Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Latest Update: November 30, 2020
Have you ever seen that funny t-shirt that reads: "I'm on a Seafood Diet. I See Food and I Eat It." Well, lemme direct your eyes to the Best Seafood Restaurants around Charleston, as favored by locals. I'll list 'em based on vibe, going from the more low-key and casual atmosphere to those set in fancier diggs.
To piggy-back on your take-out experiences, we recommend picnic-ing at a nearby park. If you're visiting either of the two recommended resto's in Mt. P., stop by Shem Creek Park & Boardwalk to walk-off your meal -- enjoy the sight and scent of the creek and marsh. (Location codes: DT = Downtown, MP = Mt. Pleasant).
Super Local, OG, Must-See
Nana's Seafood & Soul Uptown - N.Charleston, 5117 Dorchester Rd. - Southern & Family-Style, Get the Garlic and Fried Crabs. This is one of the best down-home, Gullah Geechee spots for local food, local flavor, and local value. Nana's was especially beloved in its original location on Line Street down on theCharleston Peninsula -- it had that true neighborhood walk-up and hidden-gem feel, and we're so grateful that they've been thriving thru this pandemic.
Seafood in a Down-Home, Divey Vibe: Paper Plates + Outdoor Patio
Bowen's Island - James Island, 1870 Bowens Island Rd. Seafood mecca, pop over here on your way in- or out- of Folly Beach. Outdoor Seating Available.
The Wreck full name: The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene - MP - 106 Haddrell St. Great name and story, one of those unmarked restaurants that makes it a treat to find! Awesome views of the shrimp boats / trawlers of Shem Creek out on the patio. Outdoor Seating Available.
Fish 'n Chips + Pubby Vibes
The Codfather, Proper Fish & Chips - N. Charleston, 4254 Spruill Ave. - Fryed by a True Englishman and one of the best places in town to catch European Soccer Matches / World Cup. Outdoor Seating Available.
The Gryphon - DT, 18 Vendue Range - Bring a 1$ bill with you... you'll see why when you walk in! Grab your meal to-go and picnic at the Waterfront Park just steps away.
Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls - DT, 36 N. Market St. - Refreshing amidst the summer heat. Same thing as The Gryphon above, take your meal to-go and picnic at the Waterfront Park, a 3-block walk from Mason's.
Family-Friendly + Waterfront Views & Seating
Fleet Landing Restaurant - DT, 186 Concord St. - If you love Calamari, this place has theee ultimate. Best place to dine with the view of the Charleston Ravenel Bridge in sight (photo at left). Outdoor Seating Available.
Hip + Fun Atmosphere
Leon's - DT, 698 King St. - Our Beloved Seafood Shack set in a former car mechanic's garage. Great bathroom, too! You can never go wrong here - Raw Oysters, Grilled Oysters, Seafood Rolls, Fried Platters and much more. Outdoor Seating Available.
Raw Bar + Tres Hip
167 Raw - DT, 193 King St. - The in-town leaders in "Raw Bar Fashion" they offer the best range of fresher/cooler-temp seafood offerings including Caviar, Tataki, Ceviche, Oysters, and the like. The original East Bay Street location is currently closed for renovations, but is quite exclusive -- only due to its very limited seating options.
Fancy, Bougie, Treat-Yo'-Self to Shellfish Towers
The Ordinary - DT, 544 King St. - Reservations available 4 weeks in advance, while the outdoor patio and bar are first-come, first-served. Beautiful Location produced by the same team as another Charleston-Institution restaurant, FIG = A treat for celebrating special occasions and romantic dinners, offering a wonderful spread of lowcountry offerings and fixin's beyond seafood. Outdoor Seating Available. Nico - MP, 201 Coleman Blvd. - What I love about Nico is the literature that accompanies the menu -- a sign of a true, passionate chef. In these pages, Chef Nico Romo shares tales from his curative oyster hunts, giving you background info on the oysters and farms featured on your plate. You can take this education further by signing up for one of his private Oyster Classes, featured on Monday nights. Outdoor Seating Available.
Coda del Pesce - Isle of Palms (IOP), 1130 Ocean Blvd. - Oh, to indulge with an Italian-influenced presentation of frutti di mare, with a view that overlooks the ocean and incorporates the habitat in its decor, too. All wines are sourced from Italy, all seafood is locally caught or sustainably-sourced, and most of all - fresh, fresh, fresh. Outdoor Seating Available.
Want to share your seafood finds around town? Post them in the comments below!