The City Magazine Since 1975

Managed by the same folks who own the luxurious Halls Chophouse downtown, this is the place for burgers. It’s convenient to the beach and the pier and serves as a great place to rendezvous for a filling meal. In addition to the array of big, handmade patties, it offers a full menu spanning from the ubiquitous fish tacos to “drunken” chicken and fried shrimp. Live music often graces the patio on warm afternoons, making it the ideal place to fuel up after a long day of playing in the sand.

Address:
2 Center Street
City:
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Folly Beach
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 588-2525
Price:
$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If the thought of tequila flights and Tex-Mex makes your mouth water, SOL is the place to go. This popular eatery serves up carnitas pork tacos, green chile chicken enchiladas, and a selection of wood-fired entrées including chicken, pork chops, filets, and salmon. 

Address:
1101 Stockade Ln.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)388-4302
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Rest your sandy self on the patio post-Sullivan's Island romp, belly up to the bar, or bring the kids to this spacious neighborhood pizza joint. Named for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Steel City serves up some of the best pie around (try the Original White or the loaded-up Special). The menu also includes calzones, wraps, burgers, pastas, salads, wings, desserts...in short, most everything a family (or hungry sports fan) could ask for. 

Address:
1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)856-2525
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Boating waterfront views and rustic-elegant appointments, this spot makes an exciting addition to Shem Creek. The drink menu features ample craft beers and cocktails, but nary a listing for teetotalers. On the food side, sample goodies such as cheese and charcuterie plates and pan seared scallops with Anson Mills grits, Spanish chorizo, Moroccan sauce and tomato jam.

Address:
100 Church St.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern, Tapas
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)352-9510
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

A lively corner cafe perfect for people-watching, Sermet's offers large servings of colorful, flavorful cuisine. Chef Sermet’s creativity shines in the daily selection of fresh, locally sourced fish; specialty pastas, such as wild mushroom ragout and tortellini; and the unique seasonings and sauces that elevate his entrees above everyday fare. 

Address:
276 King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)853-7775
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Looking for a lean and locally grown meat? Then hit up Triangle for Hill Creek Farm's grass-fed beef showcased in burgers ranging from the Plain Jane (lettuce, tomato, and cheese) to the decadent General Lee (pimento cheese and caramelized onions). With a 90-10 meat-to-fat ratio, be sure to order your patty cooked no more than medium. 

Address:
1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)606-2900
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The most important advice we have to offer about this King Street eatery: get the Beef and Chedda. Its brioche bun offers the perfectly fluffy accompaniment to what the food truck-turned-restaurant calls "true Texas brisket" layered with pickled jalapenos and their Chedda Ale sauce. With a background in fine dining, chef Ronald Feldman also serves up stellar wings and delicious hash and grits side. Seating is limited in this narrow spot, but if you end up chowing down at the bar, all the more excuse to try their house-infused cinnamon whiskey. 

Address:
487 King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)805-5050
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

"Local" is now de rigeur, but Spero does it sans frills in the old Hello My Name is BBQ spot. The menu changes frequently, but stand-outs include velvety pate accompanied by both sweet and sour pickles; charred snap peas paired with refreshing lemon ricotta; and "The Korean," a kimchi-spiked pork-shoulder sammie. 

Address:
616 Meeting Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)203-3255
Price:
$, $$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

From the folks behind the wheel of Neapolitan-style pizza truck Coastal Crust, this rustic-chic coffee shop caters to East Cooper families and foodies alike. Settle inside or outside the charming cottage for a delicious Counter Culture cuppa, or relax on a picnic bench in the rear yard while the kiddos clamber over an old-school Chevy-turned-jungle-gym. With throwback favorites like cinnamon-bun French toast and grilled cheese (elevated by queso fresco and roasted tomato), fresh salad spins such as curried chickpea, and a promising wine lost, there's a perk for every patron. 

Address:
218 Simmons St.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch
Phone:
(843)884-4074
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This popular high-end steak house smartly seasoned and seared prime steaks delivered sizzling in butter on signature 500-degree plates. Opt for the sauteed mushrooms and screamed spinach sides if you're out for an evening of indulgence. While the decor may seem blland and the iPad-bound wine and cocktail menu impersonal, the restaurant makes up for it with an attentive and cordial staff, promises to source local ingredients, and a curiously cool Lowcountry art installation on the ceiling of the Harley-Davidson shop-turned-bar. 

Address:
55 South Market Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Steakhouse
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)793-4224
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Reservations come at a premium at R. Kitchen, and for good reason. It's $30 for five courses, and though it's affordable, the food is also delicious. The menu changes daily; sit at the counter to really experience all that chef Josh Woodruff has to offer. R. Kitchen thrives on the interaction between chef and diner -- and that alone makes it a place to visit. 

Address:
212 Rutledge Avenue
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)789-4342
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

At chef Ben Berryhill’s sleek hot spot offering “South by Southwestern” fare, guests can nosh on crab meat tostaditas on the charming patio, enjoy wood-grilled barbecue-spiced shrimp with sweet corn pudding and green chile garlic butter in the elegant dining room, or just grab a table in the always buzzing bar, which was named one of the “Best Places in America to Have a Beer” by Imbibe magazine. 

Address:
803 Coleman Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 849-0313
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Langdon's thrills the palate with food that is simple yet perfectly seasoned. Begin your meal with the local goat cheese gnocchi with prosciutto, roasted tomatoes, spinach, and basil. Intriguing entrées include the bone-in Berkshire pork chop with smoked tomato-brie grits and the Hawaiian tuna with Asian slaw, avocado, and ginger vinaigrette. 

Address:
778 S. Shelmore Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)388-9200
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

In this inconspicuous restaurant tucked down Long Point Road, Southern is done right. Their twist on mac 'n' cheese? Smoked Gouda and penne. Or try the buttermilk fried chicken with whipped potatoes, collard greens, and a pink peppercorn gravy. With half-price bottles of wine Monday through Wednesday (5-8 p.m.), fresh desserts from Pitt Street's Village Bakery, and an affable staff, it's easy to get lost in a slow evening at the LPG. And for those with a need for speed, the restaurant offers lunch and dinner to go.

Address:
479 Long Point Rd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)884-3101
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Part gourmet food market and part whiskey bar, Mercantile & Mash has found its footing in the old Cigar Factory on East Bay Street. On the Mercantile side, diners have more than a few options: purchase a treat from a local purveyor; sip on a made-to-order caffeinated confection; grab a soda, spread, or sandwich from the to-go fridge; or settle in for a finely crafted meal at the chef's counter, where you can watch all the magic happen in the open kitchen. At Mash, patrons find an extensive whiskey list, a rotating cocktail menu, and small bites from the kitchen at Merc. 

Address:
701 East Bay Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)793-2636
Price:
$$
State:
Zip code:

Come for the redneck rolls (pulled pork and pimiento cheese deep fried in an eggroll), stay for the hearty servings and convivial staff. Crab cakes, fried shrimp, oysters, okra, and green tomatoes, along with signature sandwiches, make up the menu at this relaxed, very kid-friendly diner. 

Address:
302 Coleman Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)881-3333
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Choose a seat by the window or a spot in the cozy tavern and indulge in a cup of Charleston crab soup with sherry or the super fried oysters and slaw. To make Sunday brunch a meal for the memory book, order the OV omelet stuffed with pimento cheese, house-made sausage, caramelized onions, and spinach. And don't forget a side of Geechie Boy grits. 

Address:
101 Pitt St.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)388-8935
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Described as "backyard dining" and boasting a spacious covered patio, this Mount Pleasant spot owned by Brannon Florie (he's also executive chef at The Granary) offers a satisfying collection of souped-up Southern comfort food. Don't miss extra-crunchy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside hushpuppies stuffed with pimiento cheese or fried chickeb livers served over caramelized onions and stone-ground grits. 

Address:
1055 SC-41, Ste. 600
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)352-9235
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Chef Patrick Owens offers pleasing combinations of California-style, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine at his Shoppes at Seaside Farms locale. Choose from a menu of charcuterie and cheese options, handcrafted pastas, and satisfying entrées such as seared crispy duck breast with barley, fennel sausage, greens and chile-mustard glaze. 

Address:
1960 Riviera Dr.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)654-9070
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Upscale barbecue’s the focus at this East Bay Street spot (a sibling of Poogan's Porch), with all the apps, sides, and entrees you might dream of. Try not to let temptations like cast-iron cornbread and skillet mac and cheese prevent you from sampling the baby kale salad with black-eyed peas, crispy country ham, wild mushrooms, and a Dijon sherry vinaigrette—it’s absolutely crave-worthy. The barbecue offerings, including pulled pork, ribs, and smoked sausage, shine, and executive chef Daniel Doyle says he tested dozens of sauce recipes before committing to the selection now offered on each table. 

Address:
188 East Bay Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)577-5665
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

From the busy vantage point overlooking Shem Creek, executive chef and owner Jimmy Purcell delievers fresh seafood and Lowcountry favorites. Enjoy entrées such as heaping bowls of Prince Edward Island mussels, herb-seared grouper, and a variety of pasta dishes. Save room for the drunken banana dessert--a deconstructed banana split--for a luscious finale.

Address:
1407 Shrimp Boat Ln.; Shem Creek
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)884-4074
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Find thid out-of-the-way drive--named for a ship stranded in the same spot during Hurrican Hugo--behind Shem Creek docks and nosh on boiled peanuts while you ponder the menu. A seafood house from the fish stew to the fried shrimp, the occasionally offered Wreak's London broil is its only nod to landlubbers. 

Address:
106 Haddrell St.; Shem Creek
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)884-0052
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Diners dig this oyster house on Upper King Street and its affordable seafaring menu crafted by executive chef Joe DiMaio. Oyster connoisseurs savor “merrior” subtleties like the clean buttery finish of White Stone oysters from the mouth of the Rappahannock River in Virginia, or the plump meats and mild saltiness of Hatteras Salts from the Outer Banks. Even the seafood-averse can fill up on the kale slaw; skillet-roasted chicken; juicy burger; or fluffy, golden-crisp hush puppies servied with a side of whipped sorghum butter. 

