Black Owned Restaurants In Charleston, SC

Black Owned restaurants are thriving in the city of Charleston.

Charleston, South Carolina is a gorgeous city known for its beaches and old-styled architecture. It is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and you can certainly see that in the city’s style. It is characterized by many cobblestone streets and antebellum houses. You will even find horse drawn carriages on the streets. The residents of Charleston have taken great care to preserve their city’s history. This is even more true for neighborhoods like the French Quarter and the Battery District. 

Another mainstay of this city is the black food culture. Food created and popularized by black people is a large part of South Carolina’s culture. Southern food has several influences that make it great. In Charleston, you will find several amazing restaurants that are black owned and operated. Many of these restaurants specialize in soul food and seafood, popular Charleston cuisines, and some focus on other foods like Mexican. Whatever your preference, you will likely find a black owned restaurant to fulfill it in Charleston!

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1. Hannibal’s Kitchen

This restaurant serves up foods from little known black American cultures

chinken and rice on the plate
This meal looks hearty and delicious. Image courtesy of Hannibal Kitchen

16 Blake St | Charleston |

Hannibal’s Kitchen serves some of the best soul food in the Charleston area. This restaurant prides itself on prioritizing its food rather than the aesthetic. While the place isn’t much to look at physically, you will be blown away by the food they offer. The food is based on the foods of the Gullah and Geechee cultures. These black cultures exist on the islands of South Carolina and have amazing food offerings. 

Hannibal’s offers a different soul food special each day. Some frequent features are turkey wings, oxtails, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and red rice. They offer all the well-known soul foods on top of unique ones that aren’t commonly found in other parts of the country. They offer dine-in service as well as catering. 

“Visited this place from out of town after seeing pics of crab rice and WOW it did not disappoint! So flavorful (just wish there was more of it!) We also ordered the fried flounder meal with mac & cheese and collard greens which was delicious (love that they give you the whole fish). Great food, great service, 100% will come back!” – Yelp

2. Rodney Scott’s BBQ

This restaurant offers all kinds of meat straight from their pit

Rodney Scott’s  meal
This meal will have you feeling beyond stuffed. Image courtesy of Atlanta Magazine.

1011 King St | Charleston |

Rodney Scott’s Barbeque is a barbeque restaurant that treats everyone who visits like a member of the family. They consider both the customers and their crew to be their family. They aim to spread food, love, fun, and positivity to everyone who visits. The founders are two people who met and shared a strong love for the art of barbeque, and they spread that joy in their restaurant every day. 

Their menu contains different meats like pork, chicken, and turkey that are pit cooked. They also offer beef and catfish, alongside several options for sides. Their sides include potato salad, mac and cheese, corn bread, and coleslaw among other things. They even have a few amazing desserts like apple hand pies and banana pudding!

“Some of the best South Carolina BBQ in the Charleston area! Definitely a must try when you're in town. Good selection of beer or draft. Fair prices for the draft beer too. Hard to pick what to order because there are so many good options. Definitely recommend going with a group and ordering a lot of different options to try. Some of my favorites are hush puppies, collard greens, baked beans, pulled pork, and wings. Rodney is known for the pulled pork so that's a must.” – Yelp

3. Delicious Carolina

Don’t miss out on outstanding meals from this private chef in Charleston

5318 Albert St | North Charleston | deljuanthechef

A little different from the rest of the restaurants featured in this list, Delicious Carolina is a private chef/catering enterprise owned and operated by Chef Deljuan Murphy. Specializing in local fresh southern cuisine, Chef Deljuan whips up irresistible homestyle dishes that feature an international twist. 

Delicious Carolina is the culmination of the experiences of Chef Deljuan over the years, from his travels around the globe and introductions with different cultures to the diverse assortment of people he has encountered. Relying heavily on locally sourced ingredients and spices, Delicious Carolina meals are made with love and carefully crafted to deliver great flavor in every bite. Catering service from Delicious Carolina is an excellent option for large groups and events such as weddings, birthdays, private parties, and other festive affairs that warrant good food and good company. 

4. Taste of the Islands

Bite into genuine Caribbean flavors in a comfortable setting

 Taste of the Islands
There is so much flavor packed into this picture that you can almost taste it. Image courtesy of Facebook

630 Skylark Dr | Charleston |

This family owned and operated restaurant used to be a humble joint for takeout only, but their food became so popular with the locals that they now run a full-service restaurant and bar. For folks who can’t get enough of authentic Caribbean cuisine, Taste of the Islands has a menu you don’t want to miss. 

