36 of the Best Places to Eat in Downtown Charleston
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36 of the Best Places to Eat in Downtown Charleston

For being considered a small city, Charleston packs a punch when it comes to dining. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide where to eat when in town. That’s why we’ve put together this list of top dining locations offering the best atmospheres, freshest ingredients, and superb sips.

Of course, The Palms is located steps away from King Street. So, with that in mind, we’re focusing our list of best restaurants in Charleston to those located on the peninsula. Walk, ride a bike, or grab a pedicab and explore the high quality eats that Charleston has to offer. 

Steps Away from The Palms

For interesting sandwiches & provisions: The Pass

For a welcoming atmosphere with an innovative, seasonal menu: The Grocery  

For delightful desserts: Sugar Bakeshop

Breakfast & Coffee to Start the Day 

For a must stop combining quality & convenience: The Daily

For a cozy, coffeehouse vibe: Harken Cafe

For a classic, diner style breakfast: Big Bad Breakfast

For a great breakfast & a great cocktail: Millers All Day

Fun Spots to Stop & Grab Lunch

For gourmet foods, grocery, coffee, and wine in a restored cigar warehouse: Mercantile and Mash

For inspired flavors and whole foods in an airy, serene space: Basic Kitchen

For a bustling bistro offering global cuisine with French flair: Gaulart & Maliclet | Fast and French

For fried chicken, oysters, beer, champagne & a good atmosphere: Leon’s 

A Mix of Fun & Fine Dining for Dinner 

For a modern approach to authentic Italian nestled in Harleston Village: La Farfalle 

For an intimate, 5-course chef’s counter dining experience: R. Kitchen

For a fine dining gem serving celebrated, artful cuisine: Zero Restaurant + Bar 

For a high energy, Spanish tapas restaurant: Malagón, Mercado y Tapería

Southern Staples, Of Course

For Southern cuisine regionally sourced and served in a Victorian-era house: Husk

For sumptuous steak as well as a renowned Sunday gospel brunch: Halls Chophouse

For a memorable experience in an upscale bistro setting serving refined Southern: FIG

For a fresh approach to Lowcountry cuisine in a restored Victorian house: Poogan’s Porch

Here for the Oysters & Fresh Seafood

For creative seafood dishes in a stylish spot with vintage appeal: The Darling Oyster Bar

For a New England style oyster bar & seafood eatery with a patio: 167 Raw 

For a 1920’s bank turned upscale seafood restaurant: The Ordinary

For a cozy, chill experience with a menu that changes daily: Chubby Fish

Dining Destinations with a Bit of Europe

For creative, artful French cuisine in an intimate setting: Maison

For elevated food & wine from around Europe in a cozy space: Chez Nous

For modern French fare in a Parisian bistro setting: Bistronomy by Nico

For traditional French cuisine in a lively environment: Brasserie la Banque

Come to Charleston, Eat BBQ

For Texas-style meats in a hip space with outdoor seating: Lewis Barbecue

For smoky, whole hog BBQ from a celebrated pitmaster: Rodney Scott’s BBQ

For smoked meats, southern sides & famous frozen cocktails: Home Team BBQ

For traditional Southern BBQ on the southside: Poogan’s Smokehouse

Outside the Box Inventive Flavors

For a modern approach to Southern fare: Lenoir

For creative Asian cooking & specialty cocktails in a trendy converted gas station: Xiao Bao Biscuit

For a wholly vegan menu in a fun environment that’s open after bedtime: Neon Tiger

For a Mexican eatery with coastal influences in a chic setting: Maya

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