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167 Raw

289 East Bay Street Charleston, 29401
Phone: (843)579-4997

Sidle up to the bar at this tiny lunch counter on East Bay for top-notch seafood and super-friendly service. You can’t go wrong with chef/owner Jesse Sandole’s hunka chunka lobster rolls, served on buttery brioche buns. His fried-and-seared-fish tacos—topped with pickled vegetables and wrapped in corn tortillas slathered with guac—are also sublime.

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

39 Rue De Jean

39 John Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)722-8881

A standard for the see-and-be-seen professional set, this brasserie is a hot spot for casual, elegant dining and late-night partying. Faves include the brasserie burger, onion soup gratinée, mussels (in six choices of broth), steak au poivre with a cup of pommes frites, and an unexpected but exciting menu of sushi.

Cuisine: French | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

Al di La

25 Magnolia Rd. West Ashley, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)571-2321

This Northern Italian trattoria in Avondale delivers exquisite renditions of gnocchi and risotto, sublime small bites, tender cuts of meat, and more in a cozy and romantic setting. In addition to the restaurant's diverse menu, the attached bar serves up delicious piccoli piatti (small plates), crisp wood-fired pizza, and an awesome array of Italian meats and cheeses. If the weather's nice, take your glass of grappa outside to the garden table, survey the stars, and dream of Florence.  

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Alluette’s Café

80 Reid St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)577-6926

  This “holistic soul food café”—vegetarian- and vegan-friendly—serves up fresh, local organic fare. The lunch menu abounds with wholesome tuna and chicken salads and a dozen or so sandwiches, while the dinner menu (which can be pricey, so pack the plastic) changes daily but always includes seafood and pasta dishes, as well as outstanding fried shrimp. Brunch offered daily.

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern, Vegetarian/organic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

Amen Street

205 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)853-8600

At this handsome seafood house with an easy spirit and a slightly nostalgic air, the fried oyster po’ boy, shrimp and grits, and Lowcountry seafood pilau are three of a slew of Southern entrées that are sure to have you singing “amen” and coming back for more. 

Cuisine: Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$$

Andolini's

1940 Sam Rittenburg Blvd. Charleston, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)225-4743

Family-friendly is the name of the game at this Holy City mainstay. Slide into one of the retro-cool booths or grab an outdoor table and order up an amazing calzone or their one-of-a-kind pizza pie with everything on it. Also, the solid beer selection makes this West Ashley joint a place you'll want to linger longer. No reservations. 

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Anson

12 Anson St Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-0551

Watch horse-drawn carriages meander through the Market from the chic dining room, where day-boat seafood, superb steaks, and ­local produce are served with classic Charleston charm. Not to be missed: blackened redfish with a stew of chorizo, clams, Carolina gold rice, and greens. Order a side of grits ground right in Anson’s own kitchen.  

Cuisine: Seafood, Steakhouse | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Athens

1939 Maybank Hwy. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)795-0957

Time and again, Athens gets voted best Greek restaurant in town, as it should for authentic ­dishes done right. With a space much bigger than its former digs, this is still the best place to get gyros, Greek pizzas, monster salads, and standards like spanakopita. And don’t forget to get your opa! on. No reservations.  

Cuisine: Greek | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Atlanta Bread Co.

1712 Towne Centre Way Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)216-1611

ABC is a cookie-cutter chain with quality you can count on. Soups, sandwiches, salads, and super-sized sweets meet the need for fueling up for shopping or quick supper before a show at the Palmetto Grande. You can also pick up breads and bakery goods to go. 

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Bacco

976 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)884-6969

Located in a busy shopping center at the intersection of Coleman and Houston Northcutt, the reigning spirit of Bacco is as fresh and creative as its chef, Michael Scognamiglio. The artist-in-residence successfully honors the traditional Italian passion for authentic cuisine by incorporating the simplest of preparations with the finest ingredients, adding his creative influence along the way.

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Barsa Tapas, Lounge, and Bar

630 King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)577-5393

Guests enjoy an easy-to-pair selection of small plates inspired by traditional Spanish cuisine at this Upper King Street tapas bar. Perfect for an early dinner or late night graze, it offers dishes such as dates with Serrano ham and Manchego cheese, spicy lamb meatballs, deftly fried calamari or, the pièce de résistance, seafood paella. Bonus: the kitchen stays open past midnight, every night. (PA) 58 Line St., (843) 577-5393.

Cuisine: Tapas | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

Basil

460 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)724-3490

Clean, crisp Thai dishes set the tone for the ­sizzling scene on Upper King. High-octane red and green curries, crispy fried duck, hot and sour soups, and warm, soothing des­serts with undertones of ginger draw Charleston’s Asian cuisine cogno­scenti. Be prepared to wait, as they don’t take reservations. 

Cuisine: Asian | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Bay Street Biergarten

549 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)266-2437

This brewskie hotbed calls itself “Bavarian inspired, Southern made,” which adds up to the possibility of enjoying sausage spaetzle and cheese delivered on one of the restaurant’s many tables with self-serve taps. A pint wall offers taste tests of new brews, while an outdoor biergarten lets guests mingle on the bocci court.

Cuisine: Bars/taverns, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

Big Gun Burger Shop

137 Calhoun Street Charleston, South Carolina
Phone: (843)789-3821

If you like your burger full of surprises (say chili, brie, or collards), Big Gun’s your place. At this hole-in-the-wall, favorites include the Southern Hospitality burger with bacon, fried green tomato, pimento cheese and chow chow and the Dirty Gardener with a vegetable bean patty, eggplant-tomato jam, and fried kale.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Blossom

171 East Bay Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)722-9200

Look for a bounty of fish di­shes, plus a handful of homemade pastas and renowned wood-oven pizzas at this cheery, stylized joint. If the weather’s nice, opt for a seat outside to enjoy a gorgeous view of St. Philip’s Church.

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza, Seafood | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

Blu

1 Center St. Folly Beach, South Carolina 29439
Phone: (843) 588-6658

At this sleek, beachfront retreat, chef Jonathan Hagins’ menu displays a pleasant number of innovative dishes, many featuring fresh catches as part of his commitment to the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Try the pan-seared grouper with fried green tomatoes and lump crab cakes with black-eyed pea succotash and grained mustard.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Folly Beach | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$

Bohemian Bull Tavern & Beer Garden

1531 Folly Rd. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)225-1817

Replacing Jack’s Cosmic Dogs on Folly Road is this spacious hangout, occupied by sports fans at the bar, families lunching with their little ones, and 20-somethings playing cornhole in the huge “garden” out back. It’s a great place to meet a big group alfresco to sample from the expansive beer menu. The fare’s undeniably bar food, though there are several salad and wrap options for those seeking healthier dishes.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Boone's Restaurant & Bar

345 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-6665

Head to this family-owned restaurant to catch a game at the upstairs or downstairs bar; enjoy live music and trivia; or simply settle into a window seat to choose from tasty dips, wings (try the teriyaki style), sandwiches, entrées, and a nice array of local vegetables. Tip for nice weather: there’s also a back patio.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

Boulevard Diner

409 W. Coleman Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)216-2611

The family-friendly Boulevard Diner gives a nod to the 1950s and '60s both in its nostalgic décor and in its food philosophy--large servings and low prices. Retro selections include burgers, pot pies, fried chicken salad, and country-fried steaks. No reservations. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Boxcar Betty’s

1922 Savannah Hwy. Charleston, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)225-7470

This no-frills industrial (the Pinterest version) eatery from former Magnolia’s staffers Ian MacBryde and Roth Scott is all about fried chicken sandwiches. Aside from variations on the classic dish, entrée options are limited to a chopped chicken salad; strips for kids; and a fried, stuffed mushroom cap. But the sandwiches are delish, combining thick cuts of juicy fried meat with Brown’s Court Bakery buns. Don’t miss the Box Car—slathered in pimiento cheese, peach slaw, spicy mayo, and housemade pickles—and handcut fries. No reservations. 

Cuisine: | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Brick House Kitchen

1575 Folly Rd. James Island, South Carolina 29453
Phone: (843)406-4655

The Thomas family serves up "coastal comfort food" from this circa-1920 farmhouse, complete with cozy seating inside or on the wraparound porch. Creative appetizers and health-conscious seafood dishes, pastas, salads, and soups headline menus that change daily. Be sure to visit the display case stocked with a dozen or more house-made desserts (if decision becomes impossible, choose the famous chocolate pot). No cards. Lunch (Wed.-Sat.); Dinner (Thurs.-Sat.); Brunch (Sat.)

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch | Price: $$

Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill

14 N Market St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)737-8700

Located in the Market area, this steakhouse offers the option to cook your own meat right at the table courtesy of 700˚F searing stones. The beautifully designed space offers a nine-item list of specialty martinis and menus in hardcopy and iPad form.  

Cuisine: Steakhouse | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Butcher & Bee

654 King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)619-0202

The daily buzz at this unique shop includes a tempting array of sandwiches and sides like none you’ve ever seen before. Stop in for a roast beet, avocado, apple, and horseradish sandwich or sides of tangy hummus and Israeli salad, roasted cauliflower with harissa yogurt, and charred onions.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

Cafe Framboise

159 Market Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)414-7241

At this eatery on the locals' end of Market Street, French chef Dominique Chantepie shows his years of experience in breakfast and lunch menus offering everything from crepes to paninis (try the Prosciutto di Paese!) alongside a gorgeous array of desserts. 

Cuisine: French | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch | Price: $

Callie's Hot Little Biscuit

476 1/2 King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)737-5159

This cheerful counter-service restaurant sells seven varieties of freshly baked treats, including buttermilk, country ham, cheese and chive, and the amazingly delicious blackberry-filled. Stop in for a pair or a couple dozen, and while you're at it, grab a coffee and a bowl of Geechie Boy grits or even a pimiento cheese sandwich. 

