Charleston, South Carolina, is well known for its stunning waterfront views and delicious seafood cuisine.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner spot or a fun place to grab drinks with friends, there is something for everyone regarding restaurants on the water in Charleston.
From waterfront patios to dockside dining rooms, here are some of Charleston’s best restaurants on the water.
15 Best charleston restaurants on the Water
1. BLU – Best for its crab cakes
If you’re looking for delicious seafood and stunning views of the Charleston Harbor, you must visit BLU charleston sc restaurants on the water.
This restaurant offers some of the best waterfront dining.
BLU has a wide selection of dishes for all palates. They offer fresh seafood, including a variety of new fish dishes.
Their signature entrée is their crab cakes with tropical salsa and a sweet and spicy remoulade. They also serve delicious Chicken Sandwiches, Burrata,Fried Oyster Toast, and Steak Tacos.
One of the best things about BLU is its spectacular views of the harbour.
The restaurant’s outdoor seating area overlooks the harbour so that you can enjoy your meal with a panoramic view of the waterfront.
Whether you are dining inside or outside, the restaurant’s atmosphere is always inviting and relaxing.
2. Fleet Landing – Best for its She Crab Soup
Fleet Landing is a restaurant on the water in Charleston, sc, with stunning views of Charleston’s harbour.
With its delightful seafood-inspired cuisine and breathtaking scenery, it’s no wonder Fleet Landing has been a favorite of locals and tourists since 1982.
The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch menus featuring favorites like Lowcountry Grit Fritters, Shrimp and Grits, and Southern Fried Oysters. There’s also a full bar stocked with drinks and cocktails.
The signature dish at Fleet Landing is their She Crab Soup, a classic Lowcountry favorite made with cream, sherry, and lump crabmeat. Other famous words include Seafood Pasta, Fried Shrimp, and Red Rice.
When it comes to the view, Fleet Landing has one of the most stunning views in all of Charleston!
From its pretty marina to the Charleston Harbor Bridge, guests can take in all the beauty that Charleston has to offer.
3. Saltwater Cowboys – Best for seafood
Saltwater Cowboys is a waterfront restaurant located in South Carolina that specialises in fresh seafood and sushi.
With its spectacular port view, this local favourite offers some of the best sushi in town. The menu features sashimi, nigiri, Smoked meats, and local seafood.
The restaurant also serves up a variety of homemade appetisers, salads, and soups.
There are several vegetarian and gluten-free options available as well. The bar offers an extensive list of drinks to pair with your meal.
Saltwater Cowboys is the place to go if you’re looking for a great seafood experience. Enjoy a delicious dinner while watching the boats pass by on the water.
4. The Boathouse – Best for its Grilled Oysters and Shrimp & Grits
The Boathouse in Charleston, SC, is a fantastic waterfront restaurant with an incredible dining experience. With a breathtaking port view, this is the perfect spot to enjoy your meal.
The menu features classic seafood dishes and specialty grilled options made with fresh local ingredients.
Signature appetisers like Grilled Oysters and Shrimp & Grits provide an exciting start to the meal, while entrées such as Lake Trout and Blackened Fish Tacos are sure to please.
The Boathouse also offers a variety of seasonal specials, making it an excellent option for any occasion.
Plus, with outdoor seating available, guests can soak in stunning views while they eat.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner or want to enjoy the scenery, The Boathouse is the perfect place.
5. Bowens Island Restaurant – Best for house-made Lowcountry boil.
Bowens Island Restaurant is a popular seafood spot on the water in Charleston, SC. It has been serving tasty dishes since 1946, and many locals consider it one of the best restaurants in town.
The restaurant’s specialty is its house-made Lowcountry boil, which includes shrimp, crab legs, potatoes, corn on the cob, and spices.
Other popular items include fried oysters, shrimp and grits, and fish tacos.
The restaurant overlooks the Folly River with beautiful marsh views, making it a great spot to enjoy a meal while admiring nature’s beauty.
With an outdoor deck and ample seating inside, Bowens Island is the perfect spot for a night out with friends or family.
6. Pier 101 – Best for its Fish Stew.
Pier 101 is a popular waterfront restaurant in Charleston, SC. Located at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge overlooking beautiful Charleston, Pier 101 offers stunning views and delicious seafood cuisine.
Specialising in Lowcountry and classic Southern favourites, Pier 101 has something for everyone to enjoy.
