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Malagón
Erin Perkins/Eater Charleston

The Hottest Restaurants in Charleston Right Now, March 2019

Hot! Hot! Heat!

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Malagón
| Photo by Erin Perkins/Eater Charleston

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What's everyone talking about? While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the "it" places of the moment. Enter the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight the spots crowds are flocking to at the moment or generating a big buzz. Folks are asking, "Have you been yet?" Try one of these newbies today.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Melfi’s

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721 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

The product of Tim Mink and Brooks Reitz, Melfi’s comes from the same group that brought Little Jack’s Tavern and Leon’s Oyster Shop to Charleston. Reitz and chef John Amato spent the past year eating around Italy to get the menu just right. Look for pizzas with fun names like the Prosciutto Party. There’s also plenty of antipasto creative salads, pastas, and Negronis in a handsome dining room.

Melfi’s
Leslie Ryann McKellar
430 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29403

While the name Tu isn’t new, the restaurant’s menu is. Chef Josh Walker scraped the original menu in January and went with Indian cuisine. Stop in for dosa, pani puri, chicken butter curry, and more.

Tu

3. Chubby Fish

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6768, 252 Coming St
Charleston, SC 29403
(854) 222-3949
Visit Website

Seafood lovers and scenesters are flocking to Chubby Fish to try fresh dishes from chef James London. Look for chicken-fried bass collars, barbecue shrimp, local oysters, grouper cheeks, a shrimp roll, and more.

4. Malagón

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33 Spring St
Charleston, SC 29403

Owners of Chez Nous and Bin 152, Fanny and Patrick Panellawant to transport Charlestonians to Spain for a few moments with the opening of Malagón. The Panellas wanted to open a taperia to allow chef Juan Cassalett to have a space to explore Spanish cuisine. The menu ranges from pollo adobado to grilled half lobster to ham croquettes.

Malagón
Erin Perkins/Eater Charleston

5. Babas on Cannon

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11 Cannon St
Charleston, SC 29403

Cannon Street eatery Babas offers a menu inspired by pincho bars in Spain, aperitivo in Italy, and small cafes in France. Look for interesting wines, well-crafted cocktails, Burgundy truffles, pickled shrimp, fancy grilled cheese on brioche, onion dip, smoked sprats, tapenade, and much more.

Babas on Cannon
Erin Perkins/Eater Charleston

6. Gabrielle at Hotel Bennett

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404 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(844) 835-2625
Visit Website

While the toast of the town may be the all-pink-bar Camellias, those looking for a full meal in the newly opened Hotel Bennett should stop into Gabrielle. New Orleans’ chef Michael Sichel heads up the old-world restaurant inside of the luxury King Street space. The European-style menu includes caviar, prime steaks, duck à l’orange, red fish barigoule, gnocchi with clams, and more.

Leslie Ryann McKellar

7. Tradd's

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167 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 414-7661
Visit Website

Modern American eatery Tradd’s opened the doors on East Bay Street with champagne, jumbo shrimp, and caviar. The menu covers all the classics, and the dining room is one of the most handsome around.

Tradd’s
Leslie Ryann McKellar

8. Kwei Fei

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1977 Maybank Hwy
Charleston, SC 29412
(843) 225-0094
Visit Website

Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei unlocked the doors on James Island to adoring fans looking for lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and mapo tofu. The music is loud and the food is spicy, so go looking for a good time.

Kwei Fei
Andrew Cebulka

9. The Royal Tern

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3005 Maybank Hwy
Johns Island, SC 29455
(843) 718-3434
Visit Website

Find tuna crudo, wood-fired oysters, barbecue shrimp, and ribeyes at the Royal Tern. The fancy new Johns Island addition comes from former Coast chef David Pell and industry vets/brothers John and Ben Williams.

The Royal Tern
Leslie Ryann McKellar

10. Wiki Wiki Sandbar

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106 E Ashley Ave
Folly Beach, SC 29439
(843) 588-9454
Visit Website

Wiki Wiki Sandbar offers a menu of Hawaiian and Southern cuisine, like slow-roasted pork, a pu-pu platter, and Spam sliders. There’s also plenty of tropical tiki drinks on the beverage side. The space is tropical and fun and all the dining rooms are different.

