Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
Best Restaurants in Myrtle Beach, SC
All Area Codes Are 843
This list includes The Grand Strand, which includes Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Little River, Surfside Beach, Murrells Inlet, Garden City Beach, Litchfield Beach and Georgetown, South Carolina.
Austin’s at Pawleys
U.S. 17 (Ocean Highway)
Owner/chef Bill Austin is a Culinary Institute of America alum. His restaurant offers upscale Lowcountry fine dining with French flair and a contemporary Southern décor. Every dish is a delight to the senses, from salmon to filet mignon.
Luck and Mulberry streets
Discerning fare is served in this gracious old home tucked back on a quiet side street. They offer seafood, prime rib, lamb chops and even grilled ostrich.
Bovine’s Southwestern Grill
3979 U.S. 17 Business
This waterfront restaurant in Murrells Inlet has casual fine dining specializing in wood-fired grilled items, including locally caught seafood, and brick oven-baked gourmet pizzas. The view is spectacular, and the kitschy Southwestern décor, such as saddle bar stools, is stylish and fun.
Bubba’s Fish Shack
16 South Ocean Blvd.
Bubba’s is a fun place for couples, large families or other groups. Great seafood and sandwiches are presented in a casual atmosphere.
Bummz Beach Café
2003 N. Ocean Blvd.
Sandwiches and salads are fresh, the drinks are icy-cold and the oceanfront cabana usually has a live band in season. Casual vacation attire and mentalities are encouraged.
Capt. Dave’s Dockside Restaurant
4037 U.S. 17 Business
The old Dave’s was torn down to make way for this new upscale waterfront haven. A high-tech grill allows for superbly cooked meats and succulent sushi-grade seafood. Southern Living magazine recommended the bacon-wrapped scallops.
Arriving at this refined restaurant on the grounds of a former rice plantation takes you through an avenue of live oaks. They’re open for superb breakfasts and elegant dinners. It’s also a popular site for weddings; the grounds are impeccably groomed.
4700 U.S. 17 Bypass South
Moderately priced Italian food is presented in a busy and happy atmosphere with live piano music.
815 Surfside Drive
Live piano music performed several nights per week is the backdrop for casual continental dining. You can’t miss it; the building is pink.
Chive Blossom Café
U.S. 17 South (Ocean Highway)
Fresh produce is a mainstay for this small gourmet eateries’ deliciously eclectic suppers.
7604 N. Kings Highway
City Bar advertises itself as “plush, funky and fun,” and that’s a good description. The menu is eclectic – we love the cheese plate appetizer and any of the small plate entrees. Wine dinners are the third Tuesday night of every month. Award-winning Executive Chef Sean Christenson is at the helm.
7726 N. Kings Highway (U.S. 17 Business)
Is it an art gallery, a coffee and dessert haven or a gourmet dinner spot? It’s all three, and the experience is luxurious. Dress up, and try the Scallop Cake.
4065 U.S. 17 Business
Life just doesn’t get much better than sipping a cool drink on the deck at Creek Ratz. Fresh seafood and the awesome inlet view bring diners back. For lunch or dinner, this is a happy and casual place. The Grouper Sandwich is delicious.
Croissants Bakery and Café
3751 Robert M. Grissom Parkway
This 12-year-old locals’ favorite for divine pastries and delectable breakfasts and lunches just moved to a new and bigger location. Now in addition to fresh-baked goodies baked on-site, they have wine, Seattle’s Best coffee and suppers-to-go.
Divine Fish House
3993 U.S. 17 Business
If you want a more upscale atmosphere, dine inside and appreciate the inlet view and gorgeous décor. If you’re wearing shorts and flip-flops, dine outside at Wahoo’s, which is part of the Divine Fish House. The seafood is great inside or out.
4031 U.S. 17 Business
The atmosphere is casual, but the seafood is serious. You get a great view of the inlet, plus excellent local seafood like crab cakes, shrimp and flounder. They also have char-grilled steaks. You can sit on the statue of Bubba Love outside.
400 20th Ave. S.
110 U.S. 17 S.
North Myrtle Beach
These are not your ordinary Asian restaurant. Both locations offer a sophisticated and relaxing décor and the food is definitely a cut above your neighborhood take-out joint. The double pan-fried noodles are awesome.
Fat Jack’s Wings & Things
353 U.S. 17 Business N.
I almost hate to give away the location of this fantastic locals’ hangout but feel it’s my duty to share where you can get the best wings on the planet. They’re cooked so the skin is crispy, the plump inside moist and juicy. Flavors are spectacular, from the sweet and tangy house version to garlic parmesan, Texas gold barbecue, jalapeno teriyaki, Cajun and extra-spicy kamikaze.
