Skip to Content

21 Best Restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina

21 Best Restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina

One of the most popular and best cities for food in America, Charleston in South Carolina is the best place to enjoy a couple of cheat days with delicious barbecue, fried chicken, and biscuits.

If the typical Southern meal like pimento and cheese or grits and shrimp is not your thing, Charleston has a buzzing restaurant scene and it has something for everyone. You can also find the best breweries in Charleston.

There is so much to explore in this beautiful city full of architecture and southern hospitality. Charleston is every foodie’s dream.

There are new restaurants popping up all the time with their contemporary spin on the famous cuisine scene. You can also try to explore the beautiful beaches in South Carolina and plan your getaway.

When you come to Charleston, you will never run out of quality food options and you can’t go wrong eating at this destination.

Best Restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina

Here are the top restaurants for every occasion.

1. Lewis Barbecue

Lweis Barbeque, Charleston, South Carolina

If you are looking for the best barbecue in Charleston, this restaurant is hands down the best, which is why it is at the top of the list. You can enjoy Texas-style house-smoked meats that are served in counter style with industrial hip sauce.

There is a hopping bar and a lot of outdoor picnic tables. Lewis Barbecue could feel like you are in Austin, Texas and this is because the master expert Lewis learned the craft in Austin. 

2. Uncork Charleston

Uncork Charleston

Enjoy good bites, good wine, live music, and a chill date night at Uncork in Charleston.

You can find the best wine bars in Charleston and Uncork is one of the top choices. It is not only a wine bar in a historic building constructed in 1876 but is also the favorite spot of supermodel Madison Headrick. It is one of the best restaurants in Charleston.

When it comes to wine tasting, Uncork is very flexible. They offer 1 ounce, full glass, and half glass so you can try as many types of wines as you want to.

There are more than 40 different wines and they are constantly changing. If you love a particular wine, you can choose to go big and order a bottle of your favorite.

Besides wine, Uncork has a custom craft cocktail menu and delicious food. You can pair their mouthwatering appetizers with the wine you are trying and the staff will ensure that you do not go wrong.

Try charcuterie boards, peach + burrata, meatballs, watermelon gazpacho, and the Oreo bomb dessert. No matter what your mood, Uncork is just perfect. 

See Related: How to Use Scott’s Cheap Flights

3.  Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

If you have midnight cravings, head to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. You are likely to see a long line out of the storefront even at 1 am. It started as a local breakfast counter that sold flaky buttermilk biscuits and went on to become the best late-night snack place.

Everyone in the city is happy to stand in line for the biscuits. This place has been featured by The New York Times, Oprah, Food & Wine, and Saveur.

This is one place that you must visit on any trip to Charleston.

See Related: Best Vacations for a Group of Friends

4.  Leon’s Oyster Shop

Visited Charleston and did not have oysters and fried chicken? Your trip remains incomplete if you do not try the famous Charleston dish.

This indoor and outdoor restaurant is a favorite for locals for the crispy fried chicken, fresh oysters, cocktails, and a comfortable patio. It is a must on any trip to this city. 

See Related: Do You Need a Car in Charleston?

5. Butcher and Bee

Food Options in Charleston

Locals, as well as tourists, are obsessed with the food served at Butcher and Bee. It is incredible and they have an exceptional wine selection. You will find the best wines at very low prices.

This is a hipster shop that is only open for lunch. They serve everything on the bread baked in-house and there is a new grilled cheese every day. The sandwiches are amazing but the sides should not be missed. 

However, if you are going to North Carolina, try to plan an Asheville Itinerary so you won’t miss the things to see and do.

6. Husk

The award-winning Husk has an ever-changing menu of locally sourced dishes that are served in a beautifully restored Victorian-era home.

The supper here is a unique experience for travelers across the world.

It could get a little hard to get a reservation because even the locals often find it difficult to get a seat.

The Bar at Husk is located next door and is equally good. It has a small food menu and an extensive drink menu full of cocktails and bourbon choices. 

7. Blind Tiger Pub

This historic bar has the most beautiful outdoor patio area which makes it a gem. Walk into this bar with your friends and you are guaranteed to have an unforgettable night.

It is a mix between the old historical English courtyard and a jungle. The food and cocktails are equally great. 

8. 167 Raw

If you want to try the local’s favorite place for oysters, you have to head to 167 Raw. It is a small neighborhood bar and seafood restaurant that serves the finest oysters and seafood in town.

The best thing about this place is that there are no reservations and you can always grab a drink while you wait for your food. 

9. Home team barbecue

Home team barbecue has three locations in the city- Downton Charleston, Sullivans Island, and West Ashley. It has become more than a barbecue staple and is known as a meat empire.

Try the smoked wings, the signature cocktails, and the delicious pulled pork nachos. Tourists often say that they would travel back to Charleston only to dine at the Home team barbecue. 

10. Minero

Want to have the best Mexican food in South Carolina?

Head to Minero, it is the best Mexican restaurant in town, and serves the finest chips and corn tortillas, catfish tacos, chocolate sauce, fresh guacamole, carnitas, chicken taco salad, and so much more.

This gem has the best happy hours in Charleston where you can enjoy your favorite drinks at a very low cost. 

See Related: Clear vs TSA Precheck

11. Slightly North of Broad

Food in Charleston, South Carolina

This is a Charleston staple. You will find many delicious dishes ranging from shrimp and grits to lamb and scallops.

