10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (2024)

Le Farfalle

Mondo's Italian Restaurant

Incado

The Obstinate Daughter

Mario's Italian Ristorante

Cuoco Pazzo Trattoria

Vincent Chiccos

Bacco Italian

Carmella's Cafe and Dessert Bar

Wild Olive Restaurant

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (1)

Le Farfalle

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (2)

Mondo's Italian Restaurant

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (4)

The Obstinate Daughter

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (5)

Mario's Italian Ristorante

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (6)

Cuoco Pazzo Trattoria

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (7)

Vincent Chiccos

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (8)

Bacco Italian

Carmella's Cafe and Dessert Bar

Wild Olive Restaurant

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin on Pinterest

When visions of perfectly al dente pasta are swirling in your mind, it’s time to find an authentic Italian restaurant to satisfy your craving. And one charming coastal city has some amazing spots to try when you want to fill your belly with food of old-world flavors. Let’s take a look at some of the best Italian restaurants in Charleston to put on your list the next time you have a hankering for some parmigiana.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (9)
Photo credit: usarestaurants.info

Le Farfalle

15 Beaufain St Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 212-0920

Le Farfalle is one of the best charleston italian restaurants offering classic regional Italian menu headed up by chef and owner Michael Toscano. Eating inside of Le Farfalle is a decidedly modern experience but the rich old-world flavors of Italy take center stage. Diners can expect to fall in love with the authentic italian food, like the whipped ricotta appetizer that is drenched in honey, while awaiting the arrival of classics like squid ink spaghetti or fusilli lunghi. The patio here is charming too, giving diners the opportunity to experience authentic italian cuisine indulge in delicious Italian fare under the shade of trees and twinkling lights, just like in the old country.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (10)
Photo credit: Yelp

Mondo’s Italian Restaurant

915 Folly Rd Ste U Charleston, SC 29412
(843) 795-8400

This unassuming casual Italian cuisine in Charleston serves up some of the best chicken parmigiana around and they won “Best in South Carolina” for their outstanding dish. Diners come to Mondo’s time and time again for the rich sauces and savory flavors of their dishes. Try to snag a patio table to indulge in a glass of red along with your meal when you want to dine al fresco and a little bit more casual. Mondo’s location on James Island doesn’t mean it will be any less crowded than spots in the middle of town, though, since locals know this fantastic spot turns out consistently great food.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (11)
Photo credit: charlottemagazine.com

Incado

526 King St Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-1228

Long communal tables in the center of Incado provide the first clue about this classic Italian restaurant and the wood-fired oven visible from the dining areas is the second. Eating here without trying their pizzas would be a shame since Incado’s spicy sorpressata is one of the best around. But tastes of Italy shine here in Incado’s black pepper tagliatelle and pappardelle. Sip an affordable Italian varietal or order a Negroni on tap here. To complete the authentic Italian experience at Incado, you must sit on the upstairs patio for an Upper King Street evening to remember.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (12)
Photo credit: juliaberolzheimer.com

The Obstinate Daughter

2063 Middle St Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482
(843) 416-5020

Sullivan Island’s gem, The Obstinate Daughter, is housed in a charming white house with a clapboard, seaside vibe. But don’t let that fool you because the O/D, as locals call it, churns out amazing Italian food with a Low Country twist that also has nods to French and Spanish cuisines. But the best Italian dishes here are the ricotta gnocchi with short ribs and the old danger cheese pizza complete with a farm egg on top. The inside of the restaurant has a rustic, island vibe while the outside patio is perfect for a casual brunch, quick lunch or dinner.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (13)
Photo credit: usarestaurants.info

Mario’s Italian Ristorante

487 King St Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 641-0441

This unassuming sliver of a restaurant may not seat too many guests at one time, but Mario’s knows Italian food. Family-owned, King Street’s secret spot Mario’s is easy to miss, but once inside you will be greeted like an old friend. Locals know to order the Neapolitan-style parma cheese pizza loaded with prosciutto, as well as the fresh linguine frutti di mare for a taste of local seafood. Save room for dessert because everyone swoons over their authentic cannolis, cheesecake and tiramisu.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (14)
Photo credit: usarestaurants.info

