11 Center Street
11 Center Street fuses good food and beautiful scenery for an enjoyable experience at Folly Beach. The creative tapas menu features dishes like empanadas, a Mediterranean plate, spinach and poultry spring rolls, and citrus scallop ceviche. Buy wine by the glass or the bottle from the downstairs gourmet food and wine store, which has a generous selection of items. Upstairs, a rooftop dining area offers a place to linger on the patio by the open fireplace. Weekly wine tastings, live music, and the beach are all part of the relaxed and easygoing vibe at 11 Center Street, voted Best Folly Beach Restaurant in the City Paper's 2006 Best of Charleston issue.
Folly Beach. 11 Center St. 588-9898
39 Rue de Jean
Escape to Paris for a few hours to soak in the sun on the patio, to have a cocktail at an inviting zinc bar, or enjoy fabulous steak frites and a splendid bottle of wine. Widely known simply as "Rue," this John Street hot spot became an instant classic thanks to an impeccable menu, a big-city-inspired interior, and the "see-and-be-seen" crowd. It manages to be both a fun bar and a good restaurant. You'll find the atmosphere festive and very European, and just the right spot for a café au lait, a leisurely lunch, or lively dinner. Enjoy a Kir Royale and eggs Sardou at Rue's Brasserie Brunch every Sunday. Experience what made Paris (the city) synonymous with style.
Downtown. 39 John St. 722-8881
A.C.'s Bar and Grill
Repeatedly voted best bar in Charleston, A.C.'s Bar and Grill never disappoints. The food offerings read like a bar menu, but with quality far superior to mere pub grub. Not only have they received City Paper's Critic's Choice for Best Philly Cheesesteak, their burgers really are some of the best in town. After satisfying weekday lunch crowds and late-night food cravings for years, A.C.'s downtown upped the ante again by serving brunch every Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. A.C.'s invites you to come try brunch specials so unique they could only be offered by this Charleston institution.
Downtown. 467 King St. 577-6742
Mt. Pleasant. 1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. 849-2267
Amuse has defined the local tapas scene since its opening in 2004 and is loved by the local food critics. Holly Herrick of the Post and Courier rated Amuse as one of her top five restaurants for 2005. Due to popular demand, the menu recently expanded to include the owner's Italian family recipes. Diners can now enjoy great selections from either the Mediterranean tapas menu or full course dinners from the Italian side (featuring homemade pastas, gravies, breads, and desserts.) Five-dollar wine flights served every day from 5 to 7 p.m., serving dinner Tues.-Sat. until 10 p.m.
West Ashley. 1720 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. 573-8778.
You'll find hand-tossed New York-style pies at Andolini's Pizza, where they make their own dough, grate their own cheese, and make their own sauce daily, using only the freshest ingredients. Try the calzones, salads, and breadsticks. Originally from New York, the family team that owns the chain has been serving pizza in Charleston since 1991. Their pies have been voted the best for 14 years running. Open seven days, with dine-in or takeout options.
James Island. 976 Folly Rd. 576-PIES
Downtown. 82 Wentworth St. 722-7437
Mt. Pleasant. 414 Coleman Blvd. 849-7437
West Ashley. 1117 Savannah Hwy. 225-5200
Aromas is one of Market Street's newest restaurants, and truly brings a new flavor to The Market. Aromas offers a great selection of Thai and Chinese dishes masterfully prepared by chefs Yan and Tom. It is fast becoming one of the favorite spots for local Charlestonians, as well as visitors to the area. Aromas has a cozy bar area and plenty of wide-screen TVs for viewing for your favorite sports or other events. Aromas's $5.95 lunch has become a downtown favorite; dinners start at $7.95 and are served until 11 p.m.; happy hour is from 4-8 daily, and there's live music every night.
Downtown. 50 N. Market St. 723-9588
With upscale cuisine served in a casually elegant setting, this Sullivan's Island mainstay features fresh local favorites ranging from New-Age Southern to traditional, and accordingly was deemed Best Beach Meal with Appeal by the Post and Courier in 2005. Chef William Condon offers seasonal nightly specials that keep discerning diners coming back. Special nights include Thai Tuesdays, with music by Triple Lindy, Jazz Fridays on the porch, and Sunday brunch. Restaurant and bar open nightly from 5:30-until. Sunday brunch served from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Reservations encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.
Sullivan's Island. 2063 Middle St. 883-9452
A.W. Shuck's Seafood Restaurant & Raw Bar
Serving the freshest seafood around, A.W. Shuck's specializes in dishes like award-winning bacon-wrapped stuffed shrimp, seafood jambalaya, crab cakes, and more. Also serving great chicken, steaks, sandwiches, and salads. Perfect for the entire family, a newly renovated patio overlooks Market Street. Open daily for lunch and dinner starting at 11:00 a.m. Large party space also available.
Downtown. 30 S. Market St. 723-1151
Barberitos Southwestern Grill & Cantina
Not only are they the home of the best tasting burritos in the world, the successful franchise known as Barberitos proudly serves Southwestern cuisine that is both delicious and healthy. At Barberitos, the produce arrives daily, yielding only the tastiest, freshest, and most wholesome meals. In addition to burritos, pick from a menu full of Southwestern favorites, from tacos and quesadillas to nachos and salads. There's even a menu for the kids and ice-cold beer in the fridge. Located on the corner of Maybank Highway and Folly Road, in the Piggly Wiggly shopping center.
James Island. 1739 Maybank Hwy. 406-4955.
Known for its irresistible buy-one-get-one-free pizza deal, Bax's Bistro literally brings a lot to the table. Bax's offers a family atmosphere along with Greek dishes, sandwiches, salads, pizza, pastas, and calzones. With the help of executive chef Alexander Baxenavis, all items are prepared fresh, and sugar-free whole wheat pizza crust is an option for the health-conscious. Come in and enjoy high quality at a low price. Bax's has a full bar and is open Mon.-Thurs. from 11:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Fri and Sat from 11:30 a.m.-until; closed Sun. Call ahead for take-out or dine-in orders.
West Ashley. 3417 G. Shelby Ray Ct. 556-7114
(The Kitchen at the) Blind Tiger Pub
Located on historic Broad Street, the Blind Tiger Pub has played a role in Charleston's colorful past for many years. Chef Mitch Wyman puts a refreshing focus on the food, using simple, fresh ingredients served in a casual, relaxed atmosphere that includes outdoor dining and live entertainment nightly. Enjoy items such as a hearty Black Angus burger or pulled pork with root beer barbecue sauce, hand-cut fries, quiches, salads, shaved lamb sandwiches, mussels, or shrimp salads, all made fresh to order. All of the sauces and dressings are made in-house, and the creative daily specials are always a delight.
Downtown. 38 Broad St. 577-0088
Blossom's cuisine focuses on fresh seafood with local flair. Executive Chef Randy Williams uses distinctive flavors to enhance a variety of seafood options, producing invigorated American cuisine with Southern sensibility. Just steps from the Charleston Harbor, Blossom is the perfect spot for sumptuous seafood. A courtyard dining alternative and a newly added private dining area overlooking East Bay Street complement the casual yet high-energy atmosphere.
