15 Best Restaurants in Hilton Head Island, SC

This article was written by local contributor Saylor Clark & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Hilton Head Island, SC

Ah, Hilton Head Island - my little slice of paradise!

I've been lucky enough to call this beautiful island my home for years now, and one of my absolute favorite things about living here is the incredible food scene.

From fresh seafood to Southern classics, there's a dish here for every palate.

So, if you're visiting or even thinking about moving here, I'm thrilled to share with you some of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Your taste buds will definitely thank you!

About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable restaurants, it's important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional dining establishments that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself


One of my favorite restaurants on the island has to be Alfred's Restaurant.

Every time I go there, I find myself struggling to decide what to order because everything on the menu looks and sounds so delicious.

The service at Alfred's is always top-notch, and I've never been disappointed with the recommendations for the night, including their well-balanced Old Fashion cocktails.

During my most recent visit, I had the Potato Crusted Halibut, and I can't even begin to describe its incredible flavor.

My partner ordered the Bone-in Grilled Veal Chop, which was tender and packed with flavor.

We decided to share two desserts: the popular Apple Strudel and Bailey's Chocolate Chip Cheesecake.

Both were absolutely divine!

Alfred’s Restaurant Β· 807 William Hilton Pkwy Suite 1200, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· German restaurant

Red Stripes Caribbean Cuisine & Lounge

Let me tell you, living in South Carolina has its perks, and one of them is being able to frequently visit Red Stripes Caribbean Cuisine & Lounge on Hilton Head Island.

This gem of a restaurant caught my attention one day while craving some seafood, and I've been hooked ever since.

From the moment you walk in, you can feel the Jamaican vibes and the warm energy that fills the space.

I can never get enough of their delicious and authentic Caribbean dishes - I'm a huge fan of their ox tails, curry chicken, and rice and peas.

The flavors are so rich and complex, making every bite an absolute delight.

Oh, and don't forget to order their spicy dumplings and pineapple soda!

You can really taste the love and heritage that goes into every dish at Red Stripes.

It's not just a restaurant - it's an experience that keeps me coming back for more.

Their bar area is super chill, and you can often find a few friendly folks hanging out and enjoying themselves.

Whenever I have friends or family visiting from out of town, I always take them to Red Stripes, and they never leave disappointed.

If you ever find yourself on Hilton Head Island, do yourself a favor and treat your taste buds to a meal at Red Stripes Caribbean Cuisine & Lounge.

Red Stripes Caribbean Cuisine & Lounge Hilton Head Β· 840 William Hilton Pkwy Unit 2, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, Verenigde Staten
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· Caribisch restaurant

A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant

One of my favorite spots on Hilton Head Island is A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant.

This cozy American restaurant is a bit hard to find, but trust me, it's worth the effort.

Serving casual Lowcountry fare, from seafood to sandwiches, it offers an atmospheric setting with a beautiful garden.

When I visit with my family, we love sitting in their outdoor seating section – it has the biggest umbrella I've ever seen.

The drinks served in mason jars add to the charming, relaxed atmosphere.

As for the food, it never disappoints.

We're big fans of their appetizers – the crab dip and mussels are simply delicious.

For the main course, my partner and I usually share the Lowcountry boil, and it's always superb.

The shrimp and grits are a hit with everyone, and I once tried their blackened wolffish sandwich – perfectly done and very tasty.

Admittedly, the mac and cheese can be a bit dry at times, but that's the only negative I can think of.

We always finish off our meal with their banana pudding, which comes very close to my partner's homemade version.

A visit to A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant always leaves us satisfied and happy.

A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant Β· 32 Palmetto Bay Rd Suite 4A, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· American restaurant

It's Greek To Me

One of my favorite spots to dine in Hilton Head has to be It's Greek To Me.

I can't help but rave about the incredible food and atmosphere at this cozy Greek restaurant.

Every time I visit, I find myself indulging in their mouthwatering chicken kebab, which is always cooked to perfection and so tender.

Pairing it with their Greek salad and warm pita bread is a must - the salad dressing is to die for!

I particularly love the charming patio area for outdoor seating on a pleasant day.

It truly makes the whole dining experience feel like an intimate trip to Greece.

It’s Greek To Me Β· 11 Lagoon Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· Greek restaurant

Jane Bistro and Bar

I've been living on Hilton Head Island for years now, and I must say, Jane Bistro and Bar has become one of my absolute go-to spots whenever I'm craving delicious American and Southern-inspired food.

The moment you walk in, you can't help but notice the modern, upscale setting that sets the stage for a memorable dining experience.

You can check their website here.

One of my favorite things about Jane Bistro and Bar is the freshness of their ingredients.

Every dish I have tried has been nothing short of amazing.