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch | Price: $

Cannon Green

103 Spring Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)817-7311

This super-posh Elliotborough event space and eatery is the lovechild of the talented teams behind Stems and Zero George, so it's no surprise that the digs are jaw-droppingly elegant (see the palm-tree lined stone courtyard) and the cuisine is light, fresh, and delicious. On a recent trip, we reveled in Yellowfin tuna with tempura avocado, shishito peppers, and fava bean puree, then moved on to the decidedly less virtuous Mexican chocolate pot de creme; sweet or sinful, the fare is flavor-packed. 

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$, $$$$

Caviar & Bananas

51 George Street & 188 Meeting Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-7757

With two locations, this downtown hot spot provides endless possibilities for a casual dinner, takeaway hors d’oeuvres, or breakfast on the run. Chef Scott Roule orchestrates the creation of prepared and made-to-order delights from the luxe Pike Place Ceasar salad topped with hot-smoked salmon to the duck confit sandwich made with aged Gouda and fig preserves. Also stop in for great gourmet ingredients. No reservations. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Charleston Crab House

145 Wappoo Creek Dr. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)795-1963

Head out to this waterside happy hour haven and relax with a cold one and a plate of shrimp and scallops or a Southern-fried seafood platter. Arrive in style by pulling up in your boat, or keep your sea legs to yourself and just people-watch from the dock.

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Charleston Grill

Charleston Place Hotel, 224 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-4522

Inspired by nature and traditional influences, Charleston Grill chef Michelle Weaver creates an unpretentious yet celebratory bill of fare from clean and light to lavish and exotic with a menu divided into four formats—pure, lush, cosmopolitan, and Southern. For a beautiful balance of food, wine, and service, settle into the intimate setting for butter-poached whole Maine lobster, vichyssoise, and semi-parfait graham cracker pie, along with other new renditions of decadent favorites.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$$

Charleston Harbor Fish House

32 Patriots Point Rd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)284-7070

There's no need to hassle the waitress for a water-view here. You can look out on the harbor, the Holy City skyline, and the USS Yorktown from every table in the house. For dinner, start with the hush puppies and firecracker shrimp, then move on to one of the daily market fish offerings with a side of the amazine mac 'n' cheese. Whatever you do, don't miss the rooftop bar--it's a destination in and of itself, offering tempting cocktails and some of the best views in town. 

Cuisine: Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Charleston's Café

1039 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)865-7796

Formerly the Bookstore Café on Upper King Street downtown, this comfy neighborhood mainstay's name change hasn't affected the menu, and the hunka-chunka breakfast still reigns all day long. Dive into the mile-high biscuits, Island potato casseroles, or corned beef hash. Lunchtime salads and sandwiches include a fried green tomato and pimiento cheese and a Monte Cristo dipped in egg batter and grilled to perfection. No reservations. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Chez Nous

6 Payne Ct. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)579-3060

Set in a tiny house on a gravel alley in off-the-tourist-path Elliotborough, this restaurant sports no sign and offers patrons a handwritten menu that changes daily. With Bin 152’s owners backing the place and Jill Mathias (formerly of Carolina’s) and Juan Cassalett at the helm, the eatery delivers lunch, dinner, and Saturday and Sunday brunch, all with a Southern French accent. Check out their drool-worthy Instagram account for the daily menu. No reservations.

Cuisine: French | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$, $$$$

Circa 1886

149 Wentworth St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)853-7828

Housed in a diminutive (yet recently renovated) carriage house tucked behind the resplendent Wentworth Mansion, Charleston's iconic Circa 1886 boasts a menu that speaks internationally. Standouts include chef Marc Collin's rainbow trout stuffed with pecan-inflected rice and crab, sea scallops topped with smoked salmon roe, and sorghum-glazed sweet potato donuts. 

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Closed for Business

453 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)853-8466

Good spirits abound at Closed for Business, where chic, pub-style décor; an intriguing menu by chef Kevin Johnson; and a long list of craft brews draw a diverse crowd. Settle into the community table or globe-lit booths for rave-worthy sandwiches like the pork slap, or try entrées such as the duck pot pie. Only ages 21 and older are allowed in after 8 p.m. No reservations.

Cuisine: Bars/taverns | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

COAST Bar & Grill

39-D John St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)722-8838

Take an instant beach vacation in this high-style fish camp with a laid-back feel. There’s surf and turf, but COAST is about seafood—served roasted, grilled, fried, steamed, boiled, and on the half-shell—from Baja fish tacos to penne with shrimp and crab in a lobster garlic broth.   

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Coda del Pesce

1130 Ocean Blvd. Isle of Palms, South Carolina 29451
Phone: (843)242-8570

Dig into fried octopus tentacles, squid, and other creatures of the deep at this seaside spot, where owner and executive chef Ken Vedrinski—who also helms Elliotborough’s Trattoria Lucca—turns out great Italian seafood dishes. Menu selections change daily, but we recommend starting with an antipasta like yellowfin tuna arancini spiked with radishes, chilies, and fennel, then diving into secondi such as seared swordfish picatta.  

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza, Seafood | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House

12 Cumberland St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-9699

This tony beer hall offers 48 brews on tap (12 pale, 12 session, 12 local, and 12 “The Mash”) and plenty of churched up pub fare to make a brewski enthusiast happy. The barbecue pork-belly sandwich makes a solid start followed by the crispy pork spring rolls with vegetable kimchi. The patio is perfect for an alfresco dinner.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Cru Café

18 Pinckney St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)534-2434

An eclectically surprising menu—the Chinese chicken salad and ginger-seared salmon with lemon risotto are drool-worthy—and the wonderful setting in a renovated Charleston single house draws fans to this off-the-beaten-path spot north of the Market.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Crust

1956-B Maybank Hwy. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)762-5500

Just steps away from The Terrace movie theater, this small pizzeria offers a great option for pre-film snacking. Chef Dusty Chorvat’s pies range from the traditional to outlandish with options such as the “apple pie” with granny smith apples, bacon, buttermilk blue cheese, mozzarella, local honey and arugula. Surprise hits such as hot wings make it worth a visit.  

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Cypress

167 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)727-0111

This member of the Hospitality Management Group is high-tech glam with cerise booths, flying saucer lights that morph in color, and a three-story glass wall storing 4,000-plus wines. House-cured meats showcase executive chef Craif Deihl's skill with charcuterie, while the wasabi tuna with a ginger-garlic glaze spotlights his Asian spin. 

Cuisine: Asian, Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

DeSano Pizza Bakery

94 Stuart St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)637-4225

At this off-the-beaten-path pizzeria, they fly in the mozzarella di buffala, San Marzano tomatoes, and extra-virgin olive oil direct from Italy for authentic Napoletana pizza. All pies—from Vesuvios with sopressata, prosciutto, pepperoni, and garlic to the more tame Biancos with mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, and pecorino romano—are cooked within 90 seconds for yum on the double.  

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Drawing Room

19 Vendue Range Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)414-2334

In keeping with The Vendue's art-hotel concept, everything here -- from the rotating works that grace the dining room walls to the elegantly plated dishes -- feels museum-worthy (and not in a stuffy way). Chef de cuisine Forrest Parker curates a bill of fare that's seasonal and light, but still feels decadent. Case in point: sea scallops pan-roasted to tender perfection, served with morels, farro,parma ham, and lemon balm. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Price: $$$$

Dunleavy’s Pub

2213-A Middle St. Sullivans Island, South Carolina 29482
Phone: (843)883-9646

No trip to Sullivan’s is complete without a visit to this island institution. Grab a seat at the bar, a table among memorabilia on the walls, or, weather permitting, take in the island lifestyle from the picnic tables out front. Drafts, deli sandwiches, chicken wraps, burgers, and wings to rave about. No reservations.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

D’Allesandro’s Pizza

229 St. Philip St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)853-6337

Learning from their father, Nick and Ben D’Allesandro serve what they know best: traditional-style pizza. The parlor in Cannonborough-Elliotborough has staked a claim as a favorite among CofC students and other neighborhood residents with delicious dine-in, carry-out, and delivery options. No reservations.  

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Earth Fare

74 Folly Rd. West Ashley, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)769-4800

Vegetarians and free-range meat lovers unite at the superb food buffet in this popular health-food store. Tofu stir-fries, sushi, fresh veggies, plus hot-and-heavy chicken and fantastic pizza are tops for take-out or dine-in. No reservations.  

Cuisine: Vegetarian/organic | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Edmund’s Oast

1081 Morrison Dr. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)727-1145

Since opening in February, this upper peninsula spot has become a new mecca for the beer-nerd set. Beverage manager and brewer Cameron Read has a rotating selection of house-made brews on tap, such as Golden Child (a sour golden ale) and Lord Proprietor’s Mild (an English mild ale), as well as more than 30 varieties by other brewers. On the menu, which also rotates frequently, we’re loving chef Andy Henderson’s Carolina Gold Rice heritage chicken porridge as well as the guinea hen.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

El Mercadito

3575 Maybank Hwy Johns Island , South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)559-7216

El Mercadito may have undergone a renovation to spruce up the former taqueria/market into a more Americanized Mexican restaurant, but thank heavens some of the authentic menu items remain. The faithful army of patrons can still enjoy platos of carnitas, lengua, and chile verde. And with the best tacos al pastor this side of Juarez, it’s easy to become a regular. 

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: Johns Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Ellis Creek Fish Camp

1241 Harbor View Rd. Charleston , South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)577-7188

The James Island spot most of us know as "the old Mimi's" has been revived as a fish-camp-style eatery offering indoor and outdoor seating with views of the marsh and creek (though parked cars obstruct more than we'd hoped). We could fill up on the apps--including blue-corn hushpuppies with honey sumac butter--but the menu features a nice mix of salads, seafood baskets, and burgers. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Seafood | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

Fat Hen

3140 Maybank Hwy. Johns Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)559-9090

This busy neighborhood restaurant blends the best of local produce, fish, and fowl in signature dishes inspired by French fare yet also featuring Southern cuisine at its finest. Come early for brunch offering luscious pancakes and smooth grits or visit for dinner for plump scallops marinated in pomegranate barbecue sauce and wrapped with bacon.

