20 must-try restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area, from Pawleys to Conway

In no particular order, 20 must-try restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area that offer an excellent menu and are unique to the area.

must-try restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area

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  1. Hook and Barrel for a night out, seafood, or Sunday brunch
  2. Strong Waters Craft Cocktails and Kitchen for a cool cocktail spot for happy hour or a day date
  3. Collectors Cafe for fine dining in an art gallery
  4. Fiesta Mexicana for superior Mexican (also incredible ceviche)
  5. Romando’s Italian Restaurant for really really really really extra delicious Italian
  6. Jimmyz Hibachi for a poke bowl
  7. LUNA Mexican Bar & Grill for fancy Mexican in a trendy atmosphere
  8. Croissants Bistro and Bakery for a brunchy lunch
  9. Joe’s Bar & Grille for steak or seafood
  10. New York Prime for a prime steak
  11. Quigly’s for fancy bar food with a coastal twist
  12. Sun City Café for the best cheese dip you’ll ever try
  13. Lulu’s because you can dine while your kids are entertained
  14. Fortune Asian Bistro for fantastic sushi, Thai food, or hibachi (without the production)
  15. Frank’s and Frank’s Outback fine dining with an exceptional menu and wine list
  16. Nacho Hippo street tacos or an obscenely large plate of nachos
  17. Rustic Table a taste of the Lowcountry
  18. Rivertown Bistro fancy Southern food infused with Asian
  19. Sol y Luna fresh Mexican & margaritas in a trendy atmosphere
  20. Thai Lao for the best Thai in town

# 1 Hook & Barrel Restaurant

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for… a night out, seafood, or Sunday brunch

Why locals love it Hook and Barrel is a local friends-and-family operated restaurant, and a place where you’ll run into friends who will greet you with a hug.

Who to go with You’re going to make plans to grab a Landmark Chardonnay with your girlfriends, sneak away from the kids for a date night, share bacon-wrapped fig appetizers with your favorite friends, and catch up with neighbors.

Vibe Everyone on the group text will agree to meet here because it offers a coastal casual cool vibe that instantly makes you want to relax, enjoy a glass of wine, and have digital distraction-free conversation.

Good Taste Guide Tip take your family to Sunday brunch

Related blog posts …


# 2 Strong Waters Craft Cocktails and Kitchen

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for a… a cool cocktail for happy hour or a day date

Why locals love it Hipster spot Strong Waters Craft Cocktails & Kitchen is a hidden gem in the touristy downtown area of Myrtle Beach.

Vibe You’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of Myrtle Beach and into a farm-chic Napa restaurant (maybe because it reminds me of farmstead!) The fantastic wine list, fancy but reasonably priced menu, and bright atmosphere make it the perfect spot for a day date brunch.

What to order the Justin Sauvignon Blanc with a lobster roll, which has a little bit of a kick. Also, the charred caesar salad has some sort of a smoky dressing on it that makes it a little bit addictive.

Instagram @strongwatersbar

Mentioned in Best Restaurants in the Grand Strand for a Day Date


#3 Collectors Cafe

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for… fine dining in an art gallery

Why locals love it Collectors Cafe offers three things that make this a must-try restaurant if its not already on your list of favorites: a cool art gallery, fantastic menu, and exceptional wine list.

Exceptional wine list Order a bottle of GH Mumm Cordon Rouge at the bar to start the evening. If you’re not in the mood for bubbles, go for a glass of the Landmark Chardonnay. Or the Rodney Strong Cab. Or pretty much any wine on the list.

Cool art gallery Collections rotate and all art is for sale, so it’s fun to stroll through the restaurant to see the new artwork.

What to order The scallop cake appetizer is to die for, and pairs perfectly with the Landmark Chardonnay or sparkling wine.

Instagram @collectorscafeandgallery


#4 Fiesta Mexicana

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for… superior Mexican

Why locals love it This place may look like your average Mexican restaurant, but we can assure you it is far superior to most.

Vibe The menu is pretty typical with lunch specials, tacos, fajitas, and cheese dip – but the food is fresh. Service is excellent, and the menu is not expensive.

What to order The ceviche is the best in town, with cucumbers, jalapeños, and tangy limey cilantro marinade. Also the pork tacos with pineapple 🍍 are addictive.

