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With its highly rated restaurants and rooftop bars, one of the best things to do in Charleston is to eat. We only had a few days in Charleston and a lot of this time was dedicated to exploring this city’s fabulous restaurant and bar scene.

This guide lists many of the top restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina. We provide a relatively short list of great restaurants that can easily be added to your Charleston itinerary. These are places that we either had an excellent experience or came highly recommended to us.

First, we start with a list of our favorite restaurants in Charleston. This is followed by five rooftop bars, the perfect place for a pre-dinner drink with a view of the city, or as a spot to party the night away.

Best Rooftop Bars & Restaurants in Charleston: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each restaurant. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Best Restaurants in Charleston

For many restaurants in Charleston, we recommend making a reservation in advance whenever possible. I provide the link to their websites, so you can check hours, pricing, take a look at the menu, and make a reservation.

Bar 167

Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 5 Fulton Street
Website: 167raw.com
Reservation: Highly recommended

Let’s get started with one of our favorite restaurants in Charleston.

Bar 167 is a small bistro and lounge that serves fresh seafood, raw oysters, and small Mediterranean inspired plates.

I recommend starting with the oyster shooter, a raw oyster served alongside a shot of vodka and tomato water. It’s delicious!

As an appetizer, don’t pass up the focaccia with truffle butter, but the Wagyu carpaccio looks great too.

The three of us dined on seared yellowfin tuna, lobster spaghetti alla chitarra, and arroz con negro. All three were very good but the arroz con negro really stood out. This is one of their signature dishes…crispy black rice served with tuna tartare and aioli.

Bar 167 Charleston | Best restaurants in Charleston

Arroz con Negro | Best restaurants in Charleston

Arroz con negro

Bar 167 is one of three locations in Charleston owned by 167. You can also dine at 167 Raw Oyster Bar on King Street or 167 Sushi Bar on East Bay Street. If you click the link to their website above you can check out all of their locations. Definitely make a reservation in advance.

82 Queen

Price: $$$ – $$$$
Location: 82 Queen Street
Website: 82queen.com
Reservation: Highly recommended

82 Queen is consistently rated as one of the top restaurants in Charleston. Located inside of the Historic French Quarter, this is one of the city’s oldest restaurants.

On the menu is traditional Lowcountry cuisine, a blend of French, African, and Caribbean flavors. It’s worth coming here just to try the She Crab soup, which has been winning awards in Charleston for over 20 years. Also on the menu are fried green tomatoes, southern fried chicken and biscuits, jambalaya, and Carolina crab cakes.

On a visit to 82 Queen, you will either be seated in one of the small rooms of the historic buildings or the garden-like courtyard.

Pappy Van Winkle

Having a pre-lunch drink at the bar.

 She Crab Soup | Best restaurants in Charleston

She Crab soup


82 Queen Charleston | Best restaurants in Charleston

Outdoor courtyard at 82 Queen

Slightly North of Broad, aka SNOB

Price: $$$ – $$$$
Location: 192 E Bay Street
Website: snobcharleston.com
Reservation: Highly recommended

Similar to 82 Queen, Slightly North of Broad, also called SNOB, serves Lowcountry cuisine.

This restaurant has a larger feel to it, with tables spread across one large room (versus the smaller, quieter rooms at 82 Queen). Even mid-afternoon, SNOB was completely filled with patrons.

We tried the She Crab soup here as well, and in our opinion 82 Queen was better, and no surprise given that 82 Queen’s soup is often rated the best in Charleston.

However, everything we tried here was fantastic, including the beef carpaccio and the steamed local clams.

Even though we preferred 82 Queen over SNOB, both are fantastic restaurants and you won’t go wrong at either one. Or try them both and let us know what you think in the comment section at the end of this guide.

SNOB Charleston | Best restaurants in Charleston

Steamed local clams at SNOB


Price: $$$$
Location: 162 East Bay Street
Website: revivalcharleston.com
Reservation: Highly recommended

A lot of southern food is fried, which can be a turn-off for some people (us included). Revival serves amazing southern food that is either grilled, seared, or sauteed, so it is a lot easier to dine on healthier southern cuisine at this restaurant.

