There are many great things do do in Charleston, SC, including a diverse selection of romantic lunch and dinner spots, from casual cafes and pizzerias to elegant bistros and historic restaurants serving amazing seafood, soul food and more.

Our list includes ideas for nearly every taste and budget, including several excellent take-out options to surprise your better half with a romantic picnic in the park and many unique downtown Charleston restaurants.

1. Magnolias

© Magnolias

A Charleston institution since 1990, Magnolias is a beloved favorite for many locals and one of the most romantic restaurants in Charleston, SC. The famous restaurant on East Bay Street offers a refined take on traditional Southern cooking with top-notch dishes created by Executive Chef Donald Drake served in a warm and welcoming environment.

Order dishes like Shellfish over Grits and Down South Egg Roll, and don’t miss the Southern Pecan Pie or Spiced Peach Cake for dessert. Grab a copy of Magnolias Authentic Southern Cuisine Cookbook and you can prepare some of these tasty dishes at home. Check out our things to do in South Carolina guide for more ideas nearby.

185 East Bay Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401, Phone: 843-577-7771

2. Church and Union

Church and Union
© Church and Union

Church and Union enjoys a unique setting inside an historic old church building, complete with stained-glass windows and loads of character. There is a massive bar along one of the walls, hand-painted ceilings and many other interesting décor objects. However, it is the food that makes this restaurant stand out from the crowd. At the helm is talented Chef Jamie Lynch who has a very impressive culinary background. The dinner menu features some interesting dishes including Kung Pao Cauliflower and Chorizo Meatballs, while the list of entrees includes home-made filled pastas, Pan Seared Scallops, Beef Ribs and Duck Breast, as well as their signature CU Burger.

32B North Market Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 937 8666

3. Romantic Restaurants in Charleston, SC: High Cotton

Romantic Restaurants in Charleston, SC: High Cotton
© High Cotton

Shining wood floors, loads of natural light and beautiful exposed brickwork is your introduction to High Cotton Charleston. The restaurant is both elegant and warm and the ambiance is perfect for a special night out. Everything on the menu sounds wonderful and you are going to have a difficult time deciding which of their delicious dishes to choose first. Perhaps you can start off by ordering some fresh oysters, locally farmed greens or melt-in-the-mouth Wagyu Carpaccio. The entrees are equally tempting and feature their signature Broiled Seafood Platter, a selection of prime meats and an excellent choice of accompaniments and sides.

199 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 724 3815

4. Edmund's Oast

Edmund's Oast
© Edmund's Oast

If you are looking for unique restaurants in Charleston, SC, Edmund's Oast is a stylish gastropub that draws a hip crowd with their inventive American cuisine and unparalleled craft beer program.

In addition to a diverse selection of on tap and bottled beer options, Edmund's Oast serves an array of culinary delights.

Dishes like Pickled Shrimp and Braised Lamb Meatballs are indicative of the kitchen’s creative flair, and combined with unique cocktails, Edmund's Oast will undoubtedly have you coming back for more. Find the best romantic places to stay in Charleston that fit your travel budget.

1081 Morrison Drive, Charleston, South Carolina 29403, Phone: 843-727-1145

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5. Indaco, Charleston, South Carolina

Indaco, Charleston, South Carolina
© Indaco

Serving modern Italian fare and artisan wood-fired pizzas, Indaco is the place to go if you are craving great Italian food in a hip and inviting atmosphere.

Located on Upper King Street, this rustic trattoria is decorated with wooden tables and chairs to create a bustling, vibrant ambiance, which has you thinking you could be in the heart of Naples.

Perfectly-crafted bowls of pasta, fresh garden salads and creative pies are continually flowing out of the open kitchen and you can watch the action from the chef’s table or a seat at the bar while you sip a drink. Our places to visit in South Carolina guide lists many unique destinations.

526 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29403, Phone: 843-727-1228

6. Romantic Restaurants in Charleston, SC: The Alley

Romantic Restaurants in Charleston, SC: The Alley
© The Alley

The Alley is Charleston’s popular one-stop entertainment spot, located in a bright and cheery place with eight bowling lanes, three bars with flat-screen TVs, craft beers, and American comfort food. The massive 6,870-square-foot space is located in an old warehouse renovated in 2012 in the retro 1970s style of a classic bowling center. It is a popular gathering space and even attracts celebrities with its 40-foot bar and a range of vintage arcade games. The place is hopping on big game nights when the two giant 160" projection screens get all the attention.

