Located on a King Street corner a block from the Charleston Visitor Center, this restaurant offers both indoor seating and alfresco dining on the sidewalk with umbrella tables. Convenient for downtown shoppers and visitors, Joe's Pasta has an extensive menu of freshly prepared appetizers, homemade soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches and entrees. Their specialty includes design-your-own pizza and a long list of pasta dishes. They have a large selection of wines, a happy hour from 4p to 7p and a bar that remains open until 2a nightly. Save room for one of their homemade desserts like tiramisu, cheesecake or house-made ice cream pie. -Natasha Lawrence
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and located in the heart of the "Four Corners of Law" (Broad and Meeting Streets), this small but charming French cafe offers freshly prepared dishes from scratch. It's one of the few restaurants in Charleston that serves freshly brewed coffee in a French press. Even those in a rush downtown can't resist the delectable croissants filled with ham and cheese or made with chocolate, apple or cinnamon raisin fillings. Night Specials include a glass of French wine, beer, soft drink or Southern Sweet Tea. Menu items include fondue, homemade soups, vegetarian dishes, seafood dinners or Chicken du Jour. -Natasha Lawrence
Located in the three-story Wegener Building constructed in the 1800s, this old brick restaurant in the downtown historic district is a favorite dining destination. Its menu features steaks, burgers, pizza, pasta, ribs and chicken. It also brews its own beer. Great for lunch through late-night fare, Southend Brewery also has live music on the weekend, multiple TVs showing sports, and salsa dancing for when the mood hits. The glass elevator transports visitors to the second floor banquet room, or to the third floor to the Harborview Bar. -Natasha Lawrence
A former US Navy debarkation point built in 1942, Fleet Landing lay vacant after World War II. Located on the eastern waterfront side of the Historic District, the 6000 square-foot (557 square-meter) concrete building was purchased by Tradd Newton in 2004. He opened the one-story nautical themed restaurant with Chef Drew Hedlund, whose menu includes classic and contemporary Southern fare with an emphasis on seafood. Blue Plate lunch specials are offered daily as well as a children's menu. The interior furnishings are casual and maritime chic. Diners can enjoy a panoramic view of Charleston Harbor from within the establishment or out on the welcoming deck.
Sticky Fingers Smokehouse is a unique concept specializing in fresh, high quality smoked meats and comfort food offered in a relaxed, full service restaurant. Since opening their first restaurant in 1992, they've established a reputation for serving award winning barbecue in the Southeast - home of the best barbecue in America! They take great pride in smoking our ribs, wings, pulled pork barbecue, brisket and other meats on-site over hickory wood in their pits everyday, all day. Their menu also features southern sides, burgers, huge salads and five award-winning barbecue sauces.
Situated close to the historic district, the Harbor View Restaurant & Lounge sits atop the "round" Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview. You'll dine with a view that captures the spirit of Charleston and invites you to enjoy the spectacular views of the cityscape and the Ashley River. This family friendly restaurant offers American cuisine.
Gilligan's is a staple in the Charleston area for serving local seafood in a laid-back, casual atmosphere. With 20 years of experience, and a recipient of 12 Best of Awards, they've got it right. Gilligan's has grown to multiple locations throughout South Carolina and is still family owned and operated. Their menu focuses on local seafood where they are best known for their fried shrimp and hushpuppies. Salads, sandwiches, burgers, pastas, and more are also offered, including an extensive kids menu. Get great deals on happy hour food and drink specials Monday through Friday.
133 Queen Street (cross-street Logan Street) Charleston, SC 29401
A downtown landmark off the beaten path, this charming neighborhood market serves loyal patrons with fresh local and organic produce, a large beer and wine selection, and a delicatessen. It is well-known for its outstanding stuffed crepes. Named after local towns, popular crepes include the Sullivan's with roasted turkey, avocado slices and Swiss cheese; the Wadmalaw with Canadian bacon, ham and cheddar cheese; and the St. Helen's with brie, turkey and homemade raspberry spread. Dine in or take out-this hidden gem in the heart of the city is one of a kind. - Natasha Lawrence
If you truly want a taste of Southern hospitality and rustic charm, then head to Huger's. This restaurant serves delicious fried chicken, barbecue ribs and fried chicken. The seafood and rice dishes are worth sampling as well. The restaurant has occasional live music and is also a meeting ground for political events.
A few steps from the busy City Market, this popular downtown restaurant offers a variety of meat, chicken, and seafood entrees accompanied by side dishes of spaghetti and fresh vegetables. Meals begin with aromatic home-made Italian bread served warm with herb garlic butter. Pasta is made fresh on the premises daily. A selection of appetizers includes the Bocci Sampler with fried calamari served with pesto cream sauce and gorgonzola cheese filled artichoke hearts. Open for dinner only, diners receive friendly, attentive service and outstanding cuisine. - Natasha Lawrence