Address:
513 King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)641-0821
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

Since Andy McCarthy brought the King of Pops franchise to town a few years back, demand for the handmade frozen treats has remained steady. And now, those looking to curb a sweet-tooth don’t have to wait for farmers markets or special events: just head to the new storefront on Spring. It’s a bit off he beaten path, but you’ll know you’ve arrived by the rainbow umbrellas out front. It’s a catch-all establishment: Kids naturally fit right into the popsicle-eating crowd; slate-topped tables with chalk can keep them occupied for hours. Yet grown-ups can have fun, too, by sampling alcohol-infused pops (try the mezcal Mexican chocolate) or by plunging one into a cocktail. And uniquely filled tamales are available to soak up some of that sweet, boozy goodness. http://www.crookedcrown.bar/

Address:
21 Spring St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)872-6676
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Michael Toscano’s Italian osteria on Beaufain Street offers memorable meals with standout dishes from start (like fluffy pork meatballs or the multi-layered veal tartare) to finish (don’t miss the chocolate gelato) and everything in between, especially the house-milled, hand-rolled pasta. Even the extra-virgin olive oil accompanying warm focaccia is distinctly tasty. 

Address:
15 Beaufain Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)212-0920
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

There’s rarely a moment when this poished joint isn’t packed or without a line of hungry carnivores waiting for ribs, pulled pork, sausage, and the almighty smoked brisket. The latter is owner John Lewis’s specialty—folks from Austin know its melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Add a side of green chile corn pudding and an ice-cold cocktail, and you’ll see why this ’cue (and queue) is worth the wait. 

Address:
464 N Nassau Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch
Phone:
(843)805-9500
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This pizza joint on Ashley Avenue comes care of Luke Davis (formerly of EVO Pizzeria and Mellow Mushroom) and wife Brittany. Fourteen-inch pies start at $14; choose from tomato, creamy ricotta, or olive oil and garlic bases, then add on toppins like house-made pickled peppers and fennel sausage, Casalingo salami, and shiitake and cremini mushrooms. Plan to take a pie home—there's not seating or delivery service—and order ahead; sold-out nights are frequent. 

Address:
271 Ashley Avenue
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)410-1695
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

Charleston Place may not previously have come to mind when choosing a spot to grab a few beers and watch the game, but that all changed with the opening of Meeting at Market, a highbrow sports bar nestled—you guessed it—on the corner of Meeting and Market streets. You can’t go wrong with the menu’s elevated pub fare, including a smoked fish sampling board, fried confit chicken thighs, and a supremely tender salmon filet a la fish and chips. 

Address:
120 Market Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)724-7205
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Those who’ve missed the “old Sermet’s” on King Street (before new ownership transformed the once-cozy corner eatery into a white-tablecloth establishment) should run to its namesake chef’s new venture on James Island. In place of the former Heart Woodfire Kitchen, Sermet’s offers quality fare in a familiar setting full of quirky art (by the chef and others) and friendly locals. The food’s a marriage of Mediterranean and Southern flavorings—take, for example, the perfectly seared scallops atop risotto punctuated with she-crab and saffron, or the charred romaine starter (pictured). A word of advice? Don’t leave without dessert, like a slice of the Nutella cheesecake. 

Address:
1622 Highland Ave.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)793.3132
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

Charleston Place may not previously have come to mind when choosing a spot to grab a few beers and watch the game, but that all changed with the opening of Meeting at Market, a highbrow sports bar nestled—you guessed it—on the corner of Meeting and Market streets. Upon arrival, settle in at the bar or lounge in one of the back sofa seats and order from an extensive drink list including nearly 10 local brews. You can’t go wrong with the menu’s elevated pub fare, including a smoked fish sampling board, fried confit chicken thighs, and a supremely tender salmon filet à la fish and chips. And for those who aren’t that into the televised activities, wraparound glass windows provide plenty of opportunities for people watching.

Address:
120 Market Street
City:
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 724-7205
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

A party with a view, Vickery’s at Shem Creek offers tasty salads, sandwiches, soups, and entrées, plus many wines by the glass on their short, but not shoddy, list. Order their signature classic Cuban sandwich and watch the pelicans dive-bomb the creek to catch their own dinner. Reservations for parties of seven or more only. 

Address:
1313 Shrimp Boat Ln.; Shem Creek
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns, Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)884-4440
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This fine-dining French brasserie housed within the chic, mid-century modern downtown Dewberry hotel feels like a 1920s upscale Parisian haunt of Hemingway’s, though with a contemporary aesthetic. The kitchen’s helmed by Wes Morton, who truly shines through the French staples on the menu. Standouts include Morton's country-style pâté appetizer, deviled eggs topped with trout roe, and the hanger-cut steak frites. For dessert, opt for one of the pastry chef's mille-feuille confections. 

Address:
334 Meeting Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
French
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Perhaps you've scarfed down some ’cue at Home Team’s original West Ashley or Sullivan’s Island locations. Now, join hungry millennials from neighboring tech firms for happy hour in the restaurant’s third home on Williman Street. You can still order all your favorites, but a bigger kitchen led to an expanded menu: additional items include revamped tacos, daily and seasonal specials, and lots of creative cocktails. 

Address:
126 Williman Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)225-7427
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Don’t let the rustic benches and casual atmosphere fool you. The Lot, attached to funky music venue Charleston Pour House, prides itself on carefully crafted, locally sourced fare. The menu, scribbled in crayon on craft white paper, changes daily, but the offerings always nod to the season. Menu standouts include the grilled watermelon salad with fresh herbs and chilled cucumber soup with ginger poached shrimp. 

Address:
1977 Maybank Hwy.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)225-0094
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The James Island spot most of us know as "the old Mimi's" has been revived as a fish-camp-style eatery offering indoor and outdoor seating with views of the marsh and creek (though parked cars obstruct more than we'd hoped). We could fill up on the apps--including blue-corn hushpuppies with honey sumac butter--but the menu features a nice mix of salads, seafood baskets, and burgers. 

Address:
1241 Harbor View Rd.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Seafood
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)577-7188
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Located high up on the seventh floor of the stylish, indigo-accented Restoration, The Watch offers cocktails, wine, and beer, as well as a smartly crafted menu, care of chef Chad Anderson. Start with a bowl of seasonal soup, sample the prettiest falafel, and relish the Hamachi crudo. Sit at the bar for stellar sunset views from the inside, though the tables outdoors offer unprecedented photo ops.

Address:
79 Wentworth St.
City:
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 518-5115
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This sweet spot filled a niche in Avondale, serving seasonal desserts alongside tapas, pinninis, coffee drinks, and spirits. Owner and executive pastry chef Jacklyn Story spent seven years as Michelangelo's Kitchen's wedding cake specialist after working at places like Kaminsky's and Normany Farms, and her baking expertise shows in the tarts, cheesecakes, mousses, and more. 

Address:
829 Savannah Hwy.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries, Tapas, Wine bar
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)212-3227
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Scents of East Asia waft out of this neighborhood spot. For 12 bucks, get a large bowl of mapo dofou (Sichaun-style tofu in fermented bean broth) or try any of a rotating assembly of menu items inspired by frequent trips abroad. Don’t miss the okonomiyaki--a cabbage pancake topped with either bacon, pork candy, a farm egg, or all three. 

Address:
224 Rutledge Ave.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Asian
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Pick up a pass at the Wild Dunes gate and head to the Boardwalk Inn for a “secret” dining spot. This full-service restaurant strikes a nice balance between upscale Continental and American cuisine served in a casual no-tie-or-jacket-required tropical setting.

Address:
200 Grand Pavilion Boulevard
City:
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843) 886-2200
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

Proper fish and chips are served in this spot decorated like a typical British chippy, with a slightly dive-y (in a good way) feel. Despite a tiny menu (battered and fried fish and chips, just fish, just chips, and peas and gravy), the food is spot on: fish comes super crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. The joint’s only open Wednesday through Saturday; no reservations.

Address:
1809 Reynolds Avenue
City:
Cuisine:
English/Irish
Location:
North Charleston
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843) 789-4649
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

At long last, Scarecrow & Co.’s third and namesake concept has opened in the former train depot on Ann Street, and the biz’s cornerstone eatery is not lacking in quality. The upscale fare, under the direction of Ray England, is creatively and deliciously prepared; an open wood-fired oven is centered in the rustic space, charring nearly every ingredient served to a varying degree. On a chilly night, sit near the flames for a cozy meal, then let the savvy waitstaff guide you through the brief yet frequently changing menu of heritage meats and seasonal vegetables. Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for dinner. 

Address:
23 Ann Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)306-0101
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Brought to life by sommelier Matt Tunstall and Justin Croxall, Stems & Skins offers an inviting and totally chill vibe—with a bent toward upscale provisions. Along with an extensive list of natural wines (those left untouched by chemicals) available by the bottle or glass, patrons find a full bar, a selection of international beers, and a menu of Mediterranean-style small bites.

Address:
1070 B East Montague Avenue
City:
Cuisine:
Wine bar
Location:
North Charleston
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843) 805-4809
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If you follow James Beard Award-, Emmy-, and Charleston-heart-winning chef Sean Brock on Instagram, you might be familiar with the master’s constant culinary experimentations. Now, for $125 a pop (plus tax, tip, and various beverages), you can get a front-row seat to sample those concoctions at his 18-seat, 16-course tasting-menu-only dining space. If you’re into food “experiences,” as a sign on the front door calls the meals, the steep price is well-spent. Case in point: those who are excited—and not alarmed—by a bonsai tree-turned-serving dish that contains a piece of sorghum-saturated dehydrated eggplant jerky are in the right place. We don’t want to give too much else away (it’s more fun to be surprised), but the quail egg tart; watermelon-glazed roast duck (pictured); and chocolate, rooibos tea, and huckleberry dessert prepared bar-side are particularly unforgettable. 

