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Oct 7, 2008 10:13 AM

Thanksgiving in Charleston

My girlfriend and I have eaten at a lot of great places in Charleston, but knowing that our choices will be limited on Thanksgiving night we are hoping for some recommendations. We are looking for places you know will be open, perhaps a place you have eaten a T-giving dinner at in the past. We are on a budget so nothing too fancy or expensive, casual or upscale casual attire would be fine. We love seafood but we eat just about anything so no worries there! TIA.

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  1. Saffron's has a great Thanksgiving buffet -- very casual and affordable.

    15 Replies
    1. re: DavidA

      I am assuming this is the place:

      333 E Bay St
      Charleston, SC 29401
      (843) 722-5588

      We will check it out. Thanks!

      1. re: banditbasser

        Yes, that's the place. You may need reservations, but they are pretty flexible there.

        The space is not beautiful (very 60's/70's), but the food is good -- and the buffet a great value. Definitely a casual place. Their regular Sunday brunch buffet is excellent.

        1. re: DavidA

          We appreciate the info, with our budget we are pretty flexible too so we will check it out for sure. I appreciate the help.

          1. re: banditbasser

            Check out the Mills House as well -- much more elegant. A buffet for $50/adult. The food there is usually very good (it is not among the top echlon restaurants, but they do a nice job). The Mills House is an underrated food source in Charleston. It is the "secret" lunch place of many locals.

            1. re: DavidA

              I've been researching for similar reasons - we planned our trip thinking we had a place to go for dinner, only to find our friends would be out of town.

              So far, Blossom Cafe seems like one of the better options - they're serving an a la carte menu including a turkey dinner for $25. Other places that I've seen recommended for Thanksgiving (and that appear to be open) are Poogan's Porch and Tristan. Other options that I saw recommendations for and researched the pricing on:

              Anson's $38/3 courses
              High Cotton $55/prix fixe
              Grill 225 $69/pp
              Carolina's $39/pp
              SNOB $38-44/pp (2-3 courses)

              One of the better links I've seen listing restaurants in Charleston that are open on Thanksgiving is at They're not all budget options, but it gives you a head start. And our fall back option (if we don't come up with a better idea!) is the Whole Foods in Mt. Pleasant. They always have traditional Thanksgiving options on the hot bar!

              I've also asked a few other friends -- if I come up with a brilliant idea (besides going to the Salvation Army or a local church, which one friend did suggest!) I will post it here!

              1. re: winegirl1973

                Holy begeezies! $50/pp...$69/pp...$39/pp!!!!!!!!!!!!

                For the last 6 years I owned a restaurant and served a Thanksgiving Dinner buffet every year from 11am-3pm. It was ALWAYS my standard buffet price (Sunday buffet price as the items were similar to that day of the week) of $12.99

                I would read the advertisements in the local news paper the week before Thanksgiving and shake my head at all the ads and the prices they listed. Gouging is what it is. I could never bring myself to charge more simply because of a holiday. My prices were always on the up & up.

                I'm moving to Charleston in the next week and a half. I have a feeling that with the move I'll be eating a burger & fries for Thanksgiving. No way I'm gonna give someone $50+ per person as they smile at me while thinking..."sucker".

                Don't get me wrong...I fully understand that rent downtown is high and the costs have to be met...but these prices are excessive. Judging from my own past experiences and my research in rent costs downtown (yes I'm looking for commercial space to open a restaurant somewhere in Charleston Co.) the buffet that I usually serve up would probably be priced in the $16-$18 range...certainly no more than $20.

                But if you can get it, charge it. I suppose I'm not a good business man as I'm not comfortable with that philosophy.

                1. re: winegirl1973

                  The Whole Foods is open on Thanksgiving? Is that right, or would I have to buy the day before? Either way, that makes me happy. I'll be moving to Mt. Pleasant within the next two weeks and that might just be an option for me.

                  1. re: JayL

                    The buffet at Saffron is tasty and not outrageously priced.

                    In defense of those high prices in winegirl's posting -- those listed are some of the very top restaurants in town.

                    The Mills House, which is fully booked, is $25 per person.

                    1. re: DavidA

                      Thanks, David. I might attempt Saffron's...been there for breakfast before.

                      The Mills said above that it was $50/adult. Is it that or is it $25? That's a pretty big difference (double). Twenty-five I could handle. Fifty for a turkey dinner is excessive.

                      By the you know if Saffron's does reservation or walk-in for Thanksgiving? Thanks.


                      1. re: JayL

                        Ooops... I do think the Mills House is $50 for adults. I had kids prices on the mind. It is pricey, but I plan on eating a lot. :)

                        In the past, I am pretty sure that Saffron's was both walk-up and reservations. Their phone number is 843.722.5588, if you want to check. I think I am having brunch there tomorrow, so I will keep an eye out.

                        1. re: DavidA

                          The Thanksgiving buffet at Saffron is $15.95 for adults, $8.95 for kids. The best deal in town.

                          We had the Sunday brunch today -- it is always excellent and varied. It pretty much serves as my only meal of the day!

        2. re: DavidA

          If price isn't an issue, you might try Peninsula Grill for a Charleston-style Thanksgiving. I've been there once - years ago - for their Thanksgiving meal. Service is always excellent. And it's within walking distance of Charleston Grill and other places that are fun to go for dessert or an after dinner drink. I have seen negative posts about Peninsula, but it's a great go-to spot if you want quality food and spot-on service.

          1. re: FoodLoverInChs


            - Mills House is $50/pp, and their dining room is fully booked. They are still taking walk-ins only in their Middleton Room, across the hall from the dining room.

            Apparently Charleston, unlike many cities is somewhat of a "destination" for Thankgsiving - so many places do appear to already be booked, but hopefully you can get in to Saffron's or the other place of your choice.

            David A, not being familiar with Charleston, do you have any other suggestions for restaurants that are not "the very top restaurants in town" if we get away from the traditional turkey dinner? We LOVE diner food and ethnic of all kinds -- we had even thought maybe a Chinese restaurant in town would be open? We've had success doing that in the past, even on Christmas.

            1. re: winegirl1973

              I just put the Saffron pricing up in another posting above... their food is always good. I just wish they would update the decor.

              I would love to give some other restaurant recommendations, but I am not sure what places will be open on Thanksgiving -- especially those that are not doing a turkey dinner. If you offer up some ideas, I am happy to comment where qualified!

              1. re: DavidA

                Holy cow. The Thanksgiving buffet at the Mills House may have been the best buffet ever. Fantastic.

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