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Must Eats in Charleston

Chrysti Shain Chrysti Shain
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.
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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
Amen Street on Bay offers a fantastic spot for lunch or happy hour.

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


Rodney Scott BBQ Charleston
Pork that's been cooked "low and slow" over wood-burning smoke pits is the signature of Chef Rodney Scott.

Rodney Scott's BBQ

What it's known for: Pitmaster Rodney Scott, winner of the James Beard 2018 Best Chef -- Southeast Award, is a legend in South Carolina and beyond. Famous for savory smoked whole hog, this barbecue joint is an offshoot of Scott's family business in Hemingway, where he smoked his first hog at age 11 using his "low and slow" technique. Ribs, chicken, catfish, mac and cheese, banana pudding and other Southern favorites are noteworthy as well. 

Style: Barbecue, Southern, casual, James Beard award winner

Address:1011 King St.

Phone: 843.990.9535


The Glass Onion
The Glass Onion is know for fresh dishes, such as this wreckfish with mashed potatoes and succotash.

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." The Glass Onion is 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's strictly Southern menu features only ingredients that can be sourced from the Lowcountry.


What it's known for: Founding Chef Sean Brock designed Husk to use only ingredients from the South. If it's not grown or caught here, it doesn't come into the kitchen. Now Executive Chef Raymond England maintains the approach and Southern-centric focus of the menu, which changes daily. Don't miss the 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 at Fleet Landing. 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


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


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 Charleston Place hotel, this standard-bearer for the Holy City is as welcoming as it is beautiful. Chef de Cuisine Suzy Castelloe offers a seasonal menu with global flair and a local foundation. 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, or Slightly North of Broad, has been combining Southern and French cuisine for over two decades.


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


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 Charleston She Crab soup - one of the best versions in town.

Style: Traditional, Southern, Seafood, brunch, Lowcountry

Address: 199 E. Bay St.

Phone: 843.724.3815


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 to Bowens Island Restaurant.

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


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 The Grocery. 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 fresh vegetable salads.

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 at Chez Nous 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


lewis bbq charleston
Lewis Barbecue

Lewis Barbecue

What it's known for: Central Texas-style barbecue made its Charleston debut at Lewis Barbecue, headed by famed pitmaster John Lewis. Belly up to the counter and order the smoked meat of your choice: pulled pork, turkey breast, house-made sausage (Texas hot guts) and melt-in-your-mouth brisket. Your order is cut in front of your eyes and served up with tantalizing sides like green chile corn pudding, collards and cowboy pinto beans. 

Style: Barbecue, Texas-Southern, casual, family-friendly

Address: 464 N. Nassau St.

Phone: 843.805.9500


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 the brew pub, Edmund's Oast. Almost everything here - including the extensive charcuterie offering - 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 Wild Olive, a comfy 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 at Tattooed Moose. There are other great choices too. Oh, and do not miss the duck fat fries, either. Crazy good.

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

Addresses: 3328 Maybank Highway, Johns Island and 4845 Chateau Avenue, North Charleston

Phone: 843.952.7591 (Johns Island) or 843.277.2990 (North Charleston)


Chrysti Shain
Discover writers share all of the places, activities and adventure that South Carolina has to offer. Read more from some of South Carolina’s locals and discover what’s happening in the Palmetto State.