Restaurant Guide

If you are looking for the closest Mickie D's, IHOP, Starbucks, Pizza Hut or Outback, you have come to the wrong place!

There are over 200 restaurants on Hilton Head. We visit and update our list often, and tend to know "who is hot and who is not" and where our favorite local chefs are before the newspaper or magazine guides do. Here are our favorites. If you want to sound like a local and make people wonder how you know so much about Hilton Head Cuisine, then follow our recommendations. These restaurants are generally unique, will remind you of no other restaurants and located in hard to find places! They can add to your enjoyment and adventure on the Island.


Looking for good food and a great restaurant value! You've found the right place!

Amigos Cafe Y Cantina*** Local's Hangout - Don't Miss!
If you come to HHI before, then you must have to come to Amigos, otherwise you just visited. Best "Killer Burritos" we have had anywhere. They make their own Chips daily with a fresh Salsa Bar! 11 - 9 daily. Inexpensive: our idea of good value. In same parking lot as Bi-Lo Supermarket. Make sure you go hungry.

Aunt Chiladas
A Mexican/American Fiesta. Our favorite is the combination fajita for 2; shrimp, chicken and steak. Their chips are good, but still not Amigos quality. If possible, go early for their happy hour. Always crowded, so call for reservations; #785-7700.

Captain Woody's *** Local's Hangout
Palmetto Bay Marina, Hilton Head. That is all we are going to tell you. If you find this, you can call yourself a local and no one will question it. Their signature sandwich is the "Grouper Melt" with seasoned fries. They make their own crab and shrimp cakes, cole slaw and potato salad. Great place for a draft beer and raw local oysters. Keep you eyes open on the local fisherman and sailors. Jimmy Buffet has been known to visit this establishment when in town. If you catch me at the bar, I will buy you a drink!

Blue Marlin has opened in the Palmetto Bay Marina. Owned by the owners on The Lodge, Marley's, etc. Lunch and Dinner 7 days/ week, brunch Sundays. Kool place to lunch and relax.

Sea Shack - Don't Miss!
Located behind Truffles on Pope Avenue. Not the place to take your first date. Best selection of fish on the island and nothing frozen - prepared anyway you like; slaw, fries and soup specials are worthwhile and are all homemade. Most dinners are under $10. I eat here at least twice a week!

Hilton Head Diner
Funky and fun. Open when everywhere else is closed. Sandwiches and Fries. Try the daily broiled fish special. Three different fillets at an attractive price. Mid-Island location.

It's Greek to Me - if you like Greek, Don't Miss!
Our favorite for a full course meal. No tourists at this restaurant; if you like Greek food, then this is the place. Save your appetite for the large portions at reasonable prices. A must for fans of Greek cuisine. Like Amigos, our idea of a good value. Located near the Blockbuster on New Orleans Road.

KennyB's*** Local's Hangout
Not located on New Orleans Road, but the best Cajun food east of New Orleans, LA. Next to Bi-Lo on Pope Avenue. Not for the diet conscious, go hungry! Their best value is a Sunday Brunch - all the omelets, beignets, sausage, bacon, hash, and pancakes your can eat at a ridiculous low price. Unique Cajun Lunches every day!

OK, OK! I have finally given it to recommending the Wild Wing. Since I am not a wing lover, I have been reluctant to recommend it; but now it is expanding into franchises all over the country so I better jump on the bandwagon. Good American beer hall, featuring pitchers of beer, live music and yes, every kind of wings imaginable. Early dinners perfect for kids. Surprisingly good bar scene late at night due to live bands playing all day.

Publix
Can't believe it? Another of our favorites is steamed fresh shrimp boiled with All-Bay seasoning. While at the fish counter, ask them to do it for you and take it back hot to eat at your house/villa! Our idea of a great value.

Piggly Wiggly
Coligny Plaza is home to the original grocery store on the island. Smaller than other supermarkets, all the locals know that it has the best fresh local seafood on the Island. Buy here and barbecue at home.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza and/or Del Vecchio's Family Restaurant and Pizzeria*** Local's Hangout - Don't Miss!
If you are from the south and are looking for an alternative to Mellow Mushroom's Pizza, then try Del Vecchio's. If you do not know what Mellow Mushroom is, then you must be from the north and should immediately proceed there for a chicken Calzone or a pizza. Del Vecchio's has the "Island Largest Pizza". Closest thing to a true New York City Pizza we have found. Thin crust and smooth mozzarella. Not quite "Ray's quality" but you don't have to travel 800 miles to get it. Mellow Mushroom is still the best - I'm a sucker for Stella on draft!

Truffles Market & Café
Consider this your local café; their second location is now open off of Pope Avenue. Sophisticated meals served in an appealing setting. Good place eat lunch or grab a drink at the bar.

Our Decks
Visit Publix for Shrimp or Fresh market to buy anything from their great selection of prepared entries and "Come on Home". Our private setting gets rave reviews from our guests. The price is right-BYO. If you want something else, grilling fish, steaks, chicken, burgers and dogs has never been easier or tasted better using our Electric Grills.


Feel like spending some $$$$ for a good time? Make sure he/she is worth it if you visit these fine eateries.


Michael Anthony's
Like Italian Food? How about a chop or steak? Truly a gourmand's delight! Sophisticated menu, beautifully prepared. This is a "special occasion" dining experience. Lacks the ambiance of CQ's but Unlike CQ's the portions are larger! Look for their signature "wine tasting" nights. Do you know what a Flight of Wine is? If not and you like wine, get over there. Michael is the Best chef on the Island; speak to Jill his wife, who is the receptionist, and tell them you are staying with us if you would like a little more special care!

Red Fish
Looking for a fish restaurant with a different menu. Then try Red Fish, on Palmetto Bay Road. Elegant, but expensive. Serves a Cuban fish cuisine with a Caribbean flair for exotic drinks. A truly fine restaurant with an enjoyable atmosphere and wine bar.

Aqua Grill & Lounge
Outfitted in stone, stainless steel and white decor, this stunning two-story space allures patrons with its innovative cuisine and stylish cocktail bar. Large windows overlooking the beach and the sound of the indoor waterfall add to the atmosphere. Servers deliver artful plates of Asian-inspired seafood dishes, from the dim sum appetizer (Shrimp shui mai dumplings, pork pot stickers, spring roll, ginger soy) to pan-blackened grouper with fried green tomatoes, sherry scallion cream and lobster salsa. In addition to the kitchen's bounty, the raw bar dishes up premium oysters.

Hinoki
Authentic Japanese Cuisine. One of the finest sushi bars anywhere. Tempura specials are delicious. New Orleans Road

Old Fort Pub
Looking for a Water View? Make this a special outing. Fantastic ambiance on Port Royal Sound. Situated beside the historic Fort Mitchell site, this charming restaurant overlooks Skull Creek. In the evening, patrons gather on the veranda to enjoy exquisite sunset views. Serving Low Country favorites since 1973, the kitchen staff dubs its cuisine "New Southern," and the offerings run from crab cakes to filet mignon, as well as the more adventurous dishes like lamb and goat cheese ravioli. The first seating menu includes an appetizer and dessert for the price of the main course. Excellent wine list. If staying with Hilton Head Hideaways, use the visitors card that you'll find in your Welcome Package for a 10% discount off the entire bill.

Charlie's L'toile Vert
Charlie Golson, a local, is the proprietor of this innovative French cafe that was featured in the April 1999 edition of Travel & Leisure. Intimate and sophisticated. The friendly and attentive staff serve up delectable dishes. Extensive wine list a winner of the prestigious Wine Spectator Award of Excellence


Best Happy Hour Special

Marley's Island Grill
5:30 to 7:00 pm; at the Bar only. Mojitos and Margaritas only $2.50. Drafts $1.50; Make sure to try a Fish Taco for only $2.50.


Breakfast Places

The French Bakery at Pineland Station "Ou La-La"** Local's Hangout
Forget Starbucks; if you have ever been to Paris, than you will appreciate this treat. Little known bakery where you can practice your French with the owner while sipping coffee and munching on real French Bread, Croissants and Pastries. Well worth the effort to visit them at Pineland Station on #278. Parlez-vous francaise? They do at the French Bakery, from the pastry chef to the servers. Everything is done with a charming French accent at this cozy bakery and cafe. The menu features everything from quiches and sandwiches to fresh-baked baguettes, brioche, and some of the best pastries you've ever tasted. You'll be ready to greet the day after a bracing cup of espresso, cappuccino, or a fresh-brewed specialty coffee.

Stack's Pancakes serves pancakes and eggs as well as burgers and meat entrees 24 hours per day. Located next to the Red Roof Inn on 278.

