Magnolias

4.7
9629 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Southern
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
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
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Cuisines
Southern, Low Country, Seafood
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Saturday starts at 11:30am
Dinner starts at 4:00 pm daily
Sunday Brunch starts at 10:00am
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Phone number
(843) 577-7771
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Kelly Franz
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Private party facilities
Magnolia's private upper level dining rooms can be reserved for parties of 16 to 140 guests.
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Private party contact
Pat Pettus: (843) 937-4012 ext. 241
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Cross street
between Cumberland & Queen Streets
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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.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 9629 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined a day ago

Excellent food with great wait staff.

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3.0Dined 2 days ago

I have had some of my best meals in town at this restaurant but not tonight. The food was just so so, the specials were terrible, It lacked the creativity you expect out of a Charleston restaurant. Not rushing back.

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Amazing food, amazing drinks. Highly recommend the shellfish and grits as your main course and pecan pie for dessert!

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Delicious food and outstanding service. The shepherd’s pie with short ribs had a wonderful flavor.

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5.0Dined 2 days ago

Drove 2.5 hours to dine here and walk around town for a short day, and it was worth it! Always is❤️

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Attentive wait staff and delicious food!

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4.0Dined 3 days ago

Believe it or not, the service was virtually "too good." In other words, our Waitress was a bit too eager to get our order when it should have been obvious my friend and I were getting caught up on lost time. Since it was 1:30 when we ordered, the Restaurant was well past the Lunch hour, and there were plenty of empty tables to accommodate anyone coming in after us. Therefore, her "over attentiveness" ultimately became intrusive.

Everything else about Magnolias is at least a 4 if not a 5. I've been coming for @20 years and will come again.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Great location to host out-of-town guests. Convenient East Bay Location, near Waterfront Park with convenient parking. Magnolia's handled special request for table overlooking East Bay Street evening scene. Good environment for conversation, excellent Charleston food choices, good for friends enjoying conversation without disrupting noise. Enjoyed showing off Charleston dining at its best at Magnolia's.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Never disappointed dining here! Great atmosphere and wonderful food!!!!

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Fabulous food and great service with innovative dishes

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

10/10 experience, absolutely amazing food - I could eat here every day and be more than happy!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Fabulous place to dine in Charleston! Every time I visit the area I eat at Magnolias.

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

Server consistently reached over our plates and in front of us as we dined to refill drinks, remove plates, etc.

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3.0Dined 5 days ago

Wheelchair access is horrible. The restaurant has steps at the front door only. Guests are directed to use the side cobblestone alley (which is bone jarring to say the least). A ramp without rails and an angle that is too steep awaits...Good luck.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

I rarely have appetizers but the “down south egg roll” sounded to good to pass up. It had ingredients I would have found my grandmother cooking, although used in a different way. My wife had the “pan fried chicken livers “ she said she they were wonderful. The main course was a great follow up to the appetizers. James, our server made the meal even better with his suggestions, stories and great service. Can’t wait to go back.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Creative cuisine with friendly warm atmosphere. I highly recommend it for any occasion.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Father’s Day brunch was amazing. Fabulous food and impeccable service. Absolutely wonderful!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

the best fried green tomato , friendly waiters, love the location and ambiance, did not wait long for the food to arrive, parking lot right next to it

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Food and service were excellent! Mahi Mahi was outstanding!

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

We truly enjoyed Magnolias. My husband got the filet with pimento cheese crust on top and he said it was one of the best steaks he ever had. I got the seafood over grits which was so delicious! Our friend got the seared tuna and said it was an “out of body experience” because it was so good. Our other friend had the salmon dish which was also very good. Overall we would 100% recommend this restaurant to anyone else visiting the city!

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

My reservation was met on time by friendly and courteous hosts. Our waiter, Willie, was prompt, professional and personable. He was most attentive and exceptionally knowledgeable about the menu. The food was absolutely wonderful and exceeded our expectations. The portions were most generous. We had a small issue about a gift certificate that had not arrived at our home before we left to go to Charleston. Willie and one of the managers were most helpful and resolved the issue promptly. I would most heartily recommend Magnolia's and plan to return.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

I am on vacation with my mother from Indiana. This was our last night in Charleston and we wanted to have a fantastic southern meal to remember. She had the short rib and I had the salmon. We agreed that both meals would be fun to attempt at home as they are creative and unique in flavor. The salmon was the best meal I’ve had this year and I can’t wait to come back and try more!

