Here in Charleston, we are truly spoiled to have some of the most celebrated restaurants in the country located right in our hometown. It makes choosing one single restaurant for a birthday party or family gathering nearly impossible! However, for those who want a unique southern experience, you can narrow down your choices to a few of our favorite restaurants, listed below.
From comfort food to innovative contemporary dishes, tuck into these culinary delights with your friends and family at your side.
Voted Best New Restaurant in the Country: Tempest
The recently-opened Tempest voted the best new restaurant in the country by USA Today, has quickly established itself as a go-to seafood restaurant in Charleston. Locals and tourists alike are flocking to its prime location on Market Street to sample the artistic culinary creations of Chef Adam Hodgson and Bravo Top Chef Alum Chef Jamie Lynch. From the moment you walk into the beautiful space, you’ll feel a sense of awe brought on by the colorful, light-filled mosaic ceiling and elegantly arched windows.
For an Upscale Experience: Charleston Grill
If you’re in the mood for white tablecloths and fine dining, you can’t do much better than this stunning upscale restaurant located within the Charleston Place hotel. Charleston Grill’s menu includes decadent offerings like Oyster Gratin, Wild Mushroom and Fregola Sarda, and a Caramel Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae. With live jazz and sophisticated interiors, visiting this award-winning restaurant is undoubtedly a magical experience.
For All-Day Breakfast: Millers
Breakfast food fans in Charleston are in luck! Millers All Day serves breakfast all day long, so you can enjoy bacon and eggs or biscuits and gravy whenever you please. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a mouthwatering Hot Honey Chicken Donut with house pickles and peach preserves. With some of the most flavorful breakfast dishes around, this foodie favorite hotspot is sure to impress even the pickiest eaters. Don’t forget to grab some baked goods on your way out the door – their cookies are the perfect sweet finish to your meal.
For Brunch Al Fresco: 82 Queen
Located in the French Quarter at an address that is 300 years old, this Charleston mainstay has been a favorite of locals and visitors for decades. Whether you’re dining in the beautiful courtyard under the twinkling string lights, or inside their restaurant, you’ll enjoy the lighthearted and romantic ambiance of 82 Queen. When it comes to the food, Executive Chef Steve Stone has curated a brunch menu with southern classics including Crab Cake Benedict, Jambalaya, and Fried Chicken and Biscuits.
For Vegan/Vegetarian: Basic Kitchen
Dining out with friends who are vegetarian or vegan? Having food restrictions doesn’t mean you need to give up on Charleston’s greatest culinary and drink pleasures — you just have to know where to look! Basic Kitchen is a popular spot downtown with a daily rotating menu featuring local produce and whole grains as well as fish and farm-raised beef for those who do enjoy meat. Be sure to try the Cauli Wings and any of their wholesome bowls!
For James Island Visitors: Bar George
If you’re looking for your next new food-and-drink obsession, you’ll need to venture out to James Island to find this hidden gem. Bar George is an innovative new chicken and cocktail joint that is well worth a visit if you want a fun dining experience with a low-key but high-style ambiance. Order the Peruvian chicken and one of everything else and you won’t be disappointed.
For a Fresh Catch: CudaCo.
Another James Island restaurant that makes our list is CudaCo. If you’re craving seafood, you’re in for a treat because this trendy fish market serves only the freshest catch. All of their seafood, from their butchered whole fish to their daily Crudo is sustainably caught, so you can feel good about what you are eating in every sense of the word. We recommend their Coconut Sticky Rice Bowl with Tuna – it’s both nourishing and delicious!
Recipes to Cook at Home
Planning to host a dinner party instead? Try adding some of the hearty recipes below into your at-home feasts. As always, if you need any table setting ideas or tableware, stop by one of our Charleston home furniture stores and we’re happy to help you make your table worthy of the occasion.
Bone-In Smoked Ham by Chef Anthony DiBernardo, Swig & Swine
Charleston Grill Collards by Chef Michelle Weaver of Charleston Grill
Sausage Mushroom & Sage Stuffing by Chef Tim Richardson of Hank’s Seafood
Shop the Look
Forest Walk Set of 4 Dinner Plates
From Juliska’s Forest Walk collection – Found treasures from woodland rambles are artfully arranged in a coronet of wildly beautiful things – making a fine nest to frame your main course.
Carine Toasting Flute
From Juliska’s Carine Collection- Crafted to subtly shimmer like sunlight-dappled water, our Carine flutes become decadently brilliant when filled with bubbly.
Berry & Thread Whitewash Cake Stand
Juliska’s Berry and Thread collection is rimmed with a simple thread and adorned with a sprinkling of berries, this iconic collection embraces the historic motifs of Bohemian glassware.