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Isle of Palms, SC

Headed to Isle of Palms for a week in August and have never been there and don't know anyone who has either. A variety of suggestions would be great as it's a family trip, so we'll be looking for a variety.

We've got two little ones who do well eating out, so a family place would be good.

Some family may baby-sit for us one evening, so a fancier place for "date night" would be nice.

We also love BBQ and ice cream, so any suggestions there would be fantastic.

Also, where to get fresh seafood to cook at home might be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

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  1. Funny you posted since I and my family just returned. Here are thoughts:

    The Wreck - way divy but amazingly fresh and good seafood: clams, oysters, shrimp, fish. Off Shem Creek; about 20 minutes.

    Momma Brown's BBQ - on HWY 703 - down home, good bbq buffet. No frills so good for a family. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp....

    McCrady's - Charleston proper. Excellent for date night. Great Southern fare, great service. http://www.mccradysrestaurant.com/

    Gullah Cuisine Restaurant - on HWY 17; about 15 minutes from IOP. http://www.gullahcuisine.com/. Great downhome Gullah; nice place, good for families.

    JB's Smokehouse - 'que on John's Island. A bit of a drive but beautiful and worth it. Small place with great buffet: bbq; chicken fried steak; greens; beans; fried chicken; 'nana puddin'; pluf mud puddin'; chocolate eclair puddin; tea; etc: http://www.jbssmokeshack.com/.

    If you're really adventurous then head here - Scott Variety Store & BBQ in Hemingway, SC: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/din.... About 1.5 hours drive but man is it worth it. Be sure to get some of the fresh fried cracklin.

    Let us know where you go.

    Cocinero Cubano

    1. Poes over on Sullivans Island is excellent, a short drive, and very family friendly.

      1. I haven't done much eating on IOP, but I would recommend Sea Island for brunch (be prepared for a wait and they are cash only), Boathouse on Breach Inlet (pricey but great views off the deck, might work for date night) and Huck's Lowcountry Table (food focuses on fresh & local with a spectacular view of the ocean....would work for date night or they are open for lunch and are casual enough to go w/ the little ones)

        On Sullivan's Island I would recommend Poe's Tavern and Home Team BBQ. You are also close enough to go to SeeWee Restaurant, fried seafood in Awendaw on 17.

        For date night, go to the previously mentioned Huck's or if you want to go downtown let me know what kind of food you are interested in and at what price point and I would be happy to recommend some more places.

        1. Simmons Seafood on IOP will have fresh local fish and shrimp for you. Pick up their yummy shrimp paste and homemade key lime pie for meals at home. I add a little horseradish to the paste to spank it up a notch. The small brown shrimp will be in when you are here, sweetest shrimp you've ever tasted. They are in the small shopping center on the left when you come on the island.

          Here is where we go - locals from Sullivan's Island - for affordable good dinners. Five Loaves, on Rt 17 in Mt Pleasant. Simple ambiance but the food is always delicious, super fresh with lots of daily specials. Tuesday and Friday are 1/2 price bottle of wine nights! Long Point Grill, on Long Point Road, again simple setting, but the food is delicious. Try the coconut cake, a southern specialty. Their pieces are as big as your head. Both would be fine with children.

          On Sullivan's Island, Poe's and Dunleavy's for burgers. Station 22 is our new destination for a more pricey meal, since the Boathouse seems to have fallen off in service and food. Station 22 favorites are flounder, shrimp and grits, steaks, burgers, and the owner's - our wonderful former mayor - amazing coconut cake. All three of these places have a lively bar crowd. All are in spitting distance of eachother.

          The Wreck is fun people watching and has decent fried food, but it's cash only, no liquor, and we always walk out saying we can't believe how expensive it is. Still if you've never been there it's fun and you get to eat on Shem Creek.

          For a date night out, if you want to stay near IOP I'd go to Samos on Coleman Boulevard. It's upscale Greek food in a chic, romantic setting. Ask for one of the tables to the left of the door so you are a tucked away for privacy. Would think you would need reservations, it is popular.

          If you go downtown - it's easy and only 25 minutes - there are Penisula Grill , McCrady's, Fig - chef just won James Beard award. For small and charming Pane Vino and la Forchette, both with a gelato store around the corner. If you are downtown for lunch I always recommend Cru Cafe. It's only one block from the busy market. Call ahead for a table even for lunch.

          For kids fun -non food related- and if you want/need to get off the beach, Blackbeards Cove is a great place to take the kids for entertainment. It's just north on Rt 17 from IOP.

          Love all the BBQ suggestions except Mama Browns. Take a road trip to John's Island, it's really not that far, and you'll get to see even more of our beautiful lowcountry.

          And one final note, under no circumstance eat at Hyman's Seafood downtown. Yes it's always crowed, but it's a complete tourist trap and no locals would ever eat there. Period.

          Would also like to hear where you went and how you liked it.

          Cru Cafe
          Charleston, South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

          1. Thanks so much for all the suggestions - keep them coming! We're very excited about the trip and will definitely check back in with the results.

            1. When we go to IOP, our date night place is often Coco's Cafe. It is French cuisine served in a strip mall where there is a Whole Foods and Staples. It is always enjoyable and I find it reasonably priced. I usually call for reservations since it is usually full.

              1 Reply
              1. re: CecilW

                Really like Coco's Cafe as well. Right now you can get a $25 certificate for $2 on restaurant.com -- discount code is napkin. Check for hours, and restrictions before getting a certificate though since minimums and days tend to vary.

              2. These are all great recommendations. You didn't specifically mention breakfast places, but I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Sea Biscuit Cafe on the Isle of Palms. A long-time local's favorite for weekend breakfast/brunch. There's usually a wait, and they don't take reservations. But it's a great family-friendly breakfast spot. Enjoy!

                1. Agree with Gullah Cuisine, The Wreck (might be expensive for locals but no more than you'll pay for good seafood in the rest of the USA including where seafood is frozen and flown in...and it's good), SeeWee up in Auwendall (sp?). Sea Biscuit is worth a try just for the local flavor and the ambiance but not as good as it used to be...biscuits no longer homemade. (Look for the Fiji $5 bill straight over head in the doorway between the pay counter and the connector hallway...my boy put that one up.) Charleston's Cafe in Mt. Pleasant is good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rbohan

                    If you go to Gullah Cuisine, do their lunch buffet. There should be enough to keep the little ones fed reasonably quickly. I haven't been as happy with dinner -- very slow service, and I think pricey.

                  2. Well, it turns out the trip was "managed" a little differently than expected and since the house was being provided for the group, we complied. There were more people there than I expected and we were all supposed to prepare a meal for the group. Plus we got there late in the evening on Saturday, and there were already burgers cooked up on the grill. So, this ended up accounting for 6 of the dinners. I was hoping to eat out at least 3 times, but we only went out once for lunch and once for supper.

                    Luckily one of the families cooked up some locally caught shrimp from Simmons.

                    Unfortunately, we did not have web access at the house as expected either, so I could not readily look up some of the places here. We went for lunch on our first day to East Bay Deli because it was convenient to grocery shopping. Had a nice bowl of tomato bisque and a couple of decent sandwiches.

                    For dinner, we went as a big group and ended up at Sullivan's. Had fried green tomatoes, grouper, shrimp and fried grits. All very good. I think I'll try something different next time, but I would go back to Sully's as people were calling it.

                    Now that I know the lay of the land there, I think we'll make a point to venture out a bit more next time, perhaps for lunch.

                    Thanks again ya'll!