About The Darling Oyster Bar
The Darling Oyster Bar is a casual seafood restaurant and raw bar. The Darling's menu features fresh seafood and creative ingredients, served with an approachable style. The Darling Oyster Bar’s atmosphere promotes comfortable hospitality; with a lively, neighborhood feel.
Anchoring The Darling Oyster Bar is a stunning raw bar showcasing fresh, made-to-order seafood. Guests can enjoy the lively raw bar scene while overlooking historic King Street from The Darling’s iconic storefront. The Darling raw bar also offers full service dining.
Located in the heart of Upper King Street, The Darling Oyster Bar is housed in a 115-year old historic building that enjoys a storied past. A mix of the original 1900’s reclaimed wood, whole exposed brick walls, classic tile, antique molding, and nautical theme combine to create a setting that is all at once convivial, charming, and comfortable.
Hours of Operation:
Monday- Thursday, 4pm to 10pm; Bar open late
Friday- Saturday, 4pm to 11pm; Bar to 2am
Sunday, 11am to 10pm; Bar open late
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
There is a private lot for our customers
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wine
The Darling Oyster Bar Ratings and Reviews
The food here was not bad, I have no maj ...
The food here was not bad, I have no major complaints, but it was not nearly up to the level suggested by so many lofty reviews.
From the raw bar we ordered a sampling of 4 of the 5 kinds of oysters available that evening along with some local clams. The oysters were good, fresh and reasonably well shucked. The (very little) little neck clams were delicious. The clam chowder was a bit odd, not precisely what you imagine with this classic, and suffered by comparison. The fried shrimp and flounder plate was just ok. The flounder was too dry -- a bit over cooked -- the shrimp were fine (but not nearly as good as Hank's version) but the best item on the plate was the french fries.
Service was welcoming and amiable. No issues here.
The ambiance is peculiar. There are two very distinct dining areas: a large, light main room housing the raw bars and a dark, narrow room off to the side with tiny tables for two along one wall and booths on the other. We were in the latter and found it just this side of unpleasant. If we return we'll definitely opt for the main room.
It's unfortunate that Darling's operates in the intensely competitive Charleston market where there are seemingly an infinite number of restaurants serving exceptional food. In my home town of Vero Beach, where the environment (unfortunately) is very different, I'd be tempted to give a four rating; but in Charleston, it's a three.
The Darling Oyster Bar was recommended t ...
The Darling Oyster Bar was recommended to us by the airbnb host that we stayed with and it was outstanding! Excellent choice of oysters from salty and large to small and sweet. The ambiance was perfect for dining and conversation. Good selection of beer on tap from local to surrounding breweries, good wines and crafted cocktails. Will go again when we are in Charleston.
I was dying to LOVE The Darling. And the ...
I was dying to LOVE The Darling. And the food was good, but it was just, 'good'. Maybe there was too much hype and my expectations were too high. I would return to sit at the bar and have oysters, not sure if I'd come for dinner again.
Jill, our server several times, is fanta ...
Jill, our server several times, is fantastic. Very good knowledge / suggestions and extremely personable. Excellent!
Fantastic Raw Bar and Ambiance if you enjoy either Raw Bars or People Watching. The street view is quite remarkable and fairly unique to Darling.
I took my visiting daughter and 4 year o ...
I took my visiting daughter and 4 year old grand daughter for Sunday brunch, and could not have been more pleased! The oysters we shared were fresh, clean and mild, and the Captains Bloody Mary's were exceptional! (Grand daughter had a virgin, and ate every bite of her lobster claw, crab, shrimp and hush puppy-that's why we got her her own!) We shared the unique shrimp and grits with a fried egg as well as the chowder fries-all great.
The service was prompt, and our waitress, Heidi, was very knowledgable and pleasant.
Yet another great Charleston experience!
The food was good, but we felt our serve ...
The food was good, but we felt our server was rushed, we had to ask her to take a minute, explain the menu and oysters etc. The bar area is really gorgeous and that is were we would eat next time. It is amazing to us how important the wait staff is especially when the foods are so intracate and special.
Was not pleased to be seated next to a c ...
Was not pleased to be seated next to a concrete wall with no view and next to a group of 12 loud college girls. Especially when the other half of the restaurant was mostly open. Was also disappointed that our waitress appeared hungover and not wanting to be at work. Was expecting a lot more for a brunch from a highly rated place. However, we may give it a second chance to see if things are different.
