By Becky Billingsley
When visiting the Myrtle Beach area (Little River to Georgetown) the trip would not be magnificent without dining at a waterfront restaurant, so here are a longtime food journalist's top picks.
Behind the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, 8121 Amalfi Place, Myrtle Beach, (843) 315-7855
Open seasonally, this is a local’s secret, because this choice morsel of a café is at the end of a long dock beside the Intracoastal Waterway. The food and service are sublime; I love the Fish Tacos with a Mango Margarita.
Bandito's Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
1410 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, (843) 808-9800.
New in 2012 on the Myrtle Beach waterfront, this restaurant looks and feels sumptuous, but its prices are reasonable and the ambiance is pure vacation casual. The menu is full of Latino-inspired dishes with creative twists like Grouper Wings, Simply Grilled Fish, Chicken Mole and much more.
Cabana Café and Beach Bar
In the Litchfield Inn, 1 Norris Drive, Litchfield Beach, (843) 237-4211
Open seasonally, executive chef/proprietor Bill Austin executes simply prepared gourmet dishes which are served indoors or outside in a casual and gorgeous oceanfront setting. Locals lunch here to escape tourists.
2985 S. Ocean Blvd. Myrtle Beach, (843) 626-8000
If you can bear to look up from your plate of ribs, the second-floor ocean view is sweeping. Nice open-air deck.
Fibber’s on the Water
4498 Waterfront Dr., Little River, (843) 280-2271
It's under new ownership but still serving upscale casual fresh fare on the Little River waterfront. They serve seafood and Irish specialties prepared with care and flair.
Flying Fish Public Market & Grill
4744 U.S. 17 S., Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 663-3474
Spectacular sunsets over the Intracoastal Waterway, fresh fish and a flying fish show are all part of the package. Bring a camera and enjoy the seafood.
5225 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, (843) 947-0520
Enjoy a bucket of steamed oysters in season, the daily homestyle lunch specials and many seafood choices in this secluded restaurant with a gorgeous inlet view.
Ocean Boulevard at Second Avenue South, Myrtle Beach, (843) 445-7437
PierHouse Restaurant, with interesting regional food, is on the elevated first floor. Up top is PierView Bar with an amazing open-air view of the new Myrtle Beach Boardwalk.
801 Front St., waterfront, Georgetown, (843) 527-4110
River Room has been known for almost three decades for Shrimp and Grits, Bread Pudding with Bourbon Cream Sauce and other Lowcountry specialties. History buffs will adore this lovingly restored riverfront restaurant.
Sea Captain’s House
3002 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, 448-8082
This former beach house, then boarding house, is a Myrtle Beach landmark. They’re known for seafood, and are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
My favorite Murrells Inlet waterfront restaurants. Murrells Inlet is the fresh and local seafood capital of South Carolina.
Bovine’s Wood Fired Specialties
3979 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, 651-2888
The wood-fired grill makes this steak and seafood restaurant stand out, along with its fantastic waterfront view of Murrells Inlet. They're also known for brick oven pizzas.
Bubba's Love Shak
4037 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, 651-5850
Fantastic views of Murrells Inlet, fresh seafood, party atmosphere.
Dead Dog Saloon
4079 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, 651-0664
The Dog had a fire in early 2012, but it has been rebuilt and is more gorgeous than ever. Be sure to try Boo Boo's Tender Bites, and the Fried Shrimp are also outrageously wonderful. In season there's almost always live music in the evenings or weekend afternoons. The back deck has an incredible inlet view.
4031 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet, 651-2044
Dishes from the Lowcountry menu are dependably delicious, and the views of Murrells Inlet and the Marshwalk are gorgeous. The tasteful pirate theme relates to a local legend.
Who decides the lists? Becky Billingsley: a local food and restaurant journalist who has been covering the Myrtle Beach area restaurant beat for local, regional and national publications for 15 years.
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List updated on Sept. 13, 2012