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Where do I eat in Charleston?!?!

My boyfriend is taking me to Charleston next weekend for my birthday and I've been looking at restaurants to eat at for three hours now. I really want to go to places that have a good atmosphere and aren't touristy. He has already made reservations at Peninsula Grill. So far I've got:
- The wreck
- Hominy Grill
- Gullah cuisine
- Jim and Nicks BBQ
- Charleston Cafe
- Fig
- The Boathouse
- Il cortile del re
I would love feed back on these or any suggestions on whats better for lunch or brunch or dinner. Thanks

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  1. -FIG is great for dinner. atmosphere has a nice vibe to it. the braised short rib is out of this world.
    -The Wreck is the best for unpretentious seafood
    -I found SNOB to be overrated
    -Charleston Grill has always been my favorite restaurant in the city.

    I haven't tried the others, but you've come up with a great list.

    If you're willing to drive a bit, The Fat Hen is a good lunch place on Johns Island (chef used to be at 39 Rue de Jean, back when it was good).

    1 Reply
    1. My wife and LOVE the Peninsula Grill. The food is fantastic and do not miss the coconut cake for desert. It is in a class by itself, no other coconut cake even comes close to this one - truly amazing!!!!!!!

      1. Don't miss the wreck. Great seafood, casual, right on a patio on the water. In the evening the place is dazzled with candle light and is like sitting out on the front porch at home- only with a nice pile of fired shrimp and oysters. It is cash or check only.

        I've been really wanting to try fig. Place and menu looks great. I've also heard some amazing things about mcgrady's but never eaten there. Menu is impressive.

        Our experience at snob was mediocre at best, overrated and overpriced, but the interior is quite nice and comfortable. I can't remember clearly what we ate there, and it was only a few months ago- not a good sign. It wouldn't be my first choice.

        1. Thanks for the help! A friend of mine swears by High Cotton and 82 Queen. Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on those as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kerryd

            In the last eight years, I have been to Charleston and Kiawah Island Resort four times....skipping a year in between each....so I cannot attest to any recent review, but from an experience stand point.

            Our trips always included a dinner at Magnolia's, and SNOB. Frankly, I never can never understand the omission of Magnolia's on this site when Charleston is mentioned and I cannot understand the negative comments regarding SNOB. I have found both to be consistently excellent over the years.

            With regards to 82 Queen, it is a beautiful setting, but the food is good, but not exciting.

            Recommendations for:

            SNOB Maverick Grits...winner of top ten new dishes in GQ magazine....that's how I originally heard of SNOB

            Magnolia's Filet of Beef with Blue Cheese Gravy.

          2. I just returned from four days of eating in Charleston and didn't have a bad or even mediocre meal the whole time. I ended up at SNOB twice (a lot of restaurants are closed Sunday nights) and thought both the food and service were excellent. The Maverick Grits are indeed phenominal. Instead of Gullah Cuisine, I would recommed The SeeWee Restaurant farther down 17. You may want to add Jestine's to your list for low country cuisine. We didn't make it to Hominy Grill, so I can't say whether it is better than Jestine's. Enjoy!

            2 Replies
            1. re: hungry100

              Thanks! I found your posting earlier and read most of the replies which helped a lot! SNOB is open Sunday night? We'll have to try that one. Thanks again!

              1. re: kerryd

                Yup, SNOB is open Sunday night (we found that out after discovering See Wee and Blvd Dinner closed. The Maverick Grits are awesome. You will have a great time -- what a foodie town!

            2. For honest to goodness plain great Gullah food and service - Gullah Cuisine. Great service and great barbeque Jim and Nick's

              3 Replies
              1. re: geechie

                Where is this Jim and Nick's place. I've heard it twice in the last week or so but I don't know where it is.

                1. re: geechie

                  Jim and Nicks is on King St, across from Williams Sonoma. They are supposedly builiding one near Tanger Outlets in North Chuck.

                  1. re: MomComfort

                    Well that's news...and it's actually good?

                    Is it where that Irish pub was?

                2. Just looking for more ideas about places to eat on Sunday night and lunch spots. Eating at FIG tonight and Peninsula Grill tomorrow night. And trying to decide between Hominy Grill, Jestines, or Gullah Cuisine. Thanks!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: kerryd

                    No contest. Gullah Cuisine is awesome. I don't recomend dinner ($$$ for the same stuff from the lunch buffet). Sunday brunch buffet is wonderful. They pull out all the stops. No Sunday liquer licence though.

                    I would skip Jim N' Nick's though. Not my favorite for BBQ.

                    Ill Cortile is a must as is FIG. I like Panne y Vino even better than Ill Cortile. Don't know their hours though.

                    1. re: CharlestonChow

                      We did eat FIG and loved it. We had Jestines for lunch today because it is close to where we are staying and it was pouring rain. We really liked it but I think I still have my heart set on Gullah cuisine. We are going to try Fat Hen for dinner tomorrow I think. We've decided to skip Jim and Nicks and all BBQ for that matter because we're from AL and GA so we've had prettty good BBQ and used to that type of BBQ. Thanks for the help!!!

                      1. re: CharlestonChow

                        JIM n' Nicks I think is a chain. We have one in Hilton Head. Just okay in my book. We ate at SNOB the last time we were Charleston. Loved it. We were seated by the open kitchen and if that is your thing, it was really fun to watch the chefs. Hope you have/had a great time. I think the rain is supposed to stop today! We will have to try FIG next time-would you recmd Jestines? Never been there. Thanks!

                        1. re: chocchipcookie

                          FIG was really good. I had the short ribs and my boyfriend had the trigger fish and we both loved it. Jestines was really good too. Had great fried chicken and the services was really good. We had a great time, thanks!