Places to Dine
There are many great restaurants around Charleston -
these are some of our favorites.
3669 Savannah Highway
Yes, it is a bit of a hike (drive) but we still recommend.
Serving southern American cuisine, CIA-trained chef Jay Kees and his wife Nicole Kees
change the menu with the seasons to highlight the best of locally available quality
ingredients. They serve excellent food, have a good wine list and a great selection of
beers, too. Serving lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, it is worth the drive just to experience
the fantastic beignets.
Check out their website and
menus here. 11 mile drive. Stop on your way back from plantations!
460 King Street
Thai food first arrived in Charleston here. They have
their own style and it's all good. An easy walk from
Charlotte Street Cottage, this casual restaurant has great food
and an energetic but not hectic atmosphere. You can sit at a
table or at the food bar and watch your meals prepared
through the glass. No reservations but get a drink at the
bar and watch the crowd as you wait for a table. You can see descriptions and
A 4 1/2 block walk.
224 Meeting Street
in the Charleston Place Hotel, this beautiful restaurant features
intimate fine dining for that special dinner when you want
everything just right. More formal dining with attentive
expert service, a top notch menu and great wines. 8 block
walk. You can see their menu here.
6 Payne Court
After our favorite little French Bistro, La Fourchette, closed we were
sad indeed. Imagine our delight when the owners of Bin 152 opened up Chez Nous in
our neighborhood! Their own words capture it: “We are a pint-sized, convivial, neighborhood
restaurant . . . which features food & wine from Southern France, Northern Italy & Northern Spain.
We offer a daily changing menu of local ingredients - the same for both lunch & dinner - which
consists of 2 appetizers, 2 entrees & 2 desserts.” Charming old Charleston house with
lovely outdoor table for those warm evenings. Check them out
here. A 10 block walk.
18 Pinckney Street
We love this place and keep going back for their
excellent food and pleasant ambience. Tucked on a small
street near the market, it is in a wonderful old Charleston
row house and when the weather's nice you can eat on the
porch. Great spot for lunch while you're out walking the
downtown area - excellent burger. Go back for dinner -
everything on the small
menu is good. 8 block walk
232 Meeting Street
When we want to take it up a notch,
you'll find us at Fig. This is our favorite. Emphasis on
fresh, quality local ingredients artfully prepared and
presented. Created by Chef Mike Lata but you owe your meal to
Executive Chef Jason Stanhope, who directs the kitchen lovingly
and skillfully. The menu varies with the seasons to take advantage
of what the local farmers and fishermen have to offer. Get a reservation
before you come - they fill early - and plan on a longer
evening to savor the flavors. See the menu
here. 6 block walk.
3140 Maybank Highway
Located on Johns Island, Fat Hen would be a great place to have an
early dinner or lunch on the way to or from one of the plantations.
web site says it best: “Main dishes center around innovative
French classics with Lowcountry flourishes, sourced from the finest local
produce farmers.” This restaurant is well worth the 20 minute drive
from downtown. Click here for directions.
186 Concord Street
Believe it or not, in a city surrounded by water,
this is the only restaurant where you get decent food while looking out over water!
Fleet Landing specializes in seafood, as expected, and does a pretty good job.
Large and busy but not hectic, you can go with a large party or just
the two of you. Small tables are outside directly over the water where
you can watch the pelicans working harder than you for a meal and you might
see dolphins if you are lucky. A mix of local fare and standards,
with soups, salads, a good burger, lots of seafood entrees including
the classic fried dishes, and kids and lunch menus. Great happy hour
to end the day. An 8 block walk. Read more on their
442 King Street
Located in an original Charleston single house on upper
King, Fish is popular both for dining and hanging out at the bar. The obvious choice
from the menu is to go with seafood and this is where the well schooled and
sophisticated chef, Nico Romo, shines. With a mixture of classic and fusion preparations,
his offerings are interesting, well prepared and pleasing to the eye as well
as the palate. Open for lunch (M - F) and dinner. Click
for a look at their web site and menu. A five block walk.
5 Fulton Street
Boasting its romantic atmosphere, this small quiet Italian spot has
been serving on a small side street off King for many years and continues to offer a good menu in an
intimate and charming setting. The food is consistent and the wine list offers good variety.
Recommended for a dinner for two with a pleasant stroll along King afterwards. Click
for a look at their web site and menu. A twelve block walk.
106 Church Street
Speaking of taking it up a notch - Goat Sheep Cow
raises the bar in Charleston for artisinal foods. Importing cheeses from all over
the world, the selection rivals that seen in any major metropolitan area. Knowledgeable
owners share their passion for great cheese, wine and charcuterie with you, and
you will be glad you stopped in on the way back from walking the battery or
touring the Nathaniel Russell House. Grab a ride on the free
DASH shuttle if you are
headed on a dedicated trip. Worth the effort! 13 block walk.
4 Cannon Street
Building on the solid foundation for good food on upper King, our
neck of the woods, The Grocery stands out with excellent food. It's
interesting, eclectic menu changes constantly, reflecting the current
state and availability of local ingredients. They have a range of dish sizes
so you can do anything from a tapas style to a full multicourse meal.
See their web site, menu and wine list
here . Saturday and Sunday brunch, too! 9 block walk
434 King Street
growing presence on upper King, this is straightforward Steakhouse fare.
Food is well prepared and you get exceptionally attentive service at
this family run restaurant. Nice bar, and often features a live pianist.
For something a little different, come for the Sunday gospel brunch (music, not sermon!)
A 4 block walk. Check out their
526 King Street
odern Italian fare in a brand new modern space on Upper King means this place is hopping.
