Famous Charleston foods: Where to eat shrimp and grits, oysters, and she-crab soup

We polled our readers on the most quintessential Charleston dishes and the best spots to eat them.

A bowl of she-crab soup with microgreens on top, and a pink cocktail with a strawberry in the background.

She-crab soup was named after its traditional ingredient, crab roe, not often used today.

Photo by @82queenchas

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When it comes to staple dishes in the Lowcountry, there are more than a few seafood options to choose from. But we were curious: Out of she-crab soup, shrimp and grits, and oysters, which gets ultimate bragging rights as the Charleston dish? And where’s the best place to satisfy your craving?

We asked, you answered. Here are our readers’ picks for the most Charleston-esque foods and where to order them.

Shrimp and grits

Winner winner, shrimp and grits dinner. This dish won the title of the most Charlston-esque food with 53% of your votes. Dig in to the history behind this staple, or simply dig in:

  • Acme Lowcountry Kitchen | 31 J.C. Long Blvd., Isle of Palms | A local favorite for shrimp and grits (but don’t sleep on the she-crab soup).
  • Grace & Grit | 320 Wingo Way, Suite 100, Mt. Pleasant | Enjoy shrimp and grits or a stacked menu of gourmet grits sides.
  • Fleet Landing | 186 Concord St. | Dine on shrimp and grits and enjoy waterfront dining.

She-crab soup

Coming in hot as runner up was she-crab soup, with 35% of you voting for this coastal classic. Read more on she-crab’s Charleston legacy or get slurpin':

  • 82 Queen | 82 Queen St. | Our readers’ most popular write-in for she-crab soup (it is award-winning).
  • Magnolia’s | 185 East Bay St. | The crab soup on the menu is actually a blue crab bisque — but y’all seem to love it.


While oysters may have only pulled 12% of your votes, we know they have a special place in every Charlestonian’s heart. Check out some reader favorite spots or use our oyster guide:

  • Bowens Island | 1870 Bowens Island Rd. | Slurp down oysters over the marsh where “Dear John” was filmed.
  • 167 Raw | 193 King St. | Find a daily oyster selection at this a New England-style oyster bar.