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

    A newly restored corner building in the heart of bustling Upper King, 492's name corresponds to (you guessed it) the street address, yet the daily... Read More

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

    Good things come in small packages. At lunchtime and dinnertime, hungry locals pack into this pillbox eatery to sip champagne flutes and eye the seafood... 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

    A distinctly masculine edge infuses this elegantly whimsical tavern, the latest offering from veteran chef Robert Carter. Antler laced chandeliers and... 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

    If you're craving a cappuccino, looking for a cool place to work on your laptop, or are just interested in coffee culture, head to this sunny little... Read More

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

    Follow the signs off Folly Road toward Sol Legare Creek to this beloved seafood shack. At Bowens, fresh steamed oysters are served by the shovel-full.... 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

    Any culinary city worth its weight in foie gras needs an authentic French patisserie. This is it. Tucked on a side street just off King, Café Framboise... Read More

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

    Who doesn't love a piping hot southern biscuit for breakfast, brunch, or a late night snack? These doughy little beauties were born in the private... Read More

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

    In little more than a year since opening, Chez Nous has cemented itself as one of Charleston's finest restaurants and hippest destinations. Snuggled... Read More

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

    When Chef Mike Lata and his business partner Adam Nemirow launched FIG ("Food Is Good") in 2003, they could not have predicted that within a dozen years... Read More

  • Husk Restaurant in Charleston Adam Goldberg

    Reservations often book weeks ahead for this locavore temple set in a sprawling Victorian house with double porches. Chef Sean Brock's testament to new... 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. Cozy up... Read More

  • Minero Restaurant in Charleston Courtesy of Minero

    After snagging a James Beard Award in 2010 for Best Chef: Southeast, Sean Brock expanded his culinary dynasty to reflect his passion for Mexican street... Read More

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

    A top-notch restaurant on the small main drag of Sullivan's Island, the Obstinate Daughter rivals any venue downtown. Pull up a seat at the smooth... 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

    The scruffy exterior of this strip mall belies the excellence of the cuisine within, a slam dunk for foodies. Since it burst on the scene in early 2015,... 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

    Follow the smoke trail west of Charleston until you see the billboard reading "BBQ: Because Skinny People Are Easier to Kidnap." Pitmaster Anthony... Read More

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

    The Vendue markets itself as an "art hotel" and lines the walls of its ground floor restaurant The Drawing Room with cutting-edge works. Musicians and... Read More

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

    One of these days, three-time semifinalist chef Jeremiah Bacon will get the James Beard Award that is his due. The Macintosh is a culinary playpen for... Read More

  • The Ordinary Restaurant in Charleston Squire Fox
    The Ordinary

    Ever since he opened FIG, which won him a coveted James Beard award for Best Chef: Southeast, Mike Lata has had local shrimpers, fishermen, and crabbers... 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

    Husband-and-wife team Jenn and Enan Parezo combined their culinary resort and catering experience to open this dollhouse eatery considered by many... 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. Potted plants replace old gas pumps beneath... Read More

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

    Tucked on the ground floor of a meticulously restored antebellum townhouse-turned-inn, Zero George Café & Bar caters to hotel guests and visitors... Read More

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