Dining Out in Downtown Charleston

downtown charlestonDowntown Charleston is a dining nirvana. You can find everything from Southern comfort food to the finest French and Japanese cuisine. Following are some of our favorite restaurants.

Cru Café
Quaint Lowcountry Dining $$$$
18 Pinckney Street, Charleston, SC 29401-2006, (843) 534-2434
Lunch and Dinner

Known for its motto, “Comfort Served Daily,” Cru Café features amazing entrees such as Thai Seafood Risotto, Poblano and Mozzarella Fried Chicken, and barbecued beef brisket. Run by famed Le Cordon Bleu Chef John Zucker, Cru Café has been one of Charleston’s top restaurants since its opening in 2002.

Fine Italian Dining $$$
102 North Market Street, Charleston, SC  29401, (843) 722-6393

Voted Charleston’s Best New Restaurant by the City Paper, Mercato is noted for its incredible Italian dishes, such as Veal Picatta, Housemade Potato Gnocchi, and Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza. Mercato’s atmosphere transports you to Italy with its Venetian plaster walls, fine Italian leather seats, and 60-year-old Italian chandelier.

39 Rue de Jean
French $$$
39 John Street, Charleston, SC 29403, (843) 722-8881
Lunch, dinner

According to its website, 39 Rue de Jean is “a refined French café and bar offering the best in classic Brasserie cuisine.” Enjoy delicious wine from France’s finest vineyards as you dine on Trout Beurre Blanc with almond rice pilaf, Lamb Shank with brandied figs, and Duck Confit with goat-cheese potato croquette.

Wasabi of Charleston
Wasabi Sushi and Japanese Fusion Bar $$$
61 State Street, Charleston, SC  29401, (843) 577-5222
Lunch, dinner

With professional chefs trained in Japan, Wasabi of Charleston is quickly becoming the place to go for sushi and fine Japanese cuisine. You’ll have a difficult time deciding what to order with entrees such as Nabe Yaki Udon and Hibachi Steak and Shrimp and over 45 varieties of sushi and sashimi, including tamago (egg custard) and saba (Japanese king mackerel).

Hominy Grill
Southern (excellent for brunch and breakfast) $$ – $$$
207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403-5864, (843) 937-0930
Brunch, Breakfast, Lunch, dinner

For some good old Southern comfort food, go to the nationally acclaimed Hominy Grill. Everything is prepared with locally sourced, fresh ingredients, and you’ll love the hearty breakfast with housemade sausage and hominy grits for breakfast. For brunch, try the salmon potato cakes with poached eggs, and for lunch or dinner, indulge in the Low Country Purloo, rice casserole with ham, sausage, chicken wings, and shrimp.

Which amazing downtown Charleston restaurants have you tried?