Cuisine: French | Location: Johns Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

FIG

232 Meeting St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)805-5900

“Food Is Good” in this hip hot spot. The understated design provides plenty of panache without interfering with FIG’s real purpose: showcasing simple, super-fresh seasonal dishes—such as Keegan-Filion Farm chicken schnitzel leg confit with cauliflower, faro piccolo, herb salad, and natural jus—from executive chef Jason Stanhope.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Fish

442 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)722-3474

Chef Nico Romo is at the helm of this chic spot, offering a menu that features fresh seafood with creative Asian touches. A selection of dim sum presents bountiful appetizer choices, and while the large plate menu is laden with ­local seafood, it also includes such choices as 72-hour short ribs and chicken cordon bleu. Don’t miss the half-price bottles of wine all evening on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday nights.   

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Seafood | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Five Loaves Café

43 Cannon St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)937-4303

A soup that sounds like a sauce bodes well. Some of this neighborhood café’s most tantalizing ­bowlfuls include Mexican chicken chili with avocado and lime; potato, broccoli, and cheddar; and tomato, tarragon, and crabmeat. Try the $7.75 soup, salad, and/or sandwich lunch combo, or come back for full-blown gourmet dinners. On Tuesdays and Fridays, take advantage of half-price wine. No reservations.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Five Loaves Café

1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Ste. 100 Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)849-1043

At this Mount Pleasant outpost of a downtown staple, find a familiar menu of thick soups, creative sammies, and fresh green salads. In the evenings, gourmet entrees such as tri-color tortellini satisfy heartier appetites. 

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries, Italian/Pizza | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

Fleet Landing

186 Concord St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)722-8100

Located right on Charleston Harbor, this seafood emporium serves up Lowcountry classics with ­fusion flair. Try the delicious crispy steak calamari with apricot glaze and spicy red pepper ­rémoulade dipping sauces or the she-crab soup with blue crab roe and sherry. Fleet’s industrial-chic atmosphere, large bar, deck, and breathtaking harbor views make it a favorite among the cocktail crowd.

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

Four Ninety Two

492 King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)203-6338

Boasting a rooftop garden, renovated vintage digs, and haute-rustic decor that nods to the building's 100-plus-year history, this spot is like a veritable checklist of what's hot now in Charleston's restaurant scene. Factor in the free valet parking, spacious outdoor patio, and chef Nate Whiting's menu of rich small plates (made with hickory- and pecan-infused olive oil, the burnt-rye tonnarelli could almost pass for a savory dessert), and we're betting the trendy joint has staying power.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$

Fulton Five

5 Fulton St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)853-5555

This intimate ristorante is off the beaten path but worth seeking out. The small but sophisticated menu features Northern ­Italian fare by chef Josh Cain, including mouth watering choices like the chocolate espresso-rubbed filet served over whipped potatoes, asparagus, and jus or the pan-seared Maple Creek duck breast in a pomegranate jus.  

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Gala Desserts

829 Savannah Hwy. Charleston , South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)212-3227

This sweet spot filled a niche in Avondale, serving seasonal desserts alongside tapas, pinninis, coffee drinks, and spirits. Owner and executive pastry chef Jacklyn Story spent seven years as Michelangelo's Kitchen's wedding cake specialist after working at places like Kaminsky's and Normany Farms, and her baking expertise shows in the tarts, cheesecakes, mousses, and more. 

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries, Tapas, Wine bar | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Dinner | Price: $, $$

Gathering Cafe

1124 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)297-8380

This casual eatery tucked on Sam Rittenberg offers reasonably priced soups, salads, sandwiches, and mains including a classic meatloaf, chopped salad, and tuna melt. Plus, there’s a small but yummy dessert selection (the chocolate cake is delish) and a bar.

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

Gaulart & Maliclet

98 Broad St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-9797

With its community countertop, staff owners, and straightforward menu featuring croque monsieurs, pâté plates, and Thursday night fondues, G&M (aka Fast & French) provides an ­authentic bistro experience. Suited downtown business folk squeeze in alongside artsy types for one big, happy family.  

Cuisine: French | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Gene’s Haufbrau

817 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)225-4363

Pub lovers revel in Avondale’s top neighborhood bar with its extensive lineup of beer, burgers, and wraps. More than meets the eye, Gene’s is sports-lovers central with darts, pool, and shuffleboard, and serves burgers topped with feta, fried eggs, portobellos, avocado, and more, as well as great wings and wraps.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $

Graze

863 Houston Northcutt Blvd Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)606-2493

Settle in at this eclectic eatery for creative, casual fare with a farm-to-table focus. Two of the owners, Michael Karkut and Derek Lathan, serve as executive chefs, producing a fluid menu that changes with the local market and includes a number of seafood and vegetarian dishes as well as an interesting soup and salad selection. There’s also a busy bar area that’s surprisingly compatible with the room’s ambiance.

Cuisine: Vegetarian/organic | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$

Grill 225

225 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)266-4222

The swanky lobby restaurant of the Market Pavilion Hotel serves great steaks in luxurious high-backed booths. Think prime filets, strips, and rib-eyes or the 40-ounce prime porterhouse for two. The food’s terrific, the Market Street view is ­always hopping, and the service is impeccable.

Cuisine: Steakhouse | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Groucho’s Deli

364-A King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)534-1436

Ignore the cafeteria décor and enjoy authentic New York deli fare. Go for the house specialty, the International Dip, or nosh on bona fide corned beef, pastrami, or the Reuben that’s been a best-seller since 1969. Low-fat sandwiches and salads are available. No reservations.  

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Halls Chophouse

434 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)727-0090

Savor old-school style, service, and flavor at this handsome new addition to Upper King. Grab a stool in the hopping bar or head upstairs for a more intimate dining experience. Either way, indulge in the luscious lump crab cakes, blue-cheese smothered wedge salad, and chef Matthew Niessner’s melt-in-your-mouth prime steaks—sauces available but not needed.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Steakhouse | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$$

Hank's

10 Hayne St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)723-3474

Custom-built to convey the style of a classic Charleston fish house, Hank's serves several old-time favorites as well as raw bar selections, seared tuna, and grilled swordfish. Chef Tim Richardson turns fried seafood platters into from-scratch specialties. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

High Cotton

199 East Bay Street (between Cumberland & Queen sts.) Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)724-3815

This handsome restaurant has a clubby bar and a posh dining room reminiscent of a fine plantation house. Menu highlights include chef Shawn Kelly's buttermilk-fried oysters and pan roasted halibut. Don't miss brunch with Carolina shrimp and grits. The kids' menu is also excellent. 

Cuisine: Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$, $$$$

High Thyme

2213-C Middle St. Sullivans Island, South Carolina 29482
Phone: (843)883-3536

Simplicity is a specialty of the straightforward New American cuisine at High Thyme. You’ll find their delicious roasted chicken and three-cheese lasagna with tomato sauce and fresh herbs alongside seafood offerings such as pan-seared tilapia over smoked Gouda grits and arugula topped with lemon caper butter.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

HoM

563 King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)573-7505

HoM is where the heart is in the downtown burger scene. The King Street haunt has burger lovers and ping-pong players flocking. But those without a beef bent can find specialty patties such as lamb, turkey, tofu, and falafel, too. Top that with a fried green tomato and you’ve got a HoM run. (KG) 563 King St., 573-7505.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Hominy Grill

207 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)937-0930

Visit this cozy, restored barbershop where ­locals love the contemporary comfort-food menu of ­au­thentic Southern fare and chef Robert ­Stehling’s take on New American: old-fashioned vegetable plates, pecan-crusted porterhouse pork chops, and sautéed shrimp served over cheese grits. It’s The New York Times’ hands-down pick for breakfast and brunch.  

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

Husk

76 Queen Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-2500

True Southern ingredients and those who produce them star at Husk, where executive chef Travis Grimes and chef/partner Sean Brock uses the finest heirloom products gleaned from all points south of the Mason-Dixon. Brock—who won the James Beard Foundation’s 2010 Best Chef: Southeast award for his work at Husk’s sister restaurant, McCrady’s— and Grimes devise a new menu every day, but you’ll want to accompany any entrée with a side skillet of cornbread made with Tennessee’s famous Benton’s bacon.

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$$

Indaco

526 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)727-1228

At this King Street spot, it’s all about the burrata baby. Well, that and the wood-fired pizzas, proscuitto, farro risotto, and remarkable squid ink carmen d’aria. Chef Michael Perez delivers innovative Italian fare in a sleek space with a craft cocktail program as good as the menu—perfect for happy hour on their side patio.  

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Jasmine Porch

1 Sanctuary Beach Dr. Kiawah Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)768-6253

Pamper yourself with a three-course Sunday brunch on Kiawah Island. Boasting such dishes as vanilla bourbon French toast and shrimp and grits with sweet peppers and onions in a sausage gravy, Jasmine Porch is an experience in four-star dining. 

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Kiawah Island | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$$

JB's Smokestack

3409 Maybank Hwy Johns Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)557-0426

If you’re on Maybank Highway around mealtime, take your foot off the gas and hit the sand parking lot at JB’s, where “the flavor’s in the meat, sauce is on the side.” Nearly two-dozen buffet items—apple-smoked chicken, black-eyed peas, and stewed cabbage—tempt diners with their handmade quality.

Cuisine: Barbecue | Location: Johns Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Kanpai

1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., B-9 Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29465
Phone: (843)388-8001

Though its space in a Mount Pleasant strip mall feels rather pedestrian, Kanpai offers some of the most delicious expressions of creative Asian food in Charleston. To start, chef and owner Sean Park will dress up edamame with pink Himalayan salt or truffles and hot chili oil. His tasty "Wagyu” roll pairs blowtorched fatty beef and avocado with tempura-fried shrimp and a sweet soy glaze, to excellent results. Hot and feathery beignets make an unexected but sweet end to the meal.  

