Wooden shutters, white tablecloths, and really good Southern food are all things that come to mind when we think of “classic Charleston restaurants.” Really though, we’re just describing Magnolias in the French Quarter. This beloved spot serves upscale takes on fried green tomatoes, crab bisque, and shrimp and grits and is great for occasions when you want to eat somewhere just slightly fancier than you normally would, like for your parents’ anniversary or after a graduation. Much like Charleston itself, it’s the kind of place where dressing up isn’t required, but you won’t feel out of place if you do.
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The Rooftop Bar at Vendue is one of the more low-key rooftop bars in town and is a great place to escape the crowded French Quarter.
Pearlz Oyster Bar
Pearlz Oyster Bar is a low-key spot in the French Quarter known for cheap beers, fresh oysters, and a great Happy Hour.
Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar
Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar serves great cocktails, has a wraparound infinity pool, and is great for bachelor and bachelorette parties.
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Peninsula Grill at the Planters Inn is an upscale steakhouse and seafood restaurant that's well known for their famous Ultimate Coconut Cake.
The Obstinate Daughter
The Obstinate Daughter is where we go on Sullivan’s Island for pizza, pasta, and shrimp rolls before or after a trip to the beach.
The Ordinary is an upscale oyster bar in Cannonborough-Elliotborough known for their multi-tier shellfish towers and great cocktails.
Suggested by our writers
Husk serves refined Southern food and is the best known restaurant in Charleston. If you can't get a table, head next door to the Bar at Husk instead.
Leon’s Oyster Shop
Leon’s Oyster Shop in the West Side serves fried chicken, frozen and draft cocktails, soft serve, and yes, really good chargrilled oysters.
Lewis Barbecue in NoMo is where to go for Texas-style barbecue, like brisket and smoked sausage, along with cocktail pitchers and a big backyard.
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