Montague Room Tomahawk ribeye | Credit: Ashley Rose Stanol

As South Carolina’s third largest city, the city of North Charleston has seen rampant growth in population — and with it, a growing food and beverage scene.

Park Circle serves as the central hub for the area’s eateries, but across the city new, diverse restaurants and experiences are popping up. The options in the North Area tend to be less expensive and more family-friendly with a laid-back atmosphere when compared to some places on and surrounding the peninsula.

Here are a couple of new restaurants — and a few fan favorites — in North Charleston to try:

Montague Room Crab Cake | Photo by Ashley Rose Stanol

Montague Room
5060 Dorchester Road
Opened in May, the Montague Room is quickly becoming a favorite in the area. With a friendly atmosphere and a martini bar, the Montague Room gives diners a plush experience in North Charleston that feels like you’re dining in a bigger city. The Montague Room has a mix of New American with classic Lowcountry fare. Guests have said the crab cakes are a must-have, but the two big kickers on the menu are the Tomahawk ribeye (big enough for two!) and the signature dish, the decadent Seafood Montague — a huge plate full of shrimp, fish, crab cakes and lobster.

Pair Mei Thai’s North Charleston or Fire Sushi rolls with Filipino and Thai cuisine | File photo by Ruta Smith

Mei Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar
7685 Northwoods Blvd.
Mei Thai sits in an innocuous strip mall between the Carolina Ice Palace and Northwoods Mall and has been popular since its opening in 2018. Dishes on the menu vary across a few Southeast Asian countries — Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam — and it has a Japanese-style sushi bar. Some favorite items served here are the pancit, pad thai and red curry.

Phuong Vietnamese
5634 Rivers Ave.
The Mai family’s menu at Phuong Vietnamese is full of old family recipes packed with history, flavor and love which all translate into the dishes. Alongside the delicious food, this restaurant is known for its fast and pleasant service, with most meals coming to the table in about 10 minutes. Massive bowls of pho served with a rich home-made broth and the Thai boba tea come highly recommended. Charleston native and Southern artist DJ Illadell said the food and the boba tea were “bussin’.”

Get Greek eats from Platia in North Charleston and West Ashley | Photo by Ashley Rose Stanol

Platia Greek Goodness
5060 Dorchester Road, Unit 230
Platia Greek Goodness has been bringing a taste of Athens, Greece, to the Holy City since 2018 when its food truck first opened. Its first brick-and-mortar location in West Ashley serves delicious Mediterranean dishes, but Platia more recently found another home in North Charleston. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can choose from three filling lunch specials: a Mediterranean bowl, wrap, or salad for under $12.99. Of course, the menu also offers gyros, but the selection at Platia includes many more Mediterranean dishes. Some of our favorites? The baklava ice cream and the home-made herbed falafels.

Gennaro’s Italian Ristorante
8500 Dorchester Road
Opened in 1982, Gennaro’s Italian Ristorante is one of Charleston’s longest standing restaurants, opening the same year as another one of the city’s favorite restaurants, 82 Queen. It’s been family-owned and operated for more than 40 years, and with chefs and family members Michael and Robert Gennaro and hostess Linda Gennaro, there has always been a Gennaro in the restaurant and kitchen. The menu touts authentic Italian cuisine — some traditional and some with new spins such as the bam bam shrimp. Not only does Gennaro’s have amazing Italian food, it’s one of the few places diners can enjoy live jazz and an extended happy hour that runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. You can’t go wrong with chicken parmigiana, a glass of wine and smooth jazz.

LoLA in Park Circle offers Louisiana classics including po’boys, crawfish, gumbo and jambalaya | Photo by Ashley Rose Stanol

4830 O’Hear Ave.
LoLA Lowcountry Louisiana Seafood Kitchen has quickly become a favorite spot for locals. Kid- and pet-friendly, LoLA’s brings a special vibe to the area that feels laid back and no frills — like a little piece of New Orleans placed smack dab in the middle of the North Area. The menu is a mix of Cajun and Creole dishes like boudin, etouffee and gulf oysters, and a few spins on Lowcountry classics like shrimp and grits. Enjoy the outdoor patio and bar, and check out the best crawfish boils in the city on Tuesdays before the season ends at the end of July.

1049 Everglades Ave.
MoMo’s is the first restaurant to open in Riverfront Park on the old Navy base, and it’s setting a standard for restaurants to come. Founded on the principles of being creative and having fun, the seasonal menu and openness of the restaurant itself allows for friends to catch up downstairs near the bar, families to enjoy dinner out in the park or couples to have date night in the more intimate upstairs area.

You can’t beat Sunday brunch on the patio — the breeze from the river is a delight in the warmer months, and when it’s cooler, the firepit is a plus. Menu must-haves are the steak frites (the fries are arguably the best in the city) and the cacio e pepe made with bucatini.

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