Summer is quickly approaching and the weather is at its prime in Charleston. With several large scale festivals and events around the corner, this is the best time to grab a bite outdoors to soak it all in. Here are The Daily Meal’s picks for the best places to eat outdoors:
This Lowcountry landmark boasts some of the best waterfront dining around. The rustic space hosts an outdoor dock, a deck overlooking the creeks, and a dining room filled with windows looking out to the view. Best of all the is the fresh, local seafood and the variety of cold beer. It makes for the perfect stop after a day on the beach.
Bowens Island Restaurant (credit: Facebook/Bowens Island)
It is hard to miss the overflowing crowds next to the outdoor bar when you drive by this West Ashley restaurant. The space is large and has garage-style door windows that remain open during lunch, dinner, and late night service. The bar extends inside and out with an outdoor patio space, which is covered and has fans to cool off guests during the hotter months. There are TVs all around and a great drink and bar snack menu.
There are not many waterfront restaurants, and this one is not only downtown but located right on the Cooper River overlooking the harbor. Several seats wrap the space on the outside so guests can eat and look out onto the boats, the historic landmarks, and more. The bar also opens out onto the harbor. Chef Drew Hedlund prides himself on his love of the water and is often seen fishing or visiting area docks to ensure his menu features local, sustainable options.
4. Cru Café
This charming single house offers one of the best porch dining options in Charleston. There are only a few outdoor seats and those lucky enough to get there first can enjoy a true Southern-style lunch or dinner. The food is delicious featuring a variety of salads, sandwiches, and entrees.
One of Upper King Streets hottest new spots now offers one of the best views of the bustling streetscape. A newly opened patio seats 60+ and is the perfect place to grab some fresh pasta, pizza, or Italian specialties. A popular place for late night dining, the restaurant stays open on Fridays and Saturdays and offers a special nightly pizza.
6. Hominy Grill
Charleston’s most beloved breakfast restaurant also has one of the best outdoor patios. The space is surrounded by trees and privacy fencing which offers a tucked away option to meet for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Chef Robert Stehling’s menu provides some of the city’s best Southern cuisine and dishes like the Charleston Nasty are must-try.
Chef Ken Vedrinski took a risk when he moved to the beach and since opening last summer has shown that it was worth taking. The renovated restaurant is one of the only fine dining establishments that offers a direct view of the Atlantic Ocean. There is a small covered patio that features a long table for larger groups and some smaller tables all of which provide the view and the smell of the ocean. Best of all, you can enjoy the same delicious menu style Vedrinski offers at his downtown restaurant but with more focus on fresh, local seafood.
Outdoor patio at Coda del Pesce (credit: Coda del Pesce)
People often forget about the patio that is extended next to Peninsula Grill but once you find it, you will want to go there often. Chef Graham Dailey offers an exquisite menu and it can be enjoyed on the outside patio when the weather allows. This space offers the perfect spot for a romantic night out and often you will see a couple celebrating life’s greatest moments while dining.
9. Taco Boy
Looking for a place for margaritas and Mexican? Then you will want to go to Taco Boy, which features a large outdoor space perfect for large groups and parties. The bar is open both inside and outside and offers a variety of drinks and specialty dishes for lunch or dinner.
10. Edmund’s Oast
Charleston’s hottest new restaurant offers outdoor options in a courtyard that has seating for over 100. Large picnic-style tables line the area and guests can come early starting at 4:30 p.m. to grab a cold beer from the 40+ taps and cocktails that change often. Snacks such as pickled veggies and charcuterie towers are offered to enjoy and on occasion a local artist will be onsite offering whimsical portraits for patrons to purchase.
There are other places, both large and small, of note, including Poe’s Tavern and Home Team BBQ in Sullivan’s Island, the upstairs porch at Husk, Al Di La’s front patio, Kitchen 208 and their nice shaded space, the picnic tables at Xiao Bao Biscuit and the two old school favorites—Poogan’s Porch and 82 Queen.