10 Best Restaurants: Ten Top Places To Eat In Charleston

M. Linda Lee

By , Travel Expert at Large, Charleston
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Southern food may be on fire these days, but chefs in The Holy City have been cooking with Carolina Gold rice, field peas, fried okra and Benne (sesame seeds) since the slaves who were brought over from Africa introduced these items to South Carolina centuries ago. Today, Charleston chefs like Mike Lata (FIG), Sean Brock (McCrady’s and Husk), Robert Stehling (Hominy Grill) and Frank Lee (Slightly North of Broad)—all of whom helped fuel the farm-to-table movement in the Lowcountry long before it became a hot trend—are redefining Southern cuisine. All add their own touches to kick humble Southern dishes up to new heights.

While...  Read more »

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    Local Expert Tip: "Be sure to ask for an order of cornbread for the table. Studded with smoky Benton's bacon and served warm in a cast-iron skillet, Brock's version of this Southern staple is not to be missed."

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    Local Expert Tip: "Make reservations well in advance for this popular place. Since Mike Lata won the James Beard Award, tables here have been tough to snag."

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    Charleston Grill

    Local Expert Tip: "The quality of service matches the level of the cuisine in this refined dining room, making it a great place to celebrate special occasions."

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    Cypress Lowcountry Grille

    Local Expert Tip: "Tableside presentations for two, such as the house-aged Chateaubriand and the garlic- and herb-rubbed leg of lamb, are great ways to impress a date."

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    Peninsula Grill

    Local Expert Tip: "Get a slice of the Ultimate Coconut Cake. Next, order a whole cake to be shipped to your home, so it can be ready and waiting for you when you return from Charleston. Trust us, the diet gods forgive you."

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    The Macintosh

    Local Expert Tip: "Escape to the rooftop terrace of the restaurant's sister lounge, The Cocktail Club, to sample "farm-to-shaker" libations above The McIntosh (the entrance is next door)."

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    Local Expert Tip: "Be sure to try the signature Down South egg roll, rolled up with chicken, collard greens and tasso ham."

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    Pearlz Oyster and Raw Bar

    Local Expert Tip: "Pearlz' late night menu offers night owls a between bars pit stop for oyster shooters, nightcaps, and small bites."

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    Hank's Seafood Restaurant

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the popular Hank's Seafood Tower of assorted shellfish - a great appetizer for large parties!"

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    Slightly North of Broad

    Local Expert Tip: "After lunch, drop in next door to browse culinary gadgets and cookbooks at Charleston Cooks!. Like S.N.O.B., this kitchen shop falls under the umbrella of parent company, Maverick Southern Kitchens."



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