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

91% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (76)
Bar Seating (60)
Special Occasion (57)
See All
Hot Spot (54)
Fit for Foodies (51)
Casual (48)
Vibrant Bar Scene (45)
Fun (43)
Handcrafted Cocktails (43)
Local Ingredients (38)
Good for Birthdays (38)
Neighborhood Gem (34)
Happy Hour (33)
People Watching (32)
Good for Groups (32)
Good for Anniversaries (28)
Creative Cuisine (27)
Romantic (26)
Authentic (24)
Worth the Drive (22)
Business Meals (21)
Pre/post Theatre (21)
Cozy (21)
Great for Brunch (16)
Comfort Food (13)
Sunday Lunch (12)
Great for Lunch (11)
Seasonal (7)
Quick Bite (7)
Late-night Find (7)
Tapas (7)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Historic (4)
Notable Wine List (4)
Scenic View (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Vegan (3)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Modern Decor (2)
Great Beer (2)
Spicy (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Live Sports (1)
Sort By:
S
516 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined 16 hours ago

Drinks were just okay. The seafood itself was really fresh, but a couple of the preparations were kind of lacking. Red snapper ceviche wasn't actually ceviche, but more of a crudo (raw fish). Still good, but I wanted the lime-y kick of real ceviche. The seared diver scallops were delicious, but the summer vegetable succotash that came with them was a little uninteresting. I didn't have the shrimp and grits, but my companion said it was pretty good.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined a day ago

Excellent Sunday Brunch!!

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

 
·Dined 2 days ago

Shrimp and Grits--best I have had in Charleston.

Oysters. ---Yum

Little Necks - delish

Diver Scallops--- Amazing.

Peach and Goat Cheese with jumbo lump Crab bruschetta.

Great food and great service. Will be back.

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

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined 3 days ago

Loved our waitress Emily for making it such an enjoyable evening for us!

Tags: Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

Great oysters and cocktails, however the entrees were not up to par. The blue crab tagliatelle was extremely underwhelming--the vegetables looked like they were frozen. However, the ambiance was great and the oysters and cocktails did live up to their reputation.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value2

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 13, 2017

We had a great time at The Darling Oyster Bar! We were visiting Charleston on vacation, and my sister wanted to try oysters for the first time. Our waitress was incredibly helpful and nice, and the food was exceptional.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on August 13, 2017

We really enjoyed our oysters and drinks and the grilled octopus salad was delicious too! The server was so nice and very helpful. Overall a great experience!!

Tags: Business Meals, Bar Seating, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on August 13, 2017

We celebrated our daughter's 21st birthday. Cocktails were great. Food was really good. One of our daughters is vegetarian, and our waitress worked with the Chef for a meal my daughter said was really incredible. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, People Watching, Fun, Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Authentic, Vegan, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on August 13, 2017

If you dine here,ask for Jill "the teacher"! Wine and seafood extraordinaire! Pleasant dining experience, made better by our lovely server.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 12, 2017

We truly enjoyed the layout and design of this oyster bar. Our server was attentive and helpful. Three of us ordered baskets and one of us ordered the sea scallops. My husband had raw oysters to start. The two who ordered the fried shrimp baskets could not say enough about their selection. They liked them very much and they also appreciated flexibility of side selections for their orders. I ordered the fried oyster basket, one of my favorite shellfish to eat anywhere. Unfortunately, my oysters were overshadowed by the abundance of batter around them. It was just too darn much, so, of course, I was disappointed. I would highly recommend a light breading, so that one can appreciate the flavor of the oysters. I would go back and try something else. My husband thought for the price of the sea scallop entry, one more scallop should have been included for the price. He also was surprised that the raw oysters were not attached to their shell.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Brighton)·Dined on August 12, 2017

Morgan was hands down the best server - his recommendations and knowledge of the menu was spot on! Highly recommended restaurant!

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

 
 (Toronto)·Dined on August 11, 2017

The Darling has a comfortable and relaxed vibe which carries on into the very friendly and promote service at the table. Creative cocktails and a good selection of fresh oysters were a great start to our meal. The daily catch yellowfin tuna was well seared and tasty.

Tags: Business Meals, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on August 11, 2017

We came for my friends 40th. Our server was attentive and sweet. The shrimp and grits were by far the best I have ever had. The after dinner drinks certainly didn't disappoint. Enjoy!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 9, 2017

Service....OUTSTANDING...Food... Authentic and deeeelishious! True southern taste. I travel to all corners of the States and the world. I was impressed with the service quality and the great experience. I highly recommend. A true gem! Thank you

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Tasting Menu, Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre, Healthy, Disabled Access, Fun, Romantic, Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tapas, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Casual, Business Meals, Great for Lunch, Vibrant Bar Scene, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 8, 2017

Shrimp cocktail shrimp were squishy. Green salad was great. The poke bowl was forgettable. The clam strips are very tasty.
Our server was great! The hostesses ignored us at the hostess stand when we arrived to check in and instead they welcomed a group of four in front of us - Skipped over us / ignored us - I was utterly unimpressed from that moment until we met our server who changed the vibe of our experience completely.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 7, 2017

Great selection of oysters! The swordfish was deliciously prepared, fresh and moist.

