Restaurants in Charleston

Peter Frank Edwards

These days, it seems you can’t fling a charcuterie board without hitting a James Beard Award nominee, semifinalist, or winner. The city has cutting e... Read More

These days, it seems you can’t fling a charcuterie board without hitting a James Beard Award nominee, semifinalist, or winner. The city has cutting edge cuisine and haute dining in spades, but it also boasts ramshackle seafood joints, country kitchens, and southern soul, and the best restaurants in Charleston span it all. Boutique markets offer picnic provisions or quick bites (Mercantile & Mash, Caviar & Bananas, Ted’s Butcher Block, Bull Street Gourmet, Queen Street Grocery, or local wine and cheese favorite Goat.Sheep.Cow.). One great perk about Charleston’s dining scene is that talent breeds talent; chefs are working their way up the line, then moving on to helm their own kitchens.

Places to eat in Charleston typically focus on traditional Southern cuisine, exploring the region’s ingredients and history. Shrimp and grits, ribs, catfish, gumbo and other Lowcountry classics are at their best here. But Charleston restaurants are not afraid to innovate, and some of the most exciting eateries in the country can be found here. At Husk, get a taste of the greatest Southern ingredients, courtesy of James Beard Award winner Sean Brock. The menu changes daily, depending on ingredient availability. You might find rabbit paté, pork ribs, or an arugula-peach salad–who knows? There’s only one rule: “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door.” One not-to-miss venue is Spero—humble in design but big on flavor. And you can’t visit Charleston without treating yourself to a serious barbecue. Head to Swig & Swine, one of the city’s funkiest restaurants for all the standard BBQ favorites, with an impressive variety of beverages to wash it down with to match.

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  • 492 Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of 492
    492

    Chef Nate Whiting earned his reputation as one of Charleston's gastronomical wizards, serving up elevated tapas-style dishes that make dinner... Read More

  • 167 Raw Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of 167 Raw
    167 Raw

    At lunchtime and dinnertime, hungry locals pack into this pillbox eatery to sip champagne flutes and eye the seafood counter, where they can slurp down... Read More

  • Artisan Meat Share Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Artisan Meat Share
    Artisan Meat Share

    Meat lovers will want to slide into booths at Artisan Meat Share ("AMS") and order up boards of artisanal charcuterie—perhaps even splurge on the $50 ... Read More

  • Barony Tavern Bar in Charleston Courtesy of Barony Tavern
    Barony Tavern

    Antler laced chandeliers and white tablecloths set a rough-meets-regal tone, perfect for noshing on crispy oysters with smoked bacon, or quail over... Read More

  • Beardcat's Sweet Shop in Charleston Courtesy of Beardcat's Sweet Shop
    Beardcat's Sweet Shop

    Worth the short drive to Sullivan's Island, this bright little sweet shop churns out dreamy artisanal gelato and sorbets using locally sourced... Read More

  • Black Tap Coffee Shop in Charleston Courtesy of Black Tap Coffee
    Black Tap Coffee

    Black Tap is easily Charleston's hippest coffee purveyor, and for good reason: they roast their beans on a nearby island, achieve perfect pour-overs,... Read More

  • Bowen's Island Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Bowen's Island Restaurant
    Bowens Island Restaurant

    At Bowens, fresh steamed oysters are served by the shovel-full. Hungry patrons line up for heaping portions of crispy fried whitefish, Frogmore Stew,... Read More

  • Butcher & Bee Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Butcher & Bee
    Butcher & Bee

    Deliciously inventive sandwiches with dedication to local sourcing (they even have a garden out back) make this hip and rustic eatery a go-to lunch spot... Read More

  • Cafe Framboise Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Cafe Framboise
    Café Framboise

    Tucked on a side street just off King, Café Framboise lures passersby with excellent coffee, freshly baked breads, creative crepes, puff pastry tarts,... Read More

  • Callie's Hot Little Biscuits Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Callie's Hot Little Biscuits
    Callie's Charleston Biscuits

    This small shop on upper King serves a variety of hot biscuits, like cheese-chive, buttermilk, country ham, fried chicken, or black pepper bacon, with... Read More

