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Top 10 Restaurants in Charleston, SC

Top 10 Restaurants in Charleston, SC

Top 10 Restaurants in Charleston, SC

Looking for the best food in Charleston, SC? A good meal after a day on the water is the perfect combination for an amazing day in Charleston!  The food scene in Charleston has a variety of styles. Traditionally South Carolina Lowcountry cuisine has a diversity of seafood from the coast such as shrimp, oysters, clams, lobster, fish, and more. Vegetables, fruits, rice, and corn are some of the agricultural goods used. When you mix and match these ingredients, you get Charleston favorites such as shrimp and grits. Lowcountry dishes are prepared with a vibrant Gullah influence.  Our guides are often asked for dining recommendations after their Charleston Boat Tour. We‘ve compiled a list of restaurants that stand out in demonstrating the culinary expertise, charm, and hospitality of Charleston. 

Here is our list of the top 10 restaurants in Charleston, SC:

  1. 82 Queen
  2. Halls Chophouse
  3. Hank’s Seafood
  4. FIG
  5. Circa 1886
  6. Obstinate Daughter
  7. NICO Oysters and Seafood
  8. Coda Del Pesce
  9. High Cotton Charleston Restaurant
  10. Tavern and Table


1) 82 Queen

82 Queen - Best food in charleston, sc

Photo Credit – 82 Queen

Located in Charleston’s historic French Quarter for the past 33 years, 82 Queen is known for its gracious Southern hospitality and fresh local cuisine. The menu celebrates an award-winning variety of authentic fare with fresh seasonal ingredients. The restaurant is spread throughout three, beautiful buildings with eleven quaint dining rooms and the most romantic courtyard! The 300-year-old address represents both the history and the cuisine of Charleston. Try the crab cakes and the Shrimp and Grits. You won’t regret your visit.


2) Halls Chophouse

Halls Chophouse - Top 10 Restaurants in Charleston, SC

All rights reserved by Andrew Cebulka

Halls has it all, the finest steaks and hearty family-style sides. It’s the service and warmth of the staff that sets them apart. The family-owned best steak house in Charleston is loved by locals and tourists alike. It’s sure to make your list of the best food in Charleston, SC!


3) Hank’s Seafood Restaurant

Hanks Seafood - best food in charleston, sc

Photo Credit – Charleston Empire Properties

Voted Best Seafood Restaurant by locals for 18 years running! Hank’s has a selection of caught-that-day entrees, a warm wood interior, and a white dinner jacket-wearing wait staff. The restaurant is located in the heart of Charleston’s Famed Historic District. It’s the ultimate place to taste authentic Charleston recipes including She Crab soup, fried shrimp, Charleston Oyster Stew, roasted grouper, shrimp and grits, pan-fried crab cakes, and towers of fresh seafood!


4) FIG

FIG - Top 10 Restaurants in Charleston, SC

Photo Credit – FIG

Fig’s menu mixes Old South and new big-city recipes. You’ll find sophisticated entrees and simple well-loved classics. The menu changes all the time. Portions are generous and the service is superb. Try the Ricotta Gnocchi Alla Bolognese with Parmesan and mint!


5) Circa 1886

Circa 1886 - Top 10 Restaurants in Charleston, SC

Photo Credit – Circa 1886

Circa 1886 is one of the most romantic of the historic downtown Charleston restaurants.  The incredible ambiance makes it a great place to celebrate. It is tucked away in an original carriage house from 1886. They have a modern take on the city’s classic Lowcountry cuisine. If you are looking for timeless elegance and outstanding service Circa is the spot! We recommend the chef’s menu.


6) Obstinate Daughter

Obstinate Daughter - best waterfront restaurants in Charleston, SC

Photo Credit – Eater Carolinas

Searching for one of the best waterfront restaurants in Charleston, SC? Dine by the ocean in this Sullivan’s Island dining room. They are open for lunch and dinner.  The seasonally changing menu is rooted in burgeoning farms and fishermen in the Lowcountry who supply superior products that make the area so special. We highly recommend the gnocchi with short rib Raghu, wood-fired pizza, and fresh seafood.


7) NICO Oysters and Seafood

NICO has so many delicious options. It’s an upbeat oyster bar serving French cuisine carefully prepared in a wood-fired oven. Overall, a home run and a great place to bring someone for a nice dinner in Charleston.  The food is extremely delicious! Get the oysters! Once dinner is finished, walk over to Shem Creek to see the beautiful waterfront views.


8) Coda Del Pesce

Coda Del Pesce - top 10 restaurants in Charleston, SC

Photo Credit – Only In Your State

What does the name mean? It’s Italian for “tail of the fish”. Our list would not be complete without this beachfront gem! Coda Del Pesce is one of the best waterfront restaurants in Charleston, SC. The contemporary Italian-influenced restaurant has floor-to-ceiling waterfront views! Most every dish features fresh, locally or sustainably caught seafood that changes daily.  The crude, pasta, and fish entrees are unbelievable!


9) High Cotton

High Cotton - top 10 restaurants in Charleston, SC

Photo Credit – Eventective

True Charleston hospitality will be experienced the moment you walk into the stylish dining room. The superior dishes, service, and atmosphere will make you want to stay, enjoy, and come again. Try the Bouillabaisse! The broths full of flavorful rich tomato garlic and seafood are mouth-watering.


10) Tavern and Table

Tavern and Table - best waterfront restaurants in Charleston, SC

Photo Credit – Eater Carolinas

Those looking for great food and a gorgeous waterfront restaurant will be pleased with Tavern and Table. Such an amazing location! It’s one of our top-rated restaurants in the Shem Creek area and one of the best waterfront restaurants in Charleston, SC! The atmosphere is relaxed yet fun and enjoyable. We especially loved the pimento cheese and brisket Mac and cheese. The waterfront patio is so pleasant and the service is impeccable.

Charleston has many diverse dining options for locals and tourists to experience. If you are in the mood for, French, Italian, modern or classic. Charleston’s chefs have a spin on it.  Successfully combining local traditions and food sources with exciting modern elements. We hope the list of Top 10 Restaurants in Charleston, SC helps you create an amazing day in Charleston. Don’t forget to make the most of your trip with a Charleston Harbor Tour!