Best Of Charleston 2006 » Eating & Drinking

READERS' PICKS ‌ Eating

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Everybody gets blue-ribbon - goodies at Kaminskys Most Excellent Caf - (Best Desserts)
  • Everybody gets blue-ribbon goodies at Kaminskys Most Excellent Caf (Best Desserts)

Before you read any further, take a moment to mourn the passing of Your Place, long-time readers' pick for Best Burger, which closed after losing the lease on their old shack at the Market and moving to new digs up the block. Apparently, the move didn't work out for them and now they're gone. We're bummed, but Poe's Tavern should be pretty pleased to snag the win for Best Burger in this year's Best of Charleston survey. They also got recognized as Sullivan's Island's Best Restaurant and Bar. Another solid winner is West Ashley's Al di La, which once again was voted Best West Ashley Restaurant and Best Italian. The legendary Peninsula Grill and Hank's Seafood Restaurant remained on the list this year, sweeping a variety of categories, as did Jestine's Kitchen. Brett McKee's Oak Steakhouse swooped in and grabbed Best New Restaurant after a great first year in business. Some new categories offered a couple of revelations as Meritäge popped up on the survey for Best Tapas, a category in which they had some tough competition. Best Ribs went to Sticky Fingers and Best Buffet to Ryan's. The biggest upset probably comes in the Best Summerville Restaurant category, where old-school Oscar's bested the famed Dining Room at Woodlands. If you disagree with the winners, remember -- these are your picks! We just tallied your votes. Our staff-selected critics' picks, on the other hand, reflect a decidedly down-home and low-key palate -- a result, surely, of thrifty mindsets and eclectic tastes.


Best New Restaurant
Oak Steakhouse

17 Broad St. Downtown 722-4220
Brett McKee’s Oak Steakhouse opened last January after a multi-million dollar renovation of the old Brent’s on Broad space, offering a host of exclusive amenities like personal wine lockers for Friends of Brett club members and complimentary valet parking. In the ensuing year, they’ve also added live jazz on Friday nights. The menu kept a few of McKee’s signature Italian dishes like osso bucco and linguini alla carbonara from his previous restaurants, and added such steakhouse fare as Prime Porterhouse, bone-in Ribeye, and a 16-oz New York strip. The setting is gorgeous, the food is sublime, and it’s no wonder it’s a favorite among our readers. —Stephanie Barna

Best Tapas
Meritäge

235 E. Bay St. Downtown 723-8181
These guys were serving tapas way before tapas became a city-sweeping trend, and they remain a favorite among readers. The East Bay eatery’s menu is all about fun, from table dips and starters to chilled and hot selections. And if you really want to have fun, be sure to split the chocolate fondue and the bananas foster, because what’s more fun than having your dessert lit on fire? —Stephanie Barna

Best Pub Food
Moe’s Crosstown Tavern

714 Rutledge Ave. Downtown 722-3287
This is a new category in our readers’ survey, and it was no surprise to see Moe’s Crosstown Tavern snag the win. You can’t be the Best Neighborhood Bar without good food, and these guys know it, serving up some great sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. Some of our favorites: extraordinary BLT, Santa Fe chicken wrap, and the chicken quesadilla. Mmmm, our mouths are watering. Their French fries are some of the best in town, too (with apologies to Readers’ Pick McDonald’s). —Stephanie Barna

Best Sunday Brunch
A.C.’s Bar & Grill

467 King St. Downtown 577-6742
For them to have been serving brunch for such a short time, A.C.’s sure has made some fans, including us. Their Sunday brunch is the perfect cure for that Sunday morning hangover, with chicken and waffles, spicy sausage grits, and the “white trash omelet,” stuffed with hashbrown casserole, fried chicken, and shredded cheddar. And since they serve brunch until 4, you can roll out of bed as late as you want and still get your fix. —Sara Miller


Best Restaurant
Peninsula Grill
112 N. Market St. Downtown 723-0700

Best Restaurant When Someone Else is Paying
Peninsula Grill
112 N. Market St. Downtown 723-0700

Best Chef
Robert Carter, Peninsula Grill
112 N. Market St. Downtown 723-0700

Best Wait Staff
Peninsula Grill
112 N. Market St. Downtown 723-0700

Best Sommelier
Dennis Perry, Peninsula Grill
112 N. Market St. Downtown 723-0700

Best Caterer
Cru Catering
289 E. Bay St. Downtown 534-2433

Best Downtown Restaurant
Peninsula Grill
112 N. Market St. Downtown 723-0700

Best James Island Restaurant
Mustard Seed
1978 Maybank Hwy. James Island 762-0072

Best Folly Beach Restaurant
11 Center St.
11 Center St. Folly Beach 588-9898

Best Mt. Pleasant Restaurant (tie)
J. Bistro
819 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 971-7778
Mustard Seed
1037 Chuck Dawley Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 388-9314

Best Sullivan's Island Restaurant
Poe's Tavern
2210 Middle St. Sullivan's Island 883-0083

Best IOP Restaurant
The Boathouse at Breach Inlet
101 Palm Blvd. Isle of Palms 886-8000

