Top 10 Charleston Restaurants
Charleston South Carolina is home to some of the most amazing and diverse cuisine in the Southeastern United States, so much in fact that narrowing down options for a "Best Of" list can be downright overwhelming - albeit wonderfully so. For this Top Local list we enlisted the trusted services of YAHglobal friend and prominent Charleston foodie Scott Wink of www.charlestonfoodbloggers.com who continues to canvas the cuisine landscape of Charleston on a daily basis so that YOU, the valued public, can minus the menu guesswork and get to the goods.
Thanks Scott, we look forward to sharing a "Big Nasty" with you on our next trip through Charleston.
McCrady's Modern American - Best Southern, Most Inventive
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, South Carolina
"McCrady’s comes in at number one because of one thing: Chef Sean Brock. Chef Brock has been everywhere this year. TV, newspapers, magazines, and culinary awards have been begging to throw Chef Brock publicity and notoriety. He is creating more buzz for Charleston in the culinary world than anyone ever has. Why, you might ask? It’s his vision of how food should be grown, prepared, and served. He raises his own pigs to control and continuously improve the quality of his pork. He seeks that same quality for every product and item he uses including heirloom tomatoes. I could describe some dishes to you but the menu changes so often you should just pull them up on the internet and check it out for yourself. McCrady’s has great southern style food, uses modern techniques, has intense flavor, and creates unique dishes."
Hominy Grill New Southern - Best breakfast/brunch in Charleston
207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, South Carolina
"Hominy Grill gives you something that most towns do not have: exciting breakfast/brunch items. “The Big Nasty” is a piece of boneless fried chicken that is covered in cheddar cheese and sausage gravy and put between a homemade biscuit. They also serve great banana bread or ginger pumpkin bread that is served warm and slightly toasted which really speaks to me. The breakfast standards like omelets, pancakes, and country breakfast are also a step or two above almost all others."
La Fourchette French - Best French in Charleston
432 King St., Charleston, South Carolina
"Unless you have eaten French food in one of large metropolitan US cities or been to France I bet you have never had good French food. La Fourchette serves what I think could be described as French peasant food. It is not elite upscale French food intended for only the wealthy. It is slow cooked hearty portions of soups and shell fish. Lentil soup w/carrots & bacon, Cream of Cauliflower soup, and Mussels steamed with shallots, garlic & wine are not to be missed. It also is in a very small space with limited seating so call ahead so you are not turned away at the door."
Lana Mediterranean - Best Mediterranean/Italian in Charleston
210 Rutledge Ave., Charleston, South Carolina
"Quality ingredients, inspired recipes, and a creative chef make Lana our favorite Mediterranean restaurant in Charleston. Chef John Ondo serves up consistent flavor with his takes on classic Italian and Greek dishes. The daily risotto specials, seafood dishes using local fish, and tasting menus that pair together great seasonal combinations will give you endless pleasure at this somewhat off the radar culinary hot spot."
Jestine's Kitchen Southern - Best southern food on a budget
251 Meeting St., Charleston, South Carolina
"Even though there might be a line of customers waiting outside, don’t be discouraged. You might assume that the line is full of tourist….you would be wrong. I would say that unlike Hyman’s where no self respecting local would be caught dead, about half of Jestine’s line are locals. They have been featured by Rachel Ray and many national publications. Many places that get that nationally know start taking shortcuts as the lines outside grow but at Jestine’s the recipes and traditions of its namesake remains mainly intact. For an above average southern meal in downtown Charleston it is worth the $8.95 and the wait."
Basil Thai - Best Asian in Charleston
460 King St., Charleston, South Carolina
"Crisp, fresh, and bold Thai flavors standout at this trendy hot spot turned institution. You can sit at a bar overlooking the kitchen and eat as your meal is prepared. Volcano Shrimp, Basil Spring Rolls, Pad Prik, and Basil Duck are notable standouts. The soups are also outstanding. They are served in large family style tureens that are heated by a center flame. Their Tom Kha Gai is my favorite soup in all of Charleston."
Ted's Butcherblock Gourmet and sandwiches - Best sandwiches
334 East Bay St., Charleston, South Carolina
"Ted’s business has two parts. One part sells gourmet meats such as bison, quail, and foie gras that you can buy and prepare yourself at home. The other part sells gourmet sandwiches which you can eat there. The Chicken, Pancetta, and Avocado Sandwich, Wagyu Beef Panini, and Caprese Sandwiches are standouts. The bread helps elevate these sandwiches far above any others in Charleston."
Monza Pizza - Best Pizza in Charleston
451 King St., Charleston, South Carolina
"A wood fired oven and ingredients imported from Italy help create the ultimate pizza experience in Charleston. The items on the menu are named after famous Italian racecar drivers. The décor features classic images from Italian speedways. Clams Casion, Beet Salad, Materassi pizza (tomato, mozzarella, basil), and Campari pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, eggplant, red peppers, olives, capers, and goat cheese) are highlights just a few of the highlights of the menu."
Closed for Business Bar, Pubs + Taverns - Best bar food
453 King St., Charleston, South Carolina
"Next door to Monza is its sister restaurant Closed for Business. Although the name of this restaurant is a little ominous it delivers some great bar food. Pork Rinds, Palmetto Cheese & Celery, Fries w/gravy & cheese, Scotch Egg, and Buffalo Oysters are great……and those are just the good appetizers. The rest of the menu delivers just as much."
Pearlz Seafood - Best oysters
153 E. Bay St., Charleston, South Carolina
"Pearlz makes it into the top 10 for their great oyster bar. The atmosphere is great and the oysters are typically juicy and delicious. Oyster Shooters (Peppar vodka, cocktail sauce, and an oyster served in a shot glass), Southern Fried Oysters (fried oysters with blue cheese, celery, and buffalo sauce), Baked Oysters Rockefeller (crawfish, crab, and bacon) are some other great oyster menu items worth trying."