If you're out and about in Charleston, South Carolina at night, weeknight or week day, chances are you'll be tempted by our late night restaurants–whether you're finishing up a long day of explorations or a night of bar-hopping. There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving into those late-night cravings when you're in our city. In fact, you might be surprised by the number and variety of restaurants serving late night food in Charleston.
Holy City late night food comes in all forms. You may be salivating for the cheesy goodness of a hot slice of pizza from Pizzeria di Giovannis on the market or Mellow Mushroom on King Street, or you could be wishing for a full plate of Southern comfort food classics (read: chicken and waffles) from The Early Bird Diner in West Ashley.
Want to keep the party going while you get your grub on? One of Charleston's most beloved dive bars, AC's, serves food until 1:30am, while The Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap House on Cumberland whets your craft beer whistle with food specials and 40+ beers on tap. Want to pretend it's already morning? Easy: head over to The Rarebit on Upper King to get your breakfast on until 2am. Just remember to bookmark this page for easy referencing later on tonight!
You may have had good pizza, but other pizza isn't Mellow Mushroom pizza. This colorful, laid-back, mushroom-themed restaurant and bar is open serves food until 11pm Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight Friday and Saturday. That's great news for chewy, doughy pizza lovers that enjoy crazy topping combinations or vegetarian and vegan options. Visit Mellow Mushroom on King Street downtown after a night out, and fill up on one of their custom creations, or feel free to build your own pie. Enjoy your pizza--or calzone, hoagie, salad, or pretzel rolls--from the bar, indoors, or on the mural-painted outdoor patio out back. (843-723-7374, 843-327-0346)
Closed for Business
With over 40 taps that change nightly, Closed For Business is more than dedicated to offering an impressive beer selection to the Charleston public. What makes CFB even better is the small yet varied menu on hand to go with your local brews. Hit Closed For Business late night for their signature sandwich, The Pork Slap, a fried pork chop cutlet with ham and Swiss topped with green tomato chutney. Other standout sandwiches include the Jimmy Serrano Veggie Burger, the Business Burger, and the Fried Chicken Sandwich. If it's shareable apps you're looking for, put in an order of fried green beans, potato skins, or pimento cheese. (843-853-8466)
AC's Bar & Grill
Visit AC's for a friendly, rowdy dive bar experience, complete with tabletop dancing, pool, and some great late night food. When ordering late night grub, you'll find a decent selection of sandwiches, burgers, and "stuff." You'll want to check out sandwiches like the Grilled Dolphin (a.k.a. Mahi Mahi), and the New England Oven Grinder, and burgers such as their Grand Marnier Burger (yep, you read that right), and the Death Burger (comes with an "offensively hot" warning). But don't miss out on the "stuff" portion of the AC's menu for all sorts of loaded fries and nachos, perfect for late night cravings. No, you can't sleep here, but if you do pull and all-nighter, be sure to come back for the infamous, themed AC's brunch on Sunday morning. (843-577-6742)
Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House
Head on over to The Craftsmen on Cumberland Street after bar hopping your way through the Market and East Bay nightlife scene. Here, you'll find burgers, sandwiches, and all-around good pub grub alongside nearly 50 beer taps on deck. Craftsmen provides late night revelers with local and national craft beers until 2am and food until 1am. Weeknights are as good a time (or maybe even better) than any to visit The Craftsmen! Tuesdays are $5 Burger Nights, where burgers and all sandwiches on the menu are just $5 from 7pm - 1am. Thursdays are The Craftsmen's Flights & Bites Night, when you can get a $10 flight of 4 beer samples, each served with food pairings! End your weekend at The Craftsmen for Sunday funday, and sip "Large Format" 22oz bottled craft beers for half price. (843-577-9699)
Pizzeria di Giovanni
Pizzeria di Giovanni, located downtown adjacent to the Charleston City Market and Rainbow Market shops, is ideally situated to supply hungry late night eaters with delicious pizza. It's not hard to find a crowd who enjoys pizza as their late night food of choice, and that's what makes it easy to find this place after the bars close - just follow the line! Grabbing a slice here is affordable, ($4 for a BIG slice of cheese), and they're open until 3am on weekends! It gets even better: order online or by phone to pick up your late night pizza on the way home! (843-727-6767)
The Early Bird Diner
Their name might be a shoutout to the early bird breakfast eaters, but this classic Charleston diner is open late (until 4am on weekends!) to feed and fuel local night owls, too. Walk into The Early Bird Diner, grab a booth or counter seat, and get comfortable--you're going to leave here happy, and most likely, stuffed and satisfied. The Early Bird is best known for those Southern diner favorites such as pancakes, chicken & waffles, biscuits and gravy, and of course, shrimp and grits. Dare to dream beyond the classic items with the daily Early Bird specials, usually a complex and creative take on a standard dish. (843-277-2353)
This cozy corner pizza joint is a locals' favorite, located in the heart of the residential Elliotborough neighborhood. D'Als, as it is called by its regulars, is an excellent place to kick back and enjoy a beer and a couple of slices of thin, cheesy pizza. But, if you must take it to go, you can expect a pizza experience that's just as delicious as dine-in. Choose from one of their pre-set hand-tossed pizzas, or build your own, choosing from a long list of toppings that even includes vegan cheese and tempeh for its vegan and vegetarian customers. Thankfully for us, D'Allesandro's is open until 11pm Sunday through Wednesday and until midnight Thursday through Saturday. (843-853-6337)
This casual, sometimes rockin' bar on Morrison Drive may require a car ride to get to from downtown, but the 5-minute drive is worth it if you're into meaty, cheesy late night sandwiches. This is a ditch the diet, "I need to soak up the beers I had earlier" type of establishment. Think triple-deck Duck Clubs, grilled cheeses, and burgers topped with pork belly. The Moose is probably best known for its fries--duck fat fries to be exact. Top them with gravy or bleu cheese for the best late night snack around. You can sub portobello for any meat ingredient, but to vegetarians, The Moose shares this message: "This is not a true vegetarian option. It is still cooked on the same grill as our other meat dishes." (843-277-2990)
The Rarebit, an upscale restaurant and bar known for its retro-style decor and other-worldly Moscow Mules, it also an excellent choice for late night eats. Conveniently located on Upper King Street downtown, The Rarebit offers their full menu from 11am to 10pm, switching over to a breakfast-only menu at afterwards, until 2am. Their breakfast menu offers quite a lot to the hungry night owl, including dishes like the Huevos Rancheros, Steak and Eggs, French Toast with strawberries and bananas, and Belgian Waffle with fried chicken. Most breakfast items fall within the $5 - $8 range, with the exception of their Steak and Eggs. (843-974-5483)
Butcher & Bee
Located on Upper King Street, Butcher & Bee is known as a purveyor of what they call "craft sandwiches." In a world of many craft things, Butcher & Bee's sandwiches are a standout, particularly late at night after some Charleston bar hopping. They're open for lunch daily, but offer after-bar eats into the wee hours (until 3am) on Friday and Saturday. Butcher & Bee sources its ingredients locally, meaning that your sandwiches, plates and sides are all high in flavor, and strong in community ties. Somehow, the fact that B&B is also a BYOB establishment also lends to this neighborly feel. Late-nighters can expect plenty of options for all tastes, and at least a few vegetarian specials on Butcher & Bee's creative menu. ((843) 619-0202)
About 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 Charleston, spending her days enjoying the city’s perpetually sunny weather, nearby beaches and ever-growing food and craft beer scene.
Follow Clare on Twitter @LocalExpertCHS for the latest in local happenings!
Read more about Clare Sweeney here.
Connect with Clare via: Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest