Charleston is the oldest and second-largest city in South Carolina. It has cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and tons of old historic houses that have led many to call Charleston the cultural capital of the south. There are a ton of restaurants to choose from, so we’ve created a list of the best places to eat in Charleston SC with the help of our friend Katy Blair Connor, a local Charleston resident.
If you love seafood, this is the city for you. It’s fresh, often caught right off the coast, and prepared in numerous ways that will make your mouth do a little dance. Welcome to the south, y’all!
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Last Updated: January 6, 2023
49 Best Places to Eat in Charleston SC Food Bucket List
Central (North of Cannon St)
- Butcher and the Bee (Central, Southern, 💰💰) – The roast beef is one of the favorites!
- Chez Nous (Central, French, 💰💰💰) – The menu changes daily, but the seafood is a must.
- Edmund’s Oast (Central, New American, 💰💰) – Outdoor brewery with an amazing happy hour ($4 drink and food options). Also, the regular menu has a beef tartare and crudite’ plate that are on point.
- Fuel (Central/Various, Caribbean, 💰💰)
- Leon’s Fine Poultry & Oysters (Central, Meat Shops / Southern/ Seafood, 💰💰) – Charbroiled Oysters alongside bone-in spicy fried chicken.
- Lewis BBQ (Central, BBQ, 💰💰) – BBQ yes, but don’t miss the green chile corn pudding.
- Little Jack’s Tavern (Central, American / Salad / Cocktail Bars, 💰💰) – Open straight thru from lunch to dinner, we popped in and split a burger and Kölsch in the middle of the afternoon.
- The Royal American (Central / Traditional American, Dive Bar 💰) – Been open for over 30 years.
- Rutledge Cab Co. (Central, New American / Burgers / Breakfast & Brunch, 💰💰) – $5 burger night on Monday’s.
- Santi’s (Central, Mexican, 💰💰) – Locals’ favorite Mexican restaurant. Delicious and homey Mexican dishes under fifteen dollars.
- Rodney Scott’s BBQ (Central, BBQ, 💰💰)
- Xiao Bao Biscuit (Central, Asian Fusion / Japanese / Chinese, 💰💰) – Okonomiyaki with pork candy. Yum!
- 39 Rue De Jean (Downtown, French / Brasseries, 💰💰)
- CO (Downtown, Vietnamese / Cocktails, 💰💰)
- Coast Bar & Grill (Downtown, Seafood / Cajun / Raw, 💰💰)
- Cru Cafe (Downtown, New American, 💰💰)
- The Darling (Downtown, Seafood / Cocktail Bars / Live / Raw, 💰💰) – Pictured below. We were lucky enough to visit during soft shell crab season, so we ordered them fried to finger licking good! Be sure to walk around King Street.
- Dashi (Downtown, Breakfast & Brunch / Latin American / Asian Fusion, 💰💰)
- Fig Charleston (Downtown, New American, 💰💰💰)
- Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts (Downtown, Doughnuts / Desserts / Coffee & Tea, 💰) – Go early when the doughnuts are still warm.
- Halls Chophouse (Downtown, Steakhouse / Seafood / Bar, 💰💰💰💰) – great fine dining
- High Cotton (Downtown / Seafood, Wine and Cocktail Bar 💰💰💰)
- Husk Charleston (Downtown, Seafood / Southern, 💰💰💰) – James Beard Award Winner and has a beautiful dining room with a great view
- Indaco (Downtown, Italian, 💰💰) – Funghi Pizza.
- Laurel (Downtown / Spanish Tapas, Small Plates 💰💰)
- Marina Variety Store Restaurant (Downtown, Seafood / Breakfast & Brunch / Sandwiches, 💰💰)
- Millers All Day (Downtown / Southern, Breakfast & Brunch 💰💰)
- Oak Steakhouse (Downtown, Steakhouse, 💰💰💰)
- Oyster House (Downtown, Seafood / Cocktails, 💰💰)
- The Ordinary (Downtown, Seafood / Sandwiches, 💰💰💰) – Uni tacos, red snapper ceviche, fried oyster sliders on house-made Hawaiian rolls washed down with a rum Negroni and local beer.
