The Darling Oyster Bar

4.6
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1567 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 1567 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
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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l
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Our second visit, ate at The Darling about 18 months ago and was a bit disappointed overall. This was a much better experience. Took a friend from Minnesota who had never had grits. He very much enjoyed it. My wife’s scallops and my fish(tile) and grits were excellent. Excellent service, nice vibe.
We will return

CL
Charlotte
39 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Go to many different restaurants for business and personal reasons. I would NOT recommend nor consider The Darling Oyster House for either reason... just NOT good.

OT
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved our experience at The Darling Oyster Bar. Our waiter explained the menu in full and it made it hard to decide what to order. We started off with a 1/2 dozen oysters and proceeded to the mussels. The broth in the mussels was so good with the grilled bread that came with it. We then ordered the shrimp and grits that had shaved, roasted brussel sprouts. It was very good and different from any shrimp and grits we ever had. I had tge oyster spaghetti. Omgoshhh...it was homemade pasta with sauteed oysters and bacon and cekery root and who knows what else. It was simplistic, but one of the best seafood dishes I have ever had. So unique, and the flavors all worked together. We will definitely return on our next trip to Charleston. Next time, I think we'll sit at the oval oyster bar in the front. Very cool place!

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday dinner

JJ
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Will visit again. As a local resident I am always searching for someplace new to dine. Thankfully I was able to get a reservation after trying numerous times. It was worth the wait.

KQ
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience4

Expectations were set high. Very disappointing. We thought the food was average (Chicken biscuit, crielo shrimp, crab legs, and oysters were ordered. (I thought Oak and Coast had the best oysters) . My bloody mary was awful however it was Instagram picture worthy. Every restaurant we experienced had such wonderful service, The Darling Oyster bar did not. Bartender was not very friendly; and bar back we had to ask for our water glasses filled up multiple times. Food was left in front of us, had to ask them to kindly remove. Overall, lazy service and average food for the price. We wouldnt go back.

The Darling Oyster Bar
Responded 6 days ago

Thank you for your comments. We take reviews such as this very seriously so we can improve upon our overall customer experience. I will talk to the kitchen team and my bar staff immediately about these service issues and we will try to improve on the areas you brought up in your remarks. Thanks again.

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c
Charleston
39 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved it! Great oysters and my husband thought his burger was excellent!

OT
Western NC
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service great food and atmosphere

D
Savannah
12 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

This is more of a bar than a restaurant. If you keep that in mind you won't be disappointed. The food was marginal.

r
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an early reservation which worked in our favor as we were able to take advantage of happy hour. Excellent service and attentive and friendly staff.

f
Western NC
118 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Darling is the reason we make a trip to Charleston twice a year from Asheville NC. Perfect in every way. Outstanding oyster selection perfectly executed.

J
New England
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Would absolutely recommend! Best shrimp and grits we had in Charleston. Oysters were fabulous as well, and our server, Jill, was awesome. Thank you!

TF
Denver
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible service, delicious food and excellent location. Highly recommend and have every intention of a repeat visit.

A
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We arrived a little early and were seated early!! Wait staff was very prompt, courteous and fun. They were very busy but you’d never know it based on how they took care of us. Food was excellent. We will definitely be back to this restaurant!!

IL
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The oysters were delicious! They were fresh, cold and came with different sauces you can put on top. The cocktail that I wanted was the one on their website which is the Bloody Mary with the seafood on top and really the primary reason I went there. We were told by hostess that they only serve these for Sunday brunch!! I was very disappointed with that and their variety of dinner choices so I had a cocktail that was their daily special which had some sort of grapefruit juice concoction that was very good, ate our oysters and went down the road for dinner!

KS
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our food was outstanding and the service was too. We heard this was a great place for oysters and shrimp and we heard right. That place was great! A must if you are in Charleston.

T
Austin
24 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an amazing Sunday brunch - amazing crab cake eggs benedict and the blueberry and cinnamon biscuit are not to be missed. Lauren was our server and made the experience especially delightful.

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday dinner

A
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Phenomenal food and such great ambiance! Our service very good, too.

RK
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed everything about our first visit to the Darling Oyster Bar. The service was great and the food was excellent. We will look forward to our next visit.

HH
Seattle
24 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

All the fried dishes had far too much breading. Otherwise OK

D
Jacksonville
6 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Plenty of wait staff yet slow service for a not so busy eatery. Very accommodating with alterations to entrees.

OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Too notch! By far the best meal we have had in Charleston. Joe our server was friendly, knowledgeable and gave great recommendations. We started with oysters and the darling old fashioned. The oysters were super fresh. The darling old fashioned is on the sweeter side, so if you like a true old fashioned you can ask for one. For dinner we had the creole shrimp, hush puppies and shrimp and grits. The creole shrimp was our server's suggestion. It is the best dish we have had here in Charleston. So good! We also tried the ice cream sandwich for dessert... It was bomb!

M
Austin
7 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oysters were fantastic! Great service and a wonderful menu. We’ll be back.

SM
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was really great! The lobster roll was one of the best I’ve ever had, & the baked oysters were amazing.

O
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great food and service. Table was too small for what we ordered. The initially wanted to seat us next to the kitchen door, but not sure why since there were other tables for two available. They obliged when we asked for another table. Perhaps it was how we looked?

OT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely meal and shared ice cream as dessert. Perfection!

TC
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

It was great! Good service good food!
I had the best shrimp and grits!
Fresh ousters were super. We also got a basket of fried oysters and fish. Fried oysters were very testy, I usually don’t like fried seafood but this oysters were so delicious I would order it again. Drinks were great.
We had great experience at The Darling.

v
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Happy hour is great, James River oysters!

OT
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambiance and the food was amazing. Quick service and gave good menu recommendations!

OT
New York Area
36 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was outstanding
Server is one of your best

DV
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent!

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K
Grand Rapids
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great nursing student waitress!

d
Charlotte
35 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience3

The service was excellent but we left hungry. Started with 2 gulf stream raw oysters, 4 white sauce and bacon backed oysters, and a side salad. Also tried the side of house cut fries.

M
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Another wonderful meal at The Darling Oyster Bar. Oysters were yummy and the service was perfect....
Just wish you all had had a single fish special in addition to the seafood stew...Fortunately we found plenty to eat!!!

JW
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The oyster selection was great! Good variety and mix of locals with some imports... the scallops dinner was excellent, scallops being perfectly seared. The drinks were by far the highlight of the evening. The two whiskey cocktails I had, the Shoulder Monkey & Darling Fashioned, were two of the best whiskey/scotch cocktails I ever had!

Definitely plan on making this a regular favorite!

TM
New England
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and the experience were both amazing! We'll definitely be returning the next time we visit Charleston!

OT
Charleston
6 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Dylan did an outstanding job as our server and as always the food was perfect!!!

JD
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were very pleased with everything about The Darling Oyster. The blue crab tagliatelle was excellent.

T
Chicago
72 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great spot for dinner! Very family friendly. Food and service were both fantastic.

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