Downtown. 171 East Bay St. 722-9200
Simply fresh seafood. The original building on Breach Inlet was transformed into the first Boathouse restaurant in 1997. Poised at the breach between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic, the Breach Inlet location features incredible cuisine, impeccable service, ocean breezes, and panoramic waterfront views from any seat in the house or rooftop bar. Enjoy the new raw bar serving fresh seafood selections, beer, wine, and cocktails right on the Inlet. Located in downtown Charleston, the Boathouse on East Bay offers a variety of prime seafood, steaks, and chef's specialties, as well as a full sushi and raw bar. Dine in the vast, open-air dining room or on an enclosed, climate-controlled patio. Serving dinner nightly and Sunday brunch at both locations. Reservations suggested. Catering available.
Downtown. 549 East Bay St. 577-7171
Isle Of Palms. 101 Palm Blvd., Breach Inlet. 886-8000
Bocci's Italian Restaurant
Serving the finest in Italian cuisine, including authentic specialties such as homemade pasta and sauces combined with fresh veal, chicken, and seafood in a casual, ethnic setting. Bocci's also offers an excellent wine list, gourmet coffees, and heavenly desserts. Enjoy Italian dining on par with New York's Little Italy. Their newly-renovated second floor is great for large parties up to 50. Open daily for dinner at 4:30 p.m.
Downtown. 158 Church St. 720-2121
Brick ovens enhance the natural flavors of quality ingredients and gives Brixx pizza a great wood-fired taste unlike anything you'll find anywhere else. Delicious sandwiches are served on fresh-baked focaccia, and the big salads are made with only the freshest greens. The menu also features a great selection of pasta dishes. Enjoy any of the 23 beers on tap or 15 wines by the glass. An outdoor patio offers a perfect place for family dining. Serving food until 1 a.m.
Mt Pleasant. 656-G Long Point Road, Belle Hall. 971-2120
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant and Market captures the charm and American spirit that made Paramount Pictures' Forrest Gump such a classic hit. From the moment they arrive, guests are given a glimpse into the world of Forrest and Bubba. This inviting atmosphere is unique; the restaurant is filled with movie memorabilia, pictures, and props, not to mention a dog-friendly patio. The dynamic staff provides continuous amusement, with trivia, games, and fun facts. As Bubba talked about in the movie, this is a shrimpin' restaurant, but that's not all they have to offer. Go check it out, and you'll see why Bubba Gump is a great place for food and fun.
Downtown. 99 S. Market St. 723-5665
Bull Street Gourmet
The corner of Bull and Smith streets downtown has long been a grocery. It dates back to the 1850s, in fact; continuing that tradition is new owner Justin Croxall. Utilizing the freshest ingredients, the staff at Bull Street Gourmet dishes out some of Charleston's best sandwiches, soups, salads, and premade meals-to-go. From gourmet coffee and croissants to lasagna and stuffed-chicken, there are selections for more than three meals a day. Enjoy your food indoors or at a sidewalk table. Bull Street carries plenty of hard-to-find bottles of wine at very affordable prices. They boast a City Paper Critics' Pick for Best Wine Deal at four bottles for $20. Catering packages are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A variety of baked goods are available all day long. Whether you stop in and stay or pick something up for later, come see why Bull Street Gourmet is good to go.
Downtown. 60 Bull St. 720-8992
A Charleston hideaway, Carolina's is as rich in local lore as it is in culinary tradition. Be whisked away by the succulent flavors and sophisticated elegant atmosphere. Three distinct dining areas — the Perdita's Room, for a more intimate dining experience; the Sidewalk Room, with its tall, arched windows; and the bustling Bar Room — make Carolina's the perfect place for dinner any night of the week. Serving dinner from 5-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs. and from 5-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Extensive wine list and private cellar. Reservations suggested, walk-ins welcome. Valet parking every day. Private rooms and personalized menus available for group functions.
Downtown. 10 Exchange St. 724-3800
This new restaurant brings a breath of flavored fresh air to Summerville dining. Located on Central Avenue, just off W. Richardson in the renovated downtown area locals call "Short Central," Central Grille's cottage-like exterior gives way to warm woods, mosaic tile, and glass-block accents within. Executive Chef Glynn Swain, formerly of Magnolias, Blossom Café, and The Mustard Seed, creates contemporary Carolina cuisine, with such offerings as Gorgonzola and green onion-crusted ribeye, jambalaya with shrimp, scallops, fish, and chicken, pasta Marsala with grilled chicken, green onions and tomatoes over angel hair, and shrimp and grits with tomatoes, spinach, and Tasso ham gravy. Priding themselves on a diverse menu and imaginative interpretations of Southern and seafood classics, Central Grille's local management offers a careful selection of wine and beer and a relaxed and welcoming ambiance, all at Summerville prices. Serving lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat. Reservations welcome but not required.
Summerville. 114 Short Central St. 821-7151.
Central Restaurant and Barroom
Bustling with activity and energy, the expansive open kitchen is the real focus at this American restaurant. Enjoy a front-row seat as chefs prepare American and local classics with international influences, from lobster wontons and pesto-encrusted grouper to traditional favorites like New York strip steaks, baby back ribs, crab cakes, pastas, and simpler fare like sliders, thin-crusted pizzas, sandwiches, and salads, all at a moderate price. Designed as a gathering place, Central boasts a unique atmosphere that is at once contemporary and traditional. An outdoor patio, airy bar, and comfortable booths beckon guests to gather with friends and unwind. The Central Kidz Menu, including entrées, veggies, sides, desserts, and smoothies, means a fun night out can include the whole family. Serving lunch and dinner, dine-in or take-out. Located behind Towne Center in Irongate Plaza, adjacent to the IOP Connector. Reservations accepted.
Mt. Pleasant. 1136 Hungryneck Blvd. 216-7272
This authentic bistro sits out on Johns Island, and making the trip there is much like visiting a relative, as you drive up to a white picket fence, friendly faces, and great wine. The delicious cuisine is American with a French flair, and is served at lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The daily specials usually hail from the wholesale fish market next door, and the swordfish and mahi-mahi duo is a prime example of why you should grab some fish on your way out. Honest and friendly service complements the food as much as the fading décor and worn-out paint on the walls, suggesting that Chez Fish isn't trying to impress with fancy ornamentation — they let the food do the work.
Johns Island. 3966 Betsy Kerrigan Pkwy. 768-0753
Cintra Ristorante and Martini Bar
Having drawn rave reviews for its extraordinary Italian cuisine, this high-energy restaurant is a popular local dining spot. Distinguished by its charming atmosphere and sophisticated martini bar, Cintra offers a true culinary experience. Executive Chef Thomas Clayton adds a twist, with his own personal touch, to the Italian cuisine. The menu, which emphasizes simple and clean flavors in combination with rich, earthy ones, features such dishes as mustard gnocchi with pork cheek and swiss chard in a mushroom pork jus and halibut and caviar with crab and corn chowder, and tempts with house-made pasta, house-pulled mozzarella, seafood, meats, risotto and gnocchi. Complimentary parking; reservations recommended.
Downtown. 16 N. Market St. 377-1090
Housed in an elegantly-restored historic carriage house in the gardens of Wentworth Mansion, Circa 1886 features a succulent assortment of dishes utilizing local produce, savory seafood, and engaging seasonal creations. Executive Chef Marc Collins offers Southern cuisine with a sophisticated twist, which complements the historic atmosphere of this intimate restaurant. A cozy bar and an arbored patio, along with private dining rooms, are available. AAA Four Diamond and DiRona award winner. Real-time reservations can be made at www.circa1886.com.
