With a rich culinary heritage, Charleston has become one of the most sought-after destinations for foodies from around the world. From fresh seafood to upscale Lowcountry cuisine, the city has something for everyone. I’ll look at the 10 best restaurants in Historic Charleston, SC, where you can indulge in a range of delicious cuisines.
- Table of Best Restaurants in Historic Charleston
- List of Best Restaurants in Historic Charleston, SC
Table of Best Restaurants in Historic Charleston
Below is a quick reference table for some of my favorite Charleston restaurants! Be sure to enjoy these when you’re in Charleston for a weekend trip or after enjoying some time at the nearby beautiful beaches!
|Southern cuisine with fresh and local ingredients
|Some of the best seafood in Charleston – oysters, lobster rolls, and fish tacos.
|Download PDF Menu
|Leon’s Oyster Shop
|Casual atmosphere with fresh seafood and fried chicken
|Download Menu Here
|Xiao Bao Biscuit
|Asian fusion inspired by Chinese, Korean & Vietnamese cuisines – plates meant to be shared
|Seafood and amazing wagyu sirloin
|Classic southern fare with extensive drinks
|Farm to table and local focus – (amazing steak dish with potato gratin and a brandy cream sauce)
|The Obstinate Daughter
|Mediterranean-inspired cuisine (their pizzas are some of my favorites)
|Slightly North of Broad (SNOB)
|Creative twist on Lowcountry southern cuisine
|Stars Rooftop & Grill Room
|Signature Carolina cuisine with local, traditional ingredients
|Fine dining at The Charleston Place luxury hotel
|Rodney Scott’s BBQ
|Classic Southern BBQ in a casual atmosphere
List of Best Restaurants in Historic Charleston, SC
Located in the heart of Historic Charleston, Husk is a farm-to-table restaurant that prides itself on using locally-sourced ingredients. Chef Sean Brock’s passion for southern cuisine shines through in every dish, making it a must-visit restaurant for foodies.
This award-winning restaurant is housed in a beautifully restored historic building – a 19th-century home that features a charming, rustic atmosphere.
The menu here changes frequently based on what fresh and seasonal ingredients are available from local farmers. When I came here I tried a wood-fired half-chicken dish, and it was delicious!
Location: 76 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401
Fig is a contemporary American restaurant that offers a menu based on seasonal and local ingredients. Located in historic downtown Charleston, it’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike!
The restaurant has an elegant but laid-back atmosphere, which is one of the best places for a romantic night out or a casual dinner with friends. But, the innovative menu is the star of the show!
The co-owner, Chef Mike Lata, has won the James Beard Award for Best Chef and serves up modern takes on so many amazing dishes.
Fig’s menu includes a variety of shareable starters and main dishes. Here are some of my favorite dishes on the menu:
- Beef tartare
- English pea ravioli
- Sicilian swordfish ragu
Pro tip: The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays, so make sure to plan your reservation for Tuesday through Saturday.
Location: 32 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
3. 167 Raw
If you’re in the mood for best seafood restaurant in Charleston, then 167 Raw is the place to be.
This restaurant specializes in fresh seafood and offers a range of options such as oysters, lobster rolls, and fish tacos. This laid-back spot is a must after a long day on the beach.
Along with delicious fresh seafood dishes, they have a large drink list featuring local beers, wines, and cocktails. My go-to is a spicy margarita!
And, if you’re in the mood for sushi, visit 167 Sushi Bar! It’s part of the same restaurant group and one of the 10 best sushi restaurants in Charleston!
Location: 193 King St, Charleston, SC 29401
4. Leon’s Oyster Shop
Another seafood restaurant that made it to my list is Leon’s Oyster Shop. This casual restaurant and eatery serves up fresh seafood, fried chicken, and Southern-inspired sides.
The restaurant’s outdoor patio is a popular spot for locals to gather and enjoy a cold drink with dinner.
If you come to Leon’s you have to try oysters or peel-n-eat shrimp from the raw bar. If you aren’t in the mood for seafood, get their fried chicken sandwich!
And for those hot summer days, you have to end your meal with a soft serve cone.
If you’re a big seafood fan traveling throughout South Carolina, maybe check out these awesome seafood restaurants in Columbia, SC.
Location: 698 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
5. Xiao Bao Biscuit
Xiao Bao Biscuit is an Asian-fusion restaurant that offers a range of dishes inspired by Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese cuisine.
The restaurant has eclectic decor and a lively atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s a great spot for date night or dinner out with friends.
The dishes here are meant to be shared, which lets you try a variety of things from the menu. And, everything here is flavorful and unique! Here are some of my favorite dishes on the menu:
- Okonomiyaki: a Japanese cabbage pancake dish
- Bao buns with pork belly
- La Zi Ji: a spicy and sweet chicken stir fry
Xiao Bao Biscuit is also known for its creative cocktails and friendly staff!
Location: 224 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403
6. The Ordinary
Housed in a stunning 1920s bank building, The Ordinary offers a refined yet relaxed atmosphere. They have a seafood-focused menu and are known as one of the top spots for seafood in Charleston.
If you come to The Ordinary, you have to order something off the raw bar menu. This menu features the freshest seafood in the city, with things like oysters, clams, crab claws, and tuna.
For a main dish, try the local fish and root vegetable chowder, or the wagyu sirloin.
Location: 544 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
7. Poogan’s Porch
Poogan’s Porch is a southern-style restaurant that’s been serving traditional Lowcountry cuisine since 1976. Located in the French Quarter on Queen Street, this is a great place for traditional southern cuisine!
