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Citrus Club
Andrew Cebulka

17 Charleston Bars and Restaurants With Breathtaking Views

Rooftop bars and waterside dining

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Citrus Club
| Andrew Cebulka

It's no secret that Holy City sunsets and Charleston waterfronts are some of the most coveted views around (think of the Instagram likes), but where can you relax with a glass of wine or a plate of food while taking in these phenomenons? There's a few rooftop bars or spots nestled on the water worth visiting — many offer seafood, and all offer libations.

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.

Lowcountry restaurant Momo sits right on the Cooper river. Stroll around Riverfront Park while waiting for a table at brunch or after a dinner. Note: there are separate menus for downstairs and upstairs (upstairs is a bit fancier), so check both out before making a reservation.

The Kingstide

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The Kingstide is Daniel Island’s only waterfront restaurant with plenty of patio seating looking out to the Wando River. Aside from the views, there’s oysters, lobster rolls, smoked fish dip, plenty of cocktails, and more.

Mike Ledford

Tavern & Table

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Watch the dolphins play from the deck at Shem Creek restaurant Tavern & Table. The patio is a favorite with locals for an after-work cocktail and views of the sunset.

Saltwater Cowboys

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Order a plate of trash can nachos, a few beers, and take in the scenes of Shem Creek at Saltwater Cowboys.

Stars Rooftop

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The Stars Rooftop offers skyline views of downtown Charleston. If it's a nice day, sit in the sun, and peer over King Street.

Citrus Club

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Perched high above the Charleston landscape, Citrus Club is the sophisticated rooftop bar of any tropical drink lover’s dreams. The 360-degree views are the best in town. Take the lobby elevator up to grab a seat and take in the view while sipping a playful libation.

Citrus Club

Charleston Harbor Fish House

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Charleston Harbor Fish House has some of the best views in Mount Pleasant. The outdoor bar overlooks the Ravenel Bridge and most of the seats have views of the harbor. Spy on downtown Charleston from across the Cooper River.

Charleston Harbor Fish House

Coda Del Pesce

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Contemporary Italian eatery Coda del Pesce sits right on the beach at Isle of Palms. Watch the ocean while ordering from chef Ken Vedrinski's seafood-filled menu.

Èlevé

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Walk past the chandeliers and double bars of the Èlevé dining room to settle on the side patio for views of downtown Charleston in a hip, modern setting. Peek down at the Ansonborough neighbors with a glass of wine in hand.

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits

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The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits opened atop boutique hotel the Restoration on the seventh floor, so it currently claims the title of highest elevation for a public space and carries incredible views of the Lowcountry. Stop by at sunset for a Instagram-breaking photo opportunity.

The Watch / Official

Harborview Restaurant & Lounge

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For fans of breathtaking views and climate-controlled environments, Harbor View Restaurant & Lounge offers both atop the Holiday Inn on the Ashley River. Neither the gnats nor the humidity can get to customers from the enclosed rooftop bar. Bonus: house liquors are only $4 during happy hour.

Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar

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Patrons can easily drop some serious money at Market Pavilion if they're looking to impress friends or celebrate a recent promotion. However, those $16 mojitos come with a spectacular skyline view of the Holy City and a bar-side pool. Visit for a splurge and take in the sights.

Fleet Landing

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Fleet Landing is the only option for waterfront views on the Ravenel bridge side of downtown Charleston. The harbor views are best enjoyed at happy hour with a discounted drink and friends on the wraparound porch. The restaurant is popular with visitors looking for $24 fried shrimp platters.

The Vendue Rooftop

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What was once the vodka-soda-stained hangout for bachelorette parties and undergrads is now a nice stop for folks looking for sophisticated cocktails and rosé by the glass. The pre-sunset crowd at the Vendue Rooftop is a quiet bunch peering at the sight of the Charleston Harbor from above. The post-sunset crew might get a little rowdier.

