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, with the help of local Charleston resident Katy Blair Conner, a list of our favorites.
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!
49 BEST PLACES TO EAT IN CHARLESTON SC FOOD BUCKET LIST
CENTRAL (North of Cannon St)
- Butcher and the Bee (Central, Southern, $$)
- Chez Nous (Central, French, $$$) – 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, $$) – Charbroiled Oysters alongside bone-in spicy fried chicken.
- Lewis BBQ (Central, BBQ, $$)
- Little Jack’s Tavern (Central, American / Salad / Cocktail Bars, $$) – Open straight thru from lunch to dinner, we popped in and split a burger and Kölsch in the middle of the afternoon.
- Martha Lou’s Kitchen (Central, Soul-food/Southern/Diner, $) Been open for over 30 years.
- Rutledge Cab Co. (Central, New American / Burgers / Breakfast & Brunch, $$) – $5 burger night on Monday’s.
- Tattooed Moose (Central, Bars/American / Sandwiches, $$)
- Trattoria Lucca (Central, Italian, $$$)
- Xiao Bao Biscuit (Central, Asian Fusion / Japanese / Chinese, $$) – Okonomiyaki with pork candy.
- 39 Rue De Jean (Downtown, French / Brasseries, $$)
- Basil (Downtown / Various, Thai, $$)
- CO (Downtown, Vietnamese / Cocktails, $$)
- Coast Bar & Grill (Downtown, Seafood / Cajun / Raw, $$)
- Cru Cafe (Downtown, New American, $$)
- The Darling (Downtown, Seafood / Cocktail Bars / Live / Raw, $$) – Pictured below. We were lucky enough to visit during soft shell crab season, so we ordered them fried to finger licking good!
- Fig (Downtown, New American, $$$)
- Fish (Downtown, French / Dessert / Cocktails, $$)
- Five Loaves (Downtown/Various, Breakfast / Brunch / American, $$)
- Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts (Downtown, Doughnuts / Desserts / Coffee & Tea, $) – Go early when the doughnuts are still warm.
- Halls Chophouse (Downtown, Steakhouse / Seafood / Bar, $$$$)
- HoM Charleston (Downtown, Burgers / New American, $$)
- Hominy Grill (Downtown, Southern / Breakfast & Brunch / American, $$)
- Husk (Downtown, Seafood / Southern, $$$)
- Indaco (Downtown, Italian, $$) – Funghi Pizza.
- Marina Variety Store Restaurant (Downtown, Seafood / Breakfast & Brunch / Sandwiches, $$)
- Oak Steakhouse (Downtown, Steakhouse, $$$)
- The Ordinary (Downtown, Seafood / Sandwiches, $$$) – 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, Seafood, $$)
- Poogan’s Porch (Downtown, Southern / Diners / Breakfast & Brunch, $$)
- SNOB – Slightly North of Broad (Downtown, New American, Southern, Seafood, $$$)
- Sugar Bakeshop (Downtown, Bakeries / Cupcakes, $)
- Bowen’s Island (James Island, Seafood, $$) – All-You-Can-Eat oysters served to you on a shovel in the basement
- Pick Thai (James Island, Thai, $$)
- Fat Hen (John’s Island, New American, $$)
- Carmen y Juan’s (Mount Pleasant, Mexican, $)
- Langdon’s Restaurant & Wine Bar (Mount Pleasant, Seafood / Hawaiian / Wine Bars, $$$)
- Mi Xao (Mount Pleasant, Vietnamese, $)
- Opal Restaurant & Bar (Mount Pleasant, Mediterranean / Bars / Seafood, $$)
- 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, $$) – Also featured on Diners, Drive Ins & Dives.
- Home Team BBQ (West Ashley, BBQ, $$)
- Rise Coffee (Downtown, Cafes / Coffee & Tea, $) – They are serious about their coffee and their sense of humor.
MAP TO HELP YOU GET AROUND
How many of these restaurants have you been to? Did we miss anything?!
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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust