Well, butter our biscuits and fry us up some excitement! We're dipping our forks into the tantalizing world of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island. From down-home Southern charm to coastal culinary creations, this little slice of heaven on the Palmetto State coast has got it all.
The Sage Room
75 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Prepare yourself for a fine dining experience like no other in the Lowcountry. The Sage Room is an upscale restaurant offers prime steaks cooked to perfection, complemented by an extensive wine list; in fact, a sommelier is available at dinner to assist you in pairing your wines with your desired cut of beef.
All appetizers – like the crab cakes with peppadew remoulade and tuna tataki with Asian cucumber salad – are hand-made daily in-house. If you’re not in the mood for steak, options like champagne poached scallops atop a parmesan risotto cake and Colorado rack of lamb over boursin grits will be sure to satiate your hunger.
Be sure to save room for their signature desserts, like the decadent chocolate lava cake. The Sage Room is easily one of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island for perfectly-cooked steak and rare vintages.
Charlie's Green Star
8 New Orleans Road, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
Step into this cozy French bistro – formerly referred to by its French translation, L’Etoile Verte – and prepare to be transported to a culinary wonderland. With a menu featuring delectable dishes like coq au vin and escargots a la bourguignonne, Chef Charlie knows how to elevate ingredients to embody the best versions of themselves.
Open for lunch and dinner, Charlie’s daily dinner menu goes online each day at 4 PM. Diners can always anticipate exquisite new specials on a regular basis, such as grouper cheeks en papillote, mahi grilled with mango vinaigrette, and Atlantic salmon grilled with fresh basil pesto.
Don’t miss out on the bread pudding served with creme Anglaise – you might need someone to lift you out of your chair after this mesmerizingly memorable meal! If you're looking for some of the most unique takes on seafood dishes, Charlie's Green Star is one of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island for your desires.
Lulu Kitchen — One Of The Best Restaurants In Hilton Head For A Mid-week Lunch
890 William Hilton Pkwy Suite 1, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
One of the youngest Hilton Head restaurants on this list, Lulu Kitchen is making a big splash with its locally famous monthly wine dinners, held in the fall. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the leaves to change to enjoy the shining stars on Lulu’s dinner, lunch, and brunch menus. Items like lobster crepes, crabcake benedicts, and mascarpone-stuffed French toast will have you in a momentary quandary as you struggle to choose what to order for brunch.
At lunchtime, Chef Lulu Scott proudly serves her favorite culinary creations on a rotating basis. Imagine swordfish tacos, flash-fried oyster po-boys, and sweet pea agnolotti with lardons looking as beautiful as ever as they’re presented to your table.
It’s impossible to make a wrong choice at dinner. Go for the Spanish octopus with fried chickpeas, chorizo, and piquillo peppers for an appetizer then move on to the iconic bouillabaisse, a fisherman’s stew including Hilton Head’s finest monkfish, mussels, lobster, and shrimp. Lulu Kitchen is easily one of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island for a menu guaranteed to surprise and delight.
Hudson's Seafood House On The Docks — One Of The Best Restaurants In Hilton Head For Waterfront Dining
1 Hudson Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
With breathtaking waterfront views, Hudson's Seafood House On The Docks is a must-visit seafood joint housed in a 1912 factory. They pride themselves on serving up seafood straight from their own docks, collaborating with Lowcountry fishermen to acquire the best tilefish, vermilion snapper, black sea bass, and other fresh catches. Each fish is filleted in-house, and your family will love watching the process unfold!
One special note about Hudson’s is the fact that they maintain their own soft shell crab shedding operation, enabling them to preserve over 10,000 crabs from late March to early June, much longer than the season typically runs. No one will judge you if you are so determined to eat all three meals at Hudson’s; in fact, we’d encourage it!
