The Darling Oyster Bar

4.6
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1509 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 1509 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
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful meal at The Darling last Saturday. The waiter, Will, was really really good. He was very responsive and took great care of us. The food was amazing, we had oysters and the fish special plus appetizers and it wall was really delicious. We will be back.

CM
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely delicious! Best brunch food I’ve had ever!

MS
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful dinner and experience. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable and the oysters and other food wonderful

OT
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Poor service, food was tasteless

AG
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

We have been wanting to try this restaurant for awhile. We were disappointed. The hush puppies were grainy, dry and peppery. The French fries were not crispy. The prices were high for what you got. We won’t go back.

C
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Great food! Server was very nice. Drinks were good. I would definitely recommend.

n
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A++ restaurant in Charleston! Oysters, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, swordfish over risotto and french fries were all outstanding. And a lovely setting.

GK
Western NC
24 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit to the Darling. We were not disappointed!! The shrimp absolutely melted in your mouth. My husband had the crab cakes and he said that they were the best he has ever eaten in Charleston...a real compliment coming from my "foodie" husband! We will definitely return the next time we are in town!

OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service.

L
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Mediocre food. Noisy with tables very close to each other.

SP
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 2

We were visiting the city for the day. I booked a reservation in advance and indicated this was a birthday celebration for my husband. The hostess seated us at a high top table near the bar! Of course, this was not acceptable. The second table was just as bad! The third table we settled in was near the restroom. At this point, I was annoyed. I admit it was busy. BUT, that's the point of making a reservation correct? To avoid treated as a walk-in.

The Darling Oyster Bar
Responded 5 days ago

Thank you for your honest review. Our restaurant reserves all tables in the main dining room, lounge, and high tops for reservations. Seating at our 3 bars are reserved for walk-ins. We are more than willing to accommodate any seating requests made on reservations and we do our best to offer alternatives if your first table isn't satisfactory. I will speak with my hosts about their service style and encourage making a seating requests on future reservations so we can best accommodate you.

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RH
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great food great service and the Bloody Marys are quite tasty. We were meeting family and did not feel rushed in the least. Would give our waiter, Brantley 5 stars.

HC
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is amazing and the atmosphere is great! Would definitely come back!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Waitress was really nice and attentive

P
Philadelphia
194 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had a very good experience at Darling Oyster Bar. The oysters were wonderful. Good and varied selections. The shrimp Fry basket was great. Shrimp were fresh. The Clam Chowder was wonderful. Nice atmosphere. Tables were spaced apart so it was comfortable.

B
Greensboro
6 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely restaurant, great food and very attentive staff.

OT
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great oysters. Great service.

C
Chicago
44 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were great (highly recommend).

S
Atlanta
54 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely no complaints. It was exactly what we expected and wanted.

HQ
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic James river oysters on happy hour special and the pompano catch of the day was one of the best dishes I've had in Charleston. The preparation was absolutely delicious!!

DL
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Food was not good. Pasta was a ball of cheese. But service was good.

JG
London
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service exemplary. Would highly recommend.

DB
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We love The Darling!!! The food is great and we are always treated with a warm welcome. This is one of my top restaurants in Charleston.

OT
Savannah
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Top shelf in every way. Looking forward to our next visit.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best meal all of us have had in Charleston in a long time!

OT
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter was amazing & the atmosphere was GORGEOUS - this place is a must when you are in Charleston. The food is delicious!

D
Dallas
6 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic environment, tremendous service, and amazing food.

KH
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server, Lauren, was outstanding. The food was good and the lobster rolls were outstanding!

h
New York Area
42 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The fresh seafood is what you go for, and they have it! My wife had a sample of each type of oyster, as well as, some little neck clams. She was surprised aur how different each of the oysters tasted. She loved it. The chef tends to the spicy hot with the cooked foods. If you like that, this is great. I did not. The seating is pretty open, but a tad dark.

EM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The Darling Oyster Bar made me want to try and eat more oysters after a 15-year drought. That should say it all!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 3

Tourist trap, management should be fired for failure to conduct business in manner reflecting even minimal concern for customers. This place is staffed by an army if 18 year olds

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely divine. First trip to Charleston and I highly recommend you dine here on your trip.

OT
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Everything we had was absolutely delicious! Will be back!

OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an amazing experience. Being from out of town, we were really excited for the bloody Mary’s but they only have them on Sundays. We were bummed but everything from the raw bar was delicious!

LR
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

This place was great, especially for a date night or girls night out. I was only disappointed that our reservation was at 9:45. We didn’t mind the late hour, but upon arrival found out the restaurant closed at 10 PM. We felt awful for being there past close and the kitchen closed before we were able to put in a food order. The raw bar luckily stayed open a few minutes past ten and we were able to order oysters which were delicious but still wish we were able to enjoy the full menu!

OT
Atlanta
14 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was good. However, Oysters were not shucked well, still attached to shell, wait staff doesn’t seem well-trained on menu items. Music was sort of a punk rock- meets folk train wreck. For these reasons, it is unlikely we’ll eat here again.

OT
New York Area
43 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is stunningly beautiful and the key lime pie is the best I’ve ever had! Our server was fantastic. I highly recommend.

M
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent local spot with lots of character! If you like raw bars this is one to see for sure. The service is great and the oyster selection is great. Happy Hour house punch is a must try! The bar is beautiful too. Definitely add this to your list when you visit Charleston!

RB
Western NC
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite places to eat when in Charleston. The baked oysters are our favorite and I have yet to find another place that can make a Paloma as delicious as The Darling Oyster Bar. Can’t wait to go back!

OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was amazing. Friendly and conversational staff.

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