Must Eats in Charleston

By:Chrysti Shain

Date:9/13/2016

Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar
Amen Street on Bay offers a fantastic spot for lunch or happy hour.

If you don’t know it by now, Charleston is a great place to eat. Fresh seafood and local produce rule the city along with the top chefs and cooks who coax out flavors to blow your mind.

But how do you choose? Yes, it’s hard. But here’s a little help in sifting through the menus of what’s hot, right now.

Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar

What it’s known for: Located in an 1800s brick building, Amen Street revives the historic name for the centuries-old street. The restaurant has an awesome raw bar, where the fish and oyster menu changes daily. The large, comfy booths are perfect for families, and the spot is a particularly good stop for lunch or happy hour.

Style: Seafood, casual, family-friendly

Address: 205 E. Bay St.

Phone: 843.853.8600

The Glass Onion
The Glass Onion features seasonal Lowcountry fare in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Glass Onion

What it's known for: Located on busy US 17 west of Charleston's historic district, this relaxed restaurant serves what it calls "soulful food." It's the place to teach your kids about deviled eggs, po' boy sandwiches and other seasonal Lowcountry fare. Don't miss the dessert board or the homemade ice cream.

Style: Southern, casual, family-friendly

Address: 1219 Savannah Hwy, Charleston

Phone: 843.225.1717

Husk
Husk's strictly Southern menu features only ingredients that can be sourced from the Lowcountry.

Husk

What it’s known for: Chef Sean Brock designed this restaurant to use only ingredients from the South. If it’s not grown or caught here, it doesn’t come into the kitchen. The menu changes daily, but some things appear often. Don’t miss the crispy pig ear lettuce wraps, fried chicken skins, shrimp and grits or cult-favorite cheeseburger. A floor-to-ceiling chalkboard lists where all ingredients originate.

Style: Southern, farm-to-table, family-friendly, James Beard award winner

Address: 76 Queen St.

Phone: 843.577.2500

Fleet Landing
Fleet Landing is a great place for families to dine on fresh seafood and enjoy spectacular views of the Cooper River.

Fleet Landing

What it’s known for: Grab a table outside and drink in the view. Situated on the Cooper River near Waterfront Park, this is the place to watch boats go by, marvel at the Ravenel Bridge and dine on traditional seafood dishes. You can see the USS Yorktown across the river and Fort Sumter in the distance. Great for families.

Style: Family-friendly, seafood, waterfront

Address: 186 Concord St.

Phone: 843.722.8100

Cypress
Cypress features a three-story wine wall and Lowcountry dishes that show chef Craig Deihl's hand at house-made charcuterie.

Cypress

What it’s known for: Lowcountry fare is elevated to new heights under the graceful hand of chef Craig Deihl, who sets the standard for house-made charcuterie. Both fish and meat dishes shine here, as does the three story wine wall. For a more casual dinner in an upscale setting, check out the upstairs bar.

Style: Seafood, charcuterie, James Beard nominee, Lowcountry

Address: 167 E. Bay St.

Phone: 843.727.0111

The Hominy Grill
The Hominy Grill sources fresh, local ingredients for a menu that changes daily.

Hominy Grill

What it’s known for: Traditional South Carolina dishes shine here, with a daily changing menu of locally sourced, not-to-miss classics. Chef/owner Robert Stehling embraces and updates dishes created generations ago with superb execution. It’s one of the few great places open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and by all means leave room for a piece of house-made pie.

Style: Lowcountry, seafood, breakfast, brunch, biscuits, James Beard winner, pie, lunch, dinner, family-friendly, casual

Address: 207 Rutledge Ave.

Phone: 843.937.0930

FIG
FIG, short for Food is Good, stands up to its name as one of the finest restaurants in Charleston.

FIG

What it’s known for: FIG stands for Food is Good, and that sums up everything that comes out of the kitchen here. Chef/partner Mike Lata works with local farmers and fishermen to showcase the best of the Lowcountry on each plate. This is a meal and place to remember.

Style: Southern, James Beard winner, seafood

Address: 232 Meeting St.

Phone: 843.805.5900

The Charleston Grill
The Charleston Grill shines as an elegant, must-stop place for diners to experience the finest the Holy City has to offer.

