April 5, 2021

Where the Locals Eat: Charleston’s Can’t-Miss Restaurants

Charleston, South Carolina, is known for some of the freshest, most flavorful seafood you can find anywhere. In fact, the local catch of the day comes fresh off the dock—literally—before traveling to some of the area’s finest restaurants.

But don’t think restaurants within this legendary lowcountry landmark destination offer only delicious dishes from the sea. Our Charleston team offered up a bevy of award-winning local favorites that have proven worthy of their spots on a can’t-miss dining list. Here are our favorites (in no particular order):

Mercantile and Mash

701 East Bay St., Charleston, SC 29403

In addition to an entire day’s menu worth of meals like avocado toast, barbacoa tacos, and cut-to-order steaks, this gourmet food hall is stocked with homemade items and local products including charcuterie, cheese, wine, and locally roasted coffee. (The pastries at Mercantile and Mash ranked exceptionally high on our list.)

Obstinate Daughter

2063 Middle St., Sullivans Island, South Carolina 29482

Owners of this self-proclaimed lowcountry “food fort” serve up Southern-style food influenced by Spanish, Italian, and French cuisine. (Our crew puts the pasta high on their must-eat list.) The Obstinate Daughter menu changes seasonally and is firmly rooted in local farm and fishing operations.

Hall’s Chophouse

434 King St., Charleston, SC 29403

Since opening its doors to Charleston diners in 2009, Hall’s Chophouse has racked up an abundance of honors, including Best Burger in Charleston (Thrillist), #1 Restaurant in Charleston (TripAdvisor), and Best Steakhouse in America (Yelp). Beyond the USDA prime beef that highlights the Chophouse menu, Hall’s offers a plethora of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and sustainable local seafood options. There’s also a Sunday Gospel Brunch menu and a three-course menu designed exclusively for Charleston Restaurant Week.

Xiao Bao Biscuit

224 Rutledge St., Charleston, SC 24903

Xiao Bao Biscuit offers “grandmother-inspired” Asian dishes from China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, all prepared locally as part of a seasonal menu. We recommend the Okonomiyaki—a cabbage pancake created in a style Xiao Bao’s owners learned while farming in Japan—any of the daily specials, and family-style dinner service.

Burtons Grill and Bar

1875 US-17, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

It’s fitting that Burtons Grill and Bar, located just north of Charleston in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, markets itself as “Fresh Local Charleston.” Thanks to its traditional scratch kitchen, Burtons’ menu items—which range from shrimp feta pasta to maple chicken sandwiches—can be customized to meet almost any dietary need. In 2019, Burtons was voted AllergyEats’ #1 Most Allergy-Friendly Restaurant, and the grill features a “{B} Choosy” kids menu—color-coded to allow picky eaters to choose from various options within each of the five food groups. 

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