Restaurants in Charleston

While many tourists visit Charleston for its pre-antebellum Historic District, many end up coming back for a second time just to eat more of its food. The city’s Lowcountry cuisine makes it worth visiting all on its own, with Charleston restaurants serving a number of iconic dishes: shrimp ‘n’ grits, buttermilk biscuits, Lowcountry boil, okra soup, and many more. Read on to see our picks for this world-class foodie city’s most interesting spots—the top Charleston restaurants.

The 4 Best Restaurants in Charleston, SC

It can be difficult to pick the best restaurants in a great foodie city, and Charleston is no exception. With so many delicious options, our choices for the four best restaurants in Charleston, SC, come with a bit of advice—make sure to sample as many restaurants as you can.


  1. Hominy Grill: A stately yet relaxed dining room is the setting for Charleston’s most-acclaimed Lowcountry breakfast spot—try the pimento cheese biscuits, the pork-belly grits, and the she-crab soup.
  2. Wreck of the Richard and Charlene: This seafood spot along Charleston Harbor might be South Carolina’s best option for shrimp, scallops, oysters, and a side of hush puppies.
  3. Martha Lou’s Kitchen: This small soul-food joint is a local gem recognized by The New York Times. Indulge in some fried chicken with some baked macaroni on the side, and maybe you’ll also get to meet the chef herself.
  4. Lewis Barbecue: Charleston is a little more of a seafood town than a BBQ town, but Lewis Barbecue could change that. The Texas-based pitmaster boasts some of the south’s best smoked brisket.

Spotlight On: Charleston Culinary Tours

See our deal for Charleston Culinary Tours.


Few cities are deserving of a guided tour solely for the food. But Charleston isn’t like most cities. It’s a world-class seafood town that incorporates the surrounding Southern region’s comfort-food sensibilities, creating its own kind of cuisine: Lowcountry. To explore this delicious city, we recommend taking one of Charleston Culinary Tours’ guided foodie jaunts to four separate restaurants.  


See what actual customers have to say about Charleston Culinary Tours


This tour will not disappoint! There are four stops, three have food, the last is dessert. . . . Patrick was our tour guide and he was amazing. Sixth generation Charlestonian, he knew his stuff! Must do to get a taste around town. – Stephanie M.


This was a great tour! Glen was amazing as a guide. He was very knowledgeable of the Charleston food scene. He gave us great suggestions for places to dine at. The food was all excellent! – Terry H.

Had a wonderful time. Guide Mr. Calhoun was like the best storyteller since my Irish uncle. What a storyteller! Made the day. Food was great at every stop. Best value for money anywhere in Charleston. – John M.


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Great Seafood Restaurants in Charleston, SC


With a spot along the Atlantic coast, Charleston understandably has been intrinsically linked with excellent seafood, culminating in its most famous dish: shrimp ‘n’ grits. For the best shrimp ‘n’ grits (plus other local favorites), try one of these three seafood restaurants in Charleston, SC.



  1. Leon’s Oyster Shop: The raw bar at this local favorite is just one reason to visit this former auto-body-shop-turned-seafood restaurant. The other reasons? Fancy champagne and fried chicken.
  2. Roadside Seafood: Going to a seafood joint can be a high-end affair. But that’s not the vibe at Roadside Seafood; this low-key former food truck serves fish tacos, catfish sandwiches, and more.

  3. Charleston Crab House: This local standby has two scenic locations: one along the Wappoo Creek with a waterside patio, and one in downtown Charleston with rooftop dining.

Spotlight on: Bushido Japanese Restaurant

See our Bushido Japanese Restaurant deal.


While shrimp ‘n’ grits and biscuits are great, if you live in Charleston, you want to try something different every once in a while. Bushido is a great change of pace, a hibachi-style Japanese restaurant with a complete sushi bar to boot. We recommend the “mango tango” roll, perhaps the only sushi you’ll ever have with coconut flakes.


See what actual customers have to say about Bushido Japanese Restaurant


Excellent food and service. I got the dragon roll, which was amazing! My husband got the hibachi steak, and it was honestly one of the best steaks we have ever eaten! – Stephanie G.


Food is super, with meat dishes so tender and moist. Service is fast. Atmosphere is tranquil. Staff always pleasant. Great place to eat. – Lisa S.

Bushido recently updated their dining setup with all new booths. Love the new seating. Food is outstanding and service is always pleasant. Love this place, one of the best in town! – Karen W.


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Best Pizza in Charleston


Charleston is older than pizza itself (1670  vs 1889, respectively), but that doesn’t mean it lacks first-class pizza parlors. If you’re in the mood for a pie, try one of these three options:



  1. Community Pizza House: Part wood-fired pizza house, part craft-beer bar, this is a relaxing spot to sit on the patio, enjoy the weather, and have a tasty meal.  See our Community Pizza House deal.
  2. South of Philly Pizza: This is the spot to try “Lowcountry pizza,” a mozzarella, cheddar, and pork pie that pays homage to the region’s cuisine. See our South of Philly Pizza deal.

  3. Matt’s Pizza Dept.: A special rotating stone oven is used to craft NYC-style pizza at this Mt. Pleasant joint with more than 15 types of pies. See our Matt’s Pizza deal.

Spotlight On: Tropical Smoothie Cafe

See our Tropical Smoothie Cafe deal.


“Eat better. Feel better.” That’s the tagline for Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Charleston’s colorful alternative to fast food. The cafe offers healthy yet delicious entrees—think wraps, salad bowls, and flatbreads—but its signature item is the smoothie. You can try everything from “superfood” smoothies designed to give you the most nutrients (like the Acai Berry Boost and the Chia Banana Max) to fruity, flavorful classic smoothies like Mango Magic and Kiwi Quencher.


See what actual customers have to say about Tropical Smoothie Cafe


Always amazing, great service and awesome smoothies and drinks! I always ask for Splenda Avocolada or the Mocha Madness with coffee sugar free! Equally great! – Theresa M.


The smoothies are fantastic! The employees are friendly. Very nice atmosphere...I also had the buffalo chicken wrap and it was delicious. I'll definitely go back . . . soon! – Brigid

The fresh delicious food. The incredible yummy huge smoothies (I like Health Nut or Island Detox Green). The great service. So much better than fast food, but about as quick and cheap. – Teresa F.