232 Meeting St., Ansonborough
Arguably one of the best restaurants downtown, Fig is run by self-taught chef, Mike Lata, who is also the mastermind behind The Ordinary. The restaurant is big on working with local farmers, growers, and purveyors, which is reflected in the seasonal dinner menu here: king mackerel tartare, summer vegetables with porcini, baked black bass with baby fennel, pan roasted ribeye with sherried onion. Come hungry.
289 E. Bay St., Ansonborough
167 Raw’s original location is on Nantucket: Owner Jesse Sandole opened the place after years of running his father’s famous seafood and meat market there. The Charleston outpost is situated in a cozy space (with a cute little outdoor patio) that’s significantly brightened by the subway tiles lining the walls in all directions. The straightforward menu is all about New England dishes like clam chowder, lobster rolls, fish sandwiches, and a serious seafood plate, with a few geographic detours for dishes that emphasize fresh catches, like tacos, ceviche, and poke. It’s relatively new and still pretty hot, so expect to wait if you don’t arrive early—they don’t take reservations.
112 N. Market St., Ansonborough
There are so many great casual restaurants in Charleston, but if you're looking for something more elegant, head to the Peninsula Grill at Planter's Inn. It's a white tablecloth restaurant with a romantic, candle- and lantern-lit courtyard attached. The dinner menu is seasonal and largely Southern, with a world famous coconut cake for dessert.
32 N. Market St., Ansonborough
In 2015, Charlotte's 5Church opened a sister restaurant in Charleston, a much-welcome addition to the city's terrific food scene, and one that feels wholly original here. The restaurant is located inside a former church—the stained glass windows are magnificent, as is the soaring arched ceiling, which has the entire text of The Art of War painted across it. The menu is driven by a fresh spin on some regional classics, along with various cuts of steak and chops, although they do have veg-friendly options, too. The wasabi crusted salmon served with bok choy and seaweed salad is excellent.
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