The Darling Oyster Bar

4.6
1221 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
The Darling Oyster Bar is a casual seafood restaurant and raw bar. The Darling's menu features fresh seafood and creative ingredients, served with an approachable style. The Darling Oyster Bar’s atmosphere promotes comfortable hospitality; with a lively, neighborhood feel.

Anchoring The Darling Oyster Bar is a stunning raw bar showcasing fresh, made-to-order seafood. Guests can enjoy the lively raw bar scene while overlooking historic King Street from The Darling’s iconic storefront. The Darling raw bar also offers full service dining.

Located in the heart of Upper King Street, The Darling Oyster Bar is housed in a 115-year old historic building that enjoys a storied past. A mix of the original 1900’s reclaimed wood, whole exposed brick walls, classic tile, antique molding, and nautical theme combine to create a setting that is all at once convivial, charming, and comfortable.
What 1221 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SM
Cleveland
29 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Insist on being seated in the main/corner room with the bar/oyster bar! It has ALL the atmosphere. If you get stuck, as we did, in the side/blue room - you'll not only have none of the ambience of the other room (and I mean NONE) you'll also get to see the restaurant's servers make about 100 trips in and out of the curtained kitchen during your meal. Those being stuck in the second class room should get discounted pricing...

As for the food? From not bad to pretty good, depending on the dish - but not in any way worth a trip back - sure, given The Darling's frequent mention on so many "best of" lists ...

Maybe the food would have tasted better in the main room? I'll never know.

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OT
Charleston
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. Miller Pony’s a bonus. Great seafood, burgers and fried chicken.

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AD
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic. Great quality food, excellent service. I can see why it comes highly recommended. Would definitely return.

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AF
Phoenix
17 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Really great oysters. Good selection of fish and seafood

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JS
Savannah
14 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Did not disappoint. I’ll be back when I return to Charleston!

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OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Food was good but not the most amazing meal I’ve had for that price. We absolutely loved the atmosphere! Service could be better, when you are spending $100. However, I will say the service did improve a little towards the end of our meal.

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MT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My sister and I were referred to The Darling by some friends and locals. We were so happy we went! We made a reservation, but when we arrived, we decided to sit up in the window where the oyster shucking was happening (first come first serve). Service was excellent and staff was attentive and polite.
Everything we sipped and ate were fabulous; local oysters, ceviche with coconut & lime, fried green tomatoes and shrimp n grits. Thanks for making our trip to Charleston excellent!

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M
Savannah
8 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding

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OT
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Super dinner with friends. The king crab legs (off menu) were exceptional and so inexpensive. The oysters some of the best we’ve ever had!

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K
Orlando
3 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

The host staff could not have been less welcoming, friendly, host-like. The one side has a lovely ambiance while the other is like a dark dungeon. The captain Bloody Mary was wonderful, but the lobster roll has entirely too much mayo, and I love mayonnaise. Such a disappointment. A little training would go a long way here.

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AR
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a 9pm reservation for a party of six which was perfect! The service was surprisingly slow for the restaurant to be half empty but it may be due to a big rush being finished. The food was AMAZING! we shared the shrimp cocktails and the gulf oysters were the best I have had - huge and delicious! I was worried I was not going to be able to finish my shrimp and grits after having a half dozen! Everyone was extremely pleased with their food so I highly recommend for a group dinner!

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KK
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Service and ambiance were amazing. The octopus and oysters were to die for.

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CL
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband loved the oysters & the fried shrimp was so delicious! The atmosphere was spot on for a perfect date night!

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h
Minneapolis
36 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Would be great if you had a deeper wine list. We expected more than one chardonnay to pick from and this was true of other wine varietals as well. Server Aid was great!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The oysters were fresh and flavorful. The hushpuppies were delicious and the diver scallops were the best I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to return!

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B
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was fantastic. I would go back anytime. The oysters were fresh and the shrimp plump and juicy. Service was top notch in a relaxed atomosphere.

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KG
Charleston
118 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great oysters, red wine and service! The s’mores for dessert was tasty. You get oysters for $1 each during happy hour!

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KE
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Service was very good, food was good, but a little expensive.
I had a bad clam, let the waitress know, brought me three to replace it.
Oysters were good.

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CK
Atlanta
37 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Server Dylan was excellent. Food was very good for a bar. Could expand the wine list but other than that overall experience was very good.

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s
Memphis
4 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic seafood plateau! And the lobster roll was delicious. You must go to Darling Oyster Bar when you visit Charleston!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have been visiting Charleston for 20 years and this was our first visit to The Darling! It was the best meal we had all week and are sorry we waited so long to go!

The wine was delicious, the oysters, lobster roll, calamari and clam chowder were all fabulous! Highly recommend and will be back next time in Chucktown!

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff is very friendly and explained our options very clearly. I’ve been several times over the last couple years and the food options are great and never disappoint. My friends who are not fond of raw oysters have been converted. I ordered the seafood plateau (raw oysters/clams & steamed crab legs/shrimp) was simply amazing.

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E
Charleston
21 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our time at the Darling Oyster Bar. We had the Chowder fries which I was a little disappointed in after hearing the raves. More chowder on them would have been better. The grits were excellent and the cinnamon and blueberry biscuits were heavenly. We will return.

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JW
Western NC
2 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The oysters were some of the best we have ever had! Our cocktails were delicious as well!

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DB
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The happy hour $1 oysters, great entree’s, and great atmosphere was enough to make me want to come back, but to top that off our table of 4 had a fantastic server. No matter how quick we drank our cocktails we had a new one within seconds even with the place being at maximum capacity. Well don’t darling.

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T
Cleveland
33 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food, impeccable service

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K
Boise
6 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Food was very good. Oysters incredible. But the service was really slow. Like most Of Charleston the waiters seem to think that charm can cover up bad service. Would go again but don’t expect anything more than marginal service and long waits.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It was good! A little expensive, but overall we enjoyed our time!

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OT
Charleston
32 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just darling :)
Love this place - service was great forget his first name but middle was Love!
Food was delicious and fresh, server made great suggestions and was very attentive without being intrusive.
Love this place!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Tons of shells in oysters. Food was cold. Poor service. Made note on res it was Moms bday and got worst seat in the house.

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BM
Poconos
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Place. sat at the oyster bar and drank and ate little by little. must have been there for 3 hours. Just kept adding plates of this and that. Very good time

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SB
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Not seated in the area that I requested. Waiter was inattentive. We've dined there many times and this was our first negative experience.

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SS
Chicago
43 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome bloody Mary's!

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DZ
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great night out. Service was awesome and food was perfect.

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LM
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Great restaurant in a great location. I think we went on the busiest night of the week so it was loud and extremely crowded. If I was 25 I would have loved it! Young crowd. Fun atmosphere. Raw oysters were very good.

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OT
Wilmington
2 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Oysters were great!

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and atmosphere.

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PC
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Stone crab claws where exceptionally small for $12.00

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L
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Modern atmosphere with amazing coconut ceviche!!

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S
Raleigh
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We made a reservation online after walking past The Darling. Something about the location, attractive appearance and menu drew us in.... SO GLAD we took the chance. Upon arriving for our reservation, we were immediately seated. The waiter was very well versed in the oyster selection and the mixed dozen we enjoyed were amazing and did not disappoint. The restaurant was busy but quiet. Plenty of seating and space for an enjoyable dinner. The meal and beverages were some of the best from our long weekend visit! We will return to The Darling, soon!

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