Coastal Cuisine In Carolina

Shrimp grits at Poseidon Coastal Cuisine & Rooftop Bar
Shrimp grits at Poseidon Coastal Cuisine & Rooftop Bar

If you happen to find yourself anywhere near coastal Carolina, chances are your menu options will be abundant in fresh seafood and southern staples of catfish and hush puppies. One of the best spots to enjoy a vast selection of coastal cuisine is and If you have never been to Shelter Cove Community Park to take in the beautiful sweeping views of Broad Creek, spend an hour or two before dinner to work up an appetite. The park is adjacent to the shops and restaurants and is the island’s newest and most popular area, playing host to entertainment and kids of all ages.

Located entirely on the water, the park showcases views of the entire Shelter Cove area, lined with palm trees and a great lawn and pavilion. There is also a playground for children and sculptures of local artists dispersed throughout. As for the Shelter Cover Towne Centre, the open-air shopping district has several unique clothing, gift and candy boutiques as well as top options for your dining and dessert pleasure, like the unique waterfront restaurant Poseidon. Like the Olympian God of The Sea, Poseidon offers guests a spectacular sunset ocean view and features a rooftop bar with live music.

Alaskan King Crab at Poseidon
Alaskan King Crab at Poseidon (Image courtesy of Poseidon Coastal Cuisine Facebook page)

I started out with the She Crab Soup, a staple in South Carolina that is a rich soup, similar to a bisque made of heavy cream, celery, onions, crab, Atlantic blue crab meat and crab roe. A small amount of dry sherry is usually added to the top of the soup for an added flavor. We also ordered the ahi tuna sashimi poke, which was the most unique appetizers I have ever had. Fresh tuna was buried inside a canister with braised pineapple, scallions and caramelized soy sauce.

I got the bronzed salmon with vegetable barley risotto, which was a meal in itself. All of the fish entrées at Poseidon can be made four different ways: West Coast (charcoal grilled and caramelized), Gulf Coast (blackened), East Coast (broiled) and naked beach (charcoal grilled). Dessert capped off the meal with fried banana wantons in a bourbon caramel sauce.

Manager Tim Gaines came over to us twice to see how our meal was going and if there was anything else he or the staff could do to make it more enjoyable. I couldn’t come up with a thing. Everything was fresh, delicious and cooked to perfection, how all seafood establishments should be. Although the menu isn’t seasonal, some items are switched out now and then to keep things fresh, but any dish at Poseidon is a solid choice.

Poseidon Coastal Cuisine & Rooftop Bar is located at 38 Shelter Cove Lane, Suite 121 in the Shelter Cove Towne Center. For more information or to make a reservation, call 843-341-3838 or visit

Check out some of the island’s top notch restaurants for dining with a view.

Coast Oceanfront Dining

food_110216a_coastoceanfrontdining87 North Sea Pines Drive
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Specializing in fresh, local sea fare, Coast is a beautifully appointed restaurant with stunning oceanfront views. Located at the new Sea Pines Beach Club, Coast’s menu includes a fresh shellfish bar with an array of raw seafood as well as upscale options. As for décor, think of a glamorous retreat in the woods, as Coast boasts more cabin mansion than restaurant by the sea.

food_110216h_coastoceanfrontdiningYou’ll be hard pressed to see a menu without hushpuppies and honey butter for an appetizer, so it’s best to just go with the flow and enjoy those little fried puffs of heaven. The sweet chili and benne seed calamari with a cucumber yogurt source was a refreshing take on the Italian dish while my entrée, fennel-dusted salmon with roasted parsnips, goat cheese polenta and a pancetta fig compote was a tasty delight.

South Carolinians know their wines, so order a glass each night with dinner to get an idea of how Hilton Head treats the grape.

Brunch at Hudson's
Brunch at Hudson’s Seafood House (Image courtesy of Hudson’s Facebook page)

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks

1 Hudson Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

Hudson’s Seafood House on the Docks is one of Hilton Head Island’s oldest and most famous restaurants with 44 years of featuring fresh, local seafood and spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway. There’s no better place to get fresh, steamed crab legs or mussels. A quick history lesson: The restaurant’s factory built back in 1912 is still partly used to process the fish.

Dockside seating fills up fast, as every Lowcountry sunset is a beauty that no ones wants to miss. You can’t go wrong with fried green tomatoes and oysters on the half shell to start. And if you haven’t ordered shrimp and grist yet during your southern stay, make that a priority here. Seafoodies can rejoice over an abundance of entrées all paired with hush puppies, fresh vegetables and your choice of potato. Raw seafood pick and pair options allow guests to experience the best that local fisherman have to offer.

Fried green tomatoes at Skull Creek Boathouse
Fried green tomatoes at Skull Creek Boathouse

Skull Creek Boathouse

397 Squire Pope Road
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

A great spot for lunch to watch the boats come in, Skull Creek Boathouse has just about everything to offer on their menu. From chilled seafood, sushi and a variety of tuna options to salads, sandwiches and lunch plates, it will be a while before you finally decide as each selection comes with more than 10 options to choose from.

A basket of hush puppies or deviled crab balls for the table will sustain you until your main dish arrives. The blackened Carolina catfish topped with house made pimento cheese and Cajun spices is a must, not to mention it was featured on the Food Network, so it’s a pretty big deal. The crab cake sandwich has a potato chip crust, making a for a saltier and crunchier bit to a sometimes mushy sandwich. Skull Creek Boathouse also offers combo menus where guests can select a an entrée and soup or salad for a better taste of a very large menu.

Wash it all down with some southern sweet tea, or if you want a souvenir glass (you know you do), order one of the boathouse’s specialty drinks. If there is a wait for a table or if you’re finished dining and don’t want to leave the area, pop into the gift shop a few feet away and pick up some souvenirs.

Check out our Hilton Head travel guide—with tips about lodging, golf and recreation.

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Jennifer Fauci
Jennifer Fauci is the former managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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