Charleston has so many beautiful, amazing restaurants to discover that trying to figure out which one to go to can be a real challenge. Discover lowcountry cuisine at one of the Cajun/creole places or have a romantic dinner for two at a beautiful, elegant restaurant located in the historic district. One thing is certain, no matter what you choose you are in for a culinary treat. We had listed the best places to eat in Charleston, SC below. This will give you a great starting point in discovering a small but significant portion of Charleston’s food scene.
Circa 1886 Restaurant
Visit: Circa 1886 Restaurant
Circa 1886 is a beautiful restaurant that is housed in the original carriage house of Wentworth Mansion, a historic mansion built in 1886. This gorgeous restaurant is decorated with wood paneling, warm hues, plush interiors and intimate candle-lit tables. This elegant décor adds so much romance and ambience to your meal that you will feel transported to another time. Chef Marc Collins gets the inspiration for his dishes from all over the world, creating a menu from those inspirations that is very unique to the Charleston dining scene. He also tries to incorporate healthier options when possible that do not compromise the exceptional taste of these dishes, for instance, by using less butter and cream, adding whole grains to the dishes and using ingredients that are picked at the peak of flavor. From the very start of the meal where you are served their popular Plantation Rice Bread Rolls that are fresh made each day to the delectable desserts that Pastry Chef Lovom makes, you will be provided with a culinary experience that you will never forget.
Visit: Halls Chophouse
This family steakhouse makes hospitality and exceptional American cuisine top priority with every guest that comes through the door. The steaks served at Hall’s Chophouse are the freshest, highest quality USDA prime steaks and highest quality USDA prime beef for the burgers that can be served. In addition to steakhouse entrees, Halls also serves sustainable, fresh seafood dishes, vegan and vegetarian options and even gluten-free menu selections as well. The dining room features a variety of live music every night that can range from classic jazz to soulful Gospel songs on Sunday. There are three private dining rooms that are able to accommodate large groups if you want to have a larger party or event there. The bar offers guests happy hour during the week where you can sit down, relax after work and eat a delicious meal from the bar menu along with a tasty cocktail. Free WiFi is offered to guests in the bar as well.
Magnolia’s opened in 1990, paving the way for many other restaurants in the South. This popular and well-known Southern restaurant blends together modern cooking techniques and traditional ingredients that they use to create culinary works of art that are appreciated by every guest that comes to dine at the restaurant. Some of their popular dishes include Down South Egg Roll that is stuffed with chicken, collard greens, Tasso ham and served with spicy mustard sauce, red pepper puree and peach chutney and the Shellfish over Grits that features sea scallops, sautéed shrimp, lobster and creamy grits that are served with fried spinach and lobster butter sauce. It is dishes like these that have put Magnolia’s on the map. The exquisite food and impeccable service are a winning combination that will keep them at the head of the pack.
Slightly North of Broad
Visit: Slightly North of Broad
Slightly North of Broad is a unique restaurant that is focused on feeling like a natural extension of your own home kitchen. The food they serve is sourced from local fishermen, farmers, producers and growers. You can choose from such popular dishes as the New Bedford Scallops or the 8 ounce Beef Tenderloin. They offer a selection of appetizers that you will want to try as well. Slightly North of Broad is dedicated to providing guests with warm, attentive service and incredible food that has been prepared with expert precision, passion and care. They want their guests to come and sit back and relax while enjoying an incredible meal. True hospitality is what makes a good restaurant great and Slightly North of Broad is definitely one of the greats.
FIG has a very simple approach to pleasing every guest that walks through the door. They are focused on providing them with flavorful, high-quality ingredients in an atmosphere that fosters relaxation, laughter, intimacy and fun. They want to be a haven for people who just love the taste of exquisite food that is made with passion. The food and ingredients used in FIG’s dishes are created based on the seasonal offerings they choose from local sources whenever possible. The dishes on the menu are designed to pay tribute to the Lowcountry and that they do. The staff is knowledgeable on all aspects of beverage and food culture so they can answer any question a guest may have. One of the most common questions a guest will ask is what wine they should choose. The staff at FIG will be able to help you with that without hesitation, helping you choose the perfect complement to your entrees. Dining at FIGF will make you feel special, important and so comfortable you will look forward to coming back again soon.
