Ranking All the Moe’s in Charleston

“From the second you walk into a Moe’s, you’ll notice there’s something different. You actually feel welcomed. Ever since our employees at the first location in Atlanta, GA in the year 2000 shouted “Welcome to Moe’s!” – which probably scared the bejesus out of those first guests – that phrase has embodied our entire culture. Everybody is welcome at Moe’s. Except, of course, fugitives.”

-Moe’s Website

We all wish we could say that these claims from Moe’s website were still true, but we all know they are not. I remember years ago walking into the Moe’s on the corner of King and Calhoun, greeted by the pleasant aromas, the classic “Welcome to Moe’s” shout, and a generally clean environment. However, all of Moe’s restaurants seem to have gone downhill. When was the last time that you heard the “Welcome to Moe’s” shout? Think about it.

That being said, Moe’s still provides decently good burritos, tacos, and stacks. Charleston is home to numerous Moe’s restaurants. Some of these restaurants still hold up to the standard that we all miss—or, at least, are close to this standard. Having visited the main four in our area, I will be ranking these restaurants based on food quality, hygiene, staff, and overall environment. Keep reading to the end for two special surprises.

  1. Mt. Pleasant Moe’s Near The Ravenel (900 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464)

While the other three Moe’s restaurants on my list are all pretty similar, this one is a clear outlier. Unlike the other three, this restaurant tends to be not very clean. While it may be the only Moe’s restaurant with a drive-through, it is almost always closed. In fact, this is a restaurant that I will go out of my way to avoid. Another problem is that both soda machines just never work. You should also expect to sit at a slightly sticky table, at the best. However, you should give it a try to make your own opinion about it instead of just listening to a stranger on the Internet.

  1. Mt. Pleasant Moe’s (612 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464)

I had a hard time choosing between this restaurant and the one that earns #2 on my list. The tiebreaker is with the actual building: this restaurant is smaller and more cramped. However, the restaurant is still clean and efficient. 

  1. West Ashely Moe’s (1812 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407)

This Moe’s restaurant is very similar to #1. It has a pleasant atmosphere with the most space of all the Moe’s restaurants in Charleston. It also has the biggest patio for al fresco dining. The restaurant is clean and has a good vibe. However, expect a longer wait at this restaurant than the one that earns my #1 spot. The drink machine also frequently tends to be out of a lot of drinks.

  1. North Charleston Moe’s (4948 Centre Pointe Dr #101, North Charleston, SC 29418)

That’s right, the Moe’s we all (should) know and love. Located a few minutes from Magnet just outside Tanger Outlets, it is a perfect location to meet up with friends after a long day at school. However, I would caution the juniors/sophomores to stop being annoying and immature at the restaurant, as one of the employees complained to me about that once. The last thing we want is to corrupt another Moe’s restaurant and turn it to the dark side. That being said, the employees at this Moe’s restaurant are consistently efficient. The queso is always perfect and the drink machine is always full. The environment is clean, pleasant, and has an overall good vibe. You should be prepared to run into other Magnet students, so you should consider keeping conversations with your friends at a low volume—or just keep a lookout (you never know who lurks around the corner or behind you). Anyway, after dining here, you could also enjoy an excursion to Tanger Outlets for some shopping.

A Tribute: Downtown Moe’s

The last time I heard the famous “Welcome to Moe’s” greeting was at the one on King Street before it permanently closed. If you did not know, it has since been transformed into a Refuel. However, you can still spot the skeletons of what it once was, including the counter where the rice, beans, and lettuce used to live, and the slightly leaky air conditioning system on the ceiling. What made this Moe’s great was its dedication to staying true to the values of Moe’s and its ideal location in the best part of King. Let’s all take a moment of silence as we remember what once was. 

Extra: The True Best Moe’s in Charleston

While my list of the best Moe’s Southwest Grill locations in Charleston is finished, I would feel guilty if I did not mention this laid-back—yet delicious— location on Rutledge: Moe’s Crosstown Tavern. Upon first glances, it may look like a shabby sports bar, but that is far from the truth. Upon entering the dark restaurant, the door closing behind you as it blocks out the last bit of sunshine, you will be in for quite the experience. This restaurant actually has some of the best American food in Charleston: burgers, buffalo wings, jalapeño poppers, etc. It may have the best burger in Charleston, to be honest. Ever since I stumbled upon this quaint establishment, I have always loved it. Whether you go by yourself, with family, or with friends, I am sure you will have a great time. You can even enjoy a game of pool in the back! This one is the true #1 of the list.