It is a very popular restaurant and their desserts are to die for. You should try the cream apple pie and the creme brûlée. 

12. Poogan’s Porch

This place is so good that you have to try it to believe it. It has finger-licking dishes that will leave you asking for more. You have to try the fried chicken, sweet tea glazed salmon, biscuits, local seafood, filet mignon, fried pimento cheese and so much more.

It has everything you ever wanted to try and a lot more than you ever thought you would try. You can head to this restaurant for lunch, dinner, or brunch and you will not be disappointed. 

13. Renzo

This is a gourmet wood fire pizza and wine destination. If you love pizza and wine, it has to be your new favorite place in town. Renzo is also a perfect date night hot spot and is taking over the food scene in Charleston.

It is located in a quaint neighborhood and each pizza variety will blow your mind. This place is relatively small which makes it ideal to share with a small group when you want to try different varieties.

Reach there early if you do not want to wait. It is a small place, and they do not take reservations. 

14. Bowen’s Island

Bowen’s Island - Charleston, South Carolina

Bowen Island is a very short drive from the city and it is a seafood shack that serves next-level food. The shrimp is very popular here and Frogmore Stew is a classic.

You can enjoy local brews here and the best part is the view. If you go in the evening, you can watch the sunset on top of the marsh while you enjoy your favorite drinks. It is a perfect spot for a crowd as well. 

See Related: Outer Banks vs Myrtle Beach: What’s Better?

15. Xiao Bao Biscuit

This restaurant is known as XBB by the locals. It is a favorite spot in Charleston and the menu is an ideal blend of Asian cuisines. You can try Thai som tum and Chinese lamb dumplings.

This place remains closed for one month a year and they come back with a new menu inspiration and it shows on their food. They have some of the most innovative dishes you will have ever tasted. 

See Related: Best Travel Gifts for Backpackers

16. F.I.G

If you want to have only one fancy meal at a restaurant, choose F.I.G which is Food is Good.

When it comes to their service, it is outstanding and the food is equally good. The chief has won the James Beard Award for being the best chef and he serves incredible things with fish. 

17. Sugar bakeshop 

If you have a sweet tooth, you have to head to the Sugar bakeshop. It serves the best cupcakes ever. You have to try the honey cupcake, ginger molasses cupcake, and chocolate cupcake. They also have ice cream, popsicles, and sun tea. 

18. Miller’s All Day

Miller’s All Day - Charleston

Miller’s is not open all day but it usually opens from 7 am to 3 pm. It is a perfect spot for Southern-inspired lunch and breakfast. The menu is simple but exciting and their cinnamon rolls are out of the world!

They are made from biscuit dough and have the perfect taste. They also have special grits bowl which is always a safe bet. 

19. The Darling Oyster Bar

Since Charleston is close to water, you can find many spots serving delicious seafood. The Darling Oyster Bar is always rotating their selection of oysters based on what is the freshest.

They are known for oyster spaghetti with bacon, lemon, and capers. The food is so good that you will find most plates licked clean in no time. 

See Related: Best Travel Sandals

20. Edmund’s Oast

This place is perfect for those who are into beer. There are about 50 beers on tap and 8 are brewed on the premises. It is one of the best breweries in Charleston, South Carolina. They change the menu from time to time. If you are not into beer, this place is also for you.

There are outstanding cocktails and punches which are on tap. Barmen will be happy to help you pick your drink and they have a shrimp toast which is certainly the best in Charleston

See Related: Do Hotels Take Cash?

21. Second State Coffee

Second State Coffee - Charleston, South Carolina

This is a trendy coffee shop that looks like it belongs in Brooklyn and that is what makes it so popular. The location, ever-flowing cold brew, and fat straws make it a good spot to head to. It has three different locations and serves the best coffee in the world. 

No matter what your preferences are, you will never be disappointed in Charleston. Start looking for flights to Charleston, South Carolina, and enjoy the best food scene which always has something for everyone. There are quaint restaurants and happening bars where you can drink to your heart’s content.

The best thing about the restaurants in Charleston is that the menu changes from time to time and the chefs put in a lot of effort to ensure that their menu stands out. If you love seafood and want to experiment with new dishes, Charleston is your place to be.

Whether this is your first trip or you visit often, make a list of these restaurants and ensure you visit them whenever you can. You and your family can also try exploring the small town of Travelers Rest, SC, and experience it yourself on what it has to offer.

If you think you already spent too much time South, why not check out the top attractions in Burlington, North Carolina? Feel free to read the list we created for your guidance and safe travels as always!

Related Resources

Lock In Your Travel Now
Looking for Extra Travel Perks?
My favorite travel companion is The Platinum Card® from American Express, which gives me lounge access, Uber credits, upgrades, and plenty of other travel perks. If you want to find out the best travel rewards credit card for you, consider using CardMatch to instantly get matched to a travel rewards credit card that meets your travel needs.
Booking Flights

Use Skyscanner to book the cheapest flight possible. Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine as you can find flights around the globe and from every airline possible. You'll be in great shape to get the best price possible.

You must grab a free trial or join Scott's Cheap Flights Premium to get cheap flight alerts directly to your email inbox. My favorite cheap flight alert was 25,000 Delta SkyMiles to London non-stop.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It's a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Use World Nomads to find the best policy for your travel schedule.
Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use Booking.com as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.
Want More Destination Ideas Direct to Your Inbox?
Be sure to join the ViaTravelers Newsletter for expert tips, tricks and inspiration for your next travel journey!