19 Restaurants for Waterfront Dining in Charleston

Waterfront dining in Charleston is nothing short of magical. But here’s the kicker: with so many eateries lining the historic docks, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Don’t stress! In this article, we’re diving deep into Charleston’s culinary coastline, guiding you through the top spots where amazing meals meet breathtaking views.

Whether you’re a local or just passing through, this guide is your golden ticket to an unforgettable waterfront feast. Ready? Let’s set sail!

Charleston Harbor Fish House
Photo Credit: Charleston Harbor Fish House

1. Charleston Harbor Fish House

Charleston Harbor Fish House is the place to be for waterfront dining in the city; this restaurant is all about Southern fare from the land and sea.

Their menu is nothing short of exciting; loaded with local favorites like Shrimp & Grits and Surf and Turf, you’ll feel the love for Lowcountry flavors. Prepare to be dazzled by great food and unbeatable views.

Charleston Harbor Fish House is more than just a yummy eatery, it’s also a perfect venue for special occasions. They can accommodate private dining and events with a picturesque backdrop!

2. California Dreaming

California Dreaming is where the windows frame the sparkling Ashley River in Charleston; a waterfront treasure that’s been delighting palates since 1987.

What’s a visit without trying some customer favorites? Dive into the ocean of flavors with their famous seafood dishes or savor their tender steaks.

Insider tip: you should ask for a table near the floor-to-ceiling windows! You’ll get glorious river views while you enjoy your meal.

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3. MOMO

MOMO Riverfront Park in North Charleston is a delightful spot that offers not just breathtaking views but also American dining with a creative twist from the talented Chef Justin Moore.

MOMO is all about creativity and having a blast, in turn giving you a remarkable dining adventure that’s sure to impress.

One bite in and you’ll find your new favorite! Their menu boasts a tempting variety of dishes, and you can’t go wrong with their seafood options, Steak Frites with chimichurri, or wine selection.

MOMO Riverfront Park Waterfront Restaurant in Charleston
Photo Credit: MOMO

4. Charleston Crab House

Get ready to set sail on a flavorful voyage to the famous Charleston Crab House – a waterfront paradise.

This coastal haven is all about fresh Lowcountry seafood, served in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere.

With both indoor and patio seating available, you’ll be soaking up the waterfront vibes in no time.

As for what to order, locals can’t stop talking about their Crab Pot and snow crab, and neither will you once you have your first bite!

5. Bowens Island Restaurant

Let’s get that enthusiasm rolling for the Bowens Island Restaurant situated in lovely Charleston, SC.

This local joint offers spectacular waterfront dining with the ultimate sea-to-table experience.

When it comes to customer favorites, you’ll want to get your hands on their ridiculously good seafood. From juicy shrimp to perfectly cooked fish dishes, your appetite will thank you endlessly.

Don’t miss out on their rotating selection of local and regional drafts. It’s your ticket to becoming the cool kid on the block!

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6. Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar

If you’re in Charleston, SC and craving some waterfront dining, let us introduce you to Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar.

With a location that offers breathtaking views of the harbor, this spot is where food and scenery become a dynamic duo.

Looking to try the local flavors? Fleet Landing is known for their delectable seafood options, such as the shrimp & grits or the crab soup.

Fun fact: the eatery was once a U.S. Navy debarkation point built in 1942 for sailors. Now that’s a bit of history to savor!

Fleet Landing Restaurant and Bar
Photo Credit: Fleet Landing Restaurant and Bar

7. LoLo’s

Get ready for coastal vibes and an unforgettable meal at LoLo’s. A beachy seafood haven in Charleston, this spot is the perfect destination for those seeking delicious ocean views and flavors.

You’ll be blown away by the fan-favorite dishes, like the shrimp and grits. Feeling more adventurous? Try the fried oysters that’ll keep you coming back for more.

Waterfront Restaurants Near Charleston:

8. Tavern & Table

Tavern & Table is your go-to oasis when hunger and thirst command your attention. This waterfront eatery is nestled on the scenic Shem Creek near Charleston, SC.

Its upscale dining experience will elevate your senses with breathtaking views and delectable dishes.

When it comes to grub, their menu is no joke. Indulge in customer favorites like Baja fish tacos, and do yourself a favor by trying their oysters.

While the food and views will undoubtedly captivate you, their decor is also noteworthy. The blend of rustic and contemporary vibes bring a unique charm to this Charleston gem.

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9. Islander 71

Islander 71 is a fantastic waterfront spot near Charleston, SC, which boasts stunning views of the Intracoastal Waterway, making it the perfect place to relax, dine, and take in the scenery.

You’ll fall head over heels for their fantastic seafood offerings. Can’t decide what to order? We recommend giving their shrimp and grits a whirl. Devouring this marvelous dish is almost as delightful as the views!

Note: Islander 71 offers complimentary valet parking and free boat docking while you dine with them.

Water's Edge Restaurant Mount Pleasant SC
Photo Credit: Water’s Edge Restaurant and Bar

10. Water’s Edge

Water’s Edge is nestled right on the scenic Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant. This waterfront treasure offers unbeatable views of local fish and shrimp boats unloading their daily catches under golden sunsets.