  • Chez Nous Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Chez Nous
    Chez Nous

    Snuggled into a tiny, rustic house hidden down a side alley, chef Jill Mathias keeps diners salivating for her daily menu that gives a nod to Southern... Read More

  • F.I.G. Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of F.I.G.
    FIG

    The kitchen consistently churns out marvels such as duck egg tartine, mangalitsa prosciutto with sage and persimmon, fluffy ricotta gnocchi, and locally... Read More

  • Husk Restaurant in Charleston Adam Goldberg
    Husk

    Chef Sean Brock's testament to new southern cuisine, Husk sources heirloom grains, heritage animals, and classic Lowcountry produce both from area farms... Read More

  • Leon's Oyster Shop Restaurant in Charleston Peter Frank Edwards/Redux
    Leon's Oyster Shop

    Known for its well seasoned, crispy fried chicken, raw bar, and rustic chic, Leon's fills with locals and visitors for lunch and dinner daily. Read More

  • Minero Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Minero
    Minero

    Minero serves up a wide array of flavorful tacos, incorporating southern touches like fried catfish or shrimp and Masa grits, all cradled in charred... Read More

  • Obstinate Daughter Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Obstinate Daughter
    The Obstinate Daughter

    Dishes are freshly sourced, creative, beautifully conceived and executed, the ambiance comfortably chic. With both the kitchen and bar laser-focused on... Read More

  • Parlor Deluxe Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Parlor Deluxe
    Parlor Deluxe

    This newly opened neighborhood parlor serves up nostalgia in the form of gourmet hot dogs, loaded tots, dressed waffles, and unique ice creams like... Read More

  • Spero Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Spero
    Spero

    Chef RJ Moody dishes up share-able, affordable, seasonal plates like local clams swimming in a miso cream broth, or delicata squash drizzled with... Read More

  • Sugar Bakeshop Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Sugar Bakeshop
    Sugar Bakeshop

    An artisanal cupcake shop at heart (with a few other nibbles thrown in), Sugar Bakeshop is the place to go for individual pick-me-ups or build-your-own... Read More

  • Swig & Swine Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Swig & Swine
    Swig & Swine

    Pitmaster Anthony DiBernado burns the midnight oil to smoke his pork, brisket, ribs, turkey, and sausages to tender, pink-rimmed perfection. Read More

  • The Drawing Room Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of The Drawing Room
    The Drawing Room

    Executive Chef Jon Cropf leads a talented team in the creative kitchen, producing dishes as engaging to the eye as they are to the palate, with nuanced... Read More

  • The Macintosh Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of The Macintosh
    The Macintosh

    Offerings range from house-ground burgers with pecorino truffle frites, to seafood charcuterie, a seasonal house gnudi, stuffed local quail, and an... Read More

  • The Ordinary Restaurant in Charleston Squire Fox
    The Ordinary

    The Ordinary is Chef Lata's temple of fresh seafood, set in a renovated bank with soaring ceilings and handsome bar. Read More

  • The Park Cafe Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of The Park Cafe
    The Park Café

    Near the white barracks of The Citadel and 60-acre Hampton Park, this sunny farm-to-table local café serves up breakfast, brunch, lunch, happy hour, and... Read More

  • The Westendorff Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of The Westendorff
    The Westendorff

    Grab a plush leather swivel chair or an intimate booth for daily brunches, inventive cocktails, and sophisticated but unpretentious locavore dinners. Read More

  • Twenty-Six Divine Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Twenty-Six Divine
    Twenty-Six Divine

    The menu changes weekly at the chef's discretion, but you can count on fresh, innovative salads, panini, tacos, soups, house made pastas, and fresh... Read More

  • Xiao Bao Biscuit Restaurant in Charleston Olivia Rae James
    Xiao Bao Biscuit

    This trendy but unpretentious Asian fusion eatery packs in appreciative crowds for lunch and dinner daily. Read More

  • Zero George Cafe and Bar Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Zero George Cafe + Bar
    Zero George Café & Bar

    The intimate dining room, piazza, and enclosed brick patio lend a secretive elegance to Chef Vinson Petrillo's refined cuisine. Read More

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