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

The food, service and ambiance were all top rate. Had to change our reservation to a later time and the staff could not have been more willing to please us. We arrived. Hot night, and were extremely comfortable and attended to quickly. As we are from the northern east coast, we wanted to try dishes we cannot get at home. Willy was right there to give us his best and most thoughtful advice. We started with the fried green tomatoes with caramelized onions over grits. So wonderful. Our follow up entrees were just as splendid. I went on Amazon that night and ordered their cookbook. Terrific souvenir of our first evening in Charleston.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

The food we were served was excellent. We started with the Down South Egg Rolls, then had the Southern Cesaer Salad. For our entrees we chose the Braised Beef Short Ribs and the Vegetarian dish. We ended our evening with the Lemon Blueberry Dessert. As out-of-town visitors, this was our third time eating at Magnolia's. Everything was delicious. We would definitely recommend this restaurant to friends.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Food was excellent, but a little pricey. Glad we choose this spot to celebrate our son completing JROTC Summer Leadership at the Citadel. Absolutely delicious food.
James, our server, was very attentive and friendly. We would definitely visit Magnolia again.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

We were pleasantly surprised as soon as we walked in! Taken to the back room, quiet with a cool ambience. Our waiter was attentive, knowledgeable and friendly. The food was amazing! Best meal we had in our 3 day visit to Charleston. Will be recommending Magnolias to all our friends!

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

Dawn was our waitress and she was very attentive. Food was amazing. Magnolia's also recognized our anniversary.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

Tremendous food. Service even better. Best place to dine in Charleston.

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2.0Dined 6 days ago

We’ve eaten at Magnolia’s more than a dozen times for both lunch and dinner; it’s one of our favorite Charleston restaurants. On out last visit, the food was not so great. One of the lunch items was their Spring Tuna Salad “Niçoise”, which they said featured “arugula, olives, heirloom tomatoes, asparagus, potatoes, eggs, lemon-caper vinaigrette, and Charleston flatbread crackers”. The waiter stated that the tuna was grilled and chopped for the salad; sounded good to us, so three of us ordered it. Here’s what we actually received, arugula (dainty portion), olives (standard jarred, green olives, about 4 or 5 sliced in half), heirloom tomatoes (no tomatoes), asparagus (8 or so half- inch pieces of something resembling asparagus, but we thought it was green beans), potatoes (some steamed and sliced baby potatoes), eggs (probably a half of a hard-boiled egg, chopped), lemon-caper vinaigrette, three small scoops of tuna fish, we’re all pretty sure it came straight out of a can, not off a grill, and Charleston flatbread crackers. One of us ate most of the salad, one ate about half, and one ate nearly none.

What a huge disappointment. What a total failure on the part of the kitchen. Whoever’s running and overseeing the kitchen is asleep on the job, showing a real lack of interest.

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5.0Dined on June 15, 2018

Had a wonderful anniversary dinner at Magnolia's. Staff all congratulated us and treated us well through the evening. Food was excellent. Highly recommend to anyone visiting Charleston.

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4.0Dined on June 15, 2018

The food was great, but not excellent. It just didn't quite live up to its reputation. I ordered seared halibut. It was completely cooked through and crispy on the edges. However that dryness was masked by an incredible creamy crab topping, so I still gave it three stars. Don't misunderstand. This is a great restaurant, but its reputation is stellar, so perhaps our expectations were too high.

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5.0Dined on June 15, 2018

I had an amazing experience. The service was amazing and the food was superb!!

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5.0Dined on June 15, 2018

So great. Food was amazing and service great.

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5.0Dined on June 15, 2018

Great Food and a wonderful atmosphere for dining. I live in Columbia, SC and have visited Magnolias regularly since 1996. I’ve never had a bad meal there and can remember some of my all time favorites. Pork Tenderloin was great a few years back. The chicken livers appetizer is a joy, though my wife and son won’t partake. The seafood is fresh and tasty and always paired with fresh vegetables and savory rice. Unfortunately, I rarely have time for dessert. Thank you.

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4.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Great inventive Low Country cooking. Large portions so don’t be afraid to ask to share. The specials were delicious!! A must do in Charleston.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Outstanding service, food and atmosphere. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

My wife and I's favorite restaurant!! Always go there for special occasions and it never disappoints us!! We love it.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Outstanding food, and quiet. Perfect for a date. Our favorite dinner spot on the trip. Had the best table in the house by the windows.

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4.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Hostess' were great. Wait help was indifferent. Not helpful, attentive or friendly... Very odd for Charleston. Had to ask for suggestions... Therefore, Food was just ok... Nothing to really rave about. It was a solid 7.5 on food. Loved the restaurant, seating, ambiance... Would consider returning for that. A good server would have made the experience much better.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Alice was awesome

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