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Tattooed hand holding a cheeseburger.
The cheeseburger at Paddock & Whisky.
Andre Hinds

The Hottest New Restaurants in Charleston, December 2021

From big burgers to fancy French food.

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The cheeseburger at Paddock & Whisky.
| Andre Hinds

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 18 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:

December 2021: Paddock & Whisky, Brasserie La Banque
November 2021: Pink Bellies, Port of Call, the Tippling House
October 2021: Maya
September 2021: The Longboard, JL’s Southwest Brisket Burgers

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Paddock & Whisky

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1074 E Montague Ave
North Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 203-4238
Visit Website

Brown liquor bar Paddock & Whisky now has a second location for fans of the original James Island address. The new outpost has an expanded food menu with more grown-up items selected by Home Team BBQ chef Taylor Garrigan, like broiled oysters with sofrito butter, fish of the day in a lemongrass broth with Carolina Gold rice, and a massively meaty cheeseburger.

2. The Kingstide

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32 River Landing Dr
Daniel Island, SC 29492
(843) 216-3832
Visit Website

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

3. Park & Grove

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730 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 410-1070
Visit Website

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
Visit Website

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. Pink Bellies

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595 King St Ste 1
Charleston, SC 29403

Vietnamese restaurant Pink Bellies is officially full-on open — dining room and all. Chef/owner Thai Phi did the takeout game for a few months, but now customers can eat inside the handsome space. The classics are there, like the garlic noodles, but don’t overlook new dishes like the squid ink banh xeo or the beautiful Herring Under a Fur Coat, Phi’s take on a Russian layered salad.

Pink and purple hued dining room.
The dining room at Pink Bellies.
Mike Ledford

6. Chasing Sage

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267 Rutledge Ave
Charleston, SC 29403
(854) 444-3402
Visit Website

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.

7. The Tippling House

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221 Coming St
Charleston, SC 29403

Newcomer the Tippling House offers a cozy spot to drink esoteric wines in an old Charleston home. The super knowledgable staff makes choosing a glass or carafe easy, as they can guide you through the bottles. Don’t overlook the food from chef Alex Yellan (formerly of Tu and Minero). The sesame-topped shrimp toast has to be tried to believed — it’s crispy, ocean-y, and full of just the right amount of fattiness to make it a great snack with wine.

brick fireplace with sage green walls.
The cozy seating at the Tippling House.
Mike Ledford

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

Mike Ledford

11. 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

12. Port of Call Food + Brew Hall

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99 S Market St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 473-4832
Visit Website

Located in the former Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. space, new food hall Port of Call offers an easy stop for hungry visitors near the Market. The stalls include up-and-coming names like smoked meats spot Palmira BBQ, Asian fusion setup Bok Choy Boy, Greek grill house Bapkó, acai place Iaca Bowls, and raw bar Empire Oyster.

Vendor stalls at Port of Call.
Vendor stalls at Port of Call.
Mike Ledford

13. Brasserie la Banque

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1 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 779-1800
Visit Website

The Indigo Road Hospitality Group is finally able to welcome customers into the handsome dining room at Brasserie la Banque. The French eatery is open for dinner nightly, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. with a menu full of classics like foie gras torchon, poulet rouge, bouillabaisse, steak frites, and dry-aged duck. The restaurant was slated to open back in July, but issues with ventilation created a delay, so Francophiles are eager to check it out.

French-looking dining room.
Dining room at Brasserie la Banque
Mike Ledford

14. 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. Paddock & Whisky

1074 E Montague Ave, North Charleston, SC 29405

Brown liquor bar Paddock & Whisky now has a second location for fans of the original James Island address. The new outpost has an expanded food menu with more grown-up items selected by Home Team BBQ chef Taylor Garrigan, like broiled oysters with sofrito butter, fish of the day in a lemongrass broth with Carolina Gold rice, and a massively meaty cheeseburger.

1074 E Montague Ave
North Charleston, SC 29405

2. 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

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. Pink Bellies

595 King St Ste 1, Charleston, SC 29403
Pink and purple hued dining room.
The dining room at Pink Bellies.
Mike Ledford

Vietnamese restaurant Pink Bellies is officially full-on open — dining room and all. Chef/owner Thai Phi did the takeout game for a few months, but now customers can eat inside the handsome space. The classics are there, like the garlic noodles, but don’t overlook new dishes like the squid ink banh xeo or the beautiful Herring Under a Fur Coat, Phi’s take on a Russian layered salad.

595 King St Ste 1
Charleston, SC 29403

6. 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

7. The Tippling House

221 Coming St, Charleston, SC 29403
brick fireplace with sage green walls.
The cozy seating at the Tippling House.
Mike Ledford

Newcomer the Tippling House offers a cozy spot to drink esoteric wines in an old Charleston home. The super knowledgable staff makes choosing a glass or carafe easy, as they can guide you through the bottles. Don’t overlook the food from chef Alex Yellan (formerly of Tu and Minero). The sesame-topped shrimp toast has to be tried to believed — it’s crispy, ocean-y, and full of just the right amount of fattiness to make it a great snack with wine.

221 Coming St
Charleston, SC 29403

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

289 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401

11. 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

12. Port of Call Food + Brew Hall

99 S Market St, Charleston, SC 29401
Vendor stalls at Port of Call.
Vendor stalls at Port of Call.
Mike Ledford

Located in the former Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. space, new food hall Port of Call offers an easy stop for hungry visitors near the Market. The stalls include up-and-coming names like smoked meats spot Palmira BBQ, Asian fusion setup Bok Choy Boy, Greek grill house Bapkó, acai place Iaca Bowls, and raw bar Empire Oyster.

99 S Market St
Charleston, SC 29401

13. Brasserie la Banque

1 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401
French-looking dining room.
Dining room at Brasserie la Banque
Mike Ledford

The Indigo Road Hospitality Group is finally able to welcome customers into the handsome dining room at Brasserie la Banque. The French eatery is open for dinner nightly, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. with a menu full of classics like foie gras torchon, poulet rouge, bouillabaisse, steak frites, and dry-aged duck. The restaurant was slated to open back in July, but issues with ventilation created a delay, so Francophiles are eager to check it out.

1 Broad St
Charleston, SC 29401

14. 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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