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
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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

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The Darling Oyster Bar - The Darling Oyster Bar, Charleston, SC

The Darling Oyster Bar Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.3

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.0

noise

Moderate

90% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (38)
Fun (28)
Local Ingredients (24)
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Bar Seating (24)
Neighborhood Gem (22)
Special Occasion (20)
Fit for Foodies (19)
Modern Decor (17)
Romantic (16)
Hot Spot (16)
Handcrafted Cocktails (14)
Good for Anniversaries (14)
Good for Groups (14)
People Watching (13)
Casual (12)
Authentic (12)
Good for Birthdays (12)
Vibrant Bar Scene (12)
Cozy (10)
Creative Cuisine (10)
Pre/post Theatre (8)
Happy Hour (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Healthy (7)
Open Kitchen (7)
Historic (6)
Worth the Drive (6)
Sunday Lunch (5)
Great Beer (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Business Meals (5)
Great for Brunch (5)
Outstanding Value (4)
Gluten Free Options (4)
Notable Wine List (3)
Seasonal (3)
Scenic View (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Family Style (2)
Spicy (2)
Kid-friendly (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Organic (1)
Molecular Gastronomy (1)
Tapas (1)
Late-night Find (1)
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252 reviews
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Amazing food and service! Would definite ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 4 days ago

Amazing food and service! Would definitely go back!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This place is next door to some of the n ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 4 days ago

This place is next door to some of the nicest restaurants, in a city known for being packed with exceptional restaurants. The Darling Oyster did not disappoint. The food and service were top-notch. We all had a great time, and I look forward to returnin

Tags: Good for a Date, Family Style, Modern Decor, Open Kitchen, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great service. Good was OK, nothing exce ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined 6 days ago

Great service. Good was OK, nothing exceptional. They tried very hard. Limited menu. I would go back. I would not recommend the clam chowder over fries unless you really like fries with toppings.

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food3
ambience4
service5

The Bloody Mary was amazing! Not a bad p ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined 7 days ago

The Bloody Mary was amazing! Not a bad price, and really unique and tasty. I didn't get the captain, but added a hush puppy and crab leg onto my Bloody Mary. It was so good and worth the price! Definitely recommend.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our Server Evan was great

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Our Server Evan was great

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Having only had cocktails and a few pre- ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 15, 2017

Having only had cocktails and a few pre-dinner oysters here, couldn't wait to come for dinner. The Darling didn't disappoint! Oysters on the half, shrimp dip and calamari to start; followed by a variety of plates. Calamari is often overlooked by our group, glad we tried it - probably the best preparation I've ever had!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Very disappointing having been there pre ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 14, 2017

Very disappointing having been there previously. Made reservation and was placed at table next to kitchen. At my request, was then moved to another table closer to door which was cold with door opening frequently.

We stayed for a drink and oysters - then left and went to another King St restaurant. I wouldn't go there again.

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food5
ambience1
service4
value2

Had a very good seafood meal with my two ...

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 14, 2017

Had a very good seafood meal with my two adult daughters. Raw oysters were wonderful and my grouper special was great as well. Drinks were well made and they had a nice wine list as well. Service from Shady was excellent. Recommended

Tags: Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Healthy, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, People Watching
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food5
ambience4
service5
value3

One of my new favorites in Charleston. G ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 11, 2017

One of my new favorites in Charleston. Good all around, but the atmosphere was the best. Great for business dinner (formal, but fun) as well as a date. Will definitely recommend and be back.

Tags: Late-night Find, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Romantic, Good for Groups, Fun, Good for a Date, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Went with friends for Sunday brunch. Gre ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 8, 2017

Went with friends for Sunday brunch. Greeted promptly, professional waitstaff and fabulous food.

Will definitely be back!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Modern Decor, Creative Cuisine, Great for Brunch, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Fun, People Watching, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We love this place. The food is always g ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 7, 2017

We love this place. The food is always good and you can't beat the happy hour oysters.

Tags: Great Beer, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Tasting Menu, Casual, Fun, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Good food and our waitress was nice.

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on January 4, 2017

Good food and our waitress was nice.

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food4
ambience4
service4

Great atmosphere! The food wasn't out-of ...