Skillets has reopened in the original location in Coligny Plaza but in a much larger facility and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Java Joes and the Coligny Bakery - definitely a Local's Hangout
Located in Coligny Plaza, next to True Value Hardware (no food in True Value, but it is worth the visit to drop back in time 40 years and see this southern original). Coffee, food and a true beach ambiance make Java Joes a local's favorite. Bring the kids, wife or dog too, they will enjoy it. Adjacent Main Street Café and Just Pasta Restaurant are part of local charm! This is where you want to be dressed "beach casual." The Coligny Bakery has all the traditional croissants and muffins you could want with your morning coffee.

Sunrise Café
Looking for where the power brokers go for breakfast? Go early enough and you'll see our Mayor having breakfast along with all the other movers and shakers on the Island. Palmetto Bay Marina, under the toll bridge to the Cross-Island Expressway on Hilton Head


Just good Eats in the Coligny Plaza Area

Java Joes Gourmet Café in Coligny Plaza nest door to the True Value Hardware Store; Pet Friendly. Coligny Bakery; same owners as the Restaurant Just Pasta. Market Street Café; Pet Friendly. Frosty Frog. Big Bamboo. Steamers; Pet Friendly. Skillets; Pet Friendly. Skillets has reopened in the original location in Coligny Plaza but in a much larger facility and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Coligny Bakery
Homemade baked goods include specialty breads, croissants, Danish and French pastries, donuts and muffins. Also try one of their famous frozen fruit drinks for that early morning pick-me-up.

Big Bamboo Description
A tropical and casual atmosphere serves as the backdrop for this American café patterned after an imaginary World War II bar on a Pacific island. Nothing fancy here, just really good food. Some favorites include black bean burger, BBQ, and Santa Fe pasta. Daily seafood specials, as well. Also offers a large selection of microbrews and specialty beers. Entertainment ranges from blues to reggae to various local bands, and the happy hour margarita special's a big draw. Late night menu served until 1am, and the bar is open until 2am.

Market Street Cafe Description
This cafe has been featured in Travel & Leisure magazine and boasts a wide selection of Greek and Italian specialties including mousaka, pastitsio, spanakopita, traditional Italian pizzas and much more. For dessert, try their homemade baklava or cheesecake. Outside dining is available when the weather permits.

Truffles has opened their second island location (there is one in Bluffton also) at the Executive Park Road off Pope Avenue. It is where the Hoffbrau House was. It is open for dinner only.


Pet Friendly Restaurants

South Carolina does not allow pets into the restaurant seating area. However, there are a few establishments that offer outside seating areas where you can eat with your pet. We have eaten at the following with out dog:

Amigos, Captain Woody's, It's Greek to me, KennyB's, Java Joes, Main Street Diner, Coligny Bakery, Sea Shack, Mellow Mushroom, Smokehouse Grill, Steamers, Kenny-B's.

Please let us know if you find any others!


Bars, Action and Late night events

Visit the Barmuda Triangle! Yeah, consider yourself lucky if you survie this voyage.

Start you trip at the Easternmost point of the Triangle at the Holiday Inn's Tiki Hut Bar down on the Beach after a day of sun to listen to live music and watch the Beach Volley ball Action.

Next, move to Hinchley's Bar and Grill for Happy Hour or cross the street to see the Big Bamboo or the Frosty Frog in Coligny Plaza.

Not seeing what you came for? Get back in your car and drive to Casey's or Callahan's Sports Bar on New Orleans Road - only 1 mile away. If you are from the South, then make sure you find the Dry Dock Tavern in between; only rednecks can walk in and out of their doors safely. Shuffle Board and Pool.

The Barmuda Triangle, the Western most point is actually more of a square bounded by Reilly's, the Hilton Head Brew Pub, One Hot Mamma's and the Lodge, with Jump and Phil's at one corner, now provides a place for smokers to hang out. There are outdoor bars and a centrally located fireplace to keep you warm on chilly nights.

After leaving the Western most point of the Barmuda Triangle, walk, bike, stumble or ride about 200 yards to Downtown HHI and find Monkey Business. Monkey Business is the liveliest place on the Island featuring live music and great touring acts. You will probably end your journey here unless someone says there is a great band playing at Ryder's Lounge in which case you may be better off calling a cab and heading home - then again, you could make the journey and really hate yourself the next morning.