Try out the local contemporary cuisine, featuring sustainable seafood. Will it be the boom boom shrimp or seafood platter that steal your heart away? Only one way to find out!

11. Red’s Ice House

At Red’s Ice House, you’ll find yourself basking in the delightful ambiance of Shem Creek while enjoying fresh local seafood and ice-cold beer.

With breathtaking Charleston sunsets as your backdrop, your waterfront dining experience will be smooth sailing all the way.

When it comes to scrumptious bites, the bacon-wrapped scallops is a must-try! This popular dish will undoubtedly have you singing sea shanties of joy.

And don’t forget to dive into their lobster rolls – another beloved choice at Red’s.

Fun fact: Red’s Ice House welcomes your four-legged companions as well!

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12. Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar

Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar is the place where carefree beach vibes and oceanfront dining collide like a wave on the Folly Beach Pier.

With its nostalgic charm, you’ll be feeling the good old days of the 1930s through 1970s in no time.

While there, don’t miss their seafood offerings like Housemade She Crab Soup, the taste will have you hooked!

But don’t worry, carnivores – they’ve got options for you too from Shrimp + Grits to fried chicken.

And remember, a thirst-quenching cold drink is a must when you’re lounging in this beach paradise.

Pier 101 Restaurant and Bar
Photo Credit: Pier 101 Restaurant and Bar

13. The Boathouse

Nestled on the Isle of Palms is the Boathouse at Breach Inlet, a breathtaking waterfront dining spot. With amazing views, you’ll be swept off your feet by the ambiance.

When it comes to ordering, you can’t go wrong with the fresh, local seafood that’s swimming in flavor.

Think Oyster Rockefeller and Pan Roasted Scallops. They’re crowd-pleasers for a reason!

Fun fact: This legendary location is also the launching site of the nation’s first submarine, the H.L. Hunley.

14. BLU Beach Bar & Grill

BLU Beach Bar & Grill at Folly Beach is your oceanfront paradise, boasting awe-inspiring views and an oh-so-delicious menu.

Tickle your taste buds with their sustainable seafood and local ingredients. Word on the street is that their steak tacos, shrimp ceviche tacos and shrimp skewers are not to be missed.

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15. Vickery’s Bar & Grill

Discover a coastal treasure tucked away on Shrimp Boat Lane in Mount Pleasant. Vickery’s Bar & Grill is where the magic happens with amazing food and even greater waterfront views!

Ever wondered what keeps folks coming back? It’s their menu filled with exciting treats like the Cajun Fried Crawfish Tails and Baja fish tacos.

Marina Variety Store and Restaurant
Photo Credit: Marina Variety Store and Restaurant

16. Marina Variety Store Restaurant

Get your nautical vibes going at the Marina Variety Store Restaurant, a charming waterfront eatery in Charleston.

This fun fishing-hut-turned-eatery overlooks the beautiful harbor, setting the perfect atmosphere for a fresh seafood meal with a view to die for.

At Marina, it’s hard to resist their popular dishes like the Shrimp Po’Boy. More drool-worthy options include Southern classics with a twist like shrimp and grits, proving that this isn’t just your ordinary seafood shack.

But, we’ve saved the best tidbit for last: Salty Mike’s Deck Bar! This hidden gem offers a cozy spot to relax while you sip on refreshing cocktails and chat with friendly locals.

17. Shem Creek Crab House

Nestled along the charming waterfront, Shem Creek Crab House is a seafood paradise with a laid-back vibe you’ll adore.

Boasting fantastic views and breezy outdoor patio seating, it’s the perfect spot for some delicious nautical noshing.

When you’re ready to dive in, don’t miss the Crab House specialties, like their legendary crab pot and fresh-catch dishes like Alaskan snow crab.

Want to feel like a seasoned sailor at Shem Creek? Here’s a tip: come during sunset for a truly magical experience!

Saltwater Cowboys Fried Shrimp
Photo Credit: Saltwater Cowboys Fried Shrimp

18. Saltwater Cowboys

Saltwater Cowboys near Charleston is a charming eatery that combines the best of two worlds – mouthwatering seafood and scrumptious BBQ – with a casual atmosphere featuring incredible views of Shem Creek.

While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to chow down on popular menu items like Fried Shrimp and American Red Snapper.

Saltwater Cowboys is not just about delicious food. They also host live music events, perfect for adding some extra fun!

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19. Wreck of the Richard & Charlene

Wreck of the Richard & Charlene is a delightful waterfront eatery near Charleston, with its charming atmosphere and picturesque views.

Feast your eyes and stomach on their adored seafood dishes, like the deviled crab or fried oysters.

Note: they don’t take reservations, so arrive early for views that’ll make you feel like the captain of your very own culinary ship!

Final Thoughts

Wrapping up our savory journey of waterfront dining in Charleston, it’s evident that this city knows how to sprinkle a pinch of magic over every meal.

And hey, once you’ve had your fill by the water, why stop the fun? Glide on over to our guide on Charleston’s rooftop bars – this is where the views, vibes, and vino soar just as high as your spirits!