Old-World Traditions, Lowcountry Style at Charleston's 10 Best Italian Restaurants

Charleston, South Carolina is known for many things: historic buildings, Revolutionary and Civil War sites, iconic forts and monuments and, of course, its seemingly endless array of top-notch eateries. Unbeknownst to many, Charleston's only sister city is the town of Spoleto in the Umbra region of Italy. This truth may serve to explain the Holy City's adoration of Italian cuisine, and give reason to the outstanding number of high quality Italian restaurants in Charleston, a whole other continent away.

Going out for an Italian meal in Charleston is always a solid choice when looking for a varied, diverse menu to suit the whole family. Charleston's Italian restaurants can be found all over the area - in downtown's historic district, across the Ashley River in Avondale, or in the heart of plantation country on James and John's Island. Venture out to Wild Olive or Fulton Five for a romantic Italian date night, or stroll over to quiet Warren Street for a meal in Pan e Vino's softly lit outdoor garden patio and bar. For a more casual mealtime gathering, feast family-style on pizza and pasta at The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan's Island, or amongst the lively buzz of the community table at King Street's Indaco. Find yourself in lively conversation with friends and a glass of Italian Pino Noir in the quaint historic home of Muse on Society Street. Wherever your reservation, you'll find more Italian charm than you'd ever guessed to encounter on South Carolina's Atlantic coast.

Muse truly shows its dedication to authentic Italian cuisine in the carefully planned menu, atmosphere, and decor of this reliable locals' favorite. It was from the ancient Villa of Mysteries in Pomeii, Italy, that the idea of Muse Restaurant...  Read More

West Ashley

Located just a quick drive from downtown Charleston, Al Di La gives reason to venture across the Ashley River, with its focus on the simple goodness of authentic Northern Italian dishes. Handmade, hand-rolled pasta and fresh, local ingredients...  Read More

Rev it up! That's the theme at Monza, a small, yet bold wood-oven pizzeria that boasts a menu of creatively topped Neapolitan-style pizzas, traditional pastas, meal-worthy salads and Italian red and whites. Named for "La Pista Magica," a famed...  Read More

The wood-fire grills and open rotisseries of Indaco, an Indigo Road venture on Upper King Street, add flavor and integrity to each of the pizzas, pastas and other entree plates on the menu. Housemade salami and house-cured meats star in the...  Read More

Most truly authentic Italian eateries are often included among any city's circle of most romantic restaurants. The ivy-dressed, intimate setting of Fulton Five claims this common title, but with proof - it's been named Most Romantic Restaurant...  Read More

Located on John's Island just a short drive from downtown, Wild Olive Italian Cucina is nestled into a country cottage, complete with low lighting, local artist wall murals and a majestic live oak stretching over the restaurant entrance. Chef...  Read More

Almost every city hides away one special restaurant off the beaten tourist path that is reliable, comfortable and delicious. Nondescript from the outside, but full of local spirit, Pane e Vino is just such a place, tucked away on quiet Warren...  Read More

Sullivans Island
The Obstinate Daughter
Photo courtesy of Andrew Cebulka

The Obstinate Daughter, a new addition to the growing Sullivan's Island culinary scene, has become a hot-spot destination for the entire Charleston area. At a glance, the menu seems simple: small plates, pizzas, pastas, sandwiches. Upon further...  Read More

Inspired by the "best olive oil in the world" in the Tuscan city of Lucca, Italy, Chef Ken Vedrinski offered up a small residential corner restaurant as tribute to truly authentic Italian cuisine. Featured in countless magazines and features...  Read More


Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare also ventured abroad to Spain and north to Boston before returning to Charleston and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown...  More About Clare

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