About Magnolias

185 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
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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.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
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

Cross Street:
located between Cumberland & Queen Streets

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 577-7771

Website:
http://www.magnoliascharleston.com/

Parking Details:
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.

Public Transit:
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.

Executive Chef:
Kelly Franz

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access

Restaurant Photos

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Fried Green Tomatoes
Shellfish Over Grits
Spicy Shrimp And Sausage With Grits
Seafood & Grits w/sauteed Spinach
Fried Green Tomato B.L.T.
fried catfish sandwich
Pan Fried Pork Chops

Private Dining

Magnolia's private upper level dining rooms can be reserved for parties of 16 to 140 guests.

Magnolias Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Southern
South Carolina
Most Booked
South Carolina
Southern
Charleston
1 More
Most Booked
Charleston
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neighborhood gem (227)
great for lunch (207)
notable wine list (168)
good for groups (163)
great for brunch (141)
hot spot (132)
vibrant bar scene (30)
late-night find (27)
kid-friendly (22)
scenic view (16)
great for outdoor dining (3)
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Newest
6277 reviews
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

Appetizer of fried Green Tomatoes may be ...

Dined 2 days ago

Appetizer of fried Green Tomatoes may be the best thing I've ever eaten. Ahi tuna was a bit left to be desired. My wife is gluten free. They were supposed to bring mashed potatoes in place of a potato fritter. Oops they brought roasted potatoes. Also asked for a glass of ice that never showed up. Won't be going back for that price.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I had the parmesan crusted tile fish for ...

Dined 3 days ago

I had the parmesan crusted tile fish for brunch on Sunday and it was amazing. One of the best meals I have ever had. They also had great Bloody Mary's. I highly recommend Magnolias. Lunch reservations seem to be easier to get than dinner.

Tags: great for brunch, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

Seated in a quiet dining room that quick ...

Dined 3 days ago

Seated in a quiet dining room that quickly became "bistro" loud, however that could be considered normal on an early Sunday afternoon in Charleston. Our server was cordial, but not very friendly. Our food was very good and delivered quickly and with a nice presentation.

food5
ambience4
service5
value1

Excellent food and service. Only slightl ...

Dined 3 days ago

Excellent food and service. Only slightly negative is indoor dining room is dark. Outside beautiful but Too hot. Would love to see inside lighter

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Food was very good but it was quite loud ...

Dined 3 days ago

Food was very good but it was quite loud. I would recommend this restaurant based on our meal.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

I am not in Charleston often, but I have ...

Dined 4 days ago

I am not in Charleston often, but I have eaten at Magnolias each time I am because I know that I am going to get fine Southern cuisine that won't disappoint. My husband and I enjoyed dinner on this last visit for our anniversary. Service was quick and efficient. The food was excellent.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience2
service4

Great service and wonderful wait staff. ...

Dined 4 days ago

Great service and wonderful wait staff. Very good food. Could use some updating with decor.

food3
ambience3
service5
value5

Magnolia's is always a good choice when ...

Dined 4 days ago

Magnolia's is always a good choice when in the Charleston area. It has amazing staff and ambiance. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a taste of Charleston cuisine and to have a fun time with family and friends.

Tags: romantic, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

The food was excellent. The service was ...

Dined 4 days ago

The food was excellent. The service was just ok. It was a busy Friday night but we hardly saw our waiter. I had ordered a glass of wine and wanted a second but he never came around for me to order it. Once he did we just got the check because we didn't know how long it would be to do anything else given how absent he was from our table.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service3
value5

The food at this restaurant was remarkab ...

Dined 4 days ago

The food at this restaurant was remarkable. However the pleasure of eating here was tainted by the unprofessional and apparently overwhelmed hostess. On arriving at restaurant we requested an extra seat as my grandmother was able to join us. The hostess replied that she would not accomadate us. She offered no suggestions to accomadate us despite there being seats at the bar. She could have suggested that and we could have accomadate for this with our party.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

Ambiance and food were both great! We we ...

