The Best Grand Strand Spots for Southern Fare

October 2020
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
Scott Smallin

Dig in to these delicious local restaurants that will fill your belly and your soul

Nothing can quite hit the spot like some downhome Southern cooking! Check out these local spots that serve it up right and get your fill.

44 & King
515 44th Ave. N., Myrtle Beach, 
(843) 626-5464

Put a little South in your mouth in this wildly creative Southern pub on the corner of 44th Avenue North and Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. The front entrance is shaded under a family of live oaks, with corn hole set up on a grassy lawn, seating on a covered front porch, and the smell of smoked meat from a wood-burning grill. Inside, Chef Hoop likes to celebrate Southern traditions on the menu, with added modern flair, through dishes like fresh fried okra, chicken and waffle sliders, the Warm Dip Sampler (a creamy, smoked North Carolina redfish dip, pimento cheese, and spicy sausage with Rotel and cream cheese) paired with toasted baguettes and crispy pork rinds, the namesake King’s Burger (jalapeno pimento cheese and thick-sliced bacon topped with sweet tea collards), Chopped Barbecue Plate served with Carolina barbecue sauce and cornbread, and more

Rivertown Bistro
1111 3rd Ave., Conway, 
(843) 248-3733

Contemporary and Southern tradition go hand in hand here at this culinary staple in downtown Conway. Chef/owner Darren Smith knows his way around a Southern kitchen—but he also knows how to kick it up a notch—creating such cravings as the Fried Creek Shrimp and Calamari appetizer or the Lowcountry Spring Rolls app stuffed with chicken, spinach, tasso ham, cheddar and jack cheeses; the Down South Nori Sushi Roll packed with blackened catfish, a boiled peanut, pickled okra and smoked tomato ranch; and the Mixed Grill entree, featuring a Southern medley of a petite filet, shrimp, sausage, Coastal Grinds cheese grits, blistered tomato, corn, scallions, fried okra and red eye gravy.

Rustic Table
10683 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, 
(843) 314-0164

At a young age, chef and co-owner Adam Kirby, an Atlanta native, honed his culinary skills from two of the best Southern cooks he knew: his mom and grandmother. Today, he shows off his prowess at the Rustic Table via his diverse, upscale, Southern menu that spotlights Kirby’s style, described as Southern and Pacific Rim. Try the crispy fried chicken livers served with spicy ketchup; the fried chicken breast dinner with lima beans, mashed potatoes and brown gravy; the “Comfy” chicken sandwich served open faced on a house biscuit with sausage gravy and fries; or the Angus beef meatloaf dinner with mashed potatoes, brown gravy and collards. Finish it all off with homemade peach cobbler.

The Shack
1128 Sea Mountain Highway, North Myrtle Beach, 
(843) 663-3636

Open since 2010 at the former Biscuit Shack, The Shack owners Scott Childers and Todd Fineran decided to continue serving up the same style of Southern cooking that former owner Nora “Boots” Jordan had made a tradition for 40 years at the Cherry Grove restaurant. Only thing they changed was the name! You’ll definitely find something you like for breakfast, lunch and dinner, like the fried Shack Shrimp tossed in their homemade zesty sauce, seafood baskets, fried oyster sandwich or Dixie Chicken dinner smothered with bacon and melted Monterey Jack cheese. You and your family will love this casual, comfy place (and you’ll love the affordable prices, too).

Pawleys Island Tavern
10635 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island, 
(843) 237-8465

Lovingly known by locals as the PIT, Pawleys Island Tavern is a hidden gem tucked under a canopy of live oaks down a lane off Ocean Highway. No need to dress up; the PIT is “classically shabby.” Just wear your dancing shoes for live music on the outdoor deck and bring your appetite. Southern comfort foods include the Lowcountry po’ boy with your choice of fried seafood; the pulled pork barbecue sandwich or plate with coleslaw, rice ’n gravy, housemade potato salad and cornbread; the fresh grouper basket; shrimp and grits; and their infamous crab cake plate.