Charleston Grill

What it’s known for: Set in the elegant Belmond Charleston Place hotel, this standard-bearer for the Holy City is as welcoming as it is beautiful. Chef Michelle Weaver uses local ingredients to create innovative, memorable dishes. Enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine at the accompanying jazz bar, where the service shines as much as it does in the main dining room.

Style: Southern, Lowcountry, Elegant, James Beard Award Winner

Address: 224 King St.

Phone: 843.577.4522

SNOB
SNOB, or Slightly North of Broad, has been combining Southern and French cuisine for over two decades.

SNOB

What it’s known for: Don’t let SNOB’s name fool you. It stands for Slightly North of Broad, but there’s nothing snobby about this Port City standout. For more than two decades, SNOB has been combining locally grown vegetables, meats and seafood with Southern and French technique. Don’t miss the shrimp and grits. They might just be the best in the city.

Style: Southern, Lowcountry, James Beard winner, traditional

Address: 192 E. Bay St.

Phone: 843.723.3424

The Peninsula Grill
The Peninsula Grill offers one of the most romantic dining settings in the city.

Peninsula Grill

What it’s known for: Tucked away behind a beautiful wrought iron gate down a brick pathway just off Charleston’s historic market, Peninsula Grill is one of the city’s most romantic dining spots. Whether you choose the elegant dining room or lush courtyard, it’s a remarkable setting for an exceptional meal. And don’t miss the signature 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake, which is always on the menu.

Style: Traditional, Southern, Elegant

Address: 112 N. Market St.

Phone: 843.723.0700

McCrady’s

What it’s known for: Set in a building that was a restaurant and bar during the Revolutionary War, McCrady’s combines the freshest local ingredients with the cutting edge culinary skills of chef Sean Brock for contemporary Southern dishes. The menu changes daily. Don’t miss the hand-crafted cocktail list, which is filled with both classic and created drinks.

Style: Traditional, Southern, James Beard winner

Address: 2 Unity Alley

Phone: 843.577.0025

High Cotton
High Cotton, located on E. Bay St., offers traditional Southern fare in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

High Cotton

What it’s known for: With a larger menu than some fine dining spots, High Cotton combines great local ingredients with expertise. It’s a warm, inviting place that’s also open for brunch. Don’t miss the praline souffle. It takes a while to cook, so order it early.

Style: Traditional, Southern, Seafood, brunch, Lowcountry

Address: 199 E. Bay St.

Phone: 843.724.3815

The Macintosh
The Macintosh has developed a loyal fan base in Charleston through their signature dishes.

The Macintosh

What it’s known for: The bone marrow bread pudding, the Mac burger and the Deckle, the most decadent, tasty part of the rib eye, have developed a loyal following here. Don’t miss the Bacon Happy Hour, named appropriately after chef Jeremiah Bacon, who also is turning out seafood charcuterie from local waters as well as other innovative dishes.

Style: Southern, Lowcountry, James Beard nominee

Address: 479B King St.

Phone: 843.789.4299

Bowens Island Restaurant
Bowens Island Restaurant, near Folly Beach, is a must-stop on any visit to Charleston.

Bowens Island Restaurant

What it’s known for: This is the place to go for roasted oysters, Frogmore stew and fresh fried shrimp. Set on the marsh near Folly Beach, this James Beard American Classic restaurant is just that – a classic seafood joint. No trip to Charleston is complete without a visit.

Style: Classic, traditional, seafood, James Beard winner, Lowcountry, family-friendly, casual

Address: 1870 Bowens Island Road

Phone: 843.795.2757

The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene

What it’s known for: “The Wreck,” as it’s known to locals, is named for a trawler that landed on the same spot in Shem Creek during Hurricane Hugo in 1989. And it’s the place to get fried shrimp and other seafood. You’ll snack on boiled peanuts while you’re waiting.

Style: Seafood, family-friendly, Lowcountry, casual

Address: 106 Haddrell St., Mount Pleasant

Phone: 843.884.0052

Martha Lou's Kitchen
Martha Lou's has been serving up Southern, soul food for over three decades.

Martha Lou’s Kitchen

What it’s known for: Tucked away in a little pink building might just be the best fried chicken you’ll ever taste. Martha Lou’s has been serving up home-style, Southern soul food for more than 30 years. Come hungry because plates come with sides, and you can’t leave without having some bread pudding.

