Some consider Charleston to be the foodie capital of the South and in my opinion, they aren’t wrong. There are many incredible restaurants in this city highlighting Southern comfort food with an elegant twist so obviously it can be tough figuring out where to eat in Charleston, SC.
The farm-to-table movement is big here so you’ll find fresh, seasonal ingredients at many of these places. The Southern food and hospitality will make you wish you could stay for longer than a week or two!
When you aren’t busy eating – because that’s one of the best things to do in Charleston – try touring some of the historical sights, meandering through downtown, or shopping on King Street to find gifts for anyone in your life!
These restaurants serve great breakfast and brunch dishes plus are full of character. Popular breakfast items to order in the South are chicken & waffles, cathead biscuits (biscuits the size of a cathead), and grits.
Toast! All Day!
While there are multiple locations for this restaurant throughout the Charleston area, the one downtown is a fan favorite. This cozy breakfast spot will remind you of your favorite diner back home.
They have a full bar and traditional breakfast plates featuring eggs, bacon, home fries, and the like. One specialty is their deluxe french toast that is stuffed and covered with apples or peaches.
Address: 155 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Toast!
Page’s Okra Grill
Just over the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant, Page’s Okra Grill is a staple restaurant for any Charleston trip. If you arrive early for Sunday Brunch they have a Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar outside.
Make sure you order the chicken & waffles – the sweet maple syrup and waffles goes perfectly with their juicy fried chicken. If you decide to go for dinner then their shrimp & grits is a must.
Address: 302 Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC | Website: Page’s Okra Grill
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit
No trip to the Lowcountry is complete without trying multiple different biscuits. At Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit you’ll be sure to get your fill.
Here you’ll find a variety of breakfast sandwiches made with the warm, fluffy biscuits but you can also order just the biscuits themselves.
They come in multiple flavors and you can get different spreads on them as well. Don’t miss their locally roasted coffee as well!
Address: 188 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit
Millers All Day
Start your day with a hearty breakfast and fantastic cocktail. Who can think of better beginnings? Millers serves delicious sweets from their bakery as well as filling meals like steak & eggs or biscuits & gravy.
The vibe is like a retro diner so it’s the perfect instagrammable spot for a meal. The food is pretty instagrammable too and tastes even better than it looks.
Address: 120 King Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Millers All Day
A great lunch spot has a good atmosphere and great food. Each one of these places has that plus reasonable prices.
If you take a ghost tour in downtown Charleston, you just might stop by this popular lunch and dinner spot. The bathroom here is supposedly haunted and there have been stories of seeing someone in a second floor window as well.
They make flavorful shrimp & grits and chicken & waffles for brunch also as they are both Charleston specialties. You can also try the Huevos Rancheros.
Address: 72 Queen Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Poogan’s Porch
The Brown Dog Deli
This unassuming deli near the courthouse in the French Quarter is where you’ll find the locals eating. As you walk in, there is a long bar where you can walk up and order to-go or they have indoor and outdoor seating.
You’ll find interesting sandwich combinations here like Pig n’ Fig made of pulled pork, fig-rosemary preserves, bacon jam, cheddar, and Granny Smith apple on a pressed baguette.
Not only do they have delicious gourmet sandwiches, but they serve wraps and specialty hot dogs as well.
Address: 40 Broad Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Brown Dog Deli
Butcher & Bee
This cafe & bakery is all about fresh ingredients and made from scratch foods. The modern location offers indoor and outdoor seating where you can relax and enjoy an incredible meal or baked goods.
Their menu changes often based on the local ingredients they can source but consistent favorites are their sandwiches and cinnamon rolls.
Address: 1085 Morrison Drive, Charleston, SC | Website: Butcher & Bee
Leon’s Poultry & Oyster Shop
If you like fried chicken or oysters then this is the spot for you. This place has an industrial look on the inside but still feels cozy.
The main dishes on their menu are oysters, chicken, and fish but they do serve some sandwiches as well. Make sure you come here hungry because they give you plenty of food!
Address: 698 King Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Leon’s
The Glass Onion
This casual diner has local written all over it. Their menu changes daily depending on what they can source locally but staple items are fried chicken, Carolina catfish, and Jenny Ruth’s deviled eggs.
You won’t find better southern comfort dishes in Charleston or friendlier service.
Address: 1219 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC | Website: The Glass Onion
Rodney Scott’s Barbecue
I’ve noticed that wherever you go, people think that their state or city has the best barbecue. However, there is no denying that the ‘cue at Rodney Scott’s is some of the best you’ll try – no matter where you go.
