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Sep 16, 2008 06:11 PM

Seabrook Island help!

Hi: We are considering a week long vacation to Seabrook Island, SC. We are normally not into that "gated community" thing, but we are planning it for last minute and can get a deal there. Plus, the scenery looks nice. The only thing is I'm afraid of that Disney-esque feel to the restaurants/coffee shops/etc. Of course I know we can drive to Charleston, but I'd also like to know if there are any local places so we wouldn't always have to make the late night drive back. And yes, I know we can cook.

To give you an idea of what we like, we enjoy places like O'Steens or Caps in St. Augustine, Rod&Reel on Anna Maria, and any lobster shack in Maine. Not pretentious, not touristy, not fancy.


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  1. I've asked this question a time or two as relates to Kiawah. Never any luck. I tried a cafe that was recommended for lunch at the marina between Kiawah and was decent, but disappointing given what you could find in Charleston. It's really not that bad of a drive, especially if it's not rush hour.

    1. I am at Seabrook about once a month. It has a very different vibe than a lot of beach resort places - it is very quiet. Near the Island are Bohicket Marina and Fresh Fields, a shopping area anchored by a beautiful, Whole-Foods-like grocery store called Newton Farms. At Bohicket are Rosebank Farms Cafe, which is very casual but has good, regional food; Up Da Creek, which is primarily seafood, most if it locally caught (and also very casual); and a sports bar, which is fine. Fresh Fields has Hege's, which is a bit more "upscale" (although not really), a pizza place (where I have not eaten), and a relatively new place called King Street Grill. On Seabrook itself is a club-sort of place to eat, with more casual and upscale dining options. The food is pretty good. Unfortunately their most fun place to eat, an outdoor bar/grill right by the beach, is closed for the season. In fact, the whole pool area is going to be totally closed by mid-October for some major renovations, so if that is important to you, you might ask about dates.

      On John's Island (about a 20 minute drive), Fat Hen is really good (on Maybank Highway). Downtown Charleston takes about 35 minutes and definitely is worth visiting.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lizzieh

        Thanks so much for responding. The silence was really making me think that there was *nothing* notable on the island. We will most certainly go to Charleston, but for nights when we don't feel like driving or want to have an extra cocktail or two, it's nice to know that there's something decent nearby. It sounds like two you mention at Bohicket (Up Da Creek and Rosebank) would be our type of place. We love local food and super fresh seafood.

      2. Check out the Tomato Shed Cafe on Main Road (it is on the left a couple of miles before you get to the Intracoastal Waterway bridge). It is part of Stono Farms Market. The food is fantastic and all the produce (which is fully organic) comes from Ambrose Farms, which is a CSA farm on Wadmalaw Island. The beef is all grass fed and hormone free. The shrimp comes off their own boat and is never dipped. Everything is delicious. Check out the desserts, too -- all made on site. There are just a few tables, so get there early or be prepared to wait a little. It is great!!! Here's their link

        5 Replies
        1. re: DavidA

          When is the last time you were there? I dragged my husband and inlaws all the way out there from Folly about 2-3 years ago and it was closed. Permanently, it appeared. Perhaps not?

          1. re: danna

            They have reopened, but I don't remember when that was. Shrimp sold by the lb fresh off their boat looked good, but I was less than impressed with the pie I bought. It was the height of peach season, it was hard to find any peaches in the pie & when I did they had the texture of and learn.

              1. re: DavidA

                just my luck. they proably reopened 2 days after I was there with my hungry, hungry in-laws.

                Good to know...i'll be at Kiawah in December... but I suppose nothing much is in season then. Oysters?

                1. re: danna

                  Local oysters are in season in December. You might be able to find an oyster roast going on in the area. Fresh, local fish is always available. Obviously, the fabulous tomatoes and peaches that we get in the summer months will be long gone; however, autumn vegetables will still be fresh and available in December.

        2. CookingGirl,
          I second the Fat Hen as the best place to go when you're in Seabrook. But be mindful of the live oak trees flanking both sides of Bohicket Road on your return if you 've had anything to drink. Another dining option is a very casual combination takeout seafood market and BYOB picnic table spot called Cindy's Seafood & Country Market. It's just past Rosebank Farms as you're heading away from Seabrook/Kiawah. There is also a seafood restaurant called Fish across the way, but I haven't tried it. Another option for a quick bite is the old fashioned Vincent's Drug Store and Soda Fountain in Fresh Fields, even though it's old time setup is obviously designed to appeal to tourists. And there are various restaurants at the Sanctuary at Kiawah, which have great views but they are upscale and pricey. I've had some good meals at Hege's and there are some decent menu items at Rosebank Farms Cafe, although nothing has been truly spectacular at either place. Both times that I've eaten at King Street Grille the food has been terrible, so don't expect much if you go there.

          BTW, be sure that you don't go over 25 mph within Seabrook. They love to write tickets.

          2 Replies
          1. re: FairfieldFoodie

            Hi! Thanks for the response. I'm at Java Java at Freshfields...sort of a Disney-like atmosphere, but has been good in a pinch.

            I just wanted to let everyone know that Cindy's is closed (bummer).

            Fat Hen tonight, I'll post a review soon!

            1. re: CookingGirl

              I am on Kiawah now. Cindy's is, indeed, closed. The business and property have been sold. New owner may, or may not, reopen as a restaurant.

              Unfortunately, Chez Fish also appears to be closed.