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Bouillabaisse at Nico
Andrew Cebulka

Find a Bit of France in These 11 Lowcountry Destinations

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Bouillabaisse at Nico
| Andrew Cebulka

Recent French-influenced openings and mainstays are subtly taking the Charleston restaurant scene by storm. Bistros, brasseries, cafes, cocktail bars, and pastry shops are popping up all over the city. With French cuisine setting the gold standard for technique and preparation, these 11 spots are worth a try — no matter the occasion.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Fat Hen

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3140 Maybank Hwy
Johns Island, SC 29455
(843) 559-9090
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French Lowcountry cuisine has become a thing at chef Fred Neuville’s John’s Island restaurant Fat Hen. Expect farm-to-table, local ingredients in a relaxing atmosphere.

2. Purlieu

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237 Fishburne St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 300-2253
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Chef John Zucker’s newest creation is dishing out French favorites in a relaxed setting at Purlieu. The P237Burger is well documented, and it delivers, but appetizers like the rabbit foie gras mousse and side dishes like the creamy cauliflower puree are what sets this newcomer apart.

3. Chez Nous

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6 Payne Ct
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 579-3060
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Find a daily handwritten menu at small Charleston classic Chez Nous. Chef Jill Mathias is known for her beautiful plating, and her menu keeps diners guessing as she aims to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind experience.  

chez nous Erin Perkins

4. Felix Cocktails et Cuisine

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5520, 550 King St Suite #100
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 203-6297
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This vibrant cocktail bar hit King street this past November. The vibe is casual yet classy, as small plates like lobster deviled eggs and French onion soup are served alongside creative cocktails and wine. Felix is a fun place to meet a friend or a date for a drink and quick bites.

Erin Perkins

5. 39 Rue De Jean

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39 John St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 722-8881
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A long time Charleston favorite, the expansive menu at 39 Rue de Jean ranges from steak frites to sushi rolls and nigiri made in house by a sushi chef. This classic French bistro is a place to socialize over affordable wine and hearty plates.

6. Breizh Pan Crepes

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39 George St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 822-3313
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Owners Patrice and Celine Rombaut have brought their western French background to the College of Charleston area of King Street. Savory ingredients come in a gluten-free, buckwheat crepe, while fruit, Nutella, and ice cream fill the sweet variety.

7. Bin 152

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152 King St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-7359
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This King Street wine and cheese bar is perfecting both. Cheese is selected weekly and the wine menu is ever changing, keeping Bin 152 an exciting place to start a night with friends.  

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8. Gaulart & Maliclet

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98 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-9797
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Also known as Fast & French, country cafe Gaulart & Maliclet serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily in a laid-back setting. Expect satisfying soups, croque monsieurs, and daily specials that come with a free glass of house wine.

Fast and French

9. NICO | Oysters + Seafood

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201 Coleman Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 352-7969
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French-trained chef Nico Romo uses a powerful wood-fired oven to create classics like scallops gratin. Shareable raw plates are the other hallmark at Nico, as a dozen different kinds of oysters are carefully selected and served with the abductor muscle on to preserve freshness.  

10. Bistro Toulouse

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1220 Ben Sawyer Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 216-3434
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Enter through an unassuming exterior to Mount Pleasant neighborhood destination Bistro Toulouse. Go with the generous bouillabaisse or try the duck breast which is served alongside house made tagliatelle pasta. Wash it all down with a glass of wine from the ever-changing list.

11. Saveurs Du Monde Café

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1960 Long Grove Dr
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 352-7498
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Saveurs Du Monde is French at its core, as Thierry and Christine Chateau stumbled upon Charleston when they left France with their children to sail around the world in 2008.  The couple now churns out macaroons, baguette sandwiches and crepes for breakfast and lunch at two Mt. Pleasant locations.

1. Fat Hen

3140 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455

French Lowcountry cuisine has become a thing at chef Fred Neuville’s John’s Island restaurant Fat Hen. Expect farm-to-table, local ingredients in a relaxing atmosphere.

3140 Maybank Hwy
Johns Island, SC 29455

2. Purlieu

237 Fishburne St, Charleston, SC 29403

Chef John Zucker’s newest creation is dishing out French favorites in a relaxed setting at Purlieu. The P237Burger is well documented, and it delivers, but appetizers like the rabbit foie gras mousse and side dishes like the creamy cauliflower puree are what sets this newcomer apart.

237 Fishburne St
Charleston, SC 29403

3. Chez Nous

6 Payne Ct, Charleston, SC 29403
chez nous Erin Perkins

Find a daily handwritten menu at small Charleston classic Chez Nous. Chef Jill Mathias is known for her beautiful plating, and her menu keeps diners guessing as she aims to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind experience.  

6 Payne Ct
Charleston, SC 29403

4. Felix Cocktails et Cuisine

5520, 550 King St Suite #100, Charleston, SC 29403
Erin Perkins

This vibrant cocktail bar hit King street this past November. The vibe is casual yet classy, as small plates like lobster deviled eggs and French onion soup are served alongside creative cocktails and wine. Felix is a fun place to meet a friend or a date for a drink and quick bites.

5520, 550 King St Suite #100
Charleston, SC 29403

5. 39 Rue De Jean

39 John St, Charleston, SC 29403

A long time Charleston favorite, the expansive menu at 39 Rue de Jean ranges from steak frites to sushi rolls and nigiri made in house by a sushi chef. This classic French bistro is a place to socialize over affordable wine and hearty plates.

39 John St
Charleston, SC 29403

6. Breizh Pan Crepes

39 George St, Charleston, SC 29401

Owners Patrice and Celine Rombaut have brought their western French background to the College of Charleston area of King Street. Savory ingredients come in a gluten-free, buckwheat crepe, while fruit, Nutella, and ice cream fill the sweet variety.

39 George St
Charleston, SC 29401

7. Bin 152

152 King St, Charleston, SC 29401

This King Street wine and cheese bar is perfecting both. Cheese is selected weekly and the wine menu is ever changing, keeping Bin 152 an exciting place to start a night with friends.  

152 King St
Charleston, SC 29401

8. Gaulart & Maliclet

98 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401
Fast and French

Also known as Fast & French, country cafe Gaulart & Maliclet serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily in a laid-back setting. Expect satisfying soups, croque monsieurs, and daily specials that come with a free glass of house wine.

98 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401

9. NICO | Oysters + Seafood

201 Coleman Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

French-trained chef Nico Romo uses a powerful wood-fired oven to create classics like scallops gratin. Shareable raw plates are the other hallmark at Nico, as a dozen different kinds of oysters are carefully selected and served with the abductor muscle on to preserve freshness.  

201 Coleman Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

10. Bistro Toulouse

1220 Ben Sawyer Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

Enter through an unassuming exterior to Mount Pleasant neighborhood destination Bistro Toulouse. Go with the generous bouillabaisse or try the duck breast which is served alongside house made tagliatelle pasta. Wash it all down with a glass of wine from the ever-changing list.

1220 Ben Sawyer Blvd
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

11. Saveurs Du Monde Café

1960 Long Grove Dr, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

Saveurs Du Monde is French at its core, as Thierry and Christine Chateau stumbled upon Charleston when they left France with their children to sail around the world in 2008.  The couple now churns out macaroons, baguette sandwiches and crepes for breakfast and lunch at two Mt. Pleasant locations.

1960 Long Grove Dr
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

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