131 Columbus St, Charleston, SC 29403, Phone: 843-818-4080

7. The Grocery

The Grocery
© The Grocery

Resting on Cannon Street, The Grocery is an inviting eatery with an innovative and seasonal menu that evokes memories of a small town grocery.

Executive Chef and owner Kevin Johnson’s kitchen is stocked with produce from local farmers, fishermen, and artisans, which he turns into an array of delicious Southern-influenced plates. Wood-roasted clams, pig skin pad Thai and bone marrow brûlée are just some of the menu’s creative offerings, while an extensive list of signature cocktails, wines and craft beers on tap serve as excellent accompaniments.

4 Cannon Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29403, Phone: 843-302-8825

8. Vincent Chicco’s

Vincent Chicco’s
© Vincent Chicco’s

Tucked away on Hudson Alley, Vincent Chicco’s serves classic Italian/American fare with a modern twist. The interior of the restaurant reflects a careful blend of old and new, resulting in an elegant and welcoming ambiance which is perfect for date night or a romantic anniversary. The restaurant prides itself on serving refined Italian classics, using only the freshest ingredients – everything, including the pasta and the sauces are house-made. You can start off with a sharing plate of something delicious before moving on to enjoy a fabulous pasta dish and/or entrée. You can celebrate your special night out with bubbles by the glass or bottle.

Hudson Alley, 39-G John Street, Charleston, SC 29403, 843 203 3002

9. Le Farfalle

Le Farfalle
© Le Farfalle

You can expect an exceptional night out when you book a romantic dinner at Le Farfalle in Harleston Village. In summer you can dine alfresco on the extensive outdoor terrace. Le Farfalle serves dishes which would be perfectly at home in Italy, using modern approaches to bring Italian classics right up to date. The appetizers include innovative salads, Octopus Carpaccio, fresh oysters and a fragrant Umbrian vegetable stew. Pastas are all made in-house and are followed by an excellent selection of entrees and steak dishes, as well as sides of your choice. The wine list includes Italian and international wines available by the bottle or glass.

15 Beaufain Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 212 0920

10. EVO Pizzeria

EVO Pizzeria
© EVO Pizzeria

EVO Pizzeria on East Montague Avenue in North Charleston is a bustling, casual establishment serving artisan wood-fired pizza with sumptuous homemade toppings. Seasonal, locally sourced ingredients are the focus of the eatery, and the EVO team only uses products from local farmers and producers to help create their masterpieces.

The restaurant is relaxed and friendly, with large chalkboards on the walls, listing their daily specials. While pizza is the main item on the menu, daily specials can include homemade sausages, crostini, and fresh arugula. The beer list has offerings that will keep any beer aficionado happy.

1075 East Montague, North Charleston, South Carolina 29405, Phone: 843-225-1796

Read more: Best Time to Visit Charleston, South Carolina & Other Travel Tips.

11. Zero Restaurant and Bar

Zero Restaurant and Bar
© Zero Restaurant and Bar

When only the finest fine-dining establishment will do for your romantic night out, you need look no further than Zero Restaurant and Bar at Zero George Hotel. The ambiance is sophisticated and elegant, with white-linen tables groaning under the weight of multiple crystal glasses. The meal consists of a multi-course Chef’s Tasting Menu (with or without wine pairing), which changes on a daily basis to reflect whichever products are seasonal and at the peak of perfection. If you happen to have dietary restrictions you will need to notify the restaurant in advance. They also have an impressive menu of cocktails and a wonderful wine list for those who don’t wish to partake of the wine pairing. Day trips from Myrtle Beach offer an affordable way to extend your trip.

