The Great American Bar Search: Charleston

Maxim is on the hunt for the country’s best watering holes. This month we lay waste to that genteel city of the South, Charleston—a.k.a. Chucktown.
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Maxim is on the hunt for the country’s best watering holes. This month we lay waste to that genteel city of the South, Charleston—a.k.a. Chucktown.
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Maxim is on the hunt for the country’s best watering holes. This month we lay waste to that genteel city of the South, Charleston—a.k.a. Chucktown.

Your Cotton-mouthed crawl starts here, y’all

11 a.m. Closed for Business

What’s wrong with snarfing spiced barbecue pork rinds and sampling craft beers in a cozy room that feels kind of like Grandma’s basement? Absolutely nothing.



‘453’ is the number of minutes you’ll spend in the bathroom, on average, after eating the spicy pork rinds

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1 p.m. Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park

When the minor-league RiverDogs are in town, part-owner Bill Murray (yes, that one) often shows up to cheer them on and down a hot dog topped with slaw and pickled okra.



This is how we always dreamed we’d go out: crushed to death by a giant Bill Murray at a baseball game



2 p.m. Poe’s Tavern

Across Charleston Harbor is the beach town of Sullivan’s Island, where this tavern serves up cheap beer, fat burgers, and subtle nods to its namesake, like “Edgar’s Drunken Chili.”



Once upon a midnight breezy, we ate a burger – extra cheesy

3 p.m. Market Street Saloon

It’s a familiar concept: shot girls in halters and short shorts shaking it on the bar. Doesn’t get old, though, does it?



Thursday night: free lessons in “How to use a French toilet”



5 p.m. Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge

Drinks for sharing, a dizzying tequila menu, and weird Hawaiian-inspired food like teriyaki Spam kabobs? Sounds barfproof to us.

8 p.m. Silver Dollar

This packed college bar hosts Greek parties and features dollar bourbon specials twice a week. That’s $1 for real drinks, not shots. These are real Southern gentlemen.

10 p.m. Big John’s Tavern

When Charleston son John Cannady left the NFL in 1954, he opened this old-fashioned dive, which attracts sports lovers, pool players, local bands, and serious drinkers only.



By “serious” we mean “drinking too fast to be caught on camera”

To see our favorites bars in other cities--including New York, Dallas, Austin, and Atlanta--check out more Great American Bar Search.