Best West Ashley Restaurant
Al di La
25 Magnolia Road West Ashley 571-2321

Best N. Charleston Restaurant
Olive Garden
2156 Northwoods Blvd. N. Charleston 764-0200

Best Romantic Restaurant
Fulton Five
5 Fulton St. Downtown 853-5555

Best Waterfront Dining
Fleet Landing
186 Concord St. Downtown 722-8100

Best Outdoor Patio
Vickery's Downtown
15 Beaufain St. Downtown 577-5300

Best Restaurant for Children
Chuck E. Cheese
1610 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley 763-0663
7258 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston 824-9761

Best Japanese Restaurant
Miyabi
688 Citadel Haven Dr. West Ashley 571-6025

Best Indian Restaurant
Nirlep
908 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 763-9923

Best Chinese Restaurant
Red Orchids
1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley 573-8787

Best Thai/Vietnamese Restaurant
Basil
460 King St. Downtown 724-3490

Best French Restaurant
39 Rue de Jean
39 John St. Downtown 722-8881

Best Italian Restaurant
Al di La
25 Magnolia Road West Ashley 571-2321

Best Mexican Restaurant
La Hacienda
354 King St. Downtown 723-3333
and other locations

Best Greek Restaurant
Athens Restaurant
1939 Maybank Hwy. James Island 795-0957

Best Cheap Meal
Moe's Southwest Grill
381 King St. Downtown Charleston 577-7727
900 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 388-2200
and other locations

Best Restaurant for Vegetarians
Mustard Seed
1036 Chuck Dawley Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 849-0050
1978 Maybank Hwy. James Island 762-0072
101 N. Main St. Summerville 821-7101

Best Breakfast
IHOP
1787 Hwy. 17 N. Mt. Pleasant 849-0639
1521 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 556-3441
7361 Mazyck Road N. Charleston 824-9390

Best Late Night Menu
Alex's Restaurant
1644 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 556-9709 and other locations

Best Meat and 3 Veggies
Jestine's Kitchen
251 Meeting St. Downtown 722-7224

Best Burger
Poe's Tavern 2210 Middle St. Sullivans Island 883-0083

Best French Fries
McDonald's
230 Spring St. Downtown 724-3476
and other locations

Best Fried Chicken
Jestine's Kitchen
251 Meeting St. Downtown 722-7224

Best Sweet Tea
Jestine's Kitchen
251 Meeting St. Downtown 722-7224

Best New York Style Pizza
Andolini's
82 Wentworth St. Downtown 722-7437
1117 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 225-5200
414 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 849-7437

Best Gourmet Pizza
Mellow Mushroom
309 King St. Downtown 723-7374

Best Sub Sandwich/Hoagie
Jersey Mike's
64 Sycamore Ave. West Ashley 766-2999
and other locations

Best Wings
Wild Wing Cafe
644 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 971-9464
36 N. Market St. Downtown 722-9464
7618 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston 818-9464

Best Seafood
Hank's Seafood Restaurant
10 Hayne St. Downtown 723-3474

Best Place to Buy Local Seafood
Crosby's Seafood
2223 Folly Road James Island 795-4049
382 Spring St. Downtown 937-0029
2019 Cherry Hill Lane N. Charleston 577-3063

Best Oysters
Bowens Island
1870 Bowens Island Road, James Island 795-2757

Best Sushi
Wasabi
61 State St. Downtown 577-5222

Best Raw Bar
Hank's Seafood Restaurant
10 Hayne St. Downtown 723-3474

Best Buffet
Ryan's
829 St. Andrews Blvd. West Ashley 571-5685

Best Salad
California Dreaming
1 Ashley Pointe Dr. West Ashley 766-1644

Best Steak
Outback Steakhouse
1890 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley 763-8999
7643 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston 569-3600
715 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 849-9456

Best Shrimp and Grits
Hank's Seafood Restaurant
10 Hayne St. Downtown 723-3474

Best Ice Cream
Marble Slab Creamery
1903 Hwy 17 N. Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre 388-0052
520 Folly Road James Island 762-9099
and other locations

Best Barbecue
Melvin's
925 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 881-0549
538 Folly Road James Island 762-0511

Best Ribs
Sticky Fingers
235 Meeting St. Downtown 853-7427
341 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. 856-7427
7690 Northwoods Blvd. N. Charleston 797-7427

Best Hot Dog
Jack's Cosmic Dogs
2805 Hwy. 17 N. Mt. Pleasant 884-7677

Best She-Crab Soup
Hank's Seafood Restaurant
10 Hayne St. Downtown 723-3474

Best Bagels
Bagel Nation
5137 N. Rhett Ave. N. Charleston 529-3032
1909 Hwy. 17 N. Mt. Pleasant 881-1462
520 Folly Road James Island 406-7869

Best Deli
East Bay Deli
334 E. Bay St. Downtown 723-1234
159 Market St. Downtown 723-4443

Best Bakery
Saffron
333 E. Bay St. Downtown 722-5588

Best Desserts
Kaminsky's Most Excellent Cafe
78 N. Market St. Downtown 853-8270
1028 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 971-7437

Best Coffee House
Starbucks
168 Calhoun St. Downtown 805-8005
and other locations

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