No Matter What Occasion You’re Celebrating, You Can Create a Memorable Experience While Dining Outdoors at These 15 Charleston Restaurants.
Charleston is known for its wildly diverse and expansive food scene. Whether you’re craving Saturday brunch or are heading into the town to celebrate with a night out, you can find something for you in Charleston. With summer in full swing, we’ve pulled together some of the best Charleston restaurants with outdoor seating.
1. The Palmetto Cafe
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy Sunday brunch, head on over to The Palmetto Cafe
! This Charleston restaurant is loved by locals and visitors alike—and it’s not hard to understand why. Here, you can enjoy dining in this inspiring, garden-style setting. Craving Belgian waffles? You’ve got it! In the mood for a classic plate of shrimp and grits? You can have that here! Whether you want a hearty breakfast or light lunch, The Palmetto Cafe is sure to have something delicious you’ll love. Open from 7 AM to 11 AM, dining here is an experience that you don’t want to miss.
2. Lewis Barbecue
It’s hard to beat some Southern barbecue, and at Lewis Barbecue
, you can have a taste of the best. This barbecue joint has been serving up authentic Texas barbecue since opening its doors in 2005. Whether you are craving high-quality meats or sandwiches, you can get that - and much more - here. With a bar and outdoor tables, this is the perfect place to enjoy an outing with friends or a date night. Stop by for Happy Hour from 4 to 6 PM from Monday to Friday and grab some of their famous Lewis Nachos or freshly made margaritas.
3. Charleston Crab House
If you enjoy seafood, you will love this Charleston staple! Charleston Crab House
is family-owned and has been operating for almost 30 years. Its extensive menu includes some mouthwatering “‘Crab-a-tizers,” including hush puppies and crab dip. Crab House Specialities include items such as the Grilled Seafood Trio and Steamin’ Tails and Legs. No matter what you decide to get, you won’t be disappointed.
4. Fuel Charleston
Credit: Fuel Charleston
Traveling to the Caribbean might be off-limits for now, but thankfully, you can still enjoy some authentic flavors at Fuel Charleston
. Planted in the heart of downtown Charleston, Fuel Charleston is located in an old filling station, resulting in a unique and memorable eating experience. This Charleston restaurant quickly gained popularity since first opening in 2008. In 2012, Fuel hosted Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Its flavorful and diverse menu includes items such as jerk chicken sandwiches, fish tacos, burgers and fries, fresh salads, and ice-cold beers. Fuel’s handcrafted tropical drinks will instantly transport you to sandy-white Caribbean beaches. You can check out this Caribbean-inspired restaurant seven days a week for lunch or dinner or stop by for brunch on the weekends.
5. Maybank Public House
If you’re in the mood for burgers and beer (a classic pairing), you can get just that at Maybank Public House
. Established in 2015, this upscale-casual restaurant and taproom is the perfect way to celebrate a night out or catch the game. Kick off your evening by ordering some truffle fries, followed by a variety of other dishes: flatbreads, burgers, and salads. Here, you can enjoy an expansive array of quality fare and inventive beers while dining on the outdoor patio.
6. Pearlz Oyster Bar
Located in the historic French quarter of Charleston, this upbeat and eclectic restaurant is all about serving the finest seafood in the area. Pearlz Oyster Bar
features a vast menu with an assorted variety of raw shellfish, local seafood, Lowcountry recipes, and much more. Regardless of what type of seafood you are craving, you can find that here. Take advantage of happy hour, which occurs from 4 to 7 PM. Through prioritizing high-quality customer service and serving fresh and local seafood, Pearlz Oyster Bar is an unbeatable dining experience.
7. Oak Steakhouse
This classic American steakhouse can be found on the city’s historic Broad Street. Located inside a historic bank building that dates back to 1848, Oak Steakhouse comprises four distinct dining areas. With arched windows, 20-foot ceilings, fireplaces, and 150-year-old pine floors, dining here is nothing short of a magnificent experience. The menu items, carefully crafted by Chef Mark Keiser, feature locally and regionally sourced ingredients from sustainable farmers and fishermen. Popular dishes include local oysters on the half-shell, whole fried lobster, and Clammer Dave’s caper clams—just to name just a few! The impressive wine selection features California Cabernets and Old World reds imported directly from Italy and Bordeaux. No matter the occasion, Oak’s is an idyllic setting to mark a special evening.
