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A different kind of Charleston food experience out in the country
By Tom Adkinson

charleston sc seafood restaurant
Simple exterior; image by Tom Adkinson.

McCLELLANVILLE, South Carolina – Charleston has a justly earned culinary reputation, but the little fishing village of McClennanville, which is in the same county but worlds apart, also is a culinary hotspot because of the T.W. Graham & Co. Seafood Restaurant. It is far from fancy and a solid hit for folks who find it off of U.S. 54. Decorations are a nautical hodge-podge. Seating is at a community table (great for conversation if you want that), booths, tables and on a screened-in porch when weather permits; no reservations. You go for fresh seafood (grouper, crabs, shrimp, scallops, flounder and more) prepared as one reviewer put it according to “the Lowcountry canon: low and slow or fast and fried.” It has a mom-and-pop feel, but the husband in the husband-wife ownership couple is a culinary graduate of Johnson & Wales. It opened in 2003 in a building that originally housed a mercantile store in 1894.

charleston sc
Friendly interior; image by Tom Adkinson.

T.W. Graham Seafood is about 40 miles from the fancier restaurants in downtown Charleston, so it’s an investment in time to go hyper-local. Another excuse to explore this corner of Charleston County is the nearby Center for Birds of Prey. It opened in 1991 as a small medical facility for injured raptors and now encompasses 152 acres and is home to 120 hawks, falcons, owls, eagle, kites and other birds of prey. It is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Programs are at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The center also offers special activities such as nighttime owl programs, birding trips to see migratory birds and photography days.

Trip-planning resource:,, and

(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s new book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available at

Published November 8, 2019

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