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

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (50)
Local Ingredients (40)
Fun (35)
See All
Fit for Foodies (34)
Modern Decor (34)
Bar Seating (34)
Special Occasion (30)
Happy Hour (26)
Neighborhood Gem (26)
Handcrafted Cocktails (24)
Good for Birthdays (23)
Casual (23)
Hot Spot (23)
Good for Anniversaries (21)
Vibrant Bar Scene (21)
Romantic (20)
Creative Cuisine (18)
Good for Groups (16)
People Watching (15)
Worth the Drive (12)
Comfort Food (10)
Authentic (9)
Historic (9)
Great for Brunch (8)
Business Meals (8)
Sunday Lunch (8)
Healthy (7)
Pre/post Theatre (7)
Cozy (7)
Great for Lunch (7)
Great Beer (6)
Tapas (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Open Kitchen (5)
Notable Wine List (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Seasonal (5)
Outstanding Value (5)
Late-night Find (5)
Quick Bite (4)
Disabled Access (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Family Style (3)
Scenic View (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Private Room (1)
Spicy (1)
Live Sports (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Quiet Conversation (1)
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308 reviews
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vip
 (Miami)·Dined 3 days ago

Certainly for oysters it's wonderful, but, the rest of the menu is limited. Most of the entrees were were very good and 6 of us had a very good time. The oyster shooters are fun.

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

 
 (Austin)·Dined 3 days ago

I was hoping for more. The venue is great, very nice looking. the food was good, just not outstanding. Same with the service. I felt like we were being rushed out the door.

Tags: Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 6 days ago

In town on business and Google searched for an oyster house to take clients. Downloaded open table app and made reservations. Everyone was impressed with the quality of the oysters, good beer selection, and cool vibe of the place. Had a successful meeting.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Kansas City)·Dined on March 19, 2017

In town on vacation. Loved this place. So trendy with a great vibe inside. Wonderful food and service

Tags: Modern Decor, Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Historic, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 19, 2017

The food was ok. Disappointing considering all we'd heard about them. We got the blue crab pasta and there was barely any crab and the green peas dominated the taste. Not worth $21 dollars. The ceviche was also just ok. Not creative, had much much better at the Ordinary. The hushpuppies with the sweet butter were the highlight and they were only $4. I would recommend you spending your money somewhere else.

Tags: Happy Hour, Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on March 19, 2017

Great food and atmosphere! Thanks Emily for being a great waitress! Phil does a great job managing this restaurant and I would definitely recommend it!

Tags: Good for a Date, Seasonal, Modern Decor, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on March 18, 2017

Awesome restaurant and gathering place! Food was delicious and creative. Cocktails are fabulous. Coffee was not.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, People Watching, Fun, Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on March 17, 2017

Great food and service. A little overpriced for amount of food you get.

Tags: Special Occasion, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 17, 2017

The food was excellent. We had ceviche, oysters, hush puppies, creole shrimp, shrimp and grits, soft shell crab and crab pasta. Service was great. Recommend reservations.

Tags: Worth the Drive, People Watching, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Modern Decor, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 17, 2017

Good had little to no seasoning. The fried fish tastes like it had been fried in old burnt grease. Pasta dish couldn't even be saved with salt or pepper it was so bland

Tags: Comfort Food
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 16, 2017

Food was unexciting. Hush puppies were overcooked, ordered 3 Baked oysters and one was the size of a pea.(they were $3 each)Sliced salad was just ok. Tuna poke was really bland- not tasty like all other pokes I've ever had. Fried clam strips was only item we liked. Very disappointing since it has a lot of hype.

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food1
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on March 14, 2017

A local gem on the corner of King St and Mary St. The main bar is spacious, modern, and comfortable and features unusual and tasty cocktails (along with well-prepared old favorites, like a Bloody Mary). The dining room is bright and airy, and there's additional seating at a smaller bar where you can sit and watch the bivalves being shucked. The menu is limited but inventive and the ingredients are fresh, fresh, fresh. Go for the Seafood Plateau, which features a selection of raw oysters and clams, boiled shrimp, and sweet, succulent crab. Oh, and the staff are warm and welcoming. Wonderful!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Comfort Food, Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Late-night Find
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on March 13, 2017

Great menu for all types of food tastes. Raw bar to burgers! Everything we ordered was great!

Tags: Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on March 12, 2017

AMAZING oysters. Good service, main bar area was beautiful, clean, and well lit. Bloody Mary's were delicious.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on March 12, 2017

We were really wanting to like, if not love, this place as we were visiting Charleston and WE LOVE OYSTERS and seafood. The quality of the oysters were great--shucked and cleaned well and served with nice mignonettes. The flavor, however, was just average. We tried all six of the oysters available the night we dined--we found ourselves missing either a sweetness, buttery-ness or a briny-ness from oysters that we've had in other restaurants. The shrimp cocktail was delicious although pricey. Our biggest complaint about our experience was our be seated at a high-top bar table. We had made reservations and were given the worst seat in the house--it was a loud and overcrowded area in the bar area, people were bumping into our table on more than one occasion. I understand that this is a popular place, but patrons with reservations shouldn't be placed in those types of areas. We did enjoy our cocktails. We also adored the design aesthetic of this place.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Modern Decor, Hot Spot
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food3
ambience2
service5
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 11, 2017

couldn't wait to try this new addition to King Street, and it did not disappoint! everyone loved their meal, and seasonal offerings, fresh ingredients, and fun cocktail list were a delight

