It’s difficult to believe that in May 1780, while sitting in a waterfront restaurant on Daniel Island, looking out at the peaceful Wando River in front of the newly developed Daniel Island Waterfront, the infamous pirate, Blackbeard, blocked the Charleston port not far from here, plundering ships and taking hostages in exchange for a chest of medicine.
The island has a lengthy history and is located between the Wando and Cooper rivers.
A massive live tree along the Waterfront dates back to before Columbus reached the New World. Etiwan People previously occupied the island, as shown by shards of pottery and other antiquities.
Robert Daniell, after whom the island is named, served as deputy governor of South Carolina from 1717 to 1718.
The island supplied yellow pine and live oaks for the development of adjacent Charles Towne, as well as for the shipbuilding industry of the time.
Henry Guggenheim bought most of Daniel Island in 1946 and used it primarily for farming, a cattle ranch, and a private hunting resort. It remained underdeveloped until the completion of Interstate 526 in 1992.
The Foundation created a master plan for the island, which is now just a 30-minute trip from downtown Charleston.
It was purchased by Daniel Island Company in 1997 and then sold to East-West Partners. Both firms earned Institute awards for excellence in urban land development.
The island is divided into eight communities, each with its own park, and a downtown center with stores, restaurants, and condos.
Daniel Island features a world-class selection of eateries.
Whether you desire traditional Southern cuisine or something a little more adventurous, Daniel Island has plenty of options. This post will tell you about eleven of the top Daniel Island eateries.
DIME is located next to The Kingstide and is managed by the same corporation (The Daniel Island Market and Eatery.) This waterside Gourmet Market and Restaurant is already a popular destination.
The quaint venue has floor-to-ceiling windows with Hampton blue trim and a historical exhibit on the wall. The lovely courtyard allows for al fresco eating, and opposite the DIME, at the Waterfront Park, there is a hammock garden for take-outs.
Consumers love the freshly brewed artisanal coffees prepared from Springbok Coffee Roasters’ freshly roasted beans.
Breakfast, light lunch, and dessert options are provided. Try the DIME for breakfast on Daniel Island.
Not in the mood to dine out tonight? Click here to have Grubhub deliver right to your door from the greatest restaurants in town.
Visiting other places in North Carolina? Check out our other tasty guides:
- The Best Hilton Head Restaurants
- 13 Best Lexington NC Restaurants
- 1 South Carolina’s Top 10 Daniel Island Restaurants
South Carolina’s Top 10 Daniel Island Restaurants
The season of Kingstide
843-216-3832 River Landing Dr
The Kingstide restaurant has a prominent position on the newly built Waterfront, overlooking a stretch of the Charleston harbor.
The Waterfront, which includes brand new residences, a restaurant and a coffee shop, a hammock garden, a boat club, a ferry service to downtown, and access to miles of trails, is quickly becoming the focal center of Daniel Island.
The nautical-themed, two-tiered restaurant has magnificent, enormous windows that enable natural light to highlight the beautiful woodwork, metal, stone tiles, and antiquities.
The terraces are well-appointed, with lots of patio seating and magnificent views of the Wando River.
Jason Bearden, the manager, is enthused about Charleston locals and tourists arriving by boat for supper, and he says they hope to provide a boat valet service.
When we walked in, I saw the open wood fire grill area and the seafood bar with high seats where the kitchen crew was busily shucking oysters.
This premium restaurant on Daniel Island is easygoing and delightfully boisterous, despite its sophistication.
Gina, a kind member of the staff, greeted us at the door and escorted us to our seat. We perused the menu after discussing the well-balanced wine selection with our attentive waitress, Jacqueline.
The diversity and uniqueness of the products astounded us.
This is Daniel Island’s top seafood restaurant, serving fresh shrimp, oysters, clams, lobster, and much more, all cooked in-house. The Seafood Towers, dubbed Lowtide, Hightide, and Kingstide, piqued my interest.
We decided on two dishes for the table, beginning with grilled octopus with romesco sauce and field peas. The octopus was solid and had a smokey taste that was complemented by the beautifully seasoned tomato-based sauce.
My buddy was afraid to try raw fish, but the tuna tartare quickly dispelled her reservations.
