15 Best Restaurants in Downtown Charleston, SC

Downtown Charleston, SC
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Whether you're a local or a traveler in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, you will want to try some excellent cuisine in the city.

These 15 restaurants will make your mouth water and leave you wanting more.

Magnolias

Located near Waterfront Park, this restaurant is not to be missed.

Offering an upscale southern dining experience, Magnolias uses recipes you can't find anywhere else in Charleston.

Magnolias blends traditional ingredients and cooking techniques with a modern artistic flair for glorious presentations.

The restaurant does offer vegetarian options to accommodate those who don’t eat meat.

Reservations are required at Magnolia’s, so make sure you call ahead.

Its portions are large and well worth the money.

The restaurant offers brunch, lunch, and dinner dining options, so you will find something to suit your needs.

Magnolias - Charleston, SC
Specialties: Magnolias ignited a culinary renaissance upon opening in Charleston, S.C. in 1990, paving the way for a new generation of Lowcountry cooking in the city and across the entire South. A staple in Charleston for 25 years, Magnolias remains a forerunner in upscale Southern cuisine, presenti…

39 Rue de Jean

This restaurant is a cultivated French cafe and bar, most reminiscent of a late 1800s brasserie.

The ambiance inside will make you feel like you've been transported to France.

The recipes included on the menu are Parisian-inspired classics.

They also offer custom cocktails and a selection of fine wines.

Stop by 39 Rue de Jean for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It is a popular location, so make reservations.

The staff is terrific and will care for your needs, promptly serving your meal and making expert drink recommendations.

39 Rue de Jean - Charleston, SC
COVID update: 39 Rue de Jean has updated their hours, takeout & delivery options. 617 reviews of 39 Rue de Jean “I was very impressed with Rue de Jean. The food was delicious all around. I highly recommend their potato soup with truffle oil. The restaurant was larger than I expected and also has sea…

Poogan’s Porch

Poogan’s Porch is Charleston’s oldest independent restaurant.

Martha Stewart Living, among many other publications, has recognized the restaurant for its new approach to Lowcountry cuisine.

It’s located in an exquisitely restored Victorian house that will awe visitors.

The restaurant opened in 1976 and has become a well-known favorite of many celebrities, politicians, and tourists.

The food is excellent, and you will most likely need a reservation no matter when you plan to go.

From fried chicken to full breakfast options, you will find something on the menu to satisfy everyone at your party.

The service is excellent, and the whole dining experience will amaze you.

Poogan’s Porch - Charleston, SC
Specialties: Poogan’s Porch offers a unique approach to Lowcountry cuisine. We’re widely known for our biscuits, brunch, She-crab soup, and heaping helpings of hospitality! And, of course, pooches are always welcome at Poogan’s Porch. Established in 1976. From the moment you step into the parlor of…

High Cotton Charleston Restaurant

The High Cotton Restaurant offers its patrons genuine Charleston hospitality.

They believe there is always something to celebrate and want to share that opportunity with you.

They offer high steppin’ Lowcountry living.

The servers are gracious and knowledgeable, taking care of your every need.

All dishes are expertly prepared.

Likewise, you can browse an extensive wine and cocktail program to order the perfect drinks with your meal.

A jazz band plays nightly and during weekend brunch, adding to the dining experience.

Due to the high volume of customers, make a reservation so you’re not left out in the cold.

High Cotton - Charleston, SC
Specialties: High steppin’ Lowcountry living. It’s a feeling of warmth and celebration that begins the moment you step inside. You’ll find it in our gracious, knowledgeable servers, expertly prepared dishes, and a remarkable wine and cocktail program. From conversations and laughter in our bar to ou…

Slightly North of Broad Restaurant

Slightly North of Broad, known to locals as SNOB, is a Lowcountry bistro combining unique local ingredients with a thoughtful, expert presentation.

The whole establishment is filled with friendly, contagious energy.

At this restaurant, the dining room becomes a natural extension of the kitchen.

It's a place where a specialty wine program, culinary skills, conversations, and warm service join together.

The restaurant sources most of its food from local farmers, fishers, and producers.

You’ll want to make your reservation well in advance for this popular location as dates fill up very quickly.

Slightly North of Broad - Charleston, SC
Specialties: A Lowcountry bistro that brings together an abundance of local ingredients and thoughtful, expert presentations with a friendly, contagious energy. Here, the dining room is a natural extension of the kitchen, a place where culinary skill, a clever, considered wine program, warm service…

R Kitchen

You’ll never eat the same thing twice at R Kitchen, because the menu changes every night.

