The Darling Oyster Bar

4.7
1985 Reviews
$30 and under
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 1985 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JL
vipJamesL
Indiana
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service and food. First dining event since covid.

F
Foodie
Greensboro
14 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always stop at Darling when we're in Charleston and it never disappoints! The restaurant is as gorgeous as the pictures, the ambiance is like nothing else in Charleston, and the raw bar selection is on point. Definitely a must for happy hour at minimum. Just mad we didn't have time for more!

LT
LoveToDine
Western NC
12 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a great choice! Shrimp cocktail was one of the best I’ve ever had and the Scallops were amazing too!!

P
Propst
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Wow, exactly what I expected and did not disappoint. We were sat promptly for or reservation. Service staff is knowledgeable and prompt. Drinks were excellent. The freshness of food from the raw bar was like none other. Delicious! Had oysters, shrimp cocktail, crab, all spot on. The scallop dish, baked oysters and crab cakes sealed the deal. Crab cakes could be one of the best I’ve had. It was a wonderful evening celebrating our 22 wedding anniversary.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great environment

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been to happy hour at the Darling before, but this was the first time I came to eat a meal and it was so amazing!! Our server was friendly and attentive. Our main dish was taking a long time so she offered us a complimentary appetizer and another glass of wine. The food was so delicious I am still dreaming about it.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What an outstanding meal!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Amazing service and food

H
Hungryfoodie
Raleigh
17 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

So excited to get to go here; but was somewhat disappointed. I had a res, and when I tried to check in the young female receptionist would not acknowledge me while she talked on the phone for more than 6-7 minutes. It was frustrating; but I just stood still. Finally a man came and spoke to me and eventually took me to the table while the other person talked on the phone. Then a darling waitress came, but she did not know the answers to my questions as it was her first day. That was OK; and I ordered. The food came, and it was pretty bland; but my wine ran out, and my waitress never offered another nor did she check on me. She came to the table two tables away, and then left. She came back to the table one table away, never looking in my direction, and then left. Eventually I got up and flagged someone down and asked for help. The pasta was bland, and the side of fried shrimp were cooked perfectly; but way too salty. Given the choices in Charleston, I probably won't rush back here.

KL
vipKatieL
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Jerome at the Oyster bar is the best!

R
vipRelish
New York Area
20 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience4

We have always loved the ambience of Darling oyster and their bloody mary's!
We order apps and dinner, our fish was over baked and dried out; even though they said they sauteed it! The crab dip was cheesy, didn't find any crab! And everything that was hot came out luke warm!
Maybe they had an off night, but not great this time!
Drinks were awesome! Paloma!

SC
SylviaC
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A true Charleston experience. Thank you for a delicious evening.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience3

We’ve been coming to this restaurant for several years and it’s a place we usually enjoy. However, this time around it was pretty disappointing. Service was very mediocre including our waiter who acted extremely indifferent the whole dining experience. We felt a level of indifference from everyone in the restaurant. Our main course took about 45 minutes to come out. One dish came out 20 minutes before the rest. Food is expensive for not a lot of food. Wish I could say better things about this restaurant. Definitely won’t be coming back as there are so many other awesome/better restaurants in Charleston.

KS
vipKarlaS
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday. Great restaurant!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Mobile
4 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Love the look and feel of the space. Food was amazing. Service was good. Music didn’t really fit the vibe at all and was on the loud side. Would return for sure

OT
OpenTable Diner
Toledo
1 review
Dined on April 4, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience4

Avocado toast was not avocado (NONE). Only a thick spread of mayonnaise with pickled cucumbers. Horrible and seafood seasoning is on everything

JR
JamieR
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Not worth the price point. Overly salted. Plenty of better fish in the Charleston sea...

SS
vipSetpoSC
Orlando
34 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Very enjoyable evening at The Darlington Oyster Bar. The hostess was very helpful in making a minor change to our table location to make the experience much better, and set the tone for the service that evening.
Food was outstanding beginning with a great selection of oysters. The seafood special was cooked perfectly and the soft shell crab sandwich was great.
We will definitely return on our next trip to Charleston

B
Becca
1 review
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great Restaurant right along King St, incredible food & drinks!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just a really great restaurants with amazing food!

MB
vipmissinMB
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a wonderful family dinner. Food was delicious, service great. Loved the oysters, the fry baskets and the scallops were incredible.

VO
VictoriaO
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oyster shots on point. Seafood tower fabulous. Mussels out of this world.

S
Scott
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great time. Seafood is fresh and drinks are always a nice complement to the meals.

