Charleston Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Visit in the Carolinas
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Courtesy of Sam Antonio Photography/Getty Images

What to Eat in Charleston

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 Magnolia's for their contemporary Southern menus and attentive service. Favorite dishes at Magnolia's include the down south egg roll, the buttermilk fried chicken breast and the parmesan crusted flounder. 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 Black Tap 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.

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


Find the Best Restaurants in Charleston

  • #1
    Halls Chophouse
    #1 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 5600 reviewsTripAdvisor (5600)
    $$ | American, Steakhouse
    434 King St, Charleston, SC 29403-6230
    Read More »
  • #2
    Charleston Grill
    #2 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1811 reviewsTripAdvisor (1811)
    $$ | American, Contemporary
    224 King St, Charleston, SC 29401-3102
    Read More »
  • #3
    Grill 225
    #3 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2074 reviewsTripAdvisor (2074)
    $$ | Seafood, American, Steakhouse
    225 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2608
    Read More »
  • #4
    167 Raw
    #4 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1512 reviewsTripAdvisor (1512)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood
    289 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-1620
    Read More »
  • #5
    Swig & Swine
    #5 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1715 reviewsTripAdvisor (1715)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar, Barbecue
    1217 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7826
    Read More »
  • #6
    Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams
    #6 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 468 reviewsTripAdvisor (468)
    $ | American
    501 King St, Charleston, SC 29403-7205
    Read More »
  • #7
    Circa 1886 Restaurant
    #7 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1994 reviewsTripAdvisor (1994)
    $$ | American, Contemporary
    149 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401-1733
    Read More »
  • #8
    Peninsula Grill
    #8 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2545 reviewsTripAdvisor (2545)
    $$ | American, Seafood, Grill
    112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-3157
    Read More »
  • #9
    Lewis Barbecue
    #9 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 540 reviewsTripAdvisor (540)
    $ - $$ | American, Barbecue
    464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403-3828
    Read More »
  • #10
    Revival
    #10 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 165 reviewsTripAdvisor (165)
    $$ | American, Seafood
    162 E. Bay Street (Next To The Vendue), Charleston, SC 29401
    Read More »
  • #11
    Cru Cafe
    #11 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2771 reviewsTripAdvisor (2771)
    $ - $$ | American
    18 Pinckney St, Charleston, SC 29401-2006
    Read More »
  • #12
    82 Queen
    #12 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3325 reviewsTripAdvisor (3325)
    $$ | American, Soups
    82 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401-2220
    Read More »
  • #13
    R Kitchen
    #13 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 572 reviewsTripAdvisor (572)
    $ - $$ | American, Cajun & Creole, International
    212 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403-5303
    Read More »
  • #14
    Magnolias
    #14 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 6770 reviewsTripAdvisor (6770)
    $$ | American, Seafood, Soups, International, Contemporary
    185 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2126
    Read More »
  • #15
    Sugar Bakeshop
    #15 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 259 reviewsTripAdvisor (259)
    $ - $$ | American
    591/2 Cannon Street, Charleston, SC 29403
    Read More »
  • #16
    Slightly North of Broad
    #16 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3883 reviewsTripAdvisor (3883)
    $$ | American, Soups
    192 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401-2123
    Read More »
  • #17
    Brown Dog Deli
    #17 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1417 reviewsTripAdvisor (1417)
    $ | American, Deli
    40 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401-3004
    Read More »
  • #18
    Christophe Patissier-Chocolatier
    #18 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 219 reviewsTripAdvisor (219)
    $ - $$ | Cafe, French
    90 Society St, Charleston, SC 29401-1431
    Read More »
  • #19
    Stella's
    #19 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 192 reviewsTripAdvisor (192)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Greek
    114 ST Philip Street Corner of Warren and ST Philip Streets, Charleston, SC 29403-6141
    Read More »
  • #20
    Leyla Fine Lebanese Cuisine
    #20 of 1,032 Places to Eat in Charleston
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 965 reviewsTripAdvisor (965)
    $ - $$ | Lebanese, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
    298 King St Intersection King and Liberty, Charleston, SC 29401-1441
    Read More »

Explore More of Charleston

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