The Ten Best Local Restaurants in Myrtle Beach
Millions of people visit Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand area every year. However, only about 30,000 actually call the area their permanent home. While most tourists look for the restaurants with the flashiest signs directly on the highway, locals know where to get the best eats and get them at the best prices. The top ten local restaurants are evaluated based on quality of food, value for the price, and relative wait time to get service.
Hoskins Restaurant has been a locals destination since it opened in 1948. It is located on Main Street in North Myrtle, just four blocks from the ocean. It is a small and unassuming building from the outside, but the inside is where the magic happens. Their seafood is always fresh and delicious. They will cook it to your liking; broiled, fried, or grilled. They also have one of the best salad bars around. The salad bar can't compete in size with the mega-buffets, but the ingredients are fresher, the selection is diverse, and you are guaranteed to walk away satisfied. The only downside to Hoskins is the wait. This is truly the place all the locals and long-time visitors go for their seafood fix, so a 30 minute wait isn't uncommon. Just note that the wait is so worth it, Hoskins made #1 on this list.
Opened in 2013, Banditos quickly established its self as one of the best oceanfront restaurants on the grand strand. It is located in the 1400 block of North Ocean Boulevard in Myrtly Beach, with a wonderful patio and bar overlooking the ocean. Inside, the decor is welcoming and the food is spectacular. They serve the typical tex-mex fare known as mexican food here in the southeast, but they do it with fresh ingredients not found in your average Mexican joint. The food is prepared to order and certainly doesn't come from a bag, jar, or can.
Murrells Inlet is knows for its restaurants, but mostly the fried buffet variety or the run-of-the-mill poor quality quick service type. Wicked Tuna is the exception to this rule. They have the freshest seafood around and hands down the best sushi between Wilmington and Charleston. Their fish dishes are prepared in very creative ways, with fresh house-made sides, and incredible house-made sauces. Plating is always creative as well and matches the food perfectly. Their sushi creations range from simple to quite intricate and creative, but you won't find either style lacking in flavor and freshness. Wicked Tuna is also directly on this inlet and has a beautiful outdoor seating area giving the diner a beautiful view of the Myrtle Beach coast.
If you venture up to Little River, Captain Poo's is the place to eat. A long-standing local seafood spot, it is located right on the harbor with outdoor seating and a nice view of the boats going in and out. The food is mostly the standard fried or broiled seafood, with some raw bar offerings to be had, but it is always fresh and cooked just right. And really, who can resist a plate of the best fried local seafood with a beautiful and relaxing view. Also, for the volume of business they do at Poo's, it never takes long to get a seat either.
Osaka Sushi Buffet
This is a true locals only, and the only buffet on this list. Osaka Sushi Buffet isn't your standard Myrtle Beach buffet and that is a Very good thing. To begin with, it is located on Seaboard Street about three miles from the beach. There is never a crowd or a wait for a table either. The $13.00 price tag for all you can eat is 1/3 of what you pay at the lesser quality, but flashier buffets on highway 17 too. And the food is spectacular. There is always a fresh buffet of maki rolls to be had. They are always freshly prepared and delicious. There is always a huge pan of fresh steamed shrimp and mussels too. Osaka also offers a cook to order hibachi grill and a selection of standard Asian buffet items to compliment the sushi and salad bars.
If you are craving a slice of pie, skip all the chain pizza joints and head down to the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk. NY-Style Pizza is the best thing going for hand-tossed, properly prepared, and fresh pizza. The outside is small and unassuming, but you will not be disappointed. Most people grab their pies and go, eating on the boardwalk or the beach, so there is always a seat to be had if you want to eat inside. I've never had a bad slice of pizza from NY-Style Pizza and I guarantee you won't either.
Molly Darcy's is one of the most delightful finds in all of the grand strand. An Irish Pub themed restaurant on Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach with oceanfront seating and an oceanfront patio, Molly Darcy's serves up great pub-style food and great drinks. Prices are quite reasonable for oceanfront dining and their pub-style fare is always served fresh and cooked to order. There is also an eclectic local crowd hanging out at Molly Darcy's most nights, so make sure to strike up a conversation with the guy who has a real live parrot on his shoulder!!
If you really want to know where locals go for the best seafood, Mr. Fish is it. Located on highway 17 in Myrtle Beach, Mr. Fish has the best variety of fresh local fish, prepared in the most fantastic manner, in all of the grand strand. Mr. Fish gets their fish fresh every day from their in-house seafood market, so if you like what you eat, buy some fresh and take it home. They offer Huge portions for a fair price and always cook your selection perfectly. You'll see more people with take-away boxes than not, because it is hard to eat all of the huge portions they put on your plate. There is rarely a wait for seating, but if there happens to be when you visit, Wait; you won't be sorry.
Located in a small brick building just up from where the Pavilion once stood, The Library has been serving fine up-scale dining to the Myrtle Beach market since the 1970's. You better plan to spend the better part of a paycheck here, so it didn't make the top of the list, but it is well worth it. Their French-style cuisine is the only of its kind here. They serve all of the French classics with proper table-side service as well. You just don't find that very often anymore; certainly not in Myrtle Beach, so check it out!
Painter's Homemade Ice Cream
We can't forget desert with all of this wonderful food, and Painter's Homemade Ice Cream is THE place to go. Painter's has been serving up delicious ice cream made in house since 1953. The original is located on highway 17 south in North Myrtle Beach, but they have expanded into several retail locations in Garden City, Myrtle Beach, and North Myrtle Beach. Find the one closest to you and grab yourself a cone.
Of the hundreds, if not thousands, of places to eat along the grand strand, the locals do it best. Next time you are vacationing on one of the beautiful area beaches, check out any or all of the locals best places to eat and you will not be disappointed.