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The Best Burgers in Charleston

Charleston is without a doubt one of the nation's greatest culinary destinations. Here, restaurants inside stunning historic venues present the finest seafood, low country cuisine and world-class interpretations of comfort food classics. Burgers are a perfect example of the latter, with the best burgers in Charleston ranging from innovative, original creations to faultless versions of the ideal all-American cheeseburger. But where do the savviest foodies go when they want the best burger in Charleston? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. We examined data covering thousands of restaurants provided by OpenTable's most experienced eaters. The following remarkable restaurants came out on top in the burger category. Anyone in the Holy City ready to worship an unforgettable burger should book a table at one of these hot spots today.

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The OpenTable Team
Updated March 14, 2022
A photo of Bourbon n Bubbles restaurant

Bourbon n Bubbles

$$$$
Contemporary American
Downtown Charleston
3.9
931 reviews
Bourbon n Buddles is a unique concept in Charleston – a restaurant and bar with an extensive collection of whiskies and Champagne to pair with its cuisine. Wine and whisky flights come with small bites, but there’s a full menu as well. It reveals intriguing southern and pan-Asian influences, both evident in two remarkable burgers. There’s a straightforward short-rib and brisket burger with cheddar, house sauce and an onion ring, with an optional add-on of bacon. More unexpected is the turkey burger banh-mi-style. Both come with house frites on the side. Note that along with great deals on select drinks, all starters and entrees are available for a discounted price during happy hour (4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays).

A photo of Husk - Charleston restaurant

Husk - Charleston

$$$$
American
Downtown Charleston
4.6
14068 reviews
Many top critics and countless local foodies have declared the cheeseburger served at Husk the best burger in Charleston. Husk’s dinner menu, always an innovative showcase of exclusively southern ingredients, changes nightly but often features the iconic burger. Chef Sean Brock makes no secret of his burger recipe (it’s published online), which was inspired by drive-in burgers from his childhood. Brock grinds hickory-smoked Benton’s bacon with all-chuck beef, sears the patties on a griddle, diner-style, and tops two per order with American cheese. Other key Husk burger components: a house-made buttermilk and benne seed bun, thinly shaved white onions, bread and butter pickles and special sauce.

A photo of Prohibition restaurant

Prohibition

$$$$
American
Downtown Charleston
4.6
2094 reviews
The lunch, dinner and brunch menus at the speakeasy-inspired Prohibition in Charleston all feature a great burger. For lunch and dinner it’s an 8-ounce Angus burger with maple-bourbon-bacon jam, cheddar, pickles, crispy onion, garlic aioli and a side of fries. The lavish brunch burger features a fried green tomato, bacon, fried egg, cheddar and a garlic-chili hollandaise sauce. Along with some of the best burgers in Charleston, Prohibition draws a lively crowd of locals and visitors with live music six nights a week, including blues and salsa nights, and its contemporary versions of classic southern cocktails.

A photo of Stars Restaurant - Rooftop & Grill Room restaurant

Stars Restaurant - Rooftop & Grill Room

$$$$
American
Downtown Charleston
4.1
2139 reviews
The major claim to fame of Stars Restaurant – Rooftop and Grill Room is the only 360-degree view in Charleston from its rooftop bar. It also claims a serious contender for the best burger in Charleston, a wood-grilled cheeseburger topped with pecan-smoked bacon and Tillamook cheddar on a sesame bun. The burger comes with a side of French fries. The restaurant’s signature is cooking over live fire, and the burger is an ideal dish to showcase this technique. Diners might enjoy a view of the chefs at work over the flame in the exhibition kitchen.

A photo of The Refuge restaurant

The Refuge

$$$$
American
Isle of Palms
4.3
422 reviews
In an airy, rustic-chic venue on the coast of Isle of Palms, the Refuge brings together a coffee bar, cocktail lounge and restaurant. It specializes in sophisticated but approachable cuisine prepared whenever possible with sustainable local ingredients. Diners seeking a great burger are not disappointed. On the daytime menu is the Refuge burger, a classic version with just lettuce, tomato and American cheese. The southern burger upgrades the patty to a short-rib and brisket Angus blend and tops it with bacon-coffee jam, pimento cheese and a fried green tomato. There’s also a classic patty melt. The dinner menu offers two burgers – the low tide topped with cheddar, and the fancier high tide with pepper jack, a fried egg, field greens, house pickles and a truffle-parmesan aioli. A choice of side dish is included with every burger.