Dined 5 days ago

Ambiance and food were both great! We were traveling from out of town and got traditional southern foods, and everything was delicious!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always perfect! Service, food, one of m ...

Dined 5 days ago

Always perfect! Service, food, one of my very all time favorites Thank you

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience2
service4
value3

The food and waitress was wonderful but ...

vip
Dined 6 days ago

The food and waitress was wonderful but the evening was difficult to hear our conversation. I have always loved Magnolias, but after making a reservation in advance, they placed our group of 3 next to a VERY LOUD table of 6 in the back of the restaurant. Very disappointing given the advance reservation and that we could not hear our conversation with the acoustics in the back room.

food3
ambience5
service5

This is my favorite restaurant in Charle ...

vip
Dined 6 days ago

This is my favorite restaurant in Charleston. However, this time, the short ribs and salmon were lackluster. Hoping next time will be back up to their usual outstanding food.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always a fantastic dining experience!

Dined on June 21, 2016

Always a fantastic dining experience!

food5
ambience5
service5

I've been to Magnolias a few times and i ...

Dined on June 21, 2016

I've been to Magnolias a few times and it just keeps getting better! The food and service are just exceptional!

food3
ambience3
service4
value2

Have been dining here for 15 years. Have ...

vip
Dined on June 21, 2016

Have been dining here for 15 years. Have had Christmas dinner here for 5 years. Hope this was just a temporary blip, but new menu was VERY disappointing. Not the best healthy options or appealing to me. Food was mediocre at best. A lot to pay for mediocre.

food4
ambience4
service5

My first try at grits.......don't need t ...

Dined on June 20, 2016

My first try at grits.......don't need to have them again. Seafood was delicious. Wine list was ok . My husband had duck and it was ok. I would return to Magnolia.

food5
ambience5
service4
value4

Magnolias is one of our favorite places ...

Dined on June 20, 2016

Magnolias is one of our favorite places in Charleston! This is a great way to experience the flavors of the "low country" in a classy setting. My wife had the chili-rubbed ahi tuna, which was perfect- with a neat twist, served on spring rolls. I had the buttermilk fried chicken. We shared the house made chips with blue cheese. Every part of the meal was wonderful.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
food1
ambience3
service2
value1

We were totally let down. First of all ...

vip
Dined on June 20, 2016

We were totally let down. First of all the wait staff kept staring at us...we couldn't figure that one out...the waiter was a little snippy but what really was a downer was the crab cakes. The taste was suspicious...not good...I only ate 1 of the 2 and then you guessed it...I got ill when I got back to the hotel. Succotash ? Awful...not sure what happened the night at Magnolias but I give our first visit a thumbs down.

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Food and service was great. At one point ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Food and service was great. At one point there was a child yelling and running around the next table but that did not last long. It was very nice to share a wonderful meal with family.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious Southern cuisine and a lovely ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Delicious Southern cuisine and a lovely atmosphere! The waiters are kind and make wonderful recommendations. It's a Charleston gem!

Tags: special occasion, neighborhood gem
food4
ambience3
service5

Seated at table that was too small to ac ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Seated at table that was too small to accommodate four people. Had to sit plates on top of utensils. No place to put finished plates. Larger tables for four was available.

food1
ambience2
service3
value1

The food was not good. No vegetables on ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

The food was not good. No vegetables on the plate other than corn. It consisted of all starches. No one at the table enjoyed their meal. Would not recommend.

food5
ambience4
service5

Always a good meal at a reasonable price

Dined on June 19, 2016

Always a good meal at a reasonable price

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Understated elegance. Quintessential sou ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Understated elegance. Quintessential southern cuisine. Excellent non intrusive service. Private parking lot next door. A great experience.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
food2
ambience3
service3
value1

Second disappointment. Food average to ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Second disappointment. Food average to poor, long wait for food. Was Father's Day. Nice looking place. Good for a salad or burger at the bar. Gone down hill lately.