Downtown. 149 Wentworth St. 853-7828
Coast Bar and Grill
With a lively island atmosphere, Coast redefines fresh, from the menu to the décor. Coast features 40-foot ceilings, rustic tin roofs, and paintings from around the world. Coast's chefs meet daily with local farmers and fishermen to procure the freshest seafood and produce in the Lowcountry. At the heart of the restaurant is the custom-made oak and hickory wood-burning grill, a preparation you will find only at Coast. The menu incorporates Charleston classics with the chefs' unique creations. Favorites include the seared rare tuna, plantain-encrusted mahi-mahi, and Coast tamale. Enjoy a peach blanco sangria on the patio or a bottle of wine and fish tacos under preserved palm trees in the spacious bar.
Downtown. 39 D John St. 722-8838
Charleston's newest delicacy is now available on King Street. Cupcake, the Lowcountry's cupcake specialty shop, sells these old favorites in an exciting new way and in a variety of delicious flavors. Some of the cupcakes are familiar favorites, while others are unique combinations, such as pumpkin with cinnamon cream cheese icing, banana butterscotch, mint chocolate chip, and lemon coconut. Made with the finest all-natural ingredients, the cupcakes are baked fresh daily and contain no preservatives. Cupcake's creations are perfect for birthdays, showers, office parties, business meetings, weddings, and many other events. Sure to add fun and excitement, you will be the hit of the party if you show up with these treats. Open Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Downtown. 433 King St. 853-8181
Cypress Lowcountry Grille
Cypress' cuisine is classic American, featuring fresh local and regional ingredients accented with exotic flavors. Executive Chef Craig Deihl creates simple yet elegant fare with retro style, incorporating wood-grilled steaks, fish, shellfish, and tableside preparations. Cypress has an extensive wine selection artfully displayed in a three-story, 4,500-bottle wine wall. The interior evokes a decidedly modern feel while retaining the architectural details of the historic 19th-century building. The modern-meets-classic styles of both the cuisine and interior design have taken Charleston's restaurant scene to a new level.
Downtown. 167 East Bay St. 727-0111
D.D. Pecker's Wing Shack
Nothing goes together quite like chicken wings and cold beer, and D.D. Pecker's Wing Shack brings these two bar favorites together like no one else. With more than a dozen flavors of wings and an ample selection of draught and bottled beer, D.D. Pecker's has quickly become a popular West Ashley watering hole. But simply talking about the wings and beer doesn't do D.D. Pecker's justice. They also have an enormous menu, offering any kind of sandwich creation one could imagine, from authentic Philly cheesesteaks to delicious meatball subs. You can dine inside or out on one of the best patios in West Ashley. Reggae Night, each Wednesday with Da Gullah Rootz, is a popular weekly event, along with the other live music offerings you can catch almost any night of the week. So swing on by and check it out. Whether you're a cock or a chick, you'll love D.D. Pecker's.
West Ashley. 1660 Savannah Hwy. 402-4567
East Bay Deli
Charleston's real New York-style deli slices sandwich meats fresh every morning and uses only quality products such as Thumann's deli meats and Hebrew National deli dogs. The varied menu comes with many options to choose from: soups, chili, both hearty and heart-healthy sandwiches, wraps, giant spuds, and desserts. The salad bar, a local favorite, provides a great selection with many options for even the most calorie-conscious patron. East Bay Deli believes in the importance of great food that's modestly priced and served quickly. Two great downtown locations open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Free delivery.
Downtown. 334 East Bay St. 723-1234
Downtown. 159 N. Market St. 723-4443
The Eclectic Chef
Selected as the Post and Courier's Lunch Counter of the Year for 2005, The Eclectic Chef is anything but your standard lunch counter. Chef Ben McCollum and his staff serve made-to-order sandwiches, salads, and sides, with seating indoors or outside. The seasonal menu reflects only the freshest ingredients. And don't forget about dessert — there's plenty to choose from. Located in Summerville's historic district, this eclectic eatery also boasts gourmet-to-go entrées and catering for any occasion. Life is too short for boring food ... so eat eclectic!
Summerville. 125 Central Ave. 821-7733
El Bohio serves authentic Cuban cuisine made from recipes handed down from generation to generation. Appetizers such as yuca con mojo, served with house-made mojo sauce, and dishes such as seared palomilla steak are sure to please. The roasted pork, or lechon asado, is made daily on-site. Traditional ingredients such as citrus and garlic flavor these dishes, which are all served with plantains. The Caribbean décor and relaxed atmosphere create a comfortable ambience. Stop by for lunch, dinner, or a fresh mojito. Salud!
James Island. 1977 Maybank Hwy. 571-4343
Celebrating six successful years this August, Fish restaurant in downtown Charleston has given locals and visitors alike the opportunity to enjoy local, sustainable, and flavorful seafood in a chic and stylish atmosphere. Housed in a beautifully renovated, 1837 Charleston single-style home in the heart of the city's Upper King Street district, Fish takes an Eastern, minimalist approach in both menu and design, allowing guests to experience the true flavor of fresh and seasonal seafood. Innovative dishes include tuna tartare, scallop ceviche, and the "Naked Fish," which features the freshest fish prepared simply and served with two sides. Lunch served Mon.-Fri. from 11:30 am-2 p.m.; dinner served Mon.-Sat. from 5:30 p.m.-until.
Downtown. 442 King St. 722-FISH (3474)
Five Loaves Café
Due to its extraordinary success, Five Loaves Café has opened in three locations. Lunch focuses on a creative, fresh, ever-changing menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches. The lights are dimmed for dinner, as the chef creates specials focusing on fresh fish, pasta, and roast chicken. A short but well-chosen wine list and an eclectic selection of beer make Five Loaves the perfect casual dining experience. Beer and wine are available at all locations, with a full bar downtown and live music at the King Street location. Five Loaves is the perfect destination for lunch or dinner, and it's vegetarian friendly!
Downtown. 43 Cannon St. 937-4303372 King St. (inside Millennium Music) 805-7977
Mt. Pleasant. 1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. 849-1043
Fleet Landing Restaurant
Perched over Charleston Harbor in a 1940s naval building, Fleet Landing is the peninsula's finest casual seafood restaurant. Diners can enjoy waterfront views from the wrap-around deck or dining room. Featuring Chef Epper's Southern seafood fare, regional favorites, sandwiches and salads, juicy burgers, and more. Lunch and dinner daily, weekend brunch, family-friendly, full bar, outstanding wines, reservations accepted, and complimentary parking.
Downtown. 186 Concord St. 722-8100.
Frankie Biggs Sports Grill
Frankie Biggs is more than just a sports bar with over 25 TVs (including plasma screens and 17 satellites) — it's also an awesome place for casual dining. Selections include marinated chicken breast tenderloins, hand-breaded and fried golden brown to perfection, dirty dip sandwiches with shaved ribeye, sautéed peppers and onions, and provolone cheese, and hand-rolled spring rolls. A few of the local favorites include the "Biggs Little Burger," traditional club wrap, and buffalo chicken wrap. For delicious sandwiches and salads, plus some of the best wings on James Island, visit Frankie Biggs Sports Grill, a great place to watch sports, hear live music, and enjoy great food.