3100 U.S. 17 Business S.
The surroundings are strip mall, but the food is authentic Italian. Dress casually and enjoy the experience.
3797 U.S. 17 Business
It doesn’t matter if you’re alone, with a date or in a large group of fun-lovers: Flo’s is the place to go for a good time. The bayou theme fits with the inlet location surrounded by live oaks, and the owner personally ensures folks are entertained and feel welcome. The Cajun food is great, too. Try the ‘gator.
Frank’s and Frank’s Outback
10434 U.S. 17 (Ocean Highway)
As one of the most esteemed fine dining restaurants in the Grand Strand area, it’s hard to believe Frank’s used to be a filling station/convenience store. The seafood and steaks are legendary, as are the gourmet pizzas and other fine fare served in the open-air part called Frank’s Outback. If you like roasted garlic, try the GOOP appetizer. You can feel comfortable dressed to the nines or wearing business casual attire.
9448 U.S. 17 (Ocean Highway)
The number of menu items is amazing, as are some of the more unusual dishes such as Crab and Sweet Potato Soufflé or Fried Alligator. Breakfasts are great with choices like Salmon Patties and Eggs or Catfish Fillet with grits and a cheese biscuit.
La Playa Mexican Cantina
10185 U.S. 17 (Ocean Highway)
This is definitely not a typical Mexican restaurant. Sure, they have authentic burritos and enchiladas, but you can also choose Shrimp Ceviche, Ginger Chicken, Pork Carnitas or Pollo Culichi with a creamy poblano pepper sauce that is topped with mushrooms and poblanos. The menu is vast, the atmosphere is festively casual.
11 N. Seaside Dr.
Latitude is a treat because of its third-story ocean view, the signature cocktails and an interesting Caribbean-inspired menu. In season at night they have live music, including a steel drum band; they’re also open for lunch.
Lee’s Inlet Kitchen
4460 U.S. 17 Business
Fried seafood, broiled seafood and grilled seafood are what has been served here for six decades. They do it well. Dress comfortably, including a loose waistband.
Louis’s at Pawleys
10880 U.S. 17 (Ocean Highway)
In the Hammock Shops at Pawleys Island
Owner/chef Louis Osteen has been credited with the revival of gourmet Southern food, which is showcased at this Pawleys Island restaurant. Some folks dress up as befits the cuisine, but after all this is Pawleys Island so “nice casual” also works. Full-blown casual is appropriate in the adjacent Fish Camp Bar.
Marina Raw Bar
U.S. 17 at Vereen’s Marina
North Myrtle Beach
Situated by a marina off the Intracoastal Waterway, the nice view of yachts does not overshadow the delights of a bucket of steamed oysters, a nice piece of flounder or a soft shell crab.
Nance’s Cedar Hill Landing Restaurant
5225 U.S. 17 Business
Try a seafood platter or a bucket of steamed oysters, and while you’re loving those you can also enjoy the beautiful inlet view. It’s a very casual place.
Nibils at Surfside Pier
11 S. Ocean Blvd.
Early-morning beach walkers often end their exercise with a breakfast of a seafood omelet at Nibils. Lunches and dinners offer a wide variety, from sandwiches to steaks and a lot in between. Since it’s on a pier, the ocean and beach views in this casual family-run restaurant are memorable.
4204 U.S. 17 Business
This gem started life as a private residence, then became a boarding house. Fresh seafood has been served there since 1910, making it the oldest restaurant on the Grand Strand. It’s popular for good reason – the food is incredible. Try the Flounder Roosevelt stuffed with crab and topped with lobster cream sauce, or Tasso Cream Shrimp over creamy grits. The building has been lovingly restored, and the dining room overlooks a lush lawn, live oaks and the inlet.
Orobosa’s Lowcountry Café
85 N. Causeway Rd.
Owner/chef Orobosa Uwagbai is a native of Nigeria who spent several years as Executive Chef at one of Pawleys Island’s most upscale Lowcountry restaurants. His cuisine is a unique mixture of Lowcountry, African and classic continental. Our favorites are his crab cakes, Beef Waga Waga and Lemon Grouper. Dress casual.
Pat and Mike’s Irish Pub
1359 U.S. 17
Loads of locals hang out here for the moderately priced and varied menu, karaoke and live music. Visitors will also feel welcome; it’s a friendly and fun place. The menu is immense, with sandwiches and entrees like Roast Pork Medallions and Chicken Kilkenny.
