Edmond's Oast

20 Places to Dine in Charleston Now

By Angel Passailaigue Postell

This is such a hard thing to do. Narrow down a list of places to go and dine in Charleston. That’s because this city is busting at the seams with options. Everything from casual flip-flop wearing dives to several over-the-top five-star service establishments. So, whether you are in the mood for fried chicken or wahoo crudo, corn, and summer truffle, we have the places to go visit now:

McCrady'sDowntown Charleston

Cru Café: For more than two decades, Chef John Zucker has been welcoming diners to his tucked away single house for a delicious lunch or dinner experience. It is the ideal spot to sit on a porch and watch the carriages go by while you enjoy a sweet tea and dishes like house smoked salmon toast, a shrimp B.L.T. or his version of general tso’s chicken with Asian slaw. 18 Pinckney St. | crucafe.com

The Darling Oyster Bar: An energetic spot on King Street that recently reopened its doors as a more approachable concept, The Darling Oyster Bar is a great place for a fun night out. Grab a seat at the raw bar, if you can, and people watch as you are served sucked oysters and local littleneck claws will sipping on a glass of rose. 513 King St. | thedarling.com

Edmund’s Oast: Beer lovers come for the PB&J house-brewed beer, but quickly find out they are in for a night full of inventive cocktails and impressive wines. Best of all, their stomach fills quickly with delicious bites from Chef Reid Henninger who changes the menu daily depending on what was delivered by local purveyors. 1081 Morrison Drive | edmundsoast.com

FIG: A trip to Charleston is not complete without a dinner at FIG – if you can get in. The James Beard Foundation award-winning hot spot, is one of the city’s best restaurants, if not the best. Chef Jason Stanhope works tirelessly to serve some of the tastiest dishes. The wine list is thoughtful and the service is friendly, and incredible informative. 232 King St. | eatatfig.com

Hall’s Chophouse: If you are looking for a big night out, head to Hall’s. This family owned steakhouse welcomes you the minute you walk through the doors. One of the Hall’s family is bound to shake your hand, order you a drink, and make you feel like you just belong. The food is equally as welcoming with a variety of steak and seafood options and generous sides. 434 King St. | hallschophouse.com

Home Team BBQ: Luckily for downtown residents and tourists alike, the popular barbecue restaurant opened a third location in the outskirts of the city. The location is larger than any other and offers daily specials and an expansive drink menu. If you crave some wings or a burger later in the night, go for the late night menu that is offered starting at 10 p.m. 126 Williman St. | hometeambbq.com

IndacoIndaco: Take a group of friends to Indaco and grab one of the community tables – you will be guaranteed to have a great night. No matter where you dine, you will have a view of the open kitchen where Chef Kevin Getz is busy cooking house made pasta, wood-fired pizza and a dozen antipasti. The all-Italian wine list is expansive and offers something for any price range. 526 King St. | indacocharleston.com

Spero: Don’t anticipate anything fancy at Spero – just really great food at really great prices. Located in a “strip mall” downtown, this relatively small, uber casual spot offers some of the best food in town. The chefs take your order and then cook it. The menu will make you yearn to come back for more. 616 Meeting St. | sperocharleston.com

McCrady’s: You cannot come to Charleston and not dine at one of Chef Sean Brock’s places. Luckily there are three to choose from, and they are all delicious. McCrady’s is the original spot, and will be transformed into a tavern sometime this year. The menu will be more casual and so will the interiors. But if still looking for the tasting menu that Chef de Cuisine Daniel Heinze meticulously makes, there will be a smaller dining space connected offering it nightly. 2 Unity Alley | mccradysrestaurant.com

The Watch: Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits: Everyone needs to get on a rooftop while in the city, and The Watch at the Restoration Hotel provides one of the best places to do just that. Eat and drink while you look out and see the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and church steeples in the backdrop. 75 Wentworth St. | therestorationhotel.com/the-watch

