One of the best parts of any vacation is sampling the local cuisine. Even better when you work up an appetite after a long day on the beach.
Luckily for you, a visit to a Grand Strand vacation home means easy access to a wide range of southern delicacies. From the time-honored tradition of Carolina barbeque to dishes whose roots lay in the Gullah heritage of the area, you’re sure to find something that delights your taste buds.
1. Low Country Boil
If you’ve never had a Low Country Boil, you’re missing out! This delicious dish is typically created in a large pot where ingredients like potatoes, shrimp, sausage, and corn are marinated in a savory broth, creating a mouthwatering marriage of tastes and textures.
Its name originates from the region where this culinary masterpiece was born, the low-lying coastal areas of the South. Due to the abundance of fresh seafood and local produce, this dish is a popular choice for large gatherings and family events. It is often served on butcher paper, inviting diners to dig in with their hands as their only utensils.
Where to Go
You’ll find an amazing Low Country Boil at Bouys on the Boulevard. They offer several varieties, including oysters, shrimp, and crab legs. In addition to offering this delicious dish, you can grab all sorts of delicious fresh seafood dishes here.
For an Italian version of LCB, stop by Midtown Bistro and try their Lowcountry Saute. This decadent pasta twist on a traditional boil includes shrimp, lobster, and scallops. They also have a wine bar with an extensive wine list to enjoy.
2. Chicken Bog
Chicken Bog is another one-pot dish that has deep roots in Southern tradition. This is another traditional feast you’ll often find at large gatherings. The word bog comes from the native Gullah speak, in which bog means “to boil.”
This hearty dish combines a medley of savory species with chicken, sausage, rice (or ‘perloo’ as the Gullah Geechee communities called it), and vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
Where to Go
To sample some of this satisfying dish, you will want to visit the Crafty Rooster. They offer a large menu with lots of fun twists on traditional food. Be sure to stop by at Happy Hour and take advantage of some of their specials off the extensive draft list!
If you want chicken bog with a fun twist, be sure to check out Socastee Station, located just a mile off Highway 17. They offer a delicious beer-battered version of chicken bog as an appetizer!
3. She Crab Soup
This Lowcountry delicacy is presented as a creamy and flavorful bisque steeped in blue crap and roe (crab eggs). This rich flavor profile includes heavy cream, butter, onions, celery, and a delicious seasoning blend. It is also traditionally garnished with a sprinkle of sherry, which adds yet another depth to the decadent flavor.
Originating amongst the Lowcountry’s elite in the late 19th century, this savory soup was once only found in fine dining establishments. However, due to its delicious taste and aroma, it soon became widely popular, and now she-crab soup has become a southern staple in many area eateries.
To grab a bowl of this southern soup, visit the Sea Merchants restaurant. This family-owned steakhouse and seafood restaurant also offers several delicious seafood platters and some crab cakes fried to golden brown perfection.
The Carolinas have a deep-rooted heritage in Southern Barbecue. One of the biggest distinctions between the two states and their BBQ offerings is the types of sauces offered.
South Carolina’s signature barbecue flavors are mouthwatering and usually mustard-based. Carolina Gold, perhaps the state’s most popular sauce, offers a sweet and tangy spin on the southern barbecue staple.
Where to Go
To sample some delicious BBQ in NMB, you’ll want to stop by Old South BBQ. This southern spot claims to be one of the best restaurants serving barbecue at the beach. Their meat is slow-cooked and smoked in-house, giving it that traditional smoked BBQ flavor that the Carolinas are famous for!
5. Shrimp and Grits
The origins of shrimp and grits also trace back to the culinary traditions of the Lowcountry’s Gullah Geechee communities. This savory comfort food has become a beloved dish throughout the Southern Coast.
This entree features succulent shrimp served atop a bed of creamy grits. It is often garnished with crispy bacon, scallions, and sometimes a flavorful sauce. While traditional shrimp and grits are usually a combination of simple but savory ingredients, you’ll find many variations of this southern dish in the North Myrtle Beach area.
Where to Go
Located near Barefoot Landing, Joe’s Bar & Grill has been a local favorite for over 30 years. It is also home to some of the best shrimp and grits in NMB.
6. Calabash Seafood
While you’ll find no shortage of seafood in NMB, you’ll find that calabash-style seasoning is one of the most popular ways to prepare seafood in the South. This cooking style takes lightly battered seafood and deep fries it to a crispy golden brown perfection. Calabash seafood is a meal that certainly won’t leave you hungry most commonly served with coleslaw, french fries, and hush puppies.
Where to Go
While there are plenty of North Myrtle Beach restaurants offering calabash seafood, you’re going to want to visit Captain Jack’s Seafood. This spot is known for great food and a sprawling seafood buffet offering over 140 seafood delights, including a raw bar with oysters.
Not a fan of buffets? Check out Filet’s Waterfront. Located off of Sea Mountain Hwy on the waterway in Little River, this local spot offers a delicious seafood platter battered and fried to deliciousness!
7. Hush Puppies
If you’ve ever had seafood in the South, you’re likely familiar with the deep-fried deliciousness that is a hushpuppy. Hush puppies are cornmeal fritters that are dropped in hot oil and fried to golden brown perfection. The result is a mouthwatering combination of flavors that complements many Southern meals, especially seafood platters.
The unique name of this deep-fried delicacy is thought to originate from the antebellum area. It’s said that Southern cooks would fry up bits of leftover cornmeal batter to give to the owners’ dogs to prevent them from barking, hence the name “hush puppies.” However, the whole household quickly adopted this delicious snack and soon became a Southern staple.
Where to Go
For the ultimate family-friendly dining experience, be sure to visit Lulu’s. Located just off Ocean Boulevard, Lulu’s is known for its delicious hush puppies, live music, and laid-back beach atmosphere. Be sure to try their Corn and Cheddar hush puppies, or if you’re craving a Mexican dish, try their savory blackened grouper tacos.
8. Biscuits and Gravy
If you’re looking for a hearty southern breakfast option, biscuits, and gravy are easily found in most NMB restaurants offering brunch and breakfast. This savory morning meal smothers soft, flaky biscuits with creamy gravy for a melt-in-your-mouth combination!
Where to Go
Hoskin’s Restaurant on Main Street is known for its delicious biscuits and gravy and offers many other options sure to please everyone in your party. You won’t regret adding sausage to your order to sop up your extra gravy!
Explore the Best of Local Eating Around the Grand Strand!
Forget your standard American burger joint or chain food Italian fare; when visiting the Grand Strand, you should sample some of these local down-home southern staples. Many North Myrtle Beach restaurants offer lots of southern delicacies, so dine in or grab takeout for your Grand Strand vacation home rental. Either way, your mouth and stomach will thank you!