Charleston, SC 29401
Igniting a culinary renaissance upon opening in 1990, Charleston's most popular restaurant is located at the site of the city's original Customs House (circa 1739). Led by chefs Don Drake and Kelly Franz, Magnolias remains a forerunner in upscale Southern cuisine, blending traditional ingredients and cooking techniques with a modern flair for artful presentations.
Southern, Low Country
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Saturday starts at 11:30am
Dinner starts at 4:00 pm daily
Sunday Brunch starts at 10:00am
located between Cumberland & Queen Streets
$31 to $50
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private parking lot adjacent to the restaurant is available weekdays after 5:00pm & all day Saturday & Sunday. **Please note:This lot is not open during lunch Monday-Friday. However, public parking is available in the garage at the corner of Cumberland & Concord and rates will apply.
Charleston CARTA to and from Visitors Center can be picked up 1/2 block from the restaurant on the quarter hour. There are also local cab companies and Charleston's famous Rickshaws that will transport guests to their hotels.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Magnolia's private upper level dining rooms can be reserved for parties of 16 to 140 guests.
Magnolias Ratings and Reviews
I'm from Missouri and every time I make it to Charleston I dine here. Love the location on E. Bay Street with a beautiful view out the front windows (ask for a seat with this view). The decor is lovely and non-pretentious. The staff is always very professional and friendly with a solid knowledge of the menu.
We had the steak filet, cooked perfectly medium, the fish special, scallops, brussel sprout salad, southern egg roll (delicious!!), pork with mac & cheese....Everything was delicious and the portions were big enough to leave us very full and satisfied.
Always a wonderful experience here and I look forward to my next trip to Charleston!
Lovely afternoon of dining with old friends. Great lunch of Buffalo fried chicken in cobb salad and two orders of the cedar planked salmon with artichoke in lemon sauce and a fantastic side dish of non-greasy homemade potato chips smothered in Blue Cheese and scallions. That was a big hit. If that wasn't enough we ordered Grand Marnier dark chocolate cake, apple pie pudding (who knew) and raspberry sorbet. All delicious. My only disappointment was with the house chardonnay which the waiter had said was oak flavored which I like but this tasted bitter and off. Just wasn't right.
Enjoyed a really nice anniversary dinner here. Excellent front and back of house. Great atmosphere. Our server was professional, but friendly and had an impressive knowledge of the menu and wine list (thanks, Dawn!). Food was spot on. As an added bonus, complimentary parking was only a couple of doors away (significant for the neighborhood).
We are on vacation here in Charleston. We haven't been to Magnolia's before. Our daughter & son-in-love suggested it to us , they come to Charleston every year. It was a wonderful meal. The food was delicious & our waiter Cory was the best. We will definitely come to Magnolias when ever we get to come back to Charleston.
I had heard that this restaurant was a great one. It may be, but my experience was not so. I ordered quail from the special menu and it came out Raw. It made my appetite a bit unsettled. So I ordered and steak and it was very average. Wish it was a better experience honestly.
Magnolia's reservations were on time, if not early for our brunch date. The food is consistently delicious. I highly recommend the Down South Egg Rolls appetizer. And you can never go wrong with the fried chicken. If you're looking for a true brunch item get the Eggs Benedict. Great cuisine!
Excellent service, food was fantastic and the drinks were fabulous! Loved the atmosphere too. The Brussels sprout salad and shrimp and shellfish were amazing, as was the cedar plank salmon and buttermilk fried chicken. Creme brûlée and pecan pie were out of this world! We highly recommend this restaurant for delicious food, excellent service and overall ambiance.
Wonderful all around. Bread for table very good. Ordered Tilefish special that was simply wonderful -- delicious! Husband ordered fried catfish, maybe a little too cajun for his tastes though. Daughter ordered fried chicken & loved it -- she even ate & loved the collards!
Delicious chocolate/orange mousse cake for dessert -- with definitely order this again.
