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Slices of raw fish on a plate
Sashimi at 167 Raw Sushi.
Mike Ledford

The Hottest New Restaurants in Charleston, October 2021

From sushi to brisket burgers

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Sashimi at 167 Raw Sushi.
| Mike Ledford

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What's everyone talking about? While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the "it" places of the moment. Enter the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight the spots crowds are flocking to at the moment or generating a big buzz. Folks are asking, "Have you been yet?" Try one of these newbies today.

After a pause over the last several months, the Heatmap is back with a renewed focus: The local restaurant scene is facing an enormous challenge as the pandemic wears on, but restaurants are still opening. Going forward, the Heatmap will highlight some of the most interesting new restaurants in town, but other restaurant-adjacent newness is also fair game: pop-ups, delivery-only food businesses, even older restaurants making distinct pandemic “pivots.”

New to the list:

October 2021: Maya
September 2021: The Longboard, JL’s Southwest Brisket Burgers
August 2021: Park & Grove
July 2021: Berkeley’s, Chasing Sage, 167 Raw Sushi
June 2021: Little Palm
May 2021: Lenoir
April 2021: Pink Bellies (takeout only), the Kingstide, Laurel
March 2021: Mamas’ Boys Sandwich Emporium
February 2021: CudaCo, Ti-Ney Bangkok
January 2021: Neon Tiger

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Kingstide

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32 River Landing Dr
Daniel Island, SC 29492
(843) 216-3832
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Waterfront restaurant the Kingstide offers two stories of seafood dining to Daniel Island residents and visitors. The kitchen serves classic raw bar items like oysters and stone crab claws, appetizers from smoked fish dip to seafood sausage, lobster rolls, shrimp po’ boys, fisherman’s stew, local trout, shellfish pasta dishes, a steak for that one friend that doesn’t like seafood, and more.

The Kingstide
Mike Ledford

2. JL’s Southwest Brisket Burgers

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464 N Nassau St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 805-9500
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The former Juan Luis food trailer next to John Lewis Barbecue is now JL’s Southwest Brisket Burgers. JL’s serves wedge fries, margaritas, custards, and different variations of smoky brisket burgers, including one smothered in hatch chilies.

Brisket burgers and dogs at JL’s.
Jai Jones

3. Park & Grove

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730 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 410-1070
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Wagener Terrace restaurant Park Cafe reopened as dinner-focused eatery Park & Grove with redesigned interiors, a revamped menu, and brand new vibe. Chef Ramon Taimanglo keeps the fare seasonal on the new South menu with the emphasis on local products and produce. This time of year, there’s plenty of peaches, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash to go with the roasted chicken, sea scallops, short rib, and more.

Wooden tables in a green and black dining room.
Dining room at Park & Grove
Mike Ledford

4. Berkeley's

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624 1/2 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 501-7779
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Neighborhood restaurant Berkeley’s wants to be the go-to spot for relaxed dinners and patio hangs. The menu features a French dips, cheesesteaks, a wedge salad, fried calamari, braised short rib, chicken parmesan, roasted salmon, and more. 

5. Chasing Sage

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267 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
(854) 444-3402
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Chasing Sage was originally set to open in March 2020, but had to delay due to the pandemic. Now the restaurant is ready to premiere the dining room with the original concept of a new American menu focused on Lowcountry products. The menu features small plates, ranging from $9 to $19, with choices like English pea dumplings, swordfish crudo, and sweet corn cavatelli with crab.

6. Bistronomy By Nico

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64 Spring St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 410-6221
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Chef Nico Romo has a following around the Lowcountry. After helming the kitchen at former King Street restaurant Fish for nine years, customers got to know his French-meets-Asian cuisine. His newest venture Bistronomy brings a similar menu back to downtown Charleston. From duck confit steam buns with truffled frisee to bouillabaisse with udon noodles, the fare is an unexpected and comforting twist on traditional French dishes.

Plates at Bistronomy.
Bistronomy by Nico

7. Maya

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479 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

Mexican restaurant Maya is King-Street-meets-Tulum chic. The in-house tortillas, with corn sourced from Mexico, are the backbone of Maya. The menu is heavy on tacos, with each taco having its own identity — for example, the duck carnitas version takes on a Veracruz style with escabeche, chicharrons, and salsa verde.

