South Carolina's Best Seafood Dives

We've got the lowdown on the best lowcountry seafood.

South Carolina Seafood Dive
Photo: Illustrator Matt Caserta

Steamer Oyster & Steakhouse, Beaufort
What to expect: Start with the seafood bisque. Also sample the local favorite Frogmore stew―not really a stew but rather steamed shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob.
Check it out: 168 Sea Island Parkway (on Lady’s Island); 843/522-0210

Pepper’s Porch, Bluffton
What to expect: Start with the “can’t choose platter” of bacon-wrapped scallops, deviled eggs, fried pickles, and fried green tomatoes. Then sample the shrimp and grits cooked in brown bacon gravy.
Check it out: 1255 May River Road; 843/757-2295 or peppersporch.com

Whaley’s at Edisto Beach, Edisto Beach
What to expect: This old filling station serves to-die-for fresh local shrimp on cheesy grits. Other divine offerings include crab cakes, pan-seared mahi mahi, and linguine with clam sauce.
Check it out: 2801 Myrtle Street; 843/869-2161 whaleyseb.com

Bowens Island, near Folly Beach
What to expect: This legendary wreck of a place with great fried shrimp and, in season, roasted oysters, has reopened after a 2006 fire. Those nice, new walls are just begging to be covered with graffiti.
Check it out: 1870 Bowens Island Road; 843/795-2757 or bowensislandrestaurant.com

The Sea Shack, Hilton Head Island
What to expect: Wonderful fried seafood cooked to order and served hot. The crab cake doesn’t thrill us, but we love everything else―especially a creamy chowder called Seafood Stir-A-Bout.
Check it out: 6 Pope Avenue, Executive Park Road; 843/785-2464

The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene, Mount Pleasant
What to expect: You may get lost looking for the place, but the fried seafood is worth it.
Check it out: 106 Haddrell Street; 843/884-0052 or wreckrc.com

Orobosa’s Lowcountry Café, Pawleys Island
What to expect: While this dive’s atmosphere is casual, the crab cakes and other offerings will please the most sophisticated palates. At lunch, enjoy gourmet food on a budget. Prices double when the sun goes down, and dinner crowds make reservations a must.
Check it out: 85 North Causeway Road; 843/235-3464

The Shrimp Shack, St. Helena Island
What to expect: All the shrimp dishes are great, but you gotta get the shrimp burger.
Check it out: 1925 Sea Island Parkway; 843/838-2962

Russell’s Seafood Grill & Raw Bar, South Murrells Inlet
What to expect: Oyster stew, then broiled seafood, then Key lime pie. Just-right meal.
Check it out: 4906 Business Highway 17; 843/651-0553

SeeWee Restaurant, Awendaw
What to expect: South Carolina Light, part-cornmeal breading keeps their amazing fried calamari tasting fresh, not greasy. And we love the rémoulade dipping sauce! Get the tartar and cocktail sauces, too; they’re all homemade and add just the right amount of zest. Enjoy the sea breezes at picnic tables under the live oaks.
Check it out: 4808 Hwy. 17 North; 843/928-3609

    1 of 1

    Most Popular

    1. Top 21 Beaches, Coast to Coast

      Plan your summer getaway now: From white strands to secret coves, we've found the ultimate spots by the shore, plus fabulous lodging so you can stay as long as you like.
    2. 100 Comfy Cottage Rooms 
    3. 20 Beautiful Beach Cottages
    4. 29 Delicious Salads
    5. 10 Tropical Destinations