Bluffton South Carolina Restaurant Week - An Epic Foodie Scene
Looking for the perfect reason to head South this winter to continue your home search? South Carolina that is. As cold weather scattered across the country traps folks indoors, it makes clear that “the last true coastal village of the South” is the place to retire, in the town of Bluffton with an average winter temperature of only 52 degrees.
Considered one of the best places to live in South Carolina, this quaint seaside village founded in 1852, is rich in history, culture and has some of the finest dining establishments in the world! Lowcountry cuisine is famous for preserving traditions while incorporating some of the best seafood, local produce and creative culinary expressions by signature chefs that make the region one of the “hottest” foodie scenes on the coast.
Hilton Head and the gorgeous beaches found at the surrounding islands are the place to leave the winter blues behind and savor some awesome of the best seafood while dining with impressive waterfront views that complement the region.
Lowcountry cuisine combines English, French, African (Gullah), and Caribbean cultures and centers around the wide array of fresh seafood that is provided from surrounding waterways. With lush marshlands embracing the region, the history of rice cultivation continues today and is a staple in most dishes. The mineral rich soil provides the supreme “go green” resource for growing organic vegetables which makes the food here unique, healthy and delicious. Whether it’s fresh May River oysters, “she-crab soup”, “shrimp and grits”, “Frogmore stew” or some soul-soothing “green fried tomatoes”, there is something for everyone who loves good ole Southern cooking with a creole flair.
Local seafood options include oysters shucked tableside, crabs of all varieties, shrimp everyway imaginable, fresh lobster, raw or steam worthy clams and mussels, blackened/fried or broiled fresh fish, plus all the other staples that make Lowcountry dining a warm, fuzzy yet exhilarating experience. Freshly grown local produce like okra, collard greens, brussels sprouts, kale, golden rice, Yukon potatoes, and homemade relishes complement the meals.
Bluffton is gaining a name for itself as one of the best active adult communities in the entire USA. Many of the Bluffton SC real estate developments like Hampton Lake offer an incredible blissful life. Hampton Lake is an award winning community with a spectacular setting set among fresh water lakes. Here’s a quick overview of Hampton Lake’s amenities:
February is the time to come to visit this coastal oasis and explore the incredible restaurants featured during the Bluffton Restaurant Week. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the 10th Annual Restaurant Week will be held Saturday, February 3rd through Saturday, February 10th, 2018 and will feature over 70 of the most spectacular eateries in the region. The award-winning venues featured this year will all offer incredible values with a wide variety of prix-fixe menus designed specifically for the event.
There are so many fabulous restaurants located in Bluffton and Hilton Head. Lowcountry eating is not just a meal, it’s a lifestyle. Here are what folks had to say about some of the restaurants participating in this year’s event.
- Alexander's Restaurant and Wine Bar - 843-785-4999 - 76 Queens Folly Road, Hilton Head Island is an upscale seafood restaurant that offers local seafood and fresh regional ingredients with classic Lowcountry appeal and an impressive wine list. Reviews of the restaurant were highly favorable with folks noting the exceptional Wiener Schnitzel and the “best of Hilton Head” Shrimp and Grits. The early bird dinner option offers a great value and is offered daily from 5 to 5:45pm. Water views of the lagoon in Palmetto Dunes are spectacular. For starters, the bacon wrapped shrimp is a must try. For romantic dinners, the Wine Room features a fireplace overlooking the lagoon. The appetizer menu begins service from 4 to 5 and regular dinner hours are 5:45 to 9pm. Reservations are recommended.
- Bess' Delicatessen and Catering Specialists - 843-725-5504 - 55 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island has been a premier caterer in the region since 1982. It is open for breakfast Monday through Friday at 8:30am and is the go to place for muffins, hot coffee and succulent breakfast sandwiches. The bacon and egg sandwich is very tasty and received high marks. Lunch is also served until 2:30 offering delicious chicken and tuna salads, homemade soups and sandwiches. Locals love the convenience of picking up a catered lunch and heading to the beach. Great place to just sit back and let Bess and her accomplished staff do the rest!
- Bluffton Oyster Co. - 843-757-0380 - 27 Dr. Mellichamp Drive, Bluffton is a family owned and operated local eatery since 1899 and is built upon the reputation of over a hundred years harvesting and shucking oysters. Folks love the fresh local oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, fish fillets, awesome softshell and live blue crab. Start a meal with fresh May River Oysters followed by their infamous Lowcountry Boil featuring plump shrimp, corn, sausage and new potatoes which both come highly recommended by reviews. Add some cheese grits, collard greens, corn on the cobb and you can discover some of the best Lowcountry food South Carolina has to offer. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm and accepts reservations for groups of 8 or more.