We loved the building, decor, and overal ...
We loved the building, decor, and overall atmosphere. The chairs are uncomfortable, like they do not want you to stay to long, but that was my only complaint. Cocktails were unique and delicous and the food was outstanding! This is a great addition to King St.
There are many god restaurants in this c ...
There are many god restaurants in this city. The Darling should rank right up near the top! We had been meaning to try it, and our niece's visit prompted us to get reservations for an early dinner before attending a concert. What a joy and memorable experience! We will be back!
This is where the Charleston Jeunesse Do ...
This is where the Charleston Jeunesse Dorée gathers to play adult after a beach day. If you are young, young at heart, or like watching young people, this is the spot; bachelorette parties and all. Everybody is well behaved tough so that the noise level is overall moderate.
Great interior architecture! They really worked with the historic building. Crisp and sleek, yet cozy.
Food is unpretentious raw bar and fried sea-food. Difficult to mess up and great quality. Fried oysters were a tad dry. Not really cheap but not offensively overpriced either.
Very poor wine variety, yet interesting choices.
Not surprisingly, the waitstaff consists of college students. However, they appear well trained and are all supremely attentive. Our server Ben did an outstanding job, for instance.
Great experience. We made reservations ...
Great experience. We made reservations right at 4pm. The decor was very nice, very open and even when we left with a full dining room the noise level was not bad at all. Food was very good, especially the oysters on the half shell. Good selection and if you go during happy hour even better.
The food was amazing. The oyster select ...
The food was amazing. The oyster selection was good (we had a sampling of their offerings). The lobster cocktail was also very good as a starter. The entrees were just as good! The cocktails were very good and quite unique, and they had a short but very good wine list. I highly recommend this place for anyone looking to splurge a little for a night out with fantastic food and drinks.
We visited The Darling Oyster bar on a S ...
We visited The Darling Oyster bar on a Saturday night; the restaurant was mostly filled but we got a reservation earlier in the day. The decor was chic and matched the vibe of the restaurant. We split a seafood tray of oysters, crab, clam and shrimp which was delicious. My husband and I split the Oyster Spaghetti (better than it sounds) which was the perfect portion in conjunction with the starter and cocktails. Overall a great experience and we'd definitely recommend a stop in the Darling Oyster Bar.
Went with my extended family (including ...
Went with my extended family (including a toddler), and all agreed this was our favorite meal while we were staying at the beaches outside Charleston for the week. Food was fresh and delicious, and portions and prices were just right. The ambiance in the main dining room was lovely - stylish but not stuffy - and the service was excellent. Highly recommend! Not a single, disappointing or mediocre dish to be had!
I've been here twice and was impressed w ...
I've been here twice and was impressed with the food both times. My server was much more seasoned the first time, this time was less enjoyable. The server wasn't very attentive, forgot our oyster shooters despite being reminded 2 times post the original order, and was just generally immature in his conversation (he actually swore once). I would still go back because I love the food and oysters.
We've been here twice for Sunday brunch. ...
We've been here twice for Sunday brunch. On the higher end of cost for brunch, but the quality is generally worth the money. The oysters were good. The food was very good. I don't want to go here again, though, if they make us sit in the back. It's dark, and looks like a Halloween scary area at a junior high festival. The ambience out front is great; in the back - terrible.
Not a good experience, except for being ...
Not a good experience, except for being with the good company I came with. We had a very early reservation and there was plenty of seating in the main, seemingly well appointed, dining room the whole time we were there....but we and many others were seated in a dark, dreary sliver of a space, with overflow style seating, with a view of the capable and friendly wait staff going in and out of the kitchen. We aren't tourists and eat out very often and really I haven't had that poor of seating downtown in a upper price restaurant, ever. Service was as I mentioned capable and friendly. Food was just ok, drink a little better but neither were worth the price charged...and the awful seating made everything pale and made me feel ripped off. and I had been all set to like it.
We had reservations and they kept us wai ...
We had reservations and they kept us waiting when there were plenty of open tables. Served warm water in drinking glasses, they did not time food well, My husband got his meal 10 minutes before me and I order a dozen oysters. We were also seated very closely to another couple who were loud. This restaurant came highly recommended but I must say it was entirely overrated. The food was good enough but entirely overpriced.
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