Top-Rated Fine Dining Restaurants in Charleston SC

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If you've got a taste for the finer things in life, Charleston, South Carolina, is more than ready to cater to your palate. Drenched in historic charm and with a culinary scene that rivals the biggest cities, Charleston is a treasure trove of fine dining experiences that will make your tastebuds tap dance. 

Whether you just have standards, dahling, or are looking for a top-rated date night spot to take someone special — or are just interested in a delicious new way to treat yourself, Charleston’s best restaurants have something for you. 

Let’s talk about the top-rated fine dining restaurants in Charleston, from boujee brunch to decadent Italian, from top-tier fried chicken to authentic Mediterranean. But first, let’s break down some barriers because that’s what food culture is all about!

Fine Dining Isn’t Just for Boring People, Okay?

Look, we get it. You’re young, you’re hip, or at least one of those things — the idea of sitting down in a stuffy old room with floor-length white table clothes and a legion of waiters with sticks up their you-know-whats is maybe not leaping out at you as the best way to spend your Friday night. But to that, we have two things to say.

For one, this isn’t your grandmother’s fine dining, sweeties. Times are changing, and while you can still visit some old-fashioned joints that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time (and that can be fun, too), there are many modern, accessible takes on fine dining that can make the experience not just delicious and enriching, but comfortable as well. 

The other point we’d make is this: where else are you going to have this kind of experience?

Fine dining is about more than just fancy food on a plate. It's the thrill of discovering new flavors and techniques that you won’t encounter anywhere else and often exist at the cutting edge of the culinary world.

And the ambiance! Fine dining restaurants are culinary stages, each with its own lighting, music, and unique atmosphere that elevate every meal into a performance. Of course, the service is a spectacle in and of itself, too. 

Your water glass never gets empty, your questions about the menu are answered with a smile, and your every need is anticipated before you even realize it. It's like being a star in your own dining show. 

So shake off those cobwebs and misconceptions, and dive headfirst into these top-rated fine dining restaurants — the pearls of downtown Charleston’s foodie scene.


FIG is a real shining star in the constellation of Charleston's fine dining establishments. FIG on Meeting St. stands for Food is Good, a simple but powerful mantra that resonates in every aspect of their offerings. 

They believe that dining is an art, and they are the maestros, conducting a symphony of fresh, local ingredients, transforming them into a grand performance of flavors that will leave you asking for an encore. 

FIG is classy but not stuffy, sophisticated but not pretentious — an upscale dining experience that feels as comfortable as a Sunday family dinner, although the food is a few steps above that.

Prepare to be amazed by the creativity and precision that go into every dish. Whether it's their seafood selections showcasing the bounty of Charleston's coasts or their other inventive plates, FIG ensures that every bite is a celebration of the local produce. 

Hall's Chophouse

Hall's Chophouse on Upper King Street is a beloved institution on Charleston’s fine dining scene that offers a blend of Southern charm and big-city chic. Hall's Chophouse is a testament to the magic that happens when passion meets craftsmanship.

The atmosphere reeks of sophistication, with a dash of retro glamor, and the cuisine is as appealing as the setting. The menu is a perfect balance between creativity and traditional cooking methods. 

Their premium meats and fresh seafood, each cooked to perfection, will tantalize your taste buds in a way only Hall’s can. With each bite, you experience an explosion of flavors, each one more exciting than the last.

But we must mention the real star of the show — the impeccable service. At Hall's Chophouse, everyone is treated like family because this fine dining venue is family-run. The staff’s attention to detail, warm smiles, and unerring commitment to making your dining experience unforgettable give a new definition to Southern hospitality.

Circa 1886

If you want a restaurant that perfectly encapsulates Charleston’s rich history and culinary prowess, then you want Circa 1886 on Wentworth. Housed in the original carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion, Circa 1886 is a beautiful blend of past and present. 

The moment you step into Circa 1886, you are transported back in time. The high-vaulted ceilings, the antique wood paneling, and the flickering candlelight all come together to create a timeless and romantic ambiance. It's like being in your little period drama, with much tastier props.

