• 422

City Guide

Charleston's dining scene is sort of like Hollywood during its big-studio heyday: The culinary capital of the lowcountry is a small town that's riveting a nation of diners starved for glamour, gossip and artistic achievement. This is where line cooks' dreams lead: A visiting chef with an overscheduled eating itinerary and a restaurant-opening scheme is as much a mainstay of Charleston's cocktail bars as a bottle of Madeira. But the city's charms aren't spent entirely on industry insiders. Charleston has converted its legacy of monied entertaining into an accessible dining scene that celebrates the region's year-round bounty. Ideally situated on the southern edge of cold-climate crop zones and the northern boundary of tropical growing areas, Charleston is perpetually ready for dinner.


Fried Shrimp with Red Rice

Dave's Carry-Out

BJ Dennis

Local personal chef and caterer

"You have to step outside of downtown to get even a slight taste of local life in the lowcountry. Try mom and pop seafood shops, like Fishnet Seafood in Red Top for fried hard-shell crabs."

Local Expert

Mike Lata

Chef and partner of FIG Restaurant

"One of my favorite restaurants in Charleston is actually on Johns Island called Wild Olive. You have total buy-in from the staff, which results in a genuinely hospitable experience. Not to mention the food is killer."

More Cities

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere