Looking for cool places locals love to eat in Hilton Head Island? The South Carolina coastal destination has features that all kinds of people can enjoy. In between the thrilling attractions from the beach to the in-town shopping centers, you'll need to take a break to replenish with a good meal.

    Fortunately, the restaurant scene in Hilton Head is bustling with plenty of diversity that the whole family can enjoy. Seafood is the speciality as is the case with most coastal destinations, but that's just the beginning of what this resort town can offer. Here are the best local restaurants to try in Hilton Head Island.

    1

    Kenny B's Cajun Seafood Hut

    A place for New Orleans southern flavours

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Families

    Kenny B's Cajun Seafood Hut is a popular spot to head to for delicious catches of the day. While seafood may still be the primary attraction here, you won't find food like this in any other Hilton Head Island seafood restaurant. Kenny B's Cajun Seafood Hut brings New Orleans southern flavour to South Carolina with Cajun-style and flavour implemented in every last dish. 

    As if that wasn't enough, this restaurant also features a Sunday brunch buffet that lets you enjoy as much of their delectable offerings as you like between 8 am and 1 pm. There are kids' meals available as well, so don't hesitate to bring the whole family along.

    Location: 70 Pope Ave, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 8.30 am to 11 am and from 11.30 am to 8 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 8.30 am to 11 am and from noon to 8 pm

    Phone: +1 843-785-3315

    Map
    2

    The Drydock

    For freshly made American cuisine

    • Food
    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Families

    The Drydock is the ideal destination for diners looking to enjoy a delicious meal and a stiff drink at the end of the day on Hilton Head Island. Not only will you find freshly made American cuisine including seafood, steaks, and burgers, but you'll also find a full bar with a wide selection of drinks available. 

    The bar is open late as well, so this is the place to be if you're not quite ready to call it a night. Keep in mind that their commitment to freshness means their food offerings are typically seasonal, so what's available depends on what ingredients they can locally source.

    Location: 840 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, USA

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 2 am

    Phone: +1 843-842-9775

    Map
    3

    Bluffton Barbeque

    A local-favorite for smoked meats

    • Food
    • Couples

    Bluffton Barbecue is a BBQ joint in Bluffton that offers slow-cooked meat dishes in a rustic setting. At this South Carolina restaurant, they want to make it clear that you're at a counter-serve joint rather than a proper restaurant. That means you'll have to get yourself a few things whether it's a drink or napkins or anything else you might need. 

    This is because this small establishment directs all their efforts into making the best meats you can possibly imagine. Their 12-hour cooking process absolutely intensifies the flavour of all their offerings to the point where you won't forget your experience here anytime soon.

    Location: 11 State Of Mind St, Bluffton, SC 29910, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Friday from 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday from noon to 7 pm (closed Sunday–Tuesday)

    Phone: +1 843-757-7427

    Map
    4

    Lowcountry Backyard

    Enjoy Lowcountry fare in laidback settings

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Families

    Lowcountry Backyard is a restaurant that lets you relax as you enjoy your meal no matter what meal of the day you're looking for. The food itself is always made fresh and consists of southern-style comfort fare including BLT's, soups, seafood, and their speciality crabcakes. 

    You'll even find a wide selection of desserts available including freshly baked cakes. The decor of the establishment is remarkably welcoming with an entire backyard garden area featuring a porch swing and atmospheric flickering lamps.

    Location: 32 Palmetto Bay Rd #4A, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm and from 4.40 pm to 9 pm, Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm

    Phone: +1 843-785-9273

    Map
    5

    Kelly's Tavern

    Kelly's Tavern

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Families

    Kelly's Tavern is a place to go in Bluffton for classic pub food, especially if you're looking for a friendly and welcoming environment. Not only will you find classic American food here like burgers, but there's a distinctive Irish feeling to the pub as well. 

    This tavern is known throughout Hilton Head as the home of the MINI Reuben and has won the best of Bluffton award for 2 years in a row. Of course, the star of the show here is the full bar and its wide variety of offerings.

    Location: 11 Buckingham Plantation Dr #b, Bluffton, SC 29910, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +1 843-837-3353

    Map
    6

    May River Grill

    Seafood that's good for everyone

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Families

    May River Grill in the old town area of Hilton Head offers a relaxed and friendly setting for enjoying fresh seafood dishes. The chef-owner at May River has extensive experience working in renowned restaurants and ensuring the menu is accommodating with plenty of vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options also on offer.

    Some of the dishes at May River feature a bit of fusion such as the shrimp and crab egg rolls with sweet Thai chilli sauce for starters or the chicken, shrimp and sausage tortellini. Ask for the wine list for a perfect pairing to your seafood dish. It’s a great place for a family dine out with a varied kids’ menu available.

    Location: 1263 May River Rd UNIT D, Bluffton, SC 29910, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5 pm to 9 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 843-757-5755

    Map
    7

    Lucky Cockerel Kitchen & Bar

    An American bistro with a southern soul

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Families

    At Lucky Cockerel Kitchen & Bar, you'll find a self-described American bistro with a southern soul. That means you'll find typical American fare that's made with the care and passion that goes into southern comfort food. 

    The menu itself is relatively small compared to other restaurants in the area, but that only solidifies the sheer amount of dedication put into each dish. The kitchen staff has absolutely mastered every item on offer from the steak frites and pork pot roast to the foie gras pate and octopus a la plancha.

    Location: 841 William Hilton Pkwy Unit A, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, USA

    Phone: +1 843-681-3474

    Map
    8

    Ruby Lee's South

    Soul food and cocktails with a lively vibe

    • Food
    • Couples

    Ruby Lee's is a great spot for a satisfying dinner complete with exciting entertainment in Hilton Head Island. Not only will you find absolutely delicious soul food made with passion, but this establishment also offers sports broadcasts and live musical performances of local blues artists. 

    Of course, jazz and soul musicians tend to frequent this restaurant as well, so you may want to see who's on the calendar to get the most out of your experience depending on your own personal tastes.

    Location: 19 Dunnagans Alley, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 5 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 843-785-7825

    Map
    9

    Up the Creek Pub & Grill

    Dine and relax over the waterfront

    • Food

    Up the Creek Pub & Grill is where you can enjoy waterfront dining overlooking the picturesque Lowcountry marshes with boats gently moving throughout the water in the distance. While they're most famous for their signature Creek burger, you'll find a variety of American cuisine here including seafood selects and smoked wings.

    Being a pub, however, one of their most impressive offerings is the drink selection. On their menu, you can enjoy local favourites brewed in South Carolina with some offerings from Georgia along with more well-known selections.

    Location: 18 Simmons Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, USA

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 843-681-3625

    Map
    10

    Sea Shack

    Enjoy fresh seafood in simple and laidback settings

    • Food
    • Couples
    • Families

    As the name may suggest, Sea Shack is one of the top destinations in Hilton Head Island for enjoying fresh seafood. All of their dishes use fresh and locally caught seafood and they even have a catch-of-the-day special that changes daily.

    You can even customise how you'd like your dish to be specifically prepared by choosing between fried, grilled, and blackened. Blackboard specials at Sea Shack range from wahoo, mahi-mahi and swordfish to snapper, grouper and frog legs and gator nuggets. Settle for the Shack Attack Combo for a good deal with crabcake, fish, shrimp, scallops and oysters.

    Location: 6 Executive Park Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, USA

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 843-785-2464

    Map

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