Address:
155 East Bay Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Set in a cavernous old sancturary, 5Church brings a contemporary edge to Market Street. The restaurant is modeled after its counterpart in Charlotte—some of its décor, like the impressive hand-painted ceiling transcription of Sun Tzu’s Art of War carries over. Chef Jamie Lynch, a Season 14 Top Chef competitor, oversees all locations’ offerings; standout dishes here, crafted by executive chef Adam Hodgson, include tuna tartare with avocado relish and sesame chips, and cafe-aged cheddar agnolotti. 

Address:
32 N Market St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)937-8666
Price:
$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Housed in a former auto shop way up north on King Street, this spot has seriously hip decor: artist Becca Barnet designed gold tap handles and seafood-emblazoned tiles; Justin Walling of Charleston Architectural Glass hand-silvered the graphic mirrors. The menu focuses on fried chicken, oysters (of course!), and fresh salads. Don't miss the moist chicken sammies served with Asian-inspired slaw. We also dig the oysters Rockefeller, topped with an herb-infused butter sauce. Cool down with soft-serve ice cream sprinkled with rainbow jimmies -- the perfect summer treat. 
 

Address:
698 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)531-6500
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Chef Anthony DiBernardo (formerly of Rita’s Seaside Grille) helms this bastion for barbecue—think pulled pork, melt-in-your-mouth brisket, and more slow-cooked over a wood fire—located in a renovated car wash next to Glass Onion. Sold by heaping plate, piled on sandwiches, or by the pound to-go, the meats are cut to order, and—bonus—you can sauce it yourself with mustard, vinegar, Carolina sweet, and Alabama white. Don’t miss the sides (especially the hash and rice and Brunswick stew) and dessert (banana pudding and mini Derby pies). No reservations.

Address:
1217 Savannah Hwy.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)225-3805
Price:
$, $$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Looking for good, local seafood that won’t deplete your bank account? Cove is your answer. Kids love the tropical fish tanks; parents love the oyster shooters. Go for buckets of crab legs, chargrilled oysters, and the raw bar; non-seafood lovers should try the “Romano Bruschetta”—the Cajun-tomato-alfredo sauce is pure gold.

Address:
7690 Northwoods Boulevard
City:
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
North Charleston
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843) 580-4040
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Chef Chris Stewart uses all natural meats and local seafood and vegetables from area purveyors and farms, turning out some of the best home cooking you'll find anywhere. The menu changes based on seasonal availability, but entrees, such as buttermilk-fried SC quail, and a la carte sides will have you thinking your meal can't get much better—until you dig into the bread pudding with pecans and whiskey cream sauce. 

Address:
1219 Savannah Hwy.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 225-1717
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Middleton Place's restaurant serves up she-crab soup, which makes for a lovely lunch after touring Middleton's gardens. The dinner menu sports fancier fare such as seared local yellowtail snapper with fingerling potatoes, garden squash, zucchini, eggplant, and green tomato chutney. Also try the Lowcountry crab cakes with tasso ham, red rice, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, and grain mustard buerre blanc.
 

Address:
4300 Ashley River Rd.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)266-7477
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Though its space in a Mount Pleasant strip mall feels rather pedestrian, Kanpai offers some of the most delicious expressions of creative Asian food in Charleston. To start, chef and owner Sean Park will dress up edamame with pink Himalayan salt or truffles and hot chili oil. His tasty "Wagyu” roll pairs blowtorched fatty beef and avocado with tempura-fried shrimp and a sweet soy glaze, to excellent results. Hot and feathery beignets make an unexected but sweet end to the meal.  

Address:
1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., B-9
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)388-8001
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If you’re seeking a waterfront spot with outdoor seating, try this eatery with a spacious patio overlooking Bohicket Marina. Start with the complimentary hush puppies—served with peach and jalapeño chutney—and move on to shrimp and grits or lobster pot pie. Or turn to the raw bar, offering up a seafood tower, plus oysters on the half shelf and peel-and-eat shrimp.

Address:
1886 Andell Bluff Blvd.
City:
Johns Island
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Johns Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)764-9027
Price:
$$, $$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This cheerful counter-service joint welcomes guests with mural-splashed walls inside and picnic benches with colorful umbrellas dotting the patio. And that’s the perfect atmosphere in which to inhale creative tacos starting at $3.50 a pop, such as the lamb gyro with salty feta, heat-packing buffalo chicken, and crispy Bangkok shrimp topped with sweet pickles. No reservations. 

Address:
792 Folly Rd.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)640-3008
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Sean Brock’s foray into inexpensive street food is simply delicioso. If you can snag a table (not always an easy feat; the host tells us it’s “first come, first survival”), delve into a menu that ranges from traditional Mexican fare, like queso fundido with chorizo, to dishes that display Brock’s Southern touch, such as shrimp and masa grits and a fried catfish taco. Diners can sip a solid selection of beer, tequila, and cocktails as well as nonalcoholic choices like horchata, a delicious spiced almond milk drink made fresh daily.

Address:
153 E Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)789-2241
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This no-frills industrial (the Pinterest version) eatery from former Magnolia’s staffers Ian MacBryde and Roth Scott is all about fried chicken sandwiches. Aside from variations on the classic dish, entrée options are limited to a chopped chicken salad; strips for kids; and a fried, stuffed mushroom cap. But the sandwiches are delish, combining thick cuts of juicy fried meat with Brown’s Court Bakery buns. Don’t miss the Box Car—slathered in pimiento cheese, peach slaw, spicy mayo, and housemade pickles—and handcut fries. No reservations. 

Address:
1922 Savannah Hwy.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)225-7470
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This jovial sports bar in a Mount Pleasant strip mall caters to Lowcountry soccer fans, who can catch a game from most any seat in the house (even the patio boasts a flat screen). Friendly staffers serve pub fare—such as soft pretzels with a Guinness-infused cheddar dip and fish and chips with house-made tarter sauce—inspired by owner Robert Jefferson Walker V’s Scottish, English, and Irish lineage. Salads, burgers, and more than a dozen draft beers round out the offerings.

Address:
1405 Ben Sawyer Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns, English/Irish
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)884-2425
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Kitschy cool is the name of the game at this hip West Ashley hang-out. Sip their namesake concoction (served on fire) or try a Big Bamboo Love Song while sampling an eclectic assortment of gourmet tacos, such as barbecue duck confit and cashew- and panko-encrusted tuna.

Address:
15 Magnolia Dr.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)769-0228
Price:
$, $$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Like the best of James Island’s restaurants, ­Mondo’s gives up the goods without any of the fuss of similar cafés found downtown. That said, join the many regulars at this sweet spot for primo pastas and fresh local bounty cooked up simply but with gourmet flair.
 

Address:
915 Folly Rd.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)795-8400
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Fresh fish and vegetarian dishes anchor this quaint café, but there are chicken and seafood options for meat-lovers. Come hungry for heaping portions of flavorful food at this family-friendly eatery. No reservations. 

Address:
1036 Chuck Dawley Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)849-0050
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Conveniently located next to the Terrace movie theater, Zia caters to film mavens and the nearby Riverland Terrace neighborhood alike. Classic tortas, enchiladas, and tacos make up the menu with drinks staples such as five varieties of margaritas. Come early, as seating is limited.
 

Address:
1956A Maybank Hwy.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)406-8877
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This Northern Italian trattoria in Avondale delivers exquisite renditions of gnocchi and risotto, sublime small bites, tender cuts of meat, and more in a cozy and romantic setting. In addition to the restaurant's diverse menu, the attached bar serves up delicious piccoli piatti (small plates), crisp wood-fired pizza, and an awesome array of Italian meats and cheeses. If the weather's nice, take your glass of grappa outside to the garden table, survey the stars, and dream of Florence.
 

Address:
25 Magnolia Rd.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)571-2321
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Vegetarians and free-range meat lovers unite at the superb food buffet in this popular health-food store. Tofu stir-fries, sushi, fresh veggies, plus hot-and-heavy chicken and fantastic pizza are tops for take-out or dine-in. No reservations.
 

Address:
74 Folly Rd.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
Vegetarian/organic
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)769-4800
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This casual eatery tucked on Sam Rittenberg offers reasonably priced soups, salads, sandwiches, and mains including a classic meatloaf, chopped salad, and tuna melt. Plus, there’s a small but yummy dessert selection (the chocolate cake is delish) and a bar.

Address:
1124 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)297-8380
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

Pub lovers revel in Avondale’s top neighborhood bar with its extensive lineup of beer, burgers, and wraps. More than meets the eye, Gene’s is sports-lovers central with darts, pool, and shuffleboard, and serves burgers topped with feta, fried eggs, portobellos, avocado, and more, as well as great wings and wraps.
 

Address:
817 Savannah Hwy.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)225-4363
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

From a long list of creative margaritas to shrimp tacos, tortas, and Baja bowls, this casual spot on St. Andrews Boulevard offers big South of the Border flavor. A kid’s menu includes Chick-a-dillas, a playful spin on the classic quesadilla with melted jack cheese and chicken, and the whole family should indulge in the tres leches pudding for dessert.
 

Address:
817 St. Andrews Blvd.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)751-4001
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The spare, artful decor will make you forget you’re in a strip mall the moment you walk in the door, and it only gets better. Asian fusion cuisine crafted from fresh ingredients dominates the menu. Defying the stigma often attached to carry-out, food quality is consistently above your run-of-the-mill Chinese place. But to truly appreciate Red Orchid’s, dine in and be impressed with its wonderful wait staff. Sake done right rounds out a full bar, respectable wine list, and wide range of bottled beer.
 

Address:
1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
Asian
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)573-8787
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

For a la carte tacos—including two raved about grouper varieties—plus burritos, quesadillas, and more, head to this neighborhood eatery that's small in size big on colorful local flavor. Grab a seat at the counter to sip a beer and ponder your extensive hot sauce options, or take the goods to go.

Address:
1301 B. Ashley River Rd.
City:
West Ashley
Cuisine:
Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)225-7426
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Serving up the chopped pork barbecue just like that of its Mount Pleasant branch—as well as the “favorite cheeseburger” of Emeril Lagasse—this James Island icon is the perfect place to stop for lunch on your way to Folly Beach.
 

