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Hilton Head, SC, restaurants

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The following Hilton Head restaurants were recommended by a regular vistor whose chowish credentials are not known. Any comments on these -- or other recs for an August visit? Thanks!
-- Sticky Fingers
-- Stripes
-- Giuseppi's Pizza
-- San Miguel's
-- Quarterdeck

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  1. Those are fine recommendations, depending on what you are looking for. The best I've had on HHI is Sea Grass Grill, just outside of the Palmetto Dunes Plantation--great for fish, with some land-lover options. We've also had good meals at Charlie's Crab--near Hudson's.

    1. We were down there a few months back and ordered pizza delivery from Giuseppi's and it was one of the best I've ever had.

      1. we've been vacationing on Hilton Head for about 15 yrs and still haven't found great seafood there.

        San Miguels is good mexican right on the docks in Shelter Cove. Guiseppis is great pizza, think that's up in Forest Beach (?). My hubby and I tried Hudson's again with mixed results. It does have great hush puppies, but the shrimp can be touch and go chewy.

        If you're up for a day trip, we always travel to Savannah and eat at Mrs Wilkes on Jones street. GREAT southern cooking, family style meal, set price.

        2 Replies
        1. re: crista

          My favorite local seafood is at a dive called Sea Shack. Have you tried it? It is hidden on Pope Executive Avenue. For a decent atmosphere and seafood, have you tried Charlie's Crabhouse? It is very close to Hudson's.

          1. re: CarJr

            Have you tried the sea food at Charlies. I don't think you will be let down

        2. We were in Hilton Head early this month and ate at Giuseppies (sp?). We had a 45 minute wait for a table, and the pizza was excellent. All four of us agree that the wait was worthwhile.

          The other places where we ate were Captain's Seafood - quite good - and Hilton Head Diner - absolutely the worst foodsite message board recommended restaurant we have experienced since discovering Chowhound three years ago.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Milt

            I ate at Captain's tonight. It seems they have moved to Coligny Plaza and with the move the quality of food has gone downhill. I'd give it a C- on quality and D+ on price. My daughter had the Calimari which was lack luster. I had the Captain's Platter (yes, fried but I was in the mood for that) and it was so-so. The scallops were quite good but the sides were tasteless. Crab Cake was burned. Service was by a standard useless college student with no customer-service skills.
            Overall, a disappointing dinner for $105 for a family of 3 1/2 (my youngest just had a appetizer).

            1. re: cymbaline65

              which is sad since it used to be great. i agree the one time i've been since they moved it was nothing special.

          2. The restaurant selections are good except Sticky Fingers. Just not my type of place.

            Eating on the island is not cheap, but I do recommend Santa Fe Grill, The Sage Room, Michael Anthony's, Park 211, CQ's, Old Fort Pub, and The Brick Oven. These are all exceptional restaurants that can put a dent in your wallet if you aren't careful.

            My favorite seafood place is a local dive called The Sea Shack. Good lunch spot or "inexpensive" (for HH) dinner. Charlie's Crab is another good seafood spot with a better atmosphere.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CarJr

              I second CQ's - it's right near Harbourtown and my family and I went there for the second time last night. The service was fantastic and all eight of us loved every bite (which is a rarity). We had a pretty good spread too - duck, pork chops, mussels, fish and pasta.

              Ate at a newish place (I think it's been around for a year) - Java Burrito Co. which is maybe two minutes from the sea pines gate. It's like a hipster Chipotle with a coffee bar inside, but a cool casual place to take the kids to when you just got out of the car after a six hour drive!

            2. If you want ribs then Stickey Fingers is excellent. We ate there twice last December and couldn't have asked for a more pleasant experience. If you email them before you go they will probably send you a coupon for a free appetizer.

              1. Sticky Fingers is a chain - I suppose it's okay, if that's what you're looking for. Stripes used to be good a couple of years ago, but since their chef left that I knew, I haven't been. Giuseppi's is decent pizza (they have several locations) - we usually order from there once when we're down. Quarterdeck, really? I've only ever heard anyone recommend this place for a drink and live music, but never heard anyone love the food.

                I would suggest Alligator Grille, next to Harris Teeter at the Sea Pines gate. They have an ecclectic menu including sushi and their duck spring rolls are good. They are locally owned and have been around for quite awhile.

                Sea Shack, as others have mentioned, is where to go for standard seafood fare. It's become very touristy, though, because of all the recs and attention brought on by Rachel Ray et al.

                Signe's Bakery & Cafe is a great breakfast and lunch spot. Nice fresh baked pastries and other baked goods too.

                Flamingo House of Doughnuts, again near Harris Teeter @ Sea Pines offers up made to order doughnuts. Seriously. Like, you place your order and specify toppings, etc. and then they make them. For lunch and dinner they offer a mediterranean menu w/ lots of Greek specialties. I've not had their lunch & dinner fare, but from what I've read here, it's good.

                The be all to end all is Old Fort Pub. More formal atmosphere but amazing food prepared well. It regularly gets raved reviews.

                I'm a big fan of Pepper's Porch. It's a low country crab boil kind of place in Blufton. No frills but lots of atmosphere. There is a maze of screened porches outside which are fun to dine in and all the better to here the live music under the old oak tree.

                Have a great time!

                13 Replies
                1. re: lynnlato

                  Highly agree with Lynnlato and Carjr. Would also highly recommend Frankie Bones on Main Street. San Miguels is okay-nice atmosphere on the water, local entertainment etc but IMHO, Mi Tiera another local mexican dive is better. We love to go to the Old Fort Pub and eat at the bar, it is a little less formal and a beautiful setting. They also have a porch with views of the sound.

                  1. re: chocchipcookie

                    I think we just got punked! I just realized that this is an old post from '05 that somehow got recycled. Oops!

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      Oh I hate when that happens ! Oh well, maybe someone else will get some good use out of it-it is always good to have updates :)

                      1. re: chocchipcookie

                        going in august so i'll use! :) didn't know the doughnut place and am glad to hear about pepper's. always wondered.
                        have liked alligator grille in the past and have personally always had good meals at redfish.

                        1. re: AMFM

                          red fish is really good, catch 22 all you can eat crab legs on Wednesdays, mi tierra definitely for mexican. i agree with all of those!! Oh and if your looking for a good fun breakfast place... palmetto bay sunrise cafe!! :)

                          1. re: aMeany

                            Love the Sunrise Cafe-I always get the crab cakes benedict and my dh always gets the shrimp hash. You can request 1/2 an order of the crabcakes-it is always too much for me. Their grits are great too! A real local place.

                              1. re: AMFM

                                From the N-take the cross island bridge across to the 1st stoplight. Take a left on Arrow Road and then a quick left on Helmsman Way. Go all the way to the end and you'll see a small parking lot on the right. The Cafe is right there. From the Southend, take Palmetto Bay Road to Arrow Road (at stoplight make Right. Make that quick left onto Helsman. Hope you enjoy!

                                1. re: chocchipcookie

                                  thanks. will have a 2 year old boy in tow so i need really casual this time and it's nice to know some new places. :)

                                  1. re: AMFM

                                    We take our 2 and 5 year old there. It is nice because you can get most items a la cart. When all my son will eat is oatmeal and some sausage, that is what I order just for him. They are closed on Mondays.

                                    1. re: chocchipcookie

                                      funny - exactly the ages of mine. they eat well (most of the time although they have picky days) but its the behavior that limits us. i mean lets be honest a 2 year old boy is a disaster. somedays so is the 5 year old girl. particularly if she's hungry! :)

                                      1. re: AMFM

                                        My 2 yo old is always always picky. I go straight for the junk just so he'll sit still long enough for us to eat. He lives on crackers and choc chip mini muffins. The nice thing is at this resto is that it is a little noisy-so occasional screams go unnoticed. The waitresses are very accomodating with crayons etc. They are very efficient and get the food out fast. Locals love it!

                            1. re: aMeany

                              I went to Redfish in Sept. and the only seafood they had was salmon. I asked the server if they had any RED FISH and she told me that she did not realize that there was such a fish. Good food and service but GET REAL this island is surrounded by water. How about some SEAFOOD. I worked on that island for years and the only place to eat seafood was in Beaufort.

                  2. No one calling for The Boathouse? Hinoki Sushi?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: aklein

                      The Boathouse has been spotty lately. Somethings are really good and others aren't worth the trip. My new favorite is the Black Marlin - their sushi nachos are incredible, as are their mussels. If you're in the mood for fried fish, it's hard to beat them. My favorite for lunch is the French Bakery in Pineland Plaze. Amazing pastries and bread and really, really good soup and sandwiches for lunch. Il Carpaccio is right behind them and many natives think it's the best Italian restaurant on the island. A little farther afield, try the May River Grill in Bluffton - excellent food and the desserts are to die for - really!

                    2. Were just there and agree with Frankie Bones rec-had a fun s'mores dessert you grill yourself at table and dinner was excellent. We also like Charlie's Crab and if you go early they have an excellent early bird 3 course dinner with great choices. Also love Sunset Grill. Stacks is great for breakfast with a killer creme brulee french toast and Kenny B's has yummy beignets and chicory coffee along with great breakfast dishes.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: SCgal

                        Charlies Crab was pretty good, we had a lunch, and dinner there on back to back days. She crab soup for both meals was the best I had on the island. Kenny B's was another spot we hit for breakfast 2 times, crabcakes benedict were very good.

                        We also like HH Prime alot.