- Captain Woody's Bluffton - 843-757-6222 - 17 State of Mind Street, and Captain Woody's Hilton Head Island - 834-785-2400 - 6 Target Road, Hilton Head Island both locations offer extensive menus including awesome seafood, steaks, burgers, mounds of nachos, full service bars and an excellent daily happy hour. From 4 to 6pm daily import beer/well drinks and wine are available for only $3 and the HH menu offers fish tacos, steamed and buffalo shrimp, calamari and overloaded nacho platters ranging from $4 to $6. During the colder months, a heated outside veranda is a plus and rustic décor enticed visitors to frequent the locations during their stay. The “Old School Fried Seafood Basket”, Blackened Triggerfish Caesar, and Crab cake Sandwich all received rave reviews. Besides Happy Hour, Captain Woody’s serves both lunch and dinner and is open daily from 11am to 10pm. Brunch is available on Sunday from 11am to 2pm and is very popular with locals. Live music is offered seasonally adding to the overall experience.
- Carolina Crab Company - 843-842-2016 - 86 Helmsman Way, Hilton Head Island has an extensive seafood menu with tasty landlubber options and offers captivating views of the Palmetto Bay Marina from its outside pet-friendly bar. The Lowcountry Boil and The Jack Pot entrees were favorites of patrons. One review found that they have the “best fried seafood on Hilton Head Island, hands down.” The key lime pie came highly recommended for the perfect ending of this superb dining experience. The restaurant also offers gluten free, vegetarian dishes, and a kid’s menu. Happy Hour runs 4 to 7pm daily. Monday through Saturday the restaurant is open from 11:30am to 10pm and on Sunday from 11am to 10pm. Reservations are recommended.
- Charlie's L'etoile Verte - 843-785-9277 - 8 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island offers a mouthwatering epicurean dinner menu featuring a wide array of Fresh Fish entrees, Filet Mignon, Rack of Lamb and daily specials complemented with an impressive selection of fine wines. This warm and inviting French country restaurant received overwhelming reviews from both locals and visitors. Diners love the “farm fresh to table” philosophy and the amazing ambiance found at Charlie’s. The Lamb Chops, Swordfish and Arugula Salad were highly recommended and the Scalloped potatoes “are to die for”. The Bread Pudding with Crème Anglaise is the perfect way to end a spectacular meal. Lunch is served Monday through Friday, 11:30am to 2pm; Dinner Monday through Saturday 5:30 to Close and the bar opens at 5pm. Reservations are highly recommended.
- Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse - 843-715-3565 - 1000 William Hilton Parkway, B-6, Hilton Head Island is the place to satisfy a hearty appetite and enjoy the “Rodizio” which is an all-you-can eat dinner complete with a 30+ cold and hot item salad bar plus a choice of 16 cuts of USDA Prime Beef, Lamb, Pork and Chicken. For starters, Ryan the bartender’s Caipirinha cocktail is amazing. The Brazilian Beef and Lamb Chops are favorites and diners say the Red Velvet Cake is a must try. Patrons love the ambiance, great service and endless options available for meat lovers. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 5pm and opens on Saturday and Sunday at 4. Kids 5 and under eat FREE! Want a break from seafood, try this for a tasty alternative during Restaurant Week.
- ELA'S on the Water - 834-785-3030 - 1 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island is a 3-level restaurant with spectacular water views from every table. Voted the best location in South Carolina for water view dining, this chic yet sophisticated eatery offers fresh seafood, prime cut steaks and live music. The Berry Fizz cocktail is recommended followed by the generous Beet and Goat Cheese salad or The Crab Stack app. Try the Blackened Ahi Tuna based on the glorifying Trip Advisor reviews. Folks enjoy the ambience, attentive service and captivating sunset views at Shelter Cover Harbor. Lunch is served 11am to 2pm Sunday through Friday, dinner daily from 5pm and Sunday Brunch is offered 11am to 2pm. Dog friendly seating is limited so call ahead for reservations.
- Fish Sea Food & Raw Bar - 843-342-3474 - 1 North Forest Beach Drive, Hilton Head is a dining experience connected throughout 3 different bars featuring a variety of seating areas. The restaurant prides itself with a classic approach to serving seafood dishes that reflect Lowcountry roots while adding epicurean flair to showcase the talent of seasoned chefs. Some of the favorites here are the Fried Green Tomatoes, Shrimp Tempura, and the Red Snapper on cheesy grits. For dessert, try the Bushwacker Mud Pie. They offer a great Happy Hour from 4pm to 6pm with $3 wine and reduced-priced appetizers. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the Fish Bowl bar features live entertainment. The venue is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9pm and Friday through Sunday from 11:30am to 10pm.
- Heyward's Restaurant - 843-842-2400 - 130 Shipyard Drive, Hilton Head Island is the prime dining establishment for the Sonesta Resort and Shipyard Plantation serving breakfast and dinner daily with Lowcountry flair. Local fresh seafood, aged steaks and classic wines are offered. Folks love the breakfast buffet, Southern waffles and freshly squeezed OJ. The Mojito is the “go to” drink before dinner. The seared Ahi Tuna is a favorite and the restaurant is a great convenience for guests at this family friendly resort. The food is delicious with stellar service and the austere landscaping provides the perfect backdrop for patrons. Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 11:30am daily and dinner is offered 5pm to 10pm.
- HogsHead Kitchen & Wine Bar - 843-837-4647 - 1555 Fording Island Road, Suite D, Hilton Head Island offers a unique, unpretentious menu in a warm and inviting motif that represents the feel of an early-century manor home. The eclectic food choices range from buttermilk-fried chicken & waffles, “sticky-whiskey” baby back rib stack, forest mushroom meatloaf to more traditional pepper-seared ahi tuna. Folks who visited the restaurant raved about the Flounder a la Gherardi, Sea Scallop and Paradelle Pasta, and the Truffle Honey Salmon. Overall, the “fresh ingredients, lovely ambiance and great wait staff”. gives this spot a superb rating. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 5pm to close.
- Java Burrito Company - 843-842-5282 - 1000 U.S. 278, Suite J6, Hilton Head Island is a great spot for deviating from the norm. This family owned organic Mexican Grill & Coffee Bar features locally roasted coffee beans and no artificial preservatives. The Burrito Bar follows the same principle offering locally grown food when in season. Reviews found that this is by far the best place for burritos, tacos and Southwestern salads on the island. Being able to build your own creation of healthy organic selections, large portions, affordability and a coffee selection that is “off the charts” were other reasons folks frequent this hot spot. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner they are open Monday through Saturday from 7:30am to 9pm. Closed Sunday.
- LagerHead Tavern - 843-681-2184 - 155 High Bluff Road, Hilton Head Island is known for presenting southern comfort food with flair using the freshest regional ingredients available. Some of the signature dishes include Grilled Oysters, Shrimp Gazpacho, Grilled Salmon Salad and the Low Country Reuben. The dinner menu features a wide selection of local fresh fish and is quite impressive. Landlubbers say the Grilled Coulotte Steak is superb! The well-designed tavern is located at the Oyster Reef Golf Club and offers daily Happy Hour from 4 to 6:30. The Coconut Shrimp are scrumptious and “the meat fell off the ribs” according to happy Trip Advisor diners. There are monthly specials and a daily Early Dinner offered for only $19.95 from 3 to 5:30. Hours vary during the week so call ahead when exploring this yummy greenway café.
- Lucky Rooster Kitchen + Bar – 843-681-3474 - 841 William Hilton Parkway, Suite A, Hilton Head Island describes itself as “an American bistro with Southern soul” and uses only the freshest ingredients from the region in the preparation of its menu items which evolve throughout the season. Comfort foods like Southern Fried Chicken and Shrimp and Grits are complemented with epicurean delights like Foie Gras Terrine and Roasted Octopus. The Oyster Stew, Hangar Steak and Fried Green Tomatoes were found to be “over the top” and the Bread Pudding was amazing according to reviews. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday 5pm till late. Closed Monday. Reservations recommended.
- Michael Anthony's Cucina Italiana - 843-785-6272 - 37 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island is a contemporary upscale old world Italian eatery known for its fresh ingredients, homemade pastas, incredible veal and its daily creations of fresh fish and house-made desserts. Recognized by Open Table diners as one of the “Top 50 Italian Restaurants” in the United States, diners love the food! The Veal Involtini and Veal Limón were considered some of the favorites. The “Sips and Bites” menu is offered from 5pm until 6:30, an Early Dining prix-fixe is available from 5:15pm to 5:45pm which is highly popular with locals. Celebrating their 15th year, the Fazzini family have made its mark on Hilton Head Island. Dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday and begins at 5:15.
- Poseidon Coastal Cuisine-843-341-3838 - 38 Shelter Cove Lane, Suite #121, Hilton Head Island is a happening Lowcountry joint that features amazing seafood, remarkable appetizers and one of the best spots to dance the night away on weekends. People couldn’t say enough about this location, they love the crab dip, Seafood Gumbo, Fried Fish and Shrimp. For a meal deal, the $18 Early Dinner special offers soup, a beverage and entrée. The New York Strip with mashed potatoes was highly rated. Happy Hour is also popular and is offered daily from 4 to 7 pm. Lunch is served Monday through Saturday from 11am to 4pm and Sunday, 10am to 4pm. Dinners is offered Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 10pm and Friday and Saturday until 11pm. For night owls, the Rooftop Bar is open until 2am, Friday and Saturday nights.
