Charleston SC: good restaurants or "things to do"?

I’m attending a conference in Charleston, S.C. next week and it’s my first visit to the city. I know I want to see Fort Sumter and take a walking tour of the historic district, but does anybody have any recommendations for good restaurants (money is no object so long as it’s not expensive :rolleyes: ) or other attractions (they don’t have to be historical)? Is the aquarium worth a visit? Or the Yorktown?

Since you’re looking for advice rather than facts, I’ll move this thread to IMHO.

moderator GQ

My mother and I took two walking tours with this lady last year and it was wonderful: about two hours, brisk, a very informative guide through various parts of town:

Experience Walking Historic Charleston
Roberta Burkett
Phone: 843-571-2523
Experience Walking Historic Charleston from the Visitor Center, 375 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC, with a mature, experienced (that means old) tour guide, Robbie Burkett or Anne Rumer, at 10 AM; Monday - Saturday; March - May & September - October. Look for a Hatted Lady with a hot pink “Walking Tour” sign at the Ann Street (the North) end of the Visitor Center. Tariff $15.

There’s a nice Irish pub downtown called Tommy Condon’s. No matter what restaurant you go to, order the She-Crab soup.

If you want ribs, go to Sticky Fingers. That restaurant is the only thing I miss from SC.

Slainte may be along soon to offer suggestions. There may be some restaurants that do She-Crap Soup better than others.

Mmmmm Sticky Fingers. Love that place.

At night you can take a “ghost tour” where you walk around the city with a guide hearing about the supposed hauntings that take place in various buildings. I don’t care about the ghosts, but it was neat to hear more about the city’s history and see it in the dark.

Is Poogan’s Porch still open? I seem to remember it being among the more reasonable of the “low country cuisine” restaurants.

:slight_smile: I knew Ivylass would suggest Sticky Fingers (and I concur).

Sampiro, Charleston has tons of great restaurants - what kind of food are you looking for?

I would skip the aquarium - it was ~$18 and took only about 30 minutes to go through. If you’ve seen any others, you wouldn’t be very impressed.

I agree with Eve on the walking tours, there are ghost tours as well as horse-drawn carriage tours.

If you’re staying downtown, try Southend Brewery & Smokehouse (great food and beer) on East Bay St. and Poogan’s Porch on Queen St. (I think).

I’m out of town until Saturday evening but feel free to e-mail or post here if you want any other info. Enjoy your trip!

Carolina’s Restaurant. I’ve eaten there three times. Great food, friendly and competent wait staff. It’s close to the Battery at the base of the old exchange building.

There are many fine restaurants in Chas thanks, in part, to a cooking college located here (Johnson & Wales).

Some of the best in downtown are Carolina’s, Charleston Grill, Fulton Five (very expensive), 82 Queen, Poogan’s Porch, Meritage (very expensive), but your best deals can be had when you get out of DT and into the surrounding towns. James Island offers AngelFish (a very fine health-type vegetarian restaurant, but serves fish and chicken; their pastas with shrimp, etc. are excellent - my favorite is angelhair pasta with shrimp, snap beans, etc.) and Mustard Seed (also in Mt. Pleasant), very similar in food as AngelFish.

Well, yes, you can rush thru the aquarium in 30 minutes, but wear your running shoes if you plan to do that. OTOH, a casual stroll, reading many of the information on the signs, and enjoying the various sea animals, will take a couple of hours. IMAX is next door, and you have a splendid view of the harbor.

Moved to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

I thought it was interesting to visit the Citadel campus - we peeked in the chapel and talked to some cadets when we drove through there. It’s only a few miles northwest of downtown Charleston.

Another vote for Sticky Fingers and 82 Queen (I got engaged at 82 Queen!). Probably my favorite restaurant in Charleston is the Peninsula Grill (it’s not cheap, though, so I don’t go often) on… I think… Market St. Hymans (also on Market) does have great seafood (well, I think so, anyway) but it’s a huge tourist attraction so the wait can be very very long.

Cricket in Columbia…

Hyman’s is on Meeting Street, about two blocks north of Market. It hypes itself as the best seafood in town, gives tour guides coupons to be used at Hyman’s, and gives kickbacks to tour guides who bring in customers. It’s not bad, but the best place for seafood is the Wreck (of the Richard and Charlene). It’s in Mt. Pleasant and you will never find it. If you are intent on finding it anyway, ask directions.

You’re getting some good recommendations. The only thing I want to add is to be aware of a peculiarity of the Charleston accent. In many cases, you will hear long “a” pronounced as “eh”. So “ate” rhymes with “yet”: have ya eht yet? Would you like some cehk? We have greht cehk. That’ll be eht dallahs and ehtty-eht cents.

Ewww—they serve “sick” there? I thought that was* jambalaya!* [Eve rushes hurriedly into ladies room]

And Cooper (as in the Cooper River) is pronouned with a long “o.”

BTW, the best place for she-crab soup is Lockwood’s, with one in James Island and the other in Mt. Pleasant.

That should be Locklear’s not Lockwood (which is the name of a street).

Hyman’s was fun and Poogan’s Porch was really good. Try them both. Take note of the “celebrity sat here” plaque on your table at Hyman’s.

An earlier thread on the subject:

Another vote for Hyman’s. It’s crowded because it’s good. Go at an off hour for faster seating.

The carriage tours are fun even though they may seem a little hokey. The information they provided was fascinating.

The street market is where I would spend most of my time. Fascinating variety of stuff. The Gullah basketwork is unbelievably beautiful!

Charleston is a gorgeous city!