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
We came on a week night during our honey ...
We came on a week night during our honeymoon & had a wonderful time! It was nice & quiet during our dinner, but I can imagine it could get pretty busy during the weekends! We saw the raw bar while we were walking by and actually cancelled a reservation at another restaurant so we could check out that raw bar. So so yummy!! So glad we came.
Service was great at The Darling, althou ...
Service was great at The Darling, although, we were seated at the worst table, in a hallway to the side of the main dining room, even though the restaurant started to empty out shortly after we arrived. Unfortunately, as first time diners at The Darling, this didn't leave a great impression and I would recommend diners request seating in the main room as the ambience looks much better there. It would make much more sense for the restaurant to seat diners at the best tables first. I thought the food was mostly disappointing: the crab parfait was lacking in seasoning and avocado (absent), and, was overpowered by the grapefruit; the ceviche was bland and had been sitting in acidic juices for too long and was 'overcooked' and the fries were not quite crisp. I enjoyed the raw oysters and the lobster cocktail which contained a generous amount of sweet lobster.
Had a res for two which was ready when w ...
Had a res for two which was ready when we arrived. Friendly hostes took us back to a duce in a back hallway. Not particularly attractive. Sat at the raw bar in front, looking out at King St. which was great.
Our server and oyster shucker were both great.
The Darling Oyster bar is just that... d ...
The Darling Oyster bar is just that... darling. And Delicious. Creative presentations and recipes using local and seasonal fresh food. Great ambiance. Perfect for date night dinner or a special occassion or just your "regular" spot to meet friends. Our new go to place in Charleston!! Can't wait to return!
The restaurant is lively, the menu is si ...
The restaurant is lively, the menu is simple and easy to navigate, the oysters (got them three ways and with spaghetti) were fabulous and our server, Olivia, was a delight. The manager, Philip, stopped by our table as well and it was, well, outstanding. My only criticism is the space itself. It is attractive, but our table for two was up against an interior wall and it felt like we were eating in a hallway. Some of the seating looks great, but ours was less than desirable. Creative cocktails as well, but would recommend asking for a table not against the wall. Will definitely go back and will be thinking of those yummy oysters in the meantime! ps my husband thought the fried chicken was sublime.
Love the vibe of this restaurant. The me ...
Love the vibe of this restaurant. The menu has lots of options without being overwhelming. The local oysters were delicious, the scallops, catch of the day and chicken were all excellent as well. The clam strips were sweeter than I anticipated and are a very generous portion - I didn't end up finishing them. We dined early and the service was great. I would definitely recommend checking out this excellent restaurant.
Darling Oyster Bar should be a must visi ...
Darling Oyster Bar should be a must visit. Try the oyster spaghetti, which sounds odd but is just full of rich flavor. We could each this every day! The fried clams appetizer is unlike any fried clams you'v had. The clams are cooked with cabbage, cilantro, carrots, sweet chili, avocado mayo and each bite is full of flavor. This was a real find. We had not heard of this restaurant before, but Open Table seldom lets us down.
Service was perfect
For two people who don't actually eat oy ...
For two people who don't actually eat oysters (sorry!) we had no trouble finding plenty of options on the menu and everything from appetizer to dessert was AMAZING. Really inventive, different flavor combinations that work very well. I loved the scallops and my husband loved the shrimp and grits.
The restaurant looks vibrant and interes ...
The restaurant looks vibrant and interesting from outside,however there are two dining areas,one is more like a bar than the other dining area.The menu was a bit limited,however most people will probably have oysters.We felt that the meal was ordinary and would not rush to return.
The Darling offers not just fantastic fr ...
The Darling offers not just fantastic fresh seafood and fish -- it may have the best fry-cooks in Charleston. We are talking friend oysters, shrimp and perfectly french fried potatoes. Try the oysters in every form imaginable, go for the shrimp likewise. Service is professional and available even when the kitchen is slammed -- as it so often is. The wine list could use greater depth in the whites and a selection of 1/2 bottles. Desserts -- ok.
Darling is "darling" alright.
We had a fun time, brought another coupl ...
We had a fun time, brought another couple visiting Charleston for some Oysters. They are seasoned raw bar enthusiasts and enjoyed the Darling's selection. We ordered about 24 oysters, all different kinds, they each ordered an entree, two bottles of wine and I split a fried seafood sampler with my boyfriend. Our bill was about $200 before tip.
After 3 dinners in Charleston, I vote th ...
After 3 dinners in Charleston, I vote that Darling offered the best nouvelle cuisine by far. Other places made lame attempts at fresh and innovative offerings in comparison to Darling's fantastic plates. Recommended for business or date without hesitation. Looking forward to my next meeting in Charleston.
My wife and I had a blast at The Darling ...
My wife and I had a blast at The Darling. It was our favorite meal during our stay in Charleston! We will definitely be back. Our entire meal was amazing, we had raw and baked oysters, the ceviche and some sides. Sophie was amazing ! She was so helpful and kind. When we come back we will most definitely request her again.
Very pleasant evening. Lively , tasteful ...
Very pleasant evening. Lively , tastefully decorated restaurant. Excellent service. Our waiter , Justin , was very knowledgeable and helpful . Wonderful assortment of fresh oysters and king crab and shrimp . Restaurant located in lively upper King Street area near College of Charleston and much less "touristy" than the crowded and loud eateries further down the road.
I knew we were in for a great evening wh ...
I knew we were in for a great evening when the reservationist called to discuss the seating preference we'd indicated while booking. She found the perfect table for our special occasion date. The service was outstanding--very attentive, friendly, and helpful with suggestions. The food was delicious and so fresh--especially the $1 happy hour oysters. My husband had the oyster spaghetti (rich and delicious) while I ordered the ceviche and hush puppies (both very good). Compared to other restaurants serving oysters in Charleston on King St. (the Ordinary and Leon's come to mind) we found The Darling Oyster Bar to be the best value by far.
Overall, I had expected a much more expensive meal for the level of quality of ingredients, attentive service, and the beautiful decor. We will definitely be back!
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.
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