The Top Restaurants in Charleston, SC
Charleston is older than America – it was founded in 1670, and because of that, it retains the beautiful classic architecture of the era, along with a City designed for walking and carriage rides instead of cars. That’s led to a fantastic nightlife culture, with world class restaurants and great bars dotted throughout the city.
In fact, Charleston – along with its sister city of Savannah – is the crown jewel of low country cuisine. The low country, which describes the entire floodplains of the Southeastern United States region, is full of salt marshes and coastal waterways, providing bountiful access to incredible seafood, rice and more. Lowcountry cuisine is characterized by some of these ingredients, creating classic dishes like Shrimp and Grits, Hoppin’ John, Oyster Roasts, Brunswick stew and more.
Part of this rich culinary tradition is buttressed by the Gullah Geechee community. The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of enslaved Africans who were brought to work on the plantations in the area. The culture of this West and Central African community has remained strong and united, and a number of restaurants in the Charleston area present themselves as Gullah Geechee cuisine, which focuses on rice forward dishes and crops like sorghum, okra and red peas. So the next time you’re visiting the low country, take a stroll around Charleston – aka Geechie City – and discover the flavors of one of the most delicious places in the country!
Looking for the hottest places in Charleston to eat? Here are the 20 best restaurants to visit, no matter what you’re in the mood for. Oh, the places you’ll go!
3. Slightly North of Broad
192 E Bay St | Charleston, SC 29401
Fresh and local ingredients mixed with fine dining, you get the best of both worlds. Whether it’s the presentation of the food or the taste, you will be blown away by what you receive. Try their Shrimp and Grits or their known Southern Medley, there’s more where that came from. You coming for Brunch, Lunch, or a Romantic Dinner?
4. 167 Raw Oyster Bar
193 King St, Charleston, SC 29401
In the heart of Charleston, New England is present at 167 Raw Oyster Bar. Bringing out fresh seafood inspired by the East Coast; check out their RAW Bar, Tacos, and even their Po Boys. Does it get better than that? They’re on our list of Essential Seafood Restaurants in Charleston – add them to yours for your next visit.
5. Poogan’s Porch
7. The Obstinate Daughter
8. Frannie & The Fox
9. The Darling Oyster Bar
11. Sorghum & Salt
12. Chubby Fish
15. Fleet Landing
186 Concord St | Charleston, SC 29401
Located by the City Market in Charleston, there’s no way you can miss Fleet Landing! Being waterfront, not only do you enjoy the food, but the views too. You getting the Baked Spinach Dip, Crispy Steak Calamari, or a Dinner Speciality?
16. Cru Cafe
18 Pinckney St | Charleston, SC 29401
Home to some of the best gourmet comfort food, Cru Cafe is a classic since the 18th century. With a menu full of selections such as Cru Caesar salad, Gourmet Grilled Cheese, and even Shrimp BLTs, what more could you ask for? There’s no way you’re leaving hungry.
17. R Kitchen
With five course testing menus, your tastebuds will go on a journey here. There’s a new menu every night, and you can come taste a different cuisine every time you come. Whether you’re with a party or on an intimate date, R Kitchen will set the tone.
18. Church and Union
32B N Market St | Charleston, SC 29401
The chef features classics such as fried chicken, their fresh catch, and even Lowcountry tacos. Located in Downtown, you’re in the middle of it all. Are we going for dinner or what because Church and Union is the place to be to eat!
68 Wentworth St | Charleston, SC 29401
Amping the South with style, that’s what you’ll find at Lenior. Drooling over plates such as K-town patty melts, Grits and Greens, and even Chocolate cheese pies, there’s a lot to go around. Not only is the food good, but make sure to snap a pic too, the decor is beautiful!
20. Charleston Carribbean Creole
They may not have a brick and mortar location, but don’t let the folks at Charleston Carribbean Creole fool you – they make world class, flavorful food that uses the best of hte lowcountry. Come for shrimp po boys, conch fritters and more – stay for the good vibes and great crowd, something you’ll find at all of Charleston’s Best Black Owned restaurants.
21. Hall’s Chophouse
434 King St | Charleston, SC 29403
Known as The Charleston Steakhouse, Hall’s Chophouse brings only the best of the best USDA Prime steaks. That’s not the only thing on the menu though, you can find seafood, chops, etc. too! Why choose one when you can choose all?