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Best Chow In Charleston

We are Chicago couple that will be celebrating our wedding anniversary in Charleston for 3 days in late January.Looking for recommendations for great places to dine during our stay(lunch&dinner). Staying at Harbour View Inn and want to get a true flavor of Charleston cuisine.Not looking for touristy spots, want to know where the locals go for great chow. Thanks

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  1. There are multiple posts on this topis already - do a search and you will find many people's suggestions.

    Having been there recently, I can suggest without hesitation that you eat at Cordavi. Absoultely outstanding meal. FIG was very good, but not in their league.

    The other spot I wanted to check out, and will hit on my next visit, is McRaddy's. Very cutting edge, micro-gastronomy cooking (though you have a lot of that in Chicago), and a GREAT wine list. All of these places have web sites with meuns, etc....

    3 Replies
    1. re: tstett

      Thanks for the recommendations, what did you eat at Cordavi and FIG?

      1. re: mookiejg

        I actually posted fairly detailed meal reviews in an earlier thread.

        Look here:

        1. re: tstett

          Thanks for the detailed review, we will definitely check out
          Cordavi for dinner, sounds fabulous.

    2. No better time for a yank to get a good taste of southern fried chicken. The best I ever had was at Hominy Grill. Nice little place, high quality ingredients, etc.

      But that was some darn fine fried chicken and mashed potatoes...

      1. Would suggest the Peninsula Grill for upscale and Slightly North of Broad for more casual. The restaurant in the Charleston Place Hotel is quite good as well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rageorge

          Thanks for the recommendations, what do you eat at each of these places?

        2. Unfortunately my last visit to Charleston was last May and I can't recall what we ate. I'm sure we concentrated on seafood as we always do when on the coast. Check menus on their web sites at http://www.peninsulagrill.com/ and http://www.mavericksouthernkitchens.c....

          Other possibilities for you are the Charleston Grill in the Charleston Place Hotel http://www.charlestonplace.com/web/oc..., Hank's at http://hanksseafoodrestaurant.com/ and McCrady's at http://www.mccradysrestaurant.com/01.....

          We haven't yet eaten at McCradys but plan to on our trip to Charleston in May. I've heard wonderful things. It's also a very romantic restaurant by all accounts.

          Don't know how familiar you are with low country cuisine but you should try she crab soup, and shrimp and grits somewhere while you're there if you haven't already had them. They're almost cliches but very tasty ones, especially if you haven't had them before (or had them in Charleston!).

          2 Replies
          1. re: rageorge

            Don't have she crab soup in Chicago, sounds tasty. Where do you recommend I go for she crab soup?

            1. re: mookiejg

              Sorry to be so late replying; hope you haven't left for Charleston yet. I would recommend Hominy Grill for your she-crab soup. (Be sure to add the sherry!)

          2. I am keying on the words "locals" and "not touristy". This place is hardcore.


            It is on a spit of land heading towards Folly Beach, in the open marsh, on the right; sign looks like roadside rubbish.

            3 Replies
            1. re: byteme55

              Unless they have quickly rebuilt, Bowens Island burned down not too long ago. Sorry!

              1. re: Tee

                Sad when an institution goes away. An evening at Bowens Island even wound up in a Conroy novel.

                1. re: byteme55

                  Check back often. Bowens Island is to be rebuilt, and I would bet Mr. Barber will keep to his heritage. In the meantime you may want to try The Wreck. On Shem Creek; do a search here. It's been much discussed. Yes, locals visit.

            2. w/ regard to charleston grill, and some recs for other places... here's my 2 cents (probably a little more, considering the length of the piece) from our honeymoon in august...

              we had a really fantastic time, but were sad we missed sienna and cordavi. FIG is absolutely not to be missed, imho, as you'll see if you read. have a great time!

              1. Thanks for the advice, based on my review of previous chow postings, I will be checking out the following recommendations during my visit. FIG,Cordavi,SNOB,Hominy Grill,and Lana. I've got time for 2 or 3 more places. Are there any more can't miss eateries that you'd recommend. Thanks

                1 Reply
                1. re: mookiejg

                  Charleston Grill is amazing. Mind-blowing food.

                2. Cordavi and FIG are both great places, also check out The Red Drum in Mt. Pleasant. It's worth the trip over the bridge.

                  1. I would second SNOB! Excellent place.

                    1. I lived in Charleston a few years ago, and have been back a few times since, so I may miss some new places. I was a broke college kid in those days, so only went to "fine dining" places when my parents visited. Otherwise, we went to the cheap local places. OK, my favorite spots:

                      Jestine's Kitchen- this is full of locals and tourists- excellent southern food. Located on Meeting Street (I think). You will have to wait for a table, but it's awesome.

                      Andolini's pizza- an oldie but goodie. Great pizza. There's one off of King Street near the campus, and one in West Ashley. Maybe one on James Island, too.

                      82 Queen- I love this place. Fine dining. This is one place we'd go for birthdays/anniversaries/special occasions.

                      Carolinas- This place is great. It's near the Market, over by the water. I only ate there once, but really liked it.

                      Bookstore cafe?- on King. Not sure if this place is still around, or if that's the exact name, but it's only open for breakfast I think. It was AWESOME.

                      Boathouse- OK, I like the one on Isle of Palms, and not so much the one downtown. Good seafood.

                      Pusser's Landing- not sure if this is still around either. Excellent when I went a few years ago. Located on the marina.

                      Kaminsky's- great place for coffee/dessert. On the Market.

                      And I have to throw in teh Kickin' Chicken- great sandwiches. It used to be across King, run down, but it's since moved across the street. I think some of it was lost in the move, but still good sandwiches. I go every time I'm in town.

                      I'm sure I've missed some, and I know some of the great ones have since gone out of business since I lived there (Sharky's for pizza and fins, etc), but these are some starters. Have a great time! I love Charelston!

                      *** Edit- I'd also add Peninsula Grill to my list. And there was a greek restaurant on King, called Old Towne or something- that place was pretty good if I remember correctly***

                      1. Congratulations, Chicago Couple. Funny, we just celebrated our anniversary in Charleston ourselves a week or two ago.

                        Fig - definately. Jestine's was great low-country food - I had the fried flounder which was delicate, crispy, and not at all greasy. We had two marvelous meals, one at McGrady's and one at Siena (you'll need a car for this) - at both places we had the 7 course tasting menu. Although we stayed at the Charleston Place, we didn't eat in the restaurant, but we did have tapas in the bar, which probably came from the same kitchen - they were excellent!

                        Have fun! It's a lovely city.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gsw

                          Happy anniversary to you as well. I will try to fit in Jestines and McGrady's.