NW
NathanW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were visiting from DC with our young kids (5 & 8) and were dying for a "grown-up" dinner - especially oysters. We had an early reservation and were seated in a generous, round booth near a window. The ambiance is really lovely and all of the staff were excellent - patient with us and the kids, who only wanted to eat crackers and lemonade...oy! And when we had to pop back in later in the night to find the container of shark's teeth our son had left at the table, the host had it at the ready for us. The food was delicious (get the Creole Shrimp appetizer - and the Paloma on tap was also a treat!) Will be happy to dine here again when we are next in CHS!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
13 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I enjoyed a fabulous night out at The Darling Oyster Bar. We had the seafood tower, baked oysters, clam chowder, scallops and the Halibut special. We also tried the bread pudding for dessert. Everything tasted delicious. Our waiter Brantley was fantastic. He was very attentive and made it a wonderful experience. This was my second time eating here and I highly recommend this restaurant if you are in Charleston.

M
Mark
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Absolutely delicious and a great place to celebrate our anniversary! You have to try the Fried Clams Strips and the Oyster Shooter.

JF
vipJamesF
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic service and excellent food!

RD
RDeas
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Baked oysters were fantastic

r
viprun2eatchocolate
Raleigh
12 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our dinner event was nothing short of magical and amazing. JD somehow managed to squeeze another 5 family members at a nearby table, to our already large party of 6, so we could enjoy our meal together. Kudos to him!

Kelly was delightful and personable - the quintessential server! She always seemed to be there whenever we had a question or needed another drink.

The food was sublime and went beyond our expectations. Six out of 11 of us ordered the feature ramen dish - full of flavor and yummy. And the rest of us shared bites of delicious scallops, crab cakes and lobster roll with each other.

Finally we are so grateful for the wonderful experience at The Darling. It made for a nice escape from a recent loss of a dear family member.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Food and service were wonderful, but cocktails were weak.

m
vipmango
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The shrimp and grits with added fried egg were great. The happy hour oysters were economical and fresh, but somewhat bland. The bar/dining room is beautiful, but the air conditioning was set too cold. Blue crab tagliatelle was absolutely terrible--we thought maybe a line cook left out some ingredients based on the positive reviews we read elsewhere--bland taste, limpid pasta.

D
vipDebbie
Charleston
20 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Started with happy hour oysters and drink specials. Dinner was equally as good. Server was excellent.

VL
VictoriaL
St. Louis
4 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

excellent ambiance along king street. Great service, and variety of food and drink. Oysters are obviously tasty.

T
Todd
Greensboro
2 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place! We enjoyed our meal and the vibe was fantastic

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Great time, food was excellent.

D
vipDank
Sacramento
61 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Good bad and ugly---great happy hour oysters...I ate 48 over three days...the best and so fresh. Servce at oyster bar and main bar always excellent. Good drinks.

Had dinner on Wednesday night( march24) in dining room. Don't love that room---lacks ambience that bar area has.

Food: Chowder---Best I ever had...so different with tons of clams that are big!!!

Shrimp and grits---brussel sprouts ruin the dish---take them off--horrible. But the s& g was excellent...full of flavor--great consistency in grits and lots of shrimp. Delish!!!

Chicken--great in every way.

Too full for desert.

Now for the bad/ugly:

Server was terrible..she does not fit the profile of the servers that you have there. Kind of overweight and not attractive and zilch personality. Just went thru the motions.

Asked her about the paloma..said I did not know what it was. She gave a lame description that it was grapefruitty--very greapfruitty. I asked if I could have a small sample of the mix to see if I liked it and wanted to order one. She said she could not do that!!!

I was surprised and shocked. Most restaurants will give u a sample of a draft beer or wine!!!

Our food took over an hour. I think she forgot to out our order in. Guests around us kept asking us where our food was!!!

My bill was over $100 dollars..I normally tip 15% or more....(tipped 25% at Husk the next night) I left her 5$...on bill I wrote that the balance of her tip was omitted because she would not give me a sample of the paloma and the slow food.

We are from Southern Ca. Probably won't visit CHS gain. Just wanted you to know of my experience.

CJ
CazJo
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Clam chowder was superb! Thick and creamy with lots of clams and potatoes. The cheese grits and shrimp was also delicious! A wonderful combination of flavors and tender shrimp. The atmosphere is intimate, and the service was excellent. Highly recommend.

KJ
KarenJ
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Excellent food. $1 oysters were welcome and appetizers were generous

S
Scrunch
New England
9 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Best scallops with farro and apricot sauce. Good shrimp and grits but a bit greasy.

JS
JulieS
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

There were six of us, all celebrating our 60th birthdays. The food was excellent however the server was a bit curt. The cocktails we ordered were recommended by our server however we didn’t like them and asked for something else.

FAQs

The Darling Oyster Bar is rated 4.7 stars by 1985 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.

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