Charleston Restaurants

Charleston is blessed with a bevy of Southern-inflected selections, from barbecue parlors to fish shacks to casual places serving Lowcountry fare like shrimp and grits. If you'd like to try something new, there are plenty of places serving updated, inspired versions of classic dishes. Before you leave, you'll definitely see why Charleston is considered one of the greatest food cities in the world.

The city's dining scene status continues to rise, boosted by a group of James Beard Foundation repeat award winners. Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill, Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary, Jason Stanhope of FIG, and Sean Brock of McCrady's and Husk each earned the designation of Best Chef: Southeast, in successive years. The city boasts other prodigious talents, too: Alex Lira of Bar Normandy, Jeremiah Bacon of the Macintosh, Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill, Ken Vedrinski of Trattoria Lucca, Jacques Larson of Wild Olive and The Obstinate Daughter, and Josh Walker of Xiao Bao Biscuit. It's the establishment of the New South, circa now.

As for attire, Charleston invites a crisp yet casual atmosphere. Don't forget, it was recognized as the Most Mannerly City in the country by Marjabelle Young Stewart, which means that residents are slow to judge (or, at the least, that they're doing so very quietly). On the whole, the city encourages comfort and unhurried, easy pacing. The result is an idyllic setting in which to enjoy oysters on the half shell and other homegrown delicacies from the land and sea that jointly grant the city its impressive culinary standing.

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  • 1. Bowens Island

    $$ | Seafood

    This family-owned seafood shack has survived hurricanes, fires, and the onslaught of trendy restaurants hitting downtown. The menu at this funky...Read More

  • 2. The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene

    $$$ | Seafood

    At first glance, the odd name appears to refer to this waterfront restaurant's exterior, topped off with a shabby screened-in porch (in actuality...Read More

  • 3. Briny Swine

    $$ | American

    Begin your meal here with a half-dozen raw oysters, then fill up with a platter of ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. That's the concept behind...Read More

  • 4. Coda del Pesce

    $$$ | Seafood

    Ken Vedrinski's oceanfront homage to the sea on the Isle of Palms is worth the hike from downtown. The crudo (raw fish) with tangerines, wine...Read More

  • 5. Pressley's at the Marina

    $$$ | Seafood

    This relaxed waterfront spot offers up fare from land and sea alike. Start off with hush puppies served with sweet honey butter and a bowl of...Read More

  • 6. Blossom

    $$$ | Downtown Historic District | Seafood

    Lowcountry seafood is the specialty at this relaxed eatery where exposed rafters, wood-paneled walls, and unadorned tables counter casual with...Read More

  • 7. Edisto Pavilion Restaurant

    $$ | Seafood

    The water view at this oceanfront restaurant is reason enough to go. For lunch, try the fried oyster or shrimp po'boys. At dinnertime, you can...Read More

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