One of the best times to visit Charleston is during the holiday season. King Street will be decorated with twinkling lights, and holiday music will fill the streets, restaurants and shops. The best part? It will still be warm enough here to leave your winter coat at home.
Luckily, you don’t need to forsake your holiday traditions with your winter wear. Plenty of Charleston restaurants will be serving up both authentic traditional American Thanksgiving fare — alongside some lowcountry favorites. Discover what restaurants are open on Thanksgiving Day in Charleston.
Sometimes you want a “traditional” Thanksgiving menu, but sometimes you really need to embrace the city where you’ll be spending the holiday. Luckily, Magnolia has plenty on their Thanksgiving menu to feed everyone in your hungry party.
The a la carte Thanksgiving menu features slow roasted turkey with whipped potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. There’s even a vegetarian loaf for your meat-free cousin. Yet if you want to celebrate both Thanksgiving and the lowcountry, consider the blue crab bisque, fried green tomatoes and housemade pimento cheese.
This historic restaurant Is known for its lowcountry specialties, it’s haunted dining room and its restored Victorian dining room. On Thanksgiving, it’s also known for its Thanksgiving menu.
Serving a limited version of its famous menu, the restaurant will offer favorites, like she crab soup, fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits. You can also look forward to adding a few comfort foods to your Thanksgiving meal repertoire, including mac and cheese and hot seafood dip.
This high-end Charleston establishment is possibly one of the most popular places for both locals and travelers to head on Thanksgiving. The dining room is almost always totally booked, but it’s worth it to try to see if you can score a seat anyway.
Seafood lovers should ask for the Champagne bar menu — full of favorites like oysters on the half shell, beluga caviar and beef tartare. You won’t even miss the turkey because the Peninsula is known for its pan roasted jumbo sea scallops and roast breast of duck with oyster mushrooms. Yet you can still look forward to everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving side dish: golden whipped mashed potatoes.
Another restaurant that features a hybrid lowcountry/Thanksgiving menu is the Charleston Grill. Here, you can get the turkey and all the trimmings — including sweet potato puree, cornbread dressing and green beans. Or, you can enjoy a more creative entrée, such as the beef tenderloin, braised lamb or roasted fall vegetables.
The set menu comes with an appetizer (such as the duck pastrami, crab cake or East Coast oysters) and a dessert (choose between the pumpkin cake, black forest baked Alaska or apple tart).
Another great option for those who don’t want to indulge in the “traditional American” Thanksgiving meal, 5Church is offering an inventive “New American” menu on Thanksgiving. Dishes include clams on the half-shell, ramen, lamb burgers, braided ravioli and fried chicken.
5Church is also known for their cocktails. Channel some Thanksgiving seasonings with they thyme cocktail — made with Seer Sucker gin, watermelon and lime juice and grapefruit bitters.
If you want a more casual setting that doesn’t taste casual, Henrietta’s at the Dewberry Hotel might be just what you’re looking for. The menu is set at a comfortable $74 for adults and $30 for kids. All the “traditional” Thanksgiving foods will be served family style, including turkey breast, cranberry marmalade, honey glazed ham, chestnut stuffing, potato puree and candied sweet potatoes.
Of course, you’ll need to save room for dessert. Six desserts top the list and are all served with vanilla ice cream.
Head to historic King Street that will undoubtedly be decked out for the holidays already.
Virginia’s on King will be serving an a la carte menu on Thanksgiving that features a traditional American turkey dinner with cornbread dressing, whipped potatoes and cranberry sauce. They’ll also offer lowcountry favorites, like shrimp and grits, country fried steak and fried chicken. Appetizers will include pimento cheese and their famous deviled eggs.
Charleston’s famous restaurant Husk doesn’t even take a night off for Thanksgiving. Chef Travis Grimes’ modern take on lowcountry cuisine has been praised by everyone from the James Beard Foundation to the Golden Spoon Awards.
Their annual turkey day dinner is legendary. Past years’ menus have included dishes such as heritage turkey with whipped potatoes, Carolina catfish and Atlantic grouper.
This is another restaurant that often books out for Thanksgiving, so make your reservations far in advance.
This famous seafood restaurant will be open on Thanksgiving Day, but they won’t be serving a traditional menu. Instead, they will continue to highlight their seafood favorites. On the menu? She crab soup, seared rare tuna, the seafood tower and fried oysters.
If you find yourself across the Bridge in Mount Pleasant, you cannot beat the views of Shem Creek at this modern-rustic neighborhood eatery. Choose from a traditional Thankgiving Turkey Dinner, smoked prime rib or roasted halibut. They even have a traditional option for children 12 and under.
These restaurants are so good at Thanksgiving that you won’t want to go back to making this holiday dinner yourself ever again. Since each restaurant combines traditional American menu items with lowcountry favorites, you won’t need to choose between the two.
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