Their food is exquisite. The menu varied. Service is world-class. And guest focus that makes memories.
No, I’m kidding its really the desserts. 🙂
But whatever ‘it’ is they get it across the board.
I am not ashamed to say, “I love SNOBS!”
BEST BBQ RESTAURANT (S)
Half of the town says Rodney Scott’s (Netflix) Whole Hog BBQ is the best. The other half says Lewis BBQ is the best. And we probably eat at Hometeam more than either of them, due to their multiple locations.
You really can’t go wrong with any of them.
I had something with a ‘marinated steak’ in it and I didn’t want the meal to end.
Blew me away!
BEST RESTAURANT WITH THE BEST VIEW
This rustic fine dining restaurant sits on the intracoastal waterway, which means it faces west. You can catch a memorable sunset most any night here. Unless you go up to the 3rd floor rooftop bar. Then you may not remember it
BEST PUB FOOD
We stumbled in here after an art walk, not expecting perfection. The Blind Tiger is known as one of the first pirate bars here in town, with a tunnel that runs out of the basement, under the street, and into another establishment. …in case they had to make a getaway.
Not being familiar with the menu I asked the bartender what he recommends.
He said the ‘Truffle Duck sandwich’.
Are you ready?
Sliced duck, creamy brie, sweet onion jam, truffled mayo, arugula, tomato on a grilled sourdough bun.
And their Peanut Butter Pie isn’t too bad either
Best Vegan Restaurant
Now I am not a Vegan so it’s hard for me to say which Vegan Restaurant is best.
One week, however, I had three different guest comments on great experiences at the Basic Kitchen.
So that weekend I asked my wife if she would like to eat there. She pulled up their menu online. She told me, “oh no, our kids won’t be able to find anything they like to eat there.
So I knew then it has to be a great Vegan Restaurant!
The original is still the best.
I fell in love with their Amber back in the 90’s. Their Porter is the best around too.
BEST SHE-CRAB SOUP
BEST SHRIMP AND GRITS
Every restaurant in Charleston has Shrimp and Grits on their menu.
Each one does their own interpretation of this southern staple.
I stopped in for some to-go food one Friday and was blown away by this place. When I finally got home with my Muse booty I enjoyed the best scallops I have ever.
Possibly the Best thing I have ever tasted.
….After a 25 minute car ride home.
Peninsula Grill was voted the #12 Top Restaurant in the country by Trip Advisor Yet when their culinary writers go to describe it they used two words, ‘Coconut Cake’.
If Charleston is famous for any dessert, its this one. In a place where I dropped over $200 for my anniversary dinner the Trip Advisor summed it up in two words.
A close second for me is the aforementioned Apple Sour Cream Pie at SNOBS.
Possibly the Best thing I ever tasted!
Also, I can’t leave out the Lemon Cake at Muse. When I asked the bartender to recommend their best dessert he said, without hesitation, the Lemon Cake
Fairly famous too.
And my boss’s favorite
Being a ‘dessert family’ we know our way around some decadent finishing touches. Charleston may have better desserts somewhere but these are our Go-To.
Most Fridays last year I would bring some amazing food home from a restaurant downtown that was usually recommended to me by a guest that week.
It is probably how this Dining Guide got it’s legs.
While waiting for the meals to be prepared I usually waited at the bar. So I started my own survey on Best Margaritas in town.
Taco Boy has the best. They won. It had nothing to do with the free margaritas the bartender kept slipping me while I waited.
A close shout-out to my second favorite at the Blind Tiger.
But I paid for those.
BEST VESPER MARTINI
‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’
‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?’
‘Certainly monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
‘Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,’ said Leiter.
Bond laughed. ‘When I’m … er … concentrating,’ he explained, ‘I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I think of a good name.’
Did you catch that high stakes card game being played at Casino 82 Queen Street?
The reason it is played there is because they make the best Vesper Martinis..
because they have all the right ingredients.
and because they are cool like that.