Guests can indulge in the taste of traditional Jamaican food and Caribbean cooking traditions with menu options like jerk chicken, curried goat, beef oxtail, reggae salad, grilled salmon, coconut curry shrimp, okra, and plenty more. No matter which dish you decide to order when dining at Taste of the Islands, you can rest assured that you are going to be blown away by just how good it really is. 

“It's been three hours and I'm still full. The food was delicious and the portions were monumental, even for the medium sized entrees. Fantastic jerk chicken and ox tail, they were out of curry goat and roti so I went with the chicken curry and was not disappointed. There wasn't a single bad bite, the sides were also fantastic, perfectly cooked steamed veggies and epic mac and cheese. So fresh and very reasonably priced with friendly service, I'm looking forward to stopping by for a taste of the islands again soon!” – Yelp

5. Gillie’s Seafood

This seafood restaurant offers delicious comfort food from scratch

Gillie’s Seafood
Who doesn’t love a good bowl of jambalaya for lunch or dinner? Image courtesy of Facebook

805 Folly Rd | Charleston |

Gillie’s Seafood is where you go to get the type of food you can find in a black southern grandmother’s home. The food served here is inspired by the owner’s own grandmother, whose passed down recipes have shaped the food made at Gillie’s. This restaurant serves comfort food that is made from scratch. It will remind you of really good home cooking, especially because they make it with love!

The menu contains items like fried pork chops, meatloaf, shrimp, fried okra, and scallops. You can choose from a variety of seafood platters, and try their award winning shrimp and grits! The atmosphere makes you feel like you’re having Sunday dinner at your grandparents’ place, complete with desserts made from scratch!

“Best local cooking in Charleston. Family run and packed with flavor every time. The pork chop is always our favorite but we decided to change it up tonight and tried the shrimp and oyster tacos, an amazing choice. The collards and mashed potatoes were delicious, as usual. Don't forget to have the pineapple upside down cake. Thank you Gillies restaurant and staff for never disappointing.” – Yelp

6. Nigel’s Good Food

The seafood and soul food you’ll find at this restaurant is phenomenal

Nigel’s Good Food
This plate will satisfy any soul food craving. Image courtesy of TripAdvisor

3760 Ashley Phosphate Rd | Charleston |

Nigel’s Good Food is a family owned restaurant that specializes in soul food and seafood. The founder worked his way up in the food industry because of his passion for it, and all that hard work over the years reflects in this restaurant. Nigel’s Good Food has won several different awards. They won an Oyster Recipe Contest back in 2005 and placed second and third in subsequent years. They were even ranked as the number one restaurant by Geechee One Awards. 

Nigel’s serves soulfood and seafood in a relaxing environment with great customer service. They serve baked turkey wings, fried chicken, BBQ ribs, stew chicken, and smothered pork chops among other soul food offerings. On the seafood menu, you’ll find whiting, oysters, scallops, deviled crab, and shrimp. Their most popular seafood dishes are salmon steak and seafood gumbo. 

“Nigel's Good Food on Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston is a great place to go for some of the most delicious and flavorful food in the area. I really like the location and laid back atmosphere that they have available here. I have really enjoyed every meal that I have had from here.” – Yelp

7. House of Flavor 843

Every entree at this restaurant delivers an unbeatable flavor profile

6278 SC-162 | Hollywood | house_of_flavor843

It may not be the first restaurant you think of when dining in Charleston, but even though it’s a little out of the way, House of Flavor 843 is a joint worth checking out. Located west of Charleston out on Highway 162, House of Flavor has a kitchen that does not disappoint when it comes to flavor. 

House of Flavor 843 has built up a reputation for itself around town as an exceptional soul food restaurant with a plethora of unique entrees that are packed with unrivaled flavor. Try out tender oxtail over rice, fried shrimp with salad, hot wings, lamb chops, ribeye, and even fresh-baked waffles if you’re craving something a little sweeter. However you prefer to dine, House of Flavor has a dish you will fall head over heels for. 

“It was our first time trying here and we loved it!!! Very flavorful! My husband loved the Lamp Chop bowl. The wings are tasteful and the shrimp is good too. The hush puppies were my favorite. I wish I knew they tasted that good. I would have ordered more. Can't wait to come back and try other menu options.” – Google review 

8. Mesu

A restaurant known for its fun fusion done with food and design

This display looks as good as it tastes. Image courtesy of America’s Cuisine

570 King St | Charleston |

Mesu is a Mexican and sushi restaurant. There you will find a combination of elements that come together to create a unique culinary experience for any visitors that drop by. The creative food combinations combine with an artistic and energetic atmosphere. It will make you feel about as excited as the food does. The menu includes tacos with shrimp, carnitas, chorizo, and seaweed salad. They have sushi rolls with salmon, ahi tuna, and lobster cream cheese, along with great desserts like fried flan and caramel filled churros. 

There is a full bar with drinks that vary as much as the food. They have a unique list of sake, tequila, and many more fun cocktails. It makes a great complement to their food menu. Everything about this place is fun and creative! It really shows you how fun fusion food can be. 

“This place is great to kick off your night out on the town! It's central to all the bars and they play good music. They have sushi or Tex mex options, which add some uniqueness and I think is a good place if you're not sure what your party wants to eat. Their cocktails are great and they also have a full bar!” – Yelp

9. Sommba Cocina

Small plates and great bottles of wine – what more could you ask for?

Sommba Cocina
Sommba may be known for their wine selection, but don’t shy away from the cocktails. Image courtesy of Facebook

1710 Shoremeade Rd #450 | Mt Pleasant |

If all you need is a glass of wine to be happy, then you’ll have no trouble finding your happy place at Sommba Cocina in Mt Pleasant, located directly east of Charleston. A locally owned bistro and bar modestly tucked away in the Indigo Square Shopping Center, Sommba Cocina gives guests an authentic Spanish tapas experience alongside a generous wine cellar housing varieties like sparkling, chardonnay, pinot noir, and sauvignon blanc. 

Sommba breaks away from the traditional southern fare of the region and focuses more on vintage wines and Spanish cuisine. Customers dine in an energetic and vibrant atmosphere and select from an alluring spread of Mediterranean-inspired tapas and appetizers, healthy salads, soups, outstanding sandwiches, exceptional main courses, and decadent desserts to finish off the meal. Small plates are certainly where it’s at when dining at Sommba Cocina, but don’t let that stop you from trying out everything that your heart desires!

“My new favorite date spot for pre or post movie treats with my husband. Classy, elegant, and comfortable space with a beautiful bar and lovely music. Cava by the glass is delicious, dry, and reasonably priced. Great higher rated sommelier choices in a large pour. Frito Misti was fantastic blend of flavors with shishitos, calamari, and local shrimp. Paella, salads, fresh sliced meats, and interesting cocktails give a lot of options. Vegetarian and gluten-free friendly. The food arrived quickly and service was great.” – Yelp 

10. Bertha’s Kitchen 

Your gateway to delicious down-home cooking in the city

Bertha’s Kitchen meal - fried chicken
The fried chicken comes out perfectly crispy for a remarkable, juicy bite. Image courtesy of Yelp

2332 Meeting Street Rd | North Charleston | berthas-kitchen

Simply craving unpretentious, homestyle southern soul food in a casual setting that doesn’t try to impress with needless fancy? Bertha’s Kitchen is where you want to be. A no-frills counter-serve restaurant that is hailed as an American classic, Bertha’s Kitchen is just north of Charleston proper and has been in business since 1979. 

Customers will find all manner of homestyle southern soul food on the menu at Bertha’s Kitchen. Some of the items you’ll find on the menu here include fried rice, okra soup, red rice and pork chops, collard greens, fried chicken legs, crab balls, and macaroni and cheese. With a lovely family dining atmosphere in a laid-back setting, Bertha’s Kitchen is an ideal place for individual or group dining. 

“If you want an authentic southern food and experience, this place is it! We had one of the best meal since we moved to South Carolina here. The red rice is well seasoned. The chicken, both baked and fried are cooked to perfection. Every sides are just delicious. I still dream about the cabbage. Do not cheat yourself out of good cabbage. Order it.” – Yelp

Charleston is a great city to visit if you want to enjoy black-owned restaurants that specialize in seafood and soul food. The restaurants on this list are well loved, and you would be doing yourself a favor if you were to visit them to find out why for yourself!

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