The Best Oysters in Charleston, SC

The Definitive List of the Best Oysters in Charleston, SC - The City With the World's Best Oysters

If there's one thing that Charleston is known for, it's oysters. In fact, they are the most-consumed food in the city and have their very own festival dedicated to them! Called "Oyster Fest" and held annually in October, this event is a celebration of everything ocean and is attended by over 40,000 people each year. Participants can sample oysters from all different vendors before casting their vote on which one they think is the best. So, if you find yourself in this beautiful Southern city with an appetite for oysters, we've got you covered:

The Best Places to Get Oysters in Charleston

If you love oysters, you're lucky because Charleston has covered you. From oyster shacks to upscale restaurants, you can find oysters at every price point and in pretty much every style. No matter where you go, you can be sure that the oysters in Charleston are Fresh.

  • Bayonne - Located on the Battery, right beside the Charleston Harbor, this restaurant is perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy oysters and the beautiful views. If fresh oysters aren't your thing, they offer some cooked ones too!
  • Butcher & Bee - This restaurant is a must-visit for anyone who loves oysters and good food. With a selection that changes daily, you'll never be able to eat the same thing twice!
  • The Ordinary - This oyster bar has seating inside and outside, making it perfect for enjoying the Charleston sunshine. If raw ones aren't your thing, they also serve some delicious BBQ oysters!
  • Isaac's Bistro - This charming French-inspired bistro is the perfect place to enjoy oysters. Whether you're dining during the day or in the evening, the views from inside are breathtaking. They have an extensive menu that includes both raw and cooked oysters.
  • Old Man Oyster Company - A niche oyster farm dedicated to sustainable farming practices and providing fresh, delicious seafood to customers. Their "Tide to Table™" philosophy is to provide the freshest, best oysters in Charleston from our farm to your plate as quickly as possible

The Best Tasting Fresh & Raw Oysters

If you want to taste the ocean in your oysters, you'll want to go for a fresh one. These are oysters served in their raw form and are plump, fresh, and salty. They are the best oysters in Charleston if you want to taste the authentic flavor of the sea. - Beauregard - This is the perfect oyster for anyone who loves something with a delicate flavor. With a super smooth and creamy texture, these are delicious, eaten raw or on the half shell with a dash of salt. - Bienville - If you like something a little stronger and bolder, then the Bienville is the perfect oyster for you. These can be eaten raw or on the half-shell with a deliciously salty flavor. - Island Creeks - This is another strong-flavored oyster that is excellent and eaten raw. With a texture that's both smooth and creamy, these are very briny and super delicious! - Rappahannock - This is the perfect oyster for anyone who loves something a little sweet. Although they have a deliciously sweet flavor, they also pack a salty punch.

The Best Smoked & BBQ Oysters

If you like to experiment with different flavors and cooking methods, then smoked and BBQ oysters are the best oysters in Charleston for you. While they may not be the most delicate flavors in the world, they're super tasty and a must-visit for anyone who likes to eat a little differently. - Abel's on the River - This is the perfect place to visit if you love BBQ oysters. They offer a full menu of smoked and BBQ oysters that are super delicious and the perfect addition to a prominent Southern feast! - The Ordinary - This place is perfect if you want to try smoked oysters. With a daily changing menu of smoked oysters, you'll always be able to try something new and exciting.

Tips for Finding the Best Oysters in Charleston

  • Go during the oyster season! Although oysters are consumed year-round, they are at their best between September and April. This is when they are at their briniest and richest, making them the best oysters in Charleston.
  • Look out for the "R" tag on the oysters you're served. The R stands for "re-opening" and means that the oyster has been re-opened and resealed with a new license to be eaten. 
  • Ask your server about the oysters you're being served. While every server is different, most will know something about the oysters served. If they don't know, then they can find out for you.


If you're visiting Charleston, you're in for a real treat. This city is famous for its oysters; the best ones are consumed between September and April (when they're at their briniest). Whether you like smoked BBQ or fresh oysters, there's something for everyone in Charleston. You can try them raw or on the half shell or try them smoked! This city truly has the best oysters in the entire world.