The delicious combination of tuna, ginger, soy, avocado, chilis, and scallions was wonderfully complemented by the crispy sesame milk crackers produced in-house.
I ordered the seasonal catch, which turned out to be swordfish, with English peas, pine nuts, and whipped potato for my main course. My entrée was accented with a bowl of very excellent roasted and grilled carrots.
My companion chose to forego the fish in favor of a Tavern steak. She enjoyed the soft hanger steak, a premium cut of meat praised for its taste. Chef Kevin Getzewich offered the beef in thick slices, charcoaled on the outside but pink on the inside, with bearnaise aioli and fries.
It was difficult to choose a final dessert among the tempting options. I chose the coconut cheesecake with raspberry sauce. The melt-in-your-mouth amount was ideal, and a nice cup of coffee rounded off the meal.
My buddy described her dessert, a Blondie with mesquite ice cream, as the perfect finale to an outstanding meal. We both felt that a restaurant of The Kingstides’ level was a boon to the community and deserved to be included among the top Daniel Island eateries.
Island Park Drive, Suite A (843) 471-1598901 Island Park Drive, Suite A
Restaurant LIDI’s eye-catching outside paintings welcome visitors to Little Italy, which is located on the crossroads of Daniel Island and River Landing Drive.
Sophie Nemethy, director of The Creative Canopy, commissioned the whimsical pieces of art, which were finished in March 2014. The ambience of an Italian family restaurant on Daniel Island is enhanced by red-and-white checkered tablecloths.
I adore the Italian saying stated on the website: A tavola non sinvecchia, which means that sitting around the table with wonderful friends and family never gets old.
Travis James, who has been the manager of Ristorante LIDI for about seven years, greeted us warmly. In answer to my inquiry, he informed us that one of the restaurant’s two partners is of direct Italian descent.
The restaurant is run as a family company that caters to the community and extended families. The management participates in several charitable activities and works hard to promote local interests.
Travis said, As far as the culinary crew is concerned, we all come from diverse backgrounds and offer numerous inspirations to the cooking here, but our Nonna must agree.
Moreover, we collaborate closely with Italian merchants to bring in genuine ingredients.
I went there twice, once for a bar lunch with friends and once for supper. The bar area was quiet, with soothing music playing in the background.
The Padua Spritz was suggested as an aperitif by the server: its distinct flavor is preserved in a secret formula unaltered since 1919. Afterwards, we added a splash of citrus.
The brilliant orange Aperol liqueur, blended with prosecco sparkling wine and a dash of soda over ice, definitely lived up to its name.
We chose from the antipasto and panini menus.
We enjoyed the diverse textures and flavors of the small dishes, which included stuffed mushrooms, polpette (slow-cooked pig and veal meatballs in marinara), covered with marinara, and served on warm sub sandwiches.
We also dined on ravioli loaded with chicken, spinach, and parmesan and cooked with asparagus, peas, shallots, and spinach coated in lemon butter.
A week later, I returned for supper and ordered the lump blue crab with cream sherry soup. It was a chilly evening, and the richness of the warm, lumpy soup was just what the doctor ordered. This meal comes highly recommended by me.
When I was looking at the menu, Travis noted, I believe all of our menu items are wonderful, but the Pesce del Giorno, the daily fish special, is outstanding. The item varies often, giving our culinary crew a chance to show off their skills.
I gave in and tried the Dijon mustard-crusted tuna with grilled marinated eggplant, artichoke hearts, tomato relish, shallots, and cream cheese. The Dijon mustard went nicely with the perfectly cooked, rare tuna.
The grilled eggplant and chewy artichoke were an intriguing addition to the fish. The capers and sweet tomato toppings provided an unexpected acidity, but the dabs of creamy dotted sauce on the dish balanced the flavors.
Travis advised the tiramisu, which is baked in-house, since no dinner is complete without some sweetness. It had never been one of my favorites, but espresso-soaked ladyfingers stacked with mascarpone and coated with cocoa powder sounded delicious. This light as a feather dessert exceeded all of my expectations, and I shouted aloud, “Best tiramisu I’ve ever tasted!”
