Hello Charleston: Recommended Restaurants in Charleston

Recommended Restaurants in Charleston

As I mentioned in my last post, my sister and I offered to take my mom on a trip for her 65th birthday – anywhere she wanted to go. I figured a trip to Italy or France but to my mom, it was Charleston. Ok?!?

I’ve never done Charleston but having gone to Kiawa last year, which requires you to fly into Charleston I knew it was a day-long event with at least one connection, if not more. (I believe Delta is the only airline that flys direct from Denver. If I go again it will be Delta all the way.) Besides the two day’s of travel I was looking forward to checking out a new city what it had to offer, thus my research began.

I quickly figured out this was going to be a food trip for me. With so many amazing restaurants I had to map them out and prioritize. I turned to OpenTable, Yelp and asked my network on Twitter as well as Facebook for their favorites. I think I gained five pounds just reading the menus; everything sounded delish!

I’m not a food critic nor do I claim to be. With that said, I did want to provide my thoughts on a few of the places we ate at and other recommendations I received from people who have visited Charleston.

Recommended Restaurants in Charleston
Poogan’s Porch
We were unable to make reservations for Sunday brunch as they didn’t take reservations for a party of just three. They suggested we arrive right as the opened for brunch to ensure we received a table. We followed their instructions and were the first ones to be seated. I must admit for all the online hype and recommendations Poogan’s Porch received, I’m not too impressed. Perhaps it was the less than wonderful service, the fact they didn’t make latte’s or that my meal was luke warm. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good but it’s not all that it’s hyped up to be.

  • Located at 72 Queen St.
  • Three outdoor patios, including an upstairs balcony
  • Specializes in Lowcountry dishes and personalized service
  • Recognized by Martha Stewart Living, Wine Spectator and the Travel Channel weekend brunch
  • Call ahead for reservations

We visited Magnolia’s our last night in Charleston and we for sure saved the best for last. We arrived prior to our reservations so we grabbed a seat at the bar and were able to enjoy a glass of wine and observe amazing dishes being delivered to patrons seated around us. We started out our meal with homemade chips with a blue cheese topping. My sister’s eyes were bigger than her stomach on this one. While it was a lot of food, it was yummy and very different. I had an amazing stuffed red fish for my meal and had to make my sister and mom get some pecan pie for desert. They had both been against desert for the entire trip. I mean really, who goes to Charleston (anywhere in the South) and doesn’t order at least one piece of pecan pie. It was amazing. Absolutely fabulous pie.

  • 225 E. Bay St., Market area, Charleston, SC
  • Make reservations as seating is limited
  • Check to see if E. Bay St. is still under construction, if so give yourself ample time for parking
  • Try their brunch if you can’t get in for dinner. The menu looks awesome!

Charleston Grill

Recommended Restaurants in Charleston
Great band at The Charleston Grill

After reading so many reviews both in national papers, travel magazines and online customer reviews, Charleston Grill was a must. It was our first stop. The service was impeccable and the food was even better. You must try the crab cake. If you go on a Friday or Saturday they will have a great jazz band playing.

  • Low Country, French Cuisine
  • 224 King St. | Charleston, SC 29401 (Inside the Charleston Place Hotel)
  • Reservations recommended
  • Phone 843.577.4522


My sister and mom hanging out at the bar

We had failed to make reservations on Saturday night (my bad) but I was able to secure something easily on my trusty OpenTable app. I have no idea what we did before apps… Anyway, it was one of the best finds of the trip. We arrived early and sat at the bar for a drink. The bartender was very entertaining and was appalled when we told him our mother had NEVER taken a shot. He solved that problem for her. The food was amazing and I would highly recommend it.

  • If you’re at the Market pop in for lunch or an early dinner since it’s right next to it
  • Eat seafood!
  • Make dinner reservations
  • Phone 843.577.0551 
  • 12 Anson Street | Charleston, SC 29401

Charleston Crab House
There are three locations, we stopped in at the Downtown location for some appetizers’ late one afternoon since it’s right across the street from the Market. The crab cakes are to die for!! If you can get a seat outside, do it as it offers waterfront dining. The lunch menu is all fried. The dinner menu, however looks great.

James Island – Waterfront Dining & Outdoor Patio Seating on the Intracoastal Waterway
145 Wappoo Creek Drive, Charleston, SC 29412

Downtown – Roof Top Dining
41 S. Market St. Charleston, SC 29401

Mt. Pleasant – Outdoor Patio Seating
One Block passed Towne Center & IOP Connector
1101 Stockade Lane, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Others that were recommended but we didn’t have time or room to try…

Pavilion Bar

  • Atop the Market Pavilion Hotel, the outdoor Pavilion Bar offers panoramic views of the city and harbor. We were told to sit at the east overlook to appreciate the grand architecture of the Customs House.
  • Enjoy appetizers, delicacies created with lobster and duck and such, with a signature martini .
  • This is said to be Charleston’s best rooftop bar.

Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar

  • Tons of recommendations on multiple sites
  • Always crowded
  • 205 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • 843.853.08600 |

Cru Café 
Several friends suggested we go here and there were tons of recommendations on multiple sites

  • Cuisines: Contemporary
  • 18 Pinckney St, Charleston, SC 29401-2006
  • (843) 534-2433
  • Makereservations


  • Tons of recommendations on multiple sites
  • Cuisines: American, Contemporary, Italian
  • 232 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Makereservations
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