Ten Must-Try Lowcountry Restaurants
With more than 250 restaurants, visitors can satisfy their appetites with a wide variety of tempting treats. From down-home Southern barbecue to urban small plates, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Here are a few places that make every bite memorable.
Refined Southern Dining
The foodie in your party will love the Lucky Rooster Kitchen & Bar. Self-described as “an American bistro with Southern soul”, the restaurant serves the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients and their menu changes with the seasons. If you love Southern comfort food, you’ll love their fried chicken skins (available on the bar menu), shrimp and grits, or braised beef short rib. Feeling adventurous? Roasted octopus or foie gras terrine are right up your alley. We always recommend starting dinner off with a specialty craft cocktail, think hand shaken and carefully crafted to perfection, and beer cheese.
Southern Comfort Food
If you are looking for comfort food with a Hilton Head Island twist, A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant is the place to go. Visitors flock here for a truly unique culinary experience on the island. Diners can indulge in blue crab dip, fried green tomato BLTs, or shrimp and grits. The outdoor dining space shaded with trees provides a quintessential Southern experience. Lowcountry boils and oyster roasts make A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant a top destination for foodies.
Dinner With A View
No visit to Hilton Head Island is complete without a stop at Hudson’s Seafood House on The Docks. One of the Island’s oldest and most famous restaurants, Hudson’s focuses on local and fresh seafood with more than 30 entrée selections. Oysters, hushpuppies, and fried shrimp are popular dishes for first-timers. Hudson’s is located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway and has some of the best views on the Island. For a truly magical dining experience, time your visit around sunset; you may even spot a dolphin or two from the outside deck and bar (open seasonally).
Voted Hilton Head Island’s best Mexican, Holy Tequila is a cut above your typical Mexican fare. The restaurant sets the bar for modern Mexican cuisine by using locally-sourced ingredients and a wood-burning grill. Their menu offers twelve different types of tacos and famous succulent charred street corn. Live music and an upscale Mexican cantina atmosphere give diners a truly unique Mexican experience. And true to its name, Holy Tequila offers more than 50 premium tequilas. Cheers!
Fresh, local seafood and a beautiful water view – how can you go wrong?
Waterfront dining at its finest, the Old Oyster Factory has been a Hilton Head Island favorite for more than 25 years. They serve up steaks and seafood in more ways than you can imagine. Some of their scrumptious signature dishes include a Seafood Medley featuring the day’s fresh catches as well as Broiled Dayboat Scallops, always a decadent dish. The restaurant also features kid-friendly options, so feel free to make it a family outing. Happy hour more your style? Belly up to the bar, order some delicious raw oysters, and pair them with the perfect lager.
Small Plates for a Big Night Out
For a sophisticated night out on the island, try WiseGuys – an urban-inspired hot spot with a small plates menu like no other.
Tapas such as creamy deviled crab fondue, freshly prepared tuna tartare lettuce wraps, and fragrant parmesan truffle fries will tickle your taste buds.
If you are in the mood for something heavier, WiseGuy’s aged steaks have been voted best on the island. The lush interior and exclusive wine list make WiseGuys the perfect spot for a special evening.
Delectable Baked Goods
Don’t forget about the most important meal of the day, breakfast! Caretta Coffee serves homemade breakfast bars and delicious breakfast sandwiches. Located at Coligny Plaza, the cozy cafe bakes pastries fresh daily, for a snack on the patio – or you can take your treats to go for an island picnic.
Oysters from East to West
Oyster lovers should visit nearby Bluffton for a mouth-watering array of choices. The experts from The Bluffton Oyster Co.specialize in fresh, local seafood – including our renowned Lowcountry oysters. Visit them to indulge in a classic Lowcountry Boil, feast on snow crab legs, or dine on delicious appetizers like mussels, calamari, and peel-n-eat shrimp.
Crab on the Coast
To gaze upon Daufuskie Island’s spectacular sunset views, while dining on fresh seafood at its best, head to the Old Daufuskie Crab Company – just a short ferry ride away from Hilton Head Island or Savannah. Shuck your own oysters at the roasting pit, feast on fresh-caught shrimp, or try the Crab Company’s homemade burgers for a true Southern delight. The extensive menu offers a long list of down-home cooking options including fried okra, hush puppies, and the local specialty, Daufuskie devil crab. The family friendly atmosphere set along the marina will have you coming back again and again.
Quaint, Cozy, Scrumptious – One Quintessential Location
The Cottage Café and Bakery serves up scrumptious food with a side of old-world Southern charm—much like the town it calls home – Bluffton, South Carolina. The Cottage is a delicious lunch and breakfast spot, with selections varying from shrimp & grits with eggs to Cajun jambalaya and a signature Monte Cristo sandwich. We recommend making it your go-to for Sunday brunch while you’re here. Then, pick up some of their fabulous fresh-baked pies, cakes, tarts, scones and cookies to enjoy later at your vacation rental or resort (if they even make it that far)!
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