Happy Camper

October 2022
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
courtesy of Divine Dining Group

The new Bubba’s Fish Camp and Smokehouse is destined to delight 

Fully Loaded: Bubba's Loaded Briscuit Fries is a great way to start your meal that will have you licking your fingers.

A new Bubba’s is born. Bubba’s Fish Shack, which has lived a full life overlooking the ocean in Surfside Beach, now has a sibling to the inland north: Bubba’s Fish Camp and Smokehouse on the outskirts of Broadway at the Beach. 

The exterior of the giant building is like a fun, upscale bait and tackle shop, wrapped in corrugated metal panels, surrounding garage doors that open to let the beach breeze in, and stacked stone at the entrance. Inside, the rustic-industrial design continues, with colorful fresh catches mounted on the rough-hewn wood walls, nautical lighting, and boat rope strung like curtains to separate the two dining rooms (the back dining room can also serve as a private room for special events, sectioned off by a barn door). Even the large, oval-shaped bar makes a statement, surrounded by an epoxy-like bar top that features glittery fish carvings and an artistic chalkboard listing the specials overhead.

But a seafaring theme and menu isn’t the only thing that defines this Bubba’s location. You notice it as soon as you step through the front door: the intoxicating scent of smoked meats. On the night of our visit, brisket had been slow-cooking for hours in the 750-pound Cookshack Fast Eddy’s smoker that chef “Hoop” says they fondly named Sally.

(Left) Southern Ending: The homemade peach cobbler is a sweet treat for dessert; (Right) The ribs and pulled pork platter is just one of the delectable dishes on the menu at  Bubba's Fish Camp & Smokehouse.

He and his team at the back of the house have really taken their Fish Camp and Smokehouse brand to the next level (a distinction meaning we highly recommend this restaurant). Hubby and I started with one of their popular “Camp Bites,” the Loaded Brisket Fries, a basket of crisp seasoned fries, melted cheddar cheese, chopped brisket, apple chipotle barbecue sauce, smoked ’Bama white sauce, and green onion. It’s a good thing there were two of us to tackle this appetizer, which could’ve been a meal in itself – but every bite was oh-so good!

Our main course was another shareable, but a way for us to sample just about everything on the smokehouse side of the menu. “The PIT Boss” is a heaping platter of pulled pork, pork sausage, quarter chicken baby back pork ribs, plus sides of crinkle French fries, coleslaw, hushpuppies, and brown baked beans. It’s a lot of food, and all of the meats are tender, juicy, and packed with flavor. Add more by drizzling your choice of mustard- or vinegar-based sauces. Bubba’s smoked meats are dry brined with house seasonings, and smoked low and slow in the smoker every day.

More smoked specialties are slapped between two buns, like the Smoky Brisket Grilled Cheese on toasted sourdough; the Bawk Bawk, pulled smoked chicken piled high and topped with Carolina Gold barbecue sauce; and the Jasper Cheeseburger, a half-pound short-rib and chuck, char-grilled and topped with bacon, jalapeño, cheddar cheese, smoky barbecue sauce, and a giant fried onion ring. 
The seafood highlights at Bubba’s include shrimp, oyster, or grouper po boys, Bubba’s World-Famous Fried Flounder sandwich, oysters on the half, the Why So Crabby sweet colossal crab salad with pickled onions and charred lemon, blackened fish street tacos, and any of Bubba’s “Off the Hook” platters, such as those with their homemade crab cakes, fried oysters, cat fish (all-you-can-eat if you dine in), and more.

Bubba's exterior is fun and "campy," a sight you can't miss along 21st Ave. North.

Drinks range from craft beer on tap to fun, festive cocktails, like the two we ordered: Margie’s Gone Fishing (Silver Patron, Jose Cuervo Gold, Grand Marnier floater, sour mix, and orange juice) and the Smoked Old Fashioned (Bullet bourbon, sugar and bitters muddled, with a cherry and orange slice served smoked). Spectacular for sipping!

If you’ve saved enough room for dessert, try their Homemade Peach Cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. 

Bubba’s Fish Camp and Smokehouse is a smart addition to the Divine Dining Group dynasty in Myrtle Beach. It’s a creative combination of food, drinks, and atmosphere that are destined to lead to a successful future within the local culinary landscape.

Bubba’s Fish Camp and Smokehouse
1565 21st Avenue North, Myrtle Beach
(843) 839-0505
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.