This is one of the top Daniel Island restaurants for a wonderful Italian supper.
Tacos and Tequila, please!
Suite 101 (843) 876-7975864 Island Park Dr
This new Mexican eatery on Daniel Island is not afraid to make a statement.
The entryway to this family-owned taco and tequila shop is adorned with colorful, large block lettering saying VIVA. This traditional restaurant is managed by four Ayala and Leon families from Los Altos, Jalisco, Mexico.
With over 35 years of culinary expertise, the crew delivers a fresh touch on classic Mexican cuisine, making it one of the greatest Daniel Island restaurants.
I opted to relax in the huge courtyard littered with bespoke outdoor furniture since it was a lovely, if somewhat cool, evening.
Fabian, a waiter, ignited the fire in the firepit built into my table, providing a warm and pleasant ambiance. I chose the Happy Hour Margarita, a one-of-a-kind house margarita mix served on the rocks in a glass with a salted rim.
More than 100 tequilas, mezcals, and sotols are available at the bar.
Viva Tacos & Tequila takes pride in its handcrafted margaritas created with fresh juices and 100% blue agave tequila.
The Tierra de Agaves Distillery Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, is where small-batch tequilas are distilled and packaged using 100% Blue Agave.
A dish of crisp, fresh tortilla chips and pleasantly flavored tomato and onion salsa was delivered by a waitress. I consented to taste the guacamole, which was prepared using avocados imported from Michoacn, a state in west-central Mexico that is a global leader in avocado production.
The starter was very wonderful. Finely cut large slices of fruit, mildly seasoned with tomato bits, filled a lovely porcelain dish.
The service was outstanding. Fabian kept my spirits up by recommending the freshly cooked corn tacos. I chose the filet mignon after perusing the menu.
Fabian smiled and said that it was Mexican-style, with refried beans and pickled onions. The interior of the charcoaled steak was tender.
The tomatillo salsa and queso fresco (grated Mexican cheese) enhanced the taste.
I decided to have a Mexican dessert and chose on churros, which are similar to donuts. A exquisite stack of six tiny sticks of sweetness was delivered, coated with sugar and cinnamon and pouring with chocolate hazelnut sauce. I requested a take-out box to enjoy the leftovers!
Visit Viva for a celebration of Mexican cuisine on Daniel Island. It is the greatest among Daniel Island restaurants for Mexican food.
Daniel Island Wasabi
A few Daniel Island eateries are lined up on Seven Farms Road, opposite the Volvo Tennis Circle and along the border of Publix Supermarket in Town Center, with plenty of parking. Wasabi, a long-time popular Asian restaurant owned by Allie Clay, is located at the far end, facing a body of water.
The huge outside patio is often busy, particularly when there is live entertainment. Separated spaces provide a more private eating experience inside.
Wasabi says that its original recipes were devised by international chefs, resulting in a combination of traditional Japanese culinary and contemporary methods. The restaurant does, in fact, have a large menu.
Sandor, our attentive waitstaff, came by many times over lunch to check on us. We were pleasantly delighted when Sandor delivered two side salads in two large bowls shortly after we ordered.
The odd mix of crunchy almonds and lettuce with a vinaigrette dressing was delicious.
My companion chose the Pad Thai with tofu, which reminded me of one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Chiang Mai.
Rice noodles stir-fried in Soy sauce with eggs, fresh garlic, beans, sprouts, and scallions combined umami, sour, and sweet tastes, while a side plate of salty, fresh ground peanuts and a slice of lime added zest to the meal.
Since it was a chilly day, I ordered the Thai beef curry, medium-hot, with steaming white rice. While the meat quantity was a bit little, the cubed beef was tender.
Nonetheless, the delicately flavored, creamy curry sauce, pieces of pineapple, onion, and bell pepper, and spoonfuls of rice made for a filling dinner.
Visit this legendary Daniel Island restaurant if you want a flavor of the Far East in the American South.
Catering by Ali Baba
(843) 377-8666186 Seven Farms Drive, Suite 500
Do you want to try a Mediterranean or traditional Greek dish? Ali Baba, one of the top Daniel Island restaurants, is located around the corner from the Volvo Tennis Circle.