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

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on August 6, 2017

Great seafood and good cocktail list. All the food was great and I really loved the room. It is on the pricey side, but I guess that is just fine dining in Charleston.

Tags: Fun, Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Fairly undistinguished. e.g. The poke ahi tuna sold at Costco is a world better than their flavorless variety.

The service was fine. The ambience was nice.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service3
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 4, 2017

OK overall. The tuna poke bowl wasn't very good though, and I got sick that evening from it. Cocktails were good. We were probably seated in the worst table, right next to the entrance. I won't come back any time soon.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on August 4, 2017

Anniversary dinner. Fried oysters were amazing as were the king crab legs

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

 
·Dined on August 3, 2017

Great, unique food. Atmosphere was good. Staff was knowledgeable of the menu items. Service was top notch. Definitely going back!

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on August 1, 2017

One to remember!!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Charleston)·Dined on August 1, 2017

The food was amazing however our experience was ruined by poor service. Server disregarded that we wanted our food to go and we lost our left overs.

Tags: Comfort Food, Cozy, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service1
value4

 
 (Nashville)·Dined on August 1, 2017

Wish I lived in Charleston! It was amazing. Wish I could remember the waitress name. She was a teacher and fabulous!!

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

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 1, 2017

We had a wonderful time. Nice atmosphere and the good and service was excellent@

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

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on July 31, 2017

Love the decor. Scallops, oysters, and lobster roll were so good. Definitely a repeat visit.

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

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on July 31, 2017

Hot fries with clam chowder.... it's a must!!! Great atmosphere and location! Will be back for sure!!

Tags: People Watching, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Business Meals, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on July 30, 2017

We visited Sunday evening for a low key date night. We had reservations & were seated right away. I even loved the seating choice for us, it was curved booth for two, very romantic! Our waiter was very informative, helpful & attentive. I loved that they had a variety of oysters, including a range in prices. Same with their wine list! My fiancé ordered the oysters & I had the lobster & crab roll with hushpuppies. DELISH! The lobster roll was a little heavy on the chives but overall was very good! Not my favorite but definitely on my list of top 3! The hushpuppies we're good as well, but definitely needed the butter that came with them. I absolutely LOVED the décor, feel & layout of the place. Highly recommend planning a visit here!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Handcrafted Cocktails, Gluten Free Options, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Sunday Lunch, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on July 30, 2017

We have been to Darling in the past and the raw bar was good. This time we went for Sunday brunch and the lobster roll as advertised on Darling's website. Well, the lobster roll on the actual menu was was very different in that it was not only prepared differently but also had crab with the lobster. We told the server who told us he would get his manager involved who never showed. The lobster/crab roll was less than satisfying.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Indiana)·Dined on July 29, 2017

The hush puppies were excellent. The oysters were good. The pasta dish was fair, I probably would not order the pasta dish again.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 29, 2017

We were able to make reservations the day we arrived in Charleston. We were greeted as soon as we entered and our table was ready. Our server was quick to greet us and take our drink order. We ended up ordering a few small dishes and sharing. They have great options for different tastes. Nice meal, nice atmosphere.

Tags: Tapas, Business Meals, Quick Bite, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 26, 2017

just a fantastic little find while visiting charleston....

Tags: Casual, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 26, 2017

We selected this one based on the open table reviews. The food, service and ambiance was superb. I had the oysters, then the tilefish special cooked perfectly. My better half had the fried clam strips whic was delicious and I had to help her with that. And she had the shrimp and grits also superb. I highly recommend this place

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on July 24, 2017

Wanted to check out a new place in Charleston and happy we decided to try Darling. We will be definitely be back!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on July 24, 2017

This place exceeded my expectations. It was amazing. I had 12 girls in my group and they sat us comfortably. The food was amazing and out wait staff were superb! Definitely going back next time I visit Charleston.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Fun, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on July 23, 2017

Enjoyed our dinner with some out of town visitors. Service was attentive and capable as usual. Just enjoy the place and being able to order small plates and put your own meal together to suit your taste that evening. Not gourmet standard which is reflected in the prices but certainly fine. Oysters nice and cold and crisp. Could use an expanded wine by the glass selection with more California choices but can usually find something suitable on existing list. I enjoy coming here and will come back next time in town.

Tags: Tapas, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on July 23, 2017

One of my favorite Charleston spots. The lobster roll! 😍

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

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on July 23, 2017

Cute spot..accommodating for a large group. However, expensive for some bland food and ok seafood. Many better choices in Charleston.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service3
value2

 
·Dined on July 21, 2017

Absolutely incredible!! Love this place. Must try the shrimp creole, tuna poke bowl, and the crab pasta on the menu.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Charlotte)·Dined on July 20, 2017

Absolutely fantastic. Fun, relaxing and very good food.

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

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.