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, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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

4.7

ambience

4.6

value

4.3

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (179)
Good for a Date (171)
Fit for Foodies (151)
See All
Romantic (144)
Good for Anniversaries (143)
Local Ingredients (138)
Creative Cuisine (125)
Good for Birthdays (106)
Historic (105)
Comfort Food (94)
Authentic (89)
Neighborhood Gem (85)
Worth the Drive (75)
Business Meals (70)
Cozy (69)
Quiet Conversation (66)
Notable Wine List (61)
Good for Groups (56)
Great for Lunch (49)
Pre/post Theatre (41)
Fun (39)
Handcrafted Cocktails (37)
Bar Seating (36)
Sunday Lunch (35)
Casual (33)
Great for Brunch (33)
Hot Spot (31)
Outstanding Value (27)
People Watching (24)
Modern Decor (23)
Seasonal (22)
Good Vegetarian Options (14)
Scenic View (13)
Tasting Menu (12)
Vibrant Bar Scene (11)
Happy Hour (10)
Healthy (9)
Family Style (9)
Gluten Free Options (7)
Private Room (6)
Kid-friendly (6)
Late-night Find (5)
Molecular Gastronomy (5)
Afternoon Tea (4)
Great Beer (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Tapas (4)
Afternoon Coffee (4)
Spicy (3)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Vegan (2)
Open Kitchen (2)
Waterfront (2)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Organic (1)
Dining Occasion:
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7389 reviews
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 (Greensboro)·Dined a day ago

One of the best restaurants in Charleston. We come here everytime we are in town.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

Been many times. Consistently yummy and worthy of returning

Tags: Hot Spot, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Historic, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 3 days ago

Gabe was an awesome server and the food was delicious.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined 3 days ago

Food was fantastic! Upscale low country. Had the fried green tomato appetizer, which was great. The fried catfish with grits was to die for.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 3 days ago

Food quality and presentation has markedly deteriorated since last visit

Food was awful

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food1
ambience2
service3
value1

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 3 days ago

Thank you for a wonderful evening. I wrote an exceptional write up on Trip Advisor. I made special mention of our waitress. The next time in Charleston we will definitely dine at Magnolias.

Tags: Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Paleo Friendly, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined 3 days ago

Great lunch menu! Our waitress Dawn was very knowledgeable and friendly.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (St. Louis)·Dined 4 days ago

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!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Great Beer, Historic, Great for Lunch, Comfort Food, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Scenic View, Romantic, Great for Brunch, Business Meals, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Birmingham)·Dined 4 days ago

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.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Phoenix)·Dined 5 days ago

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).

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Historic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 5 days ago

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.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Miami)·Dined 6 days ago

Went two nights in a row! With all if he dining options in Charleston, I could go to Magnolia's every night of vacation!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined 6 days ago

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!

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 6 days ago

A friend and I dined at Magnolia's for brunch on Sunday. It was fabulous. We both had Belini's and the Veggie Omelet. I have dined at Magnolia's for lunch and dinner , but never for brunch. It will now be added to my list of favorites for brunch.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 7 days ago

So many great choices to choose from on drink and dinner menu. More food than you can eat so no worries about leaving hungry. Very intimate seating options if looking for a date night.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Austin)·Dined 7 days ago

Food was very good but the service made the evening. Our waitress was engaged, interested and took care of us like we were family.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Miami)·Dined 7 days ago

Best restaurant in all of Charleston! Best vegetarian option by a chef who specializes in always having an awesome vegetarian dish. The greatest pecan pie on the planet!

Tags: Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Hot Spot, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 7 days ago

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.

Tags: Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Historic, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Cozy, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Loved it here. Very authentic and delicious. A must do when in Charleston!

Tags: Authentic, Cozy, Good for a Date, Scenic View, Bar Seating, Romantic, Fun, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Historic, Sunday Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 18, 2017

Great place to enjoy the regional cooking of this part of the South. Great food service for a great wait staff. Definitely make a reservation!!

Tags: Historic, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 17, 2017

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.

Tags: Romantic, Cozy, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 17, 2017

Very good all around a sure thing! Our favorite restaurant in Charleston City.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Romantic, Sunday Lunch, Business Meals, Good Vegetarian Options, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Authentic, Worth the Drive, Gluten Free Options, Vegan, Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 17, 2017

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.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 17, 2017

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.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on February 17, 2017

I had the fried meatloaf special. Yum! I took half of it home.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on February 17, 2017

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.

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food4
ambience2
service4
value3

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on February 16, 2017

As always an amazing meal with great service and good wine

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on February 16, 2017

The food was fabulous and our waiter was very attentive.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Comfort Food, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Outstanding Value, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Food was excellent. Our waiter was great. Very attentive, and made great menu recommendations. Pecan pie was amazing.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Food was amazing we had the crab cakes and sea scallops then shared the short rib with egg noodles. Our waiter, Willie was top notch. We will certainly go back there when we are in town again.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Never a bad meal! Always a good place to take friends who are visiting Charleston. Food and drinks are always the best! Well worth the money.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 16, 2017

One of our favorite resturants we have been to in cCharleston so far. Food and service were both incredible.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Guest and I both had "cedar plank Salmon which was perfectly prepared! Ambiance was great,meal and service was perfect.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on February 16, 2017

Wonderful dinner. Filet was perfectly cooked. Beautiful decor.

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, People Watching, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Organic, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Fun, Happy Hour, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Central Texas)·Dined on February 15, 2017

We chose this restaurant at the recommendation of a friend for our anniversary/Valentine's dinner. After splitting an appetizer, I could not finish my entree, but it was so good!!

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries, Healthy, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on February 15, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Modern Decor, Historic, Romantic, Quiet Conversation
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on February 14, 2017

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.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Outstanding Value, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Historic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Magnolia's is all about Great Service, Great Food, and a Great Atmosphere all for a reasonable price. We continue to dine here on a regular basis.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Outstanding Value, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 14, 2017

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"

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Vegan, Gluten Free Options, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 14, 2017

Great meal and service! Great menu and wine options. Ambiance is also great! This place is great for special occasions! The dessert options are all tempting! I look forward to my next visit!

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on February 14, 2017

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.

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 12, 2017

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.

Tags: Hot Spot, Business Meals
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Magnolias consistently pleases, and our brunch was no exception. It offers imaginative low country food, carefully prepared and beautifully served. An exceptional restaurant time and time again.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Great lunch. The service was just a little slow. Other than that it was fantastic.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 12, 2017

We will never go back. Terrible service with ok food. The bloody Mary's were so diluted with water.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (Houston)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Really enjoyed the creative menu. We had a tough time making a decision since so many items sounded appealing. Ultimately this is a feel good place for some southern indulgence. It was great.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Fun, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 12, 2017

My friends had never been there and can't wait to come back. It is my favorite place in Charleston and I visit often!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Good for Groups, Good for Anniversaries, Modern Decor, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Gluten Free Options, Healthy, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 12, 2017

One of the best special occasions meals I have ever had. Great waitress, who was knowledgeable. Large selection of alcoholic drinks including local selections. Food was cooked to perfection and severed beautifully. Overall, an amazing place to dine.

Tags: Historic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Scenic View, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 11, 2017

What an enjoyable meal at Magnolias! Creative cocktails and a fine wine list. Small plates are great to share before entrees arrive. Although it will be hard, do not fill up on sourdough with cream cheese, butter and chive spread before dinner is served!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Good for Birthdays, Historic, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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