Revival Charleston | Best restaurants in Charleston

Lowcountry Pirlou

The three of us dined on the fig and prosciutto salad, the Lowcountry Pirlou, and the roasted halibut. Everything was delicious but the Pirlou was our favorite of these three dishes. The Lowcountry Pirlou is poached lobster, crab, and shrimp served with saffron rice, peas, and black garlic aioli. Amazing!

If we return to Charleston (and I hope we do!) you will see us here again.

Church and Union Charleston

Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 328B North Market Street
Website: churchandunion.com
Reservation: Highly recommended for dinner

This restaurant and bar has one of the most unique settings in Charleston. Located inside of a restored church, the stained-glass windows, floor to ceiling bar, and writing on the walls and ceilings gives you a lot to look at.

The food is good but dining here is more about the setting. We were here mid-afternoon, when it was relatively quiet, but in the evenings when the restaurant fills with people, it can get quite loud.

Church and Union Charleston | Best restaurants in Charleston

Church and Union Charleston

Blind Tiger Pub

Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 38 Broad Street
Website: blindtigerchs.com
Reservation: Recommended

This pub gets its name in homage to the establishments that opened in the late 1800’s in defiance against temperance laws. In the late 1800’s, “Blind Tigers” were illicit drinking and gambling establishments that were opened in response to these laws. In Charleston, many of these were located along Broad Street.

The Blind Tiger Pub opened in 1992 and was restored in 2016.

This pub serves typical bar food in an indoor setting and on their outdoor patio. It has a very casual vibe and tends to be busiest on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Blind Tiger Pub

Blind Tiger Pub Bar | Best restaurants in Charleston

Blind Tiger Pub

Ma’am Saab

Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 251 Meeting Street
Website: maamsaabchs.com
Reservation: Highly recommended

If you want to take a break from southern cooking, or if you love Indian and Pakistani food, put this Pakistani restaurant on your list.

This was a great experience from start to finish. From the colorful interior of the restaurant, the fast and friendly service, and the incredible food, this is an underrated gem in Charleston.

We had the lamb biryani, the cholay biryani, and the chapli kabab. This was the last restaurant we visited in Charleston and a delicious finale to our trip.

Pakistani Food | Best restaurants in Charleston

Carmella’s Café and Dessert Bar

Price: $$ – $$$
Location: 198 East Bay Street
Website: carmellasdessertbar.com
Reservation: Not necessary

With gourmet coffee, gelato, drunken milkshakes, hot cocktails, and decadent cakes and pastries, this is the best place to go in Charleston to satisfy your sweet tooth. They also serve breakfast foods, hot and cold sandwiches, and pizza. I wish we could have tried more on the menu but we settled for the chocolate peanut butter cake and it proved to be nothing short of extraordinary.

Carmellas Charleston

Best Rooftop Bars in Charleston

Ritual Rooftop Restaurant, Lounge and Nightclub

Location: 145 Calhoun Street
Website: ritualchs.com

Overlooking Marion Square, Ritual Rooftop has a spectacular setting in Charleston. It has one of the best rooftop views in the city, excellent service, great drinks and small plates, and a very cool vibe.

Ritual Rooftop Charleston

Ritual Rooftop


Ritual Rooftop View

The view from Ritual Rooftop. In this photo you can see the Dewberry Hotel. On top of the hotel is the Citrus Club, mentioned next.

 Where to Eat in Charleston

Our visit was mid-afternoon, a very quiet time to visit this spot. During the day, Ritual Rooftop is a restaurant and lounge. In the evenings on weekends, it transforms into a nightclub and bar.

So, whether you want a more chill, relaxed vibe for drinks with a view or a lively place to visit in the evening, Ritual Rooftop is one of the best rooftop bars in Charleston. Make your reservation in advance.

Citrus Club at the Dewberry

Location: 334 Meeting Street
Website: thedewberrycharleston.com

This rooftop bar and lounge sits on top of the The Dewberry. Seating is first come, first served, with preference given to hotel guests. All visitors have to be 21 years or older.

