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Diners' Choice: Innovative restaurants in Charleston

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OpenTable
Updated May 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are fit for foodies in Charleston? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of The Establishment restaurant
4.9
4.9 (2427)
$50 and over
Seafood
Downtown Charleston
About the restaurant
Everything at The Establishment begins with well-sourced ingredients from sea and field. Through developing relationships with local farmers and fishermen, our ingredients will be consistently seasonal, fresh, and pure. Chef Elliott Howells' menu will always reflect a clean, focused, and balanced approach, delivering a selection of thoughtful and refined cuisine.

Located in Charleston’s historic French Quarter a few blocks away from Rainbow Row, Charleston City Market, and Waterfront Park, The Establishment features an award-winning wine cellar, over 150 bourbon and whiskey offerings, and a lively bar scene complete with daily happy hour. We feature Live Music every Friday and Saturday starting at 8:00 PM, featuring multiple local artists performing an array of musical genres. Our private dining rooms are perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or business meetings. We look forward to hosting you for a casual night out or an elevated dining experience.

Top review
RandyCinSC
Dined 2 days ago
It was a wine dinner. Venue was perfect, not noisy and relatively private. The food pairings with the wine were excellent. Portions were good, and the wine was tasty. The staff went out of their way to make everyone comfortable one of the best venues I’ve ever been to for a wine dinner. The wine ambassador was very informative. I had a great time.
A photo of Maison restaurant
4.9
4.9 (1560)
$31 to $50
French
Downtown Charleston
About the restaurant
Maison is a French Bistro located in downtown Charleston, SC. Our concept is food forward with bright, balanced beverages to compliment. Maison's cuisine is inspired by classic French fare recreated with a breath of modernity and local influence. Tradition meets au courant innovation. The space is intimate and paralleled with energy.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Nate and Evan Took great care of us. Excellent food and drinks
A photo of Ma'am Saab restaurant
4.8
4.8 (192)
$50 and over
Pakistani
Downtown Charleston
About the restaurant
Nestled in the historic district of downtown Charleston, experience an elevated take on Pakistani cuisine by Chef Maryam Ghaznavi. Be prepared to embark on a journey into Pakistan- featuring a focused menu with dishes originating back to the mughal era. Expect crowd favorites like Butter Chicken, Biryanis, Bihari Kabab and more, along with extensive craft cocktail, mocktail and Delta 9 THC infused libations inspired by the flavors and spices from the subcontinent. With architectural details that pay homage to the history and culture of the subcontinent while looking into the future thanks to Artificial Intelligence based artistry, Ma’am Saab (which means “Boss Lady” in the Urdu language) is unique to any other restaurant in Charleston.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
The food was very good. Heat level moderate. Menu needs to be expanded with greater offerings. I suspect if menu had more offering I may return. Between three we pretty much covered the offerings. The tables are too small as we had three dining on a table suitable for two.
A photo of Sorghum & Salt restaurant
4.7
4.7 (353)
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates
Downtown Charleston
About the restaurant
Vegetable & seafood driven small plates with a seasonal, always-revolving menu served in a trendy, industrial setting combining upscale fare with a laid back experience. Our tasting menu is available in the entire restaurant 6 days a week. Selected for OpenTables "Top 10 Diners' Choice Winners in Charleston" in 2021!

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 5, 2024
Delicious food, cool place. Lots of options for my wife, and ho has a dairy allergy. Do the chef’s tasting menu, you won’t be disappointed.
A photo of The King Claw - Charleston restaurant
4.7
4.7 (105)
$30 and under
Seafood
West Ashley
About the restaurant
King Claw: Juicy Seafood & Bar, a Viet-Cajun restaurant, in the former Yokoso Japanese Steakhouse at 1734 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Very delicious. Best seafood boil I've had in Charleston. Prices have gone up and aren't the same as what is reflected in the app!!! But honestly worth it!!
A photo of Bearcat restaurant
4.7
4.7 (148)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
West Ashley
About the restaurant
Discover a culinary journey like no other in Avondale, where modern American flavors meet casual sophistication. Chef/Owner George Kovach has over 15 years of experience working in the service industry, including eight years working in Michelin-starred restaurants, he and his team are excited to provide a neighborhood gathering place in the heart of West Ashley. At Bearcat, every bite is an adventure. Your dining experience begins here, where exceptional food meets unforgettable memories.
**Please note that our menu does change frequently as we source food locally and seasonally.

