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10 awesome spots for al fresco dining in Charleston

Photo by Sydney Gallimore / Queen of The Food Age

When the weather outside is nice and warm, there are few things more enjoyable and rewarding than al fresco dining. No matter where you live in the Holy City, there are plenty of delicious restaurants that offer al fresco dining at its best.

Here’s your guide to the best outdoor dining spots in Charleston.

DOWNTOWN
492

Set in a beautifully restored historic building that dates back to the 1800s, 492 boasts one of the most spacious street-facing patios on King Street. Tropical palms, lush ferns and a fruiting olive tree create an outdoor oasis and offer privacy between different seating areas. Guests can enjoy specialty craft cocktails and small bites at one of many outdoor sofas or formal table service under romantic string lights.

FOLLY BEACH
Lost Dog Cafe

A stone’s throw away from the “Edge of America” is Lost Dog Cafe, known among locals for its laid back, dog-friendly vibes, big patio, and amazing biscuits and gravy. Open daily at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast and lunch only, it is the perfect place to refuel before (or after) a morning out on the waves.

JAMES ISLAND
Bohemian Bull

On the edge of James Island before it turns into Folly Beach, you’ll find Bohemian Bull. Bohemian Bull is known for its relaxed and lively atmosphere, hearty American cuisine, and colossal selection of craft beers and cocktails. The outdoor space is decorated with bright, colorful picnic tables, fire pit, and bocce court.

JOHNS ISLAND
Tattooed Moose

Building upon the success of its original downtown location, the Johns Island Tattooed Moose basically turns into one giant patio dining experience. When the weather is nice, they open up the giant windows behind the bar, letting a little of the natural, idyllic atmosphere of Johns Island become part of the restaurant itself. On the actual patio, you can sit at wooden tables, rocking chairs, or up against the bar to order your favorite brew and a famous duck club.

MOUNT PLEASANT
Tavern and Table

Situated ideally along Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, Tavern & Table is designed to be that local gathering place where friends gather for cocktails and upscale American food. Their patio overlooks Shem Creek, allowing visitors the chance to see boats dock or pass through to the ocean, kayakers paddle along, or even a family of dolphins frolicking in the waves.

NORTH CHARLESTON
LoLA

Bringing a taste of New Orleans to the Lowcountry, Lola is a Park Circle favorite among locals and visitors alike. Their outdoor gravel patio features picnic tables, Nola-inspired graffiti and murals, purple umbrellas, and a Saints flag or 2. It’s the perfect place to unwind and share a plate of crawfish with friends.

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND
Obstinate Daughter

One of the few restaurants in the charming beach village of Sullivan’s Island, The Obstinate Daughter serves eclectic Italian and New-American fare in a modern and elegant space. The country-style, second-floor space has nautical influences and a bright and airy atmosphere. Two long, community-style tables situated in front of the downstairs sweets shop make up their new outdoor patio, seating 20 guests total.

SUMMERVILLE
Low Country Fish Camp

Set in an old house on Central Ave in Summerville, Low Country Fish Camp is a casual, no frills joint serving up homecooked locally caught seafood. Their backyard patio is quaint, filled with picnic tables, string lights, and umbrellas to offer a little shade. The adorable little patio fills up quickly, so be sure to get there early if you want a good seat!

WEST ASHLEY
Ms. Rose’s

Ms. Rose’s funky-cool and inviting patio is the ultimate setting to share a bite and a laugh with friends and neighbors. At 1,000-square feet and seating up to 70 guests, the colorful area features a variety of seating options and a graffiti wall by renowned muralist Patch Whiskey. The patio is also partially enclosed, offering shade and ceiling fans to beat the summer heat.

What are your favorite al fresco dining spots? MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK

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Sydney Gallimore is a cat-loving food writer who's lived in Charleston for almost 10 years. Her life is fueled by meals at various restaurants around the Holy City, iced coffee, and craft cocktails.

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