The Trip Advisor voted Halls Chophouse the 3rd best restaurant in the country BUT voted their Brunch #1.
They have an upbeat gospel group called The Plantation Singers for background entertainment during brunch.
High Cotton does everything top shelf. But the blueberry muffins you get as your premeal bread puts them over the top!
BEST RESTAURANT TO SPOT A CELEBRITY
Bill Murray has a place in Charleston. He is also part owner of our minor league baseball team. There is one restaurant he goes to so often that they actually named his fav sandwich after him.
But, for the sake of Bill’s privacy, I can’t tell you where this place is…
Here is Bill sleeping outside of a French restaurant on Broad Street, called Fast and French.
The name is misleading because it is anything but fast, as Bill can confirm in the photo.
Last winter Chevy Chase was also in town. It looks like he got a job at Canes drive through window.
They were understaffed.
BEST RESTAURANT THAT YOU’LL NEVER GET IN
I send people to FIG who couldn’t get reservations online, telling them to get there 15 minutes before they open or at the end of the night and say you only want to sit at the bar.
The staff laughs as these presumptions.
BEST INCONSPICUOUS RESTAURANT
The Washington Post describes the Muse as being set in a historical home on Charleston’s Society Street, but it is anything but stodgy or stuffy. An eclectic crowd of both locals and tourists pack the Muse restaurant and wine bar regularly for a bowl of Tagliatelle Bolognese or Sea Bass (or Fab Scallops and the Lemon Cake).
Also, for some of the most interesting conversations anywhere sit at their cozy 8 seat bar.
I would say, I was extremely amused at the simplicity and style of the Muse, that is filled with amusing muses, Southern or otherwise, at their bar where even the shyest muse could be drawn into extraordinary conversations for a night time of amusement.
When I was their waiting for my To Go order at their bar I was drawn into a conversation by a local, also sitting there, that owned one of the historic houses on the Battery.
He was looking for a house sitter.
But I couldn’t bring my dog.
BEST RESTAURANT TO FIND BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
Mex Cantina ~ Sullivan’s Island...
We ate here for my daughter’s birthday, getting seated right at the entrance. I was dumbfounded that everyone walking through the door looked like they just walked out of a Tommy Bahamas magazine….and the Young and the Restless. Young, old, male or female, they all were beautiful people dressed in elegantly casual attire.
It is Sullivan’s Island after all.
BESTRESTAURANT AFTER AN ART WALK
Magnoilia’s is in the heart of our French Quarter. So are many of our local Art Galleries.
So why not stop in at the end of the Art Walk, see if you can find a table or seats at the bar, and then enjoy some world class appetizers or craft cocktails? I guess they are art too!
BEST RESTAURANT THAT’S HAUNTED
Ghosts still appear here! Someone told me they saw one last month.
BEST RESTAURANT THAT APPEARS TO BE A BAR
At Stella’s Greek Cuisine they seat you around a horseshoe type bar. I asked the bartender, “why don’t they seat these empty seats at the bar?”
He tells me the seats are reserved because they would rather have a guest in each seat ordering a $60 dinner instead of sitting there nursing a $15 glass wine.
Their Shrimp Ouza may be the Best thing I ever tasted!
MOST FAMOUS RESTAURANT THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE NOT KNOWN WAS IN CHARLESTON
Does anyone watch a show on Netflix called Outer Banks? I watched the first two episodes But the whole show started off at this old rustic bar called the Wreck, supposedly in Outer Banks, North Carolina.
The Netflix series Outer Banks is actually filmed in and around Charleston. It’s just not only Southern Charm.
The Wreck on the TV show is actually Richard and Charlene’s Wreck in Mt Pleasant (as the Geechie restaurant is too) . You would hardly know it to look at it but it is actually open.
Until cast and crew come in for a day of filming.
Rumor has it the Wreck still has the freshest and best fried seafood in town.
If you are an Outer Banks fan you can click Here you can find some other places they film at….for the Outer Banks in North Carolina here in South Carolina.
