Charlie & Debbie

Longboard Nachos at Crooked Hammock in Myrtle Beach are big enough to share.

We consider ourselves blessed to have a great circle of friends. I prefer to keep my tribe relatively small. That being said, our best friends we take most of our trips with are part of that tribe. And, when our sons were young we started a tradition of celebrating July 4th at Myrtle Beach. It’s something we look forward to. And, we treasure all our memories even more now that our boys are less available to us at 21 years old. So, through the years we found favorite spots we continue to visit each time. And, I thought it would be fun to share the 8 restaurants we visited during our annual Myrtle Beach South Carolina vacation this year.

There’s a time and a place for referencing scientifically arrived at data to determine the “best” of things. However, this list of 8 restaurants we visited during our annual Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation has no such data. It is simply a compilation of the spots we tried and loved. Therefore, take it as advice or travel tips to start you in the right direction. I love to visit restaurants of all kinds.  And, with my love of food comes sincere, honest opinions about it.

Typically I give a spot a couple of tries in case they just have an off day. So, pretty much all of the places I choose to return to and write about are ones that made me happy in some way! And, when it comes to food, service and atmosphere these choices pass my test.

So, sit back and enjoy my list of the 8 restaurants we visited during our annual Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation this year. Plus, included in the 8 are a couple of ice cream shops we tried for the first time.

  • 1. Crooked Hammock Brewery

    Oh my, how I love this place dearly. Seems like it’s only been open about 3 years give or take. But, in that time we fell in love.  Crooked Hammock Brewery is located at Barefoot Landing. It’s one of our favorite locations filled with restaurants of all kinds. And, there’s cute shops, too. Crooked Hammock is pretty big and has its own adjoining brewery. You can pay for a private tour if you like. We haven’t done that yet, although we see folks on tours when we visit.

    But, Crooked Hammock makes our list of 8 restaurants we visited during our annual Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation because it’s spot on every time. The burgers are standout fantastic. There’s so many delicious apps including wings, pretzel bites and their famous “Longboard Nachos.” Those quickly became our go to. They are huge and enough for our party of 4 to feast on. Yes, they arrive on a huge paddle type board. There’s layers of chips, black beans, pico, cheese, sour cream, etc. And, you get to choose how to top them if you want. After trying pulled pork or brisket, we decided our favorite way to top the Longboard Nachos is with chili.

    And, lately we prefer to sit on “Tortuga Island.” It’s Crooked Hammock’s outdoor, over the water bar complete with optional swing seating at the bar. And, they know our special drink order of the “spicy margarita with a splash of pineapple and a Tajin rim.” Shout out to John the bartender! Make sure to visit. You won’t be sorry.


  • 2. The Parson's Table

    We discovered this charming gem last year.  The Parson’s Table in Little River is in a building from the 1800’s that once served as the Little River Methodist Church.  As you might imagine, this adds to its charm.  Inside, you’ll find beautiful stained glass windows and a warm, cozy feel with an upscale menu for special occasions.  They offer plenty of local favorites like fried green tomatoes, crab cakes and the Charleston She Crab Soup that I highly recommend.  When we visited the first time, I had the bacon-wrapped filet.  Others at the table chose shrimp and grits, scallops and maple bourbon glazed pork chops.

    On this visit, I chose the Prime Rib with fresh green beans and a sweet potato and carrot puree.  It was delish.  My friend actually started with the Frozen Toasted Almond Cocktail.  It’s more like a dessert than a drink.  She wanted to make sure she wasn’t too full after dinner to enjoy it!  And, my husband ordered fresh grouper.  He raved about it.

    Parson’s Table has amazing desserts including the one we had…Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce.  Along with dessert, we enjoyed after dinner coffee drinks.  Try the Parson’s Nip or the Frosty Nip.  Trust me.  So, it remains on our must visit list.  And, yes that’s why it’s one of the 8 restaurants we visited during our annual Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation.

    Parson's Table Restaurant sign in Myrtle Beach

    The sign outside one of our favorite restaurants near Myrtle Beach, Parson’s Table.

  • 3. Odori Japanese Steakhouse

    We absolutely love Hibachi-style Japanese restaurants.  A popular one, Miyabi, is right near our friends’ condo.  However, due to its popularity, it’s always packed with lines out the door.  But, just last year some other friends in North Myrtle introduced us to a great little joint called Odori Japanese Steakhouse.  Although there’s no floor show to speak of, the food is just as delicious.  And, the portions are still huge.  They have an early bird special.  And, they allow guests to split entrees with a $5 sharing fee.  The dishes are just what you expect from any such restaurant.  But, instead of cooking in front of you at the table, they simply bring them from the kitchen prepared.  And, they serve an orange sherbet to finish the meal.  It’s relatively low key and quiet.  We always meet our North Myrtle friends there.  Plus, it’s in a cute little shopping center with other businesses including places to make crafts.  I always think to myself we need to pop over there for other things besides Odori.  And, maybe one day we will.  But, service, food and ease of getting seated prompt me to include this spot in our 8 restaurants we visited during our annual Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation.