The chefs recreate the five-course tasting menu by combining seasonal ingredients and their limitless imaginations.

The restaurant allows the chefs to manage the food as they see fit without being constrained by a strict menu.

For this reason, you can't see a menu before checking in for your reservations.

Likewise, you should make a reservation before your visit.

R Kitchen makes every effort to accommodate those with dietary restrictions based on product availability.

Likewise, they need advance notice, so let them know of any conditions or allergies when making your reservations.

R Kitchen - Charleston, SC
Specialties: R Kitchen focuses on providing our customers with great food for a reasonable price in an intimate “kitchen-like” setting. Sit inside and watch our chefs prepare your meal or sit outside and enjoy your meal on our relaxing, covered patio. We serve dinner 7 days a week; Monday through S…

Tempest Charleston

USA Today named Tempest Charleston as the #1 Best New Restaurant in the Country on its 10 Best list.

Located on historic Market Street, you’ll find it next to its sister location, Church and Union Charleston.

The restaurant features extremely local and sustainable South Atlantic seafood.

They also offer a seasonal menu designed specially by Chefs Jamie Lynch and Tyler Cook.

They also have a remarkable raw and roast menu, featuring chilled and roasted selections prepared in a Mibrasa charcoal oven.

The Mibrasa is unique because it can cultivate a nice smoky flavor without compromising the integrity of your seafood.

Pair your meal with fine wine, gin, rum, or bourbon from the menu.

Tempest - Charleston, SC
Specialties: USA Today 10Best, #1 Best New Restaurant in the Country. Upscale seafood restaurant, located on historic Market Street next to sister location, Church and Union Charleston. Tempest features hyper-local, sustainable South Atlantic seafood, with a seasonal menu curated by Executive Chef W…

Hank’s Seafood Restaurant

Hank’s Seafood Restaurant is well-known for its high-quality seafood.

It has stayed the number one seafood restaurant in Charleston for 18 years.

You can find this restaurant in the Historic District by the Charleston City Market.

It's located in a beautiful turn-of-the-century building that used to be a warehouse.

After renovations, the restaurant has embraced Charleston’s extensive port history and wide-ranging family roots.

Hank’s menu pays tribute to the classic Charleston seafood restaurant's fresh ingredients and expertly crafted Lowcountry recipes.

If you can't make a reservation, you can sit at the full-service community table, available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hank’s Seafood Restaurant - Charleston, SC
Specialties: When Hank’s Seafood Restaurant opened-with its selection of caught-that-day entrees, warm wood interior, and white dinner jacket wearing wait staff-Esquire named it one of America’s Best New Restaurants. Readers of the Charleston City Paper voted it Best Seafood Restaurant for sixteen c…

The Grocery

The Grocery features an evolving menu that changes with the seasons.

All dining options are based on Southern and Mediterranean flavors and ingredients.

They can all their products for future menu use and boast their charcuterie.

You can check out their extensive wine and cocktail list in addition to beer on tap.

You can find the restaurant inside a former furniture warehouse remodeled to make a comfortable dining setting.

All ingredients come from local farmers, artisans, foragers, and fishers.

Likewise, the service is exceptional with caring, compassionate waitstaff.

They'll promptly take your order and serve it in a reasonable amount of time.

From the ambiance to the fresh ingredients to the service, this will be a dining experience you will not soon forget.

The Grocery - Charleston, SC
Established in 2011. At The Grocery executive chef and owner Kevin Johnson presents an evolving menu that changes with the seasons, rooted in Southern and Mediterranean flavors and ingredients. The Grocery boasts house-made charcuterie and an in-house canning program to preserve produce for future…

Muse Restaurant & Wine Bar

Muse Restaurant is in a historic home in downtown Charleston.

It’s a locals’ favorite and reminiscent of a Mediterranean villa.

Executive Chef Josh Ogilvie combines the flavors of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece to come up with some of the most delicious flavors imaginable.

The menu features fresh seafood, homemade bread, pasta, and savory meats, among other excellent options.

There is also an extensive wine list offering guests the choice of over 75 different wines by the glass.

One of the restaurant's highlights is its cozy bar that opens onto the terrace, where guests can enjoy outdoor dining or drinks.

The menu also caters to those who need gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.

Warm and friendly staff serve all your orders.