Wiki Wiki Sandbar
Leslie Ryann McKellar

1. Melfi’s

721 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Melfi’s
Leslie Ryann McKellar

The product of Tim Mink and Brooks Reitz, Melfi’s comes from the same group that brought Little Jack’s Tavern and Leon’s Oyster Shop to Charleston. Reitz and chef John Amato spent the past year eating around Italy to get the menu just right. Look for pizzas with fun names like the Prosciutto Party. There’s also plenty of antipasto creative salads, pastas, and Negronis in a handsome dining room.

721 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

2. Tu

430 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403
Tu

While the name Tu isn’t new, the restaurant’s menu is. Chef Josh Walker scraped the original menu in January and went with Indian cuisine. Stop in for dosa, pani puri, chicken butter curry, and more.

430 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29403

3. Chubby Fish

6768, 252 Coming St, Charleston, SC 29403

Seafood lovers and scenesters are flocking to Chubby Fish to try fresh dishes from chef James London. Look for chicken-fried bass collars, barbecue shrimp, local oysters, grouper cheeks, a shrimp roll, and more.

6768, 252 Coming St
Charleston, SC 29403

4. Malagón

33 Spring St, Charleston, SC 29403
Malagón
Erin Perkins/Eater Charleston

Owners of Chez Nous and Bin 152, Fanny and Patrick Panellawant to transport Charlestonians to Spain for a few moments with the opening of Malagón. The Panellas wanted to open a taperia to allow chef Juan Cassalett to have a space to explore Spanish cuisine. The menu ranges from pollo adobado to grilled half lobster to ham croquettes.

33 Spring St
Charleston, SC 29403

5. Babas on Cannon

11 Cannon St, Charleston, SC 29403
Babas on Cannon
Erin Perkins/Eater Charleston

Cannon Street eatery Babas offers a menu inspired by pincho bars in Spain, aperitivo in Italy, and small cafes in France. Look for interesting wines, well-crafted cocktails, Burgundy truffles, pickled shrimp, fancy grilled cheese on brioche, onion dip, smoked sprats, tapenade, and much more.

11 Cannon St
Charleston, SC 29403

6. Gabrielle at Hotel Bennett

404 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Leslie Ryann McKellar

While the toast of the town may be the all-pink-bar Camellias, those looking for a full meal in the newly opened Hotel Bennett should stop into Gabrielle. New Orleans’ chef Michael Sichel heads up the old-world restaurant inside of the luxury King Street space. The European-style menu includes caviar, prime steaks, duck à l’orange, red fish barigoule, gnocchi with clams, and more.

404 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

7. Tradd's

167 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
Tradd’s
Leslie Ryann McKellar

Modern American eatery Tradd’s opened the doors on East Bay Street with champagne, jumbo shrimp, and caviar. The menu covers all the classics, and the dining room is one of the most handsome around.

167 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401

8. Kwei Fei

1977 Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412
Kwei Fei
Andrew Cebulka

Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei unlocked the doors on James Island to adoring fans looking for lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and mapo tofu. The music is loud and the food is spicy, so go looking for a good time.

1977 Maybank Hwy
Charleston, SC 29412

9. The Royal Tern

3005 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455
The Royal Tern
Leslie Ryann McKellar

Find tuna crudo, wood-fired oysters, barbecue shrimp, and ribeyes at the Royal Tern. The fancy new Johns Island addition comes from former Coast chef David Pell and industry vets/brothers John and Ben Williams.

3005 Maybank Hwy
Johns Island, SC 29455

10. Wiki Wiki Sandbar

106 E Ashley Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439
Wiki Wiki Sandbar
Leslie Ryann McKellar

Wiki Wiki Sandbar offers a menu of Hawaiian and Southern cuisine, like slow-roasted pork, a pu-pu platter, and Spam sliders. There’s also plenty of tropical tiki drinks on the beverage side. The space is tropical and fun and all the dining rooms are different.

106 E Ashley Ave
Folly Beach, SC 29439

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