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 Restaurant, Smoking Area, Weekend Brunch, Wine
The Darling Oyster Bar Ratings and Reviews
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.
The service was lovely, the cocktails fa ...
The service was lovely, the cocktails fantastic, but I could have made a better stew. It was the special of the evening and wreck fish is a delicate, tasty white fish. The salt completely over powered the dish and the okra was slimy and disjointed. I think this restaurant has potential but salt is not the only tool in the kitchen ...especially with delicate fish flavors. Between that and the slimy okra it was rather unpleasant. I would go again myself to Try again but at this point would not recommend it to anyone.
The food was decent; however, I am going ...
The food was decent; however, I am going to be one of those people and complain about the service/our requests. I told our hostess and who I thought was a manager that we had two birthdays at our table, he acknowledged and said they celebrate them there. I thought this meant they brought out cake and what not. At the end of the dinner we were brought dessert menus and nothing was mentioned about the birthdays. I wanted to make the night special and they ignored it. It was also FREEZING and I asked two people to turn the air down (Yes, I'm sure restaurants hate that request) but it was completely uncomfortable in there. At least tell me "we can't because of 'x, y and z'" but they said that they would. Again, the food was decent, nothing to write home about. I'm glad I tried it and can cross it off my list.
As soon as we walked in we were greeted ...
As soon as we walked in we were greeted with a smile and they actually had our table ready for us earlier than our reservation time! The drink list was amazing and our server was very sweet. We had fresh raw oysters, the spicy shrimp dip/spread (SOOO GOOD) and then shrimp cocktail. Everything was so fresh, super chilled when it arrived at the table and all the sauces were homemade. If we ever come back to Charleston, we will come back here! :)
Mixed & Torn. There is a light & dark di ...
Mixed & Torn. There is a light & dark dining room, go towards the light. Service was spot on ( they refold your napkin when you get up), I appreciate the details. Ambiance in the lighter room is very nice, I loved the lighting fixtures on the wall and above the bar , but the the florescent fixtures down the middle don't jive, seemed like office lighting and made me think of work. The raw bar is very fresh. My husband had the chowder and while he loved it, I thought it tasted very olive oily. The food is good but everything was little different than I had expected. Scallops and charred corn were spot on. Daughter's chicken seemed fatty?Maybe fried with skin on, oh well, that's what she gets for ordering poultry at seafood restaurant. The Fishhouse Punch is fantastic. I give the hostess a zero, we had an early 5pm reservation and she walked us by a booth that remained open the entire time we were there for a table on the back wall ..... for that reason, I wouldn't trust this place to bring important clients to in the future. The crowd was good and I'd go back for the raw bar and to have another punch. Our server was excellent.
We love our seafood & have been wanting ...
We love our seafood & have been wanting to try The Darling since it opened. It did not disappoint. We had the seafood plateau for four with sides of the snapper service, clam strips and a little extra shrimp cocktail because one wasn't a fan of oysters. Cheap, nope, but great seafood. Loved the 'draft' cocktails. We were sitting in the back part of the restaurant & probably would have preferred a more open location but it wasn't enough to fuss about.
We'll be back.
My boyfriend and I live in Columbia and ...
My boyfriend and I live in Columbia and visit Charleston very frequently while aiming to try a new restaurant whenever we are in town. We decided to make a reservation at The Darling Oyster Bar for Sunday evening while we were in town for my boyfriends work conference. From the moment we walked in we were greeted by friendly hostesses and staff members and our original table was in what they call the lounge area. I mentioned to my boyfriend that I really wanted to watch the Olympics and the staff was very accommodating to switch us to a high top in the bar area so that we could watch. The restaurant is beautifully designed and you can tell that the owners did not skimp on the design and decor of the restaurant. Our server Katie provided us with some of the best service we have ever had. She was attentive and knowledgeable without hovering. All of our food came out in a timely fashion and her recommendations were spot on. We started with the creole shrimp appetizer and the baked oysters. My boyfriend loved his oysters and the creole shrimp was one of the best apps I have ever had. For dinner I wanted something a little lighter so I ordered the green salad and a half pound of the shrimp cocktail for my entree, and my boyfriend ordered the double cheeseburger with fries. My green salad had the most incredible buttermilk dressing and the shrimp cocktail was served with a housemade tarter sauce that complimented the shrimp very well. I normally hate tarter sauce but this one had a lot of fresh herbs and lemon juice in it. I tried a bite of my boyfriends burger and fries and they were incredible. The burger was juicy and tender and cooked medium, just the way he ordered it. We finished our meal with an order of bombolini, fresh doughnut holes rolled in sugar and served with berry compote and lemon curd. The doughnuts were hot and both dipping sauces were so fresh and flavorful without being too sweet. Overall great experience! Can't wait to go back!