The menu includes shrimp & grits, crab cakes, and Savannah-style fish fry.
For a light lunch, guests can enjoy sandwiches like the Soft Shell BLT or Fried Flounder Sandwich.
If you want something sweet, try one of their tasty desserts like Praline Pie or Key Lime Pie.
Signature dish specialities include Fish Stew and Fried Oysters.
The view from Pier101 is one of the best in Charleston. Guests can watch boats sailing along the Cooper River while they enjoy dinner with friends and family.
7. Ellis Creek Fish Camp – Best for its Fried Whole Flounder.
Ellis Creek Fish Camp is a family-friendly seafood restaurant located on the banks of the Ashley River in Charleston, South Carolina.
This popular destination offers stunning views of the river and a menu full of delicious fresh seafood dishes, from steamed crabs to fried oysters.
The restaurant also features an outdoor eating area that overlooks the dock, making it the perfect spot for a summer evening sunset dinner.
The restaurant’s specialty is their Fried Whole Flounder, which is lightly seasoned and fried to a golden crisp.
Other favourites include the classic Shrimp & Grits, served with succulent shrimp in a creamy cheese sauce over stone-ground grits, and the She Crab Soup, made with local crabs and cream.
The restaurant also serves burgers, sandwiches, and tacos.
In addition to the delicious food and stunning views of the river, visitors can also enjoy activities such as fishing off the dock or taking a leisurely ride aboard the Ellis Creek Fish Camp Boat Tour.
Ellis Creek Fish Camp is the perfect spot for a memorable meal.
8. The Rooftop at the Vendue – Best for seafood
The Rooftop at The Vendue, located in Charleston, SC, is a premier destination for some of the best waterfront dining in the area.
The Rooftop boasts unparalleled views of Charleston Harbor and the Ravenel Bridge atop the historic Vendue Inn.
This restaurant specialises in seafood-centric cuisine featuring fresh, local ingredients, including NC Oysters Rockefeller and Sea Island Red Pea Hummus served with house-made flatbread.
The Rooftop also serves breakfast and brunch on the weekends, with a menu featuring favourites like Charleston Shrimp ‘n Grits and Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Waffles.
Whether looking for a romantic dinner overlooking the harbour or an early morning bite with coffee, The Rooftop at The Vendue is one of the best breakfast spots in Charleston, SC.
9. Magnolias – Best for its stellar view of the Ashley River
Magnolias Charleston SC is a premier waterfront restaurant located in the heart of downtown. It offers stunning views of the Ashley River, making it one of the most sought after spots to dine in Charleston.
The menu at Magnolia’s focuses on Southern cuisine with a twist, featuring dishes such as Shrimp & Grits and Fried Green Tomatoes.
In addition to its delicious food, Magnolias is known for its stellar view of the Ashley River from both the indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Diners can enjoy the fresh air and stunning views while savoring the flavors of traditional Southern cooking.
The restaurant also offers live entertainment, making it a great spot to unwind after a long day.
Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner or just want to enjoy some good food and a beautiful view, Magnolias Charleston SC is sure to please.
10. Marina Variety Store Restaurant – Best for seafood.
Marina Variety Store Restaurant in Charleston, SC, is an excellent destination for a waterfront meal. Located right on the water, this restaurant offers breathtaking views.
The menu features classic American favorites and seafood dishes such as shrimp and grits, fried oysters, crab cakes, and much more.
The specialty of Marina Variety Store is its fresh, locally-sourced seafood.
Their fish tacos are famous, served with slaw and chipotle aioli. For those wanting something different, the restaurant also offers a variety of soups, salads, burgers, and sandwiches. There is truly something for everyone!
11. Pearlz Oyster Bar – Best for Lowcountry Boil.
Pearlz Oyster Bar is the perfect destination for a meal overlooking the scenic Ashley River.
This popular restaurant specializes in fresh seafood dishes and offers an array of classic Southern flavors. Enjoy your meal while enjoying breathtaking waterfront views as yachts and sailboats cruise.
The Pearlz menu features oysters and clams on the half-shell, steamed mussels, peel-and-eat shrimp, and a wide variety of fish entrees.
Choose from grilled Redfish, Blackened Catfish, Fried Oyster Po’ Boy sandwiches, and more. If you’re in the mood for something else, try the famous Lowcountry Boil or a delectable plate of fried green tomatoes.
