As noted in a previous post featuring Upper King Street, this area of downtown, starting above Calhoun Street, is historic in its own right, but is less touristy and more down-to-earth than its lower peninsula counterpart.
This current post is intended for use as a jumping off point with regard to food, drink and dessert options in the Upper King Street district of Charleston that locals and visitors alike happily patronize.
H – Happy Hour * D – Dinner Options * L – Live Music
Straight Ahead Happy Hours
Barsa Tapas Lounge & Bar (HDL) A tapas restaurant serving authentic Spanish small plates and paellas, alongside fine wines. Happy hour daily from 4p to 7p
The Macintosh (HD) A lively farm-to-table American eatery and bar with a menu that changes daily. The bar program complements the cuisine with local and specialized beers, seasonally driven cocktails, and a big wine list that spans both old world and new. Features a Bacon Happy Hour from 5p to 7p
Prohibition (HDL) Rustic-chic Modern American restaurant with creative cocktails & a Jazz Age theme. A nod to the classic 1920’s speakeasy, Prohibition feels like you’re stepping back in time with its bourbon barrel ceiling and vintage-inspired decor. Happy Hour at the bar only from 4p to 6p
Republic Garden & Lounge (HDL) A modern venue setting the Gold Standard in hospitality through great food, great drinks, luxurious surroundings, and exceptional personalized service. With live entertainment every day of the week, the city’s best happy hour transforms into an evening swarm of Champagne and cocktails.
Uptown Social (H) is a festive neighborhood bar housed in an iconic turn-of-the-century building on Upper King Street, with a rooftop deck, an overflowing menu of drink specials, 40+ TV’s, four projection screens and pizza masterminded by a Brooklyn legend. Daily happy hours from 4p to 8p featuring entire bar half-priced and $2 BLT, Pulled Pork & Sloppy Joe Sliders.
Basil (D) features refined authentic Thai cuisine, is wildly popular with both local and visiting Thai food lovers, and is packed with eager diners each night of the week. Basil’s infectious atmosphere centers around a dynamic open kitchen as the sound of heat to metal, blade to board and liquid to flame resonate throughout the restaurant.
HoM (HD) is a burger boutique, ping-pong lounge, and neighborhood bar. Don’t sneer at the designation ‘burger joint’ … the food though simple is eclectic and inspired! Check out their fancy tots!
Indaco (HD) serves rustic Italian cuisine, wood-fired pizzas, hand-crafted pastas, house-made salami and cured sausages which can be enjoyed family-style or a la carte.
Juanita Greenberg’s Nacho Royale (HDL) casually referred to as Juanita’s, the restaurant doubles as a sports bar (there’s even a pool table) and offers Mexican-inspired bites and drinks, with live music and patio seating. You’ll really want to pair a big fat healthy burrito with the house margarita that’s rumored to make you want to jump right into the glass.
Smoke (D) On the menu you’ll find smoked brisket, pulled pork, chicken, pastrami, wings … In short, if you want to experience barbeque with Charleston style fixin’s, then Smoke is a must! Also on the menu are craft cocktails, microbrews, hand-cut fries and the house-smoked tomatoes used to make their revered ketchup.
* Venues noted on our Sunday Brunch List also fit the Upscale Dining bill *
O-Ku Sushi (HD) is a trendy Japanese eatery and lounge sporting exposed brick and high ceilings. O-Ku celebrates authentic Asian cuisine with a southern approach and a menu focused on incorporating authentically Japanese flavors into the fare. The menu features signature contemporary Japanese entrées and traditional sushi of the season reflecting the uniquely designed space.
Chef specialties include pan-seared scallops with an umeboshi gastrique, duck leg yakiniku, salmon misoyaki, and hakozushi a box-style sushi. Also available are a wide variety of nigiri, sashimi, and crudos. The beverage program at O-Ku is a sophisticated blend of specialty cocktails, premium sake, bubbles, red and white wines, and unique beer selection.
Feed Your Sweet Tooth
Cupcake DownSouth (H) Oh my, cupcake heaven! There’s a cupcake variety for every possible demographic … there’s the ever-changing daily menu; gluten-free and vegan varieties, and yes! there’s an after dark menu featuring alcohol infused delights. But wait, it doesn’t stop there, they’ve got cake shakes, and cake quakes – a delightful twist on an ice cream sandwich. Also on offer are cake pops, cookie sandwiches and pupcakes for your canine love!
Glazed Gourmet is a cozy, modern bakery offering donuts in inventive and drool-worthy flavors, plus espresso drinks. If you peep their Instagram, you’ll realize that there’s not much more that could be said!
Jeni’s Ice Cream is a ‘mouth party’ that’s not-to-be-missed! With exotic flavors like Brambleberry Crisp, and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries … you’ll be sorry you didn’t swing by at least once! (And they help you decide what palate titillating adventure you should embark on by allowing you the opportunity to taste)
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Click here for a more comprehensive guide to Upper King restaurants and bars, including links to their menus and reservations.