There are thousands of restaurants on the Grand Strand to dig into, including an impressive round of those boasting awards worthy enough to make foodies fawn.

In fact, there are even so many of these top-notch eateries here in our parts that we’ve had to break them down into towns on the Strand, so it’s easier to digest. Here is what we (and the region/country) recommend for the South Strand, from A to Z:

Nationally Recognized Restaurants

Bistro 217

10707 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Bistros from Grand Strand Magazine, 2021 USA Today 10 Best of Pawleys Island

About: Bistro 217 has been a popular place in Pawleys to wine and dine for years. From its cozy, charming ambiance to an eclectic mix of Southern comfort culinary creations.

Chive Blossom 

85 North Causeway Road, Pawleys Island 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Upscale Classics from Grand Strand Magazine, 2021 USA Today 10 Best of Pawleys Island

About: For the last 20 years, this five-star fine dining destination has been a lovely setting for locals, both alfresco in the restaurant’s courtyard or inside the cool dining room. Chive Blossom’s menu is also dressed to impress, featuring Southern classics and a blend of Mediterranean, French and Asian influences. 

Frank’s and Frank’s Outback

10434 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Upscale Classics from Grand Strand Magazine, 2021 USA Today 10 Best of Pawleys Island

About: This landmark restaurant has been an award-winner in Pawleys Island since 1988. It doubles as a Secret Garden-style dining experience in the Outback and upscale Southern dining room inside, with an innovative dinner menu serving as the anchor no matter where you choose to dine.

Hog Heaven BBQ

7147 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island

Awards: 2021 USA Today 10 Best of Pawleys Island

About: As its name implies, this popular restaurant on the southern end of Pawleys is the headquarters for Lowcountry barbecue. Families feast on smoked pork, ribs, chicken bog, collard greens, and more, then finish it off with a helping of homemade banana pudding.

Pawleys Island Tavern

10635 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Laidback Restaurant from Grand Strand Magazine, 2021 USA Today 10 Best of Pawleys Island

About: Better known to locals as the PIT, this cool tiki bar is hidden off the hustle and bustle of Pawleys’ Ocean Highway and settled under a canopy of live oaks and strings of lights. But don’t let the “shabby chic” vibes fool you, their pizzas and munchies will keep you coming back for more.

Quigley’s Pint & Plate

258 Willbrook Blvd., Pawleys Island | 11887 Highway 707, Murrells Inlet

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Brews from Grand Strand Magazine, 2021 USA Today 10 Best of Pawleys Island

About: Some of the South Strand’s best brews and food are served up at both Quigley’s sister locations. Trendy surrounds combine with fresh, Lowcountry dishes and a lineup of local craft beers, including their own seasonal selections.

Locally Recognized Restaurants

Austin’s Harvest Restaurant

1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best New Restaurants from Grand Strand Magazine

About: This new bloom in Brookgreen Gardens is the latest in the Austin’s family of restaurants in Pawleys (there’s also Ocean One and Cabana). Open for lunch daily, the restaurant plucks fresh fruits and vegetables right from Bethea’s Garden and uses them within dishes on the menu.

Caffe Piccolo

9428 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Family-Friendly Restaurant from Grand Strand Magazine,

About: One of the best Italian restaurants in Pawleys, this café is cozy and impeccably creative, featuring fresh, local ingredients, and the perfect dining experience for the entire family.

Dead Dog Saloon

4079 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Dinner and a View from Grand Strand Magazine

About: Paying tribute to its canine mascot, Dudley, this waterfront restaurant along the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk has been a fun, family-friendly locals’ gathering spot since 2002. Expect good, casual food to be served, live music and dancing most nights, and unbeatable happy hour specials.

Hot Fish Club

4911 US-17 Business, Murrells Inlet 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Locally Sourced Restaurant from Grand Strand Magazine, Best Seafood from WMBF

About: The rich history of this marsh-front institution at Morse Landing lives on in the hearts of locals – for its fun, outdoor open-air gazebo and bar and indoor dining, as well as its fresh seafood pulled straight from the inlet and a regular lineup of live music.

Landolfi’s Italian Bakery

9305 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Bakeries from Grand Strand Magazine
About: This bakery/Italian bistro is known for its delicious pastries, as well as its wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and Old World deli.

Local Eat Drink Celebrate

10880 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Highland (Hammock Shops) 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best New Restaurants from Grand Strand Magazine

About: This local gathering place amidst the live oaks in the Hammock Shops prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and fresh seafood for brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Ocean One 

1 Norris Drive, Pawleys Island 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Dinner and a View from Grand Strand Magazine

About: There’s not a bad seat in the house of Ocean One, featuring panoramic views of the Atlantic from the second floor of the Litchfield Inn. There’s also not a disappointing dish on the menu, featuring locally sourced ingredients and fresh catches.

Perrone’s

13302 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Upscale Classics from Grand Strand Magazine

About: This dining destination is an expert on “world cuisine with a Mediterranean focus” in food, drink, and service. The bar menu is a masterpiece of creative cocktails, complete with
house-made syrups and bitters. 

Pizza Hyena

13 South Ocean Blvd., Surfside Beach 

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Brews from Grand Strand Magazine

About: This hip pizza joint next door to the Surfside Pier throws down 20-plus award-winning pizza combinations, along with craft beer on tap or by the bottle, inside and out, with a side of ocean breeze.

Rustic Table

10683 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Family-Friendly Restaurant from Grand Strand Magazine

About: Classic Southern comfort meals are what this locals’ favorite is known for. And the Southern hospitality served at this casual-upscale is, hands down, some of the best of the South Strand for all ages.

Sara J’s 

314 Atlantic Ave., Garden City

Awards: 2021 Best of the Grand Strand – Best Dinner and a View from Grand Strand Magazine

About: This family-owned restaurant has been welcoming families into their marsh-front dining room off Atlantic Avenue for years. You’ll feel at home in this beach cottage setting that serves a boat-load of seafood.