Credit

Courtesy of Sam Antonio Photography/Getty Images

What to Eat in Charleston, SC

Charleston is a top foodie destination in its own right. Even if you're not in town for one of the city's culinary events (like the Charleston Wine + Food Festival or Charleston Restaurant Week), you'll still get a chance to sample some low country cuisine at any one of the city's top restaurants.

Travelers and locals alike heap praise on Husk and Magnolias for their contemporary Southern menus and attentive service. Favorite dishes at Magnolias include the down south egg roll, the buttermilk fried chicken breast and the shellfish over grits. FIG and The Ordinary are equally popular for their seafood-centric menus and trendy interiors. Poogan's Porch (a great place for brunch) offers a similar low country menu in a charming, restored Victorian house. High Cotton, another purveyor of low country fare, hosts a popular Sunday brunch that features live jazz from local musicians. If you're in the mood for more casual breakfast or coffee spots, consider The Daily or Second State Coffee. And if you're not too full from a hearty brunch, head to 167 Raw for lunch, an oyster bar that's popular for its oyster selection and lobster rolls. During peak tourist season, waiting for a table at one of these eateries can turn into a long night. If you already know where you'd like to dine while in Charleston, make reservations before you get into town. 

You can't make reservations at Hyman's Seafood, so be prepared to battle the line snaking out of the door for a seat at this perennial tourist favorite. With a more casual atmosphere and budget-friendly menu than some of Charleston's other downtown area restaurants, it's easy to see why travelers (especially those with kids in tow) prefer to stake a claim in the line than pay some of the city's other restaurant tabs. You won't encounter too many locals, but you will find a big menu with just about any seafood you could imagine.

Another way to experience all the culinary delights Charleston has to offer is on a food tour. Many of the city's walking tours also incorporate food.

Along with its impressive food menus, Charleston also boasts a bevy of trendy drinking establishments worth checking out. The Gin JointThe Belmont and The Rooftop Bar at Vendue are all praised watering holes to consider.

Find the Best Restaurants in Charleston, SC

  • #1
    Halls Chophouse
    #1 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 6217 reviewsTripadvisor (6217)
    $$ | American, Steakhouse
    434 King St, Charleston, SC 29403-6230
    Read More »
  • #2
    Bitty & Beau's Coffee
    #2 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 123 reviewsTripadvisor (123)
    $ | American
    159 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401-3123
    Read More »
  • #3
    Revival
    #3 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 627 reviewsTripadvisor (627)
    $$ | American, Seafood
    162 E. Bay Street (Next To The Vendue), Charleston, SC 29401
    Read More »
  • #4
    Circa 1886 Restaurant
    #4 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2176 reviewsTripadvisor (2176)
    $$ | American, Contemporary
    149 Wentworth St Behind the Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, SC 29401-1733
    Read More »
  • #5
    167 Raw
    #5 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1772 reviewsTripadvisor (1772)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood
    193 King St, Charleston, SC 29401-1620
    Read More »
  • #6
    Charleston Grill
    #6 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1936 reviewsTripadvisor (1936)
    $$ | American, Contemporary
    224 King St, Charleston, SC 29401-3102
    Read More »
  • #7
    Peninsula Grill
    #7 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2743 reviewsTripadvisor (2743)
    $$ | American
    112 N Market St Corner of Meeting and North Market streets, Charleston, SC 29401-3157
    Read More »
  • #8
    Grill 225
    #8 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2372 reviewsTripadvisor (2372)
    $$ | Seafood, American, Steakhouse
    225 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2608
    Read More »
  • #9
    Lewis Barbecue
    #9 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 717 reviewsTripadvisor (717)
    $ - $$ | American, Barbecue
    464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403-3828
    Read More »
  • #10
    Swig & Swine
    #10 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2071 reviewsTripadvisor (2071)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar, Barbecue
    1217 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7826
    Read More »
  • #11
    82 Queen
    #11 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3998 reviewsTripadvisor (3998)
    $$ | American, Soups
    82 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401-2220
    Read More »
  • #12
    Cru Cafe
    #12 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2928 reviewsTripadvisor (2928)
    $ - $$ | American
    18 Pinckney St, Charleston, SC 29401-2006
    Read More »
  • #13
    R Kitchen
    #13 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 643 reviewsTripadvisor (643)
    $ - $$ | American, International
    212 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403-5303
    Read More »
  • #14
    Magnolias
    #14 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 7445 reviewsTripadvisor (7445)
    $$ | American, Seafood, Soups, International, Contemporary
    185 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2126
    Read More »
  • #15
    Sugar Bakeshop
    #15 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 276 reviewsTripadvisor (276)
    $ - $$ | American
    591/2 Cannon Street, Charleston, SC 29403
    Read More »
  • #16
    Christophe Patissier-Chocolatier
    #16 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 234 reviewsTripadvisor (234)
    $ - $$ | Cafe, French
    90 Society St, Charleston, SC 29401-1431
    Read More »
  • #17
    Slightly North of Broad
    #17 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 4156 reviewsTripadvisor (4156)
    $$ | American
    192 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2123
    Read More »
  • #18
    Brown Dog Deli
    #18 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1574 reviewsTripadvisor (1574)
    $ | American, Deli
    40 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401-3004
    Read More »
  • #19
    Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
    #19 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 548 reviewsTripadvisor (548)
    $ | American
    501 King St, Charleston, SC 29403-7205
    Read More »
  • #20
    High Cotton Charleston
    #20 of 831 Places to Eat in Charleston
    Tripadvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2541 reviewsTripadvisor (2541)
    $$ | Steakhouse, Seafood, American
    199 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2605
    Read More »

Explore More of Charleston, SC

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended