Best of the Grand Strand 2019
13 Ocean Blvd. S., Surfside Beach. (843) 945-9025, pizzahyena.com
This fun new spot, part of the Dining & Design group established by Nate Anderson in 2017, encourages diners to graze, gulp and “Take a walk on the wild side.” Pizza is no mass-market endeavor here; all are handcrafted, 10-inch Neapolitan-style flatbreads baked in an authentic Italian wood-fired oven. Hiney the Hyena, the establishment’s mascot, encourages enjoyment and laughter within and throughout the experience at Pizza Hyena. Nothing on the menu is fried (all items are baked in the “wild-fired” pizza oven), and menu items change based on seasonal availability. With a beautiful ocean view, Pizza Hyena is located in front of the Surfside Pier, and diners can walk right up from the beach to the patio bar and enjoy a fresh pizza and a cold beer or cocktail. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Yagi Sushi & Hibachi
47A Da Gullah Way, Pawleys Island. (843) 314-8484, yagisushi.com
This recently opened Asian-inspired spot, a sister restaurant to the G.O.A.T. Bar and Grill in Murrells Inlet, is owned by Tommy Hauser, Shannon Edmonds and Joe Kralich, who have a history in the business, having worked together at King Kong Sushi in Myrtle Beach. Yagi Sushi & Hibachi offers fresh nigiri, sashimi and maki rolls featuring tuna, salmon, shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops and more. Vegetarian and vegan selections also make a prominent appearance on the menu, including “Nuts and Frushi,” a blend of strawberry, kiwi and cream cheese wrapped in soy paper with cinnamon sauce and almonds. The traditional as well as the inventive is available, from Philadelphia and spicy tuna rolls to the “Everything Bagel roll,” which includes smoked salmon and cream cheese rolled in everything bagel topping. Yagi Sushi & Hibachi is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
5040 Carolina Forest Blvd., Myrtle Beach. (843) 903-7877, sneakybeaglemyrtlebeach.com
Tacos + Dogs + Wine + Friends + Beer = Happiness. Few people would argue with this tagline that’s come to represent the Sneaky Beagle, the latest venture for Chris Evans, owner of the local establishment the Grumpy Monk. Evans himself has labeled the Sneaky Beagle “the Grumpy Monk’s weird sister.” Furry friends are more than welcome here, with a section of the menu dedicated to their canine tastes and the expansive outside deck available for their dining pleasure. A wide array of tacos, comfort food and paninis keep human diners satiated, including creative sides such as vanilla rice and candied creamed corn. A substantive array of craft beers and cocktails keep the environment light, fun and social so that the pups as well as their humans are guaranteed a good time. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
44 & King
515 44th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach. (843) 626-5464, 44andking.com
This new establishment embraces European pub culture, providing high-end food and handcrafted beers in the fun, casual environment of a traditional tavern. Simultaneously, the menu reflects Southern tastes, with comfort food reminiscent of home cooking, yet with a creative, refined touch. Pub Grub includes corn fried chicken bog on a stick, served with sweet tea collards; a charcuterie board; and a bacon artichoke fritter. Other familiar items with surprise twists include catfish, chicken and waffles, roasted oysters on the half shell and fried okra with greens. The meats are all antibiotic and hormone free, ranging from BBQ ribs and beer can chicken to grilled pork chops and quail. In a setting of live oaks, 44 & King highlights and celebrates Southern culture with friendly service and, more often than not, warm greetings from familiar faces in the dining room. Open 11 a.m. to midnight daily.
Local Bar + Kitchen on the Water
1525 13th Ave. N., North Myrtle Beach. (843) 281-0643, localonthewater.com
The concept is pretty simple: use local ingredients for food and drinks, offer a gorgeous sunset view and build a menu that offers a little something for everyone—oh yeah, and add daily specials plus regular live entertainment on the deck. For a quick bite or a special celebration, Local Bar + Kitchen on the Water is a beautiful new space for dining, socializing and celebrating. The menu ranges from coconut shrimp and crab dip to quesadillas and BBQ brisket sliders and also offers a wide range of flatbreads, chicken wings, sandwiches and burgers. Bourbon glazed salmon, baby back ribs and lobster alfredo highlight the entrees, and a raw bar features oysters, mussels, clams, lobster claws and more. Local Bar + Kitchen also offers a waterfront, indoor and outdoor private space perfect for birthdays, parties, bridal or baby showers, or a special group night out. Opens at 11 a.m. daily.
Photographs by Jon Stell, Scott Smallin and courtesy of Local Bar, Pizza Hyena and Yagi Sushi