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Seeking: Good local-seafood "dives" or to buy seafood (to cook at home)?

I'm looking to sample the local seafood in Charleston.

Budget:  $20 per person and cheaper options are nice b/c we can eat it more often.

I'm a big fan of local Dives, the kinda place a local would go for good food with out all the frills.

Think: Mother's Poorboys in New Orleans (it's where the locals eat lunch, at least back in the early 90s)

Criteria (in descending order)

  1. Freshness
  2. Price
  3. Uniqueness
  4. Near water/ocean would be cool.
  5. Ambiance  (we prefer less fancy places, but  a neat authentic "down home" ambiance is cool.


4 Answers

answered by
June from Charleston

Cook at home! Crosby's Seafood has fresh shrimp, crab, fish. If frying, 2/3 steel ground cornmeal, 1/3 flour, salt, pepper (plenty of it). Use peanut oil and get it so hot the shrimp are done in 10 seconds. Put it on paper towels and eat immediately. Not healthy but delicious. Going out try Shem Creek at Scott's at the end of Shem. (Mt Pleasant). Charleston is a foodie town, hard to get a bad meal. Try shrimp and grits anywhere.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Crosby's Seafood (restaurant)
  2. Shem Creek (attraction)
  3. Mt Pleasant (attraction)
  4. Charleston (city)
4 thanks

top answer by
Caroline from Atlanta

I hate to tell you, but Hyman's Seafood is the most touristy restaurant in Charleston. It's decent seafood, but not really the experience it sounds like you're looking for. For a real dive, you'll have to drive off the peninsula. My personal favorite is Bowen's Island Restaurant on James Island, but I know a lot of other people side with The Wreck of Richard and Charlene in Mt. Pleasant. Bowen's is as real as it gets, going straight from the water to the kitchen to your plate. Don't let the dirt road scare you off, though. For cooking your own, head over to Crosby's Seafood with many locations in the area, including one downtown, for shrimp, fish, oysters and more. Have a great trip!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hyman's Seafood (restaurant)
  2. The Wreck of Richard and Charlene (restaurant)
  3. Crosby's Seafood (restaurant)
  4. Bowen's Island Restaurant (restaurant)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
kym from Raleigh

Hyman's Seafood meets most of your criteria( it's not on the water) and is delicious! Be prepared for a wait though!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hyman's Seafood (restaurant)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Michael from Charlotte

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bowen's Island Restaurant (restaurant)

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