Located just across the bridge in Mt. Pleasant, Bacco offers simple Italian fare in a no frills space. All their pasta is home made and they have a great happy hour at the bar where an excellent martini can be enjoyed. We go there repeatedly for the octopus salad, which is consistently delicious, better than some we’ve had at upscale downtown restaurants, and reasonably priced. Ask about specials, they are usually indeed special.
As the Upper King Street dining and nightlife scene marches steadily Northward, Barsa is still an easy walk from Charlotte Street Cottage. This very pleasant tapas bar and restaurant boasts a nice outdoor dining area for those beautiful Fall and Spring evenings. They have excellent paella, an affordable and palatable wine list and a large full bar. The food is excellent - we prefer the indoor ambience of this spot after sundown.
Known for serving great sandwiches for lunch daily, they also reopen for late night dining Friday & Saturday, whn the place is hopping. You can come for brunch on Saturday & Sunday. Chef Chelsey Conrad changes up the chalkboard menu daily and continues the growing trend of high quality locally sourced ingredients driving the menu choices. You can get beer and wine or they encourage BYOB.
When our favorite French Bistro, La Fourchette, closed we were sad indeed. Imagine our delight when the owners of Bin 152 opened Chez Nous in our neighborhood! In their own words: “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 . . . which consists of 2 appetizers, 2 entrees & 2 desserts.” Charming old Charleston house with lovely outdoor table for those warm evenings.
Located 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
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
This wood fired pizzeria in North Charleston is the concept of two chefs who met while working at our favorite Charleston restaurant, FIG. Popular since opening in 2007, EVO presents perfect pizzas hot from the wood oven they built themselves. Ingredients are varied and aways fresh. There are also excellent salads, snack plates and great desserts. Located in the Park Circle area of N. Charleston, it is an easy drive and you won’t be disappointed
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. Their 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.
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.
Located 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.
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.
Authentically French, this new café offers breakfast and lunch as well as delicious pastries and bread. They make great crépes, delicious quiches, sandwiches and frequent specials. The croissants and other pastries are wonderful - you will want to bring some home! Closed Sunday.
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 here for a look at their web site and menu. A twelve block walk.
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.
Now an established 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
Modern 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.
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.
You have to drive over the impressive Ravenel Bridge to visit Langdon's for dinner but it is 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 web site in the lower left corner - there is a link for a map to get there.
Finally, good Chinese in Charleston! Lee Lee'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.
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 website.
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 restaurant on Daniel Island, Sienna. Good service and excellent food and wine - a top recommendation. On sunday their family style dinner is fun! Here is their website. A 13 block walk. We recommend a taxi or drive. See map.
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.
Another upper King Street establishment with a nice bar and good food. New American cuisine with s Southern twist, you will find something you like here. It can be a bit noisy as it is a very trendy/hip hangout. Nonetheless, we have plenty of guests report having a great meal here. They have Sunday brunch as well.
Located 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 OK but the bar has great cocktails that you can enjoy outside under an umbrella. Popular early evening spot
to meet your friends. Read more on their website. 8 block walk.
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.
The second Downtown Charleston restaurant from Mike Latta of FIG fame, the Ordinary shows the same attention to detail for your dining experience as you would expect at FIG. Located in an old bank building, the atmosphere is lively and the food is excellent, as is the service. Emphasis is on seafood including a great oyster bar. They have a crisp clean approach to presentation and the knowledgeable staff will help pair excellent wines with your menu choices.
This uptown establishment has quickly become one of our favorites. Casual and comfortable, the food fits right in with the trend of the best Charleston restaurants serving simply but well prepared dishes using locally sourced high quality ingredients. They open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and have a wide variety of offerings to suit everyone.
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
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 frites. You can look at their menus online.
A popular spot on “restaurant row“ 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 website.
Right next door to Dave's, this neighborhood place has built a solidreputation 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 dayalong 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.
Situated in an old hardware store that operated for 100 years, this restaurant has a beautifully restored interior. The menu is good and the drinks are as well. They have a long snaking counter much like an upscale version of a soda fountain of yesteryear. They do not take reservations and they get busy so go early or late or while you wait, have a glass of wine and check out the old photos of the Westendorff family that lived and worked here.
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.