Charleston Nightlife: Kick Back, Relax and Enjoy Southern Hospitality

Charleston’s nightlife scene features many well-known and award-winning bars and restaurants. From drinks and snacks to dinner and music, these places rank among Charleston’s best for good times and high-quality entertainment. Here’s a quick overview of the top Charleston nightlife spots and why they rank among the best.

Charleston Nightlife Scene: 9 Places to Kick Back and Unwind

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Charleston Nightlife: Where to Eat

Located in the historic district, Blind Tiger Pub is known for its cozy setting. The local favorite features live music, diverse menu selections and daily specials. For dinner, try a blind tiger burger with sweet potato fries. For a private party or more intimate experience, the historic brick courtyard provides a great setting and has been a local tradition for more than 20 years.

Tsunami, an Asian cuisine and sushi restaurant, has a full bar and focuses on serving hip, modern dishes. Top menu items include Japanese tempura, pot stickers and hibachi, as well as a full sushi bar. Each item features fresh ingredients, and they slice fish to order. The downtown Charleston hot spot also offers daily happy hours and customer appreciation nights.

Diners will enjoy a casual vibe and tasty menu at Tattooed Moose in downtown Charleston. Meal options range from Mike’s famous duck club to the Tattooed Moose burger. Tuesday nights feature live music and local brews, and happy hour offers different specials. The restaurant was also featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Upscale and Waterfront Spots

Fleet Landing offers waterfront dining and resides in a 1940s retired naval building on the east side. An expansive food and wine list, with steaks, salads and seafood, make this a top spot. The restaurant sits on a reinforced pier and offers unobstructed views of the Charleston harbor. Food and Wine Magazine included the Fleet Landing in its Where to Go Next column.

Known for great food and live music, Halls Chophouse features local soul artists who play late nights and Sunday brunches. The family steakhouse stays open til 2 a.m., and features a large drink and wine list. The bar menu includes nachos, sandwiches and ribs, and USDA choice steaks. Business Insider rated this restaurant one of the best in the U.S.

Charleston Nightlife: Where to Drink

The Trio Club, a private club that offers live music and DJs on two floors, is one of Charleston’s top nighttime spots. Large dance floors, exclusive VIP tables and an outdoor patio provide places to chill or groove the night away. Three VIP areas offer a private party experience, and Trio recommends booking months in advance due to demand.

Belmont Lounge attracts locals and cocktail lovers. Located on upper King Street, the lounge’s simplistic style and prohibition movie scenes provide a comfortable atmosphere for enjoying a drink. Light fare includes select meats and cheeses, paninis, and homemade pop tarts, a treat to compliment cocktails.

Try the bartender’s pick at The Gin Joint off East Side Street. Known for its cocktail selection, this restaurant sources most ingredients from local farmers, artisans and crafters. Each snack offers a Lowcountry flavor, with pickled shrimp and grilled cheese as options. The Gin Joint has also been featured in The Washington Post and Southern Living magazines.

Bin 152’s more than 130 wine bottle selections and 30-plus available by the glass make this a wine lover’s haven. All cheeses are served with daily baked bread. Additionally, the wine-cheese bar doubles as an art gallery and antique shop. Featured in Bon Appetit and Wine Enthusiast, this ranks as a downtown must for anyone in the French Quarter area.

Want to sample local culture and food? Check out the top Charleston Lowcountry festivals.