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.

513 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Seafood

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

Cross Street:
Morris Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(843) 641-0821

Website:
http://www.thedarling.com/

Parking Details:
There is a private lot for our customers

Executive Chef:
Joe Dimaio

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Weekend Brunch, Wine

The Darling Oyster Bar Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (67)
Local Ingredients (51)
Bar Seating (48)
See All
Fun (47)
Fit for Foodies (41)
Modern Decor (39)
Special Occasion (36)
Casual (36)
Hot Spot (35)
Happy Hour (35)
Neighborhood Gem (34)
Handcrafted Cocktails (31)
Good for Groups (31)
Good for Birthdays (29)
Vibrant Bar Scene (29)
Creative Cuisine (26)
People Watching (24)
Good for Anniversaries (24)
Romantic (20)
Worth the Drive (18)
Authentic (16)
Great for Brunch (14)
Great for Lunch (14)
Sunday Lunch (14)
Healthy (11)
Great Beer (11)
Business Meals (9)
Historic (9)
Comfort Food (9)
Tapas (8)
Cozy (7)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
Late-night Find (7)
Tasting Menu (7)
Open Kitchen (6)
Gluten Free Options (6)
Kid-friendly (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Seasonal (5)
Quick Bite (5)
Scenic View (4)
Disabled Access (4)
Family Style (4)
Outstanding Value (4)
Notable Wine List (4)
Quiet Conversation (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Private Room (1)
Spicy (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Live Sports (1)
Vegan (1)
Waterfront (1)
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357 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

The food was creative, delicious and appetizing on the plate. The server was friendly, informative and made for an all around delightful evening.
PS Her name was Olivia. I would ask for her area the next time.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 7 days ago

Best Sunday brunch in Charleston and I hope to return for dinner sometime soon. The restaurant is GORGEOUS and the decor is perfection. We sat at the bar while we waited for our table (we arrived an hour before our reservation) and enjoyed cocktails and chatting with the bartender. The service and food were fantastic. Lobster roll was one of the favorites of the table as well as the hushpuppies. A true restaurant gem.

Tags: Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Casual, Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Savannah)·Dined on April 23, 2017

The service was unbelievably slow. Took 20 minutes to get our cocktails and over an hour for our dinner. In addition to the slow (and rude) service, the fish special was over cooked. The chicken was very good, and the only thing that saved this review. The lobster roll was average, but well priced in comparison to other restaurants.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service2
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 20, 2017

Loved this place! Amazing oysters, great service. Loved Emily and Miles. Attentive and sweet. Have recommended already!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Great Beer, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Cozy, Fun, Good for Groups, Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Sunday Lunch, Romantic, Happy Hour, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, People Watching, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on April 20, 2017

AWESOME reunion dinner while we were visiting from Los Angeles. Staff accommodated our need to add a surprise 5th guest. Brantley gave us awesome service from first cocktails to final Baileys & coffee. Crab parfait, fried chicken sandwich, shrimp n grits all A+++

Tags: Fun, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 20, 2017

A must try in Charleston

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 19, 2017

Excellent food and service. Our server was as good as any we have been served by in the last year.

Tags: Authentic, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on April 16, 2017

We have just returned from our trip to Charlestown and Kiaweh Island, and a highlight was our Sunday lunch at Darling - it truly is a darling and fabulous place to eat. Our food was outstanding and most delicious

Tags: Healthy, Fun, Worth the Drive, Sunday Lunch, Great for Brunch, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Absolutely have to get the chowder fries and personalize a Bloody Mary with great seafood!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 16, 2017

Friendly wait staff and an absolutely phenomenal menu!

Tags: Healthy, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Not at all impressed

Have wanted to go here for awhile. We had the seafood tower which was okay not great and we didn't get to choose the oysters we wanted. Many had a bad aftertaste. The main dishes were very salty and didn't have a fresh taste. I'm was totally disappointed and will not return including the fact we all came home and spent the evening visiting the John for hours. Not my way of spending an evening or my money.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service4
value2

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 15, 2017

It was a very nice evening, and Shady was the best server! The food and drinks were perfect!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on April 15, 2017

Fun, lively, and casual spot for oyster lovers. Good selection of seafood. Wine selection could be improved upon.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Tapas, Casual
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 13, 2017

Went here for our anniversary and got the smaller seafood platter and the scallop entree to split. Both were amazing! We substituted the clams for more oysters on the tower. Everything was really fresh and full of flavor. The scallops were some of the best I've had. Definitely recommend it!

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 13, 2017

We were disappointed that the Bloody Mary was not the one loaded with snacks that they serve only at brunch, but we soon got over it. Everything was delicious! We were there for happy hour and indulged in the delicious oysters and cocktails. And we all loved the Creole Shrimp - amazing! I'm hoping to make it for brunch sometime soon!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on April 12, 2017

The food was innovative and lived up to the reviews. The servers were very attentive and helpful. A good experience and we would go back again.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 10, 2017

It was recommended to try the darling and it was worth the trip! The little neck claims were great, must try the lobster roll and the crab tagliatelle.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 9, 2017

Great place for dinner. Excellent service, very good food.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (E. Tennessee)·Dined on April 9, 2017

We have eaten at The Darling a few times now and always find the food very good and the service excellent!! Thanks Heidi!

