Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Southeast >
Feb 22, 2012 05:29 AM

Looking for foodie restaurants in historic Charleston

My husband and I are looking for a recommendation on a few highly regarded restaurants in the historic district of Charleston for early March. We are very much looking forward to our reservation at Husk for one evening. What else should we not miss? Are there any open air or outdoor dining opportunities with high quality food? No price restrictions.

Thanks for the help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If by "highly regarded" you're thinking of places that have received national press or awards, then I would check Mike Lata at Fig (James Beard and Iron Chef). Also, a new place called Macintosh just got a James Beard nomination for the chef ...I haven't tried it yet and it has had very few reviews on this board, so I'm curious if that nomination will cause some hounds to go check it out and report...hint, hint. Ken Vedrenski at Trattoria Luca was on the same list.

    Hominy Grill is a favorite of the NY Times.

    Personally, i liked McCrady's better than Husk (Sean Brock's fancier place). However, Husk has a fabulous upstairs porch I'm sure you'll enjoy. (maybe you should request it in advance). Also, Cru Cafe, has a great porch and very solid food.

    And of course, make sure you search this board for TONS of opinions about Chas. dining.

    1. Heck. I need to get to work! I haven't been to the Mac, but it's on my list.

      In addition to danna's recommendations, look at FIG or Anson. SNOB is a perennial favorite, as is its sister restaurant, High Cotton.

      1. The Charleston City Paper has just come out with it's winter DISH publication. You can view it on their website. It lists all the "good" restaurants in town and a little write up on each. I personally think FIG is probably this best in town now, but there are plenty of really good chefs in under the radar places. Just depends on your taste.

        1. You should definitely try "The Grocery" on upper King St. in addition to The MacIntosh and FIG. There are just sooo many good restaurants that it's hard to recommend just a few. You can read reviews on almost 100 on my blog at (not trying to promote the blog, it's just easier than listing them all here.


          Have fun and come hungry this is a great city for food!

          3 Replies
          1. re: sgorsline

            Although is is in Mt. Pleasant, I have heard two first hand glowing reviews of Opal. Anyone on here been, is it worth going over Bridge for?

            1. re: Jesco

              I haven't been yet. I have trustworthy friends who have been and liked it. It's owned by the Langdon's people. I've been to Langdon's and enjoyed it. It's right across from Basil. I HAVE been there. It's fabulous, of course, and it has quite the bar scene.

              But I'll tell you, if you want to come across the bridge for something way under the radar, try Stack's. I've been picking up lunch there for years, but they opened a dinner spot right next to the original. We went last night and it is excellent. The country pate is delicious. I also had the boulliabase (which I cannot spell) that had a beautiful piece of tilefish, scallops, nice spice and a little heat. . It's in the Bi-Lo shopping center on Ben Sawyer.

          2. Have a similar query so I thought I would just revive this thread w/a few more qualifications. (By the way, mkellom, would love to hear your report!) I'd like to know what dishes are not to be missed or are particular to the Charleston culinary scene. We had an incredible food-centric trip to New Orleans and there were many specific dish recs. Would like to repeat that experience in CHS! We live in Brooklyn, work in NYC, so we get plenty of foodie delights here (but they still can't cook collards for some reason). I grew up in MD & NC, so I'm looking for great Southern food as well. Thoughts? Specific dish recs? On twitter, folks have suggested Tristan for brunch?

            7 Replies
            1. re: middyboo

              P.S. - Any standout chicken & waffles to be had?!

              1. re: middyboo

                Chicken and waffles? Seriously? Not in Charleston.

                Shrimp and grits is the dish. My favorites are High Cotton, Atlanicville, and SNOB.

                1. re: Sue in Mt P

                  I am not a chicken and waffles type of person but I hear Early Bird Diner is the place in the CHARLESTON AREA TO GO FOR THEM.

                  1. re: Sue in Mt P

                    I was born and raised in the South, spent my whole life there until leaving for college, and I had NEVER heard of chicken and waffles until I moved to California and was told that it was apparently something that Southerners like to eat! Much like how kung pao chicken is a fully Americanized Chinese dish, I'm thinking chicken and waffles is "Americanized Southern"

                    1. re: mikeh

                      same here. I had chicken and waffles for the first time this Christmas while I was in Madison, WI.

                      1. re: mikeh

                        This is really fascinating!! Wonder where that originated from then...

                        1. re: middyboo

                          I thought it was Hollywood, haha.

                          Looks there are several theories from the ever-dependable wikipedia:

                          I too am Southern born and raised, and have never had chicken and waffles on the same plate.