Outdoor tables surrounded by greenery.
Outdoor dining at Maya.
Mike Ledford

8. Laurel

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161 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

The building at 161 Rutledge Avenue has gone from space-themed pizzeria Nimbo’s to sleek new pintxo spot Laurel. The new eatery offers a menu of Spanish and Portuguese fare, like lamb meatballs, grilled octopus, and marinated mussels. Plates range from a few bites to full entrees. The wine list is heavy with bottles from Spain and Portugal, and the restaurant has a full bar.

restaurant interior
Laurel
Mike Ledford

9. 167 Raw Sushi

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289 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401

The team behind the always-packed seafood restaurant 167 Raw has opened a new sushi spot in Charleston. 167 Raw Sushi Bar has a menu of classic choices of nigiri, sashimi, and hand rolls. The eatery also offer izakaya options like a katsu sando and yakatori. There are a number of ever-rotating options.

Mike Ledford

10. Lenoir

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68 Wentworth St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 534-9031
Visit Website

Celebrity chef Vivian Howard recently opened her second restaurant in Charleston. Lenoir draws from Howard’s home of Lenoir County, North Carolina, but also from the mind of executive chef Tyson Detzler (previously of the Obstinate Daughter). Menu items include Howard’s signature blueberry barbecue chicken wings, local crudo with buttermilk nuoc cham, butterbean agnolotti in a country ham broth, cornmeal-dusted catfish, and more. Reservations fill up fast.

Lenoir
Mike Ledford

11. Little Palm

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237 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401

Located on the second floor of the newly renovated Ryder hotel, Little Palm greets guests with a vintage South Beach vibe. Fun tropical drinks are perfect for an Instagram photoshoot by the sparkling pool. The food menu is full of snack-y items like iced crudite, grilled watermelon, and oysters. The bar comes from hospitality group Gin & Luck, which are the same proprietors of world-famous Manhattan bar Death & Co.

Little Palm
Mike Ledford

12. The Longboard

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2213-B, Middle St
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
(843) 868-8161
Visit Website

As the summer season closes out, Sullivan’s Island is still very much burning up the beach scene with the opening of the Longboard. The bar is always full of locals looking for an exciting cocktail and chef Will Fincher (formerly of the Obstinate Daughter) puts forth a food menu of Caribbean touches, like croquettes with a green curry, mango and cucumber salad, drunken prawns, and a whole roasted fish with mole rojo.

Bar at the Longboard.
Mike Ledford

1. The Kingstide

32 River Landing Dr, Daniel Island, SC 29492
The Kingstide
Mike Ledford

Waterfront restaurant the Kingstide offers two stories of seafood dining to Daniel Island residents and visitors. The kitchen serves classic raw bar items like oysters and stone crab claws, appetizers from smoked fish dip to seafood sausage, lobster rolls, shrimp po’ boys, fisherman’s stew, local trout, shellfish pasta dishes, a steak for that one friend that doesn’t like seafood, and more.

32 River Landing Dr
Daniel Island, SC 29492

2. JL’s Southwest Brisket Burgers

464 N Nassau St, Charleston, SC 29403
Brisket burgers and dogs at JL’s.
Jai Jones

The former Juan Luis food trailer next to John Lewis Barbecue is now JL’s Southwest Brisket Burgers. JL’s serves wedge fries, margaritas, custards, and different variations of smoky brisket burgers, including one smothered in hatch chilies.

464 N Nassau St
Charleston, SC 29403

3. Park & Grove

730 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403
Wooden tables in a green and black dining room.
Dining room at Park & Grove
Mike Ledford

Wagener Terrace restaurant Park Cafe reopened as dinner-focused eatery Park & Grove with redesigned interiors, a revamped menu, and brand new vibe. Chef Ramon Taimanglo keeps the fare seasonal on the new South menu with the emphasis on local products and produce. This time of year, there’s plenty of peaches, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash to go with the roasted chicken, sea scallops, short rib, and more.

