High Style at Charleston’s New Lowcountry Bistro

July 12, 2012 | By | Comments (4)


49 South Market Street

Fresh produce has come full circle at Charleston’s two-month-old Lowcountry Bistro.

An offshoot to one of the city’s iconic restaurants, 82 Queen, the new Southern-style dining spot is a casual foil to its sister, offering quality cuisine at prices attainable to all customers. It sits in a restored brick building on South Market Street, which was previously home to local produce distributor Limehouse Produce. From the rustic farm scapes on the walls, to the chefs’ commitment to using seasonal produce and seafood, the bountiful spirit of the property’s predecessor is alive and well at Lowcountry.

Within its walls you’ll find modest, earthy decor—wide plank wood floors and wormy pine table tops, exposed wooden beams, and over-sized chalkboards listing the daily selections. The aesthetic is simple and understated, allowing the true star, the Southern fare, to take center stage.

Lowcountry prides itself on serving traditional Southern food of the highest quality, freshness, and seasonality—with a twist. Here you won’t eat overcooked vegetables or the standard “meat-and-three.” The menu, rather, is inspired and inventive featuring unorthodox, yet brilliantly developed, flavor combinations and “Southern Classics” reinventions. Take the Chicken and Waffle. Instead of the traditional buttermilk choice, Lowcountry uses a sweet potato, cornbread, and bacon waffle to cradle the crispy chicken, pecan butter, and bourbon reduction. Pure Southern heaven. Or, the strawberry shortcake, which layers grilled cornbread squares with whipped cream and brandy-macerated local strawberries.

Chicken and waffles

Chicken and Waffle with pecan butter and bourbon reduction 
Grilled Cornbread Strawberry Shortcake

Lowcountry operates solely as a “scratch kitchen,” even hand-grinding the grits in-house. Whether you opt for the Parmesan Chive Grits or the White Cheddar and Country Ham Grits, the quality is a cut above.

Crab cakes

Fried Green Tomatoes with White Cheddar and Country Ham Grits, sweet pepper and onion relish, and herb aioli

Two other must-try dishes are the Roasted Sweet Potato Fingerlings and the Imperial Crab-Encrusted Rib Eye. A blissful balance of sweet and savory, the fingerlings are finished with apple-smoked bacon, gorgonzola, and a drizzle of rosemary honey. The rib eye, slathered with a creamy crab spread, is melt-in-your-mouth buttery and sinful.

Sweet potatoes

Roasted Sweet Potato Fingerlings with apple-smoked bacon, gorgonzola, and rosemary honey
Imperial Crab-Encrusted Rib Eye 

Lowcountry may be new, but word is traveling fast. From the chefs, to the management, mixologists, wait staff, and the food itself—it’s a soulful Southern experience plump with Lowcountry passion.

—Chelsea Bartel


  1. Debbie Jones

    Had the chicken and waffles this week and it was as fabulous as when I ate here 5 years ago. I had forgotten the restaurant name, but not this dish!

    October 29, 2016 at 12:47 pm
  2. Derek

    I had the crab encrusted ribeye. While the steak was good, the amount of crab dip was way over the top. Everything I had was solid but far from amazing.

    July 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm
  3. Sara Dwyer

    This place is way above anything else in the Market area. All scratch cooking is a BIG plus! Loved being able to sit outside on the 2nd floor piazza and enjoy the al fresco view. Our entrees of mahi and pork tenderloin, plus appetizers and drinks were amazing. Congrats to the Lowcountry Bistro team.

    July 17, 2012 at 9:56 am
  4. Renata Pagliaro

    Coming from California and never before experiencing Fried Chicken and Waffles, the experience of eating this combination at Low Country Bistro was total bliss. It was the kind of food one dreams about! Perfectly delicious, juicy chicken breast over the waffle with the surprise pecan butter on top. It was not sweet, and worked together perfectly! The grits were to die for!!

    July 12, 2012 at 5:03 pm

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