Address:
538 Folly Rd.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)762-0511
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Folks no longer have to venture to Folly Beach to snag the Japanese-style treats owners Yukari Yada and John Baker have been doling out from a roadside stand for the last five years. This cheery slip of a restaurant has savory options (chicken, pork), but we think the sweet offerings—like the delicious “Dream,” filled with homemade custard pudding, your choice of fruits such as strawberries and bananas, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream—are the way to go.

Address:
62 Spring St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Asian
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)720-5229
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Now under the ownership of Dave Robb, the casual, family-friendly Neapolitan-style operation in Freshfields Village is a favorite spot for relaxation and great food. Come for specialty pizzas, pastas, and mozzarella that are all made in house—or try a simple salad full of fresh ingredients. The kitchen works with local farmers on John’s Island as well as Wadmalaw Island to provide seasonal, and traditional Italian dishes. No reservations. 

Address:
133 Village Green Ln.
City:
Johns Island
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Kiawah Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)768-1951
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If you're in the pursuit of pure luxury, the Ocean Room is the place. Chef de cuisine Jason Rheinwald presents a menu of elegant charm featuring items such as grouper sashimi with edamame, lumps of pork belly topped with blue berries, and a 28 day dry-aged, bone-in ribeye that will bring new revelations of what a steak should be. 

Address:
1 Sanctuary Beach Dr.
City:
Kiawah Island
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Kiawah Island
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)768-6253
Price:
$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Head to this spot along Coleman Boulevard to check out the swank décor channeling mid-century Miami. Stay for the hoppin' bar scene and well-crafted list of cócteles (we loved the peppery bite of the Aphrodisiac margarita with its half-rim of chilli salt) and the diverse menu mixing influences from Cuba, Mexico and the further south Americas. 

Address:
819 Coleman Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Caribbean/Cuban
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)352-2641
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

In keeping with The Vendue's art-hotel concept, everything here -- from the rotating works that grace the dining room walls to the elegantly plated dishes -- feels museum-worthy (and not in a stuffy way). Chef de cuisine Forrest Parker curates a bill of fare that's seasonal and light, but still feels decadent. Case in point: sea scallops pan-roasted to tender perfection, served with morels, farro,parma ham, and lemon balm. 

Address:
19 Vendue Range
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Dinner
Phone:
(843)414-2334
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Located in a busy shopping center at the intersection of Coleman and Houston Northcutt, the reigning spirit of Bacco is as fresh and creative as its chef, Michael Scognamiglio. The artist-in-residence successfully honors the traditional Italian passion for authentic cuisine by incorporating the simplest of preparations with the finest ingredients, adding his creative influence along the way.

Address:
976 Houston Northcutt Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)884-6969
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

With a gorgeous design by architect Reggie Gibson and flavorful food from its kitchen, 492 is a locale not to be missed in the Upper King district. Be prepared for small plates, but executive chef Josh Keeler’s ability to create some truly extraordinary dishes (like the beef short rib, for instance) trumps any missteps. Factor in free valet parking, a spacious outdoor patio, and artful cocktails, and we’re betting the trendy joint has staying power.

Address:
492 King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)203-6338
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This handsome restaurant has a clubby bar and a posh dining room reminiscent of a fine plantation house. Menu highlights include chef Shawn Kelly's buttermilk-fried oysters and pan roasted halibut. Don't miss brunch with Carolina shrimp and grits. The kids' menu is also excellent. 

Address:
199 East Bay Street (between Cumberland & Queen sts.)
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)724-3815
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

There's no need to hassle the waitress for a water-view here. You can look out on the harbor, the Holy City skyline, and the USS Yorktown from every table in the house. For dinner, start with the hush puppies and firecracker shrimp, then move on to one of the daily market fish offerings with a side of the amazine mac 'n' cheese. Whatever you do, don't miss the rooftop bar--it's a destination in and of itself, offering tempting cocktails and some of the best views in town. 

Address:
32 Patriots Point Rd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)284-7070
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

At this Mount Pleasant outpost of a downtown staple, find a familiar menu of thick soups, creative sammies, and fresh green salads. In the evenings, gourmet entrees such as tri-color tortellini satisfy heartier appetites. 

Address:
1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Ste. 100
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries, Italian/Pizza
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)849-1043
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Hip, farm-to-table dining meets Mount Pleasant at The Granary. Chef Brannon Florie--also executive chef at the Rarebit--crafts a menu headlined by favorites such as beef short ribs with stone ground grits, duck confit, and a stunning charcuterie platter, rounded out by dishes for sharing.

Address:
624 Longpoint Rd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)216-3832
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

ABC is a cookie-cutter chain with quality you can count on. Soups, sandwiches, salads, and super-sized sweets meet the need for fueling up for shopping or quick supper before a show at the Palmetto Grande. You can also pick up breads and bakery goods to go. 

Address:
1712 Towne Centre Way
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)216-1611
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Pamper yourself with a three-course Sunday brunch on Kiawah Island. Boasting such dishes as vanilla bourbon French toast and shrimp and grits with sweet peppers and onions in a sausage gravy, Jasmine Porch is an experience in four-star dining. 

Address:
1 Sanctuary Beach Dr.
City:
Kiawah Island
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Kiawah Island
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)768-6253
Price:
$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This super-posh Elliotborough event space and eatery is the lovechild of the talented teams behind Stems and Zero George, so it's no surprise that the digs are jaw-droppingly elegant (see the palm-tree lined stone courtyard) and the cuisine is light, fresh, and delicious. On a recent trip, we reveled in Yellowfin tuna with tempura avocado, shishito peppers, and fava bean puree, then moved on to the decidedly less virtuous Mexican chocolate pot de creme; sweet or sinful, the fare is flavor-packed. 

Address:
103 Spring Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)817-7311
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Since this former food truck took over the old Sloppy Cow digs on James Island, their basic diner fare has been spot-on. Think bacon and eggs and biscuits and gravy, as well as apps (jalapeño-spiked pimiento cheese dip), sandwiches, “from the grill” items (try the Green Eggs and Hamburger served sunny-side up with a slather of house-smoked jalapeño salsa verde and cilantro mayo), and nightly specials.

Address:
1023 Harbor View Rd.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)795-5955
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Custom-built to convey the style of a classic Charleston fish house, Hank's serves several old-time favorites as well as raw bar selections, seared tuna, and grilled swordfish. Chef Tim Richardson turns fried seafood platters into from-scratch specialties. 

Address:
10 Hayne St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)723-3474
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Formerly the Bookstore Café on Upper King Street downtown, this comfy neighborhood mainstay's name change hasn't affected the menu, and the hunka-chunka breakfast still reigns all day long. Dive into the mile-high biscuits, Island potato casseroles, or corned beef hash. Lunchtime salads and sandwiches include a fried green tomato and pimiento cheese and a Monte Cristo dipped in egg batter and grilled to perfection. No reservations. 

Address:
1039 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.
City:
Mount Pleasant
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)865-7796
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Sidle up to the bar at this tiny lunch counter on East Bay for top-notch seafood and super-friendly service. You can’t go wrong with chef/owner Jesse Sandole’s hunka chunka lobster rolls, served on buttery brioche buns. His fried-and-seared-fish tacos—topped with pickled vegetables and wrapped in corn tortillas slathered with guac—are also sublime.

Address:
289 East Bay Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)579-4997
Price:
$$
State:
Zip code:

Your favorite downtown dive now has a country cousin with expanded indoor and outdoor digs on Maybank Highway. There you'll find the same indulgent fare--Mike's Famous Duck Club and duck-fat fries, anyone?--plus mac 'n' cheese; a kids menu; and plenty of drafts, wines, and even craft cocktails on tap. 

Address:
3328 Maybank Hwy.
City:
John's Island
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns
Location:
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)952-7591
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This unassuming sandwich shop does more than just put a protein on two pieces of bread. Think sesame shrimp cozied up inside a deli bun, cu-banh mi with candied pork belly, and a turkey giardiniera with onion spread. Beers on tap and a wall o' board games make this a relaxed spot where you can bring the kids. 

Address:
3157 Maybank Hwy.
City:
John's Island
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns, Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)640-3778
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Expertly balancing the best of several culinary influences--those of France, Italy, and John's Island--chef Jacques Larson incorporates foods gleaned from local farms and waters into fresh, simple salads; delicate pastas; and intricate seafood dishes that sing with the season. Try the seared sea scallops with potato gnocchi, squash, heirloom tomato, cabbage, and pea pesto, and be sure not to pass up pastry chef Michelle Saletan's desserts. 

Address:
2867 Maybank Hwy.
City:
John's Island
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Johns Island
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843) 737-4177
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

At this eatery on the locals' end of Market Street, French chef Dominique Chantepie shows his years of experience in breakfast and lunch menus offering everything from crepes to paninis (try the Prosciutto di Paese!) alongside a gorgeous array of desserts. 

Address:
159 Market Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
French
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch
Phone:
(843)414-7241
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Thanks to a gorgeous design led by architect Reggie Gibson, this spot offers subtle nautical touches and an airy feel aided by an open kitchen and plenty of windows. Helmed by the folks behind Wild Olive, its menu slants local and Italian; we recently savored Geechie frites with salsa rosa and cappelletti stuffed with foie gras, truffle butter, and chives. Other standouts include simple salads, pizzas—such as the Old Danger, featuring pancetta, white sauce, and an egg—and gelato from Beardcat's sweet shop, located downstairs.

Address:
2063 Middle St.
City:
Sullivan's Island
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)416-5020
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This cheerful counter-service restaurant sells seven varieties of freshly baked treats, including buttermilk, country ham, cheese and chive, and the amazingly delicious blackberry-filled. Stop in for a pair or a couple dozen, and while you're at it, grab a coffee and a bowl of Geechie Boy grits or even a pimiento cheese sandwich. 