- Rockfish Seafood and Steaks - 843-689-2662 - 5 Lagoon Road, Hilton Head Island this casual yet chic family owned seafood house and bar is conveniently situated near the beach and offers exceptional fresh and local Lowcountry cuisine complemented with a wide selection of craft beers and wines. Diners highly rated the Blackened Fish with gouda grits, “best fried shrimp on the island”, the Salmon Oscar and the Bourbon Pecan Pie. Happy Hour is busy and runs 4 to 6, dinner Monday through Saturday 4 to 9pm and Sunday 12pm to 9.
- Santa Fe Café - 843-785-3838 - 807 William Hilton Parkway, #700, Hilton Head Island offers authentic Southwestern cuisine and live music fireside at its rooftop cantina. The open kitchen at the chef’s counter fills the restaurant with tantalizing scents enhancing the dining experience. The Painted Desert soup is a must and is served in a bowl that blends with the artwork on the walls. Others recommend the Sangrias, Ribeye Burrito, Blackened Fish Tacos and Southwest Crab cakes. Happy Hour is offered daily from 5 to 7pm, the Early Dinner menu features a 3-course meal for only $20.16, lunch is served Monday – Friday 11:30 to 2pm dinner is offered nightly from 5 to 10pm. With 22 years of business, this café is here to stay.
- Sea Grass Grille - 843-785-9990 - 807 William Hilton Parkway, Suite 1000, Hilton Head Island specializes in succulent seafood, fine wines in an elegant yet casual atmosphere at this beach house themed restaurant located just outside the main entrance to Palmetto Dunes Resort. Patrons highly recommended the Grouper Piccata, the Grilled Pork Chop and the Shellfish Newberg. Dinner Is served Tuesday through Saturday 5:30 to 9pm. Great proximity to Coastal Art Center for theater goers.
- The Pearl Kitchen & Bar - 843-757-5511 - 55 Calhoun Street, Bluffton presents at innovative dining concept that incorporates the best fresh local ingredients with non-traditional flair. One review found this as “a true NYC dining experience in the Low Country”. The She-crab soup is delicious as are the Crispy Flounder and Grouper Casino. Truffles fries with calamari is a great combo paired with a superb glass of wine. Lunch is served Thursday from 11am – 5pm, and Friday and Saturday 11 – 5. Dinner is served daily 5 to 10pm.
- The Salty Dog Café - 843-671-2233 - 232 South Sea Pines Drive, Hilton Head Island is a place to be seen on the Island. The menu is expansive and quite delicious offering something for everyone while maintaining the upscale presence of fresh Lowcountry cuisine. People flock here for the incredible water views offered at the South Beach Village Marina. Food critics loved the Shrimp Toast, Seafood Pasta and key lime pie. The outdoor seating is a huge draw. The restaurant is open Monday through Sunday from 11am to 9pm, the bar stays open later.
- The Studio - 843-785-6000 - 20 Executive Park Road, Hilton Head Island offers a creative menu within a fine art gallery where artists create while customers enjoy some incredible fresh innovative culinary expressions. The ambiance is intimate, and the food is imbibing. If you want a memorable evening “with an impact” start with a delicious Raspberry Cosmo, followed by the Crab & Vidalia Onion Bisque, Escargot and a mouth-watering filet according to reviews. The live music adds to the overall dining adventure and excellent service gives this unique eatery rave reviews. Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday at 5:30pm. Closed Mondays. Reservations are recommended.
Besides fabulous restaurants, the city of Bluffton is ideally located on US Route 278 between Hilton Head Island and I-95, and the Old Town District dating back to the 1700’s provides additional resources for enjoying a fulfilling retirement with unique boutiques, art galleries, cultural events and year-round festivals. The May River which winds throughout the town allows easy access for exploring the region by water while getting some quality exercise kayaking and canoeing. The historical antebellum architecture and moss-draped towering oaks add aesthetic appeal to living in this charming Southern town.
Hilton Head Island are famous for golf, tennis, fishing, boating, water sports or beachfront strolls all year long. Bluffton SC real estate continues to sell quickly as folks discover this Lowcountry paradise. Here you’ll find some of the best active adult communities in the country such as Del Webb’s Sun City Hilton Head and the new Margaritaville by Minto.
If you've never visited this oasis in the South, make the time to explore one of the best places to live in South Carolina during Restaurant Week to discover the country club lifestyle the region has to offer. Ask for our complimentary Bluffton SC relocation information to help you learn more about the area.