Dave’s Carry-Out

Seafood | Soul Food
Worth driving from anywhere!

Dave’s Carry-Out, a tiny corner storefront with only two tables for eating on premises and a reputation for staying open later than nearly any other place in town, makes a specialty of frying. While nearly every meat-and-three restaurant deep-fries something to anchor its meals, Dave’s does little else.

Not to dis Tuesday’s jumbo turkey wings and red rice or Thursday’s melting-tender Cornish hen with hoppin’ john, but it is Dave’s every-day shrimp that must be eaten — taut pink crescents veiled in a film of crunch so elegant that they put me in mind of the legendary frying done by the long-gone Edisto Motel. It is hypnotic to watch the cook (Dave’s son) bread every single one individually, tossing them into a fry basket that gets dropped into hot oil above the pieces of fish and pork chop that sizzle down below. Yes, everything goes into the same hot soup, and everything comes out with its own flavor — pork, fish, chicken — haloed by a multi-flavored zest that is the hallmark of Lowcountry cooking.

A few years ago, Dave’s moved from its original oil-saturated disreputable location to the current corner storefront, which is fresh and ship-shape. While purists bemoan the cultural elevation, the current Dave’s is a restaurant where anyone will feel welcome, any time of night. As the name suggests, it is designed mostly for the take-out trade. Still, when it’s crowded, as it inevitably is late at night, you can wait up to an hour for your food to be cooked and plated (in Styrofoam). Everything is cooked to order, order by order.

What to Eat
Dave’s Carry-Out, Shrimp Platter
Shrimp Platter
Some of the best fried shrimp anywhere
Dave’s Carry-Out, Pork Chop Sandwich
Pork Chop Sandwich
Pork chop "sandwich." Yes, there's bread underneath.
Dave’s Carry-Out, Cornish Hen
Cornish Hen
Cornish hen (not fried!) for lunch
Directions and Hours
closed now
Tuesday5 pm - 11 pm
Wednesday5 pm - 11 pm
Thursday5 pm - 11 pm
Friday5 pm - 11 pm
Saturday5 pm - 11 pm
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
3 stops | | 1 min

You can dine high on the hog in the sophisticated downtown restaurants of Charleston, South Carolina; you also can feast low, on pig tails and neck bones larded into lima beans at a handful of unassuming African-American eateries that are as alluring a part of the city's sea island flavor as its better-known culinary stars…

Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Codfather

    North Charleston, South Carolina

    A proper English chippy in North Charleston, SC, the Codfather offers gorgeous fish & chips, savory pies, mushy peas, and pints of top-shelf stouts and ales.

  • Fishnet Seafood

    Johns Island, South Carolina

    Point to the fish you like and Fishnet fries it to order. Especially good are devil crabs (here called Jesus crabs) and big milky fillets of Carolina flounder.

  • Leon’s Poultry & Oyster Shop

    Charleston, South Carolina

    Casual, immensely hip and urban-popular, Leon’s doesn’t lose track of its mission: to serve great Carolina chicken & oysters and lots of beer & wine.

  • Jestine’s Kitchen

    Charleston, South Carolina

    Jestine’s offers a wide selection of Lowcountry specialties with downhome Dixie atmosphere that makes it a tourists’ favorite. **CLOSED**

  • Evo

    North Charleston, South Carolina

    Evo is a modern pizzeria in the trendy Park Circle neighborhood of North Charleston that employs a wood-fired oven to cook superb pizzas using local ingredients.

  • My Three Sons of Charleston

    North Charleston, South Carolina

    A humble soul food / Gullah gem in North Charleston, My Three Sons serves emblematic southern comfort food, from 4-star fried chicken to creamy banana pudding.