25 Enticing Photos That Prove Charleston’s Restaurants Rock

After moving to Charleston almost two years ago, I’ve steadily been mowing my way through the Holy City one fabulous meal at a time. I kid myself and call it “research” touting the reason that my guests really should receive firsthand recommendations to where some of Charleston’s best restaurants can be found. I can’t honestly recommend a place until I’ve actually eaten there. 
I am fortunate to have lived in some of the most reputable foodie capitals of the world such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Florence, Italy, and I must admit I have quite the discerning palate so it takes a serious kick-ass chef to get my taste buds to stand up and scream, “Oh, hell yes!”
In no particular order, here is a list of 25 restaurants I’ve dined at in the last eighteen months (and happily packed on a few extra pounds in the process). Not to worry, though. If you plan to indulge while you’re visiting Charleston, one of my two-hour walking tours will help burn off some of the calories. It’ll be worth it, I promise! Scroll down for drool-worthy photos of the 25 dishes I particularly loved at each restaurant.
  1. Chez Nous – My absolute favorite restaurant thus far. The menu of French fare changes daily and if I lived closer, I’d probably be begging for scraps. Did I mention it’s in a quirky old house? 
  2. 82 Queen – I hereby declare this beautiful establishment serves the best pecan pie in the city.
  3. Little Jack’s Tavern – How can a simple cheeseburger and salad be this damn good? It boggles the mind. Intoxicating decor to boot.
  4. My Father’s Moustache – An authentic English Pub in Charleston? You’re bloody well right, mate. Best fish & chips west of London.
  5. Shem Creek Bar & Grill – Don’t judge me, but I bring my own scissors when I order the King Crab legs here. You’ll be a drippy, gooey, buttery mess (and love every minute of it). Their outdoor dock/bar may be one of my favorite summer hangs.
  6. The Obstinate Daughter – There should be a special place in Heaven that serves food this marvelous. Wait…there probably already is. Thank the Lord.
  7. Poe’s Tavern – A must when you visit this “kingdom by the sea.” Bonus cozy fireplace if you come during a cold, starry night.
  8. Swig & Swine – BBQ done simple and tender.
  9. Taco Boy – Yummy Mexican food and one of my favorite patios in the city to eat chips and guacamole while sipping on Negra Modelos for no reason whatsoever. Oh, and the stylish indoor/outdoor bar. Oh, and the creative soft tacos. Oh, and the super-nice staff who let you try craft beers for fun. Oh, and the groovy wallpaper in the Ladies Room. (You’ll see.)
  10. Tavern & Table – Best brunch spot in Mount Pleasant. It’s just so sunny, bright, and dignified. Oooh, but you’re a tad hungover from the night before. No worries. Bottomless mimosas are mandatory here.
  11. Husk – Really? Sugary spices on fries with a cheeseburger? Damn right. And it’s gewd.
  12. Morgan Creek Grill – Gator bites, people. As in ALLIGATOR. Tried these on a drunken dare and loved ’em! You need to see Isle of Palms anyway…go here and be on the lookout for the largest hydrangea bush on the planet as you drive in.
  13. Benny Ravello’s – A pizza slice “as big as your head.” And, seriously, stand up to eat it. It’s HUGE.
  14. The Glass Onion – Oh, this hidden gem. I almost cried when I found it. I once had fried quail here and it was a revelation. Just get a gander at this breakfast sandwich!
  15. Le Farfalle – Prettiest restaurant one block off King Street. Amazing happy hour menu. Lovely bar/patio/everything.
  16. Cru Cafe – Um, holy shit. This is the coolest place to sit at the chef’s counter and watch the masters work. Pasta with lamb was epic. 
  17. Wasabi – Yes! You can get the kind of fabulous sushi rolls you’re used to at home. Go during lunch for the specials.
  18. Crave Kitchen & Cocktails – Call off the dogs, the search for the best macaroni & cheese is over. (Really. Tell them doggies to sit down and hush up.) They should name the pulled pork sandwich and sweet potato fries after my mother. Bev loves it.
  19. Gabrielle at Hotel Bennett – Finally! A park side restaurant in the city connected to a fancy-schmancy hotel. Try the Eggs Bennett.
  20. Five Loaves Cafe – There’s a reason there’s a slight wait. There’s a reason you need to chillax and just do it. Go to the Mount Pleasant location and shop at Consigning Women and Men while you wait.
  21. See Wee Restaurant – When you’re hankerin’ for southern seafood, head to this eclectic find. And, there’s outstanding local artwork for sale bedecking the walls. And, there’s a cat snoozing in the chair outside. Come on! Southern comfort.
  22. Page’s Okra Grill – Yes, I was slightly addicted to fried everything upon first arriving and ordered the fried chicken livers, mashed potatoes, collards and a buttermilk biscuit so billowy you could rest your head on it. (But, you probably shouldn’t.)
  23. The Tattooed Moose – After you’ve visited the mystical Angel Oak on Johns Island, swing on in the delightful sports bar/restaurant famous for their duck club sandwich. Maybe split it with a friend. Leave room for beer.
  24. Wiki Wiki Sandbar – Folly Beach is lucky to call this wonderful poke restaurant home. Don’t miss the octopus sculpture dangling from the barroom ceiling. He’s neat.
  25. Melfi’s – This place rules in so many ways. Incredible Italian food? Yep. Helpful bartenders who know the hidden ingredients in the pizza and dazzling history of other dishes? Yep. Cozy vibe as smooth as the wine? Yep. Try the Mr. Wally pizza. Find out what the hell “Hen of the Woods” mushrooms are and why you need them in your life right this very minute.

Chez Nous

82 Queen

Little Jack's Tavern

My Father's Moustache

The Tattooed Moose

The Obstinate Daughter

Shem Creek Bar & Grill

Poe's Tavern

Swig & Swine

Taco Boy

Tavern & Table


Morgan Creek Grill

Benny Ravello's

The Glass Onion

Le Farfalle

Cru Cafe


Crave Kitchen & Cocktails

Gabrielle at Hotel Bennett

Five Loaves Cafe

See Wee Restaurant

Page's Okra Grill

Wiki Wiki Sandbar


Hungry yet?

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Amanda Hendrix

    This makes me hungry! Beautiful photos Jill! Love your Blog!! I know you will make The Holy City proud ❤️

    1. Jill Paris

      Thanks so much!! 😍

  2. Sharon R.

    Oh my! Your descriptions of each restaurant and the beautiful photos are making me mighty hungry. Can’t wait to visit next month! I’ll definitely be booking one of your tours as well. 😉

    1. Jill Paris

      Thanks so much and I look forward to seeing you next month! Still many restaurants to explore!!

  3. Cleo

    Have you been to Pair in seattle? Owned by husband and wife chefs and about 8 mins from where I live. Fabulous!

    1. Jill Paris

      No, but if I get out that way I’ll give it a try! Thanks for the recommendation!

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

More Stories...