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7 Oct 2022
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Tripadvisor recently published the winners of their "Best Of" lists for 2022, and several Charleston restaurants showed up on the Fine Dining list, as well as the Everyday Eats list. Charleston is a city that celebrates food, and loves to eat. So if you're a foodie and are planning a visit to the Isle of Palms, make sure you check out the restaurants below, and plan some time in Charleston!

Charleston has become the list maker’s darling… best city in the country, best city in the world, most polite place, best place to visit, you name it. I don’t mean to sound jaded, but the Holy City sure appears on a lot of “best of” lists.

And of course, its culinary scene is right up there, too. In the last couple of decades, Charleston has become a major foodie destination. Sean Brock, Mike Lata, Jason Stanhope, Robert Stehling, Frank Lee… the talent around here is staggering. No wonder the James Beard folks take note, and often throw awards this way.

Tripadvisor has spoken

Tripadvisor is, of course, the well-known and well-regarded online travel and booking company. They seem to have their fingers on the pulse of all things travel, and their customers love to leave reviews.

So each year, Tripadvisor tabulates those reviews and generates rankings based on what the customers say.  One of the areas is restaurants, and they come up with a massive  “Best of the Best Restaurant” list each fall.  

Here’s how they explain their methodology:  “The 2022 Best of the Best Restaurants are calculated based on the quality and quantity of reviews and ratings for restaurants on Tripadvisor collected from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022, specific to each award subcategory, as well as an additional editorial process.”  So it’s what the reviewers have to say, sprinkled with a little of their own seasoning (and taste) for good measure.

Best of the Best Restaurants 2022

Actually, Tripadvisor comes out with more than just one list each year.  They generate several, in the following categories:

  • Fine Dining
  • Everyday Eats
  • Quick Bites
  • Date Night Restaurants
  • Picture-Perfect Restaurants
  • Hidden Gems (brand new to the list for 2022)

They produce lists for the entire world, as well as ones specifically for the United States (in five of those six categories). So it’s a lot of lists. And they all look quite delicious.

Charleston beats all other cities in America!

Here’s the cool part. As American cities go, Charleston appears more often on the various lists than any other city in the United States. More than New York City, more than San Francisco, more than Los Angeles, Chicago or New Orleans. 

That’s pretty amazing, especially when you consider how much smaller Charleston is than all those other megalopolises.

Charleston shows up a total of SEVEN TIMES on Tripadvisor’s Best Restaurant lists. The majority fall in the Fine Dining category.  We sure do know how to eat, and eat well, in these parts!

Charleston’s Fine Dining Winners

Here are the four Charleston spots which appeared on the Fine Dining list, and what patrons had to say about each one:

  • Hall’s Chophouse (#5 on the list)   -  “All accolades are entirely deserved. Everyone truly strives to provide the best service possible. And they succeed absolutely! Ambiance, service, food—everything is a 10!

  • Circa 1886 Restaurant at the Wentworth Mansion (#13)  -  “Food is flavor, and if you don’t swoon over your first bite, it’s just food.  Be prepared to swoon.  Chef Collins creates masterpieces of flavor, presentation and creativity.”
  • Peninsula Grill (#18)  -  “The food is exquisite, the wine list spectacular, the service perfection… and you absolutely just have to have the coconut cake.  I literally dream about it.”

  • Fig (#19)  -  “Excellent.”  “Sublime experience.”

Hall’s Chophouse is such a popular place that they’ve been expanding from their original location at 434 King Street in downtown Charleston.  They now have four total in South Carolina (downtown Charleston, Nexton, Columbia and Greenville) plus one in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Charleston’s Other Winners

Two more Lowcountry restaurants landed on Tripadvisor’s list of Best Everyday Eats. One’s a spot for classic Carolina barbecue that “falls off the bone and melts in your mouth.”  The other’s a perfect place to get some seafood while you’re here on the Isle of Palms.  They are:

  • Queology (#9)  -  Described as “Very good” and a “Fun place.”
  • Acme Lowcountry Kitchen (#14)  -  The Isle of Palms’ beloved mainstay, about which a reviewer had this to say: “Delicious food and most excellent service!”

As for Charleston’s seventh establishment to make the Tripadvisor list, Circa 1886 also came in at #6 on the list of Best Date Night Restaurants.  So it’s a double winner. 

Well, there you have it; the diners have spoken. The Charleston cuisine scene is smokin’ good and seriously delicious. But you really should come and check it out for yourself. Find your Isle of Palms vacation rental, and plan the ultimate foodie visit!


All best,
Lowcountry Lisa
your Isle of Palms vacation blogger