Tags: Historic, Good Vegetarian Options, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, Casual, Modern Decor, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 9, 2017

We had a lovely ladies' brunch here. The food was good although the coffee was burnt and the server forgot one entree. The staff corrected their mistake and gave us the entree for free--great service!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service3
value4

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on April 9, 2017

I live in Charleston and finally made it to the Darling. Overall I was very impressed by the food, ambiance, and service. Fresh seafood and not over priced. It's a great spot to go if you are with a group of friends and want to eat downtown. I will definitely be back soon!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Milwaukee)·Dined on April 9, 2017

Having never eaten at the Darling before, I was surprised that (after making a reservation) we were seated at a tiny high table in the bar. The table was really small, and the standing crowd at the bar was right up against the table for much of our meal. The food and service were good, but the table location sucked and really spoiled the Saturday night ambience.

Tags: Good for Groups, Local Ingredients, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 8, 2017

Oysters were great. One was not washed well/had mud in it, in two dozen. The waiter seemed ambivalent and not very knowledgeable about the oysters beyond the description on the menu. The bar was speedy and mixed a good Bloody Mary.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 8, 2017

The Clam Strips and Fries with Clam Chowder on top were fantastic

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 7, 2017

Great selection of seafood! We had a group of 6, were seated fairly close to our reservation time, and had really good service. The oyster selection was amazing, and the general seafood ranks up there with the best.

Tags: Special Occasion, Fun, Great Beer, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Wanted a in town Charleston dining experience while on Spring Break. The energy level in the area is high as well as the restaurant.

Tags: Modern Decor, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on April 6, 2017

This was my second time at this fabulous little find! The oysters are super fresh, the hot and cold apps are tasty and a bit different, (in a great way) and the plateau is awesome!!!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Great Beer, Business Meals, Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene, Happy Hour, Tapas, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual, People Watching, Neighborhood Gem, Modern Decor, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 6, 2017

Olivia was a wonderful server, the food and ambiance were amazing! Oysters were awesome! First time dining here, and will definitely be back!

Tags: Fun, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 5, 2017

This was our second trip to The Darling and we enjoyed it once again. The oysters were great and well shucked and the entrees were all very well prepared. I had a soft shell crab special and it was awesome. Recommended.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Healthy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine, Paleo Friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, People Watching, Good for Groups, Fun, Happy Hour, Good for Birthdays, Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 4, 2017

It's just perfect! Everything we had was delicious! Loved the oysters, loved the lobster rolls, great servce! Perfect!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Local Ingredients, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on April 4, 2017

First time to Darling. Went looking for a good raw bar experience and found it. Atmosphere is upscale modern casual. Had the large seafood plateau. Oysters, clams, king crab, shrimp and lobster - all were excellent. Also had soft shell crab and clam chowder. Both were wonderful. Our server Morgan did an excellent job. He suggested our wine and gave us a great description when he served it. Would certainly return to this great spot.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on April 3, 2017

I was disappointed that the Bloody Mary pictured on their website was only available for brunch apparently. I order one for dinner and it was just a small plain drink without any seasoning on the rim.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Antonio)·Dined on April 2, 2017

The staff was fantastic but the food was a complete miss. Well cooked but flavor combinations did not work at all.

Tags: Open Kitchen, People Watching, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Modern Decor
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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on April 2, 2017

After several people told me to come here, I finally made a reservation and it was so worth it. In a city of heavy southern foods, we left feeling light and satisfied even after indulging in two desserts! MUST: Poke Bowl, and any of the desserts.

Tags: Healthy, Paleo Friendly, Romantic, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 2, 2017

The best oyster shooters ever! Homemade mix makes all the difference! In the hottest new area of Charleston- do not miss!!!

Tags: Fun, Hot Spot, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 1, 2017

Good raw bar, attentive but not obtrusive service.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Casual, Authentic, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on April 1, 2017

Excellent evening with friends. Staff perky and competent. No question worth a return visit.

Tags: Happy Hour, Vibrant Bar Scene, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Western NC)·Dined on April 1, 2017

At first I was not a fan, ten minutes for a server to acknowledge us, I had to ask twice for our server when they were all standing around. The open oyster station was amazing, the oysters were great, fairly priced. The Bloody Mary I was craving was super small, nothing special. Had to go elsewhere for that. The menu made it sound much better than it was. The lobster/crab roll and kale slaw were fantastic. Decent local draft beer selection. I'd go back. Hopefully I won't have to track my server down again.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 1, 2017

Evan our water was absolutely wonderful! We enjoyed our meal. Food was delicious. Everyone friendly and courteous.

Tags: Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on March 31, 2017

Ambiance was great, food was okay, service was terrible. Our server, Jonathan, was rude right from the start and continued on that way the entire duration of our menu. Hopefully other servers give a better experience than we received!

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food3
ambience4
service1
value2

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