Hilton Head Travel Guide

USA  #2 in Best South Carolina Beaches
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Courtesy of Sean Pavone/Getty Images/iStockphoto

What to Eat in Hilton Head

While in Hilton Head, there are two dining experiences you absolutely cannot forgo. The first, dine on as much low country cuisine as you can. Second, make sure you do so alongside some water views. Skull Creek Boathouse offers both. Located in northern Hilton Head, the Skull Creek Boathouse dishes up classic low country dishes, such as Carolina shrimp and grits and the low country boil.  The low country boil is a big dish that is meant to be shared, featuring a mash up of red potatoes, corn on the cob, spicy sausage and shellfish (usually shrimp or crab) all of which are boiled in a giant pot. Once the ingredients have cooked to perfection, they are then traditionally served in one big pile on a picnic table covered in newspaper. From there, patrons are encouraged to pour on the sauces, which typically include cocktail sauce, hot sauce and tartar sauce. 
If you aren't traveling with a big party, grubbing down on any seafood will get you the proper low country foodie experience you're looking for. The cuisine's identity is based entirely on the bounty of the coast, which technically stretches 80 miles from the Savannah River in Georgia to Pawleys Island in South Carolina. Seafood reigns supreme, by default, as well as grits and rice, which, due to the climate, flourishes in the surrounding region. You'll find these staples at A Lowcountry Backyard, which features a cozy, backyard-style outdoor eating area with small stage for live music. Here, you'll find low country-style sandwiches and burgers as well as fried green tomato dishes and fresh catches from the nearby Calibogue Sound. Another popular spot for seafood is The Crazy Crab, which boasts locations in both Harbour Town and Jarvis Creek. For some South Carolina-style barbecue, hit up One Hot Mama's for wings and ribs, or Bullies BBQ for some pulled pork sandwiches.
If it's fine dining you're after, head to The Quarterdeck, located along the water right next to the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse. Though southern cuisine is the backbone of Hilton Head's dining scene, other flavors are represented here, including Italian. Heed the advice of past visitors and try Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana or OMBRA Cucina Italiana. There's also The Sage Room, which has its own chef's table, an on-site sommelier and hearty dishes that range from a house filet and champagne poached scallops.  

While in Hilton Head, there are two dining experiences you absolutely cannot forgo. The first, dine on as much low country cuisine as you can. Second, make sure you do so alongside some water views. Skull Creek Boathouse offers both. Located in northern Hilton Head, the Skull Creek Boathouse dishes up classic low country dishes, such as Carolina shrimp and grits and the low country boil. The low country boil is a big dish that is meant to be shared, featuring a mash up of red potatoes, corn on the cob, spicy sausage and shellfish (usually shrimp or crab) all of which are boiled in a giant pot. Once the ingredients have cooked to perfection, they are then traditionally served in one big pile on a picnic table covered in newspaper. From there, patrons are encouraged to pour on the sauces, which typically include cocktail sauce, hot sauce and tartar sauce.

If you aren't traveling with a big party, grubbing down on any seafood will get you the proper low country foodie experience you're looking for. The cuisine's identity is based entirely on the bounty of the coast, which technically stretches 80 miles from the Savannah River in Georgia to Pawleys Island in South Carolina. Seafood reigns supreme, by default, as well as grits and rice, which, due to the climate, flourishes in the surrounding region. You'll find these staples at A Lowcountry Backyard, which features a cozy, backyard-style outdoor eating area with small stage for live music. Here, you'll find low country-style sandwiches and burgers as well as fried green tomato dishes and fresh catches from the nearby Calibogue Sound. Another popular spot for seafood is The Crazy Crab, which boasts locations in both Harbour Town and Jarvis Creek. For some South Carolina-style barbecue, hit up One Hot Mama's for wings and ribs, or Bullies BBQ or some pulled pork sandwiches.

If it's fine dining you're after, head to The Quarterdeck, located along the water right next to the iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse. Though southern cuisine is the backbone of Hilton Head's dining scene, other flavors are represented here, including Italian. Heed the advice of past visitors and try Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana or OMBRA Cucina Italiana. There's also The Sage Room, which has its own chef's table, an on-site sommelier and hearty dishes that range from a house filet and champagne poached scallops.

