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Oyster Roast at Gulf Stream Cafe

North Myrtle Beach Dining

North Myrtle Beach Dining has grown by leaps and bounds, and takes in everything from the North Carolina state line on down to Restaurant Row. Four municipalities came together in 1968 to form the core of North Myrtle Beach – Windy Hill, Crescent Beach, Ocean Drive and Cherry Grove – and in more recent years Barefoot Landing has joined the mix. We’re also including Little River here, a quaint little river town just a bit of a reach from the roads more frequently traveled, where the big casino boats launch gambling tours in international waters.

Benny Rappa’s Trattoria is run by an Italian husband-and-wife team dishing up such classics as lasagna, fresh fish and pasta, eggplant parmesan and homemade bread. Most diners can’t pass up the tiramisu for dessert, but they get it to go. 1453 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 361-1056.

The Brentwood Restaurant & Wine Bar is housed in a restored 1910 home, set back from the highway and decidedly upscale. The wine bar is upstairs and, below, the seating is in various rooms just like the house was still private. The cuisine is French and so is the lingo: les viands, les poissons and fruits de mer. Try the seafood bouillabaisse or poached salmon. 4269 Luck Avenue, Little River, (843) 249-2601.

California Dreaming is under the same ownership as Carolina Roadhouse, with the same open floor plan and similar menu of salads, sandwiches, entrees, and honey-drizzled croissants. 10429 North Kings Highway, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 663-2050.

Cherry Grove Pier is a big attraction even for people who don’t come to eat. Get a seat by the window and enjoy a great view of the ocean, the fishing on the pier, the swimmers and sunbathers on the beach, and a two-story observation deck at the end of the 985-foot pier. The food is not quite so exciting, but typically you’ll get standard breakfast, lunch and ice cream items. 3500 North Ocean Boulevard, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 249-1625.

Chianti South Italian Restaurant, northern Italy brought stateside, serves award-winning seafood, pasta and meat dishes before bringing out the dolci (desserts), Tiramisu Casalingo and Profiterolla Al Cioccoloto, the ultimate pastry puff. 2109 Highway 17 North, Little River, (843) 249-7888.

Crab Catchers is on the waterfront and serves appetizers, steamed seafood, sandwiches, wraps and platters, with special emphasis on the catch of the day. 4474 Water Front Avenue, Little River, (843) 280-2025.

Dick’s Last Resort describes its menu as “grub and booze” and calls itself “the Shame o’ Barefoot Landing.” The menu includes ribs, chicken, steak and shrimp, and takes great pride in its misspellings. The wait staff “inflicts” its humor on guests and live entertainment performs nightly. 4700 Highway 17, Barefoot Landing, (843) 272-7794.

Greg Norman’s Australian Grille may be a bit of a revelation to those of us who have no idea what Australians eat. The answer is rack of lamb, wood-grilled seafood, steak and duck, and with that you get a great view (and patio dining) along the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s upscale, however, and you might not want to wear that Crocodile Dundee hat. 4930 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 361-0000.

House of Blues is a chain that serves “blues” burgers and traditional New Orleans cooking such as Creole seafood jambalaya and Cajun meatloaf – in other words, food to match the mood. Of course the main attraction is music, and you can skip church on Sunday by attending Gospel Brunch, an uplifting performance accompanied by a big breakfast. The concert hall is adjacent to the restaurant, and there’s an outdoor blues bar along with various dance floors. 9922 Highway 17 North, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 449-3984.

Parson’s Table has won countless awards, a unique eatery that from the outside looks like a church. Come to think of it, also from the inside with its stained glass, beveled glass and heavy doors. You may worship at the altar of steak and seafood, including sautéed grouper, stuffed flounder, bacon-wrapped shrimp and she-crab soup. The parson will look the other way while you pair your meal with a choice from an extensive wine and beer list. 4305 McCorsley Avenue, Little River, (843) 249-3702.

Pat & Mike’s Irish Pub brings in the bar crowd interested in local entertainment, karaoke or football. The food is more American than Irish, fish and chips, big sandwiches, big salads, etc. 1359 Highway 17, Little River, (843) 249-7145.

Rockefeller’s Raw Bar is where you get that steam pot loaded with shellfish, which you pick at with your fingers and share with friends. Of course there’s lots of other stuff on the menu but that’s what you should order. 3614 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 361-9677.

Snooky’s has “docktail” hour on the waterfront and a chef with prestigious credentials. Daily specials are usually your top choice, but you may not be able to resist regular menu items such as seafood pasta, fried grouper bites and fried green tomato baguettes. 4496 Baker Street, Little River, (843) 249-5252.

Spring House Family Restaurant is across the street from Barefoot Landing and Alligator Adventure. The breakfast menu has waffles and omelets, lunch is homemade soup, sandwich and salad, and dinner is seafood and Mom’s pot roast. 4601 Highway 17 South, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 272-4880.

Umberto’s is an Italian-style eatery serving homemade bread, family style beans, salad and pasta with every entrée. The entrees are huge, so with all the sides there’s no reason not to split a meal between at least two people, maybe more depending on how hungry you are. 4886 South Kings Highway, North Myrtle Beach, (843) 272-1176.