Food & Wine // 5 min Read

Ask the Locals: Our Favorite Restaurants Near Hilton Head

Written by Palmetto Bluff

Jun 6, 2022

The 10 Best Places to Eat Near Hilton Head Island

Located on the southernmost tip of South Carolina, Hilton Head Island is typically known for its beautiful beaches and world-class golf. But, did you know that the island is also home to some of the best culinary spots in the Lowcountry? As a barrier island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, there is an abundance of fresh fish, oysters, blue crabs, and shrimp for chefs to incorporate into delicious seafood dishes.

Listed below are our recommendations for the best places to eat near Hilton Head Island.

1. Old Oyster Factory

    Overlooking Broad Creek, Old Oyster Factory has been a Hilton Head staple for over 30 years. The menu consists of fresh-caught seafood, raw oysters, and a wide range of steaks. Not to mention, you can enjoy your meal while taking in the panoramic views of the golden marshland surrounding the restaurant. End your meal with a selection from their list of mouthwatering desserts, such as the Mascarpone Souffle or the Creme Brulee. With delicious food and a scenic backdrop, it is no surprise Old Oyster Factory is one of the best restaurants on Hilton Head Island.

    2. Fore & Aft

      Located in nearby Bluffton at the Palmetto Bluff community, Fore & Aft is the ideal spot to begin or end your day’s Lowcountry adventures. Situated along the inland waterway at the Montage Palmetto Bluff pool, the eatery offers picturesque views and a relaxing ambiance. Serving casual, light fare, Fore & Aft boasts immaculate views of the avian sanctuary located just beyond the Inn’s backyard, where you can expect to spot graceful egrets and herons gliding through the wind as you enjoy your meal.

      3. Salty Dog Cafe

        A classic Hilton Head dining destination, The Salty Dog Cafe is known for its delicious seafood dishes among a picturesque waterfront backdrop. The menu is chock-full of locally-sourced seafood, mouth-watering sandwiches, pasta dishes, burgers, and award-winning crab legs. Not to mention, any visitor would be remiss not to try their legendary hushpuppies slathered with a dollop of homemade honey butter. The Kid’s Menu is full of children's favorites including a burger, buttered noodles, fried shrimp, grilled cheese, and so on. While you’re there, be sure to order a tropical cocktail and stay to watch the sunset below the water.

        4. Cole’s

          A Palmetto Bluff Club exclusive dining option, Cole’s serves local cuisine paired with innovative libations, local brews, and a curated wine list. Each menu item is made with the freshest offerings from local farmers, fishermen, and purveyors, ensuring that your meal will be bursting with fresh flavors. Be sure to order a draft beer or signature Cole’s cocktail and enjoy the scenic views of the marshlands as you dine.

          5. The Bluffton Room

            Situated in the heart of Old Town Bluffton, The Bluffton Room was created with the goal of reviving the lost art of dining. With classic American cuisine prepared with the finest ingredients in an intimate and vibrant atmosphere, dining at The Bluffton Room captures the essence of the Lowcountry. The well-crafted cocktails and table-side preparations evoke the feeling of a lively dinner party that makes for a memorable evening with friends and family.

            6. Nunzio Restaurant + Bar

              When you visit Nunzio Restaurant + Bar, you can expect an evening of enjoying authentic Italian cuisine. Founded by the Patruno family from the Puglia region of Italy, Nunzio is the creation of wonderful cooks and chefs who were raised in Southern Italy and have passed down recipes for generations.

              The extensive menu includes pasta dishes, local fish, veal, chicken, Italian sausage, and more. Pair your meal with a selection from their wine list and don’t forget to order a delicious dessert. The flavors of these traditional dishes are sure to transport you to the Southern coast of Italy.

              7. Canoe Club

                Exclusive to Palmetto Bluff Club members, The Canoe Club fully encompasses Southern comfort. Here, Palmetto Bluff Club members can enjoy world-class dining with sweeping views of the shimmering May River on one side and the inland waterway on the other.

                The coastal menu celebrates local seafood, drawing ingredients and inspiration from the May River with staples including fresh shrimp and oysters. By partnering with local farms, The Canoe Club is able to source fresh vegetables, beef, and poultry to create dishes that honor the abundant bounty of the Palmetto State.

                8. The Pearl Kitchen & Bar

                  A charming restaurant in the heart of the historic art district of Bluffton, The Pearl Kitchen + Bar is perfect for those seeking health-conscious fare. Its menu features some of the best seafood, steaks, and local produce available, prepared in a fresh, contemporary manner. The wine menu consists of fine pinot noir, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, rosé as well as unique reds and whites from across the globe. Or, treat yourself to an original-mixed cocktail, such as the Lemongrass Martini or the Lowcountry Sour.

                  9. The Sage Room

                    Back on Hilton Head Island, The Sage Room is the perfect spot for an upscale date night. Here, you can enjoy fine dining in an inviting atmosphere while savoring diverse cuisine and innovative specials. One of the most unique aspects of The Sage Room is that the kitchen is located in the middle of the restaurant where all diners can watch the food being prepared.

                    Entrees include a variety of cuts of steak, scallops, pork chops, short rib, among others. Be sure to ask the sommelier about wine pairings for each meal. Finish off your experience with a selection from their ever-changing dessert menu.

                    10. Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks

                      Sitting right at the edge of the Port Royal Sound, Hudson’s Seafood has been a Hilton Head Island tradition for over 50 years. The restaurant uses one of only two remaining local fishing fleets on the island to bring in fresh-caught seafood straight to your table. Not to mention, all of the tables in our waterfront restaurant feature extraordinary views for a truly special Lowcountry dining experience.

                      Explore the Flavors of the Lowcountry at Palmetto Bluff

                      In addition to the natural beauty and abundant wildlife of the Lowcountry, dining is also one of the many exceptional experiences you will have at Palmetto Bluff. Here, visitors and locals alike dine on fresh seafood and local ingredients for each and every meal. Plan a trip to Palmetto Bluff to experience all we have to offer.

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