James Island. 1175-G Folly Road. 225-4030
The Good Dog Bakery
The Good Dog Bakery was established in 2003 by owner Kristian French. She started selling her treats at the Charleston Farmers' Market on Saturdays, while she was attending Johnson & Wales University. In the fall of 2005, Good Dog opened a bakery/retail location in the Avondale section of West Ashley. The Good Dog Bakery offers all-natural gourmet treats for our canine and feline friends. All treats are made with human-grade ingredients: no corn, soy, salt, sugar, or butter is used. Good Dog also makes dog birthday cakes and Cold Nose Pupcream (ice cream for dogs). The Good Dog Bakery is open Mon.-Thurs. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Fri. and Sat. from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and French still sells goodies at the Mt. Pleasant Farmers' Market each Tues. from 4 p.m.-dark and at the Charleston Farmers' Market each Saturday (during Farmers' Market season) from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
West Ashley. 829-A Savannah Hwy. 971-2039
Nestled in Charleston's historic district, near Waterfront Park, The Griffon, locally owned and operated since 1995, is one of Charleston's favorite local watering holes. The great pub fare, extensive beer menu, and friendly staff combine to give The Griffon the authentic atmosphere that has made it a fixture with both locals and tourists, garnering the City Paper's Best Authentic Pub award seven times. Throw a game of darts while enjoying fish 'n' chips, one of their most popular items, in addition to salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, chicken fingers, and wraps, with daily specials on weekdays. Open Mon.-Sat. from 11 a.m.-2 a.m; Sunday hours seasonal.
Downtown. 18 Vendue Range. 723-1700
Hank's Seafood Restaurant
Located in a turn-of-the-century warehouse in the heart of the Charleston market, Hank's is a modern interpretation of a classic Charleston fish house. Chef Frank McMahon's menu combines traditional Lowcountry dishes and delicious fried seafood platters with strong seasonal specials and contemporary offerings. A Charleston classic from the start, Hank's has won the City Paper's Readers' Pick for Best Seafood Restaurant every year since it opened in 1999. The classic saloon-style bar is a perennial hot spot to enjoy oysters, shrimp, and other fabulous raw bar selections, including the famous seafood tower, featuring iced shellfish from around the world. In Charleston, you go to the market for fresh seafood and that means Hank's.
Downtown. Corner of Church and Hayne sts. 723-FISH (3474)
Henry's On The Boulevard
The perfect location for an after-work cocktail or an intimate evening, Henry's on the Boulevard is simultaneously spacious and cozy. Plush couches serve as the backdrop for a sophisticated bar environment that offers live music and karaoke. If you're out for an evening with friends, stop by for delicious drinks and sample from their creative menu, featuring exotic offerings such as the smoked salmon tartare with English cucumber, and carpaccio of Angus beef. With close attention to detail and a commitment to exquisite taste, Henry's on the Boulevard succeeds as an elegant choice for any evening.
Mt. Pleasant. 816 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. 971-1777
High Cotton, like the time-honored phrase, is first-class, high-spirited, and livin' large. It's an unabashedly American saloon. The old brick walls of this converted 18th-century warehouse, combined with mahogany woodwork, heart pine floors, and high ceilings, evoke feelings of warmth and well-being. The food, prepared by Chef Jason Scholz, is straightforward, hearty, and robust. Prime steaks. Game. Fresh fish. No confetti on the plates or in the descriptions. And, oh my, the desserts! The wine list is equally compelling. Whether you're looking for a California Cab or noble Bordeaux that will bring tears to your eyes, it's all here. This is one place you'll want to come back to.
Downtown. 199 East Bay St. 724-3815
Nestled between the majestic live oaks on Charleston's back porch, Wadmalaw Island, this 48-acre winery and vineyard is a wine lover's delight. As Charleston's only domestic winery, Irvin-House Vineyards takes special care in growing, harvesting, making, and bottling the wine. The wines are hand-crafted from the humble muscadine grape, a sweet grape with a fruity aroma that grows practically everywhere in the South. With a variety of five fine muscadine wines to choose from, there is something for everyone. Drink to your enjoyment and your health as you picnic on the vineyard. Catering can be arranged for special events.
Wadmalaw Island. 6775 Bears Bluff Road. 559-6867 www.charlestonwine.com
Jack's Cosmic Dogs
This retro slice of American nostalgia has been dishing out an updated version of fast food on Highway 17N since the invention of sliced bread (well, sort of). Voted Best Hot Dog every year in the City Paper's Best of Charleston, this hip hot dog joint combines style with homemade combinations of toppings that are out of this world. Channel 2 News says "the Cosmic Dog with Jack's sweet potato mustard and blue cheese slaw is almost a new food group! Combine that with fresh-cut fries, draft root beer, and ice cream custard, and you know this just isn't another roadside attraction!" Food Network star Alton Brown says, "best hot dog I've ever had. Ever." Check it out! Open seven days a week from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Three miles north of IOP connector.
Mt. Pleasant. 2805 Hwy. 17 N. 884-7677
Selected as Best of the Best in America by National Barbecue News, Best Southern Veggie Spread by the City Paper, and one of Charleston's 50 Best Food Finds by Charleston Magazine, J.B.'s is a must-do in Charleston. They have it all — mouth-watering barbecue, a Lowcountry cookin' feast of pork barbecue, hickory-smoked beef brisket, applewood-smoked chicken, and succulent ribs. Choose from plates and sandwiches, or pig out at the all-you-can-eat buffet. J.B.'s has two locations, one on Johns Island open Wed.-Sun., and a new second location, opening in mid-August, in Goose Creek at 521 Redbank Road. Either way, you won't be disappointed! J.B.'s Smokeshack also offers full service catering. Don't forget — at J.B.'s "the flavor's in the meat, the sauce is on the side."
Johns Island. 3406 Maybank Hwy. 557-0426
Goose Creek. 521 Redbank Road (opening mid-August). 572-3311
Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q
Smoke, yes. Mirrors, no way. At Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q, the trick to serving the most authentic Southern food is staying away from the tricks altogether. Everything is fresh, never frozen. The meats are slow-smoked over real hickory wood, then finished on an authentic brick pit. The vegetables come from a garden, not a can. And in every dish — from the grilled catfish to the homemade pies — you can taste the deep respect for Southern culture. Sure, there are easier ways to serve up a plate of barbecue, but don't worry, they'd never consider them. Not for a second. Stop by and visit Jim 'N' Nick's on King Street or call ahead and let them bring the Southern goodness right out to your car.
Downtown. 288 King St. 577-0406
This Charleston institution serves the Lowcountry all the good Southern favorites; specials include their famous fried chicken (some of the best in town), seafood, steaks, and homemade soups. The daily meat-and-three special, just $8, including drink and tax, changes daily and draws from a seasonal menu featuring items such as string beans, macaroni pie, collard greens, fried okra, and more. Don't forget the seasonal all-you-can-eat dinner specials, offering some of the best values in town. Located one block down from South Market Street. Closed Sundays.
Downtown. 5 Cumberland St. 722-1541
Located on the corner of King and John streets, near the downtown Visitor Center, Joe Pasta offers comfortable, casual Italian dining with a versatile build-your-own-pasta menu. Diners can choose from a variety of pastas and sauces, with their choice of meats, seafood, and vegetables. Lasagnas, thin and crispy pizzas, soups, and salads round out the menu, made with all-natural ingredients by Chef Michael Faust. The menu is updated seasonally, but the ever-popular $3.99 bowl of pasta with marinara and bread is available all day, every day.
