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Bowens Island Restaurant
Seafood Restaurant
Today 5–10PM
Contact Information
1870 Bowens Island Rd Charleston, SC 29412
1870 Bowens Island RoadUSSouth CarolinaCharleston29412
(843) 795-2757
Seafood RestaurantToday 5–10PM
Thursday 5–10PMFriday 5–10PMSaturday 5–10PMSunday ClosedMonday ClosedTuesday 5–10PMWednesday 5–10PM
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Review Summary
71 reviews
5 star
29 reviews
4 star
19 reviews
3 star
10 reviews
2 star
5 reviews
1 star
7 reviews
Enduring, counter-serve icon on the waterfront, serving up fresh fish within graffiti-covered walls.- Google
"Fresh shrimp, fish, oysters and more."
"The fried seafood has only lightly breaded."
Featured by Zagat
Charleston's Best Cheap Eats
, and 2 other lists
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All reviews
C Hunt
3 months ago
There is a reason there is a line out the door in is fun, a local's favorite and great food. You feel like the beaten path and one fun funky place. Don't bring an attitude and don't expect to be waited on....just be hungry.
Gregory Keller
in the last week
Great food, great service! I can't wait to go back!
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Anthony Schindler
7 months ago
Service is a joke. If you enjoy a fast food serve yourself atmosphere with an ever so eloquent sting of dine in restaurant pricing. Then this is for you. I will never eat here again. Slow and sloppy. If you are OK with paying first and being motivated to tip prior to your meal then finding out you'll be finding your own seat amongst a sea of patrons... Then trying to figure out when a server will take a drink order.. Oh wait you get them yourself just like at Captain D's! Then you eat off a paper plate on a disgusting table all the while fighting off flies and trying not to explode with a mixture of anxiety and anger. $100 not well spent. Save yourself the frustration and dine elsewhere.
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Phil Nicholson
10 months ago
Want fresh fish, shrimp, and oysters? Then you're in for a treat. Fresh shrimp, fish, oysters and more. Want great service, food coming to the table quickly, a friendly waitress and a nice atmosphere? Go downtown. This place is the same as it was 20 years ago and that's why we love it. You wait in line to order, it takes a long time, at least during the summer and inside, it's either hot as hell or freezing cold, thanks to no heaters or AC. The best items: boiled shrimp, fried shrimp or oyster and the fried fish. The shrimp and grits are good, but not as good as some other places in Charleston. And if you think the boiled shrimp need Old Bay or cocktail sauce for 'flavor' then you're killing the sweet and succulent flavor of a true Southern delicacy. This is a place to relax, sit down, have a beer and get some of the best damn local seafood you've ever had. If you come here with a good attitude, and are ready to roll with it, then you're going to fall in love.
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John Culpepper
5 months ago
The beautiful setting for this iconic restaurant is on a coastal waterway with a panoramic view of the tidelands. While going to college in Charleston in the sixties, students raved about Bowen's Island Restaurant. I went back and took a skeptical friend with me to this rustic place. We had sea food platters and enjoyed the dining experience very much. The seafood was fabulous and the sunset gorgeous. Bowen's Island is a down home fish camp where the people packed themselves inside or outside on the deck to enjoy a meal at reasonable prices. I have eaten in expensive restaurants in Charleston where the service and food were poor. Bowen's Island remains my favorite because the food is excellent.
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Evan Sharko
7 months ago
if you're looking for fresh, quality seafood this is the place. it's nothing fancy and their menu is limited to what they do best. I had the platter with fried fish, crab cake, and shrimp. the fried seafood has only lightly breaded. from Florida to Nova Scotia this is in my top 5of the best seafood shacks. enjoy!
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brandon franks
a month ago
Slow service. Food was great a few years ago. Now the food isn't even worth the ride out there.
Granny 13AD
11 months ago
I can't tell you about the current Bowens Island Restaurant, but I sure can about the original. My friend and I lived in one of Mrs. Bowen's rentals on the Folly Island beach front, now long gone in a hurricane a few years back, however, Mr. and Mrs. Bowen were awesome and so was the place and the food. We put plenty of nickels in the old juke box and played three good oldies from back in the day every time, back when Folly was a big jazz place, back when the Gershwin brothers wrote "Porgy and Bess" and spent time in their beach house there on Artic Ave. I'll always remember Mrs. Bowen cooking up fresh and hot the catch of the day, and Mr. Bowen going round to the customers discussing his pore leg as he called it. There was always a pot-bellied stove burning in the fall and winter, and the daily chopped wood was piled high outside for the oyster roasting. I remember the restaurant had an A rating, and they were open 365 days a year, 366 on leap year. We dropped in on Christmas 1983 for our meal, and there they were, Mr. and Mrs. Bowen, pot-bellied store burning hot and sizzling seafood in the kitchen. Wish you could have been there then. Yep, there was writing everywhere, on the walls, the tables, carvings and such. I hope the new one retains some of that precious history and excellent seafood. One thing back then, if you dared to order a beer on Sunday, Mrs. Bowen would give you a tart lecture. Awesome folks! I hope to visit the current one. I'm sure it's quite good. The history is amazing.
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