Oyster House on Market

Enjoy causal fine dining at The Oyster House on Market and O-Bar!

It’s no surprise that a harbor town like Charleston would offer some of the best seafood around.  However, on the peninsula, there is a new seafood restaurant in town that will really float your boat!

The Oyster House and it’s adjoining sister, O-Bar, are the latest addition to Charleston’s vibrant gourmet scene.  Adjacent to the Charleston Crab House (another local favorite) at the corner of State and Market, this new hot spot is everything you would expect in high end dining without taking itself too seriously. This is a must for every seafood lover, whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner for two or a casual family lunch as you tour the historic district — The Oyster House on Market has something to fit any taste. 

You can enter the main restaurant from Market Street, where indoor and shaded outdoor seating is available.  Outdoor dining is a premium in downtown Charleston and this is one of the few places to offer it comfortably in every season.  O-Bar, as the name describes, is a Raw Bar that is connected to the restaurant, but whose main entrance is on State Street.

From the moment you walk in, the attention to detail in every aspect of décor is apparent.  It is clear that they want you to love the restaurant as much as they do.  You will marvel at the beautiful floors, mother of pearl and copper lighting fixtures, leather upholstered seating, vintage photographs of Charleston’s long fishing history and, of course, the food!

On a recent warm afternoon, we stopped in to check it out for ourselves.  We started our meal with a flight of oysters from the raw bar.  The server was helpful in describing not only their origins but what made each oyster unique in taste and presentation.  If oysters are not to your liking, there is no shortage of other delightful options and daily specials on the menu.  Even a land lover will find something tasty on the menu.

I ordered the soft-shell crab sandwich.  I like to think I’m somewhat of a connoisseur of this dish having tasted different varieties up and down the East Coast.  The Oyster House stood up as one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  My friend chose one of their signature Oyster Wraps.  Wrapped in a vibrant green Bibb lettuce, the wrap offered a unique blend of fried oysters, cilantro-cucumber slaw, water chestnuts and ginger soy.  She was delighted with her choice and said she couldn’t wait to tell friends and family about this new spot — and that wrap in particular!

We wrapped up our meal with dessert– after all, I had to write this story, and I want to make sure I give you the true lowdown on every bite of my delectable journey.  I ordered the Mississippi Mud Pie and my friend ordered the Key Lime Pie — you know, we had to make sure we both had a chance to taste these scrumptious pies.  Key Lime Pie is a standard in many a restaurant, but the Oyster House has mastered this perennial favorite with a creamy texture that allows the sweetened taste of fresh limes to shine through.  The Mississippi Mud pie lives up to every chocolate lovers dream.

To say we thoroughly enjoyed our meal at The Oyster House would be an understatement. From start to finish, from décor to dinner, from server to shellfish, it is truly a shining star among Charleston’s dynamic and growing culinary scene.