When it comes to their menu, Circa 1886 takes you on a delightful journey through the Lowcountry's culinary heritage. Using locally sourced ingredients, the restaurant offers an eclectic menu that pays homage to traditional Southern cooking while not shying away from putting a contemporary spin on it.

In the end, what sets Circa 1886 apart is their ability to offer a dining experience that is both sophisticated and deeply personal. When you dine at Circa 1886, you're indulging in a slice of Charleston's history and its love for good food.

Charleston Grill

Our culinary expedition through Charleston continues with a gem that's as charming as it is scrumptious: the Charleston Grill. Known for its elegance, this restaurant serves up the perfect blend of Southern tradition, local ingredients, and international flair. It's like traveling the world, one bite at a time, without leaving the heart of Charleston.

The setting at Charleston Grill is the stuff of dreams. Soft, inviting lighting, soulful live music wafting through the air, and a dining room that whispers of sophistication. It's a sanctuary of tranquility amidst the city's bustle that lays the groundwork for an evening of elegance and epicurean delight flawlessly.

The executive chef blends traditional Lowcountry flavors with innovative techniques to craft dishes that are a feast for both the eyes and the palate. Whether you're a fan of seafood or poultry or prefer a plant-based diet, there's something for everyone to relish.

Don’t forget to ask about the wine list, because it’s a legendary part of the Charleston Grill’s offerings! With an extensive list curated by their experienced sommelier, you can be assured there's a perfect pairing for whatever you order.

Chez Nous

Chez Nous? Mais oui! This little Parisian paradise nestled in Charleston's charming streets brings a piece of Europe right to your table. If your heart yearns for the romance of French cuisine, Chez Nous is ready to sweep you off your feet.

True to its French roots, Chez Nous offers a small but carefully curated menu that changes daily. The focus here is on fresh, seasonal ingredients that are transformed into culinary masterpieces, each dish a testament to the elegance and subtlety of French cuisine. From seafood and poultry to vegetarian options, there's a delightful surprise waiting for you every day.

Each guest is treated with warm, attentive service, making the dining experience feel personal and special. It's this commitment to providing a memorable experience that makes Chez Nous feel less like a restaurant and more like a home.

High CottonCharleston Restaurant

If you're looking for the quintessential Charlestonfine dining experience, High CottonCharleston Restaurant hits all the right notes and then some.

The menu is a love letter to Southern cuisine, with every dish crafted using locally sourced ingredients. The result is a celebration of flavors that pay homage to Charleston's culinary tradition while adding a fresh, modern twist.

And let's not forget the staff. Their Southern charm and professionalism are as integral to the High Cotton experience as the food and ambiance. They make every effort to ensure your dining experience is unforgettable, attending to every detail with a smile.

The Ordinary

Finally, let’s visit The Ordinary, but let us assure you, there's nothing ordinary about it! Housed in a beautifully restored bank that provides a feast for the eyes before you've even looked at the menu, this seafood restaurant has a charm that's as enticing as its culinary creations.

The Ordinary specializes in seafood. And they do it so well, it's extraordinary! From ocean-fresh selections to locally sourced delicacies, each dish showcases the beauty of simplicity and the magic of expertly cooked seafood.

Honorable Mentions

  • Husk Restaurant
  • Oak Steakhouse
  • Wild Common
  • Peninsula Grill
  • Maison
  • Zero Restaurant + Bar

Get Ready To Amuse Your Bouche

From the captivating charm of FIG and the irresistible allure of Hall's Chophouse to the timeless elegance of Circa 1886, there's a culinary experience waiting to tantalize everyone's taste buds, whether you’re a fine dining veteran or you’re just dipping your toe into this new gastronomical galaxy for a special occasion.

All that's left is for you to grab your favorite dining companions, make those reservations, and embark on a truly special night out in Charleston. But be careful, foodie friends. Once you start indulging in the finest dishes the restaurant world has to offer — it’ll be hard to go back!



Hall's Chophouse

Circa 1886

The Ordinary

Charleston Grill

High CottonCharleston Restaurant

Chez Nous

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