Best of the Grand Strand 2019
10683 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island. (843) 314-0164, rustictable.com
Chef Adam Kirby brings a touch of refinement to Southern comfort food in this establishment, the sister restaurant to Bistro 217. The menu lists a number of area farmers and fishermen that regularly supply the restaurant with their crops and catch, and Kirby transforms the goods into fine cuisine with a touch of country in dishes such as blackened mahi chopped salad, BBQ beef brisket nachos, and warm brie and pear honey. “The Comfy” is a homemade biscuit served open-faced, topped with a fried Coleman Farms chicken breast, creamy sausage gravy and fries, while the Pawleys Island Sandwich features fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese, seared spiral ham and bacon served on Texas toast. The BLT, created with the freshest local ingredients, is gussied up with avocado, and Kirby’s Hamburger Steak is topped with grilled onions and mushrooms and served with mashed potatoes. If Grandma were a classically trained chef, her kitchen might resemble the Rustic Table. Open Tuesday–Friday for lunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and “supper” 5–9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch and 5-9:30 p.m. for “supper.”
405 Main St., North Myrtle Beach. (843) 249-2014, hoskinsrestaurant.com
A locals’ tradition since 1948, Hoskin’s Restaurant has been family owned and operated for generations, passed down from original owners Hubert and Leona Hoskins all the way to their granddaughter, Tina, and her husband, Lenton Yates, who operate it with their son, Travis. In classic mom-and-pop style, Hoskins offers homemade dishes that truly satisfy, including shrimp and grits, fried chicken, bone-in flounder and chopped barbecue alongside fixings such as rice and gravy, field peas, coleslaw, baked sweet potato and hushpuppies. Cook Ollie Pearl Gore has kept this kitchen running for more than 21 years, and she’s also responsible for the array of pies—cream, chocolate, peanut butter, key lime, coconut—that line the dessert case. Open Tuesday–Saturday for breakfast from 7–10:45 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner from 4:30–9 p.m.
Good Day Cafe
819 Main St., Myrtle Beach. (843) 448-GOOD (4663), gooddaycafe.net
This casual, music-inspired and vegan-friendly cafe emits a funky vibe—in a good way. Owner Kevin Andrews created this juke joint-meets-Woodstock spot, which opened in the heart of downtown Myrtle Beach in 2018. Vinyl and iconic musical memorabilia line the walls as patrons sip smoothies, coffee drinks and bubble tea, a sort of Taiwanese tea milkshake with tapioca “pearls” at the bottom, available in a variety of flavors. Menu highlights include a variety of sandwiches and paninis named after bands, including “Billy Ocean,” “Bare Naked Ladies and Gents” and “The Weird Al;” salads made with organic lettuce and greens; lobster rolls, served hot or cold; and an array of vegan options. The Good Day Café definitely serves up comfort in an open, nostalgic atmosphere. Open Monday–Saturday at 11 a.m. Closed Sunday.
Magnolia's at 26th
2605 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach. (843) 839-3993, magnoliasat26th.com
The best of country cooking with an ocean view: that’s Magnolia’s. The breakfast/brunch buffet, particularly popular with the Sunday after-church crowd, is reason enough to put this comfort food spot in permanent rotation on the dining calendar. Country ham, bacon and sausage, combined with a variety of omelets, pancakes, biscuits and, of course, grits, make Magnolia’s a one-of-a-kind experience. The buffet plus menu service continues into lunchtime, featuring items such as a full salad bar, a homemade soup of the day, baked potatoes, burgers, and chicken salad or tuna salad sandwiches. Steak, shrimp, crab cakes and seafood round out the dinner menu in addition to specials such as meatloaf, pork chops, ribs and baked ham, with crab legs as an optional add-on to the buffet. Magnolia’s at 26th is open 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
1127 3rd Ave., Conway. (843) 915-0019 & 317 U.S. 17 Business, Surfside Beach. (843) 945-9883, pickledcucumber.us
The Pickled Cucumber takes the traditional “meat and three” model to a new, fresh dimension. A Southern alternative to fast food and casual dining restaurants, the Pickled Cucumber serves up homemade favorites as well as contemporary dishes with a touch of creativity. Sandwich melts, burgers, wraps and, of course, fried pickles line the menu, while the create-your-own-plate options include chicken bog, country fried steak, pork loin and beef stew alongside macaroni and cheese, collards, fried okra and potato casserole. The Pickled Cucumber also offers family-size portions as well as full catering services for family outings, corporate events and anything in between. Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.