Wine Dine and Play: Hank’s Seafood

Hank’s Seafood

A Local Hip Spot For Seafood And Southern Favorites
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Cuisine Style: Southern American, Seafood
Average Price: $$$
Overall Rating: 4/5
Dined in: July 2011 and April 2014
By Sean Overpeck (CFE)
**A full article and index glossary of restaurants, wines, recipes and travel for 
Wine Dine and Play are in the pages section above, or by following these links:

Hank's Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Executive Chef:
Tim Richardson
previously Frank McMahon

Hank’s Seafood is one of the reasons I add Charleston, South Carolina to my list of places to visit over and over again. Charleston is now finally starting to be recognized worldwide as a food city like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, and Atlanta are already. Another bonus is that with all the seafood restaurants around the town, Hank’s has been rated the best seafood restaurant fifteen years running.

    • Raw Bar
    • Hanks Seafood Tower
    • Soups, Salads, and Appetizers
    • Hanks Classics
    • Southern Seafood Platters
    • À La Carte Seafood
    • Sides
    • Desserts
Hank’s is an American classic. The restaurant sits in a corner building, with a long bar to the to the left of the entrance with a huge table next to it that requires high stool chairs to sit at, and very close quartered, followed by booths along the wall, and the kitchen towards the back center. The dining room center is filled with tightly packed tables and more booths, and the bar is completely packed out just like the dining room every night. The service staff is hit and miss. On a few visits it was top notch and two other times I got an order taker instead of a server. 

When you sit, take a look around to enjoy the surroundings from the crab definitions and pictures on the walls, other artwork, and be a people watcher. The folks that come in here even on a hot and muggy Charleston summer are not wearing shorts and t-shirts, but business casual or sometimes formal attire. I don’t say the crowd is a bunch of elitists but they have a philosophy of dressing for success. The tables are preset with silverware, a pepper mill, and Baleine French Sea Salt.

The menu is separated into five sections starting with the raw bar items where you can get gulf oysters, tuna tartar, ceviche, and much more ranging from $13.00 to $24.00 per item. The second section consists of soups, salads, and appetizers. On my first visit to Hanks in 2011, I skipped the raw bar and jumped straight into this section going for their crab cakes. Now, a little backstory before I talk about these cakes. I have been making crab cakes for my clients since 2006. When I go out to eat at seafood restaurants I always try their crab cakes so that I can compare them to how I do them. Every restaurant I went to, in several different states and in a few other countries, the crab cake selection was not up to par, and in one place called Fat Willie’s Fish Camp in Brandon, Florida, I ended up getting a bad batch that made me sick. My first taste from the crab cakes at Hanks gave me the honest humility to say that they tasted much better than mine, and still to this day Hank’s is number one and may fall below their standard. Their cakes are three ounces portioned with two to the order, jumbo lump crab meat stuffed with leeks, corn, basil, light panko, and topped with a citrus Champagne beurre blanc.

Crab cakes

Also under the second section of the menu, is an excellent she-crab soup that my daughter eats every time she comes with me, their spinach salad is also very appetizing with goat cheese, bacon, grape tomatoes, croutons in their house dressing just hits the spot. Also, try the oyster casino and the calamari for other options.

She-crab soup

Their third and fourth sections consist of the entrée’s starting with the ‘Chef’s Specialties’, where you have items such as swordfish, sea scallops, seared tuna, and salmon. From that list is an item I have ordered a few times, the roasted grouper with English pea and lobster risotto, covered in a shrimp basil butter jus, garnished with a basil leaf is possibly the best entree they have.

Roasted grouper

The fourth section called Hank’s classics has lobster, fried chicken, and my daughter’s favorite dish, the shrimp, and grits using traditional stone ground grits, from Anson Mills, not that instant crap you buy in the store from Quaker. This dish comes with spicy andouille sausage, tomatoes, garlic, and butter jus. Several restaurants in Charleston offer shrimp and grits, and it is almost a competition, as no one recipe is the same from place to place.
Charleston shrimp and grits

Of all the times I have been to Hank’s, I’ve never had their desserts, which include items such as a southern pecan pie made with Kentucky Bourbon, a crème brûlée, assorted sorbets, and key lime pie. Maybe one day I will have room. Two other locations that are owned by the same company are Brasserie Gigi and the Peninsula Grill.

Please see these guidelines for Tipping in Restaurants and on following proper etiquette, customs, cultures, and avoiding assumptions when you dine out.

Other Noteworthy Seafood Articles & Restaurants:
400 Beach Seafood and Taphouse Relaxed coastal cuisine in St. Petersburg, Florida
Alioto’s Restaurant Historic restaurant serving Sicilian-infused seafood in San Francisco, California
Bonefish Grill Contemporary 200+ chain with a seafood-centric menu; reviewed in St. Petersburg, Florida
Cobalt upscale locally sourced seafood eatery with ocean views in Vero Beach, Florida 
Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro -Laid-back dockside spot for global eats in St. Petersburg, Florida
Jack Dusty’s Nautical themed eatery with crafted cocktails and raw bar at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota Florida
Jekyll Island Seafood Company, New American Seafood Restaurant, Atlanta Airport, Atlanta, Georgia
Moshulu New American dining on a restored ship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar Laid-back Cape Cod-style seafood restaurant in Austin, Texas
Red Snapper Kiwi “fush n’ chups” takeaway restaurant in Sumner, New Zealand
Sea-Guini Chic restaurant with seafood & Italian-inspired cuisine in Clearwater Beach, Florida
Sea Salt Fine-dining & innovative seafood with a raw bar in St. Petersburg, Florida
Two Oceans Restaurant Seafood and sushi with panorama views in Cape Point, South Africa

