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Christmas Day...where to eat between Charleston airport and I-95?

Hi there...been doing my own searching but having a hard time finding something for Christmas dinner that is between the Charleston aiport and where we'll pick up I-95. My husband, stepson and I will be flying down to Charleston and making our way to FL on Christmas Day. Our flight arrives around 6:45pm so by the time we get our bags, rental car and get on our way we'd like to try to get to dinner by about 8pm.

I looked on Open Table and see restaurants in downtown Charleston that have availability and then there are a few seafood/BBQ places that look good but are a bit out of the way and I have a feeling they might be closed. So any recs would be much appreciated - no restrictions on food and while I'd like to get out of dinner for under $100 total, I'm also not going to be super picky since Christmas openings are few and far between. Thanks!

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  1. By that late most places that would be open in Charleston proper will be closed, to my knowledge. Poogan's Porch is open until 8. Downtown is east of the airport, 95 is west. You may be stuck with Cracker Barrell at Ashley Phosphate, or one of the chains at the Summerville exit from I26. There's not much between there and 95, so you'll want to stop at either of those exits.

    Poogan's Porch
    72 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sue in Mt P

      All Cracker Barrels are closed on Christmas day.

      1. re: jla1960

        Durn! I ate there on Christmas one time! Sorry for the bad rec.

    2. There is a Waffle House at exit 105 and 103 on I-26...if you find anything else, I'll be surprised.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jla1960

        Exit 103 on I 26 is just about 100 miles N of Charleston, SC. It's actually just N of Columbia, SC.

        1. re: Littleman

          Right...Exit 203 and 205 is correct.

      2. Firewater Grill at Exit 199B off I 26 at Summerivlle, SC is open late. Better check to be sure though. There are 14/20 restaurants at that Exit on I 26. Someone will be open.

        Sweetwater Cafe is open until 10 but I'm not sure about Christmas Day. Give them a call. Get off at Exit 199B and go W on Main Street. You will pass Sticky Finger's BBQ on the right after you get off I 26. Surely they will be open. Good luck.

        Firewater Grill @ 109 Holiday Drive, Summerville, SC 843 - 261 - 2121.
        Sweetwater Cafe @ 103 S Main St # A Summerville, SC 843 - 821 - 9101.
        Sticky Finger's BBQ @ 1200 North Main St., Summerville, SC 843 - 871 - 7427.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Littleman

          Sticky Finger's is closed on Christmas. I'm just thinking that the chains near hotels will be open, but that's about it. The exits are Ashley Phosphate or at Summerville. I'd pick CB over Waffle House, but that's just me. If I find out more I'll post.

          Waffle House Restaurant
          1415 N Main St, Summerville, SC 29483

          1. re: Littleman

            Sticky Fingers, Sweetwater and Firewater are all closed on Christmas day. 0-3

            Seriously, at 8:00 PM on Christmas day in Sumerville, SC there will be literally no restaurants open, with the exception of Waffle House.

            1. re: jla1960

              Because I think this could use some added emphasis...you are completely right on this.

          2. good luck on it being open, but I think EVO would be the absolute best soluntion if it were.


            I note from their website that they are open for dinner on new year's day, so maybe you have a shot. it's worth a call.

            I have eaten Christmas day lunch at an IHOP, and was very grateful for it, given the previous year we ate Christmas Eve dinner at a convenience store (festive buffet of rice krispie treats, fig newtons,etc.) after driving around for an hour.

            1 Reply
            1. re: danna

              Per their website, EVO is closed on Christmas day.

            2. Yeah, you're pretty much SOL from an eating standpoint but hopefully you've checked out a map and figured out that from the Charleston airport, your best bet southbound is going to be 526 to Savannah highway (south 17) to I-95 rather than 26 north/west to I-95. The 26 route takes you at least an hour and a half out of your way. There are a few fast food options on that route but many of them will be closed on the 25th.

              1. Thanks everyone...I know this is a tall order and appreciate all the feedback. Especially the info about the exits and where we'll be - that was something I was having some issues figuring out.

                We're prepared for Waffle House which in a way might be kind of cute but will keep our eyes out for other options when we're on the road. Part of me has some angst (or a lot) that we won't be able to enjoy amazing Southern food since we are woefully lacking up here where we live (NYC) but our travel plans are so nuts that we'll take what we can get. Will have to come back for a proper visit, for sure!

                Waffle House Restaurant
                120 S Goose Creek Blvd, Goose Creek, SC 29445

                4 Replies
                1. re: pellegrino31

                  You might want to give Woodlands Inn a call and see if they're serving Christmas dinner. Food is amazing and it won't take you too far out of your way ~ it's in Summerville.


                  1. re: NANCY

                    Excellent idea. I feel sure they are open since they have guests staying there. We had dinner there recently and it was outstanding.

                    Looks like they are serving Christmas Brunch from 12/3. Surely they will serve dinner also as they have guests. Give them a call. Take N Main Street off I 265 at Exit 199B and go W to Richardson. Take a right and go to Parsons. Take a left and Woodland's is on your left.

                    Woodland's Inn @ 125 Parsons Road, Summerville, SC 843 - 875 - 2600.

                    1. re: Littleman

                      Thanks for the suggestion - just left them a message. I checked on Open Table and they don't show availability but thought I'd call just in case. Crossing fingers - the menu looks terrific!

                      1. re: pellegrino31

                        I looked at Woodlands too. It looks like lunch only on Christmas Day.

                        And I agree about 17 to 95. But that swamp road is DARK at night. Ask me how I know.

                2. TGIFridays in Mt. Pleasant opens at 5 on Christmas Day, closes at 1 am. Not exactly Christmas dinner, but may work better than Pilot et al. Along Rt. 17 at the Mt. Pleasant Town Center. Then you could simply continue through Charleston and it really won't be too terribly out of your way if you opt for the 17 to 95 route. About 15 minutes from the airport, 526 east to Route 17N exit, make a left, about a mile on your right.