Magnolias is going on our short list of favorites.
We had read about this restaurant in a book about one of our favorite authors. We understand why. The service was fabulous. Our server, Gabe, was interesting, knowledgeable and efficient. He made the menu (both food and drink) come alive with his descriptions and ideas for pairings. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and its original twists on old favorites.
We were taken to a very nice quiet room, which was very nice as the larger part of the restaurant was noisier. Menu was accommodating to gluten-free dining, which my husband and I appreciated, although it was disappointing that there were no gluten free bread options. Excellent starter salad with greens apple, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. I had an absolutely perfectly cooked salmon filet, though I asked for the potatoes on the side to be replaced with a vegetable and they brought potatoes anyway. My husband said the boullibaise was very good but also had too many potatoes in it.
My food was great, my wife did not enjoy the flounder. The biggest issue was the table they put us at was out in the middle and the server for the other table ran into my wife (not kidding) at least 10 times. Never said anything when she brushed her shoulder or head amazing. It was like eating on a freeway. I think if we had not been at that table the experience could have been better but it made paying $100 for dinner very hard I would expect better.
Our meal was outstanding. I had the fresh catch with jasmine rice and my husband had the buttermilk fried chicken. The only complaint was the biscuits on top of the mashed potatoes. He didn't care of that and it didn't lend anything to the dish.
Our server was Susan and she was perfect, polite, friendly and efficient. I hope I am in Charleston again to come back to Magnolias.
Wow, what can I say. Our table was ready when we walked in at our reserved time. (pretty good for Valentines day). White table clothes, mood lighting, great waiter who took the time to describe many of the dishes on the menu in detail. Our meals came out hot and well plated, it
tasted as good as it looked. Would highly recommend. The best meal we had on our vacation in Charleston.
An all around great experience. The restaurant exudes an urbane sophistication one might expect in a world class city such as Charleston. The service is efficient, friendly and informative. Frequently "specials" are not so special, except maybe for the higher price. The "special' we had today was obviously created by a chef highly skilled in creating interesting and flavorful dishes and executed beautifully by the kitchen. The dinner is presented with a fresh sour dough loaf and tasty flavored butter. My wife is a vegan and the kitchen created for her on the fly as good a dish as she has had in Charleston. Add to all these excellent qualities the fact that the prices for center city and this level of food et al: I would consider moderate. We had read the all the glowing review with a level of skepticism: those highly complementary review are well deserved. Do you self a favor and visit " One of the best in Charleston, if not the best"
Friends had recommended Magnolias and we cancelled our reservation at Husk to eat at Magnolias. The restaurant was very nice and the service at the bar tables was great. We ordered three items that were recommended as the most popular. The pan fried chicken livers were smothered in a demi-glace and onions which took away any crispiness of the batter. The demi-glace was overwhelming. The pan seared sea scallops were also inundated with a balsamic reduction sauce which overpowered the scallops and left the roasted butternut squash almost silent. Our most anticipated dish, the fried green tomatoes, was a disappointment. The ham was sliced to thinly which left it dried out. The extremely heavy batter on the very thick slices of green tomatoes left the dish chewy. All in all, Magnolias was disappointing to us both.
We informed the staff that this was our 40th wedding anniversary and when we arrived at 6:45 pm, we were given the first table next to the entrance. I would have assumed a table for two in a corner or by a window would have been better. My wife had the fried chicken breast and enjoyed her meal. I ordered the braised ribs and received an entree salted to taste. I'm not sure who likes this much salt, perhaps it was used to cover the lack of other spice ingredients that could have been used. Magnolias like High Cotton has fallen into the trap of using salt as their primary flavor and it's no wonder that both seemed to have several tables open. The food was okay and small changes could fix this issue. The service was okay, but not the level necessary to keep Charleston cuisine on the world map. We will not be the number one location for tourists if our restaurants don't hold to a higher standard for food and service.
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