Downtown. 428 King St. 965-5252
Kim's Express serves authentic Korean and Japanese hibachi food in a quick and easy fashion. With over 20 years experience preparing Asian cuisine, owner Kim Brown introduced Korean and Japanese hibachi dishes to West Ashley when she opened Kim's Korean and Japanese Grill in 1987. Now you can experience the same great quality of food for lunch or dinner in downtown Charleston. Kim's Express serves everything from appetizers like tempura vegetables to classic sushi rolls and express bowls for lunch. For dinner, enjoy dishes like teriyaki chicken and filet mignon. Kim's Express is the perfect location to eat healthy and fast for lunch or dinner. Dine in, take-out, and delivery.
Downtown. 145 Calhoun St. 577-7177
Now open for lunch again, Kim's Restaurant brings decades of traditional hibachi, sushi, and Korean cuisine to West Ashley. This long-time favorite is currently offering Korean lunch, a variety of Hibachi and Korean dinners, and a full sushi bar. Favorites like bul-go-ki, jab-chea, donka-se, and teriyaki steak and chicken accompany small plates of side dishes and soup during lunch. It's a diverse selection sure to please any palate.
West Ashley. 1716 Hwy 171. 571-5100
Since opening in 2003, Langdon's has become the only Mt. Pleasant restaurant to receive AAA's four-diamond award for an exceptional dining experience. The eclectic American cuisine is complemented by an ever-changing wine list, with 100 choices by the bottle and more than 20 by the glass. Chef Owens enjoys experimenting with different types of food and ingredients from all over the world. From lamb chops to sea bass, Langdon's never fails to impress. The friendly, inviting, and relaxed atmosphere and the excellent menu selections echo Owens' personality and flair.
Mt. Pleasant. 778 Shelmore Blvd. 388-9200
Live Oak Café and Coffee
Comfortably situated under a huge live oak tree across from the Johns Island post office, Live Oak Café and Coffee is the island's best-kept secret. The delicious breakfast sandwiches, omelets, and platters are available all day. For lunch, satisfy your hunger with the best Reuben in Charleston, the Stono club wrap, the Sea Island sub, or the potato salad, which is out-of-this-world. Stop by any time for locally-roasted coffee and gourmet espresso drinks. This family-owned Café, with its friendly staff, is the perfect place for a quick bite or a lazy afternoon lunch on the shaded front porch.
Johns Island. 2867 Maybank Hwy. 557-1795
With three locations serving the Lowcountry, you're never more than a couple of miles away from fresh seafood, steaks, chicken, pastas, sandwiches, or salads. Enjoy the best ocean view in Charleston from the deck at the Folly Beach Fishing Pier or host your next function in a private dining room at their James Island and Mt. Pleasant locations, just minutes from downtown. Looking for a late lunch or early dinner? Locklear's is open all day, every day, with happy hours from 4-7 p.m. Full bar open on Sundays. Don't forget to try the award-winning she-crab soup and fried green tomatoes. Now offering full-service catering.
James Island. 1990 Maybank Hwy. 762-2549
Mt. Pleasant. 320 Coleman Blvd. 884-3346
Folly Beach. Folly Pier. 588-6412
Mad River Bar & Grille
Enjoy a mouth-watering meal in a breathtaking historical Charleston landmark: Mad River Bar and Grille, located in the old Seamen's Chapel on the corner of East Bay and Market streets. Mad River opens daily at 11 a.m. and serves lunch and dinner until 11 p.m. Our legendary burgers are half-price every Mon., and we feature unique daily pasta and seafood specials. Enjoy half-price select appetizers during happy hour, from 5-8 p.m. every evening. We also offer an extensive catering menu and can host any private party or group function for absolutely any occasion. After just one bite, you'll be begging, "Take me to the River!"
Downtown. 32-B N Market St. 723-0032
Maggie Moo's Ice Cream & Treatery
Experience national award-winning ice cream! Maggie Moo's chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, vanilla bean, and strawberry ice cream flavors have all been awarded The National Ice Cream Retailers Association's prestigious Blue Ribbon Award for eight years in a row! Choose from a wide selection of super-premium flavors made fresh daily, then add nuts, candy, fruit, and more and watch our ice cream artisans create your masterpiece. Or choose one of our incredible shakes, smoothies, sundaes, cakes, and the country's first ice cream cupcakes. Enjoy our indoor seating and experience ice cream "so fresh it moos!"
Downtown. 159 Church St. 722-6667
Located in the heart of Charleston's historic district at the site of the original Custom House, Magnolias combines true Southern style with Charleston charm in a sleek, yet comfortable atmosphere. Founding Chef and Partner Donald Barickman is widely recognized as a pioneer in the creative culinary use of the Lowcountry's bounty, sparking a culinary revolution in Charleston and what is now known as Lowcountry cuisine. Executive Chef Don Drake continues the uptown/down South tradition with his own refreshing interpretations of classic Southern cuisine.
Downtown. 185 East Bay St. 577-7771
Manny's is an old favorite that's sure to please even the pickiest group with an enormous menu encompassing everything from authentic Greek cuisine to American favorites like burgers, sandwiches, and steaks. For Greek lovers, there's classic fare like spanakopita, stuffed grape leaves, falafel pita, souvlaki, and Greek-style shrimp and pasta. Enjoy the signature lamb shank or choose an item off of the newly upgraded seafood and pasta menus. Manny's is open for lunch and dinner and is a great place to catch your favorite team or game on one of the 12 satellites and 50 TVs. Also enjoy Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and receive a complimentary glass of champagne. Too busy to come in? Manny's delivers their signature Greek hand-tossed pizzas to West Ashley and downtown. Watch for delicious new seafood and pasta items coming soon!
West Ashley. 1680 Hwy 171. 763-3908
Med Bistro is a funky little eatery. Locally owned and one of Charleston's oldest continuously-run restaurants, Med Bistro has been located in the South Windermere Shopping Center for more then 50 years and is convenient to downtown, West Ashley, James Island, and Folly Beach. People come from all over for the black bean soup and Reuben sandwich. The dinner menu includes great pasta dishes like Rex and Sherry and Med Pasta, plus great entrées such as pecan-encrusted pork loin, pancetta wrapped in salmon, and grilled bistro steak. At night, this funky little place comes alive with the sounds of jazz, blues, and acoustic guitar, plus great food, wine, a large beer selection, and a fully-stocked bar. Come enjoy Saturday brunch from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and happy hour Mon.-Fri. 4-7 p.m. Open Mon.-Sat. for lunch and dinner.
West Ashley. 90 Folly Road. 766-0323
Pizzas, salads, calzones, and hoagies reign supreme at this funky restaurant in the heart of downtown Charleston. If you want to truly tempt your taste buds, visit the restaurant that's been voted Best Gourmet Pizza five years running by City Paper readers. The Mellow's pies are full of fresh ingredients and are always prepared to order. Toss in cheerful service, a relaxed environment, and a great full-service bar, and you'll see why the Mellow is a Charleston institution for locals, students, and tourists alike. Along with a full selection of premium liquors, the upstairs bar boasts Charleston's best beer selection, with over 150 draft and bottled brews and a 100 Beer Club that rewards you for sampling your favorites. Having garnered numerous Best of Charleston awards for Best Draft and Bottled Beer, and awarded Best Bar Staff in 2004, a visit to the bar at Mellow Mushroom is a pilgrimage all beer lovers should make. Dine-in and delivery available. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
Downtown. 309 King St. 72-FRESH
Located in the historic Market, this swanky social spot is Charleston's newest Italian restaurant. Offering intriguing blends of various Italian culinary styles, the cuisine is as impressive as the surroundings, which include Venetian plaster walls and Italian leather chairs beneath the luminescence of period chandeliers. But Mercato's authentic Italian dining hasn't abandoned Charleston's Lowcountry traditions. Sample Executive Chef Jacques Larson's Gamberoni Locali e Polenta, local shrimp with house-made pancetta and tomatoes over polenta, and Bavette con Aragosta, pasta with lobster, oven dried tomatoes, and mint. Experience an extensive culinary selection ranging from light bites at the antipasti bar to pizza and multi-course meals paired with fine and affordable wines. Open Sun.-Thurs. from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. and Fri-Sat from 5 p.m.-12 a.m. Serving late-night menu 'til 1 a.m. nightly.
