Places to eat in Charleston

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Most Viewed Restaurants in Charleston

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    Hank's Seafood Restaurant: Ok but not trilled

    by tpangelinan Written Oct 9, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It was suggested we try here by a few people, it was pretty good, the restaurant was very nice inside, the was good, good choices from seafood, to steak & chicken. The only real problem we had here was the dumb waitress, about as sharp as a bowling ball! we simply asked to have separate checks so we could expence it, after ten or so minutes she comes back and said "some one mixed my checks up so I got confused" she hands me a bill that had Ernie's card# and receipt him to sign but my order, so I ran back to tell her not to charge his again just mine, "she no problem" and comes back 10 more minute later but seemed to have it right this time. Did not like the service but food was pretty good, don't think we would eat here again.

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    SweetWater Cafe': Good Breakfast

    by tpangelinan Written Oct 9, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Instead of eating the continental breakfast we found this diner just out side the parking lot of the Kings Court Inn on Market St. This was a neat diner which seemed to bring you back to the 50's with the music to back it up. The service was good and fast, clean, food very tasty and the coffee was just what I needed to get started. All in all well worth it, I'd eat there and again and did!

    Favorite Dish: The french toast was cooked perfect, the bacon was crispy, eggs cooked just right too. Good coffee also!

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    Bocci's: If your in the mood for Italian

    by tpangelinan Written Oct 8, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We tried here by suggestion of our concierge if we were in the mood for Italian. It was only about 2 or 3 blocks from the hotel. We walked in the dark in this strange town and felt like we were home, the people were friendly and spoke to you rather then look like they want to rob you. Sorry about that, lost my train of thought. Walked in the restaurant, the Hostess greeted us,very good wait staff too, it had a very old time Italian feel, the music, the smell in the air and the old wooden table & chairs. Very friendly staff, the food came pretty quick, smelled good, looked good, and was ok. Terry had the Ziti and noodles were over cooked and the sauce was ehh. I had the Chicken Param. the chicken was very moist and tasty but the sauce was again ehh, not so good. The bread they brought you was good but they had no garlic bread??? This I find odd, no garlic bread in an Italian Restaurant, then I remembered we were in the Fench Quarter part of town that may be why the bread she did bring us was French Bread. Maybe they had an off night with the sauce, don't know, but the rest of the experience was very good and fun, we sat in front of a big window and got to see a huanted ghost tour going on as the guide took then around old town, very cool people watching spot.

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    Jim N Nick's Bar-B-Q: Good BBQ on King St.

    by tpangelinan Written Oct 8, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was our first meal in Charleston, didn't really have any idea where to eat so we started walking up King St. and we came arcoss this place and thought we would give it a try. Happy with our choice, very nice atmosphere, old and a lot of wood, the staff was very friendly and helpful. We started with Mr. Jims Chili, very tasty then came the meal shortly after that, all the food was good, not bad for a first pick restaurant. The price were reasonable, around $9-$17 per person. I would suggest giving them a try if you like BBQ.

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    Market Street Deli: Yummy Lunch!

    by tpangelinan Written Oct 8, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Great little place for lunch, clean, friendly stuff, the prices were good and so was the food. Try the Cuban Flat Bread with ham, turkey and swiss cheese with special spicey mustard was truely a joy to eat. This is a great place to stop for lunch, all the local venders at the market eat here so this must be the hot spot for good eats. So stop in if you need a break from all that shopping at the Market.

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    Vickery's Beaufain St. Bar and Grill: Go for Happy Hour

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 20, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We went to visit our friend on the other side of the river at Charleston Maritime Center and drove out into town to find a place to eat. We went by Hyman's and there was a line already and it wasn't even 5:30. We found someone leaving a metered parking place and slid into it and started to walk. We stopped at two Italian places - neither one opened until 6, and one said he was full and had no room anyway.

    When we saw the sign for Vickery's, our friend said it was a kind of pub/bar place. So I said - they've probably got a happy hour and are open now. So we went, and they were. There is another Vickery's on the other side of the river in the Mt. Pleasant area.

    They seated us inside (it was too cold for outside) and billed each of us separately - I guess the waitress could not figure out who went with who.

