From Italian specialties to Lowcountry Soul — and everything else in between — Charleston, South Carolina offers a cuisine for all tastes. Tourists visit this charming city to experience grits that are prepared in every way imaginable or to partake in an array of festive dockside oyster roasts. Lowcountry cooking is done by hand with special attention to detail to ensure that every dish is one of perfection.
Discerning travelers are well aware that Charleston is noted for high-end restaurants, outdoor cafés, and fresh-from-the-dock seafood. With its rich diversity of seafood from the coastal estuaries and a vibrant Caribbean and African culinary influence, Lowcountry cooking has strong parallels with New Orleans and Cajun food. Although virtually any of the city's many restaurants will please your palate, the following are highly recommended.
Slightly North of Broad
Slightly North of Broad is an eclectic Lowcountry bistro that brings together local ingredients, thoughtful culinary skill, expert presentation, contagious energy, and warm service. Chefs here exhibit a true passion for combining French technique with beloved southern ingredients. With a focus on freshness, local farmers, fishermen and producers are an integral part of the bistro’s culinary ethos. Begin your southern feast with a butternut squash bisque pecan crumble or lump crab cake with sauteed spinach and sunchoke relish. Sample the delicate panko crusted salmon cake with asparagus risotto, pickled squash, and tomato butter. Perhaps your tastes are more suited for a local grouper with roasted root vegetables, wilted greens, and golden raisin vinaigrette.
Drawing Room is one of Charleston’s newest and most highly acclaimed downtown restaurants, providing the perfect spot for cocktails, shared plates and dinner. Located in a thoughtfully restored 1780s Charleston warehouse building, it melds effortlessly into its chic surroundings in the historic French Quarter district. Signature menu items include the heirloom beet salad, venison and beef tartare, seared grouper with Carolina Gold rice, sweetgrass mussels, peas, and saffron broth, as well as the seared Ahi tuna and tenderloin of venison.
Located in the center of the vibrant Upper Peninsula, Cannon Green has created an unparalleled dining and entertaining space by merging an authentic mix of historic buildings — a 19th century Charleston Single House façade and an old trolley warehouse — with a new, lushly-planted courtyard. For a private dining experience, savor the personalized four-course menu at Cannon Green’s Chef’s Table. Whether for a birthday, an anniversary celebration, or a business meeting, the Chef’s Table offers culinary delight perched on a semi-private balcony overlooking the restaurant interior and lush courtyard. On lovely Charleston evenings, dine near the open mezzanine doors for an al fresco Chef’s Table experience. The extensive menus features traditional Southern favorites so don’t be surprised to find a fried green tomato next to your bistecca with pommes.
The Peninsula Grill wine selection offers more than 300 varieties, and the compendium is a perennial winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Feast on pan roasted jumbo sea scallops with braised butter lettuce, diced lobster, garlic-chive potatoes, and citrus lobster broth, or roasted all natural chicken breast with long grain rice with fresh Herbs, asparagus, English peas, and summer black truffle vinaigrette. In addition to the beloved Ultimate Coconut Cake, the Peninsula Grill dessert menu offers artisanal cheeses, housemade sorbets, and a variety of specials designed to showcase seasonal flavors.