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

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.5

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

93% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (82)
Hot Spot (61)
Bar Seating (60)
See All
Casual (58)
Fit for Foodies (58)
Special Occasion (54)
Local Ingredients (53)
Fun (50)
Vibrant Bar Scene (42)
Handcrafted Cocktails (41)
Happy Hour (41)
Neighborhood Gem (40)
People Watching (40)
Good for Birthdays (39)
Good for Groups (35)
Creative Cuisine (32)
Romantic (31)
Authentic (24)
Good for Anniversaries (24)
Modern Decor (23)
Worth the Drive (18)
Sunday Lunch (17)
Great for Lunch (17)
Comfort Food (17)
Great for Brunch (17)
Cozy (16)
Pre/post Theatre (15)
Business Meals (14)
Healthy (12)
Great Beer (10)
Seasonal (10)
Late-night Find (9)
Quick Bite (9)
Historic (8)
Quiet Conversation (7)
Tasting Menu (7)
Gluten Free Options (6)
Tapas (6)
Kid-friendly (5)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Scenic View (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Vegan (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Open Kitchen (2)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Live Sports (1)
Outstanding Value (1)
Waterfront (1)
Family Style (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Spicy (1)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
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432 reviews
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vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined 3 days ago

I love that this restaurant does not have a television in the bar! The food and service is very good. The oyster selection changes and is always good. On our most recent visit I had oysters which were fresh as can be and beautifully presented. The snapper cerviche was wonderfully flavorful with a lovely texture. The blue crab tagliatelle was fantastic but I expected to see lumps of crab. Nevertheless it tasted great. The key lime pie seemed salty. I don't know if that was intentional or a mistake. I always enjoy the oyster bar manhattan. I like this place.

Tags: Casual, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined 4 days ago

Outstanding seafood, great service, beautiful location. A Charleston must-visit!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 5 days ago

Wonderful time this weekend! It was fantastic! Loved the fry basket! So delicious!

Tags: Comfort Food, People Watching, Special Occasion, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Paleo Friendly, Cozy, Casual, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined 6 days ago

We arrived at 9:30p for a late dinner. The service (Carly) was friendly and impeccable. The restaurant has great ambience with the fresh seafood/oyster bar in the front window. Food was delicious, including the beef tataki, ouester fry basket, shrimp and grits and pork chop. My wife would have enjoyed a little pasta or different vegetables with the diver scallops.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 6 days ago

Great service, good oyster selection. The bartenders were great!

Tags: Romantic, Quick Bite, Vibrant Bar Scene, Tapas, Hot Spot, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on June 18, 2017

We have eaten here a few times. If you love Fresh Oysters and Seafood, this is an excellent choice. We ordered a variety of raw oysters on the half shell. They were very good! The Hush puppies are amazing. I had the local catch which was tilefish, my husband had the blue crab pasta. Both were delicious. My daughter and her husband had shrimp and Grits and also the diver scallops. Both outstanding! They also have some interesting bar drinks. The fish house punch is yummy.

Tags: Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Casual, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Quick Bite, Fun, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on June 18, 2017

Excellent service, atmosphere and food. Who could want anything more from a restaurant? I give it 5Stars! a not to miss in the fine city of Charleston, SC

Tags: Special Occasion, People Watching, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Nashville)·Dined on June 18, 2017

Fabulous brunch!!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 17, 2017

This was my third time here, and it did not disappoint. My friends and I love the "tapas" approach to smaller portions, so that we can share and try new things. Top line seafood. The hush puppies were a little greasy tonight, and the server wasn't as sharp as the last two we've had. Nevertheless, it's one of our favorite restaurants in Charleston.

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food5
ambience5
service4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on June 17, 2017

Get the lobster roll and drinks

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 16, 2017

A-mazing food!!!! Absolutely loved the food and the decor!!

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

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 15, 2017

Absolutely wonderful! It was the Top 5 best meals I've ever had!! It blew my mind and expectations.

Tags: Healthy, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Paleo Friendly, Worth the Drive, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on June 15, 2017

Josh was great!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 13, 2017

Amazing raw bar. Very cool atmosphere. Try the lobster and crab roll!

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

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 13, 2017

Had a 7 PM reservation. Got seated at a two seat high top table with pub chairs, a bit small for two people. If you have a group they have some nice booth seating. Had shrimp and grits and greens with ham. Both were delicious. The greens were among the best we have eaten in Charleston. Would return - menu is a bit limited. We did have 1.5 dozen oysters James River were on happy hour special for $1 each.

Posted photo's on my Yelp check in.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Casual, Special Occasion, Fun
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on June 13, 2017

Food was mediocre. Great atmosphere and service.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on June 12, 2017

I wish the horseradish wasn't pickled. I prefer a fresh horseradish on my oysters.