Brown Dog Deli
Visit: Brown Dog Deli
Brown Dog Deli has a very diverse menu that caters to a lot of people’s food cravings. There are many menu items that are guest favorites such as the Muffaletta and the Curry Chicken Salad. Other popular hits include the Pig N Fig, which is a pulled pork sandwich that is made with Fig-rosemary preserves, pulled pork, cheddar cheese, applewood bacon, and Granny Smith apples. It is served on a French baguette that has been pressed, Panini-style, and is out of this world. Another superb favorite is the Apple Butter Jeans sandwich. This treat is made with Granny Smith apples, salami, pepperoni, fresh arugula, honey ham, applewood bacon, mesquite-smoked turkey, locally made apple butter and melted brie. This sandwich is also served on a pressed French baguette. There is a variety of things for you to try at Brown Dog Deli. Plan on coming by often because you will want to give yourself the chance to try a lot of their creations.
Swig & Swine
Visit: Swig & Swine
In 2013, Swig & Swine hit the Charleston food scene and became a fast favorite in the Lowcountry. This popularity is because of the delicious, authentic barbecue that is all-wood smoked for the ultimate in flavor and tenderness. If you consider yourself a barbecue connoisseur, you will definitely want to come to Swig & Swine so you can taste how barbecue is supposed to be. There is a huge array of mouth-watering beef brisket, smoked pork belly, chicken wings, tender ribs, smoked turkey and more. They also offer guests over 60 craft beers and an extensive wine and liquor selection as well. The barbecue served at Swig’s has been cooked on low and very slowly, locking in the smoky flavor and natural juices that make it taste so good. Swig & Swine is the perfect place to sit back and relax with a cold beer, exceptional barbecue and great friends and family.
Visit: Cru Café
The next time you’re looking for lowcountry comfort food, come to Cru Café. Owned and operated by renowned Chef John Zucker, this off-the-beaten-path culinary destination is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. It is housed in a beautiful, 18th century home that adds to the appeal of this restaurant. There you can dine on incredible dishes like their famous Four Cheese Macaroni and Thai Seafood Risotto. There is something for everyone at Cru Café. They also offer tasty Duck Confit Salad or a tasty Chinese chicken Salad that is perfect for those wanting a little bit lighter fare. There is outdoor porch seating available for those who want a change of pace and a wine list that will give you excellent selections that will enhance your meal even more. Don’t forget to try their mouthwatering desserts to finish your meal with something sweet and delectable.
Hank’s Seafood Restaurant
Visit: Hank’s Seafood Restaurant
When you can say that you have been considered the best seafood restaurant in Charleston for 16 years in a row that is really saying something. Hank’s Seafood Restaurant has that distinction. The charming ambience and extraordinary food provides guests with an experience that they will remember for a lifetime. Hank’s is a combination of a classic Fish House and an old fashioned saloon in one with hand-blown lead glass windows, a raw bar made of zinc and copper, mahogany frames on the art work, antique tile, and plank floors made from pine. Don’t forget the exhibition raw bar if you have a craving for delicious, fresh oysters. Hank’s only uses fresh, local ingredients in their dishes which is what makes them the best place to come for authentic lowcountry recipes and delicious Charleston flavors.
Visit: Trattoria Lucca
Classic Italian food is always a pleasure to eat and Trattoria Lucca is the place to get that delicious, classic food. The menu changes nightly depending on the local ingredients that inspire him and the fresh catch the fishmonger brings him. Imported Italian cheeses and salumi are featured in many dishes as well as handmade pastas, fresh seafood, and fresh local produce as well. Fresh is the name of the game at Trattoria Lucca and the delicious taste of their food reflects that dedication to using the finest, freshest ingredients around. The décor of the 50-seat restaurant offers community style seating and soft, banquettes that are pillowed for luxury and comfort. They also have one of the hottest bars in town and most days you can find the Chef seated there making his fresh pasta for that night. Trattoria Lucca is a dining experience that will bring Italy right to your table and leave you wanting more the second you are finished with your meal.