Great food. Never had tried this restaurant before our trip in Feb 2003. There has always been a line out front. We didn't think it could be worth all the hype, but it was. We got there around 4 pm and didn't even have to wait for a bar table. We were there sampling the menu items for about 3 hours. By the time we left the street was lined (in the soaking rain) with people waiting to get in. Well worth it ... but only if you get there in time to avoid the line.
Favorite Dish: Fresh Oysters Shucked Right In Front of You
Crab & Shrimp Dip
Prince Edward Island Sauteed Mussels (Choice of Marinara or Scampi)
Charleston Shrimp & Grits or Salmon & Grits Served with Garlic Bread, and Cole Slaw (topped with a brown seafood gravy)
Soft Shell Crab
Famous Apple Hi Pie
A la Mode - Eli's Favorite! Crunchy apples baked to perfection in a flaky tender crust. And topped with vanilla ice cream
Every time I'm in Charleston I try and stop by Hyman's. They offer a wide selection of local seafood. Located on Meeting Street, they are just a little north of what I would call the tourist area. It should be walkable from most downtown hotels in good weather.
When you are seated you may have one or more brass plaques bolted to your table with names of celebrities who have eaten there. It's a little kitschy but it speaks to the quality and reputation of the restaurant and it's food.
Favorite Dish: The she crab soup is outstanding. I could dine on that and a side of red rice and would be happy.
Their fish menu changes depending on the catch and is broken into categories (1,2,3) which increase in price as the number increases. All of the fish can be prepared a number of ways. I had a blackened shark once that was outstanding as well.
The depend on reviews from 1985, more than once I have waited in line outside and a section of the restaurant was not beinging used. The floors are always sticky and gross.
Do yourself a favor and avoid this restaurant, there is much better seafood within walking distance.
Charleston locals DO NOT eat here. With all the great dining in our town it's hard to believe that this place has stayed open. A better bet for this type of seafood is the "The Wreck" in Mt. Pleasant.
A bit touristy & noisy, but the food was great. Good for familes & meeting a group. There's a bar if you're solo like me. :)
Favorite Dish: The lobster bisque was rich, complex & just thick enough. The crabcake sandwich was one of the best I've ever had. Even the bread was good! Lump, sweet crabmeat and a subtle, zesty sauce. My only regret is not trying one of the fab looking bloody mary's.
Expect to wait about an hour to be seated, but it is worth it. Each seat has a plaque of celebrities that have dined in that spot. Since Charleston is a magnet for movie makers, there have been some pretty big heavyweights there. The atmosphere is open and conversation can get pretty loud, but it is a laid back place and the food is absolutely some of the best seafood in Charleston.
Favorite Dish: Fried shrimp was great.
This restaurant is the butt of many a joke among Charleston locals. The fact that it continues to get business is a complete mystery to me and is most likely due to ignorance of travelers who spotted a billboard coming into town where they proclaim themselves as the #1 seafood restaurant in SC. I never have been able to figure out:
A.)by whom they were voted #1
B.)what was the criteria? was it judged or based on volume of nominations?
C.)were they able to nominate themselves?
D.)when did this vote actually occur? they've been claiming this for at least 10 years. I don't think this "vote" happened any time recently
The one time I actually ate there, the food was mediocre (think Captain D's). Since then, multiple sources from both inside and outside the restaurant claim that their food is purchased on or near the expiration date to save money. There is also reportedly a second dining room which stays closed to create a "line out the door" and a false sense of demand.
There are many other great seafood restaurants within walking distance of this location that represent local cuisine much better.
This place draws a large crowd. They start you out with a bowl of boiled peanuts and then you get to meet Rita the greeter!
Favorite Dish: Grit cakes! It looked interesting so I tried it......I don't shy away from anything new that's seafood! It was like a "hamburger shaped" patty of grits that were fried and then covered with cheese and topped with shrimp and covered in a white sause!
This is the most well known and highest rated seafood place in Charleston. It has a central location Downtown and is easy to get to from most hotels in that area. I would HIGHLY suggest getting there at off peak hours because anywhere near lunch or dinner especially in tourist season there will be a loooong wait.
Favorite Dish: anything
This is an old Charleston favorite serving for over 115 years with a fresh oyster bar, a fun and casual atmosphere, and huge portions. Hyman's Seafood is located in historic Charleston. Specializing in fresh local seafood, award winning she crab soup, great wine at supermarket prices and fast friendly service. This is a must visit restaurant don't waste time at any other seafood restaurant in Charleston!!!
Favorite Dish: The fried seafood platter - it is incredible!!!
Hank's Seafood is located near the Market and is delicious, if a little expensive. It gets my vote for top local place to eat seafood. For more info go to
Hyman's Seafood at 213 Meeting Street is very well-known and always has a long line out to the street. It is quite good but like I said the wait is usually long, especially in summer. Voted #1 seafood restaurant in South Carolina by Southern Living magazine, five years in a row.
As far as the most unique location, The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene in Mt. Pleasant is in an old wreck of a boat. I haven't eaten there myself but I hear it is good and full of atmosphere (you're given a paper menu and a red marker to circle what you want to eat.) They don't take credit cards. 106 Haddrell St, Mount Pleasant,SC 843/884-0052
Another scenic place to eat seafood is at one of the many restaurants on Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant. This is just a quick hop over the Cooper River Bridges. All of these restaurants have decks and are on the water, making for a very relaxing meal.
Voted the best seafood restaurant in South Carolina, this no frills affair serves up ample portions of fresh and well prepared seafood.
Favorite Dish: Local specialty She Crab Soup and a combination seafood platter that was big enough to share.