5 Places to Try for Waterfront Dining in Charleston

charleston sc waterfront dining

You can’t come to the Lowcountry without dining on seafood with a view of the water, but where are the best places to turn for food that’s worth your while? We have the answers right here:

Fleet Landing, Downtown
Fleet Landing is one of the only waterfront dining options in downtown Charleston. Sure you can venture to a rooftop or two for great views of the peninsula, but for a more up-close-and-personal experience with the water, you cannot go wrong with Fleet Landing. Grab a salad and a cup of she crab soup for lunch or a Lowcountry Boil for dinner. For cocktails, try the house bloody mary, the John Daly (local Firefly sweet tea vodka with lemonade), or the Charleston Sunset (Double Cross Vodka and Malibu with Peach Schnapps and orange, pineapple, and cranberry juice). Reservations are recommended nights and weekends, and brunch can be had both Saturday and Sunday. And guys? Don’t forget to wear a sleeved shirt at dinnertime.

Charleston Crab House, James Island
For all-things seafood, see Charleston Crab House. Located on James Island, the Crab House not only has a killer view of the Intercoastal Waterway, it also serves up a great selection of fish and shellfish that’s fried, boiled, steamed, raw — you name it. Specialties include seafood pasta, Carolina platter (grilled shrimp, crab cake, crab claws), fried lobster tails, shrimp and grits, fried soft shell crabs, and Lowcountry crab cakes. But there are also plenty of options for salad, burger, sandwich, steak, and chicken lovers. Whatever you do, don’t leave without sipping on a passion fruit tea — trust us.

The Boathouse, Isle of Palms
If you want fine dining with a view of the water, head to The Boathouse at Isle of Palms’ beach inlet — a local institution. Serving up dinner Monday through Friday and brunch on Sundays, the Boathouse specializes in fresh, local seafood. From fried shrimp, oysters, flounder, and scallops to crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, roasted scallops, and parmesan-crusted local fish, there’s plenty of local goodness to go around. Don’t miss out on the super Southern sides, either, like collard greens, grits, okra and tomatoes, and gouda mac and cheese.

Tavern & Table, Shem Creek, Mt. Pleasant
Tavern & Table is a rustic restaurant right on the picturesque Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant that utilizes all of the delicious resources at its fingertips. Local fishermen and farmers help make dishes like fire-roasted oysters, tempura shrimp, mussels, and whole-roasted fish ones that local folks keep coming back for. But T&T serves more than just seafood — carnivores will love the filet of beef, ribeye, rack of lamb, and roast chicken with duck-fat fries. The menu even lists all of their local vendors, which includes everyone from Ambrose Farm and Charleston Coffee Roasters to Palmetto Brewing and High Wire Distilling.

Locklears Beach City Grill, Folly Beach
For lunch, brunch, or dinner with an ocean breeze and a view of the Atlantic, go grab a seat at Locklears on the Folly Beach pier. It’s a laid-back kind of spot with hushpuppies, crab dip, mussels, boiled shrimp, fried calamari, and fried crawfish they lovingly refer to as ‘mud bugs.’ Entrees don’t disappoint (whole Maine lobster, BBQ chicken and shrimp, Folly filet, and steak Locklear are good examples), and sandwiches like the Goat Bell, buttermilk fried chicken, and Beaufort shrimp burger are just a few of Locklear’s more casual staples. Wanna hear the bonus? The Folly pier features live jazz every Sunday at 6 p.m., so you can turn your relaxing day at the beach up a notch.

What’s your favorite waterfront restaurant in the Lowcountry?