Tags: Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Bar Seating, Fun, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Tapas, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 11, 2017

You can always count on getting good oysters here. We tried shrimp it was good but not a great value considering where they are sourced from. We sat at Table closest to door I recommend asking for one further back or sit at bar. I would go back for sure!

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on June 11, 2017

Great food, and a great time! Love this place! It's my go to restaurant in Charleston!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 11, 2017

All of the food was amazing! There could've been more grits in the shrimp and grits entre.

Tags: Good for a Date, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (St. Louis)·Dined on June 9, 2017

We had an amazing experience at the Darling Oyster Bar! Our waitress was very outgoing, sweet, knowledgeable and attentive. The food was simply fantastic. Especially the Alabama White Oysters! My wife loved the scallops.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, People Watching, Special Occasion, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on June 9, 2017

amazing cocktails, amazing food, fun ambiance! we will definitely be back!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 8, 2017

The fresh oysters were good. They came from different areas, so it was nice to be able to try
them. The baked oysters were good too. Ordered the Shrimp and Grits but would not recommend unless you ask for sauce/gravy on side. The grits just disappeared in the sauce/gravy. I asked the waitress to tell the chef and her response was I recommend a spoon!
I told her no, and she brought it anyway. Ate the shrimp out of dish, and left the rest. The hush puppies were dark and overcooked.Plus, they had no flavor. I am from Washington DC area and
used to fine dining. I made a reservation through Open table and read the reviews from others before I visited Charleston. I had Shrimp and Grits at other restaurants during my visit, and they were really good and not swimming in sauce/gravy. I was very disappointed because I
I had high expectations. The specialty drink was good. I liked the decor and ambience.

Tags: Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service2
value2

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

Great place!

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

 
 (E. Tennessee)·Dined on June 4, 2017

The fried Brussels sprouts are good w/ shrimp and grits.

Tags: Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on June 4, 2017

Great restaurant. One of the best meals we experienced on our trip.

Tags: Authentic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 3, 2017

Food was fresh service was wonderful it was a exceptional meal

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on June 2, 2017

We had an amazing night at the Darling..once again. This time we were celebrating a milestone birthday and the entire staff went out of the way to help make it special. Our server was Outstanding! and cannot say enough good things about her. Oyster selection was superb and the fish of the day was just delicious. Thank you Darling Oyster and see you soon!

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, People Watching, Hot Spot, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on May 31, 2017

Horrible service and uninspired food. Table of 4 $300 tab. One main course from raw bar $45 served 20 minutes after 3 hot meals were served. We all ate cold meals. Worst dining experience in Charleston on a Wednesday (not busy) night. Non apologetic staff. Thumbs down.

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food1
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 31, 2017

Had a great time went around 4:00 and it was perfect timing! Had a delicious glass of wine along with a ICE tray of shrimp, oysters, clams, and crab. It was unforgettable and delicious!

Tags: Romantic, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Tulsa)·Dined on May 31, 2017

Excellent food. Fantastic service! I will go back the next time I visit Charlston.

Tags: People Watching, Cozy, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on May 30, 2017

I ordered the fish special and it was delicious. Everyone else ordered a fry basket. The shrimp, oysters and fries all tasted the same. The seasonings were over powering to the food. We would go back for happy hour and oysters but not for dinner.

Tags: Disabled Access, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on May 30, 2017

Great food! Oysters amazing, dishes large. Nice setting, dies down quick at night.

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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on May 29, 2017

Repeat visit after a period of time from an out of towner. Just as good as the first visit. The Darling continues the Charleston tradition of extreme hospitality and precise service...and of course the food is amazing.

Tags: Gluten Free Options, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Quick Bite, Kid-friendly, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 29, 2017

Amazing seafood, service, and beautifully decorated.

Tags: Happy Hour, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Healthy, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Bar Seating, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 28, 2017

We requested a both but were refused. This is the second time the hostess would not accommodate a quiet table. Not sure we will return.

Tags: Casual, Hot Spot
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on May 28, 2017

Food was mediocre, the service was very slow and not very helpful, and I found the dining area very dark and disconnected from the general theme.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on May 28, 2017

Disappointing atmosphere, extremely loud. Food was absolutely delicious, cocktails were not. We had reservations made a week prior and were seated at the bar table and had 5-7 drunk college kids elbowing us and leaning on our table. Finally decided we were going to ask to be seated elsewhere and if not accommodated, would leave. Glad we were able to request to be seated elsewhere after dealing with that for 10 min. Waiter did not ask if we would like dessert, not sure if the restaurant even serves dessert. After spending $170 on dinner, would not return.

Tags: Bar Seating
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food5
ambience2
service2
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 28, 2017

Seated at busy front door :(

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food4
ambience1
service2
value3

 
 (Mobile)·Dined on May 27, 2017

Good food...hip atmosphere...won't break the bank. Try the creole shrimp and collards!

Tags: Bar Seating, Cozy, Special Occasion, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

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