                        Black Marlin we found to be average, good happy hour though

                      2. We have been going to HHI in August for 35 years and will be on the island in August for a couple of weeks this year as well. Our current favorites are as follows
                        Red Fish...,higher end but worth it.
                        Wild Wing Cafe... noisy and chaotic but the wings are very good
                        Charlie's... on New Orleans Road, solid and reliable for lunch or dinner
                        CQ''s.... in Harbourtown, expensive but also worth it.
                        Sunrise Cafe for breakkfast
                        Jump & Phil's ...in HH Plaza near the Sea Pines gate, great local place, inexpensive and their weekly Roast Beef special is good and is a real bargain
                        We have had excellent lunches at the previously mentioned Sea Grass Grill and the Black Marlin.
                        Mellow Mushroom in Park Plaza... Yes it is a chain but the pizza is good and it is great for kids.
                        The Boathouse II on Squire Pope Road on the way to Hudson's is on the Intercoastal Waterway and is fun for dinner or brunch.

                        Enjoy your stay at this special place!!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: rmthuring

                          we love the Wild Wing. And Charlies is one of my favorite places down there. Will have to try some of your other suggestions. 2 weeks every August

                        2. Those recommendations were awful except for Guiseppe's:

                          Sticky Fingers? There is no good BBQ on Hilton Head
                          Stripes? There time has past
                          San Miguel's - Tourist Trap big time
                          Quarterdeck - drinks not food

                          Here is my list: Seafood - Buy fresh stuff at Bluffton Oyster Company on the way in - downtown Bluffton on the docks or Sea Shack, Hudson's Oyster Bar is OK also - stay away from the fried stuff and stick to shrimp and oysters in season
                          Italian or Upscale - Michael Anthony's
                          Other Favorites - Frankie Bone's North End Main Street, Sunset Cafe - North End
                          Breakfast - Palmetto Bay Sunrise Cafe, Walnuts in Bluffton
                          BBQ - Don't bother
                          Mexican - May 5th Cantina - hard to find behing Park Plaza - authentic
                          Best Secret - Marshide Mama's Daufuskie Island - by boat - make a day of it
                          Local Cuisine - Dye's Gullah Fixin's - Pineland Station

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: rostoni

                            Apparently, someone revitalized a 3 yr old thread. So, not only is the original list bad, it's old too. I'm not familiar w/ Marshide Mama's and Dye's Gullah Fixins... they sound interesting, I may have to check 'em out when we go down again in August.

                            1. re: lynnlato

                              agreed. will be there in august too. thanks for the update!

                              1. re: AMFM

                                I think I replied back in '05, but just got back, so thought I would add some updated info...

                                Had great meals at:

                                Sea Grass Grill (ate 2x)--the chef and owner/waitress are great--they were with Charlie's L'Etoile Vert for years. It is such a great deal--amazing entrees with salads and sides for under $25. I always enjoy the tuna with wasabi mousse; the grouper picatta was great. My sister had crab-stuffed shrimp--she didn't share a bite!

                                Michael Anthony's. Definitely our favorites. I wouldn't expect to get high-end Italian on vacation, but each time we go, we are reminded how great this place is. The gnocchi is about as good as mine (really the only thing I learned from my Italian grandmother) and their sauces are really interesting.

                                Great breakfast and beignets at Kenny B's. We did the Sunday brunch--$9.95 with omelets and eggs benedict--can't beat that.

                                We tried the donuts to order at Flamingo's Donuts--interesting concept--plain donuts were good, the glazes were good too. Some of the "fancier" ones were a bit much.

                                Tried dinner at the Grumpy Grouper (chef and owner used to be at Aunt Chilada's). It was okay, perhaps a bit pricey for what it was. I enjoyed my friend scallops and oysters; those that ordered the broilded scallops were disappointed.

                                Finally, we had dinner at Old Fort Pub. This place has always been reserved for special dinners, and we've been going there for 8 years or so. We were pretty disappointed this year--there was not much selection with the entrees, one the was to be served in broth came in a terribly oily sauce, and the service was sub-par. It was a Friday night, so maybe we hit them at an off time. Definitely a disappointment.

                            2. re: rostoni

                              Rostoni.... can you tell me more about Marshside Mama's? What kind of food do they have? How do you get there from HH? Also can you tell me more about Dye's?

                              You recommend buying fresh seafood in Bluffton-- is this caught locally? Thanks!

                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                Marshide Mama's - you can get to daufuskie only by boat and if you don't have one you can go using the Daufuskie Island's Resort boat which you get off of Squire Pope Road past Hudson's - it is a long - 45 minute ride but nice to sit outside - boats leave every two hours and come back every two hours - call the resort for details - you can make a day of it - it is a long way to go for just dinner - Marshide's itself has great food and is really fun - you will meet all walks of life there and to say it's casual is a huge understatement - Beth makes great gumbo, ribs, shrimp and grits, always has a fresh fish special - call ahead for reservations cause it gets crowded - it is a tshirt, bathing suit , sandals place all the way - great sunset too

                                Dye's was just written up in the island packet - check it out online

                                Bluffton Oyster Company is right on the May River and in season is an actual oyster factory, they clean them right there - this time of year you can get local shrimp, crab, flounder - they will tell you what is local and you can believe them - bring an empty cooler and load up for your stay

                                1. re: rostoni

                                  Thank you so much for this reply! I read on TripAdvisor to make sure there'd be a ferry back after dinner-- we don't want to get stranded there. Any idea how late they go back and forth? Can you give me an average price for dinner?

                                  We will definitely check out BOC. Sounds great.

                                  Thanks again!

                                  1. re: rostoni

                                    Great info., rostoni, thanks so much. I really would like to give this a try. We've never visited Daufuskie Island. Is Marshide Mama's open for lunch? I'm thinking it may be a better plan to head over during daylight hours. Sounds like a good time.

                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                      http://www.liveoac.com/charters/custo...
                                      Click on this to learn more. We spent the day at Daufuskie Island this summer. MM's was open for lunch but not between lunch and dinner when we happened upon it. It really is a dive and I wish I could review the food b/c I always heard it was great. We were disapointed we could not eat there at 3 pm...I would recommend taking transportation by the locals who know their way around the island. We rented a golf cart and were lost the entire time but it was fun. Next time we get over there I will be making reservations at night b/c they do have some lively entertainment at that time.

                              2. so far this week have had nice meals at alligator grill and at old fort pub.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: AMFM

                                  Great, AMFM. I like Alligator Grille it's got an eclectic menu and it's a little wacky. I like that.

                                  I'm dying to go to OFP, but alas we always have the kids and it's not a kid-friendly place.

                                  Let us know if you find anything else interesting. I'll be down next week and need some options!

                                  p.s. If you need gorgeous shrimp to cook up, go to Piggly Wiggly. They're amazing - believe it or not!

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    we had a 2 and 5 year old and sat outside and there were other kids outside too. we went at 6 on a saturday and there was literally NO ONE else outside most of the time so they could run around the fort and bug no one. they do have a kids menu. truly. wasn't bad at all. would be hard inside though. oh and the bouillabaisse is amazing. and the vidalia onion shoots appetizer.
                                    And the kids did great at alligator grille - edamame and fish shaped ravioli. nice.
                                    went to land's end tavern and the food (while not profound was certainly better than i remember previous years). the grouper was a really nice piece of fish.

                                    1. re: AMFM

                                      Ooooh, thanks for the info re: Old Fort Pub and kids. I just always assumed it was a deal breaker. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

                                      Yea, our 9 yr old dug the fish shaped ravs too. They even liked the duck spring rolls. Hubby dug the sushi too. I do like the vibe at AG.

                                2. We're just back from HHI, and had a great dinner at Shrimp Michael's; it's in the same shopping center as the Bi-Lo (I think). Appetizer scallops were amazing.

                                  Also went to Sea Grass Grille; tilapia was very good, scallops were not. As always, Sea Shack is fantastic, as is Harold's Diner for breakfast.

                                  The last night we got pizza from Guiseppi's, which apparently everyone on the island was doing; it was a 2-hour wait, but we were told that when we called, and the pizza was excellent.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: msmiller

                                    cool. didn't know shrimp michael's. thanks for the tip.

                                    1. re: AMFM

                                      tried shrimp michaels tonight. good food. lousy service but not bad enough to counteract the food. scallops in bacon and shrimp michael apps were awesome. special of fried shrimp and fried green tomatoes with grits and a gravy was good too. desserts were housemade but lousy.

                                      1. re: AMFM

                                        also carry out peel & eat shrimp at grumpy grouper tonight. really good. only had that and the hush puppies - also good. heard from my dad who picked them up that it was a total dive but if you don't care, the shrimp were the best peel & eat we had this trip.

                                        1. re: AMFM

                                          Small wallet, small appetite, need suggestions for early bird specials concentrating on quality not quanity.
                                          Like redfish,seashack,boathouse2, others?

                                          1. re: tansu

                                            i have loved redfish in the past but didn't go. our favorite casual seafood is peel & eat - so we didn't eat at sea shack. one thing i will say about old fort pub and alligator grill - both had really nice appetizers you could do for a meal. and very reasonably priced. lots of folks were eating at the bar at alligator grille - live music on friday night later.

                                  2. We just returned from our trip south to HH-- it was my first time there. We absolutely loved the island! This board was helpful in selecting food destinations, so just thought I'd post a bit about what we loved (and what was ok).

                                    We stayed at Seacrest, right across from the Piggly Wiggly, so we tried the local seafood that has been raved about on this board and others. They steamed the shrimp in your choice of seasoning so all we had to do was peel and eat when we took it back. Fabulous! We also had the cobia, which we grilled on Seacrest's grill.. we really enjoyed that too.

