City Guides

Offbeat Charleston Eats

Where else to dine in the Holy City during Charleston Wine + Food—or anytime

Photo: Courtesy of Explore Charleston

With more than 100 eating and drinking events on this year’s Charleston Wine + Food Festival schedule, nobody who comes to town for the annual culinary extravaganza is likely to go hungry. But with more than 22,000 ticket-holders on the hunt for good meals when they’re not attending sessions, it can be tough for diners to score a restaurant reservation in the Holy City during the festivities, which begin on Wednesday, March 1, and wrap up Sunday, March 5.

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of restaurants to explore beyond the confines of downtown. Here, a few suggestions for your Charleston itinerary, during the festival or any time of the year.

The Codfather

courtesy of The Codfather

Adam Randall built this North Charleston outpost as a service kitchen for his envisioned Brit-cuisine food truck. But then he realized customers would drive to him for exceptional battered fish, crisp French fries, and mushy peas.
1809 Reynolds Ave; 843-789-4649;


The Mt. Pleasant restaurant’s name is a reference to the meeting of Mexican and Italian cooking, overseen by chef Mark Ciaburri, whose hand-pulled mozzarella bedazzled with pistachio pesto makes perfect sense alongside pork belly cloaked in mole verde.
1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd; 843-654-9210;

Nigel’s Good Food

Courtesy of Nigel’s Good Food

Coming off a career in downtown dining rooms, Nigel Drayton turned his attention to soul food, creating such inventive dishes as Lowcountry ravioli tossed with cream sauce, collards, and black-eyed peas, alongside such soulful classics as baked turkey wings and fried chicken.
3760 Ashley Phosphate Rd; 843-552-0079;

Caribbean Delight

Families returning to live in the Lowcountry after generations in New York City are bringing with them their cravings for jerk chicken and curried goat, ably satisfied by this counter-service gem in North Charleston.
3309 Rivers Ave; 843-974-4825

Roadside Seafood

Courtesy of Roadside Seafood

Widely considered the source of the area’s best fried shrimp, Sean and Cillie Mendes’ Roadside Seafood on James Island is also home to a masterful she-crab soup that could provoke self-doubt in chefs who’ve spent a lifetime fooling around with blue crab and sherry.
807 Folly Rd; 843-754-5890;