Explore the Restaurants in the Myrtle Beach Mysteries Series
Readers love being swept away in a story. Ones of mystery, intrigue, adventure and romance. During the summer months, everyone wants to sit on the beach with a book in their hands (or tablet). It's the season of the Beach Read.
Thousands have discovered the Myrtle Beach Mystery Series, starting with the award-winning first book, DEATH ON THE BOARDWALK. The series follows Clark Thomas, who owns a bookstore on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. He discovers the body of a friend and well-known local businesswoman at the start of the first book. He gets entangled in the investigation, tries to figure out who did it, and learns more than he bargains for along the way, which is what sets up the rest of the series.
During the books, Clark's investigations take him all over the Grand Strand. Many of the locations, landmarks, and businesses in which he goes are real, which an aspect of the series readers love. When you read a book in the series, not only do you get swept up in page-turning mysteries, but you also discover many restaurants. I've had readers pull out papers at book signings, showing me where they've written down and tried all the Grand Strand Restaurants mentioned in the books. They tell me how much they enjoyed each one of them and thank me for letting them know they exist.
Here a few of the restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops mentioned in the series.
When Clark discovers a body on the first page of the series, he is holding a box of assorted pastries from Benjamin's. He visits the family-owned business in Surfside Beach each Tuesday for treats at the Veterans Coffee Hour. Benjamin's has delicious pastries, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee. They also supply bread to many Grand Strand restaurants. Odds are, if you've had a sandwich in the area, the bread might have originated from Benjamin's. Be sure to ask for the Myrtle Beach Mystery coffee blend when you go.
Clark's bookstore is around the corner from this family-friendly pizza establishment. He regularly orders pizzas delivered for his staff, and often people in the neighboring businesses come by to swipe a slice.
Clark and Detective Gomez grab lunch at the Grumpy Monk at Broadway at the Beach in DEATH WASHES ASHORE after a round of suspect interviews. The Monk offers three locations, and is a go-to for locals and tourists, offering an extensive range of beer, sushi, wings, sandwiches, and burgers. My favorite from there is the Messy Mountain. The Big Kid Chicken Fingers will satisfy picky and non-picky eaters alike.
Near the end of book one, Clark wanders the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, collecting his thoughts. He stops in at the 8th Ave Tiki Bar and orders a beer and burger. He enjoys lunch while facing an ocean view and puts all the pieces of the mystery together. The 8th Ave Tiki Bar specializes in healthy, authentic Mediterranean dishes, creative burgers, and handmade pizzas. A great stop for the entire family.
A personal favorite pizza place of mine is Surfside Pizza. Before my family and I moved to Myrtle Beach in early 2019, we'd visited this restaurant on Surfside Drive in Surfside Beach long before then. They have a friendly staff, great pizzas and pastas, and desserts. Be sure to check their Specials board that changes daily. Whatever dessert it is they list, try it. Trust me. Trip Advisor rates Surfside Pizza as the #1 pizza place in Surfside Beach.
Of all the restaurants on this list, this is the one I receive the most thanks from readers for leading them to discover it. While Clark doesn't visit this place in any of the books (so far), he talks about Fiesta Mexicana as his favorite Mexican restaurant. Fiesta Mexicana has a festive atmosphere, both inside and out. They offer a diverse menu, including all of your favorites and then some. It's a perfect place for date night. One dish is the aptly named Fiesta Mexicana $26 Special. A meal for two with steak, chicken, shrimp, and delicious house-made chorizo grilled to perfection with onions and peppers.. They serve the dish with Mexican rice, beans, fiesta salad, and tortillas. Pair it with a margarita and you'll leave extra happy—and full.
This is another restaurant that isn't visited in the books, but holds a place dear to Clark's heart. He and his wife used to celebrate their wedding anniversary at Villa Romana every year prior to her death. This is our favorite Italian Restaurant in Myrtle Beach. The pasta and sauces are all made in-house with authentic Italian recipes. The wait staff is friendly and attentive. Villa Romana has a wonderful ambience for outings with the family. Talented accordion player Michael Del Gardo sets a romantic mood for those special occasions.
An Italian bakery cleverly disguised as a top-notch deli and pizza place in Market Common. Clark eats lunch here with two detectives at the start of DEATH ON THE GOLDEN MILE. You'll get your money's worth with the serving sizes here. Order pizza by-the-slice for lunch or opt for the hubcap sized, horseshoe shaped Stromboli if you want a meal now and later. Make sure you get a treat from their bakery. Get the cake. Any cake. Trust me.
A Myrtle Beach cornerstone. The Sea Captain's House resides in a 1930s cottage overlooking the Atlantic. The award-winning restaurant has a lively atmosphere and Lowcountry-inspired dishes. Make sure you have a bowl of She Crab Soup and check their weekly and ever-changing lunch specials. They are open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A rich family has a lobster dinner delivered from the Sea Captain's House in DEATH ON THE GOLDEN MILE just before a tropical storm rolls through. They enjoy their meal in the aftermath of a tornado spun off by the storm and the death of the family patriarch and legendary Hollywood composer.
Established in 1953, Mammy's Kitchen is still a tradition for any meal of the day. Featured in DEATH ON THE GOLDEN MILE, Mammy's Kitchen often has a line out the door during the morning hours for its breakfast buffet. Within walking distance of the Boardwalk, you'll find your fill of French toast, soups, salads, burgers, fat crab legs, and good old-fashioned country cookin'.
Johnny D's has three locations in the Grand Strand and is home to award-winning and nationally known—you guessed it—waffles! And so much more. You must try the Cinnaroll and Red Velvet Waffles when you go. Clark lives around the corner from their Surfside Beach location and has breakfast with his parents there in a scene in DEATH ON THE CAUSEWAY.
These are a sampling of the many restaurants named in the Myrtle Beach Mystery Series. You can use them as a guide during your culinary journey. Who knows? You might discover a new favorite.
Happy Reading and Happy Eating!
Read more about Caleb Wygal and the Myrtle Beach Mysteries at CalebWygal.com.