HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >
What have you made lately? Share your food adventure

Charleston, SC

Tracey Williams Dec 24, 2002 03:43 PM

Hello. My husband and I are going to Charleston for my birthday in January and would like suggestions for lunches and dinners. We're from Chicago and anxious for southern cuisine. We'll do anything from total casual to price-is-no-object. Thanks!

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. c
    chuck Dec 25, 2002 08:20 PM

    Well, were going in March and here's the list I got from Chowhounds and other "reliable" sources such as Frommers, Fodors, etc. Please let us know your opinion, if you try any of these. Perhaps as soon as you return?

    McCrady's - Some say best dinner in Charleston for the money?
    Justines - good Low Country food - reasonable prices
    Homney Grill - best for lunch rather than dinner
    The Wreck - A must? Looks like a dump but gets rave recommendations. Who knows...
    The Anchor Line - supposed to be a great place
    82 Queen
    Joseph's - For breakfast
    Baker's Cafe - For breakfast
    Peninsula Grill and Charleston Grill - These are the top two places and most expensive places according to lots of posts and articles.
    Boathouse on East Bay

    Unless I hear differently, I'm going to try McCrady's, Justines, The Wreck, Joseph's and Homney Grill. The supposedly top two places, Charleston Grill and Peninsula Grill don't fit our retiree budget. But, you said price was no object so I'd say check them out first and tell us all about them please. Have a great time.

    Incidently, our neighbors lived in Charleston and recommended we stay in Mt. Pleasant so that's what we are doing for whatever that's worth.

    10 Replies
    1. re: chuck
      danna Dec 26, 2002 08:29 AM

      McCrady's is my favorite, but I remember it as rather expensive. Just to let you know. Staying in Mt. Pleasant is a good idea, it's a very short drive into downtown. (the Cooper River Bridge Run starts in Mt. Pleasant and goes over the bridge to the aquarium...it's *only* 6 miles)

      1. re: danna
        danna Dec 26, 2002 08:30 AM

        Oh, and there's a place called Sermet that's reasonable and my one meal there was very good. King St.

        1. re: danna
          Chuck Dec 26, 2002 03:40 PM


          Can you tell us what do you feel is "expensive" in Charleston for dinner? Two people - two glasses of wine, a shared appetizer, entrees and desserts.

          Sounds like you know the town pretty good - Just wondering.. Thanks again for your help. We'd like to keep it under $60 - $65 for the two of us, if possible.

          1. re: Chuck
            danna Dec 27, 2002 11:09 AM

            Chuck, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tiddings, but McCrady's is going to significantly exceed $65. Looks more like $90 + tax + tip.

            Their website is mccradysrestaurant.com. You can see the menu there and decide if you want to break the bank!

            It's very annoying to me that so many restaurants think their desserts have to cost $8 these days, and wine by the glass prices are sky-rocketing too. I think a lot of restaurantuers think if they want to be the best in town they have to be those most expensive as well.

            Happy Holidays

            1. re: danna
              horse Dec 27, 2002 12:07 PM

              Then there's always the Publix deli....

              1. re: danna
                Chuck Dec 27, 2002 01:20 PM

                Thanks Danna - at least we know know what to expect. I have time to check out the other places I listed and look for a more reasonable priced eatery that still has good food. If that's the going rate, then sometimes, we just have to bite the bullet and go for it.

                But, I won't do that until I know that's the going rate for really good food with or without atmosphere - a factor we can do without, if need be.

                Thanks again for the info.

        2. re: chuck
          aj1965 Dec 29, 2002 12:48 PM

          While in Mt. Pleasant, try "A Dough Re Mi Pizzeria", they have great New York style pizza as well as other dishes - all reasonably priced.

          1. re: aj1965
            NativeCharlestonian Aug 16, 2008 04:15 PM

            Beg to differ with this one - Andolini's, in my opinion, is way better.

            1. re: NativeCharlestonian
              Suzy Q Aug 16, 2008 08:07 PM

              Um, this thread is six years old. Things may well have changed in that timeframe.

          2. re: chuck
            Dick Cain Jan 5, 2003 07:01 AM

            I think you will be very happy with your choice of The Wreck and Hominy Grill, especially since you are on a retiree's budget. They are both very good and very reasonable.

