1. Gale

Location: North Central

About: One of the few brave restaurants to open in 2020, Gale is a chef-owned, Italian-forward restaurant from Chef Brett Chizinski. Self-described as “pizza, pasta, and everything weird in between,” the restaurant balances a casual approach with a serious dedication to quality.

The food: Gale’s menu is divided into four sections: small plates, pizza, pasta, and large plates. Although it’s selections have changed a few times since opening, these should be your go-tos if they’re available: fried patty pan squash with golden raisins, the sausage pizza with goat cheese and mustard cream, the summer pesto orecchiette with white acre peas and fried capers, and the chicken puttanesca with polenta and chimichurri.

The cost: Small plates are $8-13, pizzas and pasta are $15-16, and the large plates are $16-24.

How to order: Call 843-818-4977 or DM @galerestaurant to order takeout lunch or dinner

2. Food Fight

Location: James Island

About: When the bright pink sign went up on Folly Road, collective bellies began to rumble at the thought of Dusty Chorvat’s new restaurant. The former Crust chef has created an eclectic and simple cafe specializing in local ingredients, big flavor, and small plates.

The food: As an experienced pizza chef, Chorvat certainly makes tasty pies and the stracciatella and prosciutto variety with a bubbly crust, thinly sliced meat, and mozzarella curds is a must-try. Other popular menu items include the KFC (korean fried chicken) sandwich, fried deviled eggs, and the daily ground cheeseburger that will definitely leave you licking your fingers.

The cost: Appetizers are about $6 a piece, sandwiches are all $13 and include a side, and pies are around $14.

How to order: Open for outdoor seating or order takeout through Upserve.

3. Little Miss Ha

Location: Mount Pleasant

About: Frequent diners at Workshop have long loved the fresh, homestyle Vietnamese cuisine inspired by owner-chef Janice Nguyên Hudgins mother’s cooking. Its new standalone location opened earlier this year and has already become a go-to of Mount Pleasant diners.

The food: Classic Vietnamese foods you’ve come to expect, and dammit, each one is better than the last. The beef pho’s broth is flavorful and unctuous, while the sesame noodle stir fry is a super comforting and nostalgic dish. The cauliflower fried rice is another popular dish offering something a bit lighter, and the steamed bao buns are like little warm pillows of joy.

The cost: The appetizers are $7-10, second course options (curries, pho, fried rice, and noodles) are $12-15, and the banh mi is only $8. The kids’ menu has four different options at $6 a piece.

How to order: Call 843-388-7251 or order takeout or delivery online.

4. Dashi

Location: North Charleston

About: Dashi is another exciting food truck-turned-restaurant. The Asian-Latin fusion fare offers you the best of both worlds under one roof and harmoniously combines all the flavors. The food is great for a quick bite at lunch or an easily portable meal to grab-and-go.

The food: All the food truck favorites, like the tomato bread and steamed buns, can be found here. But now there are some heartier options like the curry shrimp and grits and the gaucho steak plate with fresh chimichurri. Don’t miss Dashi’s surprisingly impressive wine list.

The cost: Bottles of wine are upwards of $12, Sides are $3-5, small plates are $4-11,  entrees are $11-15, and the kids’ menu is $7-12.

How to order: Make reservations for patio seating and limited indoor dining or order takeout through ToastTab.

5. Maison

Location: Westside

About: French food has made a resurgence in Charleston, but Maison (not to be confused with the Maison Cafe inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel) sets the bar even higher with its artful and innovative plates. The one-page food menu features a number of familiar French favorites that are as beautiful to look at as they are satisfying to eat.

The food: The salmon rillette with lemon, everything spice, and pumpernickel is a must-try. If you’re not a fish person, you won’t want to pass up the roasted chicken with macaroni farci, morels, english peas, chicken jus. Pair it with a nice glass of wine and a chocolate mousse for dessert for an evening that’s truly magnifique.

The cost: Appetizers average in the $16 range, main courses are around the $33 mark.

How to order: Make reservations on OpenTable.

6. The Slaughterhouse BBQ & Brew

Location: Ladson

About: Nigel’s Good Food has been a Lowcountry staple in North Charleston and Ladson for years, and when owner Nigel Drayton decided to expand into the BBQ biz earlier last year, Charlestonians rejoiced. Think a good old-fashioned barbecue joint with slow-roasted meats and impeccable sides.

The food: From the Dirty Harry Sloppy Joe to the melt-in-your-mouth brisket, to the Golden Geechie Wings, Drayton really knows his meat. Pair your protein of choice with one of his signature sides, like fried smashed potatoes or green apple coleslaw, and you’ll be licking your plate clean.

The cost: The three-meat combo served with two sides can easily be split between two people is $22. A whole rack of ribs is the priciest menu item at $27 and veggie sides are just $3 a piece.

How to order: Order takeout or delivery through ChowNow.

7. Jackrabbit Filly

Location: North Charleston

About: When James Beard-nominated chef Shuai Wang announced he was transforming his popular food truck Short Grain into a brick and mortar, Charlestonians rejoiced. Deviating from the rice bowls that made it famous, Jackrabbit Filly’s menu features new American Chinese cuisine that warms you up from the inside.

The food: Seriously, the entire menu is worth trying. If you don’t have the time or room in your stomach for the whole menu, definitely don’t miss out on the karaage (or the Sichuan karaage if you like heat), the fish curry, and the biang biang noodles. Keep in mind the menu changes regularly, so you’ll want to double check before you order.

The cost: Cocktails are $10-12, lunch bowls are $13-15, and dinner options are $8-19.

How to order: Make reservations for patio seating and limited indoor dining or order takeout through ToastTab.