In the heart of Myrtle Beach
Bimini’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Café puts an island spin on local seafood, and it has that steam pot loaded oysters, clams, mussels and shrimp, along with a “local favorites” section of the menu. Also it’s a chain, but it’s a fairly local chain. 930 Lake Arrowhead Road, (843) 449-5549.
Captain George’s caters to the glutton in your group, if you happen to have someone in your entourage who wins all the eating contests. A huge 70-item buffet focuses mainly on seafood (raw, steamed, baked and fried) and also includes meats, vegetables and desserts. This is a chain but, again, it deserves a mention, especially if you’re interested in putting a hurt on yourself. 1401 29th Avenue North, (843) 916-2278.
Carolina is owned by the same people who run two California Dreaming restaurants (see the North Myrtle Beach section), all with approximately the same menu. Order the big salad with choice of salmon or chicken toppings, and you’ll get a honey-drizzled croissant to go with it. 4617 North Kings Highway, (843) 497-9911.
Cheeseburger in Paradise sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it? Chew on where you’ve heard that before while drinking a tropical drink with a little umbrella in it and deciding whether to go American or Caribbean with your sliders or burgers. Don’t forget to wear flip-flops and a loud flowered shirt. 850 North Kings Highway, (843) 448-9293.
Collector’s Café is primarily an art gallery that happens to have a Mediterranean menu, so it’s important to go in there hungry for food for thought. On exhibit are the works of 40 local artists including the works of the owners, and on the menu are creative seafood and veal presentations as well as an upscale wine list. 7740 Kings Highway, (843) 449-9370.
Damon’s is right on the beach and focuses most emphatically on ribs, but with burgers, chicken, steak, fish and salad also in the line-up. 2985 South Ocean Boulevard, (843) 626-8000.
Hard Rock Café is also a chain – a huge chain with locations (and t-shirts) in 52 countries – but each destination is unique and united around one central theme, which is rock ‘n roll. Each location is chocked full of music memorabilia and this particular one is pyramid-shaped with enough exterior lighting to divert air traffic. Lunch and dinner menus reflect the heritage of the founder, who is from Memphis, and include among other things the flying pig. 1322 Celebrity Circle at Broadway at the Beach, (843) 946-0007.
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville continues the Parrothead theme we’ve seen elsewhere, and actually that’s because it’s under the same ownership as Cheeseburger in Paradise. Showmanship will be the main course of your meal, such as a recurring announcement of a hurricane party followed by the lowering and pouring of a huge bottle of tequila into a gigantic mug. Also hovering overhead are fish and airplanes, and lest you forget this experience you’ll be sent home with a souvenir container. Oh yes, also there is food such as might be found in paradise: coconut shrimp, jerk salmon, salads with mango and pineapple chunks. 1114 Celebrity Circle, Broadway at the Beach, (843) 448-5455.
Longbeards Bar & Grill is a bit off the beaten path, and maybe for that reason it seems to attract Harley Davidsons and various sportsmen and sports fans. Due to the high testosterone level, you’ll see quail, bison and elk on the menu, but the wife and kids can choose poultry, seafood and more traditional meats. Pittsburgh Steeler fans congregate here regularly and tend to get a bit enthusiastic on game night. 5040 Carolina Forest Boulevard (on US 31), (843) 903-2905.
Pier 14 Restaurant & Lounge will be an instant favorite. You’ll got a windowed view of a pier built in 1926 and you can watch all the comings and goings of people fishing, swimming and sunbathing. You can also eat outside, consuming a fish sandwich, fish entrée or a seafood dinner while you enjoy people watching at its finest. 1306 Ocean Boulevard, (843) 448-4313.
Pier House Restaurant is on the Second Avenue Pier, serving a full breakfast, fresh salads, sandwiches, seafood and steaks. It has an open air bar and huge bay windows so you can keep an eye on the action on the pier. 110 North Ocean Boulevard, (843) 445-PIER (7437).
Planet Hollywood is more oriented toward entertainment than food, but somewhere among all that glamorous memorabilia and collectible souvenirs you should be able to find exotic salads and fancy burgers. 2915 Hollywood Drive, (843) 448-7827.
Roy & Sid’s American Kitchen is a great place to sit down after your shopping spree in The Market Common and order something light, one of the low-carb, low-cal specialties, many of them pure vegetables. Sunday brunch is omelets, cheesy grits, hash browns, toast, pecan waffles and blueberry pancakes. 1160 Farrow Parkway, The Market Common, (843) 839-9770.
Sea Captain’s House gives you a great ocean view where you might see dolphins splashing around. You’ll also see fine seafood and dessert creations – that is, if you can get a table. 3002 North Ocean Boulevard, (843) 448-8082.
Soho Café and Bar is a trendy spot that serves the hot and the happening, sushi, skewers, lo mein, hibachi, tempura, with all fresh ingredients. 406 21st Avenue North, (843) 443-9441.
Sticky Fingers is a chain that is all about the sauce, which is the thing that makes fingers sticky. It is slathered all over ribs and wings, in Memphis Original, Tennessee Whiskey, Habanera Hot, Memphis Style Dry and Carolina Sweet. 2461 Coastal Grand Circle, (843) 839-RIBS (7427).
Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar adds an island-inspired touch of coconut, mango and/or macadamia nut sprinkled into salads and seafood, and then you’ll need a tropical drink to go with that. A gift shop is attached for those who need a souvenir of their visit to the Caribbean. 3044 Howard Avenue, The Market Common, (843) 839-1868.