Our family loves visiting Hilton Head Island!  In fact, we vacationed there four times last year!  Everyone asks, where do you eat? I have compiled some of our favorites below.  This list is a great mix of locations perfect for family dining, a date night, or great lunch spots.   Enjoy!


Our hands down favorite is Java Burrito.  It is the coziest, yummiest and combined burrito/coffee joint you have ever visited (and maybe the only?).  The burrito ingredients are SUPER fresh and they source everything from local farms. Plus, CHEESE DIP IS INCLUDED in your burrito.  But, be sure to pay a little extra and get some on the side with chips. I am not a coffee fan… but I do love champagne and fresh baked goods… so the JAVA (coffee and wine bar) part of the name does not disappoint me either.  This place seems to be a pretty well kept locals secret… but I think the word is getting out. If you arrive and see a line out the door, don’t fret, it moves quickly! It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner!


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For great views and seafood, we LOVE Skull Creek Boathouse.  The views are fabulous, they usually have live music and you can walk out on the dock to check out the boats and views.  It is the quintessential “dinner at the beach” restaurant. The only downside is they do NOT take reservations. So, during the high season, plan to arrive around 4PM if you want to be seated quickly.  As a lover of sushi, this place has a small, but mouthwatering sushi menu which is unusual for most lowcountry locales. Pro Tip- Ask for the super secret “sunset supper” menu. It’s got a lot of delicious selections and will save you some money!  


For the same views BUT with reservations, check out Dockside restaurant (next door to Skull Creek Boathouse).  This old house has been completely transformed into a gorgeous dining spot overlooking the low country creek. We love the boiled shrimp, fresh hush puppies with honey butter, and the barbecue ribs.  The other perk is the attached playground for the kiddos featuring a shrimp boat climbing structure, ping pong tables, and foosball. Plan to hang out for awhile here to enjoy live music, games, and a magnificent sunset. Pro Tip- go to the outside bar with your driver’s license to get the necessary paddles/balls for playground games!


If you want good food with little fuss, then check out The Sea Shack.  This place is a staple on Hilton Head and is popular among residents and tourists.  Tucked into Executive Park, let’s be clear that you are going for the food, not the location.  It is nearly impossible to avoid a line here (trust me, I have tried) but its worth the wait. Diners wait outside the door and are let in a few parties at a time to order at the counter and be seated.  They serve fresh fish, seasonal sides, and delicious pies. Plus, the food costs are so low… it is almost shocking!


Another favorite of ours is Fishcamp on Broad Creek.  Again, the views are great but so are the outdoor games and live music.  Fun fact, I had the BEST waffle of my entire life here at Mother’s Day brunch.  Pro tip- they take reservations for indoor seating but outdoor seating is first come, first serve.  We usually eat indoors then head outside for an after dinner drink and games.


If you are looking for a greasy spoon breakfast spot, then I recommend both Harold’s and Southern Coney & Breakfast.  Both provide the perfect hangover cure, a kid-friendly breakfast spot, OR BOTH.  Southern Coney is known for their pancakes (go figure).  A Hilton Head local turned me on to Harold’s and claims it is the best burger on the island.  I can’t yet confirm that, but, keep that in mind when you order.  Pro Tip- Harold’s is cash only so come prepared.



If you are looking for traditional sushi or teppanyaki, then check out OKKO.  The restaurant is located in a strip mall but has good, consistent sushi rolls and private hibachi rooms which is always an entertaining meal for children.  Even though it’s family friendly, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary with a date night here.  Pro tip- they have a lunch menu which offers a lot of bang for your buck!


If you are looking for a quiet date night on the island, consider checking out Ombra Cucina Italiana.  This italian eatery is perfect for a cozy and relaxed night of dining.  Even though its on the finer side of dining for the Island, no ties nor heels are needed.  Pro Tip- ask for a smaller version of their antipasto platter if you are dining as a couple and want a manageable portion size.

Don’t see your favorite restaurant at Hilton Head on this list?  Then please share with us what we are missing and why!

learn, brooke

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