Food: seafood platter was great. Ceviche ...
Food: seafood platter was great. Ceviche was partially raw and the flavor was off- unappetizing. The special was good as well as the chicken. The wine list is not great. Our service was not very good- we got cold coffee after dinner (obviously had been there all day) and when I mentioned it to our server, he told me no, he had poured it from the fresh pot. Ok? Then he said ok well I'll take it off your bill but didn't offer to make a fresh pot. I also barely touched my ceviche because it wasn't good and he never asked how it was. Pretty place with potential but overall disappointing.
Service was great! Food was pretty good, ...
Service was great! Food was pretty good, spent a hundred dollars with just one drink each (2 people) and we both had to eat again in an hour. Probably won't go back just because there are so many other places you can go and get good food and be full.
The entire experience was second to none ...
The entire experience was second to none! We had wonderful service, excellent super fresh oysters, the shrimp and grits was amazing! I've been living in Charleston for 11.5 years and I've been to a lot of the restaurants and I cannot wait to go back to The Darling Oyster Bar!
After trying the Darling's appetizers at ...
After trying the Darling's appetizers at a local event, we decided to try the restaurant for dinner.
On a Thursday night, the restaurant was very busy. Fortunately we had reservations and were seated immediately. The service was good with the only problem being that I did not receive the entree I ordered. The waiter offered to replace the incorrect order.
The noise level is high, but everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The staff is very efficient and promptly delivers the food.
The food was great and I look forward to many return visits to the Darling.
The food and atmosphere were both fabulo ...
The food and atmosphere were both fabulous. Our waiter had no knowledge of the delicious oysters we ordered. We had ordered two of each kind and she couldn't begin to tell us which were which. She seemed flustered after this and tried to avoid our table.
We enjoyed our experience here with frie ...
We enjoyed our experience here with friends visiting from out of town. The oyster selection was good and they were definitely fresh. Our server, Katie, was friendly and knowledgeable. I only rated the ambiance a bit lower as we were seated near the main entryway in a wide hallway of sorts. The bar dining area with large windows overlooking King Street would be much more appealing and I would request seating in this area next time. We do plan to visit again soon!
Adorable place and good food overall. H ...
Adorable place and good food overall. However, because it's so popular, service felt a little rushed. The food came out a little too fast--- like they were just trying to shuffle us out to get the next table seated. Not exactly a relaxed dining experience, albeit lively.
Wife and I ate here; coctails were above ...
Wife and I ate here; coctails were above average while my wife really enjoyed the shrimp and grits. Oysters had that deep clean sea taste that keeps you coming back. Best oyster shooter I ever had too! Big fan and will return!
Wanted to try something new on a recent ...
Wanted to try something new on a recent trip to Charleston. This meal was the highlight of our meals out (including some venerable and well known spots). We opted to order small plates so we could have a lot of tasting options. The baked oysters were amazing-we ordered them both ways and each were equally delicious. Also tried the clam strips, which are definitely not your HoJo clam strips of the past. First of all it's a huge serving. The flavors trend a little bit towards Asian and are deeply satisfying. The creole shrimp was a hit with my husband. It has a lot of bacon flavor, balanced by a hint of mustard. The green salad was a good counterpoint, but not very memorable. Dessert! Waiter tried to steer us to some local ice cream spots, but we are so happy we ordered the oatmeal cookie blondie with ice cream. Gooey, hot, delicious.
Cool place in the main dining room, that ...
Cool place in the main dining room, that is what differentiates this place.
We changed our reservations at another restaurant specifically because of the pics posted by others. Hostess took us to a dark hallway where there is constant server traffic. I requested to be moved to the main dining area where here were open seats but was denied. We should have simply left but the family was hungry.
The waitress was nice, food good, but the experience was ruined by eating in the hallway. When making a reservation tell them you want the main dining area so you can enjoy what you are paying for. Food not much different than 100 other restaurants in the area.
Party of 3 enjoyed 4 different menu item ...
Party of 3 enjoyed 4 different menu items--crab salad, dozen oysters, salmon cake eggs benedict, and fried oysters/shrimp combo---all delicious. Wonderfully smart decor in vintage building, excellent service, reasonably priced food and beverages. Delightful Sunday brunch fun. Local residents will definitely return.
The selection of oysters is smaller than ...
The selection of oysters is smaller than I'm used to however they were so delicious. The cocktails were unique and very good. The menu is small, but the food was amazing. The staff was very attentive and made great recommendations. We will definitely be coming back.
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