    Favorite Dish: Our friend had two appetizers and two Rolling Rock beers on the happy hour specials (wings and quesidilla). I had black eyed pea fritters ($1.00), a cup of gazpacho (very spicy with a lot of onion), and a tossed salad with bacon and drank iced tea, and Bob had a chef's salad with salmon and also drank tea. The whole bill for the three of us was $36.52 including a $6.00 tip. I would have had dessert, but the two guys were falling to sleep.

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    39 Rue de Jean: Burgers At A French Brasserie?

    by riorich55 Updated Nov 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After getting acclimated to Charleston by visiting the Visitor Center and viewing a 20 minute film on Charleston we visited the Charleston Museum and one of the historic homes. We finished that tour, took a few more pictures of a church and cemetary and started toward another home but as it was around 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, Rich said I think lunch is in order, or something to that effect. Anyways as we were walking back to the more commercial area we stopped and talked to a lady who was originally from Boston who said she liked to eat on John Street at Rue de Jean. She mentioned their burgers and fries were fabulous so without delay we headed up John Street and soon found our destination.

    As you can see from the pictures we had our choice of eating inside or out, but since the temperature that day was approaching 90 and we were a little tired from our morning adventures we opted to eat inside.

    We were seated near the bar and had the fortune to have Jimmy (by coincidence also a Boston transplant) the bartender as our waiter. Jimmy was extremely attentive and as you can see from the picture Sue took (2nd picture in this series) has a great impish smile. Look close at the Ooh La La! sign behind Jimmy and the bar in the picture.

    Favorite Dish: So I can get in the 2 pictures and another inside shot from the restaurant this tip continues in Rue de Jean Part II

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    Rue de Jean: French Burgers - Part II

    by riorich55 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Anyway to continue. We really enjoyed lunch here at Rue de Jean. Jimmy was great and since it was a little late for the regular lunch crowd he had some time to spend talking to us about his sojourn to Charleston from Boston. Short story he wasn't sure where he wanted to go when he left Boston, so he took a train, got off in Charleston where he had never been before and decided to stay. Better winters, although the summer months get a bit steamy.

    Favorite Dish: Sue had the Frissee Lyonnaise which is Frisee lettuce, bacon lardons, toasted hazelnuts, poached egg with hazelnut vinaigrette.

    Rich had the 10 oz. Brasserie Burger with Gruyere Cheese (the other cheese choices were Roquefort or Cheddar) and great fries.

    We opted not to have the speciality of the house which are mussels. But if you are a mussel lover they had over a half dozen varieties. They had many other options and a great dessert menu, but we noticed a Italian Gelato place right next store so we opted to skip dessert here and head next door. Who'd a thunk it was that short a trip from France to Italy? See the dessert in another tip.

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  • The Mustard Seed: Exceptional Food at a REASONABLE price!

    by mrlegare Written Mar 29, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Okay, try the fancy schmancy restaurants in Charleston's historic district -- they ARE very good (especially 82 Queen and SNOB - Slightly North of Broad). But their prices are a little too high and the atmosphere is usually too shi-shi for my regular dining taste. My wife and I have lived in Charleston for over 5 years now and we've found a local restaurant that we absolutely love -- and we think you will too. In fact we've eaten there almost once a week for the past 4 years! The Mustard Seed on James Island (there are 2 others -- located in Mt. Pleasant, and Summerville) is simply one of the best restaurants in town. The atmosphere is casual (but I wouldn't go in cut-offs and a tank top--take it up a notch from that and you'll be fine) and the food is just plain delicious; the staff are friendly and professional. Prices are very reasonable: dinner entrees are usually in the $10-$18 range, and you'll be pleased with the presentation, the service, everything. Don't bother calling ahead -- they don't take reservations. So yes, 7:00 p.m. means a bit of a wait. Relax. Have a glass of wine at the bar. The best solution: go early and then catch a 7:00 movie somewhere, or go fashionably late around 8:30. It can also get a bit noisy, especially if somebody brought their kids along. But suffer through it -- it's worth it.

    Favorite Dish: You can order absolutely anything off the menu at Mustard Seed and it is consistently good (my favorites: the porkloin, sesame-crusted chicken, or one of their huge "Field of Greens" salads with a dinner-size piece of grilled salmon. Mmmm.