            Have fun finding The Wreck, and when you do, on mustering up the courage to go inside. However, you won't regret the decision once you do.

          3. z
            Zorra Dec 25, 2002 10:18 PM

            I love Jestine's. The buttermilk mashed potatoes are awesome.
            Avoid Hyman's; the wait is not worth it.
            Fulton Five is a bit pricy, but very good, especially the seafood.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Zorra
              Dick Cain Jan 5, 2003 06:57 AM

              Couldn't disagree more with the recommendation to skip Hyman's. IT IS WORTH THE WAIT (IMHO)!
              Agree 100% with Fulton Five. It is one of our favorites.

              1. re: Dick Cain
                David A Jan 6, 2003 08:44 PM

                Do not, DO NOT, waste your time with Hyman's. Is mediocre and there are many, MANY better restaurants in Charleston. A total tourist creation fed by excellent marketing and PR.

                1. re: David A
                  danna Jan 7, 2003 10:54 AM

                  I'm always amazed at the loathing Charleston locals have for Hymans. Sure, there are a lot of better places to eat, but I've had plenty of seafood that wasn't as fresh at places that were SO MUCH more pretentious.

                  1. re: danna
                    David A Jan 7, 2003 06:40 PM

                    And there are lots of non-pretentious places that blow Hymans away. Hymans is not horrible, it is just a waste of time and effort when there are so many better, less touristy places here.

                    1. re: David A
                      Zorra Jan 7, 2003 09:37 PM

                      Amen! Why wait around two hours or more for pedestrian fried seafood and indifferent service? Just so you can sit at a table with a plaque on it that says that Mel Gibson sat there? Sorry, that wasn't enough for me. If and when I am blessed to return to Charleston, I'll go back to Jestine's, Fulton Five, and lots of other places, but I've "done" Hyman's.

                      1. re: Zorra
                        athena May 5, 2003 03:37 PM

                        Boy is it pricey, but I loved the food I had at Charleston Place Grill (formerly Louis's). I've been at xmas the past two years and all year long i salivate remembering those wonderful scallops.

                    2. re: danna
                      wb Jan 14, 2003 01:49 PM

                      the reason why "belongers" loath Hymans is simple. During hurricane hugo, they charged 25 bucks for a measly sandwich when the menu said 4 bucks.
                      that's why. price gouging during a disaster.

                      1. re: wb
                        danna Jan 15, 2003 10:16 AM

                        You're kidding! Good reason to loathe. Compare that to what some of the world's greatest chefs did for their city after 9/11.

                      2. re: danna
                        NativeCharlestonian Aug 16, 2008 04:19 PM

                        Another reason we "loathe" Hyman's - NOT the best seafood in Charleston. A terrible example of the wonderful seafood you can get in Charleston. If you know good seafood, you'll be sorely disappointed by Hyman's - if you don't, then you probably won't notice the difference. Like David A said, they're all clever marketing and PR - total tourist trap. The Wreck is FANTASTIC, as are Hank's and Fleet Landing.

                2. g
                  Gator Dec 26, 2002 11:03 PM

                  I would also suggest you consider Hank's for dinner. Very good seafood, nice setting, reasonably priced, good value for an upscale dinner.

                  1. j
                    JBinStl Jan 7, 2003 04:36 PM

                    Hanks seafood

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JBinStl
                      bordeauxfan Aug 18, 2008 05:04 AM

                      Could someone comment on FIG? I'm intrigued by their online menu. Thanks!

                      1. re: bordeauxfan
                        dhisgood Aug 22, 2008 12:45 AM

                        I went to FIG for my birthday dinner last year, and it was one of the very best meals of my life.

                        Mike Lata is an awesome chef (he was nominated along with Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill for the James Beard award for Best Chef in the Southeast), and he has a very intense commitment to using local, ultra fresh ingredients.

                        Their braised short rib was one of the best entrees i've ever had and their grouper changed my entire opinion of fish. I've never liked cauliflower before and I even loved that when someone at my table ordered it. If you're looking for a great meal downtown but want to spend a little less than you would at Peninsula, Charleston Grill, or McCradys, it's pretty difficult to beat FIG. Highly recommended!

                        Hope that helps!
                        - DH
                        http://dhisgood.blogspot.com - One Charleston College Student's Guide to Food and Film

                    Show Hidden Posts