730 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

4. Berkeley's

624 1/2 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

Neighborhood restaurant Berkeley’s wants to be the go-to spot for relaxed dinners and patio hangs. The menu features a French dips, cheesesteaks, a wedge salad, fried calamari, braised short rib, chicken parmesan, roasted salmon, and more. 

624 1/2 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

5. Chasing Sage

267 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

Chasing Sage was originally set to open in March 2020, but had to delay due to the pandemic. Now the restaurant is ready to premiere the dining room with the original concept of a new American menu focused on Lowcountry products. The menu features small plates, ranging from $9 to $19, with choices like English pea dumplings, swordfish crudo, and sweet corn cavatelli with crab.

267 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

6. Bistronomy By Nico

64 Spring St, Charleston, SC 29403
Plates at Bistronomy.
Bistronomy by Nico

Chef Nico Romo has a following around the Lowcountry. After helming the kitchen at former King Street restaurant Fish for nine years, customers got to know his French-meets-Asian cuisine. His newest venture Bistronomy brings a similar menu back to downtown Charleston. From duck confit steam buns with truffled frisee to bouillabaisse with udon noodles, the fare is an unexpected and comforting twist on traditional French dishes.

64 Spring St
Charleston, SC 29403

7. Maya

479 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Outdoor tables surrounded by greenery.
Outdoor dining at Maya.
Mike Ledford

Mexican restaurant Maya is King-Street-meets-Tulum chic. The in-house tortillas, with corn sourced from Mexico, are the backbone of Maya. The menu is heavy on tacos, with each taco having its own identity — for example, the duck carnitas version takes on a Veracruz style with escabeche, chicharrons, and salsa verde.

479 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

8. Laurel

161 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403
restaurant interior
Laurel
Mike Ledford

The building at 161 Rutledge Avenue has gone from space-themed pizzeria Nimbo’s to sleek new pintxo spot Laurel. The new eatery offers a menu of Spanish and Portuguese fare, like lamb meatballs, grilled octopus, and marinated mussels. Plates range from a few bites to full entrees. The wine list is heavy with bottles from Spain and Portugal, and the restaurant has a full bar.

161 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403

9. 167 Raw Sushi

289 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
Mike Ledford

The team behind the always-packed seafood restaurant 167 Raw has opened a new sushi spot in Charleston. 167 Raw Sushi Bar has a menu of classic choices of nigiri, sashimi, and hand rolls. The eatery also offer izakaya options like a katsu sando and yakatori. There are a number of ever-rotating options.

289 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401

10. Lenoir

68 Wentworth St, Charleston, SC 29401
Lenoir
Mike Ledford

Celebrity chef Vivian Howard recently opened her second restaurant in Charleston. Lenoir draws from Howard’s home of Lenoir County, North Carolina, but also from the mind of executive chef Tyson Detzler (previously of the Obstinate Daughter). Menu items include Howard’s signature blueberry barbecue chicken wings, local crudo with buttermilk nuoc cham, butterbean agnolotti in a country ham broth, cornmeal-dusted catfish, and more. Reservations fill up fast.

68 Wentworth St
Charleston, SC 29401

11. Little Palm

237 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
Little Palm
Mike Ledford

Located on the second floor of the newly renovated Ryder hotel, Little Palm greets guests with a vintage South Beach vibe. Fun tropical drinks are perfect for an Instagram photoshoot by the sparkling pool. The food menu is full of snack-y items like iced crudite, grilled watermelon, and oysters. The bar comes from hospitality group Gin & Luck, which are the same proprietors of world-famous Manhattan bar Death & Co.

237 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401

12. The Longboard

2213-B, Middle St, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
Bar at the Longboard.
Mike Ledford

As the summer season closes out, Sullivan’s Island is still very much burning up the beach scene with the opening of the Longboard. The bar is always full of locals looking for an exciting cocktail and chef Will Fincher (formerly of the Obstinate Daughter) puts forth a food menu of Caribbean touches, like croquettes with a green curry, mango and cucumber salad, drunken prawns, and a whole roasted fish with mole rojo.

2213-B, Middle St
Sullivan's Island, SC 29482

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