Few places mean more to Charleston than Bowens Island Restaurant, which has existed in one form or another since 1946. The original building, covered in Sharpie messages signed by years of diners, burned to the ground in 2006. Current owner Robert Barber rebuilt it almost immediately, all the while serving steamed oysters straight from the inlet beyond the dock. Today, the paper plates are modest, but come piled high with fried seafood, fries, and hushpuppies. Order the oysters, top them with cocktail sauce, and wash it all down with a local beer for one of the best dining experiences in town. It may not have white linen tablecloths or awards hanging on the walls, but Bowens is where you should be eating in Charleston.