I still remember when I first came across their Mama's Freakin Meatloaf – it was love at first bite!

On another visit, I opted for the Toasted Pecan Cranberry Chicken Salad and found it incredibly refreshing and satisfying.

Their Coconut Cake, which is an absolute must-try, is hands down the best cake I've ever tasted.

It's so good that I almost always order a slice to take home with me.

The service here is also top-notch.

Jane Bistro and Bar Β· 28 Shelter Cove Ln #109, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· American restaurant

Hudson's Seafood House On The Docks

I can't count how many times I've visited Hudson's Seafood House On The Docks over the years.

Their seafood is always fresh, and the atmosphere is perfect for a relaxed meal with friends and family.

One of my favorite things about Hudson's is the outdoor deck seating, which overlooks the water and often has a pleasant breeze.

I ended up trying the seafood gumbo, coconut shrimp, steamed oysters, and a crab cake – all of which were absolutely delicious and beautifully presented.

What really sets Hudson's apart, though, is the fact that their seafood is caught daily, making it some of the freshest I've ever tasted.

I've traveled to many places around the world, and Hudson's never disappoints when it comes to the quality of their dishes.

Even their hush puppies are a delight, with the perfect balance of crunchiness and tenderness.

Of course, no meal at Hudson's would be complete without a slice of their key lime pie.

It's the perfect way to end a satisfying meal.

Hudson’s Seafood House On The Docks Β· 1 Hudson Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· Seafood restaurant

Skull Creek Dockside

For seafood cravings, another spot I love visiting is Skull Creek Dockside.

The view outside is simply breathtaking, making the dining experience even more enjoyable and relaxing.

I usually start with Tuna Deviled Eggs or Beef Nachos for appetizers.

For the main course, I can't get enough of their Shrimp Calamari Pizza with Cole Slaw or the 1/2 Fried Chicken with Mac & Cheese and Asparagus.

The chicken is always seasoned so well, and their Mac and Cheese is full of flavor.

I usually end my meal with their warm Pecan Pie with Ice Cream, which tastes amazing.

Skull Creek Dockside is a fantastic restaurant in an incredible location and setting.

The views are truly unforgettable.

I remember dining with friends and trying their dockside collection, which had a little bit of everything.

The scallops were soft with a crispy top, the stuffed shrimp had a lovely lemony butter sauce, and the crab cake was mostly crab, not just filler.

The whipped potatoes were smooth and delicious too.

Skull Creek Dockside Β· 2 Hudson Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· Seafood restaurant

Fishcamp on Broad Creek

Oh, what a night I had at Fishcamp on Broad Creek!

The entire experience was simply unforgettable.

The cozy cabin-like space, coupled with the beautiful patio and fire pit, made for a fantastic atmosphere that I couldn't help but fall in love with.

The warm, rustic vibe was welcoming and inviting.

Despite looking like a hidden gem, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the island, the food and service were nothing short of exceptional.

One of the highlights of my dining experience was definitely the fresh seafood.

I opted for the salmon platter, which I must admit was so good that I cleaned my plate within minutes.

The key lime pie and hush puppies were excellent, too and added a touch of Southern charm to my meal.

Though I dined inside, I couldn't help but notice the stunning views of Broad Creek through the windows.

I imagine that dining on the patio would be a fantastic experience, especially when the weather is nice.

Fishcamp on Broad Creek Β· 11 Simmons Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· Seafood restaurant

Gusto Ristorante

As a foodie, I always love finding new places to dine.

One of my recent discoveries was Gusto Ristorante, an Italian restaurant that truly exceeded my expectations.

When I first arrived for my reservation, the restaurant wasn't too crowded, which was a pleasant surprise.

One of the highlights of the meal was the bread - it was simply excellent.

The pasta dishes we ordered were incredibly fresh and flavorful, making it evident that the kitchen uses high-quality ingredients.

I couldn't resist trying their desserts, which turned out to be just as exceptional as the rest of the meal.

I opted for the seafood cannelloni and the fish of the day, which happened to be seabass.

Both dishes were divine and left me feeling extremely satisfied.

Gusto Ristorante Β· 430 William Hilton Pkwy, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· Italian restaurant

Skull Creek Boathouse

I love spending evenings at Skull Creek Boathouse, a bustling waterfront spot that offers a delightful mix of seafood, sushi, and tacos.

The outdoor bar is shaded by trees, making it the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the breathtaking view of the water.

The last time I was there, I tried the surf and turf roll topped with eel – it was absolutely amazing!

The boathouse has a welcoming atmosphere and offers a variety of seating options, including cozy indoor spaces and charming outdoor areas.

However, it's best to arrive early if you want to secure a spot outside, as it can get quite busy during peak hours.

