Bowen's Island Restaurant

Seafood Restaurant and Scenic Lookout$$$$
James Island, Charleston
  • The folks at Eater and Travel + Leisure like this place. Would you agree?
    • Eater
    • Travel + Leisure
  • This Is My South
    "... anywhere, serving up steamed oysters and fried seafood fresh from the ocean...."(4 Tips)
    Izzy K.
    "best oysters in Charleston...actually best seafood in Charleston."(2 Tips)
    Travel Channel
    "simple secret of making frogmore stew"(2 Tips)
    Bradford B.
    "Seafood low country style"(2 Tips)
42 Tips and reviews
  • oysters
  • frogmore stew
  • shrimp
  • lively
  • scenic views
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  • This Is My South
    This Is My SouthOctober 23, 2013
    This dive is one of our favorite seafood spots anywhere, serving up steamed oysters and fried seafood fresh from the ocean. Remember that it's cash only and bring a pen to write your name on the wall! Read more
  • Laura W.
    Laura WJune 15
    $30 all-you-can-eat steamed oysters. This Charleston institution is off the beaten path right on the edge of James Island. Be sure to visit right at sunset - some of the best views in Charleston.
  • Liz T.
    Liz TanMay 11
    The bar is first come - first serve, so if the line is too far out the door, survey the bar! Food was amazing, we got way too much food b/c we wanted to try it all! Save room for pie.
  • Mary K.
    Mary KennedyAugust 23
    Skip the fish just get shrimp fried and steamed it was some of the best shrimp I have ever had! No frills place you place your order at a counter and they bring it out to you. Beautiful setting
  • Karen G.
    Karen GreeneJanuary 9, 2014
    No question about it-best seafood in the lowcountry. non-peak times for fast service, but even at the slow dinner pace of summer tourist season, roasted oysters and fried shrimp are worth the wait!
  • Chrys R.
    Chrys RJuly 16, 2012
    Besides excellent seafood, there's beer here - 16 taps to be exact. At last visit, all beer was from local breweries, making this the best local tap selection in Charleston. Cheers!
  • Travel Channel
    Travel ChannelAugust 10, 2011
    On Man v Food, Adam learns how to harvest oysters and the simple secret of making frogmore stew, which includes shrimp, potatoes, sausage and corn, in a boiling pot of seasoned water.
  • Eater
    EaterJuly 30, 2012
    The menu is limited, but you are going to Bowens for seafood. Order the shrimp or the oysters and you can’t go wrong. [eater 18 Member]
  • Chris N.
    Chris NixonAugust 9, 2014
    Fresh oysters, raw or fried! Watch them dump them them fresh off the boat and hose the mud off them. Eat them by the bucket!
  • Allison L.
    Allison LoveNovember 9, 2013
    There's no better place for oysters in the area! Enjoy beautiful sunsets in a wonderfully casual atmosphere! Love it!
  • Connor T.
    Connor ToomeyJuly 18, 2012
    This restaurant has really good food and a great view of the beautiful marshes outside of Charleston and Folly Beach
  • Rob J.
    Rob JohnsonAugust 3, 2013
    Order shrimp, sit outside, and watch the sunset from one of the best spots in the lowcountry.
  • Cole C.
    Cole ChavisOctober 9, 2010
    The best local seafood in Charleston. Definitely have the oysters when they are in season. Split up when you come - some order food, others grab seats.
  • David B.
    David BanOctober 11, 2016
    Steamed oysters are a unique and delicious experience - don't miss them here.
  • Naptown .
    Naptown 💪 LarryFebruary 18, 2011
    Go for the all you can eat oysters roasted in an open fire pit Low Country Style. Mmmmmmmmmmm Mmmmmmmmmm GOOD !!!
  • K.
    K.April 29, 2012
    As a local, I want to love this place, but don't come here if you're in any kind of hurry to eat on a weekend, the service is slowww!
  • Nikki U.
    Nikki UsserySeptember 5, 2016
    Great local fresh food with an amazing patio view
  • Caroline E.
    Caroline EubanksMarch 30, 2012
    Order a bucket of oysters. Chat with local legend Robert Barber. Enjoy the blues on the dock. Read more
  • Julie W.
    Julie WalasOctober 15, 2010
    If you're from out of town, ask owner Robert to teach you proper technique... it made the experience awesome for us Yankees.
  • Travel + Leisure
    Travel + LeisureOctober 7, 2014
    A local favorite, on the water near Folly Beach—order the Frogmore stew.
  • Izzy K.
    Izzy KainzSeptember 1, 2011
    best oysters in Charleston...actually best seafood in Charleston. enjoy!
  • Nina Z.
    Nina ZhangSeptember 1, 2013
    Wait for food is 1 hr, at a min (70min for us, after a 30min wait to order). Food = not worth it. Hush puppies may have been the best (yeah). Shrimp=overcooked. Frogmore = meh. Picture is deceiving.
  • Mathew C.
    Mathew CarruthersSeptember 9, 2013
    Try the White Thai ale. Locally brewed, beyond tasty...
  • MoMo W.
    MoMo WallerFebruary 24, 2011
    Chicken breast tenders are hugeee! Delicious too! Recommended.(:
  • Lisa B.
    Lisa BurnettSeptember 12
    Been here 5+ times
    Big shrimp platter. Don't share.
  • Michael K.
    Michael KrollApril 14, 2013
    Arrive before 5PM to avoid long lines.
  • Holiday Inn E.
    Oysters! Oysters! Oysters! Beautiful sunsets!
  • TV Food Maps
    TV Food MapsAugust 26, 2014
    Check out Bowen's Island as seen on Man vs Food , Unique Eats Read more
  • Doris k.
    Doris kSeptember 17, 2013
    No oysters tonight.... Because of the water temperature.... WAH WAH !!!!! Having the frog stew instead
  • Colleen H.
    Colleen HartmanApril 28, 2010
    Oysters only in months with R's. Be sure to not dress up for this must-see-in-your-lifetime dive.
  • Spencer S.
    Spencer SJune 8, 2015
    On Thrillist for 21 Best Seafood Shacks in American 2015 Read more
  • Barb P.
    Barb P.October 13, 2013
    Tooooo many private weddings
  • Foodspotting
    FoodspottingNovember 15, 2010
    Try the Boiled Shrimp Plate
  • Bradford B.
    Bradford BenggioFebruary 3, 2015
    Seafood low country style
  • Jenn S.
    Jenn ScalfMarch 24
    Everything :-)
  • Chloe M.
    Chloe MorrisNovember 15, 2010
    Try the Boiled Shrimp Plate
  • Katie L.
    Katie LockwoodOctober 1, 2010
    Try the shrimp and's delicious!
  • Amber J.
    Amber JacksonApril 27, 2012
    Best seafood in the world!!!
  • Missy M.
    Missy MixonSeptember 15, 2012
    Wear mosquito repellent!
  • Chris C.
    Chris CoomesJune 18, 2011
    Same food as Long John Silver's, just 5x more expensive. Whiting and frozen to fried food. This place is awful. Great view though.
  • Travel Channel
    Travel ChannelMarch 2, 2012
    Andrew Zimmern headed farther down the coast to this restaurant for an oyster roast. Andrew ate steamed oysters. As seen on Bizarre Foods America.
  • Daniel H.
    Daniel HoerrJanuary 6, 2010
    Eat here, order the fried shrimp! Read more
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