Shuck, Slurp, Repeat: Charleston's 10 Best Oyster Bars

As soon as you arrive in Charleston, South Carolina, you know you're in a special place–unique with its own southern graces and coastal charms. And if you're an oyster lover, you'll feel nearly spoiled after a meal at any Charleston seafood restaurant or oyster bar. In the South Carolina lowcountry, oyster bar dining comes standard with incredible sunset and ocean views, shady courtyard seating, and local live music.

Oyster lovers know there are two ways to indulge: in the finest of seafood establishments, where the oyster is revered, or in a place as casual as they come, where you're more likely to find oysters fried than on the half shell.

For the ultimate in oyster fine dining, look no further than The Ordinary, a classic raw bar and restaurant housed in a historic bank building on Upper King. Just a few blocks away, there's COAST, another oyster hotspot with top-notch service, and in the other direction, Leon's, an oyster establishment known just as well for its fried chicken. 167 Raw, on East Bay, offers an elegant option for an intimate oyster date, alongside a wide variety of raw bar temptations.

The more casual oyster and seafood crowd will enjoy Bowens Island Restaurant, a local's haven occupying it's own island just south of Charleston. Snag a view with your oysters from the deck of Fleet Landing downtown, or slurp down an oyster shooter–a local specialty–at Pearlz Oyster Bar. Wherever you choose, settle in for a uniquely Charleston oyster experience.



One of two Noisy Oyster locations in the area (the other is in North Charleston), this family-friendly seafood restaurant may not be a traditional oyster bar, but it does serve up oysters in all their forms. Get your mouth watering with a look...  Read More



It's no surprise that many first time visitors to Charleston want to make a beeline for the nearest restaurant with water views. Something about eating seafood adjacent to its natural habitat gets our appetites going. Thankfully, Fleet Landing...  Read More



Just around the block from the Charleston City Market, Amen Street Fish and Raw bar is ideally located for groups and families in search of oysters after a long day of city explorations. Amen Street is nearly always buzzing with new and regular...  Read More

COAST Bar and Grill
Photo courtesy of Coast Bar & Grill


Three words: Oyster Happy Hour. That's right, COAST is the home of an all-oyster happy hour from 5:30pm - 7:30pm every Thursday, when you can get a half dozen oysters for just $7! COAST is an ideal seafood and oyster choice on any day of the...  Read More



A longtime favorite of both locals and visitors alike, Pearlz Oyster and Raw bar offers a well-rounded oyster experience to all bivalve lovers. With two Charleston locations (East Bay Street downtown and Magnolia Road in West Ashley), Pearlz...  Read More



Tucked away on quiet Hayne Street near the Charleston City Market, Hank's often surprises first-time guests. The restaurant, with its understated outside appearance and time-worn painted lettering, is elegant inside. Though Hank's offers a fine...  Read More

North Downtown


Many a local will recommend Leon's Oyster Shop for many a reason. As its name implies, Leon's specializes in oysters, and the shellfish appear on the menu raw with saltines, char-grilled, fried Rockefeller, and as oysters casino. Indeed, Leon's...  Read More

Bowens Island Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Rodney Hammond


You're in for a real treat when you opt to visit Bowens Island Restaurant, a place with an entire 13-acre island to itself. The restaurant itself, and its simple, unique concept, were founded by May and Jimmy Bowen in 1946. Located just a few...  Read More



The mini market and intimate date night restaurant across from the Harris Teeter grocery store is small and unassuming from the outside. But inside, guests can dive headfirst into the freshest selection of raw bar delicacies around, with oysters...  Read More



It's all too easy to reiterate the cliche: The Ordinary is anything but. That's an easy observation to make, even before sampling anything from the full menu of oyster bar offerings. The building itself, once a fancy bank, is elegant in black...  Read More


Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare is always venturing between traveling abroad and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown Charleston, spending her days...  More About Clare