Instagram @thefiestamexicana


#5 Romando’s Italian Restaurant

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for… really really really really extra delicious Italian

Why locals love it The garlic toast alone is reason to dine at Romando’s. This restaurant has been around forever, and for good reason. We love to bring our family here for dinner!

Vibe casual, old-school Italian restaurant.

What to order Italian staples like pasta and pizza are the best of the best. For an over-the-top decadence, try the Chicken Tuscana, which is is chicken smothered in a delicious cream sauce mixed with cheese over top of pasta.


#6 Jimmyz Sushi Bowl

Best restaurant in you’re in the mood for… a poke bowl

Jimmyz poke bowl

Why locals love it the best poke bowls in town, hands down

Vibe You’re not there for the decor. You’re there for the poke bowl.

What to order Skip the hibachi line and head straight for the poke bowl line. All fresh, incredible toppings, and super affordable pricing. Start with the sticky rice (or if you’re trying to limit carbs you can go for lettuce but rice is better) add fresh jalapeños, cucumbers, avocado, edamame, sliced carrots, salmon, plain tuna, and then drizzle some sauces and add the chips. It is divine. And it’s like $9.


#7 Luna Mexican Bar & Grill

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for… fancy Mexican in a trendy atmosphere

Why locals love it Luna Mexican Bar & Grill, located in a shopping center along Business 17 in Murrells Inlet, offers fancy Mexican food, a cool atmosphere, and a large bar. This is an excellent spot for a fun day date lunch or to meet for after-work margaritas and guacamole. Diners love it – it scores a 4.5 on TripAdvisor – and is a local’s favorite spot.

What to order The vegetarian enchalidas because they are smothered in a rich cream sauce. And who doesn’t love a delicious cream sauce!?

Instagram @mexdelcorazon


# 8 Croissants Bistro and Bakery

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for… a brunchy lunch

Why locals love it Every local’s go-to spot for breakfast and lunch is Croissants. You have to clarify “new or old?” because there are now two locations. Plus you get little mini muffins as a little treat to start your meal.

Vibe casual, but you’d better dress up a little since you’ll see everyone you know!

What to order The chicken salad is the best in the area. It’s creamy, simple, and made with excellent chicken. If you’re not in the mood for chicken salad, you can always order brunch (the huevos rancheros are insanely delicious!)

Instagram @croissantsbistroandbakery


#9 Joe’s Bar and Grill

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for … steak or seafood

Why locals love it The food is incredible. The service is top-notch.

Vibe The rustic casual atmosphere is friendly and warm. The owner and chef is a serious hunter, and you can see his taxidermied trophies throughout the restaurant.

Good Taste Guide Tip You can watch raccoons run up the ramp by the outdoor bar, which has a fireplace. What’s a raccoon ramp, you’re probably wondering? It’s a long ramp with a container at the end with bread, so the raccoons have to run to get.

What to order you can’t go wrong with the steak au poivre.


#10 New York Prime

Best restaurant in you’re in the mood for… prime steak

NY Prime

Why locals love it It’s the best steakhouse in the area.

Vibe Classic steakhouse, bustling atmosphere. Guys could wear coat and tie or jeans, and both would be perfectly acceptable.

What to order steak obviously. If you’d prefer seafood, the sea bass is light and kind of melts in your mouth. Under no circumstances should you skip the Brussels sprouts or lyonnaise potatoes.


#11 Quigly’s Pint & Plate

Best restaurant in you’re in the mood for… fancy bar food with a coastal twist

Why locals love it an excellent craft beer selection along with a fantastic southern inspired menu makes this a great spot for a group of friends or families.

Good Taste Guide Tip Order the s’mores for dessert

Vibe Open, casual, and fun for beers with friends or lunch with your kids


#12 Sun City Café

Best restaurant in you’re in the mood for… the best cheese dip you’ll ever try

Why locals love it this is a hole in the wall spot with a simple menu – and every single thing is fresh and insanely delicious. It’s kind of a secret, tucked away in a quiet spot in downtown Myrtle Beach.

Vibe super chill. Eclectic interior. No need to wear a cocktail dress.