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 11, 2017

Yet another successful Darling visit! Few things are better than a happy hour Paloma, side of Hushpuppies or that oh-so-wonderfully decadent Shrimp & Grits. Friends in town visiting could not get enough of the fun vibe and delicious food .. oh, and the adorable match boxes on the way out- the perfect souvenir for our Charleston soiree!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 10, 2017

I have been talking about this meal for days. The baked oysters and mahi Mahdi were excellent, but the LOBSTER ROLL was outstanding. I cannot wait to go back. The Tradesman Agave Wheat beer (local) was a showstopper as well. Jonathan our server made the experience!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Happy Hour, Romantic, Modern Decor, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Great Beer
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 10, 2017

Oysters were great. The main dishes were over priced. Very small portions of mahi. The fry platter way over seasoned. Our third time eating here. Miss the oyster pasta. The crab pasta a terrible substitute. Third time was not a charm

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on March 6, 2017

2d time we have been to Darling. Food and service excellent both times.

Tags: Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 6, 2017

An oyster bar that runs out of Oysters should do some serious self evaluation. It's like they don't even know what they are doing. Other items were running out and the quality and taste of what they did have was average.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on March 5, 2017

Food and service was great! Would return again!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Key West)·Dined on March 5, 2017

We thought that the meal was good, but we're disappointed in the timing for getting fresh oysters. After wanting to start with a dozen oysters before our brunch entrees the waiter returned to let us know that they were backed up and oysters wouldn't be available until after our entrees were ready and served. They were just not staffed correctly. Bloody Mary's were good, the Salmon Benedict was a bit salty. But enjoyable atmosphere and a good server. We'd rather go to Poogans Porch.

Tags: Great for Brunch
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 5, 2017

Decorated beautifully. Quaint but edgy. Right in the middle of the bar/club crowds on a late Saturday night. But I would go again.

Tags: Casual, People Watching, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on March 4, 2017

I had the Creole Shrimp and my wife had the fried Clam strips. Taste was great only wish the shrimp plate would have been as big as the clam plate.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 3, 2017

The oysters were very good but the crab and shrimp were frozen and soggy.

Tags: Happy Hour
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food2
ambience3
service5
value2

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on March 2, 2017

The food was excellent as always and we love having Emily as our server!

Tags: Hot Spot, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 27, 2017

Fantastic!

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 26, 2017

We went to sample the oysters, and have a enjoyable brunch. I found the oysters not be just
tasted, but the cleanses in 4 other establishment that we frequent. Our brunch was extremely
pleasing the salmon cake benedict, was spot on, and makes for a great change.

Tags: Modern Decor, Great for Lunch, Disabled Access, Bar Seating, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New Orleans)·Dined on February 26, 2017

It was our first time at this restaurant it was amazing. Everything we ordered was delicious.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Modern Decor, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Fun, Bar Seating, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 20, 2017

Our Monday night dinner for 12 people was treated by the staff just like a Saturday night...exceptional food, drinks and service. Thank you for helping everyone in our party from their 80's to their teens enjoy a great night. I was happy to show our out of town family one of my husband and mine's favorite local restaurants. Thank you to everyone for a great meal and a great time.

Tags: Late-night Find, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour, Local Ingredients, Good Vegetarian Options, Kid-friendly, Hot Spot, Tasting Menu, Romantic, Authentic, Gluten Free Options, Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Seasonal, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 19, 2017

Great brunch. Can't wait to return again. Loved the raw bar

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Worth the Drive, Hot Spot, Great for Brunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 18, 2017

It is very noisy.If you are looking forward to a quiet dinner ,do not go here.Between the noise from all the people,And the very loud music that they were playing,you had to scream at each other.The fried clams were very good,as were the oysters.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience1
service3
value2

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Excellent- great food and fun atmosphere

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Our server was great, but the place was noisy and the view isn't very pleasurable on the left side of the restaurant. I felt like I was in a hallway. The food was OK. Overpriced.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service4
value2

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 12, 2017

This little place was amazing! The menu's not overwhelming and there's something for everyone. The collards and ham..best ever!! My husband enjoyed the fried seafood combo. he wasn't a fan of the kale slaw but devoured the seafood. The lobster and king crab roll is a must try. Meaty and filling.

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

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 12, 2017

Great fresh seafood, awesome bar and friendly, quick staff.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Great Beer, Modern Decor
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on February 11, 2017

Nice view from the oyster bar. Easy walk up before 6PM.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, People Watching
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 10, 2017

Great food and amazing service. I will definitely return for more of their delicious pasta and crabmeat combination.

Tags: Outstanding Value, Notable Wine List, Sunday Lunch, Great for Brunch, Spicy, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on February 8, 2017

My date was terrible.... but, the food was great! 🙄

Tags: Good for Groups, Scenic View
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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