Shrimpboats at Port Royal by Sandy Dimke

5 Great Seafood Dives on the South Carolina Coast

5 Great Seafood Dives on the South Carolina Coast you will love!!!

Living along coastal South Carolina means plenty of seafood.  It’s no surprise to find some of the best seafood restaurants in the country are right here in the Lowcountry. Beaufort County is just a short drive from either Charleston or Savannah.  Once you experience the restaurants here, head out just a short drive either north or south.

If you want to have some fun and delicious adventures, try any of these 5 great seafood dives. I promise you they will not disappoint.

Generations of shrimpers and fishermen have fought the elements to bring us freshly caught blue crabs, clams, and many varieties of fish and shrimp.  This region sits below the Sandhills, the original coastline of the ancient seas across the Carolinas, and is therefore often referred to as the Lowcountry. Once you enter it, you are in the midst of a culinary landscape like no other. Whether you are coming for a visit or plan to spend a lifetime, there’s no time like right now to enjoy the abundance from the sea.

With nearly 200 miles of breathtaking coastline, it’s no surprise that South Carolina plays host to dozens of must-try seafood restaurants and dives.

Head Over to Bowens Island for Oysters with a View

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For nearly 60 years, folks have come to feast on roasted oysters, paint graffiti on the walls, and enjoy a breathtaking view. Located just south of Charleston, Bowen’s is known for its no-frills service, creekside sunset views, graffiti-covered walls, and the oyster room where streaming mollusks were shoveled directly from the fire pit onto rough wooden tables.  The restaurant won a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award in 2006 when it was named one of eight American Classic Restaurants that boasts timeless appeal and quality food that reflects the history and character of its community.  Owner Robert Barber accepted the award in New York City, wearing a tuxedo and white shrimping boots.  His grandparents opened the restaurant in 1946 on the site of their fish camp.

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Whaley’s Restaurant and Bar, Edisto Beach

Open 7 days a week!

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Housed in a former gas station that was at one time the only place to get freshwater or make a phone call for 45 miles, Whaley’s still serves as a popular gathering spot.  Visitors give rave reviews about their platters of fried mahi-mahi bites dipped in house-made Ranch-chipotle sauce, mussels spiked with garlic and white wine, and beers pulled from the original soda cooler.  While I was there for lunch, I ordered the Firefly Flounder topped with a sweet tea-and-lemon glaze and mango chutney.  It’s a down-to-earth dish with a heavenly twist.

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This old filling station also serves to-die-for fresh local shrimp on cheesy grits.  Other famous offerings include crab cakes, pan-seared mahimahi, and linguine with clam sauce.

As you can see it offers a little bit of everything for all tastes.  Whether you love seafood, a great burger, or homemade potato chips, you are sure to find something you love at Whatley’s.

Top rated on websites like,, and

Folly Beach

Even if you are not a tattooed bohemian with a penchant for surfing, go ahead and add Folly Beach to your beach town bucket list. This happy island town just south of Charleston shakes off mainland sophistication in favor of flip-flops and cash-only seafood bars. This salty little town of Folly Beach ditches Charleston’s refinement in favor of an easygoing, barefoot scene that feels more like California than South Carolina.

Locals call it the Edge of America. It’s everything you’ve ever imagined a beach town to be. Surf shops line the main street, swim-suit cover-ups are appropriate attire at the restaurants and nobody takes themselves too seriously here.

Stop by the Crab Shack on Center Street just across from City Hall for delicious crab. The Crab Shack has been a gathering spot on Folly Beach for the past 20 years.  You will find uniquely prepared seafood at reasonable prices, and you’ll hear locals tell you it’s the best restaurant on the beach. Southern Living magazine says it’s one of the 10 best seafood spots in all of South Carolina.

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Beaufort’s Shrimp Shack

I stop here whenever I have a chance and it’s always the same – the same great shrimp burger and genuine Southern hospitality. They just go hand in hand.  Taking note that the Gay Fish Company is right across the street and the owners have been shrimping since 1945, their boats supply the restaurant. Everything served here is fresh and delicious but the shrimp burger is the real stand out. They’ve been in business since 1979 and are family-owned and operated. You will find them at 1925 Sea Island Pkway, Saint Helena Island





Savannah’s Seafood Shack

Located on Broughton Street, Savannah’s busy commercial thoroughfare in the heart of Savannah’s historic district, Savannah Seafood Shack is a fast-casual restaurant serving finger-licking seafood dishes at affordable prices. Savannah Seafood Shack does a brisk business. a beer and good friends and dive into mouthwatering seafood.

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