Poogan’s Porch offers a delicious taste of Southern hospitality and cuisine. You’ll find classic Southern-inspired dishes like shrimp and grits and fried chicken on the menu.
When it comes to drinks, Poogan’s Porch offers an extensive wine list, as well as craft beers and creative cocktails. Their “Porched & Loaded” cocktail, made with bourbon, peach schnapps, and sweet tea, is a delicious spin on a classic iced sweet tea.
Fun fact: The restaurant is named after a dog named Poogan, who used to roam the porch before it became a restaurant!
Location: 72 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401
8. The Grocery
The Grocery is a farm-to-table restaurant that offers a menu focused on seasonal and local ingredients.
The restaurant’s industrial-chic decor and open kitchen give it a modern and lively atmosphere. This is a great spot for a nice dinner out with friends or to celebrate a special occasion!
The Grocery offers a rotating menu that changes frequently to showcase the freshest produce and flavors available. When I came here, I had a delicious steak dish with potato gratin and a brandy cream sauce.
Reservations are recommended here, so check out their website or call before you plan to visit.
Location: 4 Cannon St, Charleston, SC 29403
9. The Obstinate Daughter
Located on Sullivan’s Island, The Obstinate Daughter is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that offers a range of creative dishes.
Their pizzas are a standout and one of my favorite things on the menu! Here are a few of the unique pizza options at Obstinate Daughter:
- The Old Danger: pancetta, farm egg, scallion, white sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, black pepper
- Miss Carolina: green and red tomato, mozzarella, basil, olive oil
- Weird Fishes: tomato, white anchovy, black olive, red onion, garlic, chili oil
They also have refreshing cocktails and tasty desserts that are a must-add-on to any meal.
10. Slightly North of Broad (SNOB)
Slightly North of Broad is a beloved restaurant in Charleston, known for its creative take on Lowcountry cuisine and its warm and welcoming atmosphere. It’s called “SNOB” by the locals.
SNOB is in the heart of Downtown Charleston and has been a local favorite for over 20 years. The menu changes frequently based on the seasons and local produce but always features classic southern dishes with a modern twist.
One of the most popular dishes here is shrimp and grits, made with local grits, house sausage and country ham, fresh shrimp, and tomatoes.
In addition to its food, SNOB is also known for its impressive drink program, which includes a selection of fine wines, craft beers, and creative cocktails.
The atmosphere is a little more upscale, so make sure to dress up if you plan to enjoy dinner out at SNOB!
Location: 192 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
11. Stars Rooftop & Grill Room
Located on Upper King Street is another one of Charleston’s best restaurants with a rich history. The Stars Rooftop & Grill is in the historic Arts & Crafts Building, complete with a 1930’s style Grill Room. The fine dining experience highlights low country and southern dishes like succulent steak and local, seasonal produce.
You can also head here on the weekend for the most important meal of the day – brunch! The Chicken & Waffles or Low Country Shrimp & Grits are delicious.
Rooftop. If you want to enjoy happy hour along with some of the best views of the Holy City, check out the Stars Rooftop Bar. The atmosphere is refined casual and it’s 21+ after 9:00PM on the bar.
Location: 495 King Street Charleston, SC 29403
12. Charleston Grill
Charleston Grill is a restaurant in the luxurious, 4-star hotel known as The Charleston Place. The restaurant is known for its elegant atmosphere, exceptional service, and delicious cuisine.
The restaurant has a rich history, having been opened in 1997 as part of the Charleston Place Hotel. Since then, it has become one of the city’s most renowned dining destinations and has earned many awards for its food and service.
The food menu at Charleston Grill features a range of classic Southern dishes and contemporary American cuisine. Everything on the menu here is prepared with the highest quality ingredients!
Some popular dishes here include crab cakes, grilled lamb chops, and pan-seared scallops. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list as well as a selection of signature cocktails and craft beers.
Location: 224 King St, Charleston, SC 29401
13. Rodney Scott’s BBQ
Rodney Scott’s BBQ is a popular barbecue restaurant located in Charleston, South Carolina. The restaurant is known for its traditional, wood-fired barbecue and classic Southern sides.
The atmosphere at Rodney Scott’s BBQ is casual and inviting, with a laid-back vibe that’s perfect for enjoying a hearty meal with friends and family. The restaurant has a rustic décor, with exposed brick walls, wooden tables, and a large open kitchen where you can watch the pit-masters at work.
The food menu at Rodney Scott’s BBQ features a range of classic barbecue dishes, including pulled pork, ribs, and chicken, all slow-cooked over wood-fired pits for maximum flavor.
The restaurant also offers a selection of classic Southern sides, including mac and cheese, collard greens, and baked beans. In addition, the restaurant has a range of house-made sauces and rubs that you can use to customize your meal!
I definitely recommend checking out Rodney Scott’s for a taste of true Southern BBQ!
And, if you love BBQ, check out 11 of the best BBQ restaurants in Augusta, GA.
Location: 1011 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Conclusion to Best Restaurants in Historic Charleston, SC
In conclusion, you can see that Charleston, SC, is a foodie’s paradise. From seafood to southern-style cuisine to pizza, each restaurant on this list offers a unique and delicious dining experience. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, make sure to check out these top-rated restaurants on your next visit to Charleston!
Don’t forget to explore other parts of the city like North Charleston as well! Here are some more great restaurants to check out next time you’re in the Holy City.
And, prepare for your trip by checking out some of our other Charleston guides: