Discover Charleston

Fresh Air, Fresh Food: Al Fresco Dining in Charleston

As the August heat slips into the more comfy days of fall, enjoy these Lowcountry patios.

It’s that sunny time of year when restaurant seating options expand beyond the dining room and onto roofs, decks and patios. Pick a spot with a great view and, even if your dining companion fails to impress, you’re guaranteed to find something worthwhile to gaze upon. From sunny gardens to starlit terraces, these six outdoor dining hotspots serve up plenty of fresh air.

Edmund’s Oast decided to expand its outdoor seating in its first three months, a testament to the brew pub’s popularity as well as Mother Nature’s lure. There’s an open-air patio out front plus a smaller covered patio that offers extra seats in all weather. Great news if you crave craft beer alongside house-cured meats, buttermilk fried chicken wings, pickled shrimp, lamb meatballs or another mouthwatering temptation. 1081 Morrison Drive, 843.727.1145

Pickled shrimp
Pickled shrimp at Edmund's Oast (©Chrys Rynearson/Home Team Public Relations)

Of course, the margherita pizza at Indaco tastes great in any setting. But there’s something about biting into one or another rustic Italian temptation like bucatini with charred ramps, pappardelle pork sugo, asparagus pizza with Calico scallops, coppa steak with cranberry bean ragout, or any menu item that strikes your fancy while seated on the patio overlooking Upper King Street. La bella vita (the good life), indeed. 526 King St.; 843.727.1228

Sunshine is served with a side of swanky in the elegant courtyard at Peninsula Grill. Sit by the gurgling fountain and savor the exceptional service, high-quality fresh fare and award-wining wine list. Feast on seasonal specialties like oysters Rockefeller, lobster and corn chowder, bourbon-glazed shrimp, pan-seared Carolina trout, grilled pork with braised greens and barbecue jus, and much more. Save room for dessert: This is home of the 12-layer Ultimate Coconut Cake. 112 N. Market St., 843.723.0700

One of Charleston’s oldest independent culinary establishments, Poogan’s Porch is in a Victorian house that has been gracefully transformed into a restaurant. Tables on the patio and porch are dressed in white table cloths for brunch, lunch and dinner. Whether it’s a warm homemade buttermilk biscuit and sausage gravy, a bowl of she-crab soup, or the signature buttermilk fried chicken, Poogan’s does lowcountry cuisine proud. 72 Queen St., 843.577.2337

Chicken and waffles
Chicken and waffles at Poogan's Porch (©Poogan’s Porch/Obviouslee PR)

Dine on the banks of Shem Creek, just minutes from historic downtown, at Water’s Edge. While comfortably seated on the deck, watch fish and shrimp boats unload their daily catches. Chef Jimmy Purcell’s menu showcases fresh local ingredients in classic and contemporary Lowcountry dishes with his own creative spin. Savory bites like fish stew, crab cakes, crispy duck salad, prime rib and Portobello mushroom caps ensure there’s something to please every palate. 1407 Shrimp Boat Lane, 843.884.4074

Water's Edge
Dine in a harbor environment at Water's Edge (Courtesy Water's Edge)