Find the Best Restaurants in Hilton Head

  • #1
    The Jazz Corner
    #1 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 1894 reviewsTripAdvisor (1894)
    $$ | American
    1000 William Hilton Pkwy Ste C1, Hilton Head, SC 29928-6136
    Read More »
  • #2
    Sno Cones by Chris
    #2 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 142 reviewsTripAdvisor (142)
    $ | American, Fast Food
    114 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head, SC 29928-3238
    Read More »
  • #3
    Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana
    #3 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1866 reviewsTripAdvisor (1866)
    $$ | Italian
    37 New Orleans Rd Suite L, Hilton Head, SC 29928-4747
    Read More »
  • #4
    Hilton Head Social Bakery
    #4 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 279 reviewsTripAdvisor (279)
    $ - $$ | Cafe
    Harbourside Ln Building 1, Hilton Head, SC 29928-3547
    Read More »
  • #5
    Ombra Cucina Italiana
    #5 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1554 reviewsTripAdvisor (1554)
    $$ | Italian
    1000 William Hilton Pkwy Ste G-2, The Village at Wexford, Hilton Head, SC 29928
    Read More »
  • #6
    Delisheeyo
    #6 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 239 reviewsTripAdvisor (239)
    $ | American, Healthy
    32 Palmetto Bay Rd Suite A1, Hilton Head, SC 29928-7300
    Read More »
  • #7
    Vine
    #7 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1006 reviewsTripAdvisor (1006)
    $$ | International, Mediterranean, European
    1 N Forest Beach Dr Coligny Plaza, Hilton Head, SC 29928-6478
    Read More »
  • #8
    Charlie's L'Etoile Verte
    #8 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1257 reviewsTripAdvisor (1257)
    $$ | French, Seafood
    8 New Orleans Rd, Hilton Head, SC 29928-4715
    Read More »
  • #9
    Java Burrito Company
    #9 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1118 reviewsTripAdvisor (1118)
    $ | Southwestern, Cafe, Mexican, Healthy
    1000 William Hilton Pkwy The Village at Wexford - J6, Hilton Head, SC 29928-6110
    Read More »
  • #10
    WiseGuys
    #10 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2760 reviewsTripAdvisor (2760)
    $$ | Steakhouse, Seafood, American
    1513 Main St, Hilton Head, SC 29926-1608
    Read More »
  • #11
    Sage Room Restaurant Bar
    #11 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 747 reviewsTripAdvisor (747)
    $$ | American
    81 Pope Ave Suite 13 Heritage Plaza, Hilton Head, SC 29928-4769
    Read More »
  • #12
    Trattoria Divina
    #12 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1081 reviewsTripAdvisor (1081)
    $ - $$ | Italian, Seafood, Healthy, Wine Bar
    33 Office Park Rd Ste 224 Outside of Sea Pines Gate!, Hilton Head, SC 29928-4612
    Read More »
  • #13
    Poseidon Coastal Cuisine
    #13 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 4106 reviewsTripAdvisor (4106)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar, Seafood
    38 Shelter Cove Ln Suit 121, Hilton Head, SC 29928-2008
    Read More »
  • #14
    Jane Bistro & Bar
    #14 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 647 reviewsTripAdvisor (647)
    $ - $$ | American
    28 Shelter Cove Ln Suite 109, Hilton Head, SC 29928-2007
    Read More »
  • #15
    Ocean Lounge
    #15 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 276 reviewsTripAdvisor (276)
    $ - $$ | American, Bar, Seafood
    87 N Sea Pines Dr The Sea Pines Beach Club, Hilton Head, SC 29928-6002
    Read More »
  • #16
    Frankie Bones Restaurant and Lounge
    #16 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2886 reviewsTripAdvisor (2886)
    $ - $$ | Italian, American, Bar
    1301 Main St, Hilton Head, SC 29926-1630
    Read More »
  • #17
    Low country Backyard
    #17 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3245 reviewsTripAdvisor (3245)
    $ - $$ | American, Seafood
    32 Palmetto Bay Rd Suite 4A, Hilton Head, SC 29928-7300
    Read More »
  • #18
    Pomodori
    #18 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 949 reviewsTripAdvisor (949)
    $ - $$ | Italian
    1 New Orleans Rd, Hilton Head, SC 29928-4714
    Read More »
  • #19
    Fiesta Fresh Mexican Grill
    #19 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 639 reviewsTripAdvisor (639)
    $ | Mexican, Fast Food
    51 New Orleans Rd Ste 4, Hilton Head, SC 29928-4782
    Read More »
  • #20
    Stu's Surfside Subs
    #20 of 403 Places to Eat in Hilton Head
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 306 reviewsTripAdvisor (306)
    $ | American, Deli
    1 N Forest Beach Dr Unit F3 Coligny Plaza, Hilton Head, SC 29928-1021
    Read More »

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