Address:
476 1/2 King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch
Phone:
(843)737-5159
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Laid-back Costa Rica meets down-home Americana at the Surf Bar, where locals go to sip margaritas and draft beers while watching surf videos and listening to live music. Look to the daily specials board for fresh catches, but menu items cooked over wood-burning grill, such as the burger, chicken on any of the salads, are great all the time. 

Address:
103 W. Cooper Ave.
City:
Folly Beach
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns, Seafood
Location:
Folly Beach
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)588-2009
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

In this spot north of the Crosstown, owner Karalee Nielsen Fallert delivers a clean café with cheerful touches, such as a wall of indoor plants. Chef Blair Machado has kept the menus simple: in the morning, look for classics like avocado on toast and shirred farm eggs. For dinner, we suggest the vegetable farm-egg soup or the butcher's plate, preferably with a side of delicious creamy kale. The café also boasts conveniences such as an espresso station and a fridge stocked with to-go items.
 

Address:
730 Rutledge Ave.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)410-1070
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Although a little more family-friendly, the James Island counterpart to the popular downtown original offers the same great hot wings, sandwiches, and salads.

Address:
1175 Folly Rd.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Head out to this waterside happy hour haven and relax with a cold one and a plate of shrimp and scallops or a Southern-fried seafood platter. Arrive in style by pulling up in your boat, or keep your sea legs to yourself and just people-watch from the dock.

Address:
145 Wappoo Creek Dr.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)795-1963
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Just steps away from The Terrace movie theater, this small pizzeria offers a great option for pre-film snacking. Chef Dusty Chorvat’s pies range from the traditional to outlandish with options such as the “apple pie” with granny smith apples, bacon, buttermilk blue cheese, mozzarella, local honey and arugula. Surprise hits such as hot wings make it worth a visit.
 

Address:
1956-B Maybank Hwy.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)762-5500
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Replacing Jack’s Cosmic Dogs on Folly Road is this spacious hangout, occupied by sports fans at the bar, families lunching with their little ones, and 20-somethings playing cornhole in the huge “garden” out back. It’s a great place to meet a big group alfresco to sample from the expansive beer menu. The fare’s undeniably bar food, though there are several salad and wrap options for those seeking healthier dishes.
 

Address:
1531 Folly Rd.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)225-1817
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Chef Nico Romo is at the helm of this chic spot, offering a menu that features fresh seafood with creative Asian touches. A selection of dim sum presents bountiful appetizer choices, and while the large plate menu is laden with ­local seafood, it also includes such choices as 72-hour short ribs and chicken cordon bleu. Don’t miss the half-price bottles of wine all evening on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday nights. 
 

Address:
442 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Seafood
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)722-3474
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

A killer view of the Ashley River, an easygoing setting, hit-the-spot breakfasts, and beach-town lunches and dinners make this joint—founded some 50 years ago—a hit among boaters and business folks alike. Reservations for groups of eight or more only.
 

Address:
17 Lockwood Dr.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)723-6325
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

When soul food’s all that will do, get to the pink cinder-block dive on Morrison Drive for fried ­everything and fatback-flavored greens that’ll send you home happy. The service is from the heart, the fare’s tops in its field, and the conversations are priceless. No cards or reservations.

Address:
1068 Morrison Dr.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch
Phone:
(843)577-9583
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Barflies need not suffer bad food when they hit the Moe’s Crosstown Tavern at Hampton Park. Pierogies, fried green tomato BLTs, and bombastic burgers washed down with beer make this eatery a favorite among food and sports-lovers alike.
 

Address:
714 Rutledge Ave.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)641-0469
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This Upper King Street establishment raises pizza baking to an art form. Thin crusts made from Italian flour arrive fresh from the wood-fired oven topped with artisanal meats, imported cheeses, fresh vegetables, and delightful sauces. The pizzeria boasts an outdoor courtyard and a great beer and wine list while antipasti, salads, and soups enhance the ­Italian vibe. 
 

Address:
451 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)720-8787
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Occupying a charming Italianate single house with murals, artwork, dim ­lighting, and intimate spaces, Muse makes a strong case as the city’s most romantic restaurant. There, chef Howard LaFour presents Northern Mediterranean cuisine blending pasta, dates, and Eastern spices with seafood and meats, which—along with more than 100 wines by the glass—creates a happy cacophony of flavors.
 

Address:
82 Society St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mediterranean, Wine bar
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-1102
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Although a bit churched-up compared to a roadside rib joint, the ’cue is true: the pork is slowly pit-­roasted over hickory, then slathered with an ­honest Alabama-style tomato-and-vinegar sauce. Freshly cooked collards and made-from-scratch mac ’n’ cheese top the list of sides on an extensive down-home Southern menu that also includes a delicious selection of pies. No reservations.
 

Address:
288 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-0406.
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If you’re craving a tender prime porterhouse or a ­succulent New York strip, head to this three-story love song to steak. The ­super-hungry will salivate over the 36-ounce rib-eye, while those leaving room for dessert might want to try a melt-in-your-mouth filet. Sides are served à la carte, and there’s a delicious appetizer selection.   
 

Address:
17 Broad St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Steakhouse
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)722-4220
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This swank oyster hall built in an old bank features chef Mike Lata’s ever-evolving seafood menu. Go for the lobster roll and stay for the cascading seafood tower including Capers Blades, Snow Coves, Blue Points, and Otter Island oysters. This rollicking oyster bar is simply excellent.  
 

Address:
544 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843) 414-7060
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Come lunchtime, Gucci and Godiva shoppers rest their weary selves at this swanky spot on the ground floor of Charleston Place Hotel. But this is no simple lunch. Try the duck confit waffles, perfectly seared scallops, or tile fish to fuel up for more power shopping.
 

Address:
205 Meeting St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)722-4900
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Magnolias has been serving up culinar arts director Don Drake’s “Uptown/Down South Cuisine” since 1990. Kelly Franz joined the team as executive chef, and guests continue to enjoy Lowcountry fine-dining fiare, including crab-stuffed rainbow trout, bourbon-fried flounder over creole grits with andouille sausage, and a Parmesan-crusted market catch. 
 

Address:
185 East Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)577-7771
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

It’s hard not to fall for exotic, flavorful Leyla. This quirky Lebanese oasis offers a long list of mezza (small plates), including hummus slathered in a spry bit of olive oil and manteh dumplings filled with a spiced beef paste. Don’t shy away from more adventurous menu items, such as frog legs: Leyla’s most interesting dishes tend to be those that are unfamiliar. Round out your meal with a cup of bitter Lebanese coffee and warm rice pudding spiked with nuts, spices, and coconut. 
 

Address:
298 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)501-7500
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

A soup that sounds like a sauce bodes well. Some of this neighborhood café’s most tantalizing ­bowlfuls include Mexican chicken chili with avocado and lime; potato, broccoli, and cheddar; and tomato, tarragon, and crabmeat. Try the $7.75 soup, salad, and/or sandwich lunch combo, or come back for full-blown gourmet dinners. On Tuesdays and Fridays, take advantage of half-price wine. No reservations.
 

Address:
43 Cannon St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)937-4303
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Located right on Charleston Harbor, this seafood emporium serves up Lowcountry classics with ­fusion flair. Try the delicious crispy steak calamari with apricot glaze and spicy red pepper ­rémoulade dipping sauces or the she-crab soup with blue crab roe and sherry. Fleet’s industrial-chic atmosphere, large bar, deck, and breathtaking harbor views make it a favorite among the cocktail crowd.

Address:
186 Concord St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)722-8100
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This intimate ristorante is off the beaten path but worth seeking out. The small but sophisticated menu features Northern ­Italian fare by chef Josh Cain, including mouth watering choices like the chocolate espresso-rubbed filet served over whipped potatoes, asparagus, and jus or the pan-seared Maple Creek duck breast in a pomegranate jus.
 

Address:
5 Fulton St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)853-5555
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

With its community countertop, staff owners, and straightforward menu featuring croque monsieurs, pâté plates, and Thursday night fondues, G&M (aka Fast & French) provides an ­authentic bistro experience. Suited downtown business folk squeeze in alongside artsy types for one big, happy family.
 

Address:
98 Broad St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
French
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-9797
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The swanky lobby restaurant of the Market Pavilion Hotel serves great steaks in luxurious high-backed booths. Think prime filets, strips, and rib-eyes or the 40-ounce prime porterhouse for two. The food’s terrific, the Market Street view is ­always hopping, and the service is impeccable.

Address:
225 East Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Steakhouse
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)266-4222
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Ignore the cafeteria décor and enjoy authentic New York deli fare. Go for the house specialty, the International Dip, or nosh on bona fide corned beef, pastrami, or the Reuben that’s been a best-seller since 1969. Low-fat sandwiches and salads are available. No reservations.
 

Address:
364-A King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)534-1436
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Visit this cozy, restored barbershop where ­locals love the contemporary comfort-food menu of ­au­thentic Southern fare and chef Robert ­Stehling’s take on New American: old-fashioned vegetable plates, pecan-crusted porterhouse pork chops, and sautéed shrimp served over cheese grits. It’s The New York Times’ hands-down pick for breakfast and brunch.
 

Address:
207 Rutledge Ave.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)937-0930
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

At this King Street spot, it’s all about the burrata baby. Well, that and the wood-fired pizzas, proscuitto, farro risotto, and remarkable squid ink carmen d’aria. Chef Kevin Getzewich delivers innovative Italian fare in a sleek space with a craft cocktail program as good as the menu—perfect for happy hour on their side patio.
 

Address:
526 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)727-1228
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Chef John Ondo’s neighborhood bistro is just far enough off the main drag to ensure an eclectic European menu and reasonable prices. Try the pear and Gorgonzola salad to start, then follow up with seared scallops with preserved lemon risotto. Casually intimate décor and a friendly waitstaff make this a great spot for a romantic date or the perfect place to catch up with friends during tapas happy hour each weekday from 5-7 p.m.
 

Address:
210 Rutledge Ave.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)720-8899
Price:
$, $$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

At this local mainstay, meat lovers swoon for the charcuterie plate; it’s almost impossible to choose among pastas such as spinach ricotta ravioli and gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce; and main course offerings include tempting selections like the grilled pork chop with millefiori honey, spices, and crushed almonds. The romantic patio is lovely during nice weather.
 

