Dine at South Carolina's Award-Winning Restaurants

By:Libby Wiersema

Date:9/26/2018

South Carolina is rich in dining treasures, so it only stands to reason that many of our restaurants routinely take the national spotlight. Discover what the buzz is all about by visiting one of our culinary superstars. Here’s a list of restaurants taking a well-deserved bow after garnering special recognition.


AAA Diamonds

Five Diamond designations are given to just 0.2 percent of the more than 31,000 US restaurants meeting the stringent criteria of AAA inspectors; only 2.1 percent earn a Four Diamond designation.


Charleston Grill – Charleston

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Elegant, farm-to-table global cuisine expertly prepared by Executive Chef Michelle Weaver and her staff.


Circa 1886 – Charleston

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Romantic, elegant dining in the carriage house of the Wentworth Mansion.


Dining Room at Abingdon Manor – Latta

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Pre-fixe gourmet menus prepared and served in the elegant setting of this gracious country inn.


Hall’s Chophouse – Charleston

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Prime dry- and wet-aged steaks, stellar service and a rousing gospel brunch.


Langdon’s Restaurant and Wine Bar – Mt. Pleasant

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Dishes that sing with creatively concocted sauces and glazes, expert wine pairings.


McCrady’s – Charleston

Accolade: AAA Five Diamonds

Claim to fame: An unparalleled tasting menu served in an intimate setting with seating for just 22; the only restaurant in South Carolina with a five-diamond rating.


McCrady’s Tavern – Charleston

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Fine, traditional American cuisine served in a historic, 350-year-old tavern.


Michael’s on the Alley – Charleston

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Dine on fresh seafood, steaks and exquisite pastries while sitting in Italian leather wraparound booths.


Palmetto Cafe – Charleston

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Upscale breakfast and lunch fare overlooking a lush garden.


Peninsula Grill – Charleston

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Caviar, foie gras, duck, lobster and other upscale dishes served in an elegantly casual dining room.


Ocean Room – Kiawah Island

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Seasonal ingredients, specialty steaks and fresh seafood served up with great ocean views.


Old Fort Pub – Hilton Head Island

Accolade: AAA Four Diamonds

Claim to fame: Known for creative, expertly prepared dishes with a focus on fresh seafood.


James Beard Awards

Often called the “Oscars” of food awards, the annual James Beard Awards recognize the best chefs, mixologists, restaurants and more across the nation.


Bertha's Kitchen – North Charleston

Accolade: America’s Classic, Winner, 2017

Claim to fame: Bustling soul food cafe serving rib-sticking, Gullah-inspired dishes.


Charleston Grill – Charleston

Accolade: Outstanding Service, Semifinalist, 2016

Claim to fame: Elegant, farm-to-table global cuisine expertly prepared by Executive Chef Michelle Weaver and her staff.


FIG – Charleston

Accolades: Outstanding Wine Program, Winner, 2018; Michael Lata, Outstanding Chef, Semifinalist, 2017

Claim to fame: FIG is a Charleston icon known for its farm-to-table inspired menu and robust wine program featuring the best offerings of small vineyards, as well as Old World classics.


The Grocery – Charleston

Accolade: Kevin Johnson, Best Chef, Semifinalist, 2016, 2017, 2018

Claim to fame: Imaginative, farm-fresh dishes spotlighting the best from local producers.


High Wire Distilling Company – Charleston

Accolades: Ann Marshall and Scott Blackwell, Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional, Semifinalist, 2017

Claim to fame: Handcrafted, small-batch spirits made from fine ingredients.


The Living Room at the Dewberry – Charleston

Accolade: Outstanding Bar Program, Semifinalist, 2018

Claim to fame: Creative cocktails served up in the midcentury-style lounge of this popular Charleston hotel.


The Macintosh – Charleston

Accolade: Jeremiah Bacon, Best Chef: Southeast, Semifinalist, 2016

Claim to fame: Technique-driven fare with locally sourced ingredients.


The Ordinary – Charleston

Accolade: Chef Michael Lata, Outstanding Chef, Semifinalist, 2018

Claim to fame: Local fresh shellfish and other seafood from Lata, proprietor of local favorite, FIG.


Rodney Scott’s BBQ – Charleston

Accolade: Rodney Scott, Best Chef: Southeast, Winner, 2018

Claim to fame: Old-school, whole-hog barbecue prepared by Scott, a legendary pitmaster.


Short Grain – Charleston

Accolade: Shuai Wang, Rising Star Chef of the Year, Semifinalist, 2017

Claim to fame: Exciting pop-up restaurant serving creative Asian cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients.


Southern Living Awards

One of the nation’s most revered publications, Southern Living is a trusted “go-to” for Southern goodness. That means each restaurant tout carries a whole lot of clout.


Carolina BBQ – Spartanburg

Accolade: Best BBQ in South Carolina, 2017

Claim to fame: Hickory-smoked ribs, chicken, brisket, turkey and pork served with Southern sides.


FIG – Charleston

Accolade: South’s Best Restaurants List, 2017

Claim to fame: Charleston icon known for its farm-to-table inspired menu and robust wine program.


Hominy Grill – Charleston

Accolade: South’s Best Restaurants List, 2017

Claim to fame: Fist-size Southern biscuits and other Lowcountry classics served in homey surroundings.


Husk – Charleston, Greenville

Accolade: Best Restaurant in South Carolina, 2018

Claim to fame: Dishes with a strong dedication to Southern-sourced ingredients.


Maurice’s Piggie Park BBQ – Columbia

Accolade: Best BBQ in South Carolina, 2018

Claim to fame: Pit-cooked barbecue served with signature sauces in 12 locations.

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