0 George Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 822 4872

12. Circa 1886, Charleston, South Carolina

Circa 1886, Charleston, South Carolina
© Circa 1886

Located in the historic carriage house of The Wentworth Mansion, which dates back to 1886, Circa 1886 has long been a favorite dining choice for those in the know. The setting is both elegant and welcoming and guests are lavished with attention from the moment they step through the doors. The ambiance is most romantic and the food never fails to impress. Circa 1886 is headed up by Chef Mark Collins who has been creating outstanding cuisine for more than 20 years, using innovative touches to transform fresh local ingredients into masterpieces of fine dining. You can choose from a multi-course seasonal Chef’s Tasting Menu or opt for your favorite dishes from the a la carte menu.

149 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 853 78 28

13. Tavern and Table

Tavern and Table
© Tavern and Table

Reminiscent of the neighborhood taverns of old, Tavern & Table on Shem Creek is a casual waterfront eatery that is designed to be a welcoming gathering place for friends to get together in a comfortable home-away-from-home environment.

A locally sourced new American menu includes soups, salads, cheese, meat dishes, and amazing rustic flatbread prepared in the brick oven. Sit at the scenic waterfront bar and soak up the views as you feast on small plates from the kitchen and sip signature cocktails that are handcrafted to perfection. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily.

100 Church Street, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina 29464, Phone: 843-352-9510

14. Romantic Restaurants in Charleston, SC: Husk

Romantic Restaurants in Charleston, SC: Husk
© Husk

Located in a historic building on Queen Street in downtown Charleston, Husk was conceived by James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock, who opened the restaurant to showcase Southern food created with locally sourced ingredients.

The menu is updated twice daily and showcases creative dishes such as Cornmeal Dusted Catfish with sweet corn, peas, smoked tomato and charred squash.

While the food is modern in style and innovation, the décor echoes the historic building’s heritage, with rustic walls and a large chalkboard listing the delectable daily specials.

76 Queen Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29401, Phone: 843-577-2500

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15. FIG


FIG (Food Is Good) serves Southern classics is an elegant, comfortable bistro setting, with a focus on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. James Beard award-winning Executive Chef, Jason Stanhope, and Chef/Partner Mike Lata produce creative, flavorful dishes which incorporate high quality, flavorful ingredients.

The restaurant offers delicious handcrafted cocktails and an impressive wine list with choices from around the world, including affordable bottles. For dessert, order the Chocolate Crepes with cinnamon ice cream and butterscotch.

232 Meeting St, Charleston, South Carolina 29401, Phone: 843-805-5900

16. Wild Olive

Wild Olive
© Wild Olive

Wild Olive is a rustic-chic eatery on St John’s Island that serves a simple menu of Italian staples and artisanal classics, accompanied by an extensive wine list.

The eatery opened in 2009 with the aim of bringing authentic Italian cuisine to Charleston, Wild Olive offers handcrafted pasta, wood-fired pizza, house-cured charcuterie and excellent desserts. A list of food-friendly wines completes the experience.

Wild Olive recently became the first Certified Green Restaurant in South Carolina, whose environmentally conscious business practices add to the popularity of the always-packed restaurant. <

2867 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, South Carolina 29455, Phone: 843-737-4177

17. The Ordinary

The Ordinary
© The Ordinary

Set in a historic building in downtown Charleston that dates back to 1927, The Ordinary is an upscale seafood restaurant that pays homage to all things from the sea.

Co-owners Mike Lata and Adam Nemirow set out to build an award-winning raw bar. Oysters are the star of the show here, while other delights like ceviche, chowder, and lobster rolls come in a close second.

White-jacketed servers add a touch of glamor to the already stylish abode, whose high ceilings and Palladian windows create a romantic atmosphere. More day trips from Charleston, SC

544 King St., Charleston, South Carolina 29403, Phone: 843-414-7060

18. Charleston Grill, Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston Grill, Charleston, South Carolina
© Charleston Grill

The Charleston Grill is located in the heart of historic downtown Charleston where it provides a sophisticated and romantic enclave which is eminently suitable for a special romantic dinner. The restaurant team is headed up by executive Chef Michelle Weaver who bases her cuisine on the classic influences of traditional Southern, French and contemporary food trends. Every item that reaches your plate has been made using fresh seasonal produce and loads of inspiration. For your special romantic dinner you can select the 6-course Chef’s Tasting Menu (with or without wine pairing) or opt for your selections from the a la carte menu. More ideas: Romantic Weekend Getaways in SC

224 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 577 4522

19. Grill 225

Grill 225
© sadib/

Grill 225 is located in the luxurious Market Pavilion Hotel in the heart of bustling downtown Charleston. The award-winning restaurant is proud to be a member of The Great Steakhouses of North America, and prides itself on serving up the best steak you are likely to find anywhere in the city. Steak lovers will be pleased to know that all the prime steaks served at Grill 225 have been hand selected and wet aged for up to 50 days, to ensure that the meat is wonderfully tender and flavor filled. If you are not a meat eater you can enjoy some wonderful fish and seafood, much of which has been locally sourced.

