Top 10 Best Restaurants In Charleston SC-Insider’s Guide

charleston sc

Charleston South Carolina is located on the coast of the United States and is a beautiful place to visit. The area is rich in history and there are plenty of things to do. Charleston is also a great place to retire.

If you are looking for a place to retire, Charleston is a great choice. The climate is mild and the cost of living is affordable. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy, including golf, tennis, fishing, and boating. There are also many cultural attractions, such as museums and theaters. Charleston is a safe and friendly city, making it a great place to live.

If you are looking for a place to visit, Charleston is definitely worth considering. There is so much to see and do. You can tour the historic sites, visit the museums, or go on a nature hike. Charleston is also a great place to shop. There are many unique shops and boutiques in the city. You can find everything from antiques to designer clothes. Charleston is a beautiful city with plenty to offer visitors, especially food! Here is a list of some of the top restaurants in Charleston South Carolina.

Nigel’s Good Food

Nigel’s Good Food in North Charleston is a staple. Each dish has a homey feel and is therefore known for its slogan “just what your soul needs”. It’s like being invited to a family dinner with its friendly staff and relaxed dining area. Deviled crabs and gumbo are the best, along with Nigel’s popular Geechie wings. This signature dish is battered and deep-fried. It’s then tossed with a sweet-and-sour sauce.

JackRabbit Filly

Jackrabbit Filly, a Chinese-American restaurant, is from Short Grain. Corrie Wang and Shuai Zhang bring Shuai’s Chinese heritage to the menu, with Japanese and American influences. You might find comfort foods like pork and cabbage dumplings or fried rice and pineapple on the takeout menu.

Bertha’s Restaurants

Bertha’s Kitchen, a famous soul food restaurant, was established in 1979. It is best known for its delicious fried chicken and fish. Locals and tourists alike make the trip to North Charleston’s big turquoise house to enjoy the Southern comforts of Albertha Grant’s dishes, such as the smothered pork chops or oxtails. Bertha’s is also a favorite of critics. The James Beard Award was presented to Bertha’s Restaurant in 2017 as America’s Classic.

Lewis Barbeque

John Lewis, Pitmaster of the Charleston BBQ Company brought his best-ever brisket from Austin to Charleston. It’s been a huge hit ever since. It’s a unique space for barbecue, with a modern and clean design. Hot guts, fatty brisket, and green chili corn pudding are some of the most requested dishes.

Rodney Scott’s Barbeque

Rodney Scott, a James Beard award-winning pitmaster, brought whole-hog barbecue from Hemingway to Charleston. It was a huge success. The North Central restaurant offers a variety of delicious options, including smoky pulled meat with a touch of vinegar and a comforting sandwich made from ribeye. Don’t forget to order the cornbread and collards. Rodney Scott BBQ offers takeout and plenty of outdoor picnic tables.

The Ordinary

One of the most popular and authentically “Charleston” restaurants, The Ordinary, is located on King Street. It’s the main street for shops and restaurants. This seafood staple is a must-visit place for all your seafood needs. It boasts hand-painted murals and high ceilings. There are also impressive chandeliers. The Ordinary, Charleston’s premier “low-country” restaurant, is the perfect place to enjoy local oysters and softshell crab. They also play a fantastic soundtrack with music like “I’ll Be Around” by the Spinners. This is an ideal spot for romantic dates. The oyster sliders are a must-try. They come on sweet Hawaiian rolls and house-made mayonnaise. The Ordinary is the place to go if you love oysters. The oyster appetizer is simple, but it’s a delight. It comes with hot sauce, Old Bay dusted saltines, and creme fresh.

It is also delicious to eat shellfish. The corn-dusted softshell crab, bee snapper, and zucchini appetizer are all great options. Although the menu is constantly changing, you can rest assured that oyster and seafood offerings will continue to be top-notch as the seasons change.

Circa 1886

Circa 1886 is a fine-dining restaurant that has won numerous awards. It’s the perfect place for a lavish dinner. Circa 1886 is part of the Wentworth Mansion and serves delicious, elevated Southern cuisine. This chef-driven menu takes diners on an unforgettable food journey through South Carolina’s foodie landscape. The Circa 1886 foie gras appetizer comes with strawberry jam, cassava pudding, and hazelnuts. It melts in the mouth. The silky carrot sauce, vanilla bean vinaigrette, and perfectly grilled sea scallops are a great pairing. Circa 1886 makes a great place to celebrate a special occasion. You can also enjoy exceptional food at this location.


