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California Dreaming - Charleston - Priority Seating

4.1
1419 Reviews
$30 and under
American
*Please note, we accept Advanced Priority Seating at California Dreaming in Charleston, we do not take reservations. Advanced Priority Seating limits your wait on busy nights and allow us to seat you within a shorter time frame upon arrival of your entire party.

California Dreaming has been serving the Charleston community since 1987. The large, open setting boasts floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Ashley River, providing a perfect backdrop to any event. The panoramic views can also be enjoyed on the wrap-around deck with bar, that is easily accessible by boat; additional restaurant features: online ordering with curbside pick-up. Awarded Best Waterfront Dining and Best Salad - City Paper, 2004-2021.

We are unable to accommodate parties of 6 or greater at this time.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1419 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Christmas atmosphere and wonderful service

J
Jequita
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was fantastic. The food was delicious. Very nice atmosphere.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food1service3ambience2

The restaurant was very loud, children were screaming. Our food came out quickly. My salad was on a bed of iceberg lettuce. My my steak was over cooked and chewy around the edges because it was so overdone. My boyfriend had the low country boil which was overly seasoned to the point of making your tongue raw. We held this restaurant to a high standard and we were both very excited to have dinner here. After spending close to $90 for two, we were both highly disappointed in our food and felt a bit robbed. Unfortunately we will not be returning to this restaurant.

T
Tutalum
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The prime rib wasn't as good as the last time I had it and the wings were fried harder than I liked

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Always a treat to visit at sunset. Unfortunately they have removed the potato soup from the menu but the salad was just as delicious as ever.
Beautifully decorated for the holiday season.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food1service5ambience5

We went to dinner for our anniversary because we love this place and haven’t been in a while. It was decorated beautifully for Christmas. They weren’t too busy but it was really loud in there. The food was not up to their usual standard. It was very disappointing.

DR
DonnaR
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

All good. It has been a long time since I have eaten here but it did not disappoint.

S
Sheryl
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience3

I normally love coming here but this time the food was awful. I don't know if it's because we went on a weeknight for the first time. My husband ordered the Sirloin Steak and it was over cooked,even black in color. My favorite California dreaming salad was wilted and it had all the core hard pieces of the salad in it, there where hardly good leaves that's worth eating in the salad. The Waiter can vouch for that, because I showed it to him. He asked how everything was and we told him that it was not good at all, so we waited for the manager to come, but he or she never came. We wasn't pleased at all with our food tonight.

FR
FRANCISCOD
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a pleasant experience for a lovely date night. All was wonderful and were very pleased with the restaurant.
We had the highly recommended honey buttered croissants, Caesar
Salad, Filet Mignon, Salmon dinner and a bottle of Prosseco.......no room for desserts!

DG
DavidG
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Add Sherry to she-crab soup
Don’t run out of cauliflower for the
appetizer
Need to provide more salad dressing

JS
JenS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The service by William M. was terrible! Our salads were served 15 minutes apart, bar order wasn’t deluged till I asked where it was, our entrees were rushed after the very late salads. The entrees were bland, cold and over cooked. William was nowhere to be found and had to ask other servers to find him. What a waste! Go somewhere locally owned and operated as their food and service is superior!

TA
ThomasAGoodwin
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My strip had nice char and was flavorful and cooked right. Wife's ribs were delicious. Keyshawn was an outstanding server and worthy of more than just an "atta-boy"!!

WB
WaymanB
Western NC
9 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience5

Our waiter was horrible. Every time he spoke he was running by literally speaking to us from another table. He did this to everyone he was serving which just made you feel like a burden. The food was actually good and the atmosphere is not what you would expect from this tourist looking spot. It was very cozy and comfortable in side with a really nice view.

CH
CindyH
1 review
Dined on November 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The view of Charleston Harbor is outstanding; The food great and the service wonderful! Finally saw fried cauliflower back on menu, when we asked to get it, they were out of it!! waiter was terrific though and gave us a bowl of soup on the house.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Western NC
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Food was excellent but Turkey and Sweet potatoes were cold. This was our 4th year going their on Thanksgiving Dinner. This is an excellent bang for your buck. I will continue to recommend them.

