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Where to Find the Most Delectable Seafood on Hilton Head Island

By Hilton Head Insider

On Hilton Head Island, the bounty of the Atlantic Ocean meets the soul of the South for some of the finest, freshest, and most flavorful seafood anywhere in the world. Whether you’re catching dinner yourself or leaving the cooking to the professionals, this is your guide to the best Lowcountry seafood and where to find it.

What’s in our Waters

The Lowcountry is synonymous with shellfish. There are the briny and savory oysters, the famous Atlantic blue crab, and shrimp—the delicious pillar of iconic South Carolina dishes like gumbo, shrimp and grits.

When it comes to fish, we’re treated to the best of quality and quantity. Our near-shore waters are home to mahi, redfish, grouper, snapper, flounder, and the unique triggerfish — a popular choice on local menus thanks to its mild, versatile flavor profile.

The best time to indulge in these delicacies? Oyster season peaks from fall through winter, shrimp are best from May to October (or longer in warmer weather), and blue crab, clams, seabass, and swordfish are in season year-round. Snapper is an exceptionally rare catch, with recreational fishing limited to just a few days each year to support conservation efforts.

Where to Dine: For an Upscale Dinner

Searching for an elevated setting worthy of a romantic sunset soirée or milestone celebration? The Quarterdeck at The Sea Pines Resort offers indoor and open-air dining on an oceanfront patio and a rooftop oyster bar with 270-degree views of Harbour Town and Calibogue Sound. On the menu, you'll find standout seafood dishes such as charcoal-roasted local oysters and shrimp, market fish imperial featuring South Carolina-caught fish, and South Carolina grouper Rockefeller.

Seafood always tastes better by the ocean. HH Prime at Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort offers a beachfront dining experience complete with an open show kitchen and a grand indoor and outdoor fireplace. Dedicated to serving the finest USDA Prime Grade beef and the freshest seafood, its menu offers elevated classics like the rotating fresh catch, seasonal island ceviche, and Lowcountry she-crab soup.

An evening at Alexander’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort is a reservation-worthy affair. This bright, airy restaurant and wine bar serves a seasonal menu of elevated Lowcountry classics created with locally caught seafood and regional ingredients. For special occasions, reserve one of their exclusive Wine Dinners for a perfectly paired dining experience.


Where to Dine: For a Classic Lowcountry Experience

For a taste of tradition, add these beloved eateries and local favorites to your to-dine list for a quintessential Hilton Head Island experience.

You know it’s good when even the locals line up. The Sea Shack is Hilton Head Island’s unassuming gem for fresh seafood and down-home, Lowcountry-style cooking. Order from a mouthwatering menu of grilled, fried, or blackened seafood platters, combo meals, sandwiches, po boys, and burgers—all made-to-order.

Pay a visit to one of Hilton Head Island’s oldest and most renowned restaurants at Hudson’s Seafood on the Docks, nestled along the edge of Port Royal Sound. This acclaimed eatery offers a genuine ocean-to-plate experience, receiving daily deliveries of fresh oysters, shrimp, soft shell crabs, and more directly from a local fishing fleet. At Hudson’s, they truly embody "something for everyone" with a menu that boasts over 30 entrées, each designed to showcase the best of the season.

If you’re dining with little ones, make your way to Broad Creek; The Old Oyster Factory is a beloved gathering place for families with children of all ages. This Hilton Head Island mainstay serves fresh-caught seafood, overlooking panoramic views of the marshland landscape. Don’t miss a stop at the raw bar for a spectacular selection of fresh raw oysters and chilled shellfish — or, if you’re feeling extravagant—the signature seafood tower.

Where to Dine: For a Casual Bite

When it’s fresh, it doesn’t need to be fancy. For a low-key lunch or relaxed dinner, you’ll find a warm Southern welcome at these easygoing seafood spots.

When it comes to authentic Southern cuisine, shrimp and grits reign supreme. Try an award-winning recipe at A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant, an eatery serving classic seafood dishes in a casual garden setting. For an authentic taste of the Lowcountry, try the island crab cakes, seafood purloo, or the May River blue crab dip.

An extensive selection of local seafood awaits at the waterside Black Marlin Bayside Grill. Dine alfresco on their expansive covered patio and start with their famous Food Network ahi tuna nachos, featuring seared ahi tuna, crispy wontons, and zesty wasabi aioli. Among their extensive menu of seafood selection, don't miss the Sweet Heat Mahi Mahi, Grouper Daufuskie, and their award-winning Seafood Chowder.

Oyster platter

Catch and Cook

Planning to stay at a cottage or vacation rental? Enhance your experience by going on a fishing charter adventure, where you can reel in your dinner and enjoy cooking it yourself. Outside Hilton Head offers a variety of fishing experiences, from family-friendly fishing trips to kayak excursions and traditional Lowcountry shrimping. For those seeking a tailored experience, Captain Experiences Hilton Head Fishing Charters provides half and full-day options for Deep Sea, Inshore, and Backcountry fishing, with specialized trips designed for beginners.

If you prefer to prepare pre-caught seafood at home, Hilton Head Island is home to plenty of markets and fishmongers. With options such as Barnacle Bill’s Fresh Seafood, South End Seafood, and Benny Hudson Seafood, you'll surely find the freshest catch of the day just a stone's throw away.

Feeling hungry?

Now that you know what’s on the menu, start filling in the rest of your itinerary with all that America’s Favorite Island® has to offer between bites. 

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