Delicious Destinations: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Great eats in Hilton Head
Hilton Head harbor at night
(Photo: @MargJohnsonVA via Twenty20)

In this month’s Delicious Destinations we’re traveling to the bustling beach town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The sprawling island is know for its golf courses, beachfront hotels, and low-country living packed with southern hospitality, along with scrumptious spots to grab a bite to eat.

Best Restaurant for Breakfast: Stacks Pancakes and More of Hilton Head

Pancake houses are plentiful on the island, but one actually worth making the trek to is Stacks Pancakes and More of Hilton Head. The adorable restaurant does make its namesake pancakes, but you can also get fruit and nut waffles, basic egg breakfasts, and hash-brown-based breakfast bowls. This is a great spot to start the day, especially if you have a tee time at one of the local golf courses. The service is quick and plates come out piping hot.

Stacks Pancakes and More of Hilton Head Must-Have: Pecan and Strawberry Waffle with a side of bacon

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Best Restaurant for Families: Bullies BBQ

You simply cannot have a trip to South Carolina without having authentic Carolina-style bbq, and at Hilton Head Island that means heading to Bullies BBQ. The bbq joint is typically very busy at lunch and dinner to-go orders can be seen piled up at the bar. One of the best ways to enjoy Bullies is to order ahead and get dinner to go, then eat it in your hotel room on the day you arrive or after a long day at the beach. The restaurant is turning out competition-level pulled pork, brisket and ribs, all of which should be doused in the signature Carolina vinegar sauce.

Bullies BBQ Must-Have: Pulled Pork

Best Restaurant for Adults: Hudson’s Seafood House on the Dock

Hudson’s is right on the waterways that lead to the marsh in Hilton Head. The outdoor deck is the place to be. You can watch boats glide by, see birds sail to the shore, and enjoy the sunset as you eat dinner. The restaurant is known for its fresh seafood, most of which was likely caught just off the shores of Hilton Head Island. The menu is filled with delectable items like she crab soup, charbroiled oysters, and perfectly seared fish and scallops.

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Dock Must-Have: Oysters Hudson

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Best Restaurant for Solo Travelers: Hilton Head Diner

The Hilton Head Diner is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves up all of the diner classics. If the friendly service doesn’t keep you coming back here then the dessert case definitely will. No matter what you choose to order on the menu, you can pretty much be guaranteed it’s going to come out just like you want. With any lunch or dinner meal consider getting a side order of onion rings, which are hand battered and perfectly fried to golden goodness.

Hilton Head Diner Must-Have: Onion Rings

Best Snack: Hilton Head Ice Cream

When it comes to snacking in Hilton Head the one place you must know about is Hilton Head Ice Cream. Whether it’s an afternoon snack or after dinner treat this cute ice cream shop hits the spot. There are plenty of flavors to satisfy any craving, including lemon, cinnamon, Kahlua chip, and toasted coconut. Be sure to get your scoop in one of the homemade waffle cones for the best experience.

Hilton Head Ice Cream Must-Have: Lemon ice cream

More About Delicious Destinations

Some people plan their vacation with no thought of where they are going to eat, while others plan their entire trip around food. No matter which camp you’re in, FamilyVacationist’s Delicious Destinations has you covered. Each month, this food column covers local favorites including the best family dining spots, the best places for solo travelers, and irresistible snacks in cities around the U.S. Up this month: the best places to eat in Hilton Head.

I’m Megan duBois. I’m a full-time food and drink writer, and when I don’t have a fork in my hand, there’s likely an ice cream cone there instead. In this Delicious Destinations column, you can come with me to a different city each month and we’ll explore great restaurants, bars, bakeries, and other eateries. I’ll offer recommendations for families, adults, and solo travelers in each city. I’ll also give you tips on finding great themed restaurants, mid-day snacks, and breweries.

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Megan duBois
Megan duBois is the Senior Theme Park Editor for FamilyVacationist. She's also a freelance journalist who covers theme parks, cruising, family travel, and wine tourism for outlets like Conde Nast Traveler, Business Insider, Forbes, Travel + Leisure, The Points Guy, and National Geographic. You can reach her via email at megand513 [at] gmail [dot] com.