Muse Restaurant & Wine Bar - Charleston, SC
Delivery & Pickup Options - 338 reviews of Muse Restaurant & Wine Bar “Muse is so new that it’s still kind of a secret, and after eating there, I’m inclined to keep it that way. If you go, stop for a drink in the small, cozy bar on the first floor but ask for a table on the 2nd floor which has an “A…

Maison

This downtown Charleston option offers a very French vibe.

The bar frequently attracts industry workers, artists, and other notables after their shifts.

It’s a very engaging environment, with most diners knowing at least one other person.

There’s often a lot of table-hopping as people travel back and forth between friends.

The wine list is quintessentially French, and the cocktail list is eclectic, offering ingredients like St-Germain and absinthe.

Chef Vandy Vanderwarker crafts his French creations from locally-sourced ingredients.

He provides many crowd-pleasers but doesn’t back down from creating seasonal specialties.

Dining here will offer guests a lasting and memorable experience that will bring them back for more.

Maison - Charleston, SC
Specialties: For reservations feel free to call or book through our website. Established in 2019. Opened in March 2019

Anson Restaurant

The dinner-only Anson Restaurant takes a thoughtful approach to local ingredients.

They take the best of Charleston’s offerings to craft delicious and innovative turns on traditional Southern cuisine.

The restaurant offers diners views of the horse-drawn carriages through the nearly dozen windows that line the side of the building.

It has a softly lit dining room with gilt trim that provides a lovely romantic setting.

There is another casual dining scene downstairs, which many locals prefer.

Anson is several levels above most tourist-friendly fare on Market Street.

It’s also a prime contender for the best she-crab soup in town.

Anson - Charleston, SC
Specialties: Modern local southern cuisine

82 Queen

82 Queen is a superb location for a menu that provides as much diversity as the city of Charleston.

It offers beautiful outdoor garden seating and 11 dining rooms, some of which are upstairs.

Tell the staff in advance if this will be a problem so they can plan accordingly.

82 Queen offers guests an excellent combination of intimacy and privacy.

Southern Living Magazine has noted the restaurant as one of Charleston's finest and most affordable establishments.

The menu offers foods such as she-crab soup, pan-fried Lowcountry crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, and comfort BBQ shrimp and grits.

This establishment has served the downtown Charleston community for over 30 years, providing classic Southern hospitality and good food.

82 Queen - Charleston, SC
Delivery & Pickup Options - 1232 reviews of 82 Queen “We enjoyed our Christmas eve dinne here, and everything was fantastic. The whole setup is definitely unique and “Charleston” to say the least. Out of the number of places we tried the she-crab soup, this was by far the best. One of my favorite pl…

Halls Chophouse

Halls Chophouse serves steaks from Allen Brothers of Chicago, whose meats enjoy a USDA Prime rating.

These steaks are hand-selected, especially aged, and cut to specific portion sizes.

Besides steaks, they serve Lowcountry and fresh seafood specialties.

Lush desserts and an extensive wine list enhance the menu.

Don't forget to grab the perfect pairing for your meal.

The environment is very energetic and visually striking.

It features a vibrant bar with a rich, innovative interior that stands true to old-world steakhouses.

The service is superior with expertly knowledgeable and friendly staff.

Guests will enjoy the classic and comfortable dining experience that will bring them back time and time again.

The restaurant also offers two private dining rooms for up to 32 guests.

Halls Chophouse - Charleston, SC
2372 reviews of Halls Chophouse “This is what Charleston has longed for... for a long long time. The Food was amazing. Talking to Mr Hall Sr., the Patriarch of this establishment.... This independently owned family steakhouse wanted a a new twist to the traditional steakhouse. They hired a South…

Stella’s

This restaurant is all about family.

Photos of the owner’s family adorn the walls, and the menu contains recipes that the restaurant's namesake grew up with.

Guests will find something they love with all the options available, which blend the traditional with the modern.

Stella’s uses only fresh ingredients in their authentic Greek dishes.

You should make reservations for dinner since this is a dining hotspot and seating fills up fast.

The building was originally a diner, and they have kept the style going with two central counters and a few booths.

Likewise, they also project black and white Greek films onto the dining room walls.

Stella’s - Charleston, SC
Specialties: Stella’s honors rustic & modern Greek cuisine, bringing the freshest ingredients & Mediterranean fare table side. Established in 1983. A Richmond staple for years, now in Charleston too!