Here's a link to the Master Restaurant Spreadsheet
|No beer or little good beer (or a bad brewery)
|Below Average (or a mediocre brewery)
|Some locals and other good brews (or an OK brewery)
|Excellent (or a good brewery)
|Best (or a great brewery)
Here's an incomplete short description of some places worth mentioning...
Failure to talk about a place doesn't mean it wasn't great...
Binky's is a new oyster bar with a great menu from the owner of Coda del Pesce and Trattoria Lucca
Azul is a casual Mexican restaurant with a great mix of classics and innovative dishes. The Molcajete is a great variety dish suitable for multiple eaters.
Maison is a great new French place on Upper King with a great bar staff.
Charleston Bakery and Deli has great breakfasts and sandwiches with a Jewish Deli twist.
Jackrabbit Filly is a new restaurant on Spruill brought to you by the geniuses behind Short Grain.
Matt's Burgers is a tiny place in Summerville with great value and delicious burgers.
Coast Brewing is still my favorite brewery. They have not succumbed to modern brewery fads (not that those are a bad thing) but instead continue to produce their classic styles with a smattering of innovations. Hop Art IPA, Boy King DIPA, 32/50 Kolsch and Blackbeerd Imperial Stout are some of the best examples of their respective styles.
Baker and Brewer is the bastard child of EVO and Holy City. Everything great from both combined in one location.
EVO is a slam dunk for pizza and an awesome local beer selection. The Pork Trifecta is the best pizza and is perfect reheated in the morning with a runny fried egg on top. Make sure to visit The Brew Cellar for an excellent tap list and brilliant selection of cans and bottles to drink on presence or take home.
Five Loaves Cafe has become a bit more "chainy" than before, but still serves good food with decent service. It is a good choice for Summerville due to somewhat limited options in the area.
Husk remains one of the best downtown restaurants, with a modern take on classic southern cuisine. Great for out of town visitors. The bar is a perfect option if you can't get in the restaurant since its menu is basically the Husk Greatest Hits menu.
Jeni's has some unique ice cream flavors, but make sure you pay attention to ensure you get dairy if you want it as it can be a little confusing.
Malagon is a grazer's delight. It's where Artisan Meat Share used to be and is a great replacement. Small plates and shareable entrees are the feature.
Melfi's has outstanding pasta and Italian food. They have parking nearby which is nice. The staff is very knowledgeable of what they are serving and why. Pasta is homemade.
Swig and Swine Summerville has reopened!!!! I really love this place, especially since it's so close to me. Not the best barbecue in the area, but extremely good.
The Ordinary still has amazing oysters and cold fish selections, along with excellent seafood options. Get reservations or arrive before it opens.
Wine and Company is still the best wine bar in Charleston with an incredibly knowledgeable staff. You can also buy bottles to go and they can help find what you want. They also have a phenomenal beer selection to go or drink on premises which most people don't know about. The beer list is very well curated. Located at Meeting and Spring, it's a great stop before or after dinner. Also great cheese and charcuterie.
Wiki Wiki Sandbar is a HUGE Polynesian restaurant with some great bars and a good selection of classic dishes mixed with some local standbys.
Basil is a reliable Thai restaurant with more options for non-Thai food fans than other places. I like the Garlic and Beef dish.
Maui Tacos does a good job of replicating the original. They are a good choice if you are bored with the cookie cutter Mexican that is way too prevalent in our town. Great beer selection. If your out of town family insists on going to Hyman's tell them you'll be at Maui Tacos waiting for them to finish being disappointed.
Steel City Pizza has a good beer selection. That's why they get a 2. You do the math...
Sweatman's has managed to maintain great barbecue standards despite the ownership change a few years ago. Still the best barbecue in the area. Visit Biedler Forest on the same day, since it is located in the same middle of nowhere. Better yet, do dinner and a Biedler Night Walk on the full moon Saturday of the month (not affiliated with each other - just a good evening plan).
The Codfather has outstanding Fish and Chips and Meat Pies. You can get the meat pies to go.
Check out my tax blog if you want to see why I'm so popular this time of year! www.supertaxgenius.com
You may wonder why very few places got a score below 3. There's an explanation on the spreadsheet. In fact, there's a ton of information on the spreadsheet. But to answer the question, we go places we expect to be great. I'm not here to confirm that a mediocre restaurant is actually mediocre. So 2's will be rare, and 1's will be a catastrophic failure in planning.