Cuoco Pazzo Trattoria

1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 971-9034

Dishes at Cuoco Pazzo are a work of art, a hidden gem, fueled by the passionate Davide Davino in the kitchen. This Mount Pleasant spot is one of the very best Italian restaurants in Charleston and guests here will love the extensive menu offering up just about every authentic Italian dish you can imagine. Generously sized dishes like the pappardelle alla bolognese and the fettuccine boscaiola taste just like your Italian grandmother would have made.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (15)
Photo credit: Opentable

Vincent Chiccos

39 John St Ste G Hutson Alley Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 203-3002

Tucked down a little side alley, Vincent Chiccos is like walking up to a seaside Little Italy secret hideaway. But this Italian restaurant in Charleston is no secret so plan ahead to avoid a wait, or to request one of the romantic seats here. Named after an emigrant from the old world who was a notorious part of Charleston’s prohibition history, this restaurant is well known for classic Italian fare. Delicious dishes like the cacio y pepe and tuscan braised short rib are always popular here but just about everything here could end up being the best thing you ever ate.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (16)
Photo credit: usarestaurants.info

Bacco Italian

976 Houston Northcutt Blvd Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-6969

Off the beaten path in Mt. Pleasant, this Italian restaurant in Charleston is known for its flavors inspired by the northern regions of Italy. A popular neighborhood eatery, Bacco serves up comfortable Italian favorites like melanzane alla parmigiana (eggplant parmigiana) at lunch and polpette & polenta (red wine braised meatballs and polenta) for dinner. Just don’t fill up on the delicious focaccia bread on the table before your meal comes or you won’t have room to sample one of Bacco’s tasty desserts.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (17)
Photo credit: carmellasdessertbar.com

Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar

198 E Bay St STE 100, Charleston, SC 29401 (843) 722-5893

https://carmellasdessertbar.com/

Combining old world charm with modern inspiration, Carmella’s Cafe is a cozy neighborhood spot in downtown Charleston. Stop by their cafe for freshly baked Italian ciabatta sandwiches layered with cured meats and veggies, wood-fired pizzas with creative toppings, or their namesake cannoli cake—fluffy vanilla cake stuffed with sweet ricotta cream. Pair your meal with a crisp pour of Prosecco, or sip on one of their decadent shaken espresso martinis swirled with vanilla vodka and chocolate shavings. With an ever-changing array of desserts and a menu of Italian comfort foods, Carmella’s is a delightful destination for lunch, dinner or just an afternoon treat.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (18)
Photo credit: wildolive.com

Wild Olive Restaurant

2867 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island, SC 29455 (843) 737-4177

https://www.wildolive.com/

Tucked away in Charleston’s local farming district in Johns Island, Wild Olive delivers simple, seasonal Italian fare in a lively yet relaxed setting. Start with crispy calamari paired with a bright Caesar salad before moving on to ricotta gnocchi blanketed in marinara or bavette pasta tossed with shrimp and blistered chiles. End the night on a sweet note with a slice of pistachio chocolate cake or a hazelnut pie cheesecake. With housemade pastas, locally-sourced ingredients, and friendly service, Wild Olive captures the magic of true Italian dining and transforms Lowcountry bounty into artful regional classics.

Still can’t decide where to go? Browse our full Charleston city guide for our top picks for breakfast spots, lunchtime havens, dinner hot spots, and late-night watering holes.

10 of the Absolute Best Italian Restaurants in Charleston (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Last Updated:

Views: 6176

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Wyatt Volkman LLD

Birthday: 1992-02-16

Address: Suite 851 78549 Lubowitz Well, Wardside, TX 98080-8615

Phone: +67618977178100

Job: Manufacturing Director

Hobby: Running, Mountaineering, Inline skating, Writing, Baton twirling, Computer programming, Stone skipping

Introduction: My name is Wyatt Volkman LLD, I am a handsome, rich, comfortable, lively, zealous, graceful, gifted person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.