Xiao Bao Biscuit: Ethnic food is a little light in Charleston, but XBB brings it solidly and deliciously, making up for the deficit. This restored gas station is full of energy as the tiny kitchen pumps out soulful Asian food. A must order to share is the okonomiyaki topped with pork candy and Fili-West farm egg. Then continue with the chow fan, som tum chicken or mapo dou fu. 224 Rutledge Ave. | xiaobaobiscuit.com

West Ashley/James Island/John’s Island/Folly Beach

Bowen’s Island: One of the oldest restaurants in Charleston sits on the Folly River and overlooks the oyster beds it cultivates and harvests to serve at the restaurant. Named a James Beard Foundation Awards’ American Classic, this rustic space has a basement with walls filled with hand-written Sharpie notes from the generations over the years. The oyster cookers steam and then shovel batches of steam oysters in front of you to enjoy. 1870 Bowen’s Island Road

Fat Hen

Fat Hen

Fat Hen: Chef Fred Neuville and his wife, Joan, have created a special neighborhood restaurant with the Fat Hen. They serve French-inspired Lowcountry cuisine in generous portions. A must try is the shrimp and crab served over spicy hoppin’ john, bacon, vegetables, spinach and pimento cheese. 3140 Maybank Highway | thefathen.com

The Glass Onion: An all-natural restaurant, The Glass Onion prides itself on being home-grown and locally focused. Chef Chris Stewart’s southern roots shows as he offers some of the best po boy sandwiches in town. If looking for boiled peanuts, deviled eggs, crispy pig ear po boys, or cornmeal fried North Carolina catfish, this place is for you. 1219 Savannah Highway | ilovetheglassonion.com

The ‘Wich Doctor: A trip to Folly Beach is an experience unto itself and, if hungry after a walk on the pier or a surfing session, The ‘Wich Doctor is a must try. An eclectic, gourmet sandwich (or sammies as they like to call them) and pizza joint, you can select from a variety of options depending on the mood. 106 W. Hudson | thewichdoctor.net

Mt. Pleasant/Isle of Palms/Sullivan’s Island

Coda del Pesce: Some of the best Italian food around is cooked by the chefs trained under Chef Ken Vedrinski. His beach location overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and offers contemporary Italian-influenced cuisine. Don’t leave without trying the crudo di pesce, and, if in the mood to be adventurous at any price, ask the chef to cook for you. It will be a meal to remember. 1130 Ocean Blvd. | codadelpesce.com

Obstinate Daughter: Another amazingly talented Italian chef, Jacques Larson, has two locations, one at the beach. The Obstinate Daughter makes you feel like you are on a cozy boat, with lanterns and buoys hanging from above. The menu includes lots of shareable plates and the wine list is equally impressive. 2063 Middle St. | theobstinatedaughter.com

Obstinate Daughter

Obstinate Daughter

Poe’s Tavern: Named after Edgar Allan Poe (who once lived nearby), the hot spot has been voted best burger on the island for several years. There is often a wait to get in and is the perfect place to come in after a day at the beach. Dishes are named after the famous poet, like the “Raven,” “Starving Artist” and “Pit & Pendulum” to name a few. 2210 Middle St. | poestavern.com

North Charleston

EVO Pizzeria: One of the best pizza places in Charleston is EVO. Located in the charming neighborhood of Park Circle, this local jaunt serves fresh, locally inspired pizzas and salads that make for some of the best meals. 1075 East Montague | evopizza.com

EVO Pizzeria

EVO Pizzeria

Stem & Skins: It’s no wonder Food & Wine magazine just named the Stem & Skins one of the top new wine bars in the country – the wine list does not play around. Neither does the team behind it: Matt Tunstall, former sommelier at Husk, and Justin Croxall, formerly of Bull Street Gourmet are two of the best wine pros around. Plan to come for some great tastings and be sure to get the accompanying small plates of cured and fresh meats, cheeses and more. 1070 East Montague Ave. | stemsandskins.com


Angel Postell is owner of Home Team PR and Events, founder of BevCon Charleston, founder/former director of Charleston Wine + Food Festival, Charleston editor for The Daily Meal.