Downtown. 102 N. Market St. 722-6393
Morgan Creek Grill
Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and the Isle of Palms Marina, Morgan Creek Grill serves fresh seafood, choice steaks, and nightly chef's specialties, along with unbeatable water views from any seat in the house. The Upper Deck Bar and Grill, on the rooftop, provides outdoor dining with panoramic vistas, live entertainment, and a more casual menu. The marina restaurant serves dinner and Sunday brunch, and lunch is served on the Upper Deck daily. Call for reservations and be sure to ask about the live entertainment schedule. Large groups are welcome and free boat docking is available.
Isle Of Palms. 80 41st Ave. 886-8980
If it's Indian cuisine you're craving, head to Nirlep Indian Restaurant, recently voted Best Indian Restaurant by City Paper readers. Nirlep has two locations, in West Ashley and Mt. Pleasant. For those who are especially hungry or have trouble choosing, Nirlep has a lunch buffet seven days a week for only $6.99. They also offer a full dinner, including favorites like the hot garlic nan (flat bread), lamb vindaloo, shrimp curry, and a variety of vegetarian dishes. Quench your thirst with a selection of beer or wine, and then cool down with Kulfi, a pureed pistachio, almond, and cashew ice cream.
West Ashley. 908 Savannah Hwy. 763-9923
Mt. Pleasant. 536 Belle Station Blvd. 216-7979
Noisy Oyster seafood restaurants have three very different locations for your dining pleasure. The downtown location, at the corner of Market and East Bay streets, has large windows that open to allow the harbor breezes to blow through. The Rivers Avenue location, in the shopping hub of North Charleston, is a great spot for lunch or dinner. The Johns Island location, at the Buzzards Roost Marina, offers cool breezes and a breathtaking view of the Stono River. All three provide extraordinary seafood and great service. Don't miss incredible happy hour specials, as well as phenomenal seasonal specialties.
North Charleston. 7842 Rivers Ave. 824-1000>
Johns Island. 2408 Maybank Hwy. 559-3552
Downtown. 24 N. Market St. 723-0044
Opened in January 2005 and named Best New Restaurant by City Paper readers in 2006, Oak Steakhouse is a refined Italian steakhouse situated in one of Charleston's most impressive historical settings. After a $3.3 million restoration and renovation of this landmark 1850s building, Chef Brett McKee created several stunning dining rooms for his signature Italian steakhouse cuisine and stellar connoisseur's wine collection. Recently featured in Bon Appetit and The New York Times and noted as "one of the best and most distinctive steakhouses in America" by renowned food journalist John Mariani. Oak Steakhouse serves dinner Mon.-Sat. from 5 p.m.-11 p.m.
Downtown. 17 Broad St. 722-4220
O'Hara and Flynn Wine and Cheese Merchants
O'Hara and Flynn Wine and Cheese Merchants, formerly located on Laurens Street, is well situated in the French Quarter at 160 East Bay St. With an indoor wine bar featuring local musicians every Friday and Saturday night and street-side seating, it is quickly becoming a popular low-key spot for those who enjoy an alternative to the usual late night fare. All wines from the retail store are available for consumption for a small corkage fee. O'Hara and Flynn offers small production wines, artisanal cheeses, local pâtés, good music, and friendly service Mon.-Thurs. from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Weekly wine tastings held on Fri. from 5-7 p.m. and Sat. from 3-5 p.m. Call for details and special events.
Downtown. 160 E. Bay St. 534-1916
Mt. Pleasant. 1640 Palmetto Grande Dr. 216-1916
Old Village Post House
Step inside the Old Village Post House and immediately feel the welcoming hospitality and relaxing comfort. This Maverick Inn and Restaurant, located in a picturesque historic village, is a gathering place for locals and travelers alike. Designed to emulate the Post Houses of yesteryear, guests at the Old Village Post House can dine on award-winning Lowcountry cuisine, sleep in the quiet comfort of our six guest rooms, and enjoy the fellowship of the neighborhood tavern. Chef Richard King will prepare a variety of menu items offering ingredients, flavors, and traditions of the Lowcountry, such as Maverick shrimp and grits, lump crab cakes, roast stuffed quail, pork tenderloin, and more. Join the local neighbors in the tavern while you dine or relax with your favorite cocktail. The lush courtyard is available for outdoor dining (weather permitting).
Mt. Pleasant. 101 Pitt St. 388-8935
Pearlz Oyster Bar
This raw bar offers a casual, friendly atmosphere and features a wide selection of fresh local seafood and seasonal specials, as well as a full service bar. With its grand opening on Jan. 24 of this year, Pearlz is the newest addition to the TBonz Restaurant Group and is conveniently located downtown on East Bay Street. Open for lunch and dinner Mon.-Sun. from 11a.m.-until.
Downtown. 153 East Bay St. 577-5755
This world-class, four-star restaurant is a jewel in Charleston's culinary crown and has won the City Paper's award for Best Restaurant time and time again. Internationally recognized and award-winning Chef Robert Carter has crafted a menu filled with classic American and Lowcountry favorites. Top-notch wines, impeccable service, and a clubby, yet relaxed atmosphere round out a dining experience not to be missed. Leave room for the sumptuous desserts, including the Ultimate Coconut Cake, which the New York Times accurately referred to as "a little slice of heaven."
Downtown. 112 N. Market St. 723-0700
Planet Follywood boasts the best burgers, crab cake, and drink prices on the beach, and they don't disappoint. The crab patty and roasted garlic cheddar burger are exquisite house specials among a flavorful menu that truly offers something for everyone. Planet Follywood has all your senses covered, with traditional beach fare such as slider burgers, corn dogs, hot dogs, and more. They don't stop there, also offering specialty burgers, gyros, killer chicken sandwiches, salads, a kids' menu, and daily blue plate specials that will fill you up and keep your wallet full, too. So come enjoy great food, crazy happy hour and drink prices, and a great staff, all at Planet Follywood on Folly Beach. What Planet are you on?!
Folly Beach. 32-A Center St. 588-7380
Tucked away on a charming downtown street, Poogan's Porch is one of Charleston's oldest and most reputable culinary establishments. A historic landmark with an entertaining past, Poogan's has become synonymous with impeccable Lowcountry hospitality and excellent Southern cuisine. Open 365 days a year, Poogan's Porch serves a Lowcountry lunch from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner from 5-9:30 p.m. and weekend brunch from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. A variety of rooms are available for special events throughout the year.
