The best part of any vacation is trying new restaurants and local specialties. With our prime locale right off the Atlantic Ocean, home to countless fish species, and a host of vibrant locally-owned eateries lining the shoreline, North Myrtle Beach is a food lover’s paradise. Here are the five must-try local dishes and where you can find them on your trip to NMB.
1. Seafood Steam Kettle
A steam kettle is a tried-and-true method of cooking seafood in the Low Country. The kettle has a couple of inches of water on the bottom, with the seafood sitting on a rack. The lid keeps the moisture in and uses the steam to cook the food. Every restaurant puts a unique spin on this dish with different spices, sauces, and seafood options, from scallops and clams to shrimp and crawfish.
Rockefellers Raw Bar adds parmesan cheese to most of its selections and offers the option of including angel hair pasta. If you can't choose between the seafood options, order the Golfers Special with shrimp, scallops, and mussels.
2. Fresh Catch of the Day
Fresh. That’s a word you’ll see on menus throughout NMB. Many restaurants offer the catch of the day, which can change daily and seasonally. For instance, flounder, wahoo, and mahi-mahi are in season throughout the spring, summer, and fall.
Another Barefoot Landing eatery, Flying Fish Public Market & Grill, offers a customizable experience with a selection of daily fresh fish at market price served with rice and green beans. Choose everything from the preparation (cajun style, signature, or fire-grilled) to the toppings (mango salsa, honey-lime butter, etc.) and top it off with popcorn shrimp if you'd like.
3. The Lowcountry Sauté
All your favorites are blended to create the sensational Lowcountry sauté at Midtown Bistro. The seafood pasta dish features shredded lobster, scallops, and shrimp sauteed in olive oil, garlic, onions, and asparagus, and then served on a bed of penne pasta and topped off with feta cheese, making for a deliciously carb-loaded (and fresh) dish.
4. Fried Seafood Basket
You walk in and immediately smell the oil and fish, hear the roar of the deep fryer, and your mouth starts to water. This sensory overload tells your brain that a big plate of comfort food is in your near future. Quick and easy, fried seafood baskets are a staple for kids and adults alike. Add in a big pile of hot fries and well-spiced hushpuppies, and you have a filling meal that screams southern hospitality.
Order a basket from Platt’s Seafood, which offers everything from catfish and shrimp to oyster and clam strips. Each basket comes with a side of french fries and hushpuppies. If you’re spending the day at Barefoot Landing, dine for lunch or dinner at Lulu’s and order the Big Fry Seafood Basket, which serves two and features everything from snapper and shrimp and oysters to crab claws. The seafood comes either grilled, blackened, or fried. Each seafood basket is accompanied with corn, french fries, cheddar hushpuppies, and coleslaw.
5. Seafood Stew
Any meal that begins with a seafood stew is a memorable one guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The Oyster Rock Waterfront Seafood serves an oyster stew made with milk and cream and steamed mollusks. On top of that, the restaurant has crab soup and clam chowder on their menu.
Another local seafood stew spot is the Chesapeake House, which serves its World Famous Fish Stew, made the same way for over 40 years. Chesapeake also features an oyster stew on its menu, clam chowder, and crab soup.
If you can’t get to all of them during your NMB vacation, don’t worry! These dishes will be here waiting for you during your next visit.