T
Timmer
Minneapolis
11 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience5

Thanksgiving! Yeah! Our son arrived from up north where the icy winds blow to the warm embrace of Charleston, SC. His destination upon arrival? California Dreaming and the wonderful Thanksgiving feast! Food was very good! Afterwards, we were informed by our sad-faced yet polite server that there was no more, wait for it, PIE! Our sighs were quite audible: "No pie! How did this happen?" Only words from our server was, "We ran out." No humble apology, no mention of comp., just that sad face staring at us like our hearts were ripped out.
All humor aside, you guys are better than this. Some kind of comp. would have been in order. We come here 6-8x per year. Instead, heartache, pain and shame.

JW
JoslynW
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall2food3service5ambience5

The restaurant was nice , and was recommended to us by a friend. We were disappointed about portions and options available for thanksgiving. We were spending our honeymoon in Charleston, which landed on thanksgiving week. The food was ok, but not worth what we paid.

TB
ToddB
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Nice decor and lighting on the waterfront. Food is nicely presented.

FT
FTman
Richmond
18 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Thanksgiving

B
Bomba
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience3

The Reception desk was far less than enthusiastic. The food was tasty, however, we received turkey chips and small pieces….portions were smaller, very little gravy. We were seated behind the bar area, next to a cashier station, this was far less than ideal…..Especially for Thanksgiving…..watching people boozing.
Our friends even commented, that maybe it’s time to find a new venue for our Holiday meals.
Sorry this had to take a negative overtone…

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience1

We chose California Dreaming for our Thanksgiving dinner because they advertised some of their normal choices OR traditional dinner. Our waiter was surly and unprofessional- barely offering appetizers or dessert. When I expressed my confusion over the menu he said “I’ve had to deal with this all afternoon.” As we left we noticed that other customers had indeed had steak -
This is one of my favorite restaurants and I will go back but I will be very careful about recommending it to others.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Everything was awful, period.

G
Gordo
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was incredibly good and tasty! Every item on our plate tasted freshly cooked and made with the quality of care we would expect from a California Dreaming meal. And the food was abundant so much so that several in our party
need to ask for take out boxes! A very special and memorable meal!

RR
ReRo
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and excellent service! We had a great experience.

P
Penny
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal and great service! Always a well cleaned facility. Beautiful view.

DP
DianneP
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Thanksgiving meal was excellent. There was everything you could ask for, and it was all good including the dessert. We had a table with a great view. All in all, a very nice way to spend a holiday.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience4

Thanksgiving meal. Normally, CD has wonderful food and is where we take all of our visitors. This meal was a major disappointment for $65. The food was subpar, similar to a low end cafeteria. The sweet potato casserole was the exception.

BB
BogeyBernie
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Awesome meal, one of the best Thanksgiving meals ever. Server was great too. All employees appeared congenial and gracious. Nice time!

VM
VanessaM
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Parker, our server, was excellent. Very polite thoughtful and attentive

S
Sandwriter
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Food not hot, poor quality, grisly, thanksgiving dinner

J
Jerry
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful. The food was plentiful and delicious. Our waitress was attentive but not obnoxious. All in all, well done.

SH
SallyH
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding venue overlooking the Ashley River and the marina, the Thanksgiving menu was fabulous and the service second to none

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanksgiving!

PV
PattiV
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious! Great Thanksgiving meal! Will go again.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Miami
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2021
Overall1food1service3ambience4

Not impressed with the quality of the food. So many better options to choose from.

DL
vipDonL
Charleston
20 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife’s birthday was excellent! The service accentuated the birthday and the meal was fantastic. Kudos to our server. He was awesome!

EO
ElaineO
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall3food2service4ambience4

Ordered the salad and lettuce was frozen, waitress was very nice but didn’t come check on us for about 20 minutes. Food disappointing.

NK
NancyK
Charleston
10 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

First time back in over a year. Don’t really see a need to return. Ambiance was great, food nothing special.

DL
DonnaL
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love eating at California Dreaming. The food is delicious and the staff is lovely. Our meal was wonderful.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience3

Poor service by the hosting staff. Blasting house and R&B music in the dining area, smooth Jazz in the bathrooms that should be for everywhere. Hosts with hoods on busting tables & throwing chairs up behind other guests still dining.
1 of 4 dinner plates came 5-10 minutes after the other meals. Server was friendly but quite hectic.

Outstanding location and good food all together but still a disappointing experience compared to the great reputation of this restaurant.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from California Dreaming - Charleston - Priority Seating using the Order Online button. California Dreaming - Charleston - Priority Seating also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (843) 766-1644.

California Dreaming - Charleston - Priority Seating is rated 4.1 stars by 1419 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.