Charleston Rehearsal Dinners

Where to even begin? Charleston has one of the hottest food scenes in the country, and there is a plethora of fantastic, innovative restaurants to choose from. You’ll find high-end, fancy Southern food, and down-and-dirty Southern food. You’ll find great ethnic food including Italian, Mexican and sushi, but a limited selection of other Asian fare. Here are some of our favorite Charleston restaurants that could make a great rehearsal dinner location.

Fancy and Formal (men in suits):

Fulton Five: This Italian restaurant is repeatedly voted the most romantic restaurant in Charleston, and it is one of our personal favorites. Dine inside the cozy, intimate restaurant, or in the courtyard if the weather is nice. The staff is knowledgeable and will treat you with the highest respect and service. Legitimate, made-from-scratch Italian dishes that will have everyone ooh-ing and ah-ing and leaving satisfied.

McCrady’s: This place had me in utter disbelief at every dish (and drink) that came out. My first cocktail arrived with a blue flame in it, which made the orange rind smell so heavenly. The waitress chose the perfect wines for the rest of my meal. We ravenously attacked each course, sharing appetizers, tasting each other’s mains, exclaiming with joy, and even ordering dessert (which I rarely do). In addition, the space itself is gorgeous – high ceilings, exposed brick walls. And I especially love that the current owners named it McCrady’s, after the original business here, McCrady’s Tavern, built in 1778. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Circa 1886: The restaurant is located in the carriage house of the historic Wentworth Mansion, built in 1886. The food, wine and service here is perfection. Inventive dishes that change with the seasons, the focus is on modern twists on Southern fare. We had a beautiful family dinner here around Christmastime, and I loved dining among candlelight, choosing from the extensive, carefully selected wine list, and splurging on desserts at the end.

Nice with no Pretense (dress up or dress down):

The Grocery: Erin’s favorite Charleston restaurant! I love The Grocery because the atmosphere is loud and fun, the food changes with the seasons, and the menu is set up so you can share dishes family-style, or order for yourself. Personally, I love going with a big group and ordering almost everything from the menu so we can try it all. The dishes are always delightfully surprising – the descriptions on the menu never do the flavor justice, which is part of the fun. Order something that merely sounds interesting, and chances are you will be blown away.

Casual (sundresses, shorts):

Minero: Charleston is downright blessed to have this amazing Mexican restaurant that’s somehow inexpensive and also complete culinary perfection (thanks to James Beard award-winning chef Sean Brock). Ben and Erin have high standards when it comes to Mexican food, having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for seven years, and with Mexico being their favorite vacation spot. We love Minero for its legit margaritas, homemade tortilla chips (you will never want those thin Tostitos again), the vegetarian Minero Burrito (which has Oaxacan cheese AND hoppin’ john in it – what?!) and the fun and lively atmosphere. Also the silverware drawers inside each table – so fun and unexpected.