Address:
17 Warren St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)853-5955
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The view from the top of this high-end hotel in the Market can't be beat, and thankfully the food's just as swellegant. The menu features a host of eclectic fare such as shrimp satay, duck confit nachos, Kobe beef burgers, and several pizza selections.

Address:
225 East Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)723-0500
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

With the feel of an old-school raw bar, Pearlz offers peel-and-eat shrimp, tuna tartar, and oyster shooters on the chilled menu that headlines Southern oysters (raw or steamed) backed by classic mignonette or cocktail sauce. The offerings are rounded out by a selection of fresh catch, steaks, burgers, and children's items. No reservations.

Address:
153 East Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Steakhouse
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-5755
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

It may be hard to spot this hidden gem within the gentrified streets of Elliotborogh, but it’s worth a stop when you do. Seasonal pub fare such as hot pressed cubano with house smoked chicken stands out in addition to dishes such as the forager's toast -- roasted local vegetables, smashed avocado, smoked tomato and tahini vinaigrette, hollandaise, and a soft farm egg on top of a slice of multigrain from Brown's Court Bakery. A huge bar offers pitcher cocktail choices as well as local beers and an evolving wine list. Don't leave without ordering at least one fried oyster-topped deviled egg. 
 

Address:
45 1/2 Spring St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns, English/Irish
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)202-0712
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Tucked in the courtyard of the posh Zero George Hotel, this petite eatery’s lush patio feels like a secret garden. But if the weather’s bad, the dining room, adjacent to the circa-1804 carriage-house kitchen, is pretty darn romantic too. Chef Vinson Petrillo, an alum of Top Chef and Chopped, turns out a rotating menu of super-seasonal dishes: start with an heirloom tomato plate or blistered shishitos with a garlicy dipping sauce and move onto shrimp panzanella for the main course. With a boutique wine list and craft cocktails such as the perfect Bespoke Manhattan, the booze is tops, too.

Address:
0 George St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)817-7900
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Dig into fried octopus tentacles, squid, and other creatures of the deep at this seaside spot, where owner and executive chef Ken Vedrinski—who also helms Elliotborough’s Trattoria Lucca—turns out great Italian seafood dishes. Menu selections change daily, but we recommend starting with an antipasta like yellowfin tuna arancini spiked with radishes, chilies, and fennel, then diving into secondi such as seared swordfish picatta.
 

Address:
1130 Ocean Blvd.
City:
Isle of Palms
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza, Seafood
Location:
Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)242-8570
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

No trip to Sullivan’s is complete without a visit to this island institution. Grab a seat at the bar, a table among memorabilia on the walls, or, weather permitting, take in the island lifestyle from the picnic tables out front. Drafts, deli sandwiches, chicken wraps, burgers, and wings to rave about. No reservations.

Address:
2213-A Middle St.
City:
Sullivans Island
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns
Location:
Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)883-9646
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Simplicity is a specialty of the straightforward New American cuisine at High Thyme. You’ll find their delicious roasted chicken and three-cheese lasagna with tomato sauce and fresh herbs alongside seafood offerings such as pan-seared tilapia over smoked Gouda grits and arugula topped with lemon caper butter.
 

Address:
2213-C Middle St.
City:
Sullivans Island
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)883-3536
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The lively scene at this locals-mostly tavern belies the morose tendencies of its namesake poet. For a south-of-the-border treat, try the mouth-watering mahi-mahi taco or take on Edgar’s Nachos, a multicolored platter of chips, chili, cheeses, guac, salsa, sour cream, scallions, and cilantro, kicked up several notches by jalapeños. For the less adventurous, there are burgers (serious contenders for the best in town) and salads.

Address:
2210 Middle St.
City:
Sullivans Island
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns
Location:
Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)883-0083
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

Islanders and visitors looking for a down-home breakfast or hearty brunch head to this laid-back diner for homemade hash, omelets with fresh-off-the-boat shrimp, eggs Benedict with sweet lump crabmeat, grits, gravy, and biscuits. And that’s all before lunch. No reservations.
 

Address:
21 J.C. Long Blvd.
City:
Isle of Palms
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch
Phone:
(843)886-4079
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Pick up a pass at the Wild Dunes gate and head to the Boardwalk Inn for a “secret” dining spot. This full-service restaurant strikes a nice balance between upscale Continental and American cuisine served in a casual no-tie-or-jacket-required tropical setting.

Address:
Boardwalk Inn, Wild Dunes
City:
Isle of Palms
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)886-2200
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Time and again, Athens gets voted best Greek restaurant in town, as it should for authentic ­dishes done right. With a space much bigger than its former digs, this is still the best place to get gyros, Greek pizzas, monster salads, and standards like spanakopita. And don’t forget to get your opa! on. No reservations.
 

Address:
1939 Maybank Hwy.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
Greek
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)795-0957
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If you’re hankering for traditional Southern fare from a kitchen that doesn’t overly worry about “creative spin,” this may be just the ticket. Pop some fried okra with spicy aïoli while waiting for your country fried steak with mashed potatoes and squash casserole. But if you’re there for ­dinner, tread lightly with appetizers, because the entrées are big as a cotton house.
 

Address:
412 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)735-5800
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Ken Vedrinski’s Bogard Street hideaway pays homage to his Italian Grandma Volpe. Delicious assaggini—a selection of small plates of vegetables, cheeses, and meats—can be shared tapas-style. House-made pastas and piatti (main courses) include such rarities as sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi, Grandma Volpe’s classic tomato ragù, and fresh fish prepared dei Cuiochi—“in the chef’s choice.” Italian coffee and fresh-made sweets form a perfect ending.

Address:
41-A Bogard St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)973-3323
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Beer fans will do well to slide into the bustling booth barn that is T-Bonz. Sure it’s on the Market, but after a fried onion block, manly chops, and a couple of ice-cold drafts, it won’t matter where your neighbor is from.

Address:
80 North Market St
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-2511
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Thankfully time has not changed the luxurious dining experience at the Planter's Inn, where chef Graham Dailey delivers delicious grilled certified Angus beef, fresh seafood, and a remarkable selection of seasonal soups. Be sure not to miss the restaurant's famous 12-layer coconut cake.

Address:
112 North Market St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)723-0700
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If you're looking to enjoy an inexpensive meal in style, this throwback Hollywood-esque diner offers patty-melts, huevos rancheros, and grilled cheese with retro cocktails served in vintage glassware to match. Walls adorned with images of Steve McQueen complete the vibe.

Address:
474 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)974-5483
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Don't let the dance music fool you. In addition to a huge cocktail list and bottle service, this King Street disco offers solid food as well. Think foie gras sliders, lettuce wraps, mussels, and fried potato skins that will keep any partier fuled throughout the night.

Address:
462 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)724-7400
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Wagener Terrace got a whole lot tastier with the addition of Robert Carter’s latest iteration. This casual burger joint and bar offers a family-friendly option to the upper peninsula crowd. Grilled wings, flatbreads, and breakfast all day every day make for a perfect menu next to a list of creative cocktails.
 

Address:
1300 Rutledge Ave.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)720-1440
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

Those who think authentic is bandied about too often should visit this Mexican eatery on the Charleston Neck. Start with a fantastic (read: strong!) margarita and guacamole dip with house-made tortillas before tackling a plate of enchiladas poblanos with mole sauce, tamales with verde sauce, or one-of-a-kind chile rellenos. No reservations.
 

Address:
1302 Meeting Street Rd.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)722-2633
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Eclectic in design and menu with an open kitchen that showcases executive chef Frank Lee and crew whipping up seasonal, fresh-from-the-farm food, the lively SNOB is always happening. Shrimp and grits with house-made sausage and country ham, as well as grilled barbecued tuna topped with fried oysters, share the menu with bruschetta and fresh cheeses.
 

Address:
192 East Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)723-3424
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This family-owned-and-operated neighborhood café offers Italian-inspired sandwiches such as tuna and a hard-boiled egg on a baguette and a piadina with prosciutto, spinach, and mozzarella. The tiny pantry also offers provisions including beer and wine.
 

Address:
60 Bull St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Delis/cafes/bakeries, Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)724-3585
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Under the guidance of chef Tyler Chavis, this upscale Upper King Street spot serves up pan-seared Atlantic salmon, wood-grilled burgers, rotisserie chicken, and more. Grab a pre-dinner drink on the rooftop bar with a view of seven of the city’s steeples.

Address:
495 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Steakhouse
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)577-0100
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This local chain has done gangbusters in the Southeast and with good reason. The ribs and pulled pork are finger-lickin’ good, especially doused in one of their many sauces—try the whiskey version. Dine with the crowds or get the goods to go. 

Address:
235 Meeting St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)853-7427
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

At this sleek, beachfront retreat, chef Jonathan Hagins’ menu displays a pleasant number of innovative dishes, many featuring fresh catches as part of his commitment to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Try the pan-seared grouper with fried green tomatoes and lump crab cakes with black-eyed pea succotash and grained mustard.

Address:
1 Center St.
City:
Folly Beach
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Folly Beach
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843) 588-6658
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The latest incarnation of the long-standing McCrady’s (established in 1791) is a more casual, yet upscale tavern imagined by chef Sean Brock. Today, the ever-studios chef is harkening back to pre-Depression-era dishes, infusing them with complex modern techniques and some tongue-in-cheek twists (such as oyster mignonette served in a perfume atomizer). Don't leave the revamped space (goodby, enclosed purple booths) before trying “A Pie Called Macaroni,” a recreation of Thomas Jefferson’s recipe with, of course, a Brockian spin. 

Address:
2 Unity Alley
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 577-0025
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

At this handsome seafood house with an easy spirit and a slightly nostalgic air, the fried oyster po’ boy, shrimp and grits, and Lowcountry seafood pilau are three of a slew of Southern entrées that are sure to have you singing “amen” and coming back for more. 