                                    Meals:
                                    We mostly ate for lunch and dinner, but we did get out to...
                                    *Kenny B's... for dinner. We ordered 2 platters that included gumbo, jambalaya, rice and beans, and shrimp etouffe (my favorite)... this was a mistake, since this platter can easily feed 2. It was very starchy with all that rice, but a nice sampling of various specialties on their menu. The po boys were also good. I think I would have preferred to try their weekend breakfast buffet.
                                    *Sea Shack... for dinner. We got there at about 4:45 for dinner and there was a line already. Doors opened at 5, and we were put off by a teenage girl barking at everyone to stay back. They let in a few people at a time because ordering is done at the counter and they want to limit the backup. I know this place is an island institution, and the formula obviously works for them, but I think placing a board menu or paper menus outside for people waiting on line to look at who've never been before would really speed up this process. We knew exactly what we wanted because we had a paper copy from the island restaurant pamphlet, but not knowing could really slow it down. Anyway, that said, it is definitely an affordable place, but we honestly were not all that impressed. My crabcake was ok, the shrimp were ok (compared to the delicious ones we got at PW!), actually, the best things were the blackened chicken (!) and the garlic mashed potatoes. I'm glad we tried it, though.

                                    Dessert:
                                    *Pino Gelato in Wexford... I was excited to try Pino because on their website they listed a cannoli flavor, which I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to find ever since tasting it in Italy. Unfortunately, the woman behind the counter had no idea what I was talking about so I went with chocolate hazelnut and I think a walnut flavor... we also sampled hazelnut, tiramisu, and a few others... good, not great. The hazelnut based flavors had kind of a weird taste to them.
                                    *Signe's... LOVED it! We went to Signe's for breakfast, which actually wasn't when it won our hearts, because the waffles were only ok (although the deep dish french toast in plain, blueberry, and blackberry flavors was awesome)... but we tried stuff from their bakery a few times during the week and were impressed by EVERYTHING. The scones, muffins, cookies (especially the milkdud), and other treats were superb.
                                    *Flamingo... LOVED it! I wish we had tried their food too, but we only tried the donuts. Once, it was after 12, and on that occasion, we learned that they are only hot from 7-12 so we made it our business to go for a mid-morning snack one day to get one hot out of the fryer. It was good after 12, but AMAZING before 12, so don't even bother going unless you're going to get it hot. The sticky bun flavor was fabulous, but I also liked the chocolate glaze on the warm one too. This was a great CH rec!

                                    Other:
                                    *South Carolina Seafood and Produce... hopefully someone can help me with an address, this is headed out of HHI, near Mi Tierra Mexican restaurant. You have to make a U-turn if you are headed off the island to get to it; it would be on your right if you are going further onto the island. It's a tiny little building that caught our eye with watermelons, peaches, and tomatoes outside. We stopped by and my jaw dropped open at the huge, gorgeous peaches-- the lovely gentleman working there said they're the best he's seen in his 20+ years of selling peaches. We got a few peaches plus a tomato and ate them throughout the week... those peaches were just incredible. Got more on the way out. Yum!! He also has seafood for sale, but we didn't try it.

                                    I'm going to x-post this to a few other threads where I received good tips. Thanks for all the help, everyone! I can't wait to come back to HH!

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                      i missed your post before but since you obviously love ice cream (me too) and were asking about it...

                                      if you are ever driving through richmond, VA on your way from north to south (right on the 95) there is a great local gelato place near me called DeLuca Gelato that is all house scratch made and makes AMAZING cannoli flavored gelato. i love it.

                                      http://delucagelato.com/

                                      worth stopping for - as are their other flavors.

                                      1. re: AMFM

                                        This is quite possibly the best 95 recommendation EVER! We will probably head down south this summer and I will plan the timing of our trip around that place!!!

                                        1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                          was just in there the other day. love the mint. mmmm....

                                          there are restaurants in the same complex if you need to make a real stop of it. let me know what you think!

                                          other opinions:
                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5222...

                                          and i think they've only gotten better at what they do in the last year.

                                    2. Down in Hilton Head again (we come down 2-3 times a year). Just tried Flamingo's this morning for the fresh-made to order doughnuts. Definitely enjoyed them. They were cake type doughnuts and you pick the glaze/toppings. Menu is listed on two chalk boards. Small shop near the movie theater. Paid $9.50 for a dozen doughnuts. Our favorites were the caramel glaze and the toasted coconut honey glazed.

                                      Also tried to go to Street Meet tonight. Thought their menu looked interesting and read a few good reviews. Well we waited 10 minutes before ever being acknowledged and then we were told a table would be our once it was cleared--well the waitress gave the table to another group that was going to need it b/c they were waiting for people who hadn't even arrived yet. Horrible customer service and we are not usually one to complain. When I told the hostess/bartender that we were going to try some place else she didn't even seem to care. Won't be going back!

                                      Favorites of our from past trips:
                                      Old Fort Pub--upscale
                                      Red Fish-fun sitting in the wine bar area
                                      Michael Anthony's-excellent Italian but get a reservation way in advance
                                      Just Pasta-my brother a NY'er likes this one for a quick takeout
                                      Wild Wings-we ordered delivery of a bunch of appetizers one night and there was a problem with the order--the manager drove to the house and apologized and comped part of the order. apps were good.
                                      Guiseppes-good pizza but plan on a wait
                                      Truffles-consistently good food. took the chocolate/peanut butter pie off the menu which was a favorite.
                                      Signes-good pastries, good sandwiches
                                      Christina's- good lunch spot

                                      Enjoy!
                                      Christine

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: christinebryson

                                        Christine: You need to try Riviera Oaks, across the walkway from Michael Anthony's. Atmosphere, music and great food. I'll be the one behind the martini at 5:30.

                                      2. A few of my favs:

                                        Santa Fe
                                        Ocean Grill
                                        Truffles
                                        Red Fish
                                        Aqua Grill
                                        Sea Grass Grill

                                        In Bluffton:

                                        Corks
                                        Ruan Thai
                                        Truffles
                                        Monster Pizza

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: cowtownmom

                                          For a great grilled (and not pre-formed) cheese burger and cold beer try "Up The Creek". It's in the marina a few miles past the Old Oyster Factory. If you like dive/local joints this one is a find. A bucket (5) of cold bottled beer and a view of the boat launch and the sound make for a wonderful diversion from the typical Hilton Head haunt. Reasonable prices and kid friendly

                                          -----
                                          Up the Creek Pub
                                          18 Simmons Rd, Hilton Head Isle, SC

                                        2. want to add my rave reviews for flamingo house of donuts. they are open t-sat in the evening in addition to the morning hours and we went for dessert after alligator grill. they were so much fun to pick for the kids. and hot. and freshly made and SO SO SO SO yummy. i really expected them to be fun but too sweet but they weren't (at least most weren't). i'm a purest so i still liked the plain old cinnamon sugar the best but they are using quality ingredients and everything was fabulous. it's a total mom and pop place and talking to the chef (from lebanon) and his fiancee was charming. definitely recommend checking them out if you are in HH this summer!

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: AMFM

                                            Ditto! Great place. I want to try it for lunch next time. I hear the food is great as well.

                                            1. re: AMFM

                                              I am craving one of these donuts right now.... can't wait!!

                                              1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                Just returned 8-9-09 from Hilton Head. Missed eating lunch at May River Grill in Bluffton by fifteen minutes (they close at 2 p.m.) but everyone leaving said it was really good. Ate at Woody's, avoid it like the plague....hardly edible food although someone did say the she crab soup was ok. Had a wonderful meal at the Black Marlin, fish was fresh, and service was very good. Also enjoyed the Boathouse, which is on the water, has live music, and really makes you feel like you're on vacation. It's a little removed from town, right next to Charlie's Crab, which we also ate at and found to be very pricey for average food. (stuffy atmosphere too) Tried to get into Sea Shack but the lines were way too long and the weather way too hot. Everyone in line acknowledged that you get a lot of fresh seafood for the money but there is no atmosphere............it really is just a shack. Had doughnuts from Flamingos and they were good if you eat them warm. Also avoid the Salty Dog unless you have small children and are looking for a grilled cheese sandwish. Fast food at Wendy's is far better. Loved breakfast at the Sunrise Cafe and the hostess and servers are fantastic. Ate there on our last day and I wished we had found it earlier. Also enjoyed Harold's Diner for breakfast, good food cooked up as you order and great price, and really fun..........a hot locals spot .Enjoyed great icecream cones at Signes shopping center icecream shop. Didn't think much of the bakery there, preferred the Pineland French Bakery in the Pineland Shopping Plaza. Last comment, be careful where you stay, some condos are very old and are in need of updating. We rented a unit that was supposed to be non-smoking and it definitely was a smoking unit. Hope all this helps anyone planning a trip soon to Hilton Head SC...................

                                            2. We just came back yesterday from our vacation in Hilton Head; here is my report on the restaurants we ate in:
                                              Sea Shack (lunch) - not great. Seafood was overcooked and the sides tasted old. The hushpuppies were very greasy. Will not return
                                              Il Carpaccio (dinner) - very good. The pasta was excellent. The calamari nicely fried. Homemade french bread. The pizza is very thin if you like that.
                                              Skillets (breakfast) - excellent. All of our dishes were well-cooked and very tasty. The stuffed french toast was so good. We will definitely go back!!
                                              Lwoods (dinner) - fabulous!! This restaurant/bar is in the Bi-Lo shopping center but don't be put off by the fact that it is small and looks like a bar. The food was the best we had in Hilton Head. An incredible seafood platter, pot roast that was to die for, and the best french dip sandwich I have ever tried. Their sides were equally good. They even make their own salad dressing. Dont miss this place!
                                              Street Meet (lunch) - very good. A fabulous burger and hot dog eatery/bar. They have several types of burgers with crazy but wonderful toppings. Excellent onion rings too.
                                              Signes Bakery (breakfast) - not good. After all the hype - Rachel Ray has been there- I was excited about Signes but it was really bad. The famous deep dish french toast was soggy and tasteless. The corned beef hash was really dry. We will not return.

