Charleston Area Restaurants

Without question, Charleston is a culinary delight. In fact, the city has received numerous accolades for its food fare and especially for its fresh farm to table plates. Because the city has so many restaurants, new residents are often unsure where to go. Of course, Michael Nicklaus is partial to the Jack Nicklaus Golden Bear Grill at the Charleston Airport, a casual restaurant that uses Barbara’s own recipes for its menu items, including her famous meatloaf and buckeyes! Though you can’t really go wrong with Lowcountry cuisine, local NV Realty Group agents recommend the following establishments:  

Downtown Charleston

Recently ranked #4 in the nation, Halls Chophouse on King Street is a family run steakhouse that is an experience like no other. Because it is always a packed house, advanced reservations are required for upstairs dining. On Sundays, the restaurant hosts a “gospel brunch” featuring local groups like the famous Plantation Singers. Golden Bear’s Kiawah-Seabrook Office Branch Manager Bob Nitkewicz cautions patrons to save room for the whiskey bread pudding! If you have a hankering for barbecue, check out Lewis BBQ or its next door neighbor Home Team BBQ on  Williman Street. A newer establishment, Lewis’s is true Texas Q with tasty brisket and beef ribs. According to Golden Bear  agent Lee Lindler, Home Team BBQ has the world’s best wings. For fresh seafood and Lowcountry cuisine, agents recommend Charleston Grill, Hank’s, Husk, FIG, Magnolia’s, and Peninsula Grill. If you prefer a more casual atmosphere, Leon’s Oyster Shop, Little Jack’s Tavern, Taco Boy, and 167 Raw are local favorites.

Mt. Pleasant

Mt. Pleasant residents do not have to drive downtown to enjoy fine food. With views of the city and the Yorktown, Charleston Harbour Fish House serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is well known for its unique libations. For authentic southern BBQ, locals prefer Melvin’s, a Charleston staple that Emeril Lagasse charges has the best cheeseburger in America. Other popular establishments in Mt. Pleasant include Red Drum, Finz,  Tavern and Table, and Page’s Okra Grill.  On nearby Sullivan’s Island, locals frequent Poe’s Tavern and the Obstinate Daughter, both well known for their eclectic dishes.

James Island / West Ashley / Folly Beach

Most restaurants in James Island, West Ashley, and Folly Beach reject white table cloths, opting instead for a casual atmosphere and culinary masterpieces. NV Realty Group agents love Bowen’s Island, a quintessential lowcountry restaurant that is famous for its fresh local oysters and fish. For margaritas and tacos, residents cha-cha over Zia Taqueria, an authentic and refined Mexican establishment. Many new restaurants, such as Maybank Public House,  are located on Camp Road in the trendy Maybank district, and restaurants in nearby West Ashley such as Mondo’s (Italian),  The Glass Onion, Triangle Char and Bar, How Art Thou, and The Lot all present delicious food and a fun atmosphere. A newer restaurant, Zen Asian Fusion, offers creative culinary dishes and sushi. After dinner, be sure to stop by The Charleston Pour House, a popular drinking hole wildly famous for its live music shows.

Johns Island / Kiawah / Seabrook

The explosive residential development on and around Johns Island has brought several swanky restaurants and pubs. NV Realty Group agents prefer the authentic, farm-to-table eateries such as Lokal Seabar at Bohicket Marina, The Fat Hen, The Wild Olive, and Sunrise Bistro. Lokal (pronounced “local”) Seabar offers fantastic fresh food and boasts incredible views of the saltwater and bright sunset. The Fat Hen, owned by master chef Fred Neuville is famous for its seared grouper, braised lamb shank, and prime rib. For those with a hankering for pasta, the Wild Olive offers Italian-inspired dishes such as the tagliatelle alla bolognese and veal scallopine marsala. Clearly not defined by its exterior appearance, the Sunrise Bistro is a popular spot for breakfast and lunch, and - of course - Sunday brunch. If staying at the Kiawah Island Resort or nearby Seabrook, try the Jasmine Porch at The Sanctuary for lunch and the Atlantic Room at the Kiawah Island Ocean Course for dinner. Both offer delectable dishes in a cozy setting.


Summerville is quickly making its mark as a foodie town. With duplicate Charleston restaurants like Graze, Five Loaves, Toast, and Kickin' Chicken, area residents need not travel downtown for fine food. Apart from these establishments, Summerville has its own prolific places such as Perfectly Frank’s, a gourmet hotdog restaurant owned and operated by former Alabama football star Perry Cuda. The restaurant, which was featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,”  offers unique hot dog creations affectionately named after famous Franks. Another Summerville fixture is Oscar’s, a family-run restaurant that features a mixture of steak and seafood dishes. For lunch or catering services, residents frequent The Eclectic Chef, a little cafe located on short Central Street in the downtown district. The Eclectic Chef is popular for its lunch menu, which generally features many healthy options. Perhaps this cafe is best known for its crab dip -- be sure to call ahead if you want to take some home!

View Next Article » Local Government & Paperwork