food4
ambience3
service4

Pigs in a blanket for brunch

Dined on June 19, 2016

Pigs in a blanket for brunch

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We hadn't been to Magnolias in a long ti ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

We hadn't been to Magnolias in a long time and decided we would go for Sunday brunch / Fathers Day. There were three of us and our reservation was for 10:45; we arrived a little early but were seated right away in the back room. It was quiet so we could enjoy our conversations without yelling at each other and the tables were far enough apart that we didn't feel like part of the table next to us. Our server was attentive without being overbearing. Our appetizers, peanut hummus and fried green tomatoes, were delivered without much of a wait. We enjoyed both dishes but like the hummus the best, we found the fried green tomatoes a little sweet. We all shared our entrees, country fried steak and eggs, breakfast burritos, blacken wreck fish over grits. All were delicious but the fish was outstanding. . We had an enjoyable experience and look forward to a return visit.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5

We had brunch and it was delicious. The ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

We had brunch and it was delicious. The best grits I've ever had with country fried steak, eggs and biscuits. My husband had pigs in a blanket - chipotle sausage wrapped in orange buttermilk pancakes with eggs. Absolutely divine.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

They have excellent service and outstan ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

They have excellent service and outstanding food. Very professionally staffed. To me, the prices are very reasonable for the caliber of their food. Charleston is full of great restaurants and this is one.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Our dinner at Magnolias was perfect. My ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Our dinner at Magnolias was perfect. My wife and I were visiting Charleston from out of town, and dinner at Magnolias was our most memorable meal. We both had seafood, and the presentation and taste were perfect. It was a very busy place, so we suggest a bit of notice for reservations.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

We ate at Magnolias for our fifteenth an ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

We ate at Magnolias for our fifteenth anniversary and the staff went well beyond the norm to make it special. The food overall was exceptional, as well as, the personalized service. You honestly could not go wrong visiting Magnolias. The one warning I have for guests is around attire. Charleston is more formal, even when relaxed, than most U.S. cities. A collared shirt and khakis for men and simple dress for women would be appropriate.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Two years in a row we stopped in Charles ...

vip
Dined on June 18, 2016

Two years in a row we stopped in Charleston and enjoyed a meal at Magnolias. The food was outstanding , the service attentive , and the noise level was low enough to carry on a conversation without shouting. The buttermilk fried chicken was tender and tasty. The crab cakes were delicious and all the side dishes were hot and complemented the main dish.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food3
ambience5
service1
value3

Visited twice before and was very please ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

Visited twice before and was very pleased. This visit was disappointing both in service and food. Waiter was quite disinterested and my salmon was undercooked with little taste. The shrimp and grits were wonderful as always. We will visit again and hope for a more satisfying experience for the money.

Tags: great for brunch
food5
ambience5
service5

Food and service was amazing!

Dined on June 18, 2016

Food and service was amazing!

food1
ambience2
service2
value1

Spectacularly disappointing. Fried green ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

Spectacularly disappointing. Fried green tomatoes were smothered in a syrupy sweet chutney that completely spoiled them. Fried chicken was passable, but mashed potatoes were dry and tasteless, gravy was likewise thick, dry, and totally wrong for chicken, "creamed" corn was basically Green Giant Niblets from a can. Can't begin to describe how bad this meal was. My nephew, who is from Mt Pleasant, told me he wishes I had asked him about Magnolias in advance. He would have told me, "Used to be good. Gone WAY downhill in last 2-3 years. Avoid at all cost." I usually don't respond to theses questionnaires, but this experience was so bad I feel compelled to answer. Had dinner at Cypress the next night. Infinitely better.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

best grits and scallops ever! always enj ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

best grits and scallops ever! always enjoyable place for a meal. very friendly staff

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5

The service was excellent and knowledgea ...

vip
Dined on June 16, 2016

The service was excellent and knowledgeable. The fried green tomatoes were superb

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We returned to Magnolia's to dine and en ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

We returned to Magnolia's to dine and enjoy my husband's favorite-the buttermilk crusted chicken!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list

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