                                              For the most part, every where we at was very good. We will definitely return!!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: mgooden

                                                never heard of Lwoods. that's an interesting one. will have to check it out. thanks for the report.

                                                1. re: AMFM

                                                  Lwood's is at the back of Circle Center on Pope Avenue and has been there for about five years. (Father and son are both Lee Wood.) While I frequent the bar once in a while (and they have very decorative bartenders) I must admit that I've never eaten there. Guess I'll have to try it.

                                              2. Just returned from a weekend trip. We were disappointed with every meal we had out, while there. <Sigh>

                                                Marley's - We made the mistake of letting the kids talk us into this place for dinner. They were charmed by all the people, colors and music. This was one of the worst meals I've ever had. None of their seafood is local (except for their peel n' eat shrimp - but other shrimp entrees were frozen shrimp) and its basicly a Red Lobster, only with a caribbean theme and even worse fare. We had fish tacos, a mixed steamed kettle of clams, shrimp and mussels. Portions are tiny, food is mediocre and prices are exorbitant. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

                                                Alligator Grille - we went for dinner and have been several times. We have usually had good meals and always enjoy the atmosphere - friendly, informative staff, live music, etc. While it was head & shoulders above Marley's, it wasn't as good as previous visits. I took the advice of the bartender and ordered the seared sea scallops over mushroom risotto w/ a truffle sauce. The truffle demiglace overpowered everything else. My husband had the striped bass special (I don't remember specifics of this dish) and kids have the shrimp grill, which at $20 was 5 small skewered shrimp over rock hard mashed potatoes and overcooked squash. We did enjoy our duck spring rolls appetizer w/ rice vinegar. But overall, it was disappointing. :( We had lunch and breakfasts at The Westin and they were standard hotel fare and not worth commenting on. We tried to get into Frankie Bones but they were booked solid until after 9pm.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: lynnlato

                                                  Lynnlato, did you make it to Flamingo for lunch? I'm looking forward to that and the Piggly Wiggly's shrimp... mmm.

                                                  1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                    Brought some shrimp back (from The Pig) but sadly, no time for lunch at Flamingo. If you go, please report back!

                                                    Oh, there are several farm stands along 278 as you come into HH. I'm not familiar a farmers market though. I thought I heard that Savannah (or was it Blufton) was the closest.

                                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                                      sorry you had a bad meal at alligator grille - ours wasn't amazing but still pretty good. yeah - marley's was never great but heard it's gotten really bad. :(

                                                      1. re: AMFM

                                                        Yea, I know... this was always a reliably good meal kind of place. I haven't completely lost faith though - I'll try again next year. The scallops were perfectly seared, its just that all I could taste was truffles. And I was disappointed w/ the skimpy portions on the $20 shrimp meal. I even asked the server if 5 shrimp was standard for that entree. He double checked w/ chef and said "yep". C'est la vie. And yea, Marley's was just shamefully bad. I would of rather have gone to McDonalds.

                                                        I wanted to try that Grumpy Groupers place b/c I think I read that you got some great to go peel n' eats there. Also, Shrimp Michaels... but we didn't make it there. Would you still recommend those?

                                                      2. re: lynnlato

                                                        I am familiar with one farm stand on 278... near a Mexican restaurant... the guy had amazing peaches and some produce last August... we will try to hit that on th way in. I'll keep my eyes peeled...

                                                    2. re: lynnlato

                                                      I can't believe that I forgot to mention that we had lunch at San Miguels. Well, to be honest, I can believe it because it was horribly disappointing also. Do I sound like a broken record? So sorry if I do - but San Miguels was like eating at Chi Chi's. And was nearly empty. I had thought I had heard good things about it on CH, but I had to have been mistaken. I can't imagine any 'hounds thinking twice of the place. Anyway, just thought I would add that experience to my "report".

                                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                                        i've never thought it was good - except that they have music and it's there if you want to eat at shelter cove for fireworks. otherwise....

                                                    3. Can't find anything on this on the board-- but while we're on the subject of HHI-- where are farm markets/farm stands with local fruits and veggies? We're headed down this weekend and I'm very sad I will be missing my own farmers' market here in NY. If I overlooked a thread on this, please point it out to me! Thanks!

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                        there is a thread somewhere - i'll look. but the consensus is there aren't many. i mean it's VERY populated little island so there's not much local there. you'd have better luck further out. there are a few though.

                                                        1. re: AMFM

                                                          Thanks! Even on the way in would be good... we're going 95 south to 278.

                                                        2. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                          This may be too late but there is a small farm with it's own stand about 1/4 mile away from Benny Hudson's Seafood Market..

                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/61246842...

                                                        3. I've just been doing some poking around on the internet for some new places to try and wanted to see if any CHs had input on them for me...... Thanks in advance....
                                                          *Wise Guys http://www.wiseguyshhi.com
                                                          *Wine Times 4 http://winetimes4.com/
                                                          *Ruan Thai http://myruanthai.com/main.html
                                                          *May 5th Grill & Cantina http://www.yelp.com/biz/may-5th-grill...
                                                          *It's Greek To Me http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/164/96334...