Salty Mikes

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With some of the cheapest drinks and best views downtown, Salty Mike's is a gathering for sailors, locals, and in-the-know tourists. The no-frills watering hole sits on the Marina, so guests can watch boats go by with beer in hand.

The Boathouse at Breach Inlet

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The Boathouse is a Charleston institution. The menu reads like a throwback Southern seafood house — fried scallop platters next to crab cake appetizers and butter-poached lobster tails. Ask for a seat on the top deck for a cocktail (or two) while pondering the views of Breach Inlet.

Bowens Island Restaurant

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The setting at old-school oyster shack Bowens is perfect for grabbing a fresh bushel of bivalves, and watching a Lowcountry sunset. The interiors at Bowen's are rustic, but customers are there for views of the marshland and water, along with the buckets of oysters.

Bowen’s Island view.
Mike Ledford

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Momo

Lowcountry restaurant Momo sits right on the Cooper river. Stroll around Riverfront Park while waiting for a table at brunch or after a dinner. Note: there are separate menus for downstairs and upstairs (upstairs is a bit fancier), so check both out before making a reservation.

The Kingstide

Mike Ledford

The Kingstide is Daniel Island’s only waterfront restaurant with plenty of patio seating looking out to the Wando River. Aside from the views, there’s oysters, lobster rolls, smoked fish dip, plenty of cocktails, and more.

Mike Ledford

Tavern & Table

Watch the dolphins play from the deck at Shem Creek restaurant Tavern & Table. The patio is a favorite with locals for an after-work cocktail and views of the sunset.

Saltwater Cowboys

Order a plate of trash can nachos, a few beers, and take in the scenes of Shem Creek at Saltwater Cowboys.

Stars Rooftop

The Stars Rooftop offers skyline views of downtown Charleston. If it's a nice day, sit in the sun, and peer over King Street.

Citrus Club

Citrus Club

Perched high above the Charleston landscape, Citrus Club is the sophisticated rooftop bar of any tropical drink lover’s dreams. The 360-degree views are the best in town. Take the lobby elevator up to grab a seat and take in the view while sipping a playful libation.

Citrus Club

Charleston Harbor Fish House

Charleston Harbor Fish House

Charleston Harbor Fish House has some of the best views in Mount Pleasant. The outdoor bar overlooks the Ravenel Bridge and most of the seats have views of the harbor. Spy on downtown Charleston from across the Cooper River.

Charleston Harbor Fish House

Coda Del Pesce

Contemporary Italian eatery Coda del Pesce sits right on the beach at Isle of Palms. Watch the ocean while ordering from chef Ken Vedrinski's seafood-filled menu.

Èlevé

Walk past the chandeliers and double bars of the Èlevé dining room to settle on the side patio for views of downtown Charleston in a hip, modern setting. Peek down at the Ansonborough neighbors with a glass of wine in hand.

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits

The Watch / Official

The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits opened atop boutique hotel the Restoration on the seventh floor, so it currently claims the title of highest elevation for a public space and carries incredible views of the Lowcountry. Stop by at sunset for a Instagram-breaking photo opportunity.

The Watch / Official

Harborview Restaurant & Lounge

For fans of breathtaking views and climate-controlled environments, Harbor View Restaurant & Lounge offers both atop the Holiday Inn on the Ashley River. Neither the gnats nor the humidity can get to customers from the enclosed rooftop bar. Bonus: house liquors are only $4 during happy hour.

Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar

Patrons can easily drop some serious money at Market Pavilion if they're looking to impress friends or celebrate a recent promotion. However, those $16 mojitos come with a spectacular skyline view of the Holy City and a bar-side pool. Visit for a splurge and take in the sights.

Fleet Landing

Fleet Landing is the only option for waterfront views on the Ravenel bridge side of downtown Charleston. The harbor views are best enjoyed at happy hour with a discounted drink and friends on the wraparound porch. The restaurant is popular with visitors looking for $24 fried shrimp platters.

The Vendue Rooftop