Monkey Business Description: This is Hilton Head's premier dance club. Features national acts such as Drivin' n Cryin', Edwin McCain, Collective Soul, Everclear, Bad Company, and Buckcherry. Fun atmosphere complete with colorful metal streamers and a disco ball dangling from the ceiling


Just looking for good Music?

The Jazz Corner
In a sophisticated environment that is both elegant and intimate, the Jazz Corner presents a range of regional and national jazz acts focusing on the smooth sounds of the '50's and '60's. Full dinner menu served 6pm-10pm on Tuesday through Sunday. The food is very good here, so don't be afraid to order!


Mid- Island Favorites

The Alligator Grille Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar gives you the feel of an Atlanta or Chicago restaurant with the island elegance that allows the patrons to 'dress down' ala Tommy Bahama Style. The eclectic mix of cuisine with an emphasis on fresh seafood has built an excellent reputation and a devoted following for ten years. If staying with us at Hilton Head Hideaways, you will have a coupon for a free Happy House drink at the Bar!

Sea Grass Grille located just south of the Palmetto Dunes entrance on #278; Sea Grass Grille offers seafood and other specialties such as Carolina Tomato Pie and potato pancake with lump crab. Lunch or Dinner is fantastic; ask for Sheryl to be your waitress and tell her you are staying with us.

Ruan, a Thai restaurant, has opened where Fratello's was, just south of the Palmetto Dunes entrance. Chef/owner Benruan Suphata prepares food of Central Thailand, including a variety of curry dishes

Santa Fe
This well-kept secret is a favorite among locals. Southwestern cuisine served in a rustic but tempting atmosphere. Choose from a wide-ranging menu including chicken, tenderloin, fresh seafood, fish and daily specials. For dessert, try their Margarita Key Lime Pie. This is our favorite spot for lunch!

Frankie Bones
Sophisticated and appealing, this Sinatra-themed restaurant and lounge offers a change of venue from the island's many seafood bars. The extensive menu offers Italian-inspired fare, from "The Godfather" sandwich (ham, salami, provolone, vinaigrette) to flat bread pizzas to marinated rib-eyes. For dessert, you can make your own table top s'mores. The lounge, accented with a granite topped bar, offers a delightful atmosphere for martinis and conversation.

The Lodge
Sophisticated cigar and martini bar that boasts two stone fireplaces, an antlered chandelier, a walk-in humidor and some of the best martinis on the Island. Also has four billiard tables, darts and shuffle boards.


Sea Pines Action!

Salty Dog Café in South Beach Marina

This Island institution is one of those places you have to visit even if it is only to buy a t-shirt. Laid-back, fun atmosphere on the waterfront. Serves food and your favorite drinks inside or outside on the deck.

The Wreck of the Salty Dog; my favorite place for cocktails. Make sure to go upstairs and sit outside at a table overlooking the Marina. Wow! You'll know you are on vacation if you make it here!

The Waterfront Cafe
Located at the foot of a landmark lighthouse, this eatery is a favorite of the locals. The cafe offers sweeping views of the Calibogue Sound as well as magnificent sunsets. Low Country cuisine is the specialty here for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Extensive wine list and winner of Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence. Dine indoors or outside at the outdoor cafe. A memorable experience.

Truffles Café & Market
Consistency and flavor are the hallmarks of this casual dining room, housed in a quiet shopping center. Featuring a thoughtful variety of favorites, the menu offers tempting tortellini in a rich tomato cream sauce and award-winning baby back ribs with irresistible shoestring fries. 30 wines available by the glass, hip martinis and an excellent dessert menu add to the appeal. The Market area offers unique and often whimsical gifts for all occasions.

Harbour Town Bakery
Located in what was once the historic lighthouse keeper's cottage. Choose from a variety of delicious omelets or try the cinnamon French toast for breakfast. Lunch offerings include a fabulous smoked chicken salad as well as a wide array of deli sandwiches.

Quarterdeck Lounge
Located below the Harbour Town lighthouse, this two-level restaurant is lined with windows that behold fabulous views of the golf course and water. The Quarterdeck serves sandwiches at lunch and appetizers throughout the evening; meanwhile, Topside, the formal dining section, focuses on seafood and steak. Live bands entertain every afternoon at Quarterdeck. This is the best place to see a SC Sunset and the lights from Savannah at night.

And finally, the Harbour Town Grill - Steaks and seafood in clubhouse setting overlooking the ninth hole of Harbour Town Golf Links. Well worth the time to visit for lunch or dinner and you can walk to the Lighthouse after you eat.

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