The menu is a delightful mix of Southern classics and fresh seafood options.

As someone who was initially skeptical of pimento on fish, I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it tasted!

The collard greens, with their slightly spicy flavor, are also a must-try.

Skull Creek Boathouse Β· 397 Squire Pope Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· Seafood restaurant

The Sandbar

I've been living on Hilton Head Island for a few years now, and one of my favorite spots to dine and unwind at is The Sandbar.

This American restaurant offers a unique mix of Southern and Caribbean comfort food, which makes for the perfect combination of flavors and a satisfying meal.

The atmosphere is both spacious and lively, with a beautiful patio that's perfect for enjoying the island's sunny weather.

The service is always top-notch, making me feel right at home every time I visit.

Their drinks are delicious and refreshing, making them the perfect companion to my meals.

Some of my favorite dishes include the fish and chips – always fresh and cooked to perfection – and the witch doctor sandwich, an impressive concoction that never ceases to amaze me.

Another dish that has become a staple for me here is the jerk chicken tacos, which have just the right amount of spice and flavor.

The crab cakes and fried plantains are also must-tries, complemented perfectly by their jasmine rice and pineapple salsa.

The Sandbar Β· 101 Pope Ave, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· American restaurant

WiseGuys Steak House

I can confidently say that WiseGuys is one of my favorite places to enjoy a delicious steak dinner.

I remember my first time visiting this stylish restaurant and bar with friends.

We had an amazing time, thanks to the attentive and friendly service, as well as the exceptional food.

I was particularly impressed with their specialty cocktails, which were just as enjoyable as the dishes we ordered.

The atmosphere at WiseGuys is modern, and the decor is well-done, making it a pleasant place to dine.

From the juicy meatloaf to the tender braised short ribs, I've tried several dishes on their menu and have always left satisfied.

The prices at WiseGuys are fair for the quality and quantity of food, making it a go-to restaurant whenever I'm in the mood for a hearty and delicious meal.

It's a must-try for those in the area, and the hardest part is deciding what to order from their extensive menu.

WiseGuys Β· 1513 Main St, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… Β· Steak house

The Lucky Rooster Kitchen and Bar

I recently dined at The Lucky Rooster Kitchen and Bar, and it was an exceptional experience.

The food was delicious, with a focus on locally sourced Southern cuisine.

Plus, the rustic-chic atmosphere made for a cozy and inviting environment.

The creative cocktails they offer were amazing, and I can't wait to try more of their concoctions on my next visit.

My only suggestions would be to add bread as a side for their mussels and bouillabaisse dishes and perhaps mention that the tuna puttanesca is olive-based for those who might not be familiar with it.

The Lucky Rooster Kitchen and Bar Β· 841 William Hilton Pkwy Unit A, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜† Β· American restaurant

The Dunes House

One of my go-to places for a relaxing meal with family and friends is The Dunes House in Hilton Head.

Located within Palmetto Dunes resort, it's a hidden gem with fantastic American fare, live music, and a beachfront patio that you can't beat.

You can find more information here.

I've been there numerous times, and the food never disappoints.

The Dunes House Burger is a must-try, made with local pimento cheese, which gives it a unique flavor.

The fish tacos are also a favorite of mine, some of the best I've ever tasted.

What makes this place so special, aside from the food, is the atmosphere.

With easy access to the beach, it's the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some live music after a day in the sun.

The recent renovations have only added to the charm, and I love the new Walking Taco - a fun twist on a classic dish.

The shaded bar area is also a great spot to grab a drink and hang out for a while.

The Dunes House is exclusive to Palmetto Dunes resort guests or those who walk in from the beach, which makes it feel like a hidden oasis.

The Dunes House Β· 14 Dune House Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜† Β· American restaurant

CQ's Restaurant

CQ's Restaurant is nestled in a charming house, this upscale American restaurant serves a delicious seafood-focused menu featuring the freshest regional ingredients.

Their menu is filled with scrumptious options.

I've tried their rich and creamy she-crab soup, which is an absolute must-have.

If you're a seafood lover like me, you'll also enjoy their perfectly browned, generously filled crab cakes.

Even their salads are smart and inventive, with the beet salad being one of my favorites.

CQ’s Restaurant Β· 140 Lighthouse Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928, United States
β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜† Β· American restaurant

Final Thoughts

I cannot stress enough how fortunate I am to live in this beautiful island paradise, surrounded by such an incredible array of dining options.

From the laid-back atmosphere of A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant to the mouthwatering seafood dishes at Hudson's Seafood House On The Docks, there's a culinary experience for every taste and occasion.

Whether a visitor or fellow resident, I hope you take the time to savor and appreciate the diverse and delicious offerings that Hilton Head Island has in store for you.

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