- Please call if you are running later than 10 minutes after your reservation time.
- Last seating for reservations are 9:30pm for Main Dining.
- Our Menu is available until 10pm.
- Bar seating is available Tuesday-Thursday 10pm and Friday-Saturday 11pm.

Top review
RobertF
Dined 4 days ago
Eclectic and creative. We had tasting menu which just began the previous week and so glad we did, as did many other guests. The wine pairing was a good choice as well. As good a dining experience as I’ve had in Charleston and there have been many very good ones.
A photo of Tempest restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2282)
$50 and over
Seafood
Downtown Charleston
About the restaurant
USA Today 10Best, #1 Best New Restaurant in the Country. Upscale seafood restaurant, located on historic Market Street next to sister location, Church and Union Charleston. Tempest features hyper-local, sustainable Coastal Modern-American food, with a seasonal menu curated by Chef Adam Hodgson and Bravo Top Chef Alum Chef Jamie Lynch
Tempest's noteworthy raw and roast menu features both chilled and charcoal roasted options that will be prepared on a Mibrasa charcoal oven. The Mibrasa cultivates a subtle smoke flavor without compromising the integrity of the seafood and roasted selections. Impressive single, double and three tier Seafood Towers are also featured. Boasting a selection of seafood-friendly Old-World wines, along with hand-picked gins, rums and bourbons.

Top review
EmilyS
Dined 5 days ago
We had an incredible business dinner with some out-of-town clients at Tempest. I had been for brunch, but never for dinner - and it did not disappoint. We ordered the roasted oysters and shrimp - both served with a scallion butter we wanted to drown in. Each of us got a different fish dish, and all were outstanding. Our server, Mariah, was attentive and kind - helping us understand the menu and guide us in our decisions. Finally, we had an incredible dessert. The experience and the meal were a 10/10!
A photo of The Peacock Charleston restaurant
4.6
4.6 (218)
$31 to $50
American
Downtown Charleston
About the restaurant
The Peacock is an art deco-inspired setting with distinct spaces on each floor - spanning 12,000 sq ft. We offer something for everyone at any time of day. The main dining will be open from 11:30a.m. - 10 p.m. daily for lunch, and dinner (and stays open until 2 a.m. for cocktails). Our second-floor peacock lounge opens daily at 5 p.m. and stays open until 2 a.m. Also on the second floor, you will find V's our entertainment space where you can see a show or have a VIP experience dancing the night away. Finally, experience the splendor of a Charleston evening from our rooftop bar/lounge. We also offer three VIP areas for reservations on the roof (they seat 10-12 people and have private TVs). Come for a meal, watch a sunset or stay for a show whatever you choose you're sure to make it a habit!

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
The lemon pepper wings were perfect...crisp to perfection and very tasty. The Romaine wedge was also very good. Will be back to try other offerings!
A photo of Bahama Breeze - Charleston restaurant
4.4
4.4 (259)
$30 and under
Caribbean
North Charleston
About the restaurant
Bahama Breeze Island Grille offers a To Go menu with easy online ordering. Take home a taste of the islands today. Bahama Breeze offers all your favorites: burgers, salads, seafood, chicken-all with our island flair. From jicama or plantains to jerk chicken pasta, you can enjoy the islands one taste at a time, discovering new flavors along the way. If our Latin and Caribbean-inspired recipes sound delicious but you're not sure you're ready to explore, ask us about the ingredients or preparation. We're always happy to share our knowledge of Latin American and Caribbean cuisine.
Top review
IAN42
Dined on Mar 29, 2024
As always the food and service were exactly what we expected, and execeded our expectations.
A photo of Coterie- Charleston restaurant
4.4
4.4 (360)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Downtown Charleston
About the restaurant
The word “coterie," in its essence, means a group of people who come together to share their ideas. Unique perspectives are what brings flavor to our conversations and our relationships, and they thrive in the right environment.

Our style is an edited mix of flavorful dishes and drinks served in an intimate setting. Flavors come to the forefront as easily as the conversations held by the people enjoying the food. At Coterie, everyone brings their own story to the table.

Top review
CraigK
Dined 6 days ago
Coterie is a great hidden gem for Charleston with a lovely covered patio space for dining. The food is inventive and artfully prepared. This spot is one of our favorites in Charleston.
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