Charleston has plenty of delightful restaurants, but in this weather we just want to be outdoors—and the city's climate means it is almost always al fresco season in Charleston—although sometimes in the off-season, you might want to carry a sweater. Follo our guide to outdoors and al fresco patio dining around town:
Lowcountry charm is abloom at Blossom. Delight in fried green tomato salad or roasted mahi mahi on a garden patio that feels like a storybook setting. 171 East Bay St.
Indulge under the elm tree on the expansive patio at Leaf Café. Inventive eats, classic drinks and the occasional jazz band set the tone. Even if you can’t snag a seat in the hefty Adirondack chairs, the interior’s swinging doors often stay open to share good weather. 15 Beaufain St.
Get your fill at this former gas station that’s been transformed into a Caribbean delight. Dine, drink and relax on the large deck decorated with year-round party lights. (PS: We’re partial to their cucumber cocktail— cucumber vodka, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and a splash of gin!) 211 Rutledge Ave.
After a fresh facelift, the Palmetto Café inside Charleston Place is the perfect stopover for an intimate lunch that feels like a treat every time. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to have a five-star meal here. 205 Meeting St., Charelston, S.C.
Tucked off John Street in a former indigo warehouse is Coast, a seafood spot with must-try ceviche and Sunday wine specials. Their patio and palm tree bar give a seaside feel without the sand. 39-D John St., Charleston, S.C.
Rutledge Cab Company
Chef Robert Carter cooks up new favorites, hearty burgers, fresh drinks and all the frills of the cuisine scene downtown, only slightly uptown. Come hungry and come friendly— the patio has huge community tables. 1300 Rutledge Ave., Charleston, S.C.
Seven spires can be seen from the 360-degree view of Charleston on the rooftop bar at Stars. Spot them all over a cocktail or tap wine (yes, tap wine!). 495 King St., Charleston, S.C.
39 Rue de Jean
Plant yourself at Rue for the afternoon and live the chic life. This darling French café has a swoon-worthy sidewalk section, but it’s cobblestone-sidewalk adjacent, so you won’t be caught up in the hustle and bustle. 39 John St., Charleston, S.C.
A nationally recognized restaurant, Poogan’s Porch is also a favorite local pick when you’re lucky enough to snag a spot on the classic porch. 72 Queen St., Charleston, S.C.
Chef Jeremiah Bacon keeps it local by serving Charleston’s own produce and seafood. The patio in the rear is perfect for their weekday happy hour. 479-B King St., Charleston, S.C.
Grits are good for you—and so is Hominy Grill. Their petite patio is perfect for a breezy brunch or sipping a sweet tea while waiting for an inside table if you just can’t bear any more fresh air. 207 Rutledge Ave., Charleston, S.C.