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A photo of Crave Kitchen & Cocktails restaurant

Crave Kitchen & Cocktails

$$$$
American
Mount Pleasant
4.6
2692 reviews
Crave Kitchen and Cocktails is famous for its mac and cheese, which Travel & Leisure, Esquire magazine and others have called the best in the nation. The cheerful Mount Pleasant eatery also offers a popular burger on its lunch, dinner and brunch menus that’s customizable with a long list of options. The ¾-pound patty of house-ground black Angus comes on a brioche bun with romaine, tomato, red onion and a choice of cheese. Available additions include blackening seasoning, onions, mushrooms, bacon, upgraded cheese (brie, aged Swiss or goat) and a fried egg. The side is a choice of fries, sweet potato fries or a side salad, but diners might upgrade to the celebrated mac and cheese or a cup of she crab soup.


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A photo of The Darling Oyster Bar restaurant

The Darling Oyster Bar

$$$$
Seafood
Downtown Charleston
4.7
2792 reviews
The Darling Oyster bar, which occupies a light, bright space with raw brick and coastal décor, presents impeccable seafood and southern comfort food. This includes one of the best burgers in Charleston, offered as a single or double on its lunch and brunch menus. It’s a straightforward classic with cheddar, onions, pickles, shredded lettuce and special sauce, with a choice of side dish. Along with sides of fries are lowcountry classics like hush puppies with sorghum butter and collards with ham. Choice brunch-time side dishes include potato casserole and Geechie Boy grits with sweet pepper relish.

A photo of 39 Rue de Jean - Charleston restaurant

39 Rue de Jean - Charleston

$$$$
French
Downtown Charleston
4.2
4019 reviews
The authentic Parisian-style brasserie 30 rue de jean features on virtually every best burger in Charleston list. Critics and local diners rave about its brasserie burger (and its mussels, and beers, and sushi…) which stars on the restaurant’s lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus. It’s a thick, 10-ounce beef patty grilled to order and stacked with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and optionally Roquefort, gruyere or cheddar. On the side is a serving of pommes frites and a few gherkins. Adding to 39 rue de jean’s appeal is its venue – a well-preserved brick warehouse dating to 1880.

A photo of Tavern & Table restaurant

Tavern & Table

$$$$
American
Mount Pleasant
4.5
2145 reviews
A dockside setting on Shem Creek, a lively and welcoming atmosphere, hand-crafted cocktails and lowcountry cuisine designed for sharing characterize Tavern & Table. The casual eatery presents lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus focused on small plates, seafood platters and flat-breads. It also offers three fantastic burgers, all with a side of duck-fat fries or sweet potato wedges. Two feature house-ground Angus beef: the double double with American cheese, dill pickles, iceberg and T&T sauce (and optionally bacon); and the steakhouse burger with cheddar, steak sauce, onion rings and an onion aioli. There’s also a bison burger with caramelized onions, bacon jam, blue cheese, saba and baby arugula.

A photo of Church and Union - Charleston restaurant

Church and Union - Charleston

$$$$
American
Downtown Charleston
4.5
6530 reviews
Aside from its eclectic menus of globally influenced comfort food, the most striking characteristic of 5Church in Charleston is its venue – a former church with its brick walls, stained glass and vaulted ceilings still in place. Options range from ramen and sushi tots to local swordfish with spaetzle. A firm favorite among return diners is the lamb burger, which features on both lunch and dinner menus. It’s topped with a red onion marmalade, gorgonzola cheese and secret sauce. At lunchtime there’s an additional burger option – the house burger with heirloom tomato, pickle and provolone.


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A photo of Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar restaurant

Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar

$$$$
Seafood
Downtown Charleston
4.6
6534 reviews
With a striking waterfront setting inside a retired 1940s naval building, Fleet Landing boasts some of the most spectacular views in Charleston. And while it specializes in local seafood, the restaurant’s lunch menu also offers some of the best burgers in Charleston. Choose between the classic 8-ounce black Angus hamburger, optionally topped with a choice of cheese, bacon or fried green tomato; and the signature burger with pimento cheese, bacon and crispy onions. Both come with a choice of side dishes including French fries, pasta salad and southern slaw.


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A photo of Oak Steakhouse restaurant

Oak Steakhouse

$$$$
Steakhouse
Downtown Charleston
4.6
4754 reviews
For an old-school, upscale steakhouse experience, Charleston locals know to head to Oak Steakhouse, a stately establishment inside a three-story former bank building dating to 1848. Original fixtures throughout the building impart a sense of history to every meal. While impeccable steaks and seafood steal most of the glory on the restaurant’s dinner menu, savvy diners know not to overlook the oak burger. It’s made from a signature blend of certified Angus cuts and topped with fontina cheese, grilled onions, tomato and bibb lettuce. The top-notch burger comes on a brioche bun with a side of hand-cut truffle fries.

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