While it mostly serves take-out orders, this informal restaurant offers a large dining area as well as a few outside tables.
Samir Elzabidi, who is originally from Jordan, has lived in the United States for 25 years and founded Ali Baba in 2009. He takes pleasure in being the island’s only Mediterranean restauranteur.
The cabinet display is a visual feast, with tyropita, spanakopita, Moroccan couscous, grape leaves, and other dishes.
He praises chef Alexander for modernizing traditional food from nations such as Lebanon, Greece, Turkey, and Spain.
The gyros and Greek kebabs, according to Samir, are the most popular dishes on the menu. Customers rave about the lamb.
My buddy got the Beef Gyro Platter, which came with hummus, tabouli, lettuce, tomato, peppers, onions, tzatziki, and pita. She gushed about the taste of the marinated meat.
I had no idea gyros were tightly piled pieces of meat whirling on a vertical spit.
I went with the Shawerma. The taste of the meat was increased by the Lebanese spices, cardamom, and garlic.
That was a really filling lunch, served with onions and tahini sauce.
Browsing over the menu again, we opted to return for the baker’s special, Mediterranean Pizza or Fatayer, and the lamb kebab. For the time being, we finished the dinner with the delectable Pistachio Baklava.
My buddy gasped as she bit into the flaky layers of Phyllo dough packed with pistachio and sprinkled with honey, “This is simply so amazing!” That sentence should be enough to convince you that this is one of the top Daniel Island restaurants.
(843)867-6066162 Seven Farms Road, Suite 340
Mpishi is one of the eateries on Daniel Island that has been under new ownership for roughly two years. Alison and Andy Clay, the owners, met while working in Tanzania.
They relocated in Charleston and opened the appropriately called Mpishi, which means “cook” in Swahili. Andy, who is originally from Cyprus, is the executive chef, while Alison is the pastry chef.
The restaurant features well-spaced indoor and outdoor seating and is located on a corner directly across the Volvo Tennis Center. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide a bright, inviting ambiance while providing unimpeded views of the activities outside.
Mpishi is a legal establishment that serves Holy City artisan beers and Starborough Sauvignon wines, but it was midday and I was in the need for some hot tea. The presentation did not disappoint me.
A porcelain cup and saucer, a little teaspoon, a milk container, and some hot water.
When perusing the large menu, I came across the Cyprus chicken souvlaki with zahtar, pita bread, Halloumi cheese, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and tahini.
My companion was excited to eat it since the chef was Cypriot. We discovered that zahtar, which is native to the Middle East, is a blend of herbs including oregano, thyme, and marjoram, as well as tart sumac spice and toasted sesame seeds.
This mixture enhanced the dish’s tastes and textures.
I had gotten a fantastic take-out Thanksgiving lunch from Mpishi during the outbreak, so the Day after Thanksgiving sandwich on the menu piqued my interest. I ordered it so that I could take it home with me.
I was not let down. On bread, roasted turkey, stuffing, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce were accented with a tiny cup of au jus sauce. Thick French fries, side salad, macaroni salad, Asian slaw, and fruit salad were available as sides.
This is another another fantastic Daniel Island restaurant.
Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant
The phone number is (843) 388-8823162, and the address is Seven Farms Road.
For more than seventeen years, the Dragon Palace, Charleston’s original Imperial Garden Chinese Restaurant, has been a fixture on Daniel Island.
The whole restaurant in Taiwan was built by builders in collaboration with expert craftsmen. The structure was subsequently deconstructed and transferred to Daniel Island, where it was reassembled.
As you enter the Dragon Palace, you will be captivated by the magnificent artwork, paintings, sculptures, and stained-glass windows that portray the historic Qing Period of Imperial China.
Mr. Cheng flew to Hong Kong to introduce new ideas to the large menu, which includes unusual titles like Buddha’s Feast.
Chinese porcelain plates complement the cultural experience. The restaurant divides off spaces for family-style eating on demand while still serving elegantly at more private tables. The mood is enhanced by soft music and lights.
The cashew chicken dish on the menu seemed to be delectable. It was a tasty combination of fresh greens and the spicy tastes of salty almonds, ginger, and soy sauce.
