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Charleston, SC - Dining Recs for Out of Towners

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Hi There,

My family and I are headed to the Charleston area in a few weeks from NYC. We love all types of cuisine and are all pretty adventurous diners. Looking for some recommendations from locals for the 'must hit' spots to check out while in town.

I'd love to find a few spots for a quick lunch or casual dinner that serve fresh local seafood. Great beer is a definite plus.

And where would you head for an upscale dinner? Again, local seafood is really the draw, but we're open to lots of differnt cuisines - so long as the food is memorable.

Finally, anywhere in particular to get a really well-made cocktail?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I live two hours south of Charleston and make the drive and stay overnight just to eat at McCrady's. For a recommendation take a look at ChuckEats website. Damn good bar too.

    1. Dale is right- mcCrady's is wonderful. Best seafood in town is Hank's. You would have lovely dining experiences at SNOB, High Cotton, Magnolia's, Peninsula Grill or Cypress as well. Have a nice cocktail on the rooftop at Market pavilion.

      1. We visited Charleston last spring. I would also highly recommend FIG. Didn't seem as touristy as some of the other restaurants in Charleston. All of our seafood entrees were outstanding.

        1. For seafood, you could also try Fish. Sue makes some good recs, and I would add Cru Cafe to the list.

          4 Replies
          1. re: lizzy

            These are fantastic! Thanks very much, everyone!

            1. re: Davis

              If you want down home southern, try Boulevard Diner in Mount Pleasant, Jestine's downtown (be prepared to wait-outdoors), and Seewee on Highway 17 in Awndaw.

              I recently had a great time in NYC-went straight to Katz' from the airport. It's the one thing we DON'T have: pastrami!

              Make sure you try shrimp and grits.

              1. re: Sue in Mt P

                That's funny, Sue...Katz is often our first stop in NYC, too. If you get an early flight you can have pastrami for a late breakfast. Frees up lunch for Pearl Oyster Bar.

                Fig is the only place I refuse to miss when in Chas. (although it's going to tic off the 'rents)

                Where would you send the OP for shrimp n grits? And where do you think one could get the most traditional SnG, assuming you were of the belief that traditional meant plainer, less sauce? I don't like Shrimp & Grits & Gravy.

                1. re: danna

                  My favorite (besides my own) is at High Cotton for brunch. I may get flamed because everyone has their favorites, and MANY think that tasso gravy is required. But I'm like you-less is more. No cheese in the grits, no breading on the shrimp. High Cotton does it just right. At home it's shrimp, grits, butter, salt, pepper and that' s IT.