Set on Johns Island between Wild Olive and The Fat Hen, The Royal Tern is a well-positioned and welcome addition to that existing pair of successful Maybank Highway restaurants — the Tern also happens to be City Paper’s very own Best of 2019 New Restaurant winner. First and foremost, the building is glorious. Outside, it’s effortlessly stylish and would look just as appropriate nestled amongst a row of upscale beachfront estates. Inside, the chic, airy space boasts wood floors and high ceilings adorned with dramatic lights that resemble giant clusters of white grapes. With a focus on fish, the menu offers an aquarium-full of options. Along with a raw bar, there are fried “and chips” platters, elegant small plates, and four variations of cooked oysters. Add to that a handful of sandwiches, a half-dozen seafood entrees, and a hat trick of wood-fired steaks, plus a solid cocktail list, local beers on tap, and thoughtful wine selections available by both the glass and bottle. —Vanessa Wolf (Dish, Summer 2019)

Restaurant Details

Set on Johns Island between Wild Olive and The Fat Hen, The Royal Tern is a well-positioned and welcome addition to that existing pair of successful Maybank Highway restaurants — the Tern also happens to be City Paper’s very own Best of 2019 New Restaurant winner. First and foremost, the building is glorious. Outside, it’s effortlessly stylish and would look just as appropriate nestled amongst a row of upscale beachfront estates. Inside, the chic, airy space boasts wood floors and high ceilings adorned with dramatic lights that resemble giant clusters of white grapes. With a focus on fish, the menu offers an aquarium-full of options. Along with a raw bar, there are fried “and chips” platters, elegant small plates, and four variations of cooked oysters. Add to that a handful of sandwiches, a half-dozen seafood entrees, and a hat trick of wood-fired steaks, plus a solid cocktail list, local beers on tap, and thoughtful wine selections available by both the glass and bottle. —Vanessa Wolf (Dish, Summer 2019)

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Hours: Mon.-Sat. 4-10 p.m.

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