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The 3 Essential Steakhouses in Charleston

Where to find red meat and martinis (or a Natty Light)

Oak Steakhouse/Instagram
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

Let’s be frank: there are no storied steakhouses in Charleston, like those found in New York City and Chicago. But that doesn’t mean Lowcountry diners must go without red meat and martinis. Even though the coastal town is better known for seafood, there are a few options that regularly offer generous cuts of beef. Here are three options to seek out, with atmosphere ranging from white tablecloths on the tables to neon beer signs in the background.

Oak Steakhouse

Located in a former bank, this Broad Street restaurant is a stunner. With three floors of dining rooms, Oak Steakhouse serves as a choose-your-own-adventure dinner destination. For the boisterous, celebrating crowds, slide into the large banquette on the first floor — it’s *the* see-and-be-seen seat. Meat eaters wanting to keep it casual should hit up the bar at happy hour — the giant Certified Angus Beef burgers are only $12. Romantic dates call for the dimmed mezzanine overlooking the restaurant. Large parties can take over the entire third floor.

Oak offers all the steakhouse classics, from lobster-topped filets to creamed spinach to oysters Rockefeller. The open kitchen puts out dishes with exact precision after 13 years in business. It’s a mostly locals crowd here, so it’s a fun place to spot a familiar face or get acquainted with the South-of-Broad regulars.

17 Broad Street

Halls Chophouse steak
Halls Chophouse

Halls Chophouse

After opening in 2009 on King Street, Halls Chophouse has positioned itself as a big-night-out spot full of boisterous crowds and plenty of handshaking hospitality.

Golfers from Kiawah, film stars in town, and Instagram influencers love to let loose here while ordering lobster mac and cheese or a steak martini.

Halls sees many anniversaries, birthdays, and other monumental celebrations. Sit at the bar and watch the crowds file in or reserve a table on the second floor for a more quiet evening.

The Halls menu is a lineup of quintessential steakhouse staples like prime rib and creamed spinach — be sure to order the iceberg wedge.

434 King Street

Prime rib at Breck’s
Erin Perkins/Eater Charleston

Breck’s Steakhouse

Breck’s Steakhouse has served the North Charleston community since 1961. This is the sort of restaurant you go when you’re tired of the fancy, white tablecloth places. The steak cuts are gigantic, affordable, and satisfying. The “sirloins for two” menu item weighs in at 60 ounces and rings in at only $34.95. The quality of beef isn’t the same as the downtown spots, but Breck’s is the type of place where you don’t have to be shy to ask for a bottle of Heinz 57 or A1 — though, you don’t really need it.

If it’s in season, football is on television and strangers ask about each other’s churches while exchanging insults about their respective sports teams. A couple next to you might be playing country music on their iPhone.

Wine is only $4. Natty Light is even cheaper. Don’t miss prime rib night.

8510 Rivers Avenue