Pearlz also offers an extensive list of drinks and interesting non-alcoholic drinks like spiced apple cider and lemonade.
The restaurant has several outdoor seating areas on the riverfront with tables and umbrellas for relaxing in the sun. Plus, you can take in the sights and sounds of live music on the weekends.
Whether looking for a casual lunch or dinner with friends, Pearlz Oyster Bar is an ideal spot to experience Charleston’s waterfront dining scene.
12. Husk – Best for shrimp and grits.
Husk Restaurant in Charleston, SC, is one of the standout restaurants on the water. Located right off Market Street and overlooking the harbor, this restaurant offers fantastic views and spectacular cuisine.
The menu at Husk is all about freshness, focusing on local ingredients sourced from nearby farms and waters.
Executive Chef Sean Brock creates culinary masterpieces that are sure to delight.
Signature dishes include shrimp and grits, redfish on the half shell, and a selection of appetizers such as fried green tomatoes and country ham.
The menu at Husk is house-made pickles and charcuterie plates, grilled local fish with Carolina Gold Rice and heirloom vegetables, and wood-fired pizzas.
The bar has an impressive selection of craft drinks and special cocktails.
For a truly unique experience, check out Husk’s rooftop bar. You can enjoy beautiful harbor views while sipping on some of their signature cocktails here.
13. FIG – Best for Lowcountry Shrimp & Grits.
The FIG Restaurant in Charleston, SC, is a unique dining experience on the historic waterfront. With breathtaking views, it’s no wonder this restaurant has become one of the city’s most popular spots.
The team at FIG takes great pride in creating delicious Southern cuisine using only locally sourced ingredients.
Some popular menu items include their signature Lowcountry Shrimp & Grits, Braised Lamb Shoulder, and Crispy Fried Oysters.
The atmosphere at FIG is warm and inviting, and the decor reflects the beauty of Charleston. FIG creates a charming yet modern ambiance from the exposed brick walls to the handcrafted wood tables.
14. The Darling – Best for its slow-cooked pork barbecue.
The Darling Restaurant is one of the top waterfront restaurants in Charleston, SC. It offers stunning views and marsh from its large wrap-around porch.
The dining room is cosy and inviting, with wooden floors and brick walls.
The menu features fresh coastal seafood dishes such as oysters Rockefeller, wood-grilled fish tacos, and blackened shrimp.
The restaurant also offers unique dishes like hearty stews, slow-cooked pork barbecue, and creamy mac ‘n’ cheese.
The Darling Restaurant is the perfect spot for those looking for a special occasion dinner or want to enjoy the view.
15. High Cotton – Best for its Southern cuisine with a modern twist.
High Cotton is a well-known restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina. High Cotton is located on the water’s edge and offers stunning views of the harbour and breathtaking sunsets.
With its elegant atmosphere and exceptional service, it is no wonder why this eatery has become a local favourite.
High Cotton specialises in Southern cuisine with a modern twist.
The menu features fresh, local ingredients and delicious dishes like Lowcountry Shrimp & Grits, Local Seafood Stew, and Grilled Pork Porterhouse.
Their signature Sunday brunch is a must-try for any visitor to the city. High Cotton also serves up craft cocktails crafted by expert mixologists for those searching for something a little different.
No matter the occasion, High Cotton will provide a memorable dining experience for locals and visitors alike.
Its spectacular views, sumptuous dishes, and welcoming atmosphere make it one of Charleston’s best restaurants.
Charleston Restaurants on the Water FAQs
Are there seafood restaurants on the water in Charleston?
Yes, Charleston is known for its coastal cuisine, and many seafood restaurants are located directly on the water. Some popular options include Fleet Landing, Bowens Island Restaurant, and Magnolias.
Are there any Charleston restaurants on the water serving more than just seafood?
Yes, while seafood is popular, given Charleston’s coastal location, some restaurants on the water offer a variety of cuisine. Some options include High Cotton, The Darling and The FIG.
Charleston, South Carolina, is known for its historic and charming city with many dining options overlooking the water. With so many choices of waterfront restaurants, you can enjoy Lowcountry cuisine with a picturesque view of the Charleston Harbor or Ashley River.
Whether you prefer upscale seafood, casual fare, or stunning sunsets with cocktails, you won’t be disappointed with Charleston’s variety of restaurants on the water.