225 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 723 0500

20. 82 Queen, Charleston, South Carolina

82 Queen, Charleston, South Carolina
© 82 Queen

Nestled in the heart of Charleston’s Historic French Quarter, 82 Queen offers guests an unforgettable southern dining experience in a beautiful and romantic setting. The menu kicks off with some delicious southern starters including Fried Green Tomatoes and Crab Cakes and a selection of mouth-watering salads and/or fresh oysters. These are followed by everyone’s favorite Carolina entrees including Shrimp and Grits, Jambalaya, Lowcountry Seafood Gumbo and a choice of beautiful meat dishes. They also mix a mean cocktail or two and you can choose a non-alcoholic version if you prefer. There is a good wine list featuring wines from all over the world.

82 Queen Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 723 7591

21. Peninsula Grill

Peninsula Grill
© Peninsula Grill

Without doubt, the Peninsula Grill is one of Charleston’s most inviting restaurants. For more than 20 years people have been coming to the Peninsula Grill to enjoy fine dining, a beautiful garden courtyard setting and their wonderful southern hospitality. The interior of the restaurant is elegant and sophisticated, perfectly setting the scene for a romantic dining experience. If the weather is favorable you can dine alfresco in the courtyard, surrounded by beautiful greenery. Perhaps you would like to start your evening with some decadent treats from the champagne bar menu before settling down to enjoy their fresh seasonal specialties. Their cakes are known all over the country so be sure to leave some space to sample at least one.

112 North Market Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 723 0700

22. Hall’s Chophouse, Charleston, South Carolina

Hall’s Chophouse, Charleston, South Carolina
© Hall’s Chophouse

Hall’s Chophouse has been a popular “special occasion” restaurant since it first opened its doors in 2009. Family owned and operated, Hall’s Chophouse is all about good food and excellent Southern hospitality and is perfect for a romantic night out. As the name suggests, sublime meat dishes form the core of the menu, but there are also a few tasty fish, seafood and vegetarian dishes as well as a very good selection of vegetable sides for those who do not eat meat. A few of the most popular choices on the menu include their raw and chilled seafood appetizers, veal, lamb and pork chop dishes and a large selection of beautiful fish, seafood and steak entrees.

434 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403, 843 727 0090

23. Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.)

Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.)
© Slightly North of Broad

Brightly colored walls, vibrant art works and a warm and inviting atmosphere greets you upon arrival at Slightly North of Broad, aka SNOB, a popular bistro-style restaurant in Charleston. The menu at SNOB is based on seasonal, locally sourced produce and changes regularly in order to showcase whichever ingredients are at the peak of perfection. A typical menu will include a selection of small plates which are ideal for sharing. These are followed by their fresh take on typical meat, fish and poultry dishes and plenty of delicious vegetable sides. Everything is cooked to perfection and served with an eye for detail. SNOB is open 7 days a week for brunch, lunch, afternoon snacking and dinner.

192 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401, 843 723 3424

24. 167 Raw

167 Raw
© 167 Raw

167 Raw is a New England-influenced seafood restaurant that offers fresh lobster rolls, ceviche and raw oysters. Run by partners Jesse Sandol and Kyle Norton, this small and cozy eatery is tucked away in an unassuming space on East Bay Street and offers a daily selection of fresh fish that you can take wrapped to go, or pull up a stool and feast on.

The classic lobster rolls are a winner - fresh lobster with mayo, garnished with scallions and stuffed between a buttered roll, with fresh raw oysters and fish tacos coming in a close second.

193 King St, Charleston, SC 29401, Phone: 843-579-4997

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