The Darling Oyster Bar

4.6
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1684 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 1684 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
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
St. Louis
3 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Food was delicious except key lime pie which was bitter.

GS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had oyster appetizers, then three of us shared the fried chicken and shrimp & grits. Everything was marvelous. We sat at the oyster bar - great spot for people watching on King street

OT
New England
10 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Of the many restaurants we dined at in Charleston, Darling was my least favorite. The menu was too short, the seating area felt like an afterthought-we weren’t far from the front door. While food was good, I wouldn’t go back.

WH
St. Louis
13 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Being new to Charleston this has quickly become one of our favorites. Fair priced and high quality oysters. Great ceviche! Great lobster rolls! I good choice when in Charleston!

NB
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super cute restaurant!! The food was amazing, really good vibe.

OT
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Food this time was not as expected. We’ve dined here before and it has been spectacular. Crab was dry, Oyster selection was not to par, it was I guess not a great visit. Perhaps it was a busy Friday evening- but I expect the quality to be great at all times.

JO
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing! A must stop spot! Everything from
The service to the presentation and food was absolutely fabulous! Can’t wait to go back!

MM
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our experience was superb as always. Our food came out fast and fresh. The server checked with us frequently. We look forward to our next drive from Columbia to eat oysters here

v
Savannah
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience1

Horrible service. I went dining with my other half and our server was homophobic and clearly did not want to serve us. Had the hostess not told us his name we would have never known it was Edmund. We were expecting a high class esteemed establishment for the cost, but were severely disappointed. Server would not speak to us, ignored us, we were not even able to order in a timely fashion. He refused to attend to us, would not answer any questions, however the groups beside us received much better treatment from him.

Would not recommend, especially for the price. The food was alright, would much rather take our patronage else where so my partner and I get treated like human beings. In fact, we went to the peace pie after next door and received significantly better treatment, I suppose that happens when someone speaks more than 5 words to you.

S
Denver
30 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Service was attentive and friendly. The Creole Shrimp was a little too salty. The shrimp were perfectly cooked, otherwise. I don’t believe my serving had any rice. Kind of odd. The clam chowder was a thin cream soup with few clams.

OT
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Visiting Charleston on business, Darling’scame highly recommended... and did not disappoint!

J
Indiana
21 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a fantastic evening. Not sure what was better, the food or our darling server who was probably one of the coolest servers we've ever had. She couldn't have been anymore full of life! In terms of the food, wow on the oysters but even more wow on the claim strips. Seriously amazing. We loved our evening at Darling!

l
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

The oysters were delicious, and came very quickly. We ordered two appetizers, shrimp creole and crab cakes, and both were tasty, but lukewarm. Then we wanted to order more, but our waitress was so busy we just decided to forget it. It was very loud.

DA
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Waiting a long time for this Bloody Mary
And it was worth the wait!
Great oysters and clams too

V
Salt Lake City
6 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great spot excellent food!!

c
New England
9 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our multiple experiences never disappoint. When we visit from MA - NY - and now FL it's worth it!!

RR
Birmingham
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

AMAZING! Highly recommend the oyster spaghetti! Went to Charleston for the weekend, and this was hands down my favorite meal.

C
Indiana
5 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were working in Charleston and this restaurant was highly recommended by a friend. I can see why! The service was outstanding, food was delicious and beautifully presented, and the atmosphere was really cool. Will definitely return the next time we’re in Charleston!

B
Philadelphia
23 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Went with two co workers. We entered and waiting for hostess to greet us while an employee stood casually talking to two other people almost directly in front of the hostess station. He saw us, but paid no attention that he was blocking access to the hostess. Our waitress was super, friendly and very nice. We ordered appetizers; two of ordered the baked appetizer oyster sampler. Presentation was very nice, they were hot and all delicious. Main course: One oyster spaghetti explained as unique, loaded with oyster, with a kick although not noted as any spice, but gave an extra touch. One scallop dinner, again very nice presentation, and was delicious. And one combo fish and oysters hot, large portion, the french fries had old bay and were delicious, the oyster were breaded with corn meal. I personally am not a fan of corn meal, but the oyster were nice size hot and a good taste. The fish a thick meaty cut, was breaded, hot and also very good. The only thing that I did not like was the music selection, it was a type of alternative rock and did not seem to match the overall atmosphere.

GP
Richmond
34 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

My husband and I had an early weekday dinner at Darling. It was pleasant for an early evening. Hubby enjoyed oysters for an appetizer and oyster spaghetti for his entree.

BH
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding service
Seafood fresh & tasty
Great ambiance

D
Charleston
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Service and entrees were average at best. Won't be going back. Too many good restaurants in Charleston.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The Darling was a great experience. The brunch was good, but we liked the aesthetic so much we went back later for dinner, and it was phenomenal. Highly recommend!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server, Gabby was amazing! She explained the menu, made sure we had our food and drinks promptly and was extremely friendly the entire time! Would definitely come back again to the Darling.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed our dinner our waitress was so good we bragged on the shuttle back to the hotel and also informed others about how to use Open Table.

AC
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Oysters and spaghetti...so great! green salad was A+

NF
Nashville
22 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was incredible! Great service and excellent experience all around!!

JG
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Good experience. Get there for happy hour for reduced price on oysters.

J
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I was alone so I got a seat at the Raw Bar. Great place to chat with other customers. Oysters were fresh and fried food was excellent. Try the key lime pie

OT
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and attentive service. The best shrimp and grits in Charleston that we had during our visit. We will be back.

g
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything wAs great, we brunch every Sunday and this is one of our favorites

JB
Charleston
14 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really neat atmosphere! Beautifully decorated old building but still casual and fun! Great food—all with a Charleston twist

LH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were there on a Friday night with a later evening reservation. Our table was ready immediately. The staff was friendly and professional; our server was wonderful. The food was delicious! Fresh seafood! I can not recommend this place more.

BG
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our server was amazing! Our food was excellent! I can’t complain about anything!! Overall everything was great!

LA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious food, and some of the friendliest, most helpful service we’ve ever experienced.

JS
Raleigh
19 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

VERY CREATIVE MENU. Great location in the middle of historic Charleston
Loved the Tuna Belly appetizer, really nice. The Oyster Spaghetti was original and very good.
The mouse for dessert was a very big portion, but delicious.

l
Charleston
20 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great Oyster choices. We enjoyed the small plates (shrimp and crabcakes) and some sides (collards and kale salad) with some wine. Eli did a great job.

OT
Charleston
8 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

Server was either new no charm. Highly doubtful will return as Charleston has too many really good restaurants & staff that are more engaged.

The Darling Oyster Bar
Responded on February 28, 2020

Thank you so much for your review--we take all of our feedback seriously and try to use it to improve future guest experiences. I will be sharing your lackluster experience with my team and work with them to identify where our staff can improve our service. Hopefully we will see you again and have another opportunity to provide you with the true Darling Oyster Bar experience.

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MR
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was delicious. Standout was an oyster pasta with pasta made in house. A scallop ceviche didn’t taste super fresh. The seafood’s texture was slightly sticky and the flavor too fishy. Our wonderful and friendly waiter took it away and off the bill, no problem. The rest of the meal was great. An oat salty chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich was perfect!

RP
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Night out in Charleston with family. Oysters and clams were outstanding and at a good price. Collard greens were the best I have ever had. Nice staff. Highly recommend.

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