Credit: Husk Restaurant
, located in historic downtown Charleston, describes itself as “a celebration of Southern ingredients.” With a menu filled with mouthwatering home-cooked dishes, dining here is a celebration indeed. Husk boasts an innovative and bold menu, seeking to redefine what it means to cook and eat in the South. Additionally, the menu frequently changes and adjusts depending on what is available with the region’s producers. Here, you can try original dishes, including Kentuckyaki Glazed Pig’s Ear Lettuce Wraps or Shrimp and Edisto Island Grits.
9. High Cotton
A refined eatery, High Cotton
is a remarkable dining experience. Here, you can savor delicious Lowcountry fare cooked prepared with the best locally sourced ingredients all while enjoying daily live music. Enjoy a three-course meal each day from 4 to 6 PM for only $55. This spectacular deal allows you to choose an appetizer to begin (such as Summer Peach Panzanella), an entree (like New Bedford Scallops), and—last but not least—a dessert (chocolate caramel tart or strawberry cheesecake). Whether you want to partake in a three-course meal or stop by for dessert, you can sit in the outdoor dining area. As one of the most sought-after restaurants in the area, be sure to make reservations!
10. Leyla Fine Lebanese Cuisine
Leyla Fine Lebanese Cuisine
is known as Charleston’s champion Lebanese restaurant, faithfully serving up its original and authentic Lebanese staple dishes. The warm and welcoming atmosphere and friendly customer service at Layla’s will instantly make you feel at home. Whether you want seafood or meat—or if you’re vegan or vegetarian—this eatery has something for everyone to enjoy. Each meal is freshly prepared with love and created using genuine spices, flavors, and ingredients.
11. 5Church Charleston
Credit: Charleston City Paper
If you’re someone who likes trying out new, unique restaurants, head on over to 5Church Charleston
. This new Charleston addition has been transformed from a former church and includes a breathtaking backdrop for dining—vaulted ceilings and original stained glass windows. The menu features New American cuisine and rare items such as Sushi Tots, Lamb Burgers, and Handmade Braided Ravioli. The cocktail bar includes wines by the glass and bottle as well as specialty cocktails.
12. Muse Restaurant and Wine Bar
Celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or another special occasion? You can head over to Muse Restaurant and Wine Bar
to enjoy an open-air dinner on the enclosed terrace. Muse specializes in Mediterranean fare, along with a wine bar featuring 100 wines conveniently served by the glass. As a relatively new addition to the Charleston food scene, Muse is one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
13. 82 Queen
Nestled in downtown Charleston’s historic French Quarter, this 300-year-old address is home to 82 Queen. Spread throughout three buildings and eleven whimsical dining areas, 82 Queen
is known for its gracious and welcoming Southern hospitality. Stop by and enjoy a scrumptious brunch, lunch, or dinner in the lush garden outdoor courtyard. Using all fresh and locally sourced ingredients, the menu includes items such as Carolina Crab Cake, Jambalaya, or Roasted Portabella Mushroom.
If you’re craving some authentic, rustic Italian cuisine, head on over to Indaco
. Located on Charleston’s Upper King Street, Indaco is passionate about serving up their wildly popular Italian fare. With a menu crafted by Executive Chef Michael Holler, you can enjoy wood-fired pizzas, hand-crafted pasta, and homemade salami and cured sausages. You can enjoy your meal family-style or a la carte all while taking advantage of the outdoor dining area.
15. The Grocery
No matter what occasion you are seeking to celebrate, The Grocery
is a great place to make memories! Opened in 2011 by Chef Kevin Johnson and his wife Susan, this family-owned restaurant has become beloved by the locals. This eatery offers a new spin on Southern classics, all created using high-quality and fresh ingredients. You can stop by to try any of the delicious menu items while sitting on the outdoor sidewalk and covered patio.
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