From this rooftop bar, you get almost 360° views of Charleston. The Dewberry is located on Marion Square, so you get a similar view as you do at Ritual. However, with the Citrus Club’s higher position, the views from here are better.

The cocktails are creative, the service is attentive, making this one of our top picks for a rooftop bar in Charleston.

Citrus Club Charleston

Citrus Club View Charleston

The view from the Citrus Club

Fiat Lux

Location: Hotel Bennett, 404 King Street
Website: hotelbennett.com

Located on the top floor of Hotel Bennett, this is the third rooftop bar to offer a view over Marion Square. This is also the most upscale rooftop bar on our list.

Fiat Lux Drinks

Charleston South Carolina

The view from Fiat Lux

Again, the drinks and service are fantastic, as is the view. If you are staying at Hotel Bennett or if you want to visit an upscale rooftop bar, put Fiat Lux on your list. If you are looking for something more casual, then visit Citrus Club or Ritual Rooftop.

You do not have to stay at Hotel Bennett to visit Fiat Lux. They do not take reservations.

Élevé Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge

Location: 55 Wentworth Street
Website: elevecharleston.com

This rooftop restaurant and lounge is located in the historic center of Charleston on the top floor of The Grand Bohemian Hotel. From its elevated position, it overlooks the buildings in this part of Charleston. The view is nice but not quite as good as the rooftop bars already mentioned.

Élevé has a very nice casual setting. You can sit inside in the beautifully decorated restaurant or outside on the gardenlike rooftop. With comfy sofas and lounge chairs, this is great place to relax with a drink in your hand and get some sun (if you are here in the afternoon).

Eleve Charleston

Eleve View

The view from Élevé

The Rooftop at the Vendue

Location: The Vendue, 19 Vendue Range
Website: thevendue.com

The Vendue is a historic building in Charleston. The first floor is an art gallery and restaurant (Revival, mentioned earlier). The top floor is a rooftop bar. The floors in between are hotel rooms.

The Rooftop is a very large rooftop bar with panoramic views of Charleston. It is located near the Joe Riley Waterfront Park and you get views over the historic buildings in the city. This rooftop bar has a very casual vibe.

The Vendue Rooftop

The view from The Rooftop

We were more impressed with Revival than the rooftop bar. If you plan to have dinner at Revival, you could visit the rooftop bar for a predinner drink and view over Charleston. The art gallery on the first floor of the hotel is very interesting and well worth the visit.

A Few More Recommendations

Goat. Sheep. Cow. This is a cheese shop, not a restaurant. But if you want to put together a picnic lunch, this is a great place to do it. We loved their selection of cheeses, charcuterie, and other gourmet foods.

We could only visit so many restaurants in Charleston. There were a few more that came highly recommended to us but didn’t have time for. In Charleston, Husk and Cru Café are popular restaurants that get great reviews. Lewis Barbecue Charleston is located north of the city center and came highly recommended as the best barbecue restaurant in Charleston.

If you have plans to visit the plantations and need a recommendation for breakfast or lunch, check out Huriyali Riverland. This small colorful restaurant serves healthy breakfast bowls, smoothies, coffee, and sandwiches. They are located near the McLeod Plantation.

If you have any questions about the best restaurants in Charleston or if you would like to share your favorites, you can do so in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Charleston

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: Learn about the top experiences in our article Best Things to Do in Charleston.

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA: Learn about the top experiences in our article Best Things to Do in Savannah, the best restaurants in Savannah, and best rooftop bars in Savannah.

CONGAREE (SOUTH CAROLINA): Learn about the best things to do in Congaree National Park and learn how to plan your time with our One Day in Congaree Itinerary.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA: Tour the best bars in our article Best Bars in Atlanta.

If this is part of a bigger road trip through the USA, visit our United States Travel Guide and our South Carolina Travel Guide for more inspiration and travel planning tips.


Best Bars Restaurants Charleston


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