Downtown. 72 Queen St. 577-2337
RJ's Seashell Restaurant
Proudly entering its fourth year in its "new" location, the Seashell tantalizes locals and visitors alike with downtown food and Folly Beach charm. The retro diner atmosphere is airy and bright and embraces the colorful history and character of Folly. Outside seating on the patio, flanked by pink flamingos and palm trees, is a relaxing tropical escape sure to enhance your dining experience. Guests can enjoy a variety of local seafood dishes, including fresh grouper, tuna, mahi-mahi, and salmon nightly. From steamed mussels to shrimp and grits to RJ's famed grilled dolphin sandwich (Jimmy Buffett's favorite) and heaping fried seafood platters, RJ's offers a variety of the best the Lowcountry has to offer. On the weekends, try Folly's best Bloody Marys with crab cakes Benedict at RJ's brunch. With a full bar and a diverse wine list, the Seashell has something for everyone.
Folly Beach. 41 Center St. 588-9001
Red Drum Gastropub
As featured in the New York Times, Red Drum deftly infuses local seafood and Lowcountry traditions with the robust flavors of Southwestern cuisine. Presided over by Chef Ben Berryhill, Barman Charlie Chance, and Pastry Chef Lauren Mitterer, the Red Drum has become Charleston's hot spot for food and drink. Stop by the bar and watch the scene or reserve ahead for full dining in the pub room, outside on the patio, or at a highly sought-after table in the main dining room. A beautiful wine cave hosts private dinners and an extensive wine collection. Signature dishes include crabmeat and avocado with red jalapeno salsa, sea scallops and grits with Cascabel chile sauce, and hot butter rum cake. The Red Drum proudly features 15 beers on tap, handcrafted margaritas and live music. Serving dinner Mon.-Sat. from 5:30 p.m., bar opens at 5 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant. 803 Coleman Blvd. 849-0313
The River Café
Enjoy fresh seafood and pastas with a Lowcountry flair. Nestled off the beaten path, beside the Folly River, with outdoor dining and a beautiful sunset view, The River Café is a unique restaurant that's been a favorite for over 40 years. Enjoy signature dishes like the pan-seared jumbo scallops with a lobster brandy cream, homemade soups, or crab-stuffed flounder with andouille dijon cream. The restaurant keeps seasonal hours and serves dinner only. Reservations are recommended. They also provide catering for any occasion, on or off premises.
Folly Beach. 88 Sandbar Lane. 588-2255
Roof Top Bar and Restaurant
Overlooking the city skyline and Charleston Harbor, the Roof Top Bar and Restaurant is the perfect place to unwind at the day's end. Serving delicious Lowcountry cuisine in a casual atmosphere, the two-level establishment is located above the Vendue Inn in the Historic District, adjacent to Charleston's beautiful Waterfront Park. The Roof Top also features televisions for sporting events and live music nightly. With both covered and open-air dining options, you can enjoy a colorful Lowcountry sunset or dine under the stars. Go on upstairs today.
Downtown. 23 Vendue Range. 414-2341
Rosebank Farms Café
Local flair. Southern fare. Island style. Rosebank Farms Café in the Bohicket Marina has it all. Their menu offers seafood and Southern specialties made with the freshest and highest quality local ingredients. From salads with Clemson blue cheese to the Upscale Beaufort Boil to everything you could possibly want to eat with grits, Rosebank Farms Café knows what Charleston likes. Owner Julie Limehouse lends her open Lowcountry spirit to every aspect of the place. Open for lunch and dinner, the Café offers sophisticated dining with a Lowcountry attitude.
Johns Island. 1886 Andell Bluff Road. 768-1807
Home-cooked meals and delicious appetizers that rival any restaurant's are just a hint of what Sapphire's has to offer. Whether you're in the mood for Brie with cranberries and caramelized onions or 16 flavors of wings, there's something for everyone. Then there's also the almost-famous fried young cheese curds that will keep you coming back for more. Select menu items are discounted during happy hour every week, so gather at Sapphire's, located in Creekside Center, for good food and good times.
Goose Creek. 203-B N. Goose Creek Blvd. 553-0030
Gourmet burger joint heaven has been used to describe this haven for carnivores and herbivores alike. Sesame's large variety of beef, black bean burgers, and hotdogs, along with options like "Burger in a Bowl," make Sesame seem light years ahead of its competitors. Offering other selections, including gourmet sandwiches and a few desserts, this little establishment, located in the Park Circle area of North Charleston, takes the idea of the American burger and mixes it up a little. Their fresh beef is cooked to any degree of one's liking, and topped with anything from shiitake mushrooms and goat cheese to smoked bacon and caramelized onions. Mustard, ketchup, and mayo condiments are made fresh daily. Drop by on Wed. for live trivia or on weekends for occasional live music. Sesame also serves a full bar.
North Charleston. 4726 Spruill Ave. 554-4903
Sushi lovers who are looking for a more casual scene should visit Shi Ki. The quaint restaurant on East Bay Street caters to those who want authentic Japanese cuisine without the exorbitant prices. Shi Ki combines exquisite Japanese flavors, exotic sushi, and reasonable prices. Try their $6.95 lunch special or the $8.95 sushi special. Ask for Misa for a friendly, personal Japanese experience.
Downtown. 334 East Bay St. 720-8568
Slightly North of Broad
Termed a "Maverick Southern Kitchen," Slightly North of Broad is distinguished from the crowd by its cuisines, decor, and approach to food. It's a restaurant where the unexpected is a key element. Chef Frank Lee, a native South Carolinian, is a Southern chef with classical French training. Chef Lee's menu's emphasis is on regional seafood and vegetables, which form the core of his dishes. Maverick Southern cooking is food with a twist or multicultural cuisine with a Lowcountry interpretation, and more. Slightly North of Broad has been recognized as a culinary leader by national and international media, has been included in many television food shows and cookbooks, and has received GQ magazine's Golden Dish award for its Maverick Grits.
Downtown. 192 East Bay St. 723-3424
The Starfish Grille that resided on the Folly Beach Pier for the past 10 years is now located in the heart of James Island, in the Merchant Village Shopping Center at the intersection of Folly and Harborview roads. There may not be an ocean view, but just as before, Starfish continues to serve an eclectic, moderately-priced menu, nightly specials, and the finest in fresh local and regional seafood, cooked the way you like it. Enjoy a cocktail, cold draft, or frozen drink from our full-service bar. There's a children's menu, and parking is no problem! Open daily at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner and for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
James Island. 520 Folly Rd. 762-9252
Sticky Fingers has been serving Charleston's best ribs since 1992. It's no secret that slow, low-temperature smoking produces mouth-watering, tender ribs, chicken, and pork, and Sticky Fingers slow-smokes everything on-site at their restaurants. Voted Best Ribs by the readers of the City Paper, Sticky Fingers has always been a local favorite. All four locations have private banquet space for meetings, rehearsal dinners, and other special occasions. Sticky Fingers Catering serves up the restaurant's award-winning ribs, wings, and barbecue at your location. They offer both full-service catering and simple drop-off options to meet any party planner's needs.
Downtown. 235 Meeting St. 853-7427
Mt. Pleasant. 341 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. 856-7427
North Charleston. 7690 Northwoods Blvd. 797-7427
Summerville. 1200 North Main St. 871-7427
Sublime Pies & Cakes, located in Avondale, focuses on one flavor: Key lime! From pies to cookies to delicious Key lime concoctions, there's something here to please any palate. Sublime Pies & Cakes won two first place ribbons at the National Pie Championships in Orlando, Fla. in April of 2006. Key lime was the winning ingredient: Key lime cheesecake and the bakery's well-known Key lime pie received top honors. Come visit Sublime Pies & Cakes for all your Key lime treats ... are you eating the best Key lime pie in the country?
