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.
Guests of all ages will love Skull Creek Dockside, the newest addition from The SERG Restaurant Group. Resembling a traditional river house, this eatery combines authentic architecture and historic décor with family-friendly entertainment. Kids will love the Shrimp Boat playground while parents will appreciate the stunning views - and everyone will love the extensive menu options!
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.
The Liveliest Dinner Party in Town
For a sophisticated night out, try The Bluffton Room —where the lost art of dining is being revived nightly in the heart of Old Town Bluffton. Serving classic American cuisine prepared with the finest ingredients, their crafted cocktails and table-side preparations evoke the feeling of a lively dinner party. On Fridays, enjoy a New Orleans-style lunch from 11am-2pm, complete with a creole menu and martinis.
Delectable Baked Goods
Don’t forget about the most important meal of the day, breakfast! Hilton Head Social Bakery
serves homemade brioche and warm flaky croissants alongside an array of delectable French baked goods. Located in the Shelter Cove Marina, the cozy cafe bakes pastries fresh daily—enjoy them on the sunny patio, or 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. They even serve dinner on Friday and Saturday nights! 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)!
An Island Favorite
One of the most loved restaurants in Hilton Head Island, Alexander’s is serving up seasonally-inspired cuisine and locally-caught seafood in an upscale-yet-cozy atmosphere. The menu pays tribute to many classic Lowcountry favorites like stuffed flounder, shrimp and grits, and wiener schnitzel. Delighting diners since 1977, Alexander’s is open for early dining and dinner, seven nights a week
Farm to Table
Bluffton restaurant FARM subscribes to the philosophy that every dish we eat has a story behind it. Partnering with local farmers and purveyors, they offer refined cuisine inspired by the seasonal bounty of local produce available on the Island. Whether you go for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch, Chef Brandon Carter— South Carolina’s Chef Ambassador for 2019—is sure to have something special in store.
Crazy Good Crab
Indulge in a unique waterfront dining experience at the Crazy Crab Harbour Town. The menu is derived from Lowcountry recipes, including their award-winning Alaskan snow crab legs—an absolute must-try. And, with an onsite playground, live music, and unobstructed Island sunset views, The Crazy Crab is a warm escape for the whole family.
Located at the new Sea Pines Beach Club, Coast specializes in fresh, local sea fare and stunning oceanfront views. Take Sunday brunch to the beach with a menu of classics like chicken and waffles, fried chicken biscuits, and shrimp and grits paired with mimosas, bloody marys and bubbly.
La Dolce Vita
Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana boasts classic Italian cuisine alongside an award-winning wine list and fine-dining service. Savor hand-made pasta, succulent veal, and mouth-watering house made desserts. Wish you could eat like this at home? Lucky for you, Michael Anthony’s houses a state-of-the-art cooking school with weekly classes open to novice cooks and culinary enthusiasts alike. Mangia!
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Oysters on the half shell to start. A bucket of fresh peel-and-eat shrimp straight from the Atlantic to follow. Peach cobbler right out of the oven for dessert.
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