What to order do not even for one second consider skipping the queso. It’s infused with cheese magic. You could travel the world and not find a better cheese dip. Anything you order after that you’ll love, too – you don’t have too many choices (Tacos, quesadillas, burritos), and that’s a great thing. Every single item on the menu is incredible.


#13 Lulu’s North Myrtle Beach

Best restaurant in you’re in the mood for… to dine while your kids are entertained

Why locals love it LuLu’s is located on the waterway at Barefoot Landing.

Fun fact The owner, Lucy Buffet, is Jimmy Buffet’s sister.

Vibe The restaurant is so much more than a place to eat – it includes a giant playground! The bright colors, fun activities, and excellent southern food make this a great spot for families and friends to get together for an enjoyable evening.

Mentioned on the Good Taste Guide: A look around Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s in North Myrtle Beach


#14 Fortune Asian Bistro

Best restaurant in you’re in the mood for…Fantastic sushi, Thai food, or hibachi (without the production)

Fortune Asian bistro Myrtle beach

Why locals love it the food. It’s fresh, delicious, and priced appropriately.

Vibe Quiet, dim.

What to order Anything. Seriously. At a hibachi steakhouse, the shrimp appetizer with the two shrimps (and a third if you catch it in your mouth #alwaysawkward) is always the best because it sizzles in the butter and the lemon longer than the round of shrimp served as the entree. The hibachi shrimp at Fortune Asian Bistro is like a whole plate of that shrimp – perfectly seasoned and sizzled. Yum. Also the sushi is fantastic and the Thai curry is the best you’ll ever taste.

Good Taste Guide Tip The best wine on the list for all the food is the Rodney Strong Chardonnay.


#15 Frank’s & Frank’s Outback

Best restaurant in you’re in the mood for… fine dining with an exceptional menu and wine list

Why locals love it the restaurant has been a Pawleys Island favorite since 1988 for the food an hospitality. It’s a place you’ll get order anxiety because everything on the menu sounds (and is) delicious.

Vibe you can sit in Frank’s restaurant and bar, a cozy indoor area or Frank’s outback, a beautiful outdoor patio and bar.


#16 Nacho Hippo

Best restaurant in you’re in the mood for… street tacos or an obscenely large plate of nachos

Why locals love it Street tacos. There are a few locations – the original at The Market Common, one in North Myrtle Beach, and one in the airport.

Vibe Colorful, cheerful, funky, casual and fun.

What to order try the street corn, which is grilled corn dredged in spices and cheese. It’s an appetizer but also great as a side. The nachos are gigantic, enough for two people to split and both will be full. But why be practical? Instead order the nachos then order a couple of street tacos, too. All is delicious and fresh.


#17 Rustic Table

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for a taste of the Lowcountry

Why Locals Love It It’s like dining from a Lee Brother’s cookbook.

Vibe definitely rustic chic cool with a foodie hipster vibe happening in here.


#18 Rivertown Bistro

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for … fancy Southern food infused with Asian

Why locals love it When you walk into Rivertown Bistro in downtown Conway, you’ll feel the southern charm oozing from the cool exposed brick walls. This is a locals’ favorite for a nice lunch or evening out with friends.

Vibe The restaurant is open and airy with plenty of natural light. The menu is modern Southern food, and you cannot make a wrong choice. The bar area is spacious and offers an excellent selection of wine.

See also Best Restaurants in the Grand Strand for a Day Date


#19 Thai Lao

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for … the best Thai in town

Why locals love it The food. The food is incredible. When you crave chicken curry, make plans to meet friends here for lunch.

What to order definitely the chicken gang dang if you like red curry.

Vibe hole-in-the-wall. Unless you know and someone has told you to go, you may think twice about walking in the door, but trust us: the food is outstanding.


#20 Sol y Luna

Best restaurant if you’re in the mood for … fresh Mexican & margaritas in a trendy atmosphere


Why locals love it Taco Tuesday is a deal: all you can eat tacos and your choice of a margarita or a beer for $15. (See our post Sol y Luna is the place to be for Taco Tuesday)
What to order the kids’ chicken nachos are on point. Sneak a few from their plate! All of the tacos are incredible, too.

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Don’t worry, this isn’t the end of the list. This is only the first 20… we need to take a camera to more of our local favorites!


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