West Ashley. 829-A Savannah Hwy. 225-LIME
Sunfire Grill and Bistro
Just off I-26 at exit 216A, over the Cosgrove Bridge, and right at the caution light, sits the Sunfire Grill and Bistro. Practically everything is on the menu — honestly. Sunfire features a service staff that obviously cares, fantastic values, and grand portions. As far as seating, there are two private rooms, a main dining area, a smoking lounge, and the breezy, beautiful patio for diners to choose from. Whether you come for lunch, dinner, or for happy hour and live music, you are in for a truly spectacular restaurant experience. Come as you are. Sunfire Grill is the place to be!
West Ashley. 1090 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. 766-0223
For a family-friendly environment, head to one of the area's popular TBonz restaurants. The extensive menu ranges from hand-cut steak to off-the-bone baby back ribs, fresh seafood and poultry, and sandwiches. Bring your friends and share a cozy leather booth while snacking on Tbonz's acclaimed appetizer, Tommy's Texas Cheese Fries Deluxe. After dinner, head next door to Kaminsky's, their sister restaurant, for delectable homemade desserts and coffees.
Downtown. 80 N. Market St. 577-2511
West Ashley. 1668 Olde Towne Road. 556-2478
Mt. Pleasant. 1028 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. 971-7777
Terrapin Café, located on Center Street on Folly Beach, serves a casual American, eclectic menu featuring fresh local seafood, prime rib, pasta dishes, sandwiches, homemade desserts (including creme brûlée, cheesecake, and Key lime tarts), as well as nightly specials. Check out Terrapin's Sat. and Sun. jazz/blues brunch and live entertainment Thurs.-Sun. nights. Enjoy dining on the screened deck from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Open daily for dinner at 5:30 p.m. and on Sat. and Sun. for brunch (from 10:00 a.m. -1:30 p.m.). Reservations recommended.
Folly Beach. 4 Center St. 588-2101
Tommy Condon's Irish Pub
Located in the heart of the historic Market area, Tommy Condon's is Charleston's true Irish pub, serving traditional dishes like fish 'n' chips, shepherd's pie, and Irish potato chowder. Tommy Condon's also specializes in Lowcountry dishes like shrimp and grits and jambalaya. Dine in the casual, family-friendly setting with live Irish music Wed.-Sun. nights. Large party space available for up to 100 people. Open daily for lunch and dinner starting at 11:00 a.m.
Downtown. 160 Church St. 577-3818
Triangle Char and Bar
Triangle is Charleston's place for coal-fired fare, with a family-friendly, open-air atmosphere with two outdoor patios. Triangle Char and Bar offers 15 different meats and seafood, including shrimp, scallops, mahi mahi, NY Strip, baby back ribs and more, all grilled over live charcoal. Triangle also offers unique dishes like Southern-style chicken livers, flavorful pastas and salads, and 18 fresh side items to choose from, along with a great selection of coffees and homemade desserts. Large party space available. Open daily for dinner at 5:00 p.m. Also serving the best brunch around every Sun. from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
West Ashley. 828 Savannah Hwy. 377-1300.
A two-time City Paper Best of Charleston Readers' Pick for Best Sushi, Tsunami is known for great sushi, great sake, and great times. Their innovative approach to sushi makes them a must-eat for those passionate about this culinary delight. Tsunami also offers traditional Japanese tempura, gyoza, tataki, and hibachi. Whether for a date or with a group, Tsunami is the perfect place for a sophisticated night out. Try it downtown or in their new Mt. Pleasant location.
Downtown. 215 East Bay St. 965-5281
Mt. Pleasant. 1909 Hwy 17 N. 881-7061
With an open patio and easy access to shopping on King Street, Vickery's Downtown has fast become a favorite destination for both locals and vistors. Vickery's Mt. Pleasant, in one of the country's most picturesque locations, features water on three sides and tremendous views for all tables. You can stroll outside onto the deck, where there is additional seating, a shark bar, and telescopic viewers for a closer look at nature. Both Vickery's locations serve a variety of dishes — some simple and creative, some complex — from various regions and cultures, all consistently good and fairly priced, in a friendly, fun, and casual atmosphere with attentive, professional service.
Downtown. 15 Beaufain St. 577-5300
Mt. Pleasant. 1313 Shrimp Boat Lane. 884-4440
Steps from downtown's thriving Market Street, Wasabi is downtown Charleston's only Japanese steakhouse, and is owned by a Chinese husband and wife team, John and Wendy Tang. In one part of the dining room, you can sit at the hibachi grill and watch as chefs prepare seafood, steak, and specialties such as Japanese noodles in front of you. The sushi bar can prove just as entertaining, as patrons can see the sushi chef in action, preparing a variety of favorites such as the scam roll, crunch roll, and eel and avocado roll. You're guaranteed nothing less than a fantastic meal at Wasabi, which was voted Best Sushi by the readers of the City Paper in 2005 and 2006.
Downtown. 61 State St. 577-5222
West Ashley Bait and Tackle
The West Ashley Bait and Tackle actually sells no bait and no tackle. Since 1963, they've served the coldest ice-trough beer in town, but new ownership has turned this classic establishment into a friendly neighborhood restaurant and bluegrass tavern. The Bait and Tackle chef, trained at the San Francisco culinary institute, serves peerless lunches and dinners. Chef Thompson makes everything fresh from scratch and in-house daily. The Southern-eclectic menu is not for the faint of heart. The "B & T" serves one of the best half-pound gourmet burgers in the city, excellent barbecue, fresh fish specials, Southern fried chicken, Miller High-Life beer-battered cheese curds, and some of the best collard greens and mac and cheese you've ever tasted ... and don't be afraid to top it all off with a Moon Pie. The bar and dining area is one of Charleston's few smoke-free environments, while smokers can dine on the outdoor patio. Check the website regularly to see a schedule of the finest in regional bluegrass music. "Get there before everyone else does," says the City Paper.
West Ashley. 1177 Magnolia Road. 556-1828
Wild Wing has "The Best Wings South of Buffalo" in 33 different flavors, but there's a whole lot more the Wing has to offer. Big beefy burgers, chargrilled chicken sandwiches, tender baby back ribs, mountains of nachos, awesome salads, and the original Bucket O' Beer! Plus late night fun and live music all week. Wild Wing is the perfect place for family fun dining, with three Charleston locations.
Downtown. 36 N. Market St. 722-WING
Mt. Pleasant. 644 Coleman Blvd. 971-WING
N. Charleston. 7618 Rivers Ave. 818-WING
Yo Burrito! has been serving up burritos and healthy Mexican fare from the grill since 2000. Satisfy your salsa craving with the famous homemade salsa bar or try the delicious fish tacos with a Mason Jar margarita. Check out new menu items like roasted pineapple salsa, grilled spinach, or spicy grilled tofu, along with old favorites like rojo chicken and slow-cooked carnitas. Enjoy $1 beers, $2 Coronas and Mason Jar Margarita specials weekdays during happy hour, from 4-8 p.m. Located in Mt. Pleasant at the Shelmore intersection of Johnnie Dodds Blvd. (by Time Out Sports), and now open downtown, just a few doors down from the original location.
Mt. Pleasant. 675 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. 856-0061
Downtown. 77 Wentworth St. 853-3287