The Dock Street Theatre was one of the first of its kind in Charleston. It is located in the French Quarter neighborhood. The beautiful architecture was seen as a huge change for the city and when visitors come to see the city, the theatre was the first spot that they would go to. It is still open today and has been through millions of dollars in renovations. When it was built, it was on Church Street and Dock Street. It opened on February 12, 1736. The first play that opened there was called “The Recruiting Officer” and visitors loved it and the actors that put it on. This version of the Dock Street Theatre did not last long though. There was a horrible fire in 1740 that burned down most of the French Quarter in Charleston, including doing quite a bit of damage to the Dock Street Theatre.
In 1809, it was decided that the theatre was necessary to the city and it was rebuilt. It was not called the Dock Street Theatre though. It was now Planter’s Hotel. This hotel was very fancy for its time and the patrons loved coming here for the atmosphere and the parties. It had some amazing accommodations and many historical figures either stayed here or worked here. In fact, Junius Brutus Booth, who was an actor at the time, worked here. He is also the father of John Wilkes Booth. Many survivors of the Civil War found work here and a lot of them became famous shortly after. The hotel did not stay in business very long though.
The Civil War put quite a strain on the economies of the South. The hotel was abandoned and it was to be demolished. The owner loved the building so much that he didn’t know what to do. He put it up for sale and the city of Charleston bought it. There were many renovations done to it and it was going to be a Works Progress Administration building during the Depression. The builders kept the theatre portion of the hotel and it was turned into a performing arts center instead. The theatre would become famous once again.
The theatre reopened in 1937. It would have another renovation in 2010 that would cost about $19 million. The famous balconies still enhance the theatre, along with the grand lobby.
The Ghost Stories of the Dock Street Theatre
One of the ghosts here is said to be that of Nettie Dickerson. Nettie came to Charleston when she was about 25 years old. She loved the city and thought that it was exciting and sophisticated. She really was hoping to meet her future husband by moving here. Times have changed quite a bit since then. At this time, in 1840, the average age for a woman to marry was 17, so Nettie was considered very old in those terms. She was determined to find the love of her life though! Nettie had many men who wanted her because of her beauty and intelligence. There were not many that wanted to marry her though.
Nettie ended up finding a job at one of the local churches and enjoyed her work there, but she would always look over at Planter’s Hotel and see the men with their prostitutes and thought that she could be part of that scene too. She decided to quit her job at the church and try that life for herself. Prostitution would be her new job and she did well at it. Men liked her a lot! She still went to church and would watch as the women there would gossip about her and make horrible comments about her. This made her angry and soon she became very depressed when men no longer wanted her because of their wives’ comments about her.
She stopped going to church because of how she was being treated there. She enjoyed hanging out on her balcony at the hotel and one fatal night, her priest visited her and asked her to come back to church. He said her life could change and while he was talking to her, on her balcony, a storm came through the city. A lightning bolt hit the rail of her balcony and electrocuted her. Nettie died horribly from the shock and many people say that she has never left the hotel.
Since the hotel became the Dock Street Theatre, there has been quite a bit of paranormal activity. One of the first ghosts to be spotted is the ghost of Nettie. Many actors in the shows here have said that they have seen a woman walking in a beautiful red dress. She glides across the floor, but those who have seen her say that she is not beautiful. Many described her face as zombie-like and others have said it looks like something out of a haunted house. Some of the workers here said that they see her every day, but others say she comes and goes for months at a time.
No matter how much Nettie’s ghost appears, it’s clear that she is still in the theatre and she wants everyone to know. If you want to try to get a glimpse of Nettie, you can book a tour of the theatre or even go see a show there. Who knows what you will see?
There is no proof that Nettie said, if I’m lying may God strike me dead!”
But there is no proof saying she didn’t either.
This story was originally posted in the blog, ‘Charleston Terrors‘. It has been edited by moi. Check their blog out for more stories from Charleston’s Dark Side!