    But if you're only visiting and can't dine more than one evening, do try one of the daily specials. The 'specials board' is brought to your table with focacia and herbed olive oil so you can study all the mouthwatering options. Don't be afraid to ask the server his/her opinion of what looks good that evening. They'll tell you. Specials can be sea bass, grouper, flounder, or salmon, pork, duck, beef, eggplant (vegetarian!), crab cakes, mussels -- and it varies every night. Steamed veggies are often accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes or some other creative concoction. Just wonderful. And NO I don't own the restaurant or own stock in it. We just appreciate good food at good prices. Everyone of our out-of-town visitors gets wined and dined at The Mustard Seed -- they love it, and even mention it months later as a great place.

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    pearlz: oyster bar

    by doug48 Written Apr 10, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    pearlz is a fun, casual oyster bar located in the french quarter. great location, good inexpensive seafood. a pleasant change of pace from the higher priced and stuffier restaurants in the neighborhood.

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    Anson: Old City Market Area Original

    by riorich55 Written Nov 16, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    After driving through South Carolina and making stops at several small cities between Augusta, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina we arrived at our hotel around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. The one thing that we had booked prior to our arrival in Charleston was dinner reservations at 7:00 p.m. for each of the 3 evenings we were going to be there. So arriving in Charleston for the first time ever and needing to quickly check in and freshen up we were in a bit of a rush.

    Fortunately, Charleston is an easy city to get around and so we crossed the bridge from our hotel, drove down Calhoun Street and found a parking spot just to one side on the Old City Market. We walked around a little bit looking for Anson Street. We went right instead of left or else we would have found Anson Street with no problem. The restaurant wasn't too busy and we were promptly seated.

    Our server, Matt took our drink orders (an iced tea for Sue and a glass of Riesling for me) and we purused the menu.

    Before our trip we had reviewed a number of restaurants in Charleston and Anson's was one that was open on Sunday evening (there are several that are not open). Although it was a pleasant enough place, it seemed like we were a little too rushed with dinner. Matt checked in with us too frequently to allow us to enjoy a really relaxed dinner. VT's star rating is 1 to 5 stars. I would give this about a 3.5 stars. Food good, nice location, a bit pricey for what we ended up ordering.

    Favorite Dish: I started out with a Roasted Beet Salad which had smoked ricotta, amarcona almonds and an orange-fennel vinaigrette dressing (Photo 2).

    Sue's main course as the surf and turf, roasted potatoes, green beans with a bearnaise sauce(Photo 3). The surf part was a little unusual in that it was a fried lobster tail. This took away from the sweet flavor of the lobster although it may have also been that the lobster was more of a warm water variety (New England - cold water lobsters are our favorite).

    Rich's main couse was a tasty cashew crusted grouper, hoppin' john (not too spicy) and green beans (Photo 4).

    We looked at the dessert menu, but decided to explore the market area to see if we could discover something else in the market place area.

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    The Deli at the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store: Do you want REAL home cooked southern food???

    by TheTravelingNerd Written Mar 12, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is THE best deal in town by far...for about $6 you can get a huge southern meal that includes a meat, 2 or 3 veggie sides and cornbread and they give you ALOT of food. So here's the deal...just go to any Piggly Wiggly grocery store (downtown, west ashley, north charleston...where ever). The deli closes at 7 pm, but really get there before 6:00 if you want the best selection. So go to the deli where the hot food is...they have amazing southern meals like sausage and dirty rice, southern mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, fried chicken, southern fried steak, corn, mashed potatoes/ gravy, fried okra, fried catfish, baked apples, etc. etc. Just go up to the nice lady and tell her what meat and sides you want and whether you want cornbread or a roll with it. If you' re a vegetarian you could just get the vegetable sides instead. You won't believe how much food they give you and the best part is it's authentic southern food just like mama makes.

    Favorite Dish: mac & cheese, sweet potatoes (aka candied yams), fried okra, fried chicken and cornbread.

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    Lost Dog Cafe: Quirky Little Cafe with Good Breakfast Food

    by riorich55 Updated Nov 29, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I am going to list this in the Charleston section (here) and also create the same tip for Folly Beach (where it is actually located - but not many people visit that page although they should).