The food is interesting, inventive and, most importantly, delicious. Lively bar and a long
group table back by the kitchen means lots of options. Outdoor dining area as well. Highly recommended.
A 7 block walk. Check out their
210 Rutledge Avenue
Another staple located on the corner of
Spring Street and Rutledge Avenue,
Lana is a very
popular neighborhood spot. The food is excellent, the
service is friendly and attentive, with a great
wine list - reasonable prices and
lots of options by the glass. Great lunch menu, too. A longer walk or
take a cab. Check out their
698 King Street
Located in a former corner service station from which it
takes its name,
Leons offers a down home menu boasting a master New Orleans oyster shucker,
great fried chicken and terrific seafood. Cool easy atmosphere with an outdoor area,
and lots of good beers on tap and bottled. A 15 block walk, drive or
take a cab. Check out their
41-A Bogard Street
This restaurant by Chef Ken Vedrinski serves delicious authentic Italian
trattoria food in a pleasant setting on the North end of downtown. Ken has cooked at some of the
best restaurants in Charleston including the much loved Woodlands in Summerville and his other
excellent restaurant on Daniel Island,
Sienna. Good service and excellent food and wine - a top
recommendation. On sunday their family style dinner is fun!
their website. A 13 block walk. We recommend a taxi or drive. See map.
778 South Shelmore Blvd.
You have to drive over the harbor on the impressive
Ravanel Bridge to visit Langdon's for dinner but it is definitely worth
the 10 minute drive. Having a pleasant modern upscale decors with a great
bar in front, the dining room is comfortable and stylish. The menu is
eclectic and everything is good. They have a good assortment of excellently
prepared seafood and meats with tantalizing appetizers and salads. Service
is great and the wine list has a nice variety of good wine that is
reasonably priced. Specials are usually hard to resist. Look at the
in the lower left corner - there is a link for a map to get there.
218 President Street
Finally, good Chinese in Charleston! Already busy after a couple
of weeks, LeeLee's has a traditional menu with a full bar in a nice little neighborhood
atmosphere. Service is smiling and efficient and we had great meals. The chef/part owner
Lily Lei has lots of experience and has put together a moderately sized menu with all our
favorite Sichuan and other classics. No reservations; they do take-out as well. You can look at their menu
here. 20 blocks - drive or taxi
45 John Street
Draw straws to see who gets to stay in their jammies
and make the coffee while one of you hops on the bike to ride the 4 blocks to
this wonderful authentic French bakery. Get a couple of the croissants, maybe an almond pastry,
a small tart for later and a baguette to go with that cheese in the fridge. When you get back, close
your eyes and imagine you are on a Paris sidewalk. Your tastebuds will conspire to make you believe the fantasy.
This is the real deal. Be careful. You may find yourself here daily. Check out their
Market Pavilion Bar
225 East Bay Street
on top of the Market Pavilion Hotel, the Pavilion Bar offers fabulous views
of downtown Charleston with the harbor as a backdrop. Great place to have
lunch on a warm Spring day or to have a cocktail as the sun goes down, the
food is good and the bar has great cocktails that you can enjoy outside under
an umbrella. Popular early evening spot to meet your friends. Read more on
website. 8 block walk.
33 Spring Street
Growing out of both a place on the menu of the restaurant
Cypress as well as a weekly package of seasonal offerings, “Artisan Meat Share offers
Chef Craig Deihl's award-winning meats to customers on a daily basis, plus the welcomed
addition of gourmet sandwiches, fresh butcher shop products, house-made condiments and more.”
The delicious products make for an amazing meal or something to take home. Great for a long lunch,
but beware; dinner may be overshadowed. Check them out
here. 8 blocks just off
112 North Market Street
All you need to know: this is the only Relais & Châteaux
member hotel and restaurant in downtown Charleston. That means a consistently high
level of service. Located in the Planters Inn on the North end of the Market, this
is probably the most beautiful dining room in Charleston. Excellent for a special
occasion, a quiet and elegant dining experience will be yours along with an extensive
and high quality wine list. Listen to the servers´ recommendations; they know
what they are doing, and by all means save room for the signature desserts. Here is
their website. 8 blocks
39 John Street
We send many of our guests here to start their vacation.
Only a three block walk from Charlotte Street Cottage, this French
bistro offers a spacious comfortable dining room, a great
bar and a varied menu for an easy dinner after a long flight
or drive. Great mussels, a plat du jours and great fries.
You can look at their
192 East Bay Street
A popular spot on “restaurant row̶ in
the heart of the action, SNOB delivers consistently good
fare with a southern touch for lunch and dinner. If you've
been out all day and need to eat NOW before you walk back to
Charlotte Street, bet on this pick to welcome you out of the
madness and give you a solid dining experience. A 9 block walk.
They, too, have a
42 Morris Street
If you would like to see what the real charleston
cuisine is like, and/or you want to bring something back to the cottage
and eat lunch on the patio in the sun, check out Dave´s. The
little store front is actually a step up from their old location on
Rutledge. Much happier with their new landlord, they turn out basic
but delicious platters of fried fish and shrimp, fish sandwiches, wings
and other lowcountry southern cooking. Open Tuesday - Saturday, with
lunch specials through Friday, this is the real deal. We love the shrimp
and fish platter with fries. 7 Block Walk.
186 Coming Street
Right next door to Dave's, this neighborhood place has built a solid
reputation for their first rate cuisine. Owned and operated by a young friendly couple,
they have a constantly changing menu of simple, interesting and surprising dishes that
are uniformly delicious. Casual and comfortable, their breakfast menu continues all day
along with lunch and diner fare. Burger night on Wednesday (yes!) and SATURDAY brunch.
Quality inexpensive wine and a variety of beers cap off the
choices. Here is
their website. 8 blocks