The Best Seafood Restaurants in Hilton Head

Any visit to Hilton Head Island would be lacking if it didn’t include a healthy dose of Lowcountry cuisine and its signature seafood.  Similar to the New Orleans and Cajun styles of cooking, Lowcountry dishes trace their roots to the Caribbean and Africa.  The addition of the product of local saltwater marshes and brackish estuaries makes Lowcountry cuisine something special.

While you may be itching to dig into piping hot bowl of Frogmore stew, chances are you don’t plan on spending much of your beach vacation cooking.  Thankfully, plenty of first-rate chefs have set up shop in Hilton Head and the surrounding area, making all the best lowcountry dishes available with no cooking required.

While you’re enjoying the beautiful beaches and world class golf on Hilton Head, don’t forget to indulge in our unique food in a few of the best restaurants in the area.

A Lowcountry Backyard

As the name suggests, enjoying a meal out back at A Lowcountry Backyard feels like home, except someone is cooking for you!  Hold out for a table outside to get the full backyard experience including a fire pit and some of the friendliest service in town.  Enjoy old standbys like shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes, or experiment with something new like the James Island Benedict.

The Sea Shack

Image from Yelp

This is the kind of place the locals like to keep to themselves.  Judging by the line that forms during peak times, it seems that they have been unsuccessful.  Rather than put on a fancy show The Sea Shack devotes its energy to turning out consistently excellent seafood and southern favorites.  The Oyster po-boy is a real crowd pleaser, and even picky kids will find something to love on the Guppy Menu.

Hudson’s Seafood House On the Docks

Image from Yelp

Looking for dinner with a view that almost rivals the food?  Stop by Hudson’s Seafood House On the Docks where every table offers views of Port Royal Sound.  Thanks to the location next door to one of the islands last two fishing fleets, fresh local seafood makes its way from boat to table daily.  To take advantages of the fresh catch, order Neptune’s Seafood Platter for a selection of oysters, scallops, shrimp, crap, and seasonal fish.

Skull Creek Boathouse

Image from Yelp

This waterfront location on the banks of Skull Creek serves up great Lowcountry options and plenty more.  For the full experience enjoy an original drink at the open-air Bayou Bar, soaking up the stunning sunset over the water.  Next on the menu, order some appetizers from the Dive Bar, a raw bar serving oysters, shrimp, ceviche, and even sushi.  Finally, enjoy a main course chosen from a menu of first-rate seafood.

A quick word about ordering seafood.  As with any ingredient, the key to the best taste is eating during the peak season.  While you should always ask your server what’s fresh before ordering, it’s helpful to have an understanding of what’s in season before you head out for dinner.  Take a look at this guide to South Carolina seafood seasons before ordering to ensure you’re getting the freshest product.

  • Shellfish including clams and oysters are in season during the fall, winter, and spring.
  • Local shrimp has two seasons.  Brown shrimp are harvested between May and August while white shrimp is in season between September and December.
  • When if comes to fish, peak season depends on the species.  Just ask your server what is fresh for a recommendation.
  • Enough talk, get out there and eat some seafood!

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