Address:
205 East Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)853-8600
Price:
$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Good spirits abound at Closed for Business, where chic, pub-style décor; an intriguing menu by chef Kevin Johnson; and a long list of craft brews draw a diverse crowd. Settle into the community table or globe-lit booths for rave-worthy sandwiches like the pork slap, or try entrées such as the duck pot pie. Only ages 21 and older are allowed in after 8 p.m. No reservations.

Address:
453 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)853-8466
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The Thomas family serves up "coastal comfort food" from this circa-1920 farmhouse, complete with cozy seating inside or on the wraparound porch. Creative appetizers and health-conscious seafood dishes, pastas, salads, and soups headline menus that change daily. Be sure to visit the display case stocked with a dozen or more house-made desserts (if decision becomes impossible, choose the famous chocolate pot). No cards.
Lunch (Wed.-Sat.); Dinner (Thurs.-Sat.); Brunch (Sat.)

Address:
1575 Folly Rd.
City:
James Island
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch
Phone:
(843)406-4655
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This stylish, intentionally high-decibel place is all about the sushi, the sake, and the swish. You’ll need to visit multiple times to try the full range of soups,  salads, nigiri and sahimi, chef’s specialties, entrées, robata grill, and makimono (rolled sushi). A few can’t miss items? Yellowtail carpaccio, Tuna Three Ways, and Tasmanian salmon sashimi.

Address:
463 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Asian
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)737-0112
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Settle in at this eclectic eatery for creative, casual fare with a farm-to-table focus. Two of the owners, Michael Karkut and Derek Lathan, serve as executive chefs, producing a fluid menu that changes with the local market and includes a number of seafood and vegetarian dishes as well as an interesting soup and salad selection. There’s also a busy bar area that’s surprisingly compatible with the room’s ambiance.

Address:
863 Houston Northcutt Blvd
City:
Mt. Pleasant
Cuisine:
Vegetarian/organic
Location:
Mount Pleasant
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)606-2493
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Head to this family-owned restaurant to catch a game at the upstairs or downstairs bar; enjoy live music and trivia; or simply settle into a window seat to choose from tasty dips, wings (try the teriyaki style), sandwiches, entrées, and a nice array of local vegetables. Tip for nice weather: there’s also a back patio.

Address:
345 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)577-6665
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

The busy neighborhood restaurant blends the best of local produce, fish, and fowl in signature dishes inspired by French fare yet also featuring Southern cuisine at its finest. Come early for Sunday Brunch offering creme brûlée French toast or visit for dinner for shrimp and crab served with bacon, julienne veggies, spinach, pimiento cheese, and spicy Hoppin’ John. 

Address:
3140 Maybank Hwy.
City:
Johns Island
Cuisine:
French
Location:
Johns Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 559-9090
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Guests enjoy an easy-to-pair selection of small plates inspired by traditional Spanish cuisine at this Upper King Street tapas bar. Perfect for an early dinner or late night graze, it offers dishes such as dates with Serrano ham and Manchego cheese, spicy lamb meatballs, deftly fried calamari or, the pièce de résistance, seafood paella. Bonus: the kitchen stays open past midnight, every night.
(PA) 58 Line St., (843) 577-5393.

Address:
630 King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Tapas
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)577-5393
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If you like your burger full of surprises (say chili, brie, or collards), Big Gun’s your place. At this hole-in-the-wall, favorites include the Southern Hospitality burger with bacon, fried green tomato, pimento cheese and chow chow and the Dirty Gardener with a vegetable bean patty, eggplant-tomato jam, and fried kale.

Address:
137 Calhoun Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)789-3821
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:
Website:

With the same festive feel as its older Folly Beach brother-and a matching menu of addictive tacos, nachos, margaritas, and more-the downtown Taco Boy offers expansive indoor and outdoor spaces that leave plenty of room for family dinners as well as group happy hours. No reservations.

Address:
217 Huger St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)789-3333
Price:
$, $$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

On the main level, this double-decker restaurant boasts three dining rooms as well as outdoor seating. Look for straight-from-the-sea specials such as the fresh local clams steamed in white wine and herb broth and paired with leeks and prosciutto tossed with linguini. Feeling a bit saltier? Boaters, vacationers, and locals gather on the upper deck for a laid-back, fried-seafood atmosphere. From the casual menu, enjoy standards like po’ boys and grilled mahi sandwiches.

Address:
80 41st Ave.
City:
Isle of Palms
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)886-8980
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

With two locations, this downtown hot spot provides endless possibilities for a casual dinner, takeaway hors d’oeuvres, or breakfast on the run. Chef Scott Roule orchestrates the creation of prepared and made-to-order delights from the luxe Pike Place Ceasar salad topped with hot-smoked salmon to the duck confit sandwich made with aged Gouda and fig preserves. Also stop in for great gourmet ingredients. No reservations. 

Address:
51 George Street & 188 Meeting Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Delis/cafes/bakeries
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-7757
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Whether you want a small snack, great lunch, or a casual dinner, this centrally located Folly joint will satisfy. Evening highlights include Jack’s Signature Snapper, pan-seared with sautéed vegetables and coconut rice and topped with a tropical fruit rum sauce.

Address:
10 Center St.
City:
Folly Beach
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Folly Beach
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)588-2362
Price:
$, $$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Though small (just three employees, a walk-up counter, and two tables out front), this green oasis on Line Street serves up a full menu: organic salads, pizzas, passtas, and sandwiches, alongside daily soup specials. There's even homemade ice cream, churned from raw organic milk. Thrive is committed to free-range meats and sourcing all produce locally, from the frisee in the herb-encrusted goat cheese salad to the locally made sausage atop fresh mozzarella on "The Barn" pizza. Don't leave without a bag of whole-wheat pasta from the section of organic goods for sale. 

Address:
8-D Line Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Vegetarian/organic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch
Phone:
(843)789-4564
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This best branch of the local chain, “Crab Shacktacular” anchors the Center Street scene. Patio diners are a raucous, mixed lot of families and happy-hour types, all scoping passersby and other patrons. Look for a barrel of peanuts, plastic utensils, a raw bar, buckets of steamed oysters, clams, mussels, and more, plus deviled crab, Frogmore stew, shrimp and crab casserole, and the requisite fried fare.

Address:
26 Center St.
City:
Folly Beach
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Folly Beach
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)588-3080
Price:
$, $$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Breakfast is served all day at this quirky and cute spot, which means burritos with shrimp, sausage, bacon, or ham alongside cheese, onions, and peppers; homemade biscuits and sausage gravy; and a host of baked goods need not be morning addictions only. Come lunchtime, order the black bean burger with mango, black bean salsa, and ranch dressing; the Thai wrap with shrimp or chicken; or a hot-off-the-griddle quesadilla.

Address:
106 W. Huron St.
City:
Folly Beach
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Folly Beach
Meals:
Breakfast, Lunch
Phone:
(843)588-9669
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

A pizza joint bedecked in little white lights and beer-ad umbrellas, this kick-back place is Folly’s best spot for tasty, cheap eats: pies, subs, calzones, and salads. Try the pesto pizza, the white pizza, or create your own. And savor your crusts—the delicious dough is from West Ashley artisan bakery Normandy Farms.

Address:
39 Center St.
City:
Folly Beach
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Folly Beach
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)588-0088
Price:
$, $$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

No junket to Hollywood is complete without a stop at this former 1950s fire station, where wonderfully fresh seafood and mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas made with local ingredients await. The whole crispy flounder or Lowcountry pizza (fried green tomatoes on a bed of rich sauce) are sure crowd pleasers, as are familiar favorites like shrimp and grits.

Address:
6350 Hwy 162
City:
Hollywood
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza, Seafood
Location:
Hollywood/Meggett
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)889-9512
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

El Mercadito may have undergone a renovation to spruce up the former taqueria/market into a more Americanized Mexican restaurant, but thank heavens some of the authentic menu items remain. The faithful army of patrons can still enjoy platos of carnitas, lengua, and chile verde. And with the best tacos al pastor this side of Juarez, it’s easy to become a regular. 

Address:
3575 Maybank Hwy
City:
Johns Island
Cuisine:
Mexican/Southwestern
Location:
Johns Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)559-7216
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

If you’re on Maybank Highway around mealtime, take your foot off the gas and hit the sand parking lot at JB’s, where “the flavor’s in the meat, sauce is on the side.” Nearly two-dozen buffet items—apple-smoked chicken, black-eyed peas, and stewed cabbage—tempt diners with their handmade quality.

Address:
3409 Maybank Hwy
City:
Johns Island
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
Johns Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)557-0426
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Located in the Market area, this steakhouse offers the option to cook your own meat right at the table courtesy of 700˚F searing stones. The beautifully designed space offers a nine-item list of specialty martinis and menus in hardcopy and iPad form.
 

Address:
14 N Market St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Steakhouse
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)737-8700
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Savor old-school style, service, and flavor at this handsome new addition to Upper King. Grab a stool in the hopping bar or head upstairs for a more intimate dining experience. Either way, indulge in the luscious lump crab cakes, blue-cheese smothered wedge salad, and chef Matthew Niessner’s melt-in-your-mouth prime steaks—sauces available but not needed.

Address:
434 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Steakhouse
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)727-0090
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Birthed from a popular food truck of the same name, this comfortable and casual seafood joint now has permanent digs on Folly Road. The restaurant is noted for its fried- and grilled-to-order fish and shellfish, which stars in tacos (Bam-Bam Shrimp with signature, spicy Sriracha-infused sauce), sandwiches (The Big Easy with fried shrimp and green tomatoes spilling out of a hoagie), and generous baskets (everything from flounder to oysters to calamari). Don’t miss the perfectly delicious she-crab soup.

Address:
807 Folly Rd.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
James Island
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)754-5890
Price:
$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Dinner is the main draw at Butcher & Bee’s expanded digs up on Morrison Drive. First-timers should fill up on small sharing plates known here and in the Middle East as “mezze”. The menus—for dinner, lunch and brunch—exquisitely highlight ingredients like saffron, tahini, yogurt, and chickpeas, and seasonal vegetables reign over meat. 

