Charleston’s 11 best beach restaurants

Ever wondered where to eat when visiting the Charleston coast but felt like there were too many options and not enough time?

As of 2019, 6.9 million individuals have visited the Holy City to soak up its rich history, southern hospitality, beautiful beaches and iconic cuisine.

Three of Charleston’s most popular beaches include Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and the Isle of Palms, luring people with romantic sunsets and mouth-watering island bites.

With so many options on where to eat and so little time, locals recommend to grab your sandals and come hungry.

Here are the 11 best restaurants from the Holy City beach scene!

The Drop In Bar and Deli and Sushi By Lisa
32 Center St # B, Folly Beach, SC 29439

For those moments when you do not want to be another tourist and crave experiencing the local life, the Drop-In Bar is the place to be. Known for its commitment to Folly natives and dive bar atmosphere, the restaurant offers both deli and sushi options for its patrons. Although the menu changes daily, the local dive bar is the perfect place to “drop-in” for a craft beer and a bite to eat.

Poe’s Tavern
2210 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482

A can’t miss beach spot for literary fans, Poe’s Tavern offers more than an iconic burger. Staying true to its name, Poe’s menu offers burger names after works by the poet himself. Check out crowd favorites such as the “Pit and Pendulum” burger, while enjoying their patio. This restaurant is also dog-friendly, encouraging owners to share photos using the hashtag PoesPups.

Acme Lowcountry Kitchen
31 J C Long Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451-2216

If there is one cuisine the Holy City is known for, it is shrimp and grits. Offering their patrons breakfast, brunch and dinner, Acme’s menu features local ingredients and sustainable seafood. Similar to most Charleston beach restaurants, there is a patio area where customers can take in the view and enjoy the taste of fresh local shrimp.

Lost Dog Cafe
106 W Huron Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439

Ever wondered what’s better than those childhood memories of breakfast for dinner? How about breakfast all day at a locally famous eatery. Implied in the name, Lost Dog Cafe is dog-friendly featuring a patio and features some folly beach takes on traditional Lowcountry cuisine. Following their motto, “sit….staaaay and give yourself a treat,” the cafe encourages guests to try it all and take home an environmentally friendly doggy bag!

Dunleavy’s Pub
2213 Middle St # B, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482

This friendly Irish beach pub is known for its weekly live folk and country performances. With an atmosphere designed to feature a cabin-like setting, the pub boasts American comfort food with an Irish twist such as its pub dog. Located only a couple blocks from the Sullivan’s Island coast, guests can enjoy a cold Guinness Stout on a hot day.

Rita’s Seaside Grill
2 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439

Located a few footsteps away from the Folly Beach coastline, Rita’s offers an indoor and outdoor relaxed atmosphere where bathing suits are a part of everyday attire. Featuring live music on the patio daily, the restaurant serves American beachside cuisine, such as Blackened Ahi Tuna Nachos. The family-friendly restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, with brunch available on the weekends. Check out its  signature frozen alcoholic beverages to cool you off from the heat.

Woody’s Pizza
39 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439

If you are visiting the “Edge of America” and are craving a slice of pizza, look no further than the famous Woody’s Pizza. Known for its affordable prices and family-friendly atmosphere the pizza joint has something to offer everyone from the pickiest of eaters to the biggest pizza fans! Located in the heart of downtown Folly, Woody’s has been serving beachgoers for decades, providing memorable moments to all its patrons.

Obstinate Daughter
2063 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482

A newer restaurant to the Holy City beach scene, the Obstinate Daughter offers an eclectic vibe. A southern restaurant inspired by French, Italian, and Spanish cuisine, the cozy atmosphere allows guests to feel at home, but also try foods they otherwise would not have the opportunity to do. Located close to the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse and the coastline, the Obstinate Daughter also offers an outdoor patio perfect for enjoying the ocean breeze.

The Boathouse at Breach Inlet
101 Palm Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451-2138

If you are looking for a place to unwind while enjoying fine casual dining overlooking the water, then look no further than The Boathouse at Breach Inlet. The semi-formal establishment prides itself on its rich southern recipes passed down from each generation. Whether you are in need of a romantic evening or time to reconnect with family, it is made better with sweet corn hush puppies and crab cakes.

Chico Feo
122 E Ashley Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439

Representing the heart of Folly Beach culture, the funky outdoor cafe features a wide variety of menu options, including pho and tacos. The bohemian vibe embodies the acceptance that local beach culture promotes, curating foods inspired by international communities. It is important to note the cafe’s only setting is outdoors, making the restaurant dog-friendly.

Coconut Joe’s Beach Grill
1120 Ocean Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451

Whether you are about to catch a show at the famous Windjammer or in need of some food to complete your fun day at the beach, look no further than Isle of Palms Coconut Joes. Known for its colorful beach-themed atmosphere and signature cocktails, families can enjoy the ocean view while listening to live music on the restaurant’s patio. Coconut Joe’s has been serving the IOP community since 1997, making it a staple to the Holy City coastline.

by Fern Wooden

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