The sides that come with your meal aren’t too shabby either. Mac & Cheese, Collard Greens, and Green Beans are just a few of the options. Some of the best the South has to offer!
Address: 1011 King Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Rodney Scott’s Barbecue
Dinner in Charleston isn’t always a cheap meal. These restaurants are on the pricier side but their food is well worth it. These will be meals you won’t soon forget!
For a reservation at Husk during normal dining hours you’ll want to book well in advance. Their slogan is “A Celebration of Southern Ingredients” and their menu is another that changes often. They offer a true farm-to-table experience that shouldn’t be missed.
No matter what you choose from their supper menu, you really can’t go wrong. If you find fried chicken on the menu, local fish, or Heritage pork you will not be disappointed.
Address: 76 Queen Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Husk
Magnolias is another upscale spot in downtown for dinner. While this is a white tablecloth space, you’ll feel right at home even if you aren’t in a fancy dress or a tie. This is just great food served in a homey atmosphere.
For an appetizer make sure you try the pimiento cheese or deviled eggs. A favorite for dinner are the Charleston-style Crab Cakes. Being right on the water means great local seafood!
Address: 185 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Magnolias
A visit to Hall’s is one that you’ll remember forever. While this is a large splurge meal, it is 100% worth every penny. The food is second-to-none and the service is the best you’ll find.
When visiting Hall’s the top recommendation is of course a steak. They have steaks that are dry-aged and wet-aged to choose from. The sides are served family-style and I still dream about the Pepper Jack creamed corn skillet.
Address: 434 King Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Hall’s Chophouse
This is an elegant spot with high, arched windows that will make you think you stepped right into a 1920s movie scene. Here you’ll find fresh seafood and an oyster bar.
Be sure to make reservations here as it’s a popular spot. The food is delicious and presented wonderfully and they have an extensive drink menu.
Address: 544 King Street, Charleston, SC | Website: The Ordinary
The same team that runs The Ordinary actually operates FIG as well. You can’t go wrong with either. At FIG you’ll find dishes that blend unique flavors beautifully.
They opened in 2003 and have been a local as well as visitor favorite since then. They have a fun atmosphere and great up-scale southern food.
Address: 232 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC | Website: FIG
Tavern & Table
I absolutely love this place for their small plates menu. The Burnt End Mac & Cheese is incredible though you’ll need 3 – 4 people to eat it. They also have great cornbread and pimiento cheese.
They also serve entrees like pork chops, shrimp & grits, and the like. Another great thing about this place is they have a large back deck with a beautiful view over Shem’s Creek.
Address: 100 Church Street, Mount Pleasant, SC | Website: Tavern & Table
Who wants dinner without dessert? Stop by any of these dessert places for a delicious treat at the end of the day. I’m sure after all the walking you’ll do, you deserve it!
Kaminsky’s Dessert Cafe
This is the perfect spot for an after-dinner drink or sweet bite to eat. Their desserts are made fresh each day and they also offer specialty coffee, tea, and dessert cocktails.
Try one of their indulgent milkshakes or order a slice of pie. My personal favorite is the Key Lime Pie but they are well known for the Pecan Pie.
Address: 78 N Market Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Kaminsky’s
Christophe Artisan Chocolatier
This one is for the chocolate fanatic in the group. This cozy shop sells their chocolates downstairs and has a small seating area upstairs.
You’ll find chocolate bars and other handmade chocolates including truffles and hand-painted chocolates. Make sure to order some of their drinking chocolate as well!
Address: 90 Society Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Christophe Artisan Chocolatier
If you’re up for a short walk out of the main downtown area then head out to Sugar Bakeshop. This cute little spot has a small shop with some outdoor seating.
They serve cupcakes, cookies, and cakes plus other specialty items – including popsicles in the summer! There are year-round flavors as well as seasonal ones that are only offered for a limited time.
Address: 59 1/2 Cannon Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Sugar Bakeshop
Who doesn’t love gourmet ice cream sandwiches? This dessert shop started in New Jersey but the family has since expanded to four locations on the East Coast.
The cookies are thin shortbread or graham cracker cookies with ice cream in the middle plus a dollop of pie filling. It’s basically a pie a la mode in the form of a sandwich.
Address: 223 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC | Website: Peace Pie
Where to Eat in Charleston Recap
Stand anywhere in downtown Charleston and you can throw a rock and hit a fantastic place to eat. These just scratch the surface of suggestions on where to eat in Charleston, SC.
So go out and enjoy everything the town has to offer including incredible food! Get outdoors, walk the historic streets, and do some shopping while you’re there. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the shops then check out giftideascafe.com for all the gifts you might need!