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary

Other Charleston restaurants and articles on Wine, Dine, and Play:

Acclaimed high-concept inspired Farm to Table tavern
A top 20 on Wine Dine and Play
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Esteemed old-school steakhouse with gospel brunch
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Top 10 American fine-dining ornate chophouse
A top 20 on Wine Dine and Play
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Refined eatery with Lowcountry fare and Southern Brunch
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Bistro w/Southern & Lowcountry cuisine
Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Classic Mediterranean dishes and wine bar
Charleston, South Carolina, USA

See the whole list by visiting “The Wine Dine and Play Article Glossary by country

Final notes, review basics, observations and more pictures:

Most reviews are subjective, depending on the writer; but they should also be responsible, and respectfully written, upholding the truth, and accurately conveying the experience to the best of the writer's knowledge, even if it includes metaphors the restaurant may not like to read about. My ratings are by the stars I award (from 0 to 5). The rating is calculated on a point accumulation of six separate factors based on individual experience. They include wine and other beverage selections, plate presentation, customer service, restaurant or café ambiance, food quality, and wow factor. To see more details of this rating list, read this article:

Overall from this experience and the score factors outlined in the ‘about page’ section, based on my individual experience and rating, I give Hanks Seafood a 4 out of 5 stars, meaning that they not only exceeded my expectations and were far above the average dining experience of most restaurants, but they were outstanding.
Scores are detailed in the factor chart below:

Formula Factor Conclusions and Overall Ratings
Max Points Possible:
Total Points Awarded:
Total Points deducted:
Food quality
Plate presentation
Customer service
Alcohol and other beverages
Total regular points awarded
Total percentage Before Bonus


“Wow” factor BONUS
Total bonus percentage


Total percentage with a bonus for the final star rating


Stars Awarded (see chart below)
             0 - 5

**A full break down and explanation of the observations and point disbursement is available in the linked article above. To receive a detailed copy of your score, feel free to contact me at any time and I will provide it to you.**


Overall Star Rating:
4 of 5 Stars: 
83% Rating with a 1 point “wow” bonus
An Outstanding Dining Experience
Wine List:
Wine rating:
7 of 10
Old World selections: 
France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia

New World selections: 
Argentina, New Zealand, California, Oregon, Washington State, New York, South Africa
Corkage fee’s:
This Restaurant does not list any corkage fee’s however, most American restaurants charge 
$25.00 per bottle
Restaurant style:
Casual dining
Cuisine Style:
American, Seafood, Southern American
Allergen or dietary accommodations: 
Farm to Fork, Local, Pescatarian, Sustainable, Vegetarian
Accepted, but not guaranteed
Dress code:
Casual or Conservative attire
Child policy:

The Restaurants reviewed on this site may have a kids menu or cater to them; however, for full enjoyment of food and wine, it is recommended that kids not to be in attendance, unless they have been trained in proper etiquette. 
If not then:
Hire a Babysitter! 
Place for foodies, Contemporary, Trendy, Business parties, Romantic, Hotspot, Great bar, Good for special occasions, Classy, Upscale, and a Neighborhood Gem.
Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express
Valet, a Public lot, or Street meter parking
Valet $8.00 charge
The restaurants reviewed on this site may have Wi-Fi, but do not require you to go online, because the excitement of the food and wine alone will keep you too entertained instead of checking your social media and emails.
Noise level:
Nonsmoking restaurant
Patio or terrace:

Food Prices 
(excludes, alcohol, taxes & 20% gratuity’s)

$£€¥ -                Under 50.00 (inexpensive)
$£€¥ x 2 -          51.00- 99.00 (moderate)
$£€¥ x 3 -          Over 100.00 (pricey)
$£€¥ x 4 -          Over 200.00 (expensive)
$£€¥ x 5 -          Over 400.00 (very expensive)

**Currencies reflect the world’s major travelers, restaurant, or wine connoisseur’s**

United States Dollar (USD)
Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP)
Canadian Dollar (CAN)
Chinese Yuan (CNY)  
European Union (EUR)

 Alcohol prices:

$45.00 USD

Hanks Seafood:

10 Hayne Street
Charleston, South Carolina

GPS Coordinates:
Latitude 32.781689
Longitude: -79.929678

Contact Information: 
Restaurant website:
Maître d or host:
+ 1843 723-3474
Online reservations:
Email Contact:
Serving hours:
Eastern Standard Time
(GMT, Zulu, or UTC - 5:00)
Daily: Mon-Sun
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Social Media 
Facebook Link                

The worlds best restaurants is a subjective list of who is writing it and changes on a regular basis. The Wine Dine and Play best experiences are based on my highest rated stared restaurants, meaning that the visit was an outstanding or extraordinary experience. From cafés, chains, mom + pops, hole in the walls, to fine dining including a few Michelin spots. Visit the Top 100 page to see the entire list.

A few to tease you with…

Old-world classic Italian & Mediterranean
New Smyrna Beach, Florida, USA
Turkish culinary journey with an eclectic European twist
Plaza Versace Hotel, Dubai, UAE
Seasonal Irish with French gastronomic dining
 Dublin, Ireland

Other Pictures:

Artwork and crab facts
The bar
Spinach salad

“Culinary perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, 
But in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

-Angelique Arnauld (1591-1661)

Who is John Galt?


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