recognition in recent years, but will never lose its homespun appeal. Join us for a meal – at the table of your choice.     

HUSK

76 Queen Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-577-2500

Chef Sean Brock's love of Southern cuisine is apparent in his devotion to using ingredients only sourced from the South. The result is a subtle interplay of culinary genius, Southern soul, and homage to a culture of food that continues to gain recognition. Husk has been voted the best restaurant in the United States, so call early for reservations.

HIGH COTTON

199 East Bay Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-724-3815

Specializing in new Southern cuisine, High Cotton offers a menu highlighted by steaks, chops and a well-known charcuterie program. Don’t miss their excellent brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CHARLESTON GRILL

224 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-577-4522

Executive Chef Michelle Weaver’s menu offers flavors ranging from butter-poached lobster and foie gras to shellfish stew and “pork and beans” with pork belly and field peas. General Manager Mickey Bakst and staff will set the mood for an incredible dining experience.

CIRCA 1886

149 Wentworth Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-853-7828

Chef Marc Collins and staff offer a most memorable dining experience. Enjoy healthy haute cuisine where the farm-to-table philosophy drives the dynamic menu. The crab cake soufflé and rice bread are divine!

HALLS CHOPHOUSE

434 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-727-0090

Halls Chophouse serves from a classic steakhouse menu featuring dry-aged beef and such favorites as creamed spinach and oysters Rockefeller. Great Charleston dining, live music, and a lively bar scene make for a fun night out.

UPSCALE CASUAL DINING

THE MACINTOSH

479 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-789-4299

Elegant and stylish, Chef Jeremiah Bacon takes farm-to-table dining to a new level. The appetizers and small plates make this the perfect choice for tapas style dining. Don’t miss the chance to try what catches your eye; their menu changes monthly.

THE ORDINARY

544 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-414-7060

Brought to you by renowned Chef Mike Lata, this oyster bar in a renovated bank is anything but ordinary. Fish and chips, schnitzel, fresh snapper and the most succulent oysters available are served up on large plates intended for sharing. Visit this hip, upscale casual dining spot on upper King Street for an exceptional Charleston dining experience.

CRU CAFE

18 Pinckney Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-534-2434

This cozy corner restaurant is popular with locals for its upscale comfort food. Cru is a great lunch spot, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Try the Asian chicken salad or the mac-n-cheese.

KAT’S LOCAL FAVORITES

HOMINY GRILL

207 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, South Carolina
843-937-0930

James Beard award-winning chef Robert Stehling offers a gem of a restaurant in Hominy Grill that serves Southern classics with a modern twist. The “Charleston Nasty” fried chicken biscuit is smothered in gravy. Don’t miss the best shrimp and grits in town or the chocolate pudding.

BOWENS ISLAND RESTAURANT

1870 Bowens Island Road
Charleston, South Carolina
843-795-2757

Visit Bowens Island for legendary rustic waterfront Charleston dining. In the winter, you’ll find the best oysters right here. The location is also full of history. It was founded in 1946 by May and Jimmy Bowen. Throughout the decades, they have been best known for local oysters harvested and roasted by Lowcountry oystermen. Today, their grandson, Robert Barber, proudly continues this tradition. Have one of their delicious fried seafood platters or the Frogmore stew. Bowens Island is on Folly Road, just a couple of miles before Folly Beach.

CAVIAR & BANANAS

51 George Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-577-7757

Think Dean and DeLuca meets downtown Charleston. This specialty grocer offers delectable cheeses, prepared foods, baked goods, oils, pasta, and candies. Enjoy fresh sushi and custom sandwiches. Sit and stay awhile; there is plenty of space for dining in.

BUTCHER AND BEE

1085 Morrison Drive
Charleston, South Carolina
843-619-0202

This is where local chefs go for a great sandwich! Butcher and Bee is a gourmet craft sandwich spot that serves up the freshest and tastiest sandwiches on the peninsula! The menu is seasonal, and if you are looking for a late night bite, this is the spot.

GAULART & MALICLET/FAST AND FRENCH

98 Broad Street
Charleston, South Carolina
843-577-9797

This treasure is near the four corners of law in downtown Charleston. Feast on homemade pates, crusty baguettes, delicious soups, and croissants. Thursday night is fondue night!

LOST DOG CAFE

106 W. Huron
Charleston, South Carolina
843-588-9669

Lost Dog Café is a great breakfast joint that the locals love. They serve delicious huevos rancheros and huge pancakes, among many other things. It’s a great place for outdoor dining, and they have free dog biscuits for the furry kids!

EL MERCADITO AND TAQUERIA

3575 Maybank Highway
Johns Island, South Carolina
843-559-7216

Located in the Bi-Lo shopping center, El Mercadito is known for serving up authentic favorites. Try the amazing chile verde, al pastor tacos, pollo ranchero and many others at a great value!

JB’S SMOKESHACK

3406 Maybank Highway
Johns Island, South Carolina
843-557-0426

Go to JB’s Smokeshack for pork, brisket, and ribs cooked slowly over hickory wood. The chicken is cooked over apple wood and seasoned with a special rub. Lowcountry veggies are prepared from fresh produce, when available, along with homemade desserts and BBQ sauce.

WILD OLIVE

2867 Maybank Highway
Johns Island, South Carolina
843-737-4177

Wild Olive’s menu captures the soul of Italian cuisine. They emphasize fresh, local and seasonal ingredients paired with the highest-quality, imported Italian goods. Chef Jacques Larson and his team produce their own house-made pasta and house-cured salumi.

FAT HEN

3140 Maybank Highway
Johns Island, South Carolina
843-559-9090

A quaint establishment where country French meets Lowcountry cuisine. Chef Fred Neuville is committed to using the freshest local ingredients with amazing preparations of such classics as shrimp and grits and the best beef short rib in Charleston! They also have an excellent Sunday brunch.

MORE OF THE BEST CHARLESTON DINING

Looking for more Charleston dining options? View our Kiawah or Seabrook Island Vacation Guides for a curated list of even more excellent restaurants. They also include information on the most interesting attractions, fun activities, exciting events, gorgeous rental homes, and more. Download a copy today and get ready to experience the best of the South Carolina Lowcountry!