Treat yourself to a Lowcountry boil or a platter of oysters while closing your eyes and taking in the island breeze. If you’re having trouble deciding what to order, the “Can’t Decide Sampler” will solve that problem – it comes with oysters Hudson, oysters Rockefeller, beer-battered shrimp, mini crabcakes, and blackened scallops. If you're looking for amazing seafood, Hudson's is one of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island to get it fresh.
Skull Creek Boathouse — One Of The Best Restaurants In Hilton Head For Picky Eaters
397 Squire Pope Rd, Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
This lively waterfront establishment offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience. From fresh sushi to juicy burgers, their menu has something for every palate. Be sure to grab a seat on the deck and take in the panoramic views of Skull Creek Boathouse, or if you’re in search of some of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island with casual vibes, we suggest enjoying live music and drinks from The Buoy Bar.
The unparalleled waterfront views aren’t the only draw of Skull Creek Boathouse – locals love the build-your-own ceviche option, where you can choose up to four seafood selections (like conch, calamari, ahi tuna, and the catch of the day), then opt for one of four unique styles: tropical, Latin, Asian, or Peruvian. Big eye tuna is flown in fresh from Hawaii regularly.
We could go on and on praising Skull Creek’s menu, which reads like one of our favorite Lowcountry novels. It may take you 20 minutes to get through the savory descriptions, but we promise it will be worth it!
Santa Fe Café — One Of The Best Restaurants In Hilton Head For Authentic Southwestern Cuisine
807 William Hilton Pkwy Apt. 700, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
For the only restaurant on Hilton Head that provides authentic Southwestern cuisine, look no further! Santa Fe Café’s fusion of Southwest and Lowcountry cuisines creates an intriguing menu with dishes like ancho chile-crusted ribeye and seafood enchiladas. The restaurant also prides itself on its aesthetically inviting atmosphere, which the owners refresh annually.
Santa Fe’s dinner menu is sprinkled with enticing offerings, such as the painted desert soup – a corn and red pepper soup canvas with Mexican cream and mole as the ink used to paint a desert scene.
The outrageous chimichanga – packed with beef, chicken, and veggies then wrapped in a sun-dried tomato tortilla and fried – certainly lives up to its name…outrageously delicious! Don't forget to sample their famous peach, raspberry, and pomegranate margaritas from the rooftop cantina! Santa Fe is one of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island for rooftop dining.
Java Burrito Company
The Village at Wexford, 1000 William Hilton Pkwy J-6, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
This vibrant eatery is a hidden gem serving up sizzling fajitas, zesty lime-infused guacamole, and specials like a Hawaiian-style pulled pork burrito or tangy shrimp ceviche. Java also has a reputation for brewing a mean cup of joe.
Whether you're craving a rich, velvety espresso or a refreshing iced coffee concoction, their baristas are ready to whip up a masterpiece just for you. Java Burrito Company is one of the best restaurants in Hilton Head Island where you can grab a coffee on the go.
When you’re building your ultimate burrito, you can be assured that the diverse range of proteins, toppings, and condiments are made fresh and with high quality ingredients. They source their ingredients locally whenever possible, ensuring that every bite bursts with the vibrant flavors of the island.
The Jazz Corner
The Village at Wexford, 1000 William Hilton Pkwy C-1, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928
For an unforgettable night of fine dining and smooth tunes, head to The Jazz Corner. This upscale restaurant and jazz club serves up mouthwatering steaks and seafood dishes, accompanied by live jazz performances from premier musicians and vocalists.
The Jazz Corner’s menu makes it difficult to choose just one dish, so it’s best to pick a few stunners and share them with your party. Try the tempura lobster tail drizzled with honey wasabi and a pineapple soy glaze or South Carolina peach baked brie with crispy prosciutto to start.
Entrees like blueberry barbeque duck and herb-encrusted swordfish topped with a Carolina blue crab and roasted tomato salad will dazzle your tastebuds while notes of jazz stir your soul. It's no surprise that The Jazz Corner is one of the most romantic places and best restaurants in Hilton Head Island for live music and excellent food.