Magnolias Restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina

I recently wrote a post that I got a lot of various discussion about regarding my take on the best seafood restaurants in Charleston. I listed what some called some questionable choices as Charleston’s best seafood restaurants. One that I left off the list was Magnolias, which I left off not because it’s not one of Charleston’s best restaurants, but simply because although it serves seafood, it’s not known exclusively for its seafood, but rather its American cuisine with southern flair.

If you’re one of those that is weary of solely trusting a review from a independent travel writer, then you won’t have to look far to find plenty of support for Magnolias as one of the best restaurants in Charleston. The restaurant was named last year by Southern Living readers as one of the best southern restaurants. Magnolias has over 400 reviews on Open Table with an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars and was named an Open Table Diner’s Choice Award.

Some may call Magnolias a Charleston landmark, since it was opened in 1990 by renowned chef Donald Barickman, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Although boasting a strong southern flavor, you’ll find a little bit of everything. Although they do lunch and brunch, let’s be serious; this is Charleston and you’ve got to go big or go home. However, whether for lunch or dinner, may I definitely recommend some Low Country favorites, like Fried Green Tomatoes, but let me highly recommend the homemade potato chips. Yes I said potato chips. Served with crumbled blue cheese and scallions, you’ve never had anything as good as these. It’ll give new meaning to: “you can’t just have one”. The iceberg wedge is good for the “health-conscious” eater. If you’re not in the mood for seafood, the Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast is a good all-american choice, coming with the southern staples like collard greens, cream style corn, biscuits and sausage herb gravy. For the seafood junkie, I always go for the Shrimp and Scallops because rarely can you get these things as one entree. Another unique entree is the Shellfish Over Grits, which is shrimp, scallops and lobster over grits.

The smaller dinner plates start at $15, but you can expect to pay $20 to $25 per entree. Save room for dessert though, because the Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding or the Cream Cheese Pecan Brownie has your name on it. After all that, you’ll see why this is one of the best restaurants in Charleston.