 
 (Western NC)·Dined on January 1, 2017

Great atmosphere! The food wasn't out-of-this-world, and it is a little pricey for what you get. But I'd recommend checking this place out. The service was wonderful, and we really enjoyed our experience!

Tags: Scenic View, Sunday Lunch, Tapas, Good for a Date, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food3
ambience5
service5
value2

This was our third visit, and it is good ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on January 1, 2017

This was our third visit, and it is good to very good overall. The atmosphere is hip and lively, but not overly so. I don't eat Oysters, but this is one of my husband's three favorite places for them in the area. All four of us enjoyed our food, which included sea and land choices. The large banquette tables are good for groups up to six.

Tags: Open Kitchen, Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

We had an excellent experience, our serv ...

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 31, 2016

We had an excellent experience, our server Jill was Amazing!! The food recommendations she made were spot on. Will definitely be going back❤

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food5
ambience5
service5

Oyster spaghetti was unbelievable and oy ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 31, 2016

Oyster spaghetti was unbelievable and oyster shooters so fun!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Best house salad in the city! The baked ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 30, 2016

Best house salad in the city! The baked oysters are always great. Clam strips were great first time, overlooked second time. Emily is a great server!!

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Loud. Fish sandwich was horrible. ..bad ...

 
 (Cleveland)·Dined on December 29, 2016

Loud. Fish sandwich was horrible. ..bad bread, soggy lettuce, and at best a frozen, overcooked fillet. Shrimp app was good. The clam app could have been any clam strip from the frozen food secton that was amped up with drizzle of sauce.

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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

Good food but felt rushed...

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 28, 2016

Good food but felt rushed...

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food4
ambience4
service4

This was our first time dining at Darlin ...

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 27, 2016

This was our first time dining at Darlings. The oysters were outstanding but a little pricey. We also ordered from the main menu. The clam chowder had no clams and was tasteless. The side salad had way too much dressing. The creole shrimp over crab cakes would have been better if it had not been drenched in so much sauce. The scallops were wonderful and tasty. Our waiter had an attitude once we sent back the clam chowder. With so many other fantastic restaurants in Charleston I will not be returning to this one.

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food4
ambience5
service3
value4

I had my husbands surprise 40th birthday ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 27, 2016

I had my husbands surprise 40th birthday dinner with a party of ten and we had an incredible experience all around! We started with apps and cocktails and worked our way to the entrees. None of us had ever been to Darling and throughout the night we couldn't stop talking about how great everything was. The oysters to the salty yet sweet oatmeal cookie blonde that was brought out with a candle for my husband was absolutely delicious! Thank you for making this a great celebration for us!

Tags: Romantic, Fun, Pre/post Theatre, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Everything was outstanding. We had oyst ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 27, 2016

Everything was outstanding. We had oysters, oyster shooters, clam strips, lobster cocktail and the fried seafood basket. My cousin had the shrimp and grits and said it was the best she had ever eaten. I highly recommend this restaurant for all occassions.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

i've been here three times...every time ...

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 26, 2016

i've been here three times...every time with family...love the atmosphere and we had delicious oysters!!!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Seasonal, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I want to preface this review. Had I jus ...

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on December 25, 2016

I want to preface this review. Had I just been reviewing the oysters, my 'grades' would be different in terms of value and quality of food. My review is based on the total sum of the bill vs the quality of the other appetizers.

Having eaten at The Darling twice before, I was excited to bring my kids while they were in town for the holidays. We are all big oyster fans. My prior visits were strictly wine and oysters which were fabulous along with the ambiance and service. This visit we ordered several appetizers along with 2 dozen oysters and were very much disappointed with the quality of the food. Oysters were great but the ceviche, crab salad and tuna were tasteless. To be honest, had we not been so hungry, we would have sent all 3 back but it was Christmas Eve and we wanted to eat and get home.

In all fairness, I have never had one of their entrees but if you are looking for drinks and appetizers, my recommendation is to stick to the oysters and drinks.