Cuisine: | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Kickin’ Chicken

1175 Folly Rd. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)

Although a little more family-friendly, the James Island counterpart to the popular downtown original offers the same great hot wings, sandwiches, and salads.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

La Pizzeria

976 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)375-4607

Tucked off of Houston Northcutt Boulevard is a hidden Italian dining gem complete with authentic accents. Owner Laura Zanotti, who hails from Milan, prepares classic pizzas, specialty dishes such as spaghetti clams, gnocchi sorrentina, and risotto of the day, plus a hearty serving of true hospitaliano. And don’t forget dessert—the tiramisu is a must.

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Lana Restaurant & Bar

210 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)720-8899

Chef John Ondo’s neighborhood bistro is just far enough off the main drag to ensure an eclectic European menu and reasonable prices. Try the pear and Gorgonzola salad to start, then follow up with seared scallops with preserved lemon risotto. Casually intimate décor and a friendly waitstaff make this a great spot for a romantic date or the perfect place to catch up with friends during tapas happy hour each weekday from 5-7 p.m.  

Cuisine: Mediterranean | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$, $$$

Langdon's

778 S. Shelmore Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)388-9200

Langdon's thrills the palate with food that is simple yet perfectly seasoned. Begin your meal with the local goat cheese gnocchi with prosciutto, roasted tomatoes, spinach, and basil. Intriguing entrées include the bone-in Berkshire pork chop with smoked tomato-brie grits and the Hawaiian tuna with Asian slaw, avocado, and ginger vinaigrette. 

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$$

Le Tela Pizzeria

133 Village Green Ln. Johns Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)768-1951

Now under the ownership of Dave Robb, the casual, family-friendly Neapolitan-style operation in Freshfields Village is a favorite spot for relaxation and great food. Come for specialty pizzas, pastas, and mozzarella that are all made in house—or try a simple salad full of fresh ingredients. The kitchen works with local farmers on John’s Island as well as Wadmalaw Island to provide seasonal, and traditional Italian dishes. No reservations. 

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Kiawah Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Leaf

15 Beaufain Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)793-2230

Thanks to a beautiful outdoor courtyard and huge French doors, indoor and outdoor dining is offered year-round at this comfortable bar and restaurant. Global influences inform the menu featuring highlights such as frickles (fried pickles), curry noodle bowls, and homemade meatloaf. A hightop bar makes the perfect spot for leisurely brunches as well. 

Cuisine: | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen

218 President St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)822-5337

Authentic Chinese food has arrived in Charleston with this Upper Peninsula restaurant. Pop-art covered walls and wafts of General Tso’s chicken and mu shu pork greet guests. A short but decent list of wines and local craft beers, including Westbrook IPA and Frothy Beard Zingibier, are on hand to wash it all down. No reservations.  

Cuisine: Asian | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Leon’s Oyster Shop

698 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)531-6500

Housed in a former auto shop way up north on King Street, this spot has seriously hip decor: artist Becca Barnet designed gold tap handles and seafood-emblazoned tiles; Justin Walling of Charleston Architectural Glass hand-silvered the graphic mirrors. The menu focuses on fried chicken, oysters (of course!), and fresh salads. Don't miss the moist chicken sammies served with Asian-inspired slaw. We also dig the oysters Rockefeller, topped with an herb-infused butter sauce. Cool down with soft-serve ice cream sprinkled with rainbow jimmies -- the perfect summer treat.   

Cuisine: | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Leyla

298 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)501-7500

It’s hard not to fall for exotic, flavorful Leyla. This quirky Lebanese oasis offers a long list of mezza (small plates), including hummus slathered in a spry bit of olive oil and manteh dumplings filled with a spiced beef paste. Don’t shy away from more adventurous menu items, such as frog legs: Leyla’s most interesting dishes tend to be those that are unfamiliar. Round out your meal with a cup of bitter Lebanese coffee and warm rice pudding spiked with nuts, spices, and coconut. (  

Cuisine: Mediterranean | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Library at Vendue Inn

19 Vendue Range Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-7970

Slip into this under-the-radar hotel dining room in the heart of downtown for seasonal dishes from chef Jude Wagner. Start with the burrata and artichoke or grilled watermelon and radish salad, then move on to entrées of pan-roasted guinea hen or pan-seared sea scallops. For those craving real-deal Maryland crab cakes made with both lump and claw meat, look no further.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Lokal Seabar

1886 Andell Bluff Blvd. Johns Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)764-9027

If you’re seeking a waterfront spot with outdoor seating, try this eatery with a spacious patio overlooking Bohicket Marina. Start with the complimentary hush puppies—served with peach and jalapeño chutney—and move on to shrimp and grits or lobster pot pie. Or turn to the raw bar, offering up a seafood tower, plus oysters on the half shelf and peel-and-eat shrimp.

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Johns Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$, $$$$

Long Point Grill

479 Long Point Rd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)884-3101

In this inconspicuous restaurant tucked down Long Point Road, Southern is done right. Their twist on mac 'n' cheese? Smoked Gouda and penne. Or try the buttermilk fried chicken with whipped potatoes, collard greens, and a pink peppercorn gravy. With half-price bottles of wine Monday through Wednesday (5-8 p.m.), fresh desserts from Pitt Street's Village Bakery, and an affable staff, it's easy to get lost in a slow evening at the LPG. And for those with a need for speed, the restaurant offers lunch and dinner to go.

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$

Lost Dog Cafe

106 W. Huron St. Folly Beach, South Carolina 29439
Phone: (843)588-9669

Breakfast is served all day at this quirky and cute spot, which means burritos with shrimp, sausage, bacon, or ham alongside cheese, onions, and peppers; homemade biscuits and sausage gravy; and a host of baked goods need not be morning addictions only. Come lunchtime, order the black bean burger with mango, black bean salsa, and ranch dressing; the Thai wrap with shrimp or chicken; or a hot-off-the-griddle quesadilla.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Folly Beach | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch | Price: $

Magnolias

185 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-7771

Hand-forged wrought iron and large paintings carry the magnolia theme throughout the classy dining room. Don Drake’s “Uptown/Down South Cuisine,” like the Parmesan-crusted flounder over Carolina rice and creek shrimp purloo with sweet corn, tomato, and ­asparagus salad, lump crab, and a lemon beurre blanc, is an addictive contemporary take on traditional Southern cooking.    

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$, $$$$

Marina Variety Store

17 Lockwood Dr. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)723-6325

A killer view of the Ashley River, an easygoing setting, hit-the-spot breakfasts, and beach-town lunches and dinners make this joint—founded some 50 years ago—a hit among boaters and business folks alike. Reservations for groups of eight or more only.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

Martha Lou’s

1068 Morrison Dr. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)577-9583

When soul food’s all that will do, get to the pink cinder-block dive on Morrison Drive for fried ­everything and fatback-flavored greens that’ll send you home happy. The service is from the heart, the fare’s tops in its field, and the conversations are priceless. No cards or reservations.

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch | Price: $

McCrady's

2 Unity Alley Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843) 577-0025

This more than 200-year-old former tavern houses the stylish bar and dining room of an eco-friendly business that delivers cutting-edge seasonal cuisine by executive chef Sean Brock, star of season two of the Emmy-winning PBS show, The Mind of a Chef. Look for Berkawattabaw pork with salsify, banana-bourbon purée, and peanut granola along with seafood dishes such as Virginia striped bass with Anson Mills farotto, brassica pesto, baby Vidalia onions, and smoked chicken jus, plus a mile-long wine list.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$$

Melvin’s

538 Folly Rd. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)762-0511

Serving up the chopped pork barbecue just like that of its Mount Pleasant branch—as well as the “favorite cheeseburger” of Emeril Lagasse—this James Island icon is the perfect place to stop for lunch on your way to Folly Beach.  

Cuisine: Barbecue | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Mercantile & Mash

701 East Bay Street Charleston, 29403
Phone: (843)793-2636

Part gourmet food market and part whiskey bar, Mercantile & Mash has found its footing in the old Cigar Factory on East Bay Street. On the Mercantile side, diners have more than a few options: purchase a treat from a local purveyor; sip on a made-to-order caffeinated confection; grab a soda, spread, or sandwich from the to-go fridge; or settle in for a finely crafted meal at the chef's counter, where you can watch all the magic happen in the open kitchen. At Mash, patrons find an extensive whiskey list, a rotating cocktail menu, and small bites from the kitchen at Merc. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

817 St. Andrews Blvd. West Ashley, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)751-4001

From a long list of creative margaritas to shrimp tacos, tortas, and Baja bowls, this casual spot on St. Andrews Boulevard offers big South of the Border flavor. A kid’s menu includes Chick-a-dillas, a playful spin on the classic quesadilla with melted jack cheese and chicken, and the whole family should indulge in the tres leches pudding for dessert.  

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Middleton Place Restaurant

4300 Ashley River Rd. West Ashley, South Carolina 29414
Phone: (843)266-7477

Middleton Place's restaurant serves up she-crab soup, which makes for a lovely lunch after touring Middleton's gardens. The dinner menu sports fancier fare such as seared local yellowtail snapper with fingerling potatoes, garden squash, zucchini, eggplant, and green tomato chutney. Also try the Lowcountry crab cakes with tasso ham, red rice, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, and grain mustard buerre blanc.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Minero

155 E Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)789-2241

Sean Brock’s foray into inexpensive street food is simply delicioso. If you can snag a table (not always an easy feat; the host tells us it’s “first come, first survival”), delve into a menu that ranges from traditional Mexican fare, like queso fundido with chorizo, to dishes that display Brock’s Southern touch, such as shrimp and masa grits and a fried catfish taco. Diners can sip a solid selection of beer, tequila, and cocktails as well as nonalcoholic choices like horchata, a delicious spiced almond milk drink made fresh daily.

