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South Carolina BBQ Trail: Where to Find Barbecue at the Beach

  By  Nora Battle

South Carolina BBQ Trail: Where to Find Barbecue at the Beach

With Memorial Day weekend just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about all the outdoor grilling that will be taking place. But Memorial Day weekend meals in South Carolina often go a step beyond just hamburgers and hotdogs. It’s a holiday often marked with plenty of barbecue! While I can’t say barbecue is the official cuisine of South Carolina, perhaps it should be. Many state officials even say that our state is the original birthplace of barbecue, dating back to early settlement of the Spanish on Parris Island who smoked swine with an open fire pit technique learned from the area’s Native Americans.

Another interesting fact about barbecue in South Carolina is that our state is the only state in the nation to be known for all four major types of barbecue sauce, depending on what part of the state you are in. While there are large regions within the United States that serve only heavy tomato sauce or only mustard-based sauce with their barbecue, within the small state of South Carolina, you can find all four official sauces: mustard, heavy tomato, light tomato, and vinegar and pepper.

We take such pride in our barbecue, that the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism put together an official South Carolina Barbecue Trail Map for hungry travelers to the Palmetto State. The guide boasts more than 220 restaurants and over 20 are located right along the Grand Strand or just slightly inland. While I haven’t tried all of them, I have tried most. During my second pregnancy, nothing hit the spot quite like barbecue with a generous dose of vinegar and pepper sauce (which happens to be the sauce most indigenous to South Carolina coastal regions).

You can find the complete South Carolina BBQ Trail Map here. But below are a few places worth a stop this Memorial Day weekend (or any other time!):

Simply Southern Smokehouse
1913 Mister Joe White Ave.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Charlie Graingers
201 Fresh Drive, Suite A
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
(843) 903-5606

Big D’s BBQ Trough
2917 Church Street
US 501 Conway 29526

Moe’s Original Bar B Que
12827 Ocean Highway
Pawleys Island 29585

True BBQ
341 Robert M. Grissom Parkway
Myrtle Beach 29577

Little Pigs Bar-B-Q
6102 Frontage Road
Myrtle Beach 29577

Radd Dew’s Bar-B-Que Pit
851 Horry Road
Aynor 29526

Bar-B-Que House
1561 Highway 17 N.
North Myrtle Beach 29582

Bonfire - A Smokin’ Taqueria
110 Main Street
Conway, SC 29526

Interested in learning more about how we prepare our barbecue here in South Carolina? Check out this video on how we keep it ‘low and slow.’ 

Nora Battle

As a lifelong South Carolinian and nearly lifelong Grand Strand resident, Nora Battle knows there is lots to love about the Myrtle Beach area. She is a full-time stay-at-home mom to two boys, ages 3 and 6 months, and a part time travel contributor for Visit Myrtle Beach. She’s passionate about all things Myrtle Beach, and knowledgeable about what makes the destination such a smart choice for families. Nora especially enjoys dining out, bargain hunting, and spending time outdoors adventuring with her children, husband (also a Grand Strand native) and her two dogs.