HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >


Road eats Charleston to Hilton Head to Savannah

  • 9

Soon we'll be driving from Charleston airport to Hilton Head, then a few days later Hilton Head to Savannah. We've got plenty of extra time on each trip to drive out of the way for eats. Any recommendations? I'm vegetarian and my husband is not, but I'm happy with fried okra and fried green tomatoes, etc, while he gets his BBQ. Also highly interested in pie. Thank you.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hilton Head - Sea Shack - fresh blackened fish, great slaw etc., featured on Rachel Ray. Inexpensive lunch. Mi Tierra's is a good choice for Mexican.

    Savannah - you can't go there without eating at Mrs. Wilkes. Wonderful southern experience. Great variety of dishes ( many veggies ) served family style. Beats Paula Dean's place and also featured on Rachael Ray's. I've been eating there since my days at Ft. Stewart , Ga. back in the 70's.

    1. To clarify, I am not looking for recommendations *in* Charleston, Hilton Head, and Savannah, but rather recs for the drives in between. Thank you.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bride of the Juggler

        The Old Post Office on Edisto Island is outstanding. Sgt. White's Diner in Beaufort is also a great choice.

        1. re: Bride of the Juggler

          I know you're not lookng for Savannah rec's but I couldn't let this thread pass without mentioning the Sixpence Pub in Savannah near SCAD. Best shepards pie I've ever had and other great pub fare.

        2. There isn't a whole lot. It is a very rural drive. You could take a short detour and head up I-26 to Holly Hill and Sweatman's BBQ. Limited hours though. In Beaufort SC there are a number of cute places. I don't think any are "don't miss" but it is a historic, scenic stop along the way. You could also try Bessingers BBQ. It is on hwy 17(Savannah Road) in Charleston, Near the I-526 juction.

          1. On the road between Hilton Head and Savannah (if you aren't driving on I-95) is a great barbecue place called the Pink Pig, which my family and I used to eat at every Saturday for lunch. They have a few different types of sauces, which can please a variety of people.

            Here is the only information i can find online about it:

            1 Reply
            1. re: dogfacedboy

              How vegetarian might that be? Note that in many (if not most) barbecue joints, several items are cooked with ham hocks etc.

              If you are taking 17 South, a lovely drive in and of itself, you can make a detour to Walterboro and try Duke's Barbecue. Lots of sauces, from fiery hot to sweet mustard, excellent mac and cheese, great collards, terrific corn puffs, and about another half dozen vegetables. Open Wednesday-Sunday only. Pulled pork which is remarkably non-fatty. Lots of turnover here, so nothing sits long on the buffet line. No pies. All inclusive is something like $8 with tea, tax and Sunbeam bread on the tables. No frills, but locals eat here.

              If you have lots of time, go downtown, tons of antique shops, stop at a last of its kind pharmacy with soda fountain. Avoid the Slave Relics Museum just in case you're tempted to veer off the food path.

              Otherwise, not much along that stretch of road that meets your criteria.

            2. Sergeant White's BBQ in Beaufort.

              1. Thanks for all the advice. Here is our report on places worth mentioning.

                Sgt. White's, Beaufort, SC: Really Good pulled pork sandwich. Best pecan pie ever (beats our previous "local to us" favorite of Delicious Orchards, Colts Neck NJ). We took a menu and it still smelled like smoke a week later. If we were staying closer, we would have gone back a few times. We visited just for an afternoon snack otherwise we would have tried lots more too.

                Santa Fe Café, Hilton Head: Very good, complex sauces (red and green)
                on the vegetarian combo which included a goat cheese chile relleno, mushroom
                enchilada, and corn tamale. Ceviche app was just OK. Nice warm toffee
                cake (which they called souflee) with coconut sauce,
                good flan which was closer to crème brulee in richness.

                Clary's Café, Savannah: Great! Great menu, great grits and flaky
                biscuits. We ate here twice for breakfast.
                Awesome huge French toast stuffed with peanut butter and bananas. Good
                country fried steak with gravy. Good large bread pudding. No wait for a
                table on the two days we went.

                B. Matthews eatery, Savannah: Nice fried green tomato sandwich and
                buffalo chicken sandwich.

                Bistro Savannah, Savannah: Perfectly prepared fried whole yellowtail
                snapper in Thai sauce, healed me from all the mediocre seafood in Hilton
                Head. Good fried chicken liver appetizer and wagyu sirloin cooked
                perfectly medium-rare.

                Wall's BBQ, Savannah: Yummy sides including nice peppery yellow squash
                and smooth sweet potato pie. Ribs were just OK and a bit small, a

                Sweet Leaf Smokery, Savannah: Best BBQ of the trip. Smoked tofu wrap,
                amazing smoked veggie side, good mac n' cheese complete with some crunchy side
                of the pan part. Delicious large portion of ribs. Highly recommended.

                Leopold's Ice Cream, Savannah: Good classic rich store-made ice cream.
                Unfortunately they ran out of red velvet cake and said they wouldn't
                have more for a few weeks.

                Gilligan's Seafood, 10 miles south of the Charleston airport just off
                17. Nice classic 'shore' seafood joint. Finally got my hush puppies and fried okra.
                Beautiful large steamed seafood combo (oysters, crab legs, and shrimp) with 3
                sides for $18.95 at lunch.

                Thank you.