DM

Travel Editor

Tags: Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
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food2
ambience5
service5
value2

We booked a table for early on Christmas ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 24, 2016

We booked a table for early on Christmas eve. The waitress was very attentive and friendly. I ordered a specialty cocktail that I was not thrilled with and she took it back without hesitating. The food was fantastic. I had the red fish special and my brother ordered the Shrimp and grits - both were outstanding. The building is a renovated historic storefront on a beautiful historic street. Highly recommend.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

This ranks in the top 3 meals ever for m ...

vip
 (Oklahoma City)·Dined on December 22, 2016

This ranks in the top 3 meals ever for me. Start to finish from drinks to food to service, just a wonderful experience. Get the seafood tower, great value and very indulgent. Fried clams were unexpected, and oysters were fresh and bright.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Atmosphere and décor good. Service good ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 19, 2016

Atmosphere and décor good. Service good. Oysters good. Entrees limited and the special catch of the day was only okay. Priced high for what you got. There are way too many other restaurants in the downtown area that I would go to before going back here.

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food2
ambience3
service4
value2

The Darling has a limited menu, plus of ...

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on December 18, 2016

The Darling has a limited menu, plus of course an array of oysters. The oysters were just right and very reasonably priced. I had the burger next, which was excellent and my wife had a very good shrimp salad. A good addition to the north King street area.

Tags: Comfort Food, Outstanding Value
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food4
ambience5
service4
value5

Very pleasant oyster bar at the top of K ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Very pleasant oyster bar at the top of Kings Street away from most of the tourist crowd. The place was quiet and was charming. There are lots of good options for all kinds of taste and the service is good but not intrusive to a good conversation. I thought this oyster vibe was quite different from some of the others in Charleston, but they all have their charm.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Excellent, warm service and delicious fr ...

vip
 (New England)·Dined on December 18, 2016

Excellent, warm service and delicious fresh oysters! Fun spot to meet friends for a drink and a little bite of Southern-inspired seafood!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

I have yet to have a bad item on the men ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 17, 2016

I have yet to have a bad item on the menu at this place. Fishermen's punch is one of my favorites as well as the flounder sandwich. Always have good music playing as well. Definately recomend for the raw bar/ fried seafood night.

Tags: Casual, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Fun
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

This was a very special night for my two ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 17, 2016

This was a very special night for my two daughters and I was a little surprised nothing was mentioned. When they ask if it's a special occasion when you make the reservation there has always in my experience been some sort of recognition. The food was amazing! This is such a great little spot. The biggest problem was our service. It took him 15 mins to get our drink order, didn't show back up for another 20 to take our food order, and since I had to get my girls to their performance we had no time for dessert, but we were there for 2 hours. To make a long story short the ONLY complaint I have was the service. I will be back!

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food5
ambience5
service2

Had a wonderful meal, great service and ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 12, 2016

Had a wonderful meal, great service and loved the atmosphere. Will definitely be coming back here!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Went here on my last night in Charleston ...

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on December 10, 2016

Went here on my last night in Charleston and it was the best meal I had. The food was phenomenal.

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food5
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service5

As usual, The Darling delivered. We wer ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 10, 2016

As usual, The Darling delivered. We were there after the King St Sip and Stroll and the festive atmosphere carried over in to The Darling. We enjoyed tremendous stone crab claws, fried oysters (the best!) , and the skate special, all of which was delicious. Our waitstaff was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and attentive. I truly have never had anything but a fabulous experience at The Darling. It's a favorite and I recommend to anyone coming to town for a visit or who hasn't tried it.

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food5
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service5
value4

Lovely place--imaginative menu, friendly ...

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 9, 2016

Lovely place--imaginative menu, friendly efficient service, good food and drink. We were there in a Thursday night and the noise level was fine. I'll definitely return.

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food5
ambience5
service5

The clam chowder was excellent, but ever ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 6, 2016

The clam chowder was excellent, but everything else we ordered was very much over fried and pretty tasteless. There were six in our party and we all agreed we will not be back. Good luck!

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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

Amazing as always!

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 6, 2016

Amazing as always!

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food5
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Clam chowder was $10 and entirely devoid ...

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 6, 2016

Clam chowder was $10 and entirely devoid of clams.

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food3
ambience5
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Great ambiance, terrific menu and outsta ...

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on December 4, 2016

Great ambiance, terrific menu and outstanding server named Evan.

Will definitely return!

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food5
ambience5
service5

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