2 SC restaurants rank among nation’s best places for outdoor dining | State and Regional News

South Carolina is home to two of the nation’s top places for outdoor dining, new rankings show.

Charlie’s Coastal Bistro on Hilton Head Island and Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar in Charleston made a list of U.S. eateries offering the best alfresco dining experiences.

To create the rankings, the restaurant reservation website OpenTable said it considered more than 13.6 million “verified” U.S. reviews gathered from its website between May 2021 and April 2022.

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“The overall score is made up of unique data points, such as overall diner rating, user klout, total number of reviews, and regional overall rating,” OpenTable wrote in a July 13 news release. “Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the percentage of reviews, for which ‘outdoor dining’ was selected as a special feature.”

Of the 100 restaurants on the list, Charlie’s Coastal Bistro on Hilton Head Island is no stranger to recognition. The eatery — which used to be called Charlie’s L’Etoile Verte (meaning “green star” in French) — recently ranked among the nation’s most romantic and best overall places to eat.

This time around, the restaurant, which focuses on “fresh local seafood with a French, Lowcountry flare,” received a nod for its outdoor dining space. The bistro on New Orleans Road boasts a renovated patio with touches of coastal decor, according to videos posted to Instagram and Facebook.

If you prefer waterfront scenery, the Palmetto State’s other high-ranking spot might have you covered. Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar, located near the iconic Pineapple Fountain and other Charleston tourist attractions, said it dishes out “a fusion of classic and contemporary Southern seafood fare in a setting that celebrates the area’s waterfront heritage.”

While the restaurant was once the base for a Cooper River ferry, it’s now home to shaded tables that are ideal places for enjoying lunch and taking in sunset views, the restaurant wrote on Facebook.

OpenTable didn’t share numerical rankings for the restaurants on its list but said the state with the most top-ranking places for outdoor dining was California, which had 37. Data from the website shows the number of restaurants with open-air table listings has grown since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

“Outdoor dining played a major role in buoying the restaurant industry over the last few years, and restaurants took note — whether adding, expanding or elevating their offerings,” Susan Lee, chief growth officer at OpenTable, wrote in the release. “Offering outdoor dining is now a key part of restaurants’ business, and we’re happy to see that diners continue to embrace it.”

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