Rooftop Bar at The Vendue, hip and vibrant, offers a stunning view of Charleston. It is also a fantastic spot to meet friends or enjoy your favorite libation. To kickstart your evening, try the Red Moon Margarita. Jalapeno-infused Tequila is paired with Cointreau blood orange, lime, and sparkling wine to create a moment of “let’s party!”

Peninsula Grill

Peninsula Grill is a fine dining restaurant that offers exquisite cuisine in a stunning setting. This is the perfect recipe for an unforgettable night out with your friends or family. Enjoy a delicious bowl of She Crab Soup, followed by one of their famous steaks. They offer a variety of beef cuts including New York Strip, Porterhouse, and Tomahawk. You will enjoy their beef-centric dishes, which are perfectly prepared. Make sure you save some room for their Ultimate Coconut Cake.

Five Loaves Cafe

Five Loaves has a wide range of delicious options, including stacked sandwiches and loaded salads. They also offer exquisite soups, chicken, fish, and curry dishes. Five Loaves customers will often recommend unique meals, as well as the amazing daily specials. The Eggplant-Wrapped Salmon with Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini and Pumpkin Seed-Encrusted salmon are two of our favorites. Looking for a quick lunch? You can choose from soup salad, soup sandwich, or salad sandwich. Five Loaves offers clear menu choices during lunch and dinner, catering to those who have dietary restrictions.


Chez Nous is French for “Our Home”, and it’s as warm inside as one would imagine. Chez Nous offers a 3-course meal, with two options each for an appetizer, main, and dessert. It is a popular choice among locals as well as visitors. Each dish’s presentation is exquisite, ensuring a high-quality experience from the moment you take your first bite. Chez Nous’s owner-chefs know their stuff and can offer a wide range of authentic French, Spanish, and French dishes. Every day brings a new menu with some familiar items like a breadbasket with croissants and baguettes, tartine de jour, fish, and quail. This little spot on a side street is not open for reservations so make sure you plan in advance to enjoy your Chez Nous meal.

Trattoria Lucca

Ken Vedrinksi is also the chef at Coda Del Pesce, Isle of Palms. He knows what he does when it comes to making Italian food. It’s a great honor to have him bring authentic Italian cuisine to Charleston. We are grateful that he chose to serve world-class pasta from Trattoria Lucca’s Bogard Street corner. The restaurant is casual and comfortable. It’s semi-subdued and warm inside. Daily specials are featured on the Trattoria Lucca Menu. Other favorites include Bucatini with brown goat butter and Octopus, the Golden Beets and Octopus Appetizer, and Fusilli Bucati, which is made with duck sausage.

Halls Chophouse

Long-time Charleston residents and visitors alike quickly recognize Hall’s Chophouse at Upper King. They are well-known for their high-quality seafood, chops, and steaks. Halls’ elegant and traditional steakhouse decor, as well as the family-owned business owner, adds to the charm of the fine restaurant. Halls is well-known for its Filet Minion, Wagyu Filet, and Sunday Gospel Brunch. The Gospel Brunch at Halls, Charleston, or the Southeast is unique. You can expect full-bodied, delicious, heart-warming plates of Shrimp & Grits and Crab Cake Eggs Benedict. These dishes will pair well with the open bar and joyful choruses of a local Gospel group, which is held every Sunday from 10 – 3. You will leave feeling full and very satisfied.

167 Raw

The quiet street of storefronts is surrounded by high-end boutiques and swanky hotels, as well as antique shops, art galleries, and swanky pubs. This famous eatery still serves the same New England lobster rolls and bivalves that it served at its East Bay location. It is long and narrow on the first floor, which features original brick walls and walnut bars. Teddy Nixon, a bar vet, is shaking things up behind the long bar while Jesse Sandole (in matching aqua hues) greets regulars at their door. With four times as many seats as the original, 167 Raw is always packed. You can enjoy your 10-hour carnitas taco or bay scallops with stud butter if you arrive early.