    Researching our trip to the Charleston, SC area we look at VT information and then go to our local library to get whatever books we can find. Looking through Lonely Planets guide to the Charleston area, Sue came across this unique little restaurant about a 25 minute ride from where we were staying. We decided to go to Folly Beach on our second full day in Charleston to catch a sunrise and then have breakfast. What a neat little place!! The weather was perfect that day, so after taking in a stupendous sunrise, walking down the beach and seeing a video being created, we hopped back in our car and headed toward the Lost Dog Cafe. I originally thought it was on the waterfront, but then not finding Huron Street finally asked a couple of surfers (COOL HUH) where the Lost Dog Cafe was and they directed me up the road and to the left.

    You can take your meals inside or out, but I love sitting out in nice weather so that's where we partook our morning meal. There was a dog right by us while we were eating outside, but alas he was not lost. He belonged to the young couple with a baby sitting at the table over from us.

    Take a look at picture #1 and picture #2. #1 is outside (the front porch area is where we sat) and #2 is inside (look closing at the surf boards with pictures of dogs).

    Favorite Dish: We started out by ordering morning drinks. Sue had a large hot chai tea and I had the large cold chai tea, both of which were $3.95 and very large. For our main course Sue had the specialty pancakes of the day which were sweet potato with bananas, chocolate chips and fresh whip cream. I opted for something unusual for me, the Breakfast Burrito, as they recommended that in the Lonely Planet guide book. Neither of us were disappointed. Both were huge and we took a portion of each back with us to the hotel to put into the refrigerator. Take a look at pictures #3 and #4

    Our waitress (darn her name's not on the receipt I kept) was very friendly and from what I remember was the girlfriend of the guy who ran the place. Background music was from the 60's and I made a note that one of the songs being played while we were there was Bob Dylan's - Times They Are A Changing.

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  • The Best Charleston Restaurants: Best restaurants in Charleston

    by melfry Written Jan 28, 2008

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    Look, as I local I feel obligated to give you the real scoop on our restaurants....Hyam's seafood is a joke, locals NEVER go there. Where do we go?....Downtown Charleston, by far the best places to eat here are Basil (amazing Thai) on King street - never had a bad meal there. There is also the sister restaurant Chai's - they have the best mini angus cheeseburgers and rock shrimp. Also downtown, a local favorite is Cru Cafe ---best four cheese macaroni, seafood thai risotto and chinese chicken salad. Other favorites downtown on the pricey side are FIG (they use local produce and have a seasonal menu) also great is High Cotton (great steaks, but you will pay for them). On the cheaper side downtown for good soup, salad and sandwiches is Five Loaves (best soup in town and relatively healthy menu). Also, best cheap mexican is either Yo Burrito (downtown and Mt. Pleasant) or Juanita Greenberg's (Downtown) ---neither one are order by numbers (thank goodness).

    Poe's on Sullivan's Island has the best burgers in town, hands down.
    For the Mt. Pleasant side of town---Langdon's is incredible, Mustard Seed is a good lunch spot, Red Drum has amazing dishes (but pricey) and one of my favorite lunch spots is Stacks (almost to Sullivan's Island). If you want gourmet take out or a gourmet picnic lunch--the square onion in Ion is your best bet.

    By far, one of my favorite restaurants is the FAT Hen (French food with flare, also the best fried seafood in town -- no contest) on Johns Island, check it out. Also want to give a nod to Mondo's on James Island (great Italian).

    One of the best restaurants in town is in West Ashley --called Al Di La (Northern Italian) ---you gotta go to this place (fig appetizer, pork shoulder), but fare warning you need a reservation and I would make one at least a week in advance to get a good night and time. (only open at night). These should get you started in the right direction. Don't leave Charleston without eating at one of these places, I promise you won't be disappointed!

    Favorite Dish: see above.

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    southend brewery: brewpub

    by doug48 Written Apr 10, 2007

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    the southend brewery is a very good mico-brewery located in the french quarter. the beer is excellent and they offer a wide range of inexpensive food items such as sandwiches, pizza, and salads. a fun restaurant moderately priced.

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