Address:
652 King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 619-0151
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Look for a bounty of fish di­shes, plus a handful of homemade pastas and renowned wood-oven pizzas at this cheery, stylized joint. If the weather’s nice, opt for a seat outside to enjoy a gorgeous view of St. Philip’s Church.

Address:
171 East Bay Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza, Seafood
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)722-9200
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Housed in a diminutive (yet recently renovated) carriage house tucked behind the resplendent Wentworth Mansion, Charleston's iconic Circa 1886 boasts a menu that speaks internationally. Standouts include chef Marc Collin's rainbow trout stuffed with pecan-inflected rice and crab, sea scallops topped with smoked salmon roe, and sorghum-glazed sweet potato donuts. 

Address:
149 Wentworth St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)853-7828
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Each day, chef Jill Mathias announces Chez Nous’s ever-changing offerings on Instagram, digitally luring customers to this cozy hidden gem in Elliotborough with colorful photos and a picture of the day’s menu scrawled in beautifully romantic cursive script. While the kitchen serves only a handful of rotating dishes (and can rarely accommodate substitutions), diners enjoy seasonal dishes and a well-sourced wine list in perhaps the most romantic setting in Charleston. 

Address:
6 Payne Ct.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
French
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843) 579-3060
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Inspired by nature and traditional influences, Charleston Grill chef Michelle Weaver creates an unpretentious yet celebratory bill of fare from clean and light to lavish and exotic with a menu divided into four formats—pure, lush, cosmopolitan, and Southern. For a beautiful balance of food, wine, and service, settle into the intimate setting for butter-poached whole Maine lobster, vichyssoise, and semi-parfait graham cracker pie, along with other new renditions of decadent favorites.
 

Address:
Charleston Place Hotel, 224 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-4522
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Thanks to a partnership with Home Team BBQ, the peninsula’s only bowling alley boasts more than a good time on the lanes. Baked chicken and gravy, cornmeal fried shrimp, and braised pork belly pair with local brews.

Address:
131 Columbus St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Barbecue
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)818-4080
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This brewskie hotbed calls itself “Bavarian inspired, Southern made,” which adds up to the possibility of enjoying sausage spaetzle and cheese delivered on one of the restaurant’s many tables with self-serve taps. A pint wall offers taste tests of new brews, while an outdoor biergarten lets guests mingle on the bocci court.

Address:
549 East Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)266-2437
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Housed in a historic building on East Bay Street, this eatery boasts a three-story glass wall storing 4,500 international wines. House-cured meats showcase executive chef Craif Deihl's skill with charcuterie, while the sashimi tuna and oyster dish served with a ginger-garlic glaze and pineapple wasabi is a can’t miss. 

Address:
167 East Bay St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Asian, Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)727-0111
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Learning from their father, Nick and Ben D’Allesandro serve what they know best: traditional-style pizza. The parlor in Cannonborough-Elliotborough has staked a claim as a favorite among CofC students and other neighborhood residents with delicious dine-in, carry-out, and delivery options. No reservations.
 

Address:
229 St. Philip St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)853-6337
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

For a huge bowl of steaming-hot pho, you’ll do well to head to Lotus, which brings welcome international flavor to Park Circle. The sleek eatery offers Vietnamese fare, including tasty spring rolls, a quartet of salads, and entrees ranging from banh mi to grilled pork chops. The spacious, romantically lit patio’s lovely on a warm-weather night, or settle in at the bar for some sake.

Address:
1070 East Montague Avenue
City:
Cuisine:
Asian
Location:
North Charleston
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843) 225-9240
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Since opening in February, this upper peninsula spot has become a new mecca for the beer-nerd set. Beverage manager and brewer Cameron Read has a rotating selection of house-made brews on tap, such as Golden Child (a sour golden ale) and Lord Proprietor’s Mild (an English mild ale), as well as more than 30 varieties by other brewers. On the menu, which also rotates frequently, we’re loving chef Andy Henderson’s Carolina Gold Rice heritage chicken porridge as well as the guinea hen.
 

Address:
1081 Morrison Dr.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)727-1145
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Take an instant beach vacation in this high-style fish camp with a laid-back feel. There’s surf and turf, but COAST is about seafood—served roasted, grilled, fried, steamed, boiled, and on the half-shell—from Baja fish tacos to penne with shrimp and crab in a lobster garlic broth. 
 

Address:
39-D John St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)722-8838
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Clean, crisp Thai dishes set the tone for the ­sizzling scene on Upper King. High-octane red and green curries, crispy fried duck, hot and sour soups, and warm, soothing des­serts with undertones of ginger draw Charleston’s Asian cuisine cogno­scenti. Be prepared to wait, as they don’t take reservations. 

Address:
460 King St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Asian
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)724-3490
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

This tony beer hall offers 48 brews on tap (12 pale, 12 session, 12 local, and 12 “The Mash”) and plenty of churched up pub fare to make a brewski enthusiast happy. The barbecue pork-belly sandwich makes a solid start followed by the crispy pork spring rolls with vegetable kimchi. The patio is perfect for an alfresco dinner.
 

Address:
12 Cumberland St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-9699
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

HoM is where the heart is in the downtown burger scene. The King Street haunt has burger lovers and ping-pong players flocking. But those without a beef bent can find specialty patties such as lamb, turkey, tofu, and falafel, too. Top that with a fried green tomato and you’ve got a HoM run. (KG) 563 King St., 573-7505.

Address:
563 King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)573-7505
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

True Southern ingredients and those who produce them star at Husk, where executive chef Travis Grimes and chef/partner Sean Brock uses the finest heirloom products gleaned from all points south of the Mason-Dixon. Brock—who won the James Beard Foundation’s 2010 Best Chef: Southeast award for his work at Husk’s sister restaurant, McCrady’s— and Grimes devise a new menu every day, but you’ll want to accompany any entrée with a side skillet of cornbread made with Tennessee’s famous Benton’s bacon.

Address:
76 Queen Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Lowcountry/Southern
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)577-2500
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Chef Jeremiah Bacon crafts a daily changing menu offering locally sourced ingredients at his hot spot on King Street. Each entrée is a true star in its own right, from the vegetable dish featuring sunchokes, roasted beets, fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, red quinoa, Carolina Gold rice, mushrooms, and beautiful romanesco broccoli to the unbelievably tender grilled Halperns’ beef deckle. Stop by the popular bar for small plates and innovative cocktails. 

Address:
479-B King Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)789-4299
Price:
$$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

With a charming outdoor courtyard, this restaurant at the end of Market Street is the perfect stop for a rum cocktail and some Middle Eastern fare. Tabbuli’s tapas can make a delicious pre-dinner appetizer or hearty meal. In addition to falafel, Jerusalem salad, gyros, and baba ghanoush, the menu includes an enticing selection of seafood dishes such as fresh ceviche and ahi tuna poke. Don’t forget to order some baklava before you leave.

Address:
6 North Market Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)628-5959
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

When the original pub shuttered in early 2016, crowds flocked before a “final” last call. Yet when the joint reopened some seven months later—after a change in ownership, a quick reno, and sleek re-branding—it came with some much needed improvements: a tasty new menu, craft beer, and a cocktail list. You might start with the smoked wings or avocado toast with pickled shrimp before ordering a hearty duck sandwich with a side of crispy and tangy Brussels sprouts. Or take a seat in the courtyard and opt for a fresh tomato and burrata salad and wash it down with the rosé on tap. 

Address:
36-38 Broad Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Bars/taverns
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)872-6700
Price:
$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Chef/owner Kevin Johnson’s agrarian menu celebrates artisanal local producers year-round. A menu categorized by "produce," "seafood," "charcuterie," "and meat" includes offerings such as chanterelle muchrooms with sweet onion and pancetta, fried oysters with deviled egg sauce, and seafood pilau studded with clams and shrimp. 

Address:
4 Cannon Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)302-8825
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

A standard for the see-and-be-seen professional set, this brasserie is a hot spot for casual, elegant dining and late-night partying. Faves include the brasserie burger, onion soup gratinée, mussels (in six choices of broth), steak au poivre with a cup of pommes frites, and an unexpected but exciting menu of sushi.

Address:
39 John Street
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
French
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Phone:
(843)722-8881
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

An eclectically surprising menu—the Chinese chicken salad and ginger-seared salmon with lemon risotto are drool-worthy—and the wonderful setting in a renovated Charleston single house draws fans to this off-the-beaten-path spot north of the Market.
 

Address:
18 Pinckney St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)534-2434
Price:
$$, $$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Family-friendly is the name of the game at this Holy City mainstay. Slide into one of the retro-cool booths or grab an outdoor table and order up an amazing calzone or their one-of-a-kind pizza pie with everything on it. Also, the solid beer selection makes this West Ashley joint a place you'll want to linger longer. No reservations. 

Address:
1940 Sam Rittenburg Blvd.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Italian/Pizza
Location:
West Ashley
Meals:
Lunch, Dinner
Phone:
(843)225-4743
Price:
$, $$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

Watch horse-drawn carriages meander through the Market from the chic dining room, where day-boat seafood, superb steaks, and ­local produce are served with classic Charleston charm. Not to be missed: blackened redfish with a stew of chorizo, clams, Carolina gold rice, and greens. Order a side of grits ground right in Anson’s own kitchen.
 

Address:
12 Anson St
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
Seafood, Steakhouse
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843)577-0551
Price:
$$$, $$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code:

FIG’s renovated white-tableclothed dining room is welcoming and unpretentious; gentle muted color schemes and smoky mirrors keep the focus squarely on the food. The frequently changing menus are executive chef Jason Stanhope’s daily improvisations based on the finest ingredients to roll through the door: rendered bone-marrow salsa verde deepens the flavor profile of freshly caught fish, while the nine-veggie plate takes a snapshot of what’s growing in local fields.
 

Address:
232 Meeting St.
City:
Charleston
Cuisine:
American/Eclectic
Location:
Charleston Peninsula
Meals:
Dinner
Phone:
(843) 805-5900
Price:
$$$
State:
South Carolina
Zip code: