Moderate to Inexpensive Charleston
Staying very close to Folly Beach
Would like to find Moderate to Inexpensive Places to Dine in Charleston area ,prefer seafood) or southern---- not tourist traps
Check out Dukes BBQ on James Island for all you can eat BBQ and fried chicken. It's quite greasy but inexpensive. Page's Okra Grill in Mt. Pleasant is super popular and has seafood and southern food on the menu. Early Bird out in West Ashley doesn't have much seafood, but it's thrifty and tasty.
On the peninsula, Dave's carry out is supposed to have really good fried seafood. It's on my to-eat list as I've heard raves about it. Check out the happy hour specials at places downtown too. There are some hidden gems. Cypress has Burger Night (at the bar) on Mondays and an interesting bar menu. There will probably be tourists there though, as with any place downtown. People love the Hominy Grill and Jestine's but they fall squarely into the tourist trap category.
I heard Bowen Island Restaurant is really good and inexpensive
Coastal Living Magazine mentions it as one of the best seafood dives in SC
The Mustard Seed in Mt. Pleasant has been consistent, casual, moderate prices. A fairly small menu with decent nightly specials. The small local chain also has a bakery, so desserts and bread are always good. I visit Charleston every other year for a bridge tournament in Mt. Pleasant and have tried many places for casual, light dinners and this is a place I usually stop twice during the visit.
Another casual & moderately priced restaurant I visit each time I am in town is Basil Thai, it is downtown. http://eatatbasil.com/
Rue de Jean is a downtown restaurant sort of off the beaten tourist path. French with sushi???..could spend a lot or much less. I have always enjoyed this place. http://39ruedejean.com/
Mustardgirl - where will you be? Will you be able to do some cooking where you are staying? Do you want to?
Will you be able to drive around the area? Do you want to?
If you check past threads, there's lots on Bowen's Is. - just know its not oyster season now. But B.Is is a great place to watch the twilight with adult beverage and a pile of boiled shrimp so its always on my list for friends. We have friends on IOP and stay at/near Folly at least once a year (never in summer). Traffic can be Bad and Really Bad during peak times so if you can avoid driving into or out of downtown Chas. at those hours - Driving into Chas after 10 am and out of it before evening rush hour can definitely improve your visit. A drive from Folly all the way over to Mt. Pleasant or IOP can eat up alot of time
Yes, oysters will be in season in October.
I'd recommend Heart Woodfire Kitchen on James Island. The service has been a bit slow in the past, but the food is great.
Also, I haven't been yet, but the new restaurant at the Pour House on James Island called The Lot is getting a lot of good buzz.
BTW, I'd disagree with an earlier assessment in this thread that Hominy Grill is a tourist trap. While it does tend to get overrun with tourists at certain times (think brunch), it also enjoys quite a bit of local business...and it offers southern/Lowcountry classics you'll have a hard time finding elsewhere like bog, country captain, pine bark stew, and shad roe with grits.