Charleston's outdoor dining beats the heat

Customers at Red's Ice House on Shem Creek beat the heat Sunday with buckets of beer and buckets of ice water for their furry friends. (Brian Troutman/WCIV)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) --{}Crossing Shem Creek on Coleman Boulevard, a Red's Ice House billboard says it all -- "Eating inside is boring."{}Though heat index values in the area reached about 112 degrees for the lunch hour, business at Red's was good.

Synonymous with the highly-publicized dining scene in Charleston is the outdoor dining experience. With views overlooking water and plenty of chances to catch a coastal breeze, restaurant owners and operators will tell you outdoor dining is a success, even with record high temperatures.

Similar to the deck at Red's Sunday was the patio at Triangle Char & Bar on Ben Sawyer in Mount Pleasant. It too was busy.

While restaurant owners and managers will tell you they always wish for better business, the outdoor dining experience Sunday remained a success for most.

"I guess the cold beer helps," said Red's Ice House manager Jeremy Cundiff. "We're about as busy as we expected, and a lot of times we're busier than this. It's just the kind of weather you expect in Charleston this time of year."

Cundiff said if it had been five degrees cooler, they would have had four times the business during the lunch hour.{}

Below is a list of favorite outdoor dining spots in the Charleston area of ABC News 4 morning anchor Jon Bruce. Hot or not, Bruce says these spots offer the best outdoor dining experience.

* Note: If you own or manage a local restaurant you believe should be a part of this list, feel free to post the info below in the comments section of this article


Charleston offers several waterfront dinning options with outdoor seating that gives customers beautiful vistas of the ocean while enjoying a great night out.

Red's Ice House - Red's is widely considered the staple of outdoor dining in Chucktown. Located on historic Shem Creek, Red's offers good food at good prices. The traditional bar fare is complemented by local seafood specials and a growing drink list. Customers can walk in, drive up, or park the boat at this comfortable spot and most times catch a glimpse of dolphins and other wildlife in the creek.

Red's Ice house is located at 98 Church Street{}Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 (843) 388-0003

Morgan Creek Grill - It's{}situated on some prime real estate overlooking the Isle of Palms marina. Diners can feast their eyes on stunning views of boats, Dewey's Island, Dunes West, and the Intercoastal Waterway from the upper deck. The menu features a nautical theme, and bar snacks upstairs and more refined dining options can be found in its main dinning room.{} If you can, pull up by boat and chow down on their Mahi Mahi Pita and a "Dark and Stormy." The friendly wait staff will be more than happy to show you the ropes.

Morgan Creek Grill is located at 80 41st Avenue{}{}Isle of Palms, SC 29451 (843) 886-8980

Coconut Joe's - It's another laid back beach bar located on the front beach of Isle of Palms. It's not uncommon to hear pulsating reggae beats or other live acts coming from their third-floor deck overlooking the Atlantic.{} Coconut Joe's offers a variety of great grub including breakfast. Make sure you hit the bar for a hand-blended Pina Colada with freshly shaved toasted coconut.

Coconut Joe's is located at 1120 Ocean Boulevard{}{}Isle of Palms, SC 29451 (843) 886-0046

Fleet Landing -{}It's the perfect outdoor dining spot for incoming tourists and locals to get a real Charleston experience. Take in Beautiful views of Charleston Harbor, Mount Pleasant, Patriots Point, the USS Yorktown and the Ravenel Bridge, while dining on an eclectic mix of fried seafood, salads, and expertly-crafted burgers. Watch the ships come in while enjoying their outdoor bar. It's truly a can't-miss experience for those visiting the Holy City.

Visit Fleet Landing at 186 Concord Street Charleston, SC 29401 (843) 722-8100


Triangle Char & Bar - The restaurant made a big splash on the culinary scene when they opened their first location in West Ashley. The pub grub with flair menu features grass-fed beef burgers, oversized omelets for brunch, and an always-revolving craft beer list. Triangle's second location in Mount Pleasant features a spacious patio complete with comfy couches, outdoor tables, misting fans even a corn hole set. So, you can eat drink and play if the mood strikes you.{}

Triangle Char & Bar has two locations.

{}Mount Pleasant 1440 Ben Sawyer Boulevard{}Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 (843) 606-2900

West Ashley: 828 Savannah Highway{}Charleston, SC 29407 (843) 377-1300

Tabouli Grill - Offers up and eclectic mix of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine in a festive outdoor atmosphere. The wide-ranging menu features plenty of seafood and meat options, tapas, tahnini, as well as a seafood cerviche' that rivals any I've tasted. At night, Tabouli's grand covered patio transforms into a sort of night club atmosphere, complete with live music, disco lights, a hookah bar and a bottle-tossing bar staff.

Tabouli grill is located in downtown Charleston at 6 North Market Street (843) 628-5959


82 Queen -{}For those with a more refined palate, 82 Queen offers up gourmet food stepped in southern tradition. The outdoor dining room featuring overgrown trees and plenty of plant life serves as an oasis for dining in the heart of downtown Charleston. The shrimp and grits are known for being one of the most detectible of southern delicacies for miles around. The upscale restaurant also features mouthwatering steaks and seafood. The ambience is enough to make the drive into the city well worth it.

Eli's Table -{}A relative newcomer to the Charleston food scene, but with backing by Chef Brett McKee, Eli's table has made an immediate impact. With its focus on fresh, local products and casual but elegant atmosphere, Eli's table is sure to please even the most timid of eaters. Chef McKee and his staff focus on seafood and southern staples with a modern twist. The bar scene is usually hopping and sounds of live music and Cuban jazz on the umbrella-shaded patio is a can't miss this summer. Try out their breakfast too, featuring several varieties of Eggs Benedict that are sure to make it a great morning.

Eli's Table can be found at 129 Meeting Street{}{}Charleston, SC 29401 (843) 405-5115

* ABC News 4's Brian Troutman and Jon Bruce contributed to this article.