Ocean Boulevard at 14th Avenue North
We think the breakfasts and lunches are better and priced more reasonably than the dinners, but at night there is live music. You can’t beat the view from the pier. Some folks stop by for cocktails and appetizers and enjoy them al fresco on the deck.
Rice Paddy Restaurant
732 Front St.
The location inside an old bank exudes Southern charm and hospitable gentility. Be sure to check out the former bank vault that’s now a wine cellar. Gourmet Southern cuisine is on the menu; the lump crab cakes, and specials like shrimp and grits, are outrageously delicious. While the meals are upscale, about any manner of dress would work here except for T-shirts and flip-flops.
801 Front St.
The specialty is Shrimp and Grits with tasso ham and Andouille sausage; a bonus is a fresh-baked fluffy biscuit hidden under the grits. The Herb-crusted Grouper, McClellanville Crab Cakes and Pecan Chicken Salad are all delicious. The building is historic, the ambiance cozy and warm and there’s a great view of the Sampit River.
Rossi’s Italian Restaurant
9636 N. Kings Highway, in the Galleria Shopping Center
Rossi’s is an institution in Myrtle Beach. The surroundings are swanky, and Rat Pack era tunes provide a sultry backdrop for diners enjoying a wide variety of Italian fare. Next door is Eighty-Eights, a fun piano bar with a dance floor. Lots of people dress up to dine here, but you don’t have to.
Roz’s Rice Mill Café
10880 U.S. 17 (Ocean Highway), in the Hammock Shops
Roz’s fresh soups, sandwiches and salads, plus the charming building and friendly servers, make this one of the best darn little old lunch spots in the entire Grand Strand.
Sawgrass Room at Pawleys Plantation
70 Tanglewood Drive
Many people assume since Pawleys Plantation is a gated upscale housing community that the restaurant is not open to the public, but that’s not so. Anyone is welcome to dine in the plantation-style restaurant and enjoy daily breakfasts, graceful dinners on Thursday and Friday nights (not Saturdays) and lavish Sunday brunches. Appropriate attire is suggested.
Sea Captain’s House
3002 N. Ocean Blvd.
This former beach cottage is a landmark for locals and visitor. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily in a spectacular oceanfront setting, and reservations are never accepted except for large private parties. There is a breakfast buffet, but we like the Crab Cakes Benedict off the menu. Daily lunch specials are always a treat, and for dinner you can’t go wrong with any seafood dish.
503 U.S. 17 N.
North Myrtle Beach
This romantic little restaurant has quickly earned a stellar reputation for its tapas (small-portion plates) and discriminating wine list. Chef proprietor Kelly Graham and Executive Chef Bryan Bodle are an excellent team for creating exciting menus with dishes such as Pan Fried Black Bass with creamed leeks, celery heart and grape salad.
The Parson’s Table
U.S. 17 at McCorsely Ave.
Owner/chef Ed Murray serves upscale continental cuisine with Lowcountry flair in this former church with gorgeous stained glass windows. But there’s no need to wear church clothes; you could even get away with nice shorts and a collared shirt here.
Front Street beside the clock tower
Breakfast and lunch is all that’s served here, and they do it well. For breakfast we recommend the hoe cakes, and at lunch pay attention to the daily specials. It’s a meat-and-three diner like you’ve never had before.
9706 N. Kings Highway
When you want a quiet and upscale evening with top-notch cuisine and service, this is a dependable choice. Thoroughbreds is known as a romantic spot, but it’s also a great place for enjoying juicy steaks or Grouper Neptune with a group of friends.
Umi Pacific Grille
U.S. 17 at Lake Arrowhead Road, in the Galleria Shopping Center
Umi is a new entry in Myrtle Beach’s upscale dining ranks, and reactions are favorable. The décor is sleek and sophisticated to match the splendid Pacific Rim menu. As with most Grand Strand restaurants, you don’t need to go over the top with your manner of dress; “nice casual” works almost anywhere in town.
707 S. Kings Highway
You’ll feel like you’re a member of a large and happy Italian family when you pull your chair up to one of owner/chef Rinaldo Montrosse’s tables. The Osso Buco is moist, the gnocchi is fluffy and the accordionist is always cheerful.
WaterScapes at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes
8121 Amalfi Place
WaterScapes is another new star in the Grand Strand dining landscape. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are thrilling in their innovation and terrific taste. You can dine inside or out, and if you have a boat handy you can arrive via the Intracoastal Waterway.
Becky Billingsley is owner of The Food Syndicate and posts daily Myrtle Beach-area restaurant news updates at www.myrtlebeachrestaurantnews.com. She is an award-winning writer who has covered the area’s restaurants for a decade.