The spring and summer months are peak visitor season in Charleston, so many residents are sure to have family members looking for an excuse to take a vacation. It’s important to please the guests, but it’s also necessary to check out a destination that’s worth visiting. Charleston is chocked-full of eateries that won’t break the bank but are sure to provide the ideal setting for hosting people who aren’t afraid to comment on the restaurant selection. With that said, check out these 16 Holy City destinations the next time the family makes a trip to the Lowcountry.Read More
Best Charleston Restaurants to Bring Your Parents
Food fit for the whole family
In a town full of pizza, EVO reigns supreme for many, as they serve wood-fired Neapolitan style pies in their Park Circle space. Take advantage of dining alongside people who won’t mind hands reaching across the table by ordering a couple different pizzas, as Evo is a place where each option feels like a must-have.
Wood & Grain
Pizzas topped with fancy meats and a raw bar boasting the bounty of the Lowcountry make Wood & Grain a crowd-pleaser. Proteins like duck ham, sopressata, and fennel sausage arrive sizzling after exiting the wood-fired oven. Oysters on the half shell, chilled lobster, and local shrimp provide tasty bites while socializing before the main dishes arrive.
Quirky yet cozy, Harold’s Cabin is certainly off the beaten path, but the welcoming environment and use of local produce make it worth a visit. Find a rooftop garden atop the space that feels like, well, a cabin. Be sure to order shrimp, whether it’s served alone cornmeal crusted and fried, on sandwich, or mixed into the Carolina Gold rice gumbalaya.
Tu’s take on family-style Indian cuisine makes it a great place to test out some dishes with the parents. The menu changes frequently, but look forward to sopping up saucy curries with doughy pieces of naan or amritsari kulcha bread.
Classy but not stuffy, busy but not packed, the Grocery provides an inviting ambiance with seasonal dishes that are sure to impress visitors. The produce section is inspired by the local bounty, while mains from land and sea run the gamut, from a beef short rib to the Lowcountry seafood pilau with Carolina Gold rice. Oh, the eatery also has its own small parking lot, an underrated luxury in the heart of downtown Charleston.
Located in the heart of King Street, The Macintosh delivers a weekly changing menu full of elegant mains that pair with inventive starters like the fish bologna sliders. Go big with the CAB deckle or keep it casual with one of the best burgers in Charleston, and make sure to order the bone marrow bread pudding or truffle frites for the table.
Pane E Vino
Parents who appreciate authentic Italian cuisine will love Pan e Vino, which feels like a family run bistro inside. Complex sauces are carefully crafted from old recipes and pair with spaghetti, pappardelle, and airy gnocchi. Patrons can’t go wrong with the daily risotto and should save room for a slice of tiramisu.
Meze plates, the Greek equivalent to tapas, and hearty mains make Stella’s a place where sharing is a must. Dishes like spanakopita and pastichio taste as if grandma made them, and the lively environment allows the eatery to also strike a chord with the 20-somethings.
Waiting in line isn’t fun, but it’s a little better when with those who are near and dear. Go to 167 for the vast selection of raw oysters, but stay for the decadent lobster roll or the sweet and spicy scallop po’ boy.
Hidden on a side street steps away from the shopping section of King Street, this restaurant/wine bar features an extensive by-the-glass list to pair with Mediterranean and Italian entrees like sweet potato gnocchi or lamb chops. The neighborhood aesthetic, which is rare in the midst of downtown Charleston, provides a cozy setting for a family gathering.
Leyla Fine Lebanese Cuisine
Leyla offers an array of classic Lebanese favorites in a family-style environment. Of course start the meal with hummus before ordering one of the chicken, beef, or lamb main dishes — think kafta and shawarma — which are tender and juicy thanks to authentic marinades that shine through.
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The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits
Find both dinner and a view on the seventh floor of The Restoration Hotel at The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits. Snap a picture of the skyline before diving into a short rib-brisket burger or spicy fried chicken sandwich.
Avondale Wine & Cheese
That wine-obsessed dad will love exploring the shelves filled reasonable priced bottles at Avondale Wine & Cheese. Drink while munching on cheese and charcuterie at this leisurely neighborhood destination.
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One step inside this former church will have parents in awe, making the refined food offering an added bonus. The menu could be described as all over the place, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing when hosting company. The Ahi tuna poke bowl and pork fried rice become Asian-Southern mashups through the use of Carolina Gold rice, and the eatery utilizes similar flavors for vegetable dishes like the Kung Pao Brussels sprouts and the spicy Korean barbecue sauce-topped cauliflower.
This East Bay Street eatery is Southern at its core, but a modern approach enhances familiar dishes. Start with cheddar-bacon hush puppies with wildflower honey or Brussels sprouts tossed in an apricot chili glaze before choosing a main dish like the juicy fried chicken.
The Obstinate Daughter
Often regarded as one of the leading restaurants in the Charleston area, this Sullivan’s Island stunner offers a menu full of seafood, handmade pastas, and wood-fired pizzas. Melt-in-your-mouth short rib gnocchi and lamb sausage orecchiette with pistachio-mint pesto are among the diverse pasta options. Pizzas are topped with any and everything — the Duck Amuck features duck confit, seasonal fruit, and mozzarella.