Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hilton Head Island: Where to Eat

Now that I've covered where we stayed on Hilton Head Island, today I am going to focus on where we ate. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

You can say many things about southerners, but one thing is - we know yummy food! 

Biscuits, BBQ, and butter. What's not to love? ;)

Because we have vacationed on Hilton Head Island since I was little, we have acquired a list of "must eat" restaurants that we have to eat at each time we visit. This year we mixed in a few new ones, and I definitely have a new favorite to add to our list.

Our first night we usually try to keep things pretty casual. After a long car ride we are totally over sitting, let alone being in close proximity to one another so we typically order from Giuseppi's Pizza. It's been around for years, offers fast take out, and, most importantly, is quite yummy.

(I hate that I missed getting my own photo of our yummy pizza, but some of us were "hangry" and the pool was calling our name!)

Harbour Town Bakery & Cafe has to be one of our favorite little spots. This is the first time we have stayed so close to it, and trust me when I say being with in walking distance from all this tastiness was dangerous. 

The bakery is housed in the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage, which is the historic location for the original lighthouse and property for the island - way before the current lighthouse location was established in the yacht basin. 

The cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch, and based on multiple experiences it is not a place to miss! 

The southern inspired cuisine is delicious, and extends itself into its extensive coffee options. The Southern Pecan was an excellent way to kickstart your day. 

And let's no forget the wide selections of pastries available. 

Homemade pastries, muffins, and treats will always get me through your door. Always. 

Another fun thing about the cafe is that they have a fun sea life touch tank available for visitors to check out. It is located in between their two buildings, and on this rainy day visit was the perfect entertainment for little ones like Cute to pass the time and do some hands on learning.

Tropical Storm Colin made its way through on one of vacation days, but that didn't stop us from heading to one of our favorite restaurants - the Salty Dog Cafe

In fact, once we saw the rain we were almost excited because we thought we would actually be able to eat at our favorite spot without having to wait. They operate on a first come, first serve basis, and trust me it is always packed. Always.

When I was little, this was just a small restaurant, tee shirt shop, and ice cream stand. Jake (the Salty Dog) would walk around for pets, and you could over look South Beach Marina while eating some yummy seafood. Now, it is a full scale operation and the waits start at 10:30a.m.!

We didn't mess around this visit.

The only thing I photographed was our delicious appetizer of crab dip, and even that was almost gobbled up before I could grab a pic.

Everything is out of this world though, and they have my absolute favorite hush puppies of all the island.

More on Salty Dog tomorrow, but seriously don't miss out if headed to the island. 

Habourside Burgers & Brews is a new spot for me. While in Harbour Town we usually eat at the Crazy Crab, and Quarterdeck and usually don't have much time left for testing out other restaurants. It's been around forever though, and I now know I've been missing out!

It has a fun laid back outdoor atmosphere, and often has a musician playing in the evenings. 
I took this trip as an opportunity to sample how South Carolina does BBQ. 
Verdict - not bad.  

I also took it as my civil duty to test out the frosty beverages in order to give an accurate review. 

And I made sure I was thorough. :) 

The Strawberry Lemonade special was a winner. 
You know, if frosty beverages are your thing. 

(They totally should be your thing.)

Speaking of civil duties, we also felt the need to test out all of the islands coolest ice cream shops. Last year, we mentioned a long time favorite - the Salty Dog Ice Cream Shop.  

This year we made our way to the ones in Harbour Town as well. Cups & Cones is located just off the base of the lighthouse. It's almost hidden to where you can't see it in between there and their pier, but it is definitely worth a taste. 

I am still on my dairy ban, but the hubby let me have a small lick of his Campfire Cone. Think of a s'mores in the form of ice cream - yum! 

Little Cute opted for strawberry and sprinkles.

Clearly it did not disappoint. 

The Cinnamon Bear Country Store brings back a ton of memories for me. I remember visiting the store as child with my grandfather and getting the chance to pick out a stick candy. 

Aunt C. was determined to share the experience with the Cutes and they were so excited. 

The inside of the store kind of reminds me of a Cracker Barrel. The store sells a wide variety of merchandise and gifts, as well as candy, taffy, and of course ice cream. 

Cute chose Vanilla and wasn't about to stop eating to pose for a picture with it. 
L.C. forewent all thoughts of ice cream once she saw a Barbie mermaid doll. Full warning, the store is packed to the gills with tons of stuff so those of you with little ones who like shiny new toys be aware. 

I mentioned Quarterdeck earlier, and hands down this is one of my favorite restaurants on Hilton Head Island.  

It sits right at the base of the lighthouse and has the best views of the water. I mentioned it last year, but seriously so yummy! The inside has an upscale area for nicer dinners and events, and is a great way to spend a date night overlooking the water and watching the yachts come in and out. 

The last few years we've opted to sit outside and enjoy the deck area. There is usually a musician and it is such a fun atmosphere. I ordered the filet this go around, and it the wine sauce it was in was delicious!

Okay, I've saved the best for last - Live Oak Low Country Cuisine at the Plantation Golf Club. 
If I could eat here everyday for the rest of my life I totally would. It was that good!

We were able to sneak away for a date night, and Mr. Cute was excited about this all week once he read the menu. It is a new restaurant to us, but let me just say it is now at the top of the list the next time we hit the island. 

The wine list was extensive and had some excellent options. I could have stopped right there, but I'll go on. 

Mr. Cute started with a salad, but I don't mess around that way so I ordered the gumbo as the soup of the day. Holy yum! 

Then because we came to eat, we decided to order the corn bread. It came with three dipping options:  pimento cheese, honey butter, and a jelly. 

I went straight for the honey butter and didn't look back.

And I might never have corn bread that isn't cooked in a cast iron skillet again. It's ruined me forever in a good good way. 

Rumor has it a mini cast iron skillet might be currently on its way to my house as I type. 

Shortly after my corn bread experience, I determined I needed my hands to eat and put down my phone, but then dessert just happened to make our way to the table...

Key lime pie in a mason jar, with a raspberry drizzle. 

It was every bit as delicious as it sounds. 

And then we went into a heavenly food coma. If had died of southern cuisine overdose in that moment, it would have been well worth it. 

After dinner, we hung out in the club's living room for a small bit and I've decided if I could live and eat there forever I'd be a happy woman. 

That wraps up my restaurant tour of this trip. If you've been to Hilton Head Island, let us know some of your favorite restaurants - we are always looking for yummy new places to try!

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