The braised Chinese Five Spice Duck, served over a layer of asparagus, shallots, and seasoned with soy, did not disappoint my companion. We appreciated the odd blend of ingredients in one of the top Daniel Island restaurants’ meals.
Vespa Pizza Restaurant
Seven Farms Drive #101 (843) 881-0101
Vespa Pizza is one of Daniel Island’s most popular eateries.
The restaurant offers a wonderful, shaded patio with large red umbrellas, as well as lots of interior seating. The younger clientele enjoys the atmosphere at the pub. Vespa Pizza caters to all tastes, from casual to upscale dining.
Gerry and Tammy Haight, the owners, take pride in their genuine, wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas.
The mix of figs, mozzarella, and goat cheese on the prosciutto pizza drew me in. I like the thin-crust pizza with the tastefully poured balsamic reduction on top.
The Salad Special included a delicious blend of mixed greens, chopped tomatoes, onion, corn, avocado, and cilantro.
The champagne dressing brightened the meal.
The presence of Zeppole on the menu piqued my interest. These sweet, powdered Italian doughnuts are similar to beignets, but they are rectangular rather than square, making them a perfect dessert to share and balance off any dinner.
You know you’re going to want pizza on Daniel Island at some time, and Vespa is the greatest spot to get it out of all Daniel Island eateries.
Bagels, Blondies, and Coffee
(843) 377-8671245 Seven Farms Road, Suite 130
Blondies Bagels and Coffee is a hip, local hangout near Daniel Island’s fire station. Yet that’s not the major reason it’s one of the top restaurants on Daniel Island.
The restaurant serves an exceptional selection of fresh bagels and great coffee, keeping early morning commuters and other customers happy throughout the day.
Blondies Bagels and Coffee is a casual diner with long and small tables distributed around the inside and limited sitting outdoors.
Since this business is usually humming with a big line of people waiting, it is best to pre-order before arrival. The everything bagel with lox, in-house cream cheese, capers, red onion, and sliced tomato is my particular favorite.
Blondies Bagels has gotten so popular that they no longer serve lunch sandwiches on weekends.
Besides from bagels, sandwiches, and wonderful coffee, they also provide a variety of baked goods, including strawberry shortcake, chocolate chip cookies, blondies, cinnamon rolls, cranberry orange, and blueberry muffins, which are all made on the premises.
Blondies, one of the top Daniel Island restaurants, is a must-try for fresh baked pastries and a delicious breakfast.
The Daniel Island Grill (DIG)
The phone number is (843) 377-8750259, and the address is Seven Farms Road.
I was delighted to discover a Daniel Island restaurant serving a seasonal oyster roast.
On Friday evenings, one may dip in and shuck some oysters at the Daniel Island Restaurant.
This sports club, located adjacent to a gorgeous pond, advertises that there isn’t a poor seat in the house, with over twenty huge screens and outdoor and indoor patio bars.
There is lots of entertainment to enjoy, including Tuesday Wine Night, Wednesday Trivia, Thursday Beer Flights, and Friday Live Music and Karaoke.
On a frigid February evening, we took our seats at the outside bar, resting against a heater blowing hot air. We collected various sauces, condiments, saltine crackers, shucking tools, and gloves in order to participate in the Oyster Roast.
Servers carried in buckets of the steaming, hot delicacies and set them on the tabletops as the oysters grilled on an outdoor fire.
When we crawled in, cracking apart the shells to get to the tasty morsels, all talk came to a halt. We put each salty oyster in the sauce and ate the accompanying crackers happily.
On the menu, I saw a Bavarian pretzel. It seemed too amazing to pass up and went well with the oysters.
My companion and I split a Chili Cheese dog with fries. We’ll come returning for a Lowcountry Boil, which includes shrimp, corn on the cob, smoked sausage, and potatoes.
This is the spot to go for genuine Southern cuisine on Daniel Island! One of the greatest eateries on Daniel Island.
That’s all there is to it. Eleven of Daniel Island’s greatest restaurants. The restaurants on Daniel Island provide food from all over the globe, including Italy, Japan, the Middle East, and China.