Debating the seafood restaurants in any seaside town can draw a range of responses, but especially in Charleston. The southern port city ranges in seafood styles, from deep fried family-style to low country to upscale seafood. Like many touristy cities, what tourists think are the best seafood restaurants and what locals think, are often vastly different. For example, most vacationers to Charleston love going to Hyman’s, a family style seafood restaurant on Meeting Street. Most summer evenings you’ll be hard pressed not to have to wait 30 minutes to an hour to find a table. You’ll find all the typical fried seafood classics, including scallops, shrimp, flounder and oysters. Though popular among tourists, you won’t typically find an influx of locals at Hyman’s.
Hank’s is a favorite both among tourists and locals. The award-winning restaurant is located in an old-style fish market offering traditional and contemporary seafood dishes. Located in a warehouse that’s over 100 years old, the Charleston seafood restaurant over looks historic downtown. One of Hank’s most popular dishes is the Shrimp and Grits, which has its place as a hallmark of Charleston seafood. Its ambiance and decor is reminiscent of what you would expect to find at a restaurant in New York City. Hank’s is also good for a pre-dinner drink.
Located just off Meeting Street Coast Bar and Grill is one of Charleston’s best low country restaurants. Unless you make reservations ahead of time, you can expect to wait one to two hours to get a table on the weekend. Coast’s chefs work with local farmers and fishers to choose fresh, local ingredients to create dishes that are unlike many seafood restaurants. Guests can begin with low country starters like fried green tomatoes or bacon-wrapped scallops. Like most Charleston seafood restaurant, shrimp and grits is a crowd favorite, though a unique dish of Coast is the Lobster and Crab Gratin.
[photo courtesy of skyliner72]