- Pearlz Oyster Bar (Downtown / French Quarter, Seafood, 💰💰) – great Oyster shop
- Poogan’s Porch (Downtown, Southern / Diners / Breakfast & Brunch, 💰💰) – Try the Fried Green Tomatoes
- SNOB – Slightly North of Broad (Downtown, New American, Southern, Seafood, 💰💰💰)
- Sugar Bakeshop (Downtown, Bakeries / Cupcakes, 💰) – Pick up some chocolate chip cookies. If ice cream is your thing, check our Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.
- Bowen’s Island (James Island, Seafood, 💰💰) – All-You-Can-Eat oysters served to you on a shovel in the basement
- Pick Thai (James Island, Thai, 💰💰)
- Wild Olive (Johns Island / Italian 💰💰)
More: 11 Unique Things to Do at Congaree National Park South Carolina
- Carmen y Juan’s (Mount Pleasant, Mexican, 💰💰)
- Langdon’s Restaurant & Wine Bar (Mount Pleasant, Seafood / Hawaiian / Wine Bars, 💰💰💰)
- Mi Xao (Mount Pleasant, Vietnamese, 💰) – when you’re craving pho
- Opal Restaurant & Bar (Mount Pleasant, Mediterranean / Bars / Seafood, 💰💰💰)
- Page’s Okra Grill (Mount Pleasant, Southern / Seafood / Breakfast & Brunch, 💰💰)
- Sewee Restaurant (Mount Pleasant, Seafood / Comfort Food, 💰💰) – An awesome little dive with the best fried seafood
- Tavern and Table (Mount Pleasant, New American, 💰💰) – Lemon ricotta pancakes. Need I say more?
- EVO Pizzeria (North Charleston, Pizza / Salad, 💰💰) – Amazing pistachio pesto pizza.
- Obstinate Daughter (Sullivan’s Island, Pizza / Seafood / Mediterranean, 💰💰) – A short hop over the Ravenel Bridge for exceptional Italian-style coastal food. Old Danger pizza and shrimp roll.
- Early Bird Diner (West Ashley, Diners / American, 💰💰) – Featured on Diners, Drive Ins & Dives! Fried chicken with cinnamon waffles.
- Glass Onion (West Ashley, Southern / Salad / Sandwiches, 💰💰) – Also featured on Diners, Drive Ins & Dives.
- Home Team BBQ (West Ashley, BBQ, 💰💰)
Honorable Mentions or Taken off the List
- Rise Coffee (Downtown, Cafes / Coffee & Tea, 💰) – They are serious about their coffee and their sense of humor.
Map of the Best Places to Eat in Charleston
Where to Stay in Charleston
- Get comprehensive insurance for your trip.
- Find a great deal on Charleston hotels.
- Arrange a rental car for your trip.
- Book a tour for your visit.
- Get airport lounge access.
- Buy a travel charger to keep your devices charged.
- Get a new backpack for your trip.
- Buy a Charleston travel guide.
- Pack the appropriate shoes for your trip.
- Don’t forget your in-flight essentials.
How many of these restaurants have you been to? Did we miss anything?
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Caroline + Erin
They are freelance web designers and photographers who love finding adventure, both big and small. The two make a daily practice of sharing vulnerabilities, truth telling, and side splitting laughter. They’ve honed the art of traveling fast and doing all of the things that an adventurer can do in a day or two. The couple lives in Asheville and loves spending their time in the mountains.
This Post Has 2 Comments
I spent a few days in Charleston a few years ago and mostly I just could not stop eating all the things because so many places had such great food and there was so much to try! I’ll definitely be back to nosh my way through more of the city.
We use the Yelp standards:
$ Price range $1-10
$$ Price range $11-30
$$$ Price range $31-60
$$$$ Price range $61+