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                            Wise Guys is next to Frankie Bones (same owners) at Main Street Center (north end). A bar-restaurant with a good wine list, tapas type food and, on Friday evenings, the gathering place for local glitterati.

                                                            Wine Times 4 in the Village at Wexford (south end) has been open for six months or so. They feature eight Enomatic machines (made in Italy). Each contains eight bottles. You purchase a sort of credit card that can be inserted in the machine so you wander around and choose a taste, half glass or full glass. Of course they sell bottles, too. Hence wine times four. Small eats and a dozen crafted beers, too.

                                                            Don't know the next two. It's Greek to Me is on New Orleans Road just off 278 (south end) but I've never been.

                                                            My current favorite: Riviera Oaks on New Orleans Road. Amazing interior, really good food and a bar that I populate daily at 5:30.

                                                            1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                              have always heard good things about it's greek to me but it is a total dive fyi. was not impressed when i tried ruan thai but it was a few years back.

                                                              and so looking it up it appears may 5th is the mexican place my family raves about as very great and authentic - but i've personally never been. may be worth a try though. and really close to flamingo for donut desserts - seriously i'm still craving them at home. :)

                                                              1. re: AMFM

                                                                Thanks for the feedback. I definitely want to check out May 5th-- is the address on the Yelp review accurate? THe closer to Flamingo the better. :)

                                                                Oh, and just to clarify, have you eaten at It's Greek? Dives are fine as long as they're not totally skeevy and the food is good.

                                                                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                                                                  i think so - from what i know it's hidden back in that office area.

                                                                  1. re: AMFM

                                                                    I know this is a bit belated but it may help those in the Spring. As far as farmer's markets go, there is one every Thursday afternoon in downtown Bluffton. There is a couple who sells peaches and tomatoes on 278W on your way to 95...I have never stopped so I can't attest to the quality. There is also a stand at the beginning of the bridge to HHI with fresh produce.

                                                                    It's Greek to Me is a favorite with locals but that might just be because we don't have many Greek options.

                                                                    Street Meet is a fun restaurant...really laid back and good bar food...a rarity in the tourist trap heavy HHI. They can get overwhelmed with a large group.

                                                                    Also, a note on Kenny B's. It has the most authentic New Orleans/Cajun food you can find on the island. Take that qualifier as you will. One thing that disappoints me about Kenny B's is its the atmosphere...It's in a strip mall in the space one would normally find a subway. The fried alligator is delicious though.

                                                                    If you are willing to stop in Bluffton, Jim & Nicks (local chain) and Monster Pizza will never disappoint.

                                                                    1. re: meremere

                                                                      Meremere, you reminded me with your post that I never reviewed my HH trip or the Bluffton Farmers' Market. We made a special trip to the Bluffton market and while it is small it is definitely worth a trip if you are into farmers' markets as much as I am!

                                                                      There are two different sections. One section is mainly produce, the other is more packaged and prepared food, some hot and for eating right then and there. We had some pulled pork from a BBQ vendor, a big bowl of jambalaya from the sweetest couple, mint iced tea, and sweets from Sweet Carolina Cupcakes. We also bought packaged ravioli that we ate later that day from the pasta vendor, which we sauteed with succulent cherry tomatoes from a jolly fellow at a vegetable stand. We saw, but didn't sample, an egg vendor, at least one meat vendor, and more bakery vendors. It seemed very well attended and was a really fun outing! There was a guy doing live music who was great(and taking requests!).

                                                                      We didn't get to Greek to Me, but we did eat lunch at Flamingo. The service was abysmally slow but we enjoyed what we had (salads and sandwiches) and of course the donuts were just as good as we remembered.

                                                                      We got a light dinner at Wise Guys, which we enjoyed immensely; it is hard to find but pretty hip and the service was really good. Hot lump crab dip and smoked salmon on house-made chips were delicious, the dessert less so, but it is definitely worth a trip.

                                                                      We were less impressed with Alligator Grille, but couldn't complain because we went for the early bird special. We got dirt cheap and completely acceptable sushi, along with cheap beers and we ended up staying for their very affordable 2 course dinner. The portions were tiny, but that left room for dessert at the Hilton Head Ice Cream Co, which I can't believe I haven't been to before! We went 2 or 3 times and I went bonkers over the different flavors they have.

                                                                      I was disappointed with the shrimp at the Pig, unfortunately, on the one occasion that we got it from there.

                                                                      We did visit a produce stand that is by the few Mexican cafes when you are exiting the island, but didn't realize it sits caddycorner to a guy who is hawking timeshare stuff and activity packages. We basically ignored him, but it was really annoying looking at tomatoes and hearing him trying to sell stuff to people. Not worth the annoyance, in my mind.

                                                                      We have stayed at the Sea Crest the last two years and love basically abandoning our car and walking or riding everywhere. Can't wait to return!