  • 4. Luigi's Trattoria Italian Restaurant

    The Myrtle Beach area seems to have plenty of quality Italian restaurants to choose from. And, one of our favorites is Luigi’s Trattoria Italian Restaurant. It’s a family owned spot at 503 61st Ave. N. off Hwy 17 business. Luigi’s has early bird hours from 4p.m. to 6p.m.  And, they take reservations. They offer all the standard Italian favorites. I am particularly fond of their baked Lasagna. They greet the table with delicious warm bread and an olive oil and herb dipper. But, be warned that if you finish that off and ask for more bread there is a $1.50 charge for round 2.  Although, we didn’t mind.  And, if you’re in the mood for wine, there’s more than 50 bottles to choose from. Luigi’s Trattoria Italian Kitchen is one of those sentimental favorites. It’s an unassuming little spot with a small parking lot, but the flavors are big.  And, thus, it lands on our list of 8 restaurants we visited during our annual Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation.

  • 5. Gio's Italian Kitchen Myrtle Beach

    So, Gio’s Italian Kitchen Myrtle Beach has not been one of our visits in the past.  However, after a quick road trip within our vacation due to a death of a longtime friend in Augusta, Georgia, we returned to the beach at dinner starving.  I was in the mood for pizza.  We attempted to go the King’s for pizza.  However, lines out the door made us rethink that choice.  So, we searched for another Italian spot we hadn’t tried before.  We landed in Gio’s off Kings Highway.  Their website says they are family owned and operated since August 2014.  The Hoxha family, originally from Albania, moved to the U.S. in 2003.  And, they have 15 years of experience serving up delicious food and great service.  We walked right in on a Friday night.  Although they were crowded, we were able to grab a seat at a high top in the bar right away.  And, they didn’t serve pizza.  However, I was not disappointed.  I gobbled up my ravioli stuffed with lobster and served with a yummy pink vodka sauce.  The service was perfect.  And, their bread had an interesting twist.  So, it was straight olive oil with balsamic and no herbs for dipping.  But, the balsamic had been drizzled to spell out “Gio’s.”  It’s the little things.  So, Gio’s lands at number 5 on our list of 8 restaurants we visited during our annual Myrtle Beach, South Carolina vacation.

  • 6. Kirk's Ice Cream Parlor

    You can’t visit the beach in the summertime without getting ice cream.  And, the night we went to Luigi’s, we noticed Kirk’s Ice Cream Parlor right across the street.  How convenient!  Of course, it was packed with customers.  But, the line moved pretty quickly.  And, there was a very interesting decor to discuss while we waited in line.  It’s got that old time parlor vibe.  My friend compared it to “The Old Spaghetti Warehouse.”  If you remember that from days gone by, you know she’s absolutely right!  There were so many flavors to choose from.  I have been in a banana everything mood.  So, I chose the “banana pudding” in a waffle cone.  Oh, was it delicious.  We glimpsed the barrels of ice cream in the freezer donning a “Blue Bell” label.  So, being a native Texan, that’s ok by me.  The reviews for Kirk’s are typically quite positive.  And, I understand why!  So, it was one of our 8 restaurants we visited in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina during our annual vacation.

  • 7. Saltwater Scoops Ice Cream

    As long as we’re on the subject of ice cream, here’s another to add to your list.  We tried Saltwater Scoops for the first time.  This place is in a shopping center at 9670 N. Kings Hwy.  It’s not far from Bimini’s Oyster Bar.  It’s a tiny little shop, but the ice cream is divine.  Their Facebook page says Saltwater Scoops is family owned making homemade small batch ice cream daily.  The love and care is evident right away.  New flavors on little chalk signs on a surfboard let you know what to expect.  And, once a flavor is gone for the day, it’s gone.  Saltwater Scoops is award nominated ice cream, and I see why.  I ordered a sugar cone with a scoop of something called “Beach Blonde” if I remember correctly.  It was a vanilla base with white chocolate chips and plenty of other add ins.  I wish I had a picture.  But, I ate it so quickly!  I highly recommend them and they’ll return on our 8 restaurants we visited in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina during our annual vacation.

  • 8. Margarita's Mexican Restaurant

    We love Mexican food.  However, we often remark that there’s a bit of a hole in Myrtle Beach when it comes to that particular type of cuisine.  We like Roca Roja and Margaritas.  And, that’s about it.  So, during this trip there was one night we all struggled to figure out what sounded good.  I suggested Mexican.  And, we ended up at Margaritas on Hwy. 17 not terribly far from where we stay.  It’s nothing fancy.  But, we don’t want it to be.  It’s good solid choices you expect from your typical Tex-Mex type joint.  We ordered our signature spicy margarita with a rim of Tajin.  It was refreshing.  And, I also enjoy the endless chips and salsa.  We also added some queso with chorizo.  I ordered a big plate of nachos because that’s how I roll. My friend ordered some kind of burrito that was big enough for at least two people.  The point is, we all left full, happy and satisfied.  So, Margarita’s always makes our list of the 8 places we visited in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina during our annual vacation.

    burrito on plate from Margarita's Mexican restaurant in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

    A huge burrito from Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant in Myrtle Beach.

    spicy margarita in a glass with jalapenos and a rim of Tajin

    The Spicy Margarita at Margarita’s in Myrtle Beach enjoyed during our annual July 4th vacation.

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