A guide to the best restaurants in Charleston SC. Learn where to find the most succulent steak, the best pulled pork and the freshest lobster roll.
People from all over are flocking to Charleston and raving about the impressive Lowcountry cuisine. An influx of young chefs from all over the world, access to local fresh seafood, and superior local produce have all helped Charleston become one of the top food destinations in the world. Whether you desire shrimp and grits, freshly caught seafood, or a succulent steak, you won't have trouble finding a place to eat, but you may have trouble deciding where to eat.
Halls is a family owned upscale steakhouse located in the heart of Upper King Street. All the steaks come from Allen Brothers of Chicago which offers the highest quality grade of beef you can buy. The cuts of meat are aged in a climate controlled room with an ultra violet light. They are then rotated on a daily basis until the aging process is complete. This process creates a “bark” around the cut of meat that seals in the juices. The steaks are then cooked on a 1600 degree broiler, charring the meat and locking in the flavor. @ 434 King St
R Kitchen is a unique restaurant where Ross Webb and his small team of assistant chefs whip up incredible meals. The atmosphere is very intimate, with guests seated around the kitchen, interacting with the chef while they are preparing the meal. The restaurant seats up to 16 guests in the kitchen or 20 on the covered patio, so you need to make reservations well in advance. The restaurant has two nightly seatings at 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm, offering a 5-course meal that emphasizes local, seasonal ingredients. @ 212 Rutledge Ave
167 Raw is part seafood market and part restaurant. They offer an assortment of fresh oysters, clams, fish and shrimp for purchase to go or you can stick around and try the legendary lobster roll or scallop Po Boy. The restaurant's chalkboard menu, which changes daily, lists the seafood specials and the daily selection of oysters and where they are from. Seating is limited, so arrive early or plan on waiting for a table. @ 289 East Bay St
Cru Cafe, located in a classic 18th century Charleston single-style home with a wraparound porch, offers traditional American comfort food. The seating arrangement is comfortable, and you can opt to sit indoors, on the patio, or on the terrace where you can enjoy the breeze. The restaurant has daily specials, a wine list tailored to the varied menu, and mouthwatering desserts. @ 18 Pinckney St
John Lewis grew up in Texas and began learning how to prepare the perfect barbecue at age 18. He became a rising star, and his BBQ was voted the best in Austin by the local newspaper. Three years later he moved to Charleston to introduce the Holy City to Texas BBQ. Choose from cut-to-order brisket, house-made sausage, ribs, or super-moist turkey slices prepared in large custom-built smokers. @ 464 Nassau St
Trattoria Lucca, located on a quiet corner of downtown Charleston, serves up Italian cuisine inspired by the ancient Tuscan city of Lucca. The menu features Italian imported cheese and salami, handmade pasta, and the freshest seafood from the waters surrounding Charleston. The menu changes nightly depending on what local seafood and ingredients are available. @ 41 Bogard St
Stella's specializes in Greek classic dishes like grilled halloumi, moussaka, keftedes, and much more. They also serve Sunday brunch and an extensive menu of shareable meze plates. Make sure to save room for house-made desserts, including baklava studded with chocolate, creamy rice pudding, and semolina custard wrapped in phyllo and anointed with cinnamon and lemon syrup. @ 114 St Philip St
Slightly North of Broad is an eclectic low country Bistro located in an 18th century warehouse. The chef utilizes ingredients from local farmers and fishermen to create irresistible Southern food. This highly awarded restaurant has an exposed kitchen and a casual atmosphere. The staff is expertly trained and the restaurant offers an extensive selection of wine. SNOB also offers a very inexpensive lunch menu. @ 192 E. Bay St
Magnolia’s started a culinary renaissance when it opened in 1990 and remains a forerunner in upscale Southern cuisine. The Charleston restaurant, located at the site of the city's original Customs House (circa 1739), blends traditional ingredients and cooking techniques with modern flair and artful presentation. For a more wallet-friendly option, stop by for lunch when they offer plenty of Southern-styled soups, salads, and sandwiches. @185 E Bay St
Brown Dog Deli offers an assortment of deli sandwiches, wraps, salads, and burgers along with an entire menu of vegan and vegetarian options including a Black Bean Burger and a Portobello Philly. Some of the must-try items on the menu include the Reuben Dog, and the Duck Club made with apple-smoked duck breast. Dine inside this cozy hip deli or enjoy the relaxed outdoor seating area. @40 Broad St.
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