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $, $$

Moe’s Crosstown Tavern

714 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)641-0469

Barflies need not suffer bad food when they hit the Moe’s Crosstown Tavern at Hampton Park. Pierogies, fried green tomato BLTs, and bombastic burgers washed down with beer make this eatery a favorite among food and sports-lovers alike.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $

Mondo’s

915 Folly Rd. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)795-8400

Like the best of James Island’s restaurants, ­Mondo’s gives up the goods without any of the fuss of similar cafés found downtown. That said, join the many regulars at this sweet spot for primo pastas and fresh local bounty cooked up simply but with gourmet flair.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Monza

451 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)720-8787

This Upper King Street establishment raises pizza baking to an art form. Thin crusts made from Italian flour arrive fresh from the wood-fired oven topped with artisanal meats, imported cheeses, fresh vegetables, and delightful sauces. The pizzeria boasts an outdoor courtyard and a great beer and wine list while antipasti, salads, and soups enhance the ­Italian vibe.   

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Morgan Creek Grill

80 41st Ave. Isle of Palms, South Carolina 29451
Phone: (843)886-8980

On the main level, this double-decker restaurant boasts three dining rooms as well as outdoor seating. Look for straight-from-the-sea specials such as the fresh local clams steamed in white wine and herb broth and paired with leeks and prosciutto tossed with linguini. Feeling a bit saltier? Boaters, vacationers, and locals gather on the upper deck for a laid-back, fried-seafood atmosphere. From the casual menu, enjoy standards like po’ boys and grilled mahi sandwiches.

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

Muse

82 Society St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-1102

Occupying a charming Italianate single house with murals, artwork, dim ­lighting, and intimate spaces, Muse makes a strong case as the city’s most romantic restaurant. There, chef Howard LaFour presents Northern Mediterranean cuisine blending pasta, dates, and Eastern spices with seafood and meats, which—along with more than 100 wines by the glass—creates a happy cacophony of flavors.  

Cuisine: Mediterranean, Wine bar | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

My Father’s Moustache

1405 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)884-2425

This jovial sports bar in a Mount Pleasant strip mall caters to Lowcountry soccer fans, who can catch a game from most any seat in the house (even the patio boasts a flat screen). Friendly staffers serve pub fare—such as soft pretzels with a Guinness-infused cheddar dip and fish and chips with house-made tarter sauce—inspired by owner Robert Jefferson Walker V’s Scottish, English, and Irish lineage. Salads, burgers, and more than a dozen draft beers round out the offerings.

Cuisine: Bars/taverns, English/Irish | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Nick’s Bar-B-Q

288 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-0406.

Although a bit churched-up compared to a roadside rib joint, the ’cue is true: the pork is slowly pit-­roasted over hickory, then slathered with an ­honest Alabama-style tomato-and-vinegar sauce. Freshly cooked collards and made-from-scratch mac ’n’ cheese top the list of sides on an extensive down-home Southern menu that also includes a delicious selection of pies. No reservations.  

Cuisine: Barbecue | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

O-Ku

463 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)737-0112

This stylish, intentionally high-decibel place is all about the sushi, the sake, and the swish. You’ll need to visit multiple times to try the full range of soups,  salads, nigiri and sahimi, chef’s specialties, entrées, robata grill, and makimono (rolled sushi). A few can’t miss items? Yellowtail carpaccio, Tuna Three Ways, and Tasmanian salmon sashimi.

Cuisine: Asian | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$

Oak Steakhouse

17 Broad St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)722-4220

If you’re craving a tender prime porterhouse or a ­succulent New York strip, head to this three-story love song to steak. The ­super-hungry will salivate over the 36-ounce rib-eye, while those leaving room for dessert might want to try a melt-in-your-mouth filet. Sides are served à la carte, and there’s a delicious appetizer selection.     

Cuisine: Steakhouse | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$$

Old Firehouse Restaurant & Pizza

6350 Hwy 162 Hollywood, South Carolina 29449
Phone: (843)889-9512

No junket to Hollywood is complete without a stop at this former 1950s fire station, where wonderfully fresh seafood and mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas made with local ingredients await. The whole crispy flounder or Lowcountry pizza (fried green tomatoes on a bed of rich sauce) are sure crowd pleasers, as are familiar favorites like shrimp and grits.

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza, Seafood | Location: Hollywood/Meggett | Meals: Dinner | Price: $, $$

Old Village Post House

101 Pitt St. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)388-8935

Choose a seat by the window or a spot in the cozy tavern and indulge in a cup of Charleston crab soup with sherry or the super fried oysters and slaw. To make Sunday brunch a meal for the memory book, order the OV omelet stuffed with pimento cheese, house-made sausage, caramelized onions, and spinach. And don't forget a side of Geechie Boy grits. 

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

On Forty-One

1055 SC-41, Ste. 600 Mount Pleasant , South Carolina 29466
Phone: (843)352-9235

Described as "backyard dining" and boasting a spacious covered patio, this Mount Pleasant spot owned by Brannon Florie (he's also executive chef at The Granary) offers a satisfying collection of souped-up Southern comfort food. Don't miss extra-crunchy-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside hushpuppies stuffed with pimiento cheese or fried chickeb livers served over caramelized onions and stone-ground grits. 

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Opal Restaurant & Bar

1960 Riviera Dr. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)654-9070

Chef Patrick Owens offers pleasing combinations of California-style, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine at his Shoppes at Seaside Farms locale. Choose from a menu of charcuterie and cheese options, handcrafted pastas, and satisfying entrées such as seared crispy duck breast with barley, fennel sausage, greens and chile-mustard glaze. 

Cuisine: Mediterranean | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Paige’s Okra Grill

302 Coleman Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)881-3333

Come for the redneck rolls (pulled pork and pimiento cheese deep fried in an eggroll), stay for the hearty servings and convivial staff. Crab cakes, fried shrimp, oysters, okra, and green tomatoes, along with signature sandwiches, make up the menu at this relaxed, very kid-friendly diner. 

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Palace Hotel

35 Hanover St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)501-7994

The lack of a sign on the door seems fitting given the undercover-cool vibe you’ll find inside. Sit at one of the mismatched tables or perch at the bar lit by Edison-style bulbs for a simple menu of brews, wine, and food. Hot dogs piled with ingredients such as kimchi and Thai curry mayo, paninis, seasonal salads, and more headline the menu. No reservations.

Cuisine: Bars/taverns | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $

Palmetto Café

205 Meeting St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)722-4900

Come lunchtime, Gucci and Godiva shoppers rest their weary selves at this swanky spot on the ground floor of Charleston Place Hotel. But this is no simple lunch. Try the duck confit waffles, perfectly seared scallops, or tile fish to fuel up for more power shopping.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

Pane e Vino

17 Warren St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)853-5955

At this local mainstay, meat lovers swoon for the charcuterie plate; it’s almost impossible to choose among pastas such as spinach ricotta ravioli and gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce; and main course offerings include tempting selections like the grilled pork chop with millefiori honey, spices, and crushed almonds. The romantic patio is lovely during nice weather.  

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

Parlor Deluxe

207A St Philip Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)900-7574

Drive by too quickly and you might miss Parlor Deluxe, a luncheonette and late-night ice cream shop serving hot dogs, tots, waffles, and well, ice cream. And with Warehouse chef Emily Hahn behind the menu, one can expect a little creativity dressing traditional dogs. Surprising toppings include toasted dried shrimp bits and smoked salmon, though purists will still find sauerkraut, chili, and cheese. There’s beer, wine, and bubbly; floats (with Hilton Head Ice Cream) can also come served in Cannon-borough Beverage Co. sodas. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion

225 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)723-0500

The view from the top of this high-end hotel in the Market can't be beat, and thankfully the food's just as swellegant. The menu features a host of eclectic fare such as shrimp satay, duck confit nachos, Kobe beef burgers, and several pizza selections.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Pearlz Oyster Bar

153 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-5755

With the feel of an old-school raw bar, Pearlz offers peel-and-eat shrimp, tuna tartar, and oyster shooters on the chilled menu that headlines Southern oysters (raw or steamed) backed by classic mignonette or cocktail sauce. The offerings are rounded out by a selection of fresh catch, steaks, burgers, and children's items. No reservations.

Cuisine: Steakhouse | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$

Peninsula Grill

112 North Market St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)723-0700

Thankfully time has not changed the luxurious dining experience at the Planter's Inn, where chef Graham Dailey delivers delicious grilled certified Angus beef, fresh seafood, and a remarkable selection of seasonal soups. Be sure not to miss the restaurant's famous 12-layer coconut cake.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Poe’s Tavern

2210 Middle St. Sullivans Island, South Carolina 29482
Phone: (843)883-0083

The lively scene at this locals-mostly tavern belies the morose tendencies of its namesake poet. For a south-of-the-border treat, try the mouth-watering mahi-mahi taco or take on Edgar’s Nachos, a multicolored platter of chips, chili, cheeses, guac, salsa, sour cream, scallions, and cilantro, kicked up several notches by jalapeños. For the less adventurous, there are burgers (serious contenders for the best in town) and salads.

Cuisine: Bars/taverns | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Poogan’s Smokehouse

188 East Bay Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-5665

Upscale barbecue’s the focus at this East Bay Street spot (a sibling of Poogan's Porch), with all the apps, sides, and entrees you might dream of. Try not to let temptations like cast-iron cornbread and skillet mac and cheese prevent you from sampling the baby kale salad with black-eyed peas, crispy country ham, wild mushrooms, and a Dijon sherry vinaigrette—it’s absolutely crave-worthy. The barbecue offerings, including pulled pork, ribs, and smoked sausage, shine, and executive chef Daniel Doyle says he tested dozens of sauce recipes before committing to the selection now offered on each table. 

Cuisine: Barbecue | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

R. Kitchen

212 Rutledge Avenue Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)789-4342

Reservations come at a premium at R. Kitchen, and for good reason. It's $30 for five courses, and though it's affordable, the food is also delicious. The menu changes daily; sit at the counter to really experience all that chef Josh Woodruff has to offer. R. Kitchen thrives on the interaction between chef and diner -- and that alone makes it a place to visit. 

Cuisine: | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$

Red Drum

803 Coleman Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)849-0313

At chef Ben Berryhill’s sleek hot spot offering “South by Southwestern” fare, guests can nosh on crab meat tostaditas on the charming patio, enjoy wood-grilled barbecue-spiced shrimp with sweet corn pudding and green chile garlic butter in the elegant dining room, or just grab a table in the always buzzing bar, which was named one of the “Best Places in America to Have a Beer” by Imbibe magazine. 

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$$

Red Orchid’s

1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)573-8787

The spare, artful decor will make you forget you’re in a strip mall the moment you walk in the door, and it only gets better. Asian fusion cuisine crafted from fresh ingredients dominates the menu. Defying the stigma often attached to carry-out, food quality is consistently above your run-of-the-mill Chinese place. But to truly appreciate Red Orchid’s, dine in and be impressed with its wonderful wait staff. Sake done right rounds out a full bar, respectable wine list, and wide range of bottled beer.  

Cuisine: Asian | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Republic Garden & Lounge

462 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)724-7400

Don't let the dance music fool you. In addition to a huge cocktail list and bottle service, this King Street disco offers solid food as well. Think foie gras sliders, lettuce wraps, mussels, and fried potato skins that will keep any partier fuled throughout the night.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$

Roadside Seafood

807 Folly Rd. Charleston, South Carolina 29417
Phone: (843)754-5890

Birthed from a popular food truck of the same name, this comfortable and casual seafood joint now has permanent digs on Folly Road. The restaurant is noted for its fried- and grilled-to-order fish and shellfish, which stars in tacos (Bam-Bam Shrimp with signature, spicy Sriracha-infused sauce), sandwiches (The Big Easy with fried shrimp and green tomatoes spilling out of a hoagie), and generous baskets (everything from flounder to oysters to calamari). Don’t miss the perfectly delicious she-crab soup.

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Rollin’ South Kitchen

1023 Harbor View Rd. Charleston, South Carolina
Phone: (843)795-5955

Since this former food truck took over the old Sloppy Cow digs on James Island, their basic diner fare has been spot-on. Think bacon and eggs and biscuits and gravy, as well as apps (jalapeño-spiked pimiento cheese dip), sandwiches, “from the grill” items (try the Green Eggs and Hamburger served sunny-side up with a slather of house-smoked jalapeño salsa verde and cilantro mayo), and nightly specials.

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: James Island | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

55 South Market Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)793-4224

This popular high-end steak house smartly seasoned and seared prime steaks delivered sizzling in butter on signature 500-degree plates. Opt for the sauteed mushrooms and screamed spinach sides if you're out for an evening of indulgence. While the decor may seem blland and the iPad-bound wine and cocktail menu impersonal, the restaurant makes up for it with an attentive and cordial staff, promises to source local ingredients, and a curiously cool Lowcountry art installation on the ceiling of the Harley-Davidson shop-turned-bar. 

Cuisine: Steakhouse | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Rutledge Cab Co.

1300 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)720-1440

Wagener Terrace got a whole lot tastier with the addition of Robert Carter’s latest iteration. This casual burger joint and bar offers a family-friendly option to the upper peninsula crowd. Grilled wings, flatbreads, and breakfast all day every day make for a perfect menu next to a list of creative cocktails.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

Santi’s Restaurante Mexicano

1302 Meeting Street Rd. Charleston, South Carolina 29405
Phone: (843)722-2633

Those who think authentic is bandied about too often should visit this Mexican eatery on the Charleston Neck. Start with a fantastic (read: strong!) margarita and guacamole dip with house-made tortillas before tackling a plate of enchiladas poblanos with mole sauce, tamales with verde sauce, or one-of-a-kind chile rellenos. No reservations.  

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$

Sea Biscuit Café

21 J.C. Long Blvd. Isle of Palms, South Carolina 29451
Phone: (843)886-4079

Islanders and visitors looking for a down-home breakfast or hearty brunch head to this laid-back diner for homemade hash, omelets with fresh-off-the-boat shrimp, eggs Benedict with sweet lump crabmeat, grits, gravy, and biscuits. And that’s all before lunch. No reservations.  

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch | Price: $

Sea Island Grill & Lounge

Boardwalk Inn, Wild Dunes Isle of Palms, South Carolina 29451
Phone: (843)886-2200

Pick up a pass at the Wild Dunes gate and head to the Boardwalk Inn for a “secret” dining spot. This full-service restaurant strikes a nice balance between upscale Continental and American cuisine served in a casual no-tie-or-jacket-required tropical setting.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Sermet’s Corner

276 King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)853-7775

A lively corner cafe perfect for people-watching, Sermet's offers large servings of colorful, flavorful cuisine. Chef Sermet’s creativity shines in the daily selection of fresh, locally sourced fish; specialty pastas, such as wild mushroom ragout and tortellini; and the unique seasonings and sauces that elevate his entrees above everyday fare. 

Cuisine: Mediterranean | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$, $$$$

Slightly North of Broad (SNOB)

192 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)723-3424

Eclectic in design and menu with an open kitchen that showcases executive chef Frank Lee and crew whipping up seasonal, fresh-from-the-farm food, the lively SNOB is always happening. Shrimp and grits with house-made sausage and country ham, as well as grilled barbecued tuna topped with fried oysters, share the menu with bruschetta and fresh cheeses.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$$, $$$$

Smith & Bull CafÉ

60 Bull St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)724-3585

This family-owned-and-operated neighborhood café offers Italian-inspired sandwiches such as tuna and a hard-boiled egg on a baguette and a piadina with prosciutto, spinach, and mozzarella. The tiny pantry also offers provisions including beer and wine.  

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries, Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Smoke BBQ

487 King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)805-5050

The most important advice we have to offer about this King Street eatery: get the Beef and Chedda. Its brioche bun offers the perfectly fluffy accompaniment to what the food truck-turned-restaurant calls "true Texas brisket" layered with pickled jalapenos and their Chedda Ale sauce. With a background in fine dining, chef Ronald Feldman also serves up stellar wings and delicious hash and grits side. Seating is limited in this narrow spot, but if you end up chowing down at the bar, all the more excuse to try their house-infused cinnamon whiskey. 

Cuisine: Barbecue | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Snapper Jack’s

10 Center St. Folly Beach, South Carolina 29439
Phone: (843)588-2362

Whether you want a small snack, great lunch, or a casual dinner, this centrally located Folly joint will satisfy. Evening highlights include Jack’s Signature Snapper, pan-seared with sautéed vegetables and coconut rice and topped with a tropical fruit rum sauce.

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Folly Beach | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$, $$$

SOL Southwest Kitchen

1101 Stockade Ln. Mount Pleasant , South Carolina 29466
Phone: (843)388-4302

If the thought of tequila flights and Tex-Mex makes your mouth water, SOL is the place to go. This popular eatery serves up carnitas pork tacos, green chile chicken enchiladas, and a selection of wood-fired entrées including chicken, pork chops, filets, and salmon. 

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

Southend Brewery

161 East Bay St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)853-4677

Folks come here for the pool tables, microbrews, giant burgers, and pizza from the brick oven. The last is made with ale-infused dough topped with your choice of smoked chicken, ­barbecue sauce, Italian sausage, roasted garlic, and more.  

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Southerly Restaurant & Patio

730 Coleman Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)416-3965

One might have hesitations heading into a grocery store restaurant, but this isn't the snack bar at Target. This indoor/outdoor dining room adjacent to Southern Season (perfect for post-shopping noshig) offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch in an open space adorned with retro European posters. Try the 48-hour short rib with smoked gouda mac-n-cheese or start with lump crab cakes with smoked corn tartar. 

Cuisine: | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

Spero

616 Meeting Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)203-3255

"Local" is now de rigeur, but Spero does it sans frills in the old Hello My Name is BBQ spot. The menu changes frequently, but stand-outs include velvety pate accompanied by both sweet and sour pickles; charred snap peas paired with refreshing lemon ricotta; and "The Korean," a kimchi-spiked pork-shoulder sammie. 

Cuisine: Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$, $$$

Stars Rooftop & Grill Room

495 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)577-0100

Under the guidance of chef Tyler Chavis, this upscale Upper King Street spot serves up pan-seared Atlantic salmon, wood-grilled burgers, rotisserie chicken, and more. Grab a pre-dinner drink on the rooftop bar with a view of seven of the city’s steeples.

Cuisine: Steakhouse | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

Steel City Pizza Co.

1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)856-2525

Rest your sandy self on the patio post-Sullivan's Island romp, belly up to the bar, or bring the kids to this spacious neighborhood pizza joint. Named for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Steel City serves up some of the best pie around (try the Original White or the loaded-up Special). The menu also includes calzones, wraps, burgers, pastas, salads, wings, desserts...in short, most everything a family (or hungry sports fan) could ask for. 

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Stereo 8

951 Folly Rd. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)640-3443

Craving clean, bright flavors and a cool vibe? Head to the former Roadside Kitchen on Folly Road, with its hip, revamped digs inspired by the eight track era and a menu of mostly Mexican and Asian fare. Sip a Oaxacan margarita while diving into spicy Thai ceviche and rock shrimp tacos. And the patio, with its slick shipping-container cabanas, is a popular alfresco spot when the weather allows. 

Cuisine: Asian | Location: James Island | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

Sticky Fingers

235 Meeting St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)853-7427

This local chain has done gangbusters in the Southeast and with good reason. The ribs and pulled pork are finger-lickin’ good, especially doused in one of their many sauces—try the whiskey version. Dine with the crowds or get the goods to go. 

Cuisine: Barbecue | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Surf Bar

103 W. Cooper Ave. Folly Beach , South Carolina 29439
Phone: (843)588-2009

Laid-back Costa Rica meets down-home Americana at the Surf Bar, where locals go to sip margaritas and draft beers while watching surf videos and listening to live music. Look to the daily specials board for fresh catches, but menu items cooked over wood-burning grill, such as the burger, chicken on any of the salads, are great all the time. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns, Seafood | Location: Folly Beach | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Swig & Swine

1217 Savannah Hwy. Charleston, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)225-3805

Chef Anthony DiBernardo (formerly of Rita’s Seaside Grille) helms this bastion for barbecue—think pulled pork, melt-in-your-mouth brisket, and more slow-cooked over a wood fire—located in a renovated car wash next to Glass Onion. Sold by heaping plate, piled on sandwiches, or by the pound to-go, the meats are cut to order, and—bonus—you can sauce it yourself with mustard, vinegar, Carolina sweet, and Alabama white. Don’t miss the sides (especially the hash and rice and Brunswick stew) and dessert (banana pudding and mini Derby pies). No reservations.

Cuisine: Barbecue | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$, $$$

T-Bonz Gill & Grill

80 North Market St Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)577-2511

Beer fans will do well to slide into the bustling booth barn that is T-Bonz. Sure it’s on the Market, but after a fried onion block, manly chops, and a couple of ice-cold drafts, it won’t matter where your neighbor is from.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Tabbuli

6 North Market Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)628-5959

With a charming outdoor courtyard, this restaurant at the end of Market Street is the perfect stop for a rum cocktail and some Middle Eastern fare. Tabbuli’s tapas can make a delicious pre-dinner appetizer or hearty meal. In addition to falafel, Jerusalem salad, gyros, and baba ghanoush, the menu includes an enticing selection of seafood dishes such as fresh ceviche and ahi tuna poke. Don’t forget to order some baklava before you leave.

Cuisine: Mediterranean | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

Taco Boy

217 Huger St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)789-3333

With the same festive feel as its older Folly Beach brother-and a matching menu of addictive tacos, nachos, margaritas, and more-the downtown Taco Boy offers expansive indoor and outdoor spaces that leave plenty of room for family dinners as well as group happy hours. No reservations.

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$, $$$

Taco Mamacita

2213 Middle St. Sullivans Island, South Carolina 29482
Phone: (843)789-4032

Enjoy some Middle Street people-watching from the patio of Sullivan’s Island’s token taco joint. Snack on Oy Vey tacos and homemade guac washed down with a sweet margarita while you enjoy the funky vibe of this muy delicioso restaurante.  

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Tattooed Moose

3328 Maybank Hwy. John's Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)952-7591

Your favorite downtown dive now has a country cousin with expanded indoor and outdoor digs on Maybank Highway. There you'll find the same indulgent fare--Mike's Famous Duck Club and duck-fat fries, anyone?--plus mac 'n' cheese; a kids menu; and plenty of drafts, wines, and even craft cocktails on tap. 

Cuisine: Bars/taverns | Location: | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $

Tavern & Table

100 Church St. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)352-9510

Boating waterfront views and rustic-elegant appointments, this spot makes an exciting addition to Shem Creek. The drink menu features ample craft beers and cocktails, but nary a listing for teetotalers. On the food side, sample goodies such as cheese and charcuterie plates and pan seared scallops with Anson Mills grits, Spanish chorizo, Moroccan sauce and tomato jam.

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern, Tapas | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

The Alley

131 Columbus St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)818-4080

Thanks to a partnership with Home Team BBQ, the peninsula’s only bowling alley boasts more than a good time on the lanes. Baked chicken and gravy, cornmeal fried shrimp, and braised pork belly pair with local brews.

Cuisine: Barbecue | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

The Americano

819 Coleman Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)352-2641

Head to this spot along Coleman Boulevard to check out the swank décor channeling mid-century Miami. Stay for the hoppin' bar scene and well-crafted list of cócteles (we loved the peppery bite of the Aphrodisiac margarita with its half-rim of chilli salt) and the diverse menu mixing influences from Cuba, Mexico and the further south Americas. 

Cuisine: Caribbean/Cuban | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

The Crab Shack

26 Center St. Folly Beach, South Carolina 29439
Phone: (843)588-3080

This best branch of the local chain, “Crab Shacktacular” anchors the Center Street scene. Patio diners are a raucous, mixed lot of families and happy-hour types, all scoping passersby and other patrons. Look for a barrel of peanuts, plastic utensils, a raw bar, buckets of steamed oysters, clams, mussels, and more, plus deviled crab, Frogmore stew, shrimp and crab casserole, and the requisite fried fare.

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Folly Beach | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$, $$$

The Drawing Room

19 Vendue Range Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)414-2334

In keeping with The Vendue’s art-hotel concept, everything here—from the rotating works that grace the dining room walls to the elegantly plated dishes—feels museum-worthy (and not in a stuffy way). Executive chef Jon Cropf curates a bill of fare that’s seasonal and light, but still feels decadent. Case in point: sea scallops pan-roasted to tender perfection, served on a bed of chili-spiked veggie puree, and topped with edible flowers for a gorgeous presentation. Red-wine ice cream makes for a unique and delicious finale.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Dinner | Price: $$$$

The Glass Onion

1219 Savannah Hwy. Charleston, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)225-1717

This place lives large in terms of authentic Southern fare. Chef Chris Stewart uses all natural meats and local seafood and vegetables from area purveyors and farms, turning out some of the best home cooking you'll find anywhere. The menu changes based on seasonal availability, but entrees, such as buttermilk-fried SC quail, and a la carte sides will have you thinking your meal can't get much better - until you dig into the bread pudding with pecans and whiskey cream sauce. 

Cuisine: | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch | Price: $$

The Granary

624 Longpoint Rd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)216-3832

Hip, farm-to-table dining meets Mount Pleasant at The Granary. Chef Brannon Florie--also executive chef at the Rarebit--crafts a menu headlined by favorites such as beef short ribs with stone ground grits, duck confit, and a stunning charcuterie platter, rounded out by dishes for sharing.

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

The Grocery

4 Cannon Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)302-8825

Chef/owner Kevin Johnson’s agrarian menu celebrates artisanal local producers year-round. A menu categorized by "produce," "seafood," "charcuterie," "and meat" includes offerings such as chanterelle muchrooms with sweet onion and pancetta, fried oysters with deviled egg sauce, and seafood pilau studded with clams and shrimp. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

The Macintosh

479-B King Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)789-4299

Chef Jeremiah Bacon crafts a daily changing menu offering locally sourced ingredients at his hot spot on King Street. Each entrée is a true star in its own right, from the vegetable dish featuring sunchokes, roasted beets, fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, red quinoa, Carolina Gold rice, mushrooms, and beautiful romanesco broccoli to the unbelievably tender grilled Halperns’ beef deckle. Stop by the popular bar for small plates and innovative cocktails. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$$

The Mustard Seed

1036 Chuck Dawley Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)849-0050

Fresh fish and vegetarian dishes anchor this quaint café, but there are chicken and seafood options for meat-lovers. Come hungry for heaping portions of flavorful food at this family-friendly eatery. No reservations. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

The Obstinate Daughter

2063 Middle St. Sullivan's Island, South Carolina 29482
Phone: (843)416-5020

Thanks to a gorgeous renovation led by architect Reggie Gibson, this spot offers subtle nautical touches and an airy feel aided by an open kitchen and plenty of windows. Helmed by the folks behind Wild Olive, its menu slants local and Italian; we recently savored polenta fries with salsa rosa and ravioli stuffed with Mepkin Abbey mushrooms, swiss chard, and ricotta. Other standouts include simple salads, pizzas—such as the Old Danger, featuring pancetta, white sauce, and an egg—and gelato from the sweet shop downstairs.

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza, Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

The Obstinate Daughter

2063 Middle St. Sullivan's Island, South Carolina 29482
Phone: (843)416-5020

Thanks to a gorgeous renovation led by architect Reggie Gibson, this spot offers subtle nautical touches and an airy feel aided by an open kitchen and plenty of windows. Helmed by the folks behind Wild Olive, its menu slants local and Italian; we recently savored Geechie frites with salsa rosa and cappelletti stuffed with foie gras, truffle butter, and chives. Other standouts include simple salads, pizzas--such as the Old Danger, featuring pancetta, white sauce, and an egg--and gelato from Beardcat's sweet shop, located downstairs.

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Sullivan's Island/Isle of Palms | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

The Ocean Room

1 Sanctuary Beach Dr. Kiawah Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)768-6253

If you're in the pursuit of pure luxury, the Ocean Room is the place. Chef de cuisine Jason Rheinwald presents a menu of elegant charm featuring items such as grouper sashimi with edamame, lumps of pork belly topped with blue berries, and a 28 day dry-aged, bone-in ribeye that will bring new revelations of what a steak should be. 

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Kiawah Island | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$, $$$$

The Ordinary

544 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)414-7060

This swank oyster hall built in an old bank features chef Mike Lata’s ever-evolving seafood menu. Go for the lobster roll and stay for the cascading seafood tower including Capers Blades, Snow Coves, Blue Points, and Otter Island oysters. This rollicking oyster bar is simply excellent.    

Cuisine: Seafood | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$$

The Park Café

730 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)410-1070

In this spot north of the Crosstown, owner Karalee Nielsen Fallert delivers a clean café with cheerful touches, such as a wall of indoor plants. Chef Blair Machado has kept the menus simple: in the morning, look for classics like avocado on toast and shirred farm eggs. For dinner, we suggest the vegetable farm-egg soup or the butcher's plate, preferably with a side of delicious creamy kale. The café also boasts conveniences such as an espresso station and a fridge stocked with to-go items.  

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

The Rarebit

474 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)974-5483

If you're looking to enjoy an inexpensive meal in style, this throwback Hollywood-esque diner offers patty-melts, huevos rancheros, and grilled cheese with retro cocktails served in vintage glassware to match. Walls adorned with images of Steve McQueen complete the vibe.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

The Southern General

3157 Maybank Hwy. John's Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)640-3778

This unassuming sandwich shop does more than just put a protein on two pieces of bread. Think sesame shrimp cozied up inside a deli bun, cu-banh mi with candied pork belly, and a turkey giardiniera with onion spread. Beers on tap and a wall o' board games make this a relaxed spot where you can bring the kids. 

Cuisine: Bars/taverns, Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

The Taco Spot

1301 B. Ashley River Rd. West Ashley, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)225-7426

For a la carte tacos—including two raved about grouper varieties—plus burritos, quesadillas, and more, head to this neighborhood eatery that's small in size big on colorful local flavor. Grab a seat at the counter to sip a beer and ponder your extensive hot sauce options, or take the goods to go.

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

The Westendorff

114 St Philip Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)400-0026

The historic building at the corner of St. Philip and Warren streets offers diners a daily brunch option in addition to a dinner menu featuring a chef-driven mix of seasonal ingredients and international culinary influences. Palomas, pisco sours, and Moscow mules make appearances on the cocktail menu, and a short-and-sweet list of local beers brings it all back home. 

Cuisine: | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

The Wreak of The Richard & Charlene

106 Haddrell St.; Shem Creek Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)884-0052

Find thid out-of-the-way drive--named for a ship stranded in the same spot during Hurrican Hugo--behind Shem Creek docks and nosh on boiled peanuts while you ponder the menu. A seafood house from the fish stew to the fried shrimp, the occasionally offered Wreak's London broil is its only nod to landlubbers. 

Cuisine: Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Thrive Organic Eatery

8-D Line Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)789-4564

Though small (just three employees, a walk-up counter, and two tables out front), this green oasis on Line Street serves up a full menu: organic salads, pizzas, passtas, and sandwiches, alongside daily soup specials. There's even homemade ice cream, churned from raw organic milk. Thrive is committed to free-range meats and sourcing all produce locally, from the frisee in the herb-encrusted goat cheese salad to the locally made sausage atop fresh mozzarella on "The Barn" pizza. Don't leave without a bag of whole-wheat pasta from the section of organic goods for sale. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Vegetarian/organic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch | Price: $, $$

Tokyo Crepes

62 Spring St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)720-5229

Folks no longer have to venture to Folly Beach to snag the Japanese-style treats owners Yukari Yada and John Baker have been doling out from a roadside stand for the last five years. This cheery slip of a restaurant has savory options (chicken, pork), but we think the sweet offerings—like the delicious “Dream,” filled with homemade custard pudding, your choice of fruits such as strawberries and bananas, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream—are the way to go.

Cuisine: Asian | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Trattoria Lucca

41-A Bogard St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)973-3323

Ken Vedrinski’s Bogard Street hideaway pays homage to his Italian Grandma Volpe. Delicious assaggini—a selection of small plates of vegetables, cheeses, and meats—can be shared tapas-style. House-made pastas and piatti (main courses) include such rarities as sheep’s milk ricotta gnudi, Grandma Volpe’s classic tomato ragù, and fresh fish prepared dei Cuiochi—“in the chef’s choice.” Italian coffee and fresh-made sweets form a perfect ending.

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Triangle Char and Bar

1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)606-2900

Looking for a lean and locally grown meat? Then hit up Triangle for Hill Creek Farm's grass-fed beef showcased in burgers ranging from the Plain Jane (lettuce, tomato, and cheese) to the decadent General Lee (pimento cheese and caramelized onions). With a 90-10 meat-to-fat ratio, be sure to order your patty cooked no more than medium. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $, $$

Two Boroughs Larder

186 Coming Street Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)637-3722

In the heart of Cannonborough-Elliotborough, husband and wife team Josh and Heather Keeler share new American cuisine from regional farms and waters. The daily menu features a seasonal collection of locally sourced and house-made ingredients such as kung pao sweetbreads and Masami Ranch pork ribs.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$$

Vickery’s Bar and Grill

1313 Shrimp Boat Ln.; Shem Creek Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)884-4440

A party with a view, Vickery’s at Shem Creek offers tasty salads, sandwiches, soups, and entrées, plus many wines by the glass on their short, but not shoddy, list. Order their signature classic Cuban sandwich and watch the pelicans dive-bomb the creek to catch their own dinner. Reservations for parties of seven or more only. 

Cuisine: Bars/taverns, Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$, $$$

Vintage Coffee and Café

218 Simmons St. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)884-4074

From the folks behind the wheel of Neapolitan-style pizza truck Coastal Crust, this rustic-chic coffee shop caters to East Cooper families and foodies alike. Settle inside or outside the charming cottage for a delicious Counter Culture cuppa, or relax on a picnic bench in the rear yard while the kiddos clamber over an old-school Chevy-turned-jungle-gym. With throwback favorites like cinnamon-bun French toast and grilled cheese (elevated by queso fresco and roasted tomato), fresh salad spins such as curried chickpea, and a promising wine lost, there's a perk for every patron. 

Cuisine: Delis/cafes/bakeries | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch | Price: $

Virginia’s on King

412 King St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)735-5800

If you’re hankering for traditional Southern fare from a kitchen that doesn’t overly worry about “creative spin,” this may be just the ticket. Pop some fried okra with spicy aïoli while waiting for your country fried steak with mashed potatoes and squash casserole. But if you’re there for ­dinner, tread lightly with appetizers, because the entrées are big as a cotton house.  

Cuisine: Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Saturday Brunch, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$$

Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge

15 Magnolia Dr. West Ashley, South Carolina 29407
Phone: (843)769-0228

Kitschy cool is the name of the game at this hip West Ashley hang-out. Sip their namesake concoction (served on fire) or try a Big Bamboo Love Song while sampling an eclectic assortment of gourmet tacos, such as barbecue duck confit and cashew- and panko-encrusted tuna.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Mexican/Southwestern | Location: West Ashley | Meals: Dinner | Price: $, $$, $$$

Warehouse

45 1/2 Spring St. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)202-0712

It may be hard to spot this hidden gem within the gentrified streets of Elliotborogh, but it’s worth a stop when you do. Seasonal pub fare such as hot pressed cubano with house smoked chicken stands out in addition to dishes such as the forager's toast -- roasted local vegetables, smashed avocado, smoked tomato and tahini vinaigrette, hollandaise, and a soft farm egg on top of a slice of multigrain from Brown's Court Bakery. A huge bar offers pitcher cocktail choices as well as local beers and an evolving wine list. Don't leave without ordering at least one fried oyster-topped deviled egg.   

Cuisine: Bars/taverns, English/Irish | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$

Water’s Edge

1407 Shrimp Boat Ln.; Shem Creek Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Phone: (843)884-4074

From the busy vantage point overlooking Shem Creek, executive chef and owner Jimmy Purcell delievers fresh seafood and Lowcountry favorites. Enjoy entrées such as heaping bowls of Prince Edward Island mussels, herb-seared grouper, and a variety of pasta dishes. Save room for the drunken banana dessert--a deconstructed banana split--for a luscious finale.

Cuisine: Seafood, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Mount Pleasant | Meals: Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch | Price: $$, $$$

White Duck Taco Shop

792 Folly Rd. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)640-3008

This cheerful counter-service joint welcomes guests with mural-splashed walls inside and picnic benches with colorful umbrellas dotting the patio. And that’s the perfect atmosphere in which to inhale creative tacos starting at $3.50 a pop, such as the lamb gyro with salty feta, heat-packing buffalo chicken, and crispy Bangkok shrimp topped with sweet pickles. No reservations. 

Cuisine: American/Eclectic | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $

Wild Olive

2867 Maybank Hwy. John's Island, South Carolina 29455
Phone: (843)737-4177

Expertly balancing the best of several culinary influences--those of France, Italy, and John's Island--chef Jacques Larson incorporates foods gleaned from local farms and waters into fresh, simple salads; delicate pastas; and intricate seafood dishes that sing with the season. Try the seared sea scallops with potato gnocchi, squash, heirloom tomato, cabbage, and pea pesto, and be sure not to pass up pastry chef Michelle Saletan's desserts. 

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Johns Island | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$$

Woody's

39 Center St. Folly Beach, South Carolina 29439
Phone: (843)588-0088

A pizza joint bedecked in little white lights and beer-ad umbrellas, this kick-back place is Folly’s best spot for tasty, cheap eats: pies, subs, calzones, and salads. Try the pesto pizza, the white pizza, or create your own. And savor your crusts—the delicious dough is from West Ashley artisan bakery Normandy Farms.

Cuisine: Italian/Pizza | Location: Folly Beach | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$, $$$

Xiao Bao Biscuit

224 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)

Scents of East Asia waft out of this neighborhood spot. For 12 bucks, get a large bowl of mapo dofou—Sichuan-style tofu in fermented bean broth—or try the pork dumplings; ramen bowl with pork belly, kimchi, and greens; or the rudderfish on rice noodles.          

Cuisine: Asian | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Xiao Bao Biscuit

224 Rutledge Ave. Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Phone: (843)

Scents of East Asia waft out of this neighborhood spot. For 12 bucks, get a large bowl of mapo dofou (Sichaun-style tofu in fermented bean broth) or try any of a rotating assembly of menu items inspired by frequent trips abroad. Be sure to order the can't miss okonomiyaki--a cabbage pancake topped with either bacon, pork candy, a farm egg, or all three. 

Cuisine: Asian | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $, $$

Zero Cafe + Bar

0 George St. Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Phone: (843)817-7900

Tucked in the courtyard of the posh Zero George Hotel, this petite eatery’s lush patio feels like a secret garden. But if the weather’s bad, the dining room, adjacent to the circa-1804 carriage-house kitchen, is pretty darn romantic too. Chef Vinson Petrillo, an alum of Top Chef and Chopped, turns out a rotating menu of super-seasonal dishes: start with an heirloom tomato plate or blistered shishitos with a garlicy dipping sauce and move onto shrimp panzanella for the main course. With a boutique wine list and craft cocktails such as the perfect Bespoke Manhattan, the booze is tops, too.

Cuisine: American/Eclectic, Bars/taverns, Lowcountry/Southern | Location: Charleston Peninsula | Meals: Dinner | Price: $$

Zia Taqueria

1956A Maybank Hwy. James Island, South Carolina 29412
Phone: (843)406-8877

Conveniently located next to the Terrace movie theater, Zia caters to film mavens and the nearby Riverland Terrace neighborhood alike. Classic tortas, enchiladas, and tacos make up the menu with drinks staples such as five varieties of margaritas. Come early, as seating is limited.  

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwestern | Location: James Island | Meals: Lunch, Dinner | Price: $$