Mount Pleasant’s Bacco is a local favorite that has been able to successfully create the concept of a “neighborhood Italian restaurant” that you often hear of in other cities. It is small and friendly, with simple Southern Italian cuisine that makes regulars. The fire-roasted olives and warm multi-varietal olives are a great way to start your meal. Antipasti highlights include the Insalata di polpo which is a tender, braised and grilled octopus. The Italian-based cocktail menu features a barrel-aged Negroni, and Ficcho Bello (a fizzy drink made with fig-infused vodka and rosemary bitters). Chef Michael Scognamiglio’s primo course shines. Gnocchi bolognese is a small pillow made of meaty gnocchi. Risi e Bisi, a buttery Parmesan in risotto with pancetta and peas, has a creamy gnocchi bolognese.

Basic Kitchen

It can be difficult to find light, flavorful food in a city full of Southern dishes. Basic Kitchen is different. Ben Towill, co-owner of the restaurant, and his wife Kate opened it in 2017, with the exact same goal. We want big flavor, a hearty meal but with a light touch. Robin Hollis, who took over the role of Basic Kitchen’s executive chef in July 2019, has focused on creating healthier dishes that feature vegetables from local farmers. BK’s lunch menu includes small plates, soups, salads, and desserts.

Leon’s Oyster Shop

Leon’s Oyster Bar, West Side seems like something we thought up at 2 AM. The restaurant serves fried chicken and hush puppies as well as chargrilled oysters and great salads. They also offer draft roses and frozen G&Ts. Their mix of low and high-brow foods and beverages is what makes them one the most popular restaurants in town. You can’t make reservations for smaller groups, but they do accept small parties under 6. So come early to grab a seat on their patio and have a great day.

Pink Bellies

Pink Bellies was founded in 2014 by Thai Phi, a local food truck that served Vietnamese comfort food. Pink Bellies has moved to King Street to be closer to their original location. It is easy to spot the neon-lit interior and makes it hard to miss. A staple is the garlic noodles: pulled pork, pickled onions, and parmesan are all part of their savory egg noodle dishes.


Maison was one of Charleston’s most beloved French restaurants after it opened its doors in 2019. There are many unique options for classic dishes, such as onion soup croquettes and steak fries. It has a chic interior filled with light-colored furniture and natural lighting. The extensive cocktail menu includes a selection of classic cocktails. Make sure you have some time to enjoy a drink before your meal.


Husk, a Charleston restaurant, is located in the historic center of Charleston. Husk, a late 19th-century two-story home featuring a Queen Anne-style façade, is where you will find southern-inspired dishes.

Husk’s commitment to creating menus that use what’s locally available and seasonal means the following: “If it doesn’t come from South,” it won’t be coming through our doors. It results in dishes like Kentuckyaki Glazed Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps and Southern Fried Chicken Skins With Pimento Cheese “Ranch” and Carolina Gold Crab Rice. Though the menu changes regularly, some things are constant like the dinner rolls topped with benne seeds and bourbon-barrel-smoked salt and their famous burger. Husk has the best brunch in Charleston. Husk makes its bacon-crusted cheeseburgers and offers BBQ spiced fries.

Poogan’s Porch

Queen Street is home to a historic restaurant. Poogan’s Porch is a Victorian home with first- and second-story porches. It offers daily breakfast and dinner. Charleston’s oldest independent restaurant offers fresh interpretations of Southern favorites.

The building which houses Poogan’s Porch was built in 1891. It used to be a large home. The last residents left their dogs behind when the house was turned into a restaurant in the late 1970s. Poogan was his name. Although he may be gone in 1979, his memories live on through all who visit his porch.


Because of its farm-to-table menu, FIG is a top-rated restaurant in Charleston SC. FIG has a relaxed bistro atmosphere, from the food and the ambiance.

FIG was established in 2003 and is considered an institution of Charleston. The menu is still a popular destination for seasonal dishes, as the chef uses what’s fresh and local in the kitchen. Jason Stanhope is a James Beard award winner and FIG’s Chef. He brings French techniques and South American roots to the restaurant’s Southern cuisine. He is known for his innovative cooking, such as fish stew provencal and Ricotta Gnocchi with lamb Bolognese.

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