Style: Southern, traditional, Lowcountry, family-friendly, lunch, casual

Address: 1068 Morrison Drive

Phone: 843.577.9583

The Fat Hen
The Fat Hen features a menu of locally sourced ingredients in dishes created from French influences.

Fat Hen

What it’s known for: Located in the midst of fertile farming community of Johns Island, The Fat Hen combines the best of local ingredients with French techniques. Don’t miss their menu of specialty cocktails and local brews, as well as a divine Sunday brunch.

Style: Southern, Lowcountry, French, family-friendly, brunch

Address: 3140 Maybank Highway, John’s Island

Phone: 843.559.9090

The Grocery
The Grocery's atmosphere is fantastic for a Sunday brunch or a stop in for house-made charcuterie.

The Grocery

What it’s known for: Chef Kevin Johnson uses seasonal ingredients from local farmers and fishermen to create his menu, and his in-house canning program keeps local wares available all year. The wood-burning oven contributes to the homey atmosphere. Don’t miss the house-made charcuterie or great Sunday brunch.

Style: Southern, Lowcountry, brunch

Address: 4 Cannon St.

Phone: 843.302.8825

Chez Nous

What it’s known for: This tiny spot brings big flavors, turning local ingredients into terrific Spanish, French and Italian dishes. The menu is the same for both lunch and dinner and changes each day, offering two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts.

Style: Italian, French, Spanish, Lowcountry

Address: 6 Payne Court

Phone: 843.579.3060

Trattoria Lucca
Trattoria Lucca features fresh, local ingredients in Southern dishes with Italian influences.

Trattoria Lucca

What it’s known for: The premiere Italian restaurant in the Lowcountry, chef Ken Vendrinski changes the menu daily to showcase the freshest local ingredients. Pasta is handmade each day and paired with local seafood in dishes you’ll be talking about long after you leave.

Style: Italian, Southern, James Beard nominee

Address: 41-A Bogard St.

Phone: 843.973.3323

Edmund's Oast
Edmund's Oast offers a unique dining experience with a menu inspired by a variety of beers.

Edmund’s Oast

What it’s known for: The beer inspires the menu at this brew pub, where almost everything, including the extensive charcuterie program, is made from scratch. And it’s almost as fun to read the beer menu as taste from it. The patio makes for a nice experience, and they serve Sunday brunch, too.

Style: Brewpub

Address: 108 Morrison Drive

Phone: 843.727.1145

Wild Olive

What it’s known for: Regional Italian dishes sourced from local ingredients make this comfortable restaurant in lush farm country a must stop. House-made pasta and house-cured salumi shine here, as does whatever is growing in the fields nearby. Leave room for dessert for sure.

Style: Italian, family-friendly

Address: 2867 Maybank Highway

Phone: 843.737.4177

The Tattooed Moose
The Tattooed Moose is a great late-night stop on your trip through the Holy City.

The Tattooed Moose

What it’s known for: Best sandwich in Charleston? Check. Mike’s Famous Duck Club is in a league of its own and has quite the following. There are other great choices too, plus do not miss the duck fat fries. Crazy good.

Style: Diner, late-night, lunch, brunch, sandwich, family-friendly

Address: 1137 Morrison Drive

Phone: 843.277.2990

R.B.’s Seafood Restaurant

What it’s known for: This is an old-style seafood house, complete with a big menu of fresh Lowcountry fare and a great view of Shem Creek. Fried shrimp shines here, but you can also get almost any traditional Charleston seafood dish. It’s a great spot if you have a bigger party.

Style: Seafood, family-friendly, traditional, Lowcountry, lunch

Address: 97 Church St., Mount Pleasant

Phone: 843.881.0466

Artisan Meat Share
Chef Craig Deihl's mecca for meat, the Artisan Meat Share, features in-house charcuterie, supreme sandwiches and the often soughtafter bacon jam.

Artisan Meat Share

What it’s known for: If you’re craving something other than seafood, grab a sandwich from chef Craig Deihl’s house-made charcuterie. This is all about meat, and it’s cured in-house and served up on crispy bread, salad or a by itself. And by all means, get some bacon jam while you’re there. It comes on the burger, but take a jar home too.

Style: Sandwich, family-friendly, lunch, James Beard nominee

Address: 33 Spring St.

Phone: 843.641.7299

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