Charleston, SC is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and Southern hospitality. But it’s also a foodie’s paradise with its exceptional restaurants. You’re sure to find something delicious in the Holy City. These are just a few of the many fantastic restaurants in Charleston enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Be sure your out-of-town wedding guests know about them.
Fantastic restaurants in Charleston, SC
Charleston’s restaurant community is vibrant and diverse. Grab a quick lunch or linger over fine dining. Here are 19 choices that are sure to delight your out-of-town wedding guests. And some even make great locations for rehearsal dinners.
Locally sourced, seasonal ingredients – a Charleston specialty
Being in South Carolina’s Low Country means the freshest ingredients for Charleston restaurants. Chefs and farmers have close relationships and it shows in the menus. Experience the difference fresh, local produce and proteins make.
#1 Enjoy award-winning Southern cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients served in a gracious downtown Charleston historic home at Husk. The menu changes daily, where you’ll find classics like pork belly, and crispy fried chicken, along with shrimp and grits.
#2 “Food is Good” at this Charleston institution, also known as FIG. The seasonal dishes are innovative and fresh. The restaurant also boasts an impressive wine list.
#3 Don’t be put off by this restaurant’s local nickname – “SNOB”. You’ll find the service welcoming and the Southern cuisine upscale. Slightly North of Broad’s menu relies on locally sourced ingredients. Both tourists and locals enjoy the pan-seared duck breast, shrimp and grits, and grilled hanger steak.
#4 Across the Ashley River you’ll find The Glass Onion, a farm-to-table restaurant that offers Low Country-inspired cuisine. Of course, you’ll find shrimp and grits on the menu, but be sure you check out the house-made pimento cheese. And save room for one of their delicious pastries.
Where to enjoy the freshest Low Country seafood
Charleston is known for its fresh seafood prepared in the time-honored Low Country culinary tradition. Oysters reign supreme when in season.
#5 Located in a beautifully restored bank building, The Ordinary makes the most of seafood heritage with raw bar selections, as well as hot and cold seafood-centric dishes. You’ll also find a deep menu of wines and cocktails.
#6 Enjoy outdoor dining and a casual evening with friends and family at downtown Leon’s Oyster Shop. Sip a classic cocktail then dine on delicious oysters or fried chicken.
#7 Variety is at the heart of 167 Raw, a seafood spot that’s popular with both tourists and locals. You’ll find fresh oysters, lobster rolls, and fish tacos, as well as a variety of craft beers and wines.
#8 Take in the historic downtown architecture of The Darling Oyster Bar and the beautiful and stylish oyster bar. The Darling offers a wide variety of oysters, as well as creative seafood dishes and tasty cocktails.
Charleston’s best Asian and Italian
Both of these cuisines are popular rehearsal dinner options. There’s usually something on the menu for everyone.
#9 For a taste of Asian-inspired cuisine in Charleston, head to Xiao Bao Biscuit. Try the okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake, and the spicy Sichuan dish mapo tofu.
#10 In North Charleston, you’ll find the Asian-inspired eatery Jackrabbit Filly offering a range of dishes like dan dan noodles, Korean fried chicken, and char siu pork. Guests will enjoy the laid-back vibe.
#11 Over on nearby Sullivan’s Island, locals, and visitors are in for a treat at the cozy Italian-inspired The Obstinate Daughter. The extensive wine list pairs well with everything from wood-fired pizza and pasta dishes to seafood entrees.
#12 The upscale Melfi’s offers time-honored Italian-American fares like spaghetti and meatballs, along with modern culinary twists such as octopus carpaccio. Their stylish mid-century décor is also a hit.
Unique food finds in Charleston
Charleston offers one of the country’s most unique food scenes. If your out-of-town guests are looking for something a little different, here are a few recommendations.
#13 Charleston is the home of Rodney Scott’s BBQ, the James Beard Award-winning restaurant known for its Southern barbeque. Their signature dish is whole-hog barbecue cooked over wood coals for hours.
#14 Here’s a food-to-table establishment with, of all things, an eclectic menu of Middle Eastern-inspired cuisine – that’s the Butcher & Bee. Their selection of local craft beers and wines is also extraordinary.
#15 Looking for a place for brunch or lunch? The Park Cafe is popular and casual. They offer a range of salads, sandwiches, and egg dishes, as well as creative cocktails and locally roasted coffee.
#16 End the day with a breathtaking view of the Holy City skyline from The Rooftop at the Vendue. The hotel rooftop bar offers a range of cocktails and small plates. There’s also live music on the weekends.
#17 Take a step back in time Charleston-style at Poogan’s Porch. This charming restaurant is located in a historic home in downtown Charleston and offers classic Southern cuisine like shrimp and grits, fried chicken, and biscuits.
#18 For a quick and delicious breakfast, head to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. Here you’ll find delicious sweet and savory biscuits as well as coffee and tea. Your guests can even have these little bites of heaven delivered to their doorsteps.
#19 And if your guests are feeling a bit overindulged by Charleston’s amazing culinary options, send them over to Basic Kitchen. This health-focused restaurant offers a range of delicious dishes like avocado toast, grain bowls, and roasted vegetables.
With the city’s love of fine food and beverage, it’s no surprise that there are many annual events that celebrate Charleston’s culinary heritage and hospitality. Make sure your out-of-town guests know about the things to see and do to fill in some free time in Charleston style.
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