Here’s everything you need to know about these 5 must-try restaurants in Bluffton, SC. There is nothing subtle about Bluffton’s seduction, as this once drowsy village on the banks of the May River between Savannah and Hilton Head Island is ageless and authentic. At one time it was merely an enclave for artists and eccentrics but now it has become a thriving region for dining, shopping, and Southern living at its finest.
Each one of these restaurants has its own unique personality but one thing they all have in common is food that is carefully prepared and absolutely delicious. Try one of these 5 must-try restaurants in Bluffton, SC
With its gorgeous Spanish moss-draped trees, twisted lanes, and sandy streets it’s impossible to hide its secret charms. Stately old homes with haunted histories and legends of ghosts cluster throughout the town. A culinary revolution has been happening in Bluffton, reflecting a mix of traditional fare to nouveau Southern food, where the past comes together with the present experience.
If you happen to be there on a Thursday afternoon, stop by the Farmer’s Market and meet farmer Joe – he’s a legend in this town and has the freshest fruits and veggies ever!
Now from the “you can’t miss it” to the memorable, let’s dive into Bluffton’s take on modern cuisine and learn why this once quaint little town has become a culinary destination for all who venture to the Lowcountry.
Palmetto Bluff – features 8 dining experiences on one magnificent property
Experience Southern comfort at its finest at Palmetto Bluff, a luxury South Carolina resort situated along the bluff of the May River – a vibrant 20,000-acre community between Hilton Head Island and Savannah. It has numerous must-try restaurants. The resort encompasses an extensive nature preserve, two picturesque villages featuring eight Southern-inspired dining options, a riverfront marina, and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
My favorite place to dig into Southern cuisine is at the corner cafe sitting across from the chapel in Wilson Village. Buffalo’s offers breathtaking views of the May River and a menu featuring everything from its popular weekend Biscuit Bar, market-fresh salads, Italian sandwiches and pasta, pastries, and handmade local gelato. Local craft beer, wines by the glass or bottle, and many varieties of signature cocktails are served nearly every day of the week. This is just one of many dining experiences available to you once you enter Palmetto Bluff.
Here are some other options while you are visiting Palmetto Bluff:
Choose from the River House Lounge, Octagon, RT’s Market, the May River Grill, Cole’s, Canteen, and the Fore&Aft – all located within Palmetto Bluff for your enjoyment.
Bluffton Oyster Company
Nowhere is there a better introduction to Old Town’s salty heritage than at the Bluffton Oyster Company. This is run by the Toomer family and is a place where you can purchase local mahimahi, grouper, tilefish, blue crab, and oysters when in season. It’s the only remaining hand-shucking operation in the state – in fact, it’s the only one in the state. Its building sits on reclaimed land formed by two hundred years of shucking operations dropping shells into the May River. They also have a restaurant nearby where you can order peel-and-eat shrimp and steamed oyster buckets. I love lightly steamed oysters and they are always happy to steam them to order just the way you like ’em!
You may not know that South Carolina was once home to a thriving, world-famous oyster industry. Before World War II, oyster canneries lined South Carolina’s coast, from Daufuskie Island, Bluffton, and Port Royal, all the way up to Litchfield and Little River.
Oyster pickers, the men who pulled oysters from the pluff mud, and shuckers, known as the women with the iron fists, worked hard for far less than anything resembling a minimum wage. They are all a part of the brotherhood of white boot heroes who work each day to bring us the freshest, best seafood in the land.
Remember to please don’t buy imported shrimp! Support our local fishermen and shop local.
Old Town Dispensary – “The Place to Be in Bluffton!”
Come for brunch on the deck!
Fish tacos anyone? It doesn’t get much better than this!
Old Town Dispensary – in the heart of historic downtown Bluffton, SC is the place to meet good friends, ice-cold drinks, and delicious food.
Known for some of the best burgers in town! Come on in y’all for the famous SC Local cocktails, appetizers, burgers and so much more!
Start your morning with a good Bluffton breakfast of eggs, fried shrimp and stone-ground grits and you’ll be ready for just about anything.
Known for delicious fried shrimp, fried chicken and okra served in a relaxed country atmosphere and family-style dining. The sign out front kinda tells the story.
The Crazy Crab on Jarvis Creek
If you love sunset views, you will love dinner at the Crazy Crab. The delicious food and sunset views make it one of the 5 great restaurants in Bluffton, SC. Sit in their newly expanded, covered outside bar for indoor and outdoor dining. With more Happy Hour offerings and the best sunsets in town, you don’t want to miss having a gorgeous and delicious time at the Crazy Crab.
Their menu is derived from Lowcountry recipes, and each entree is individually prepared to order.
Bring the family and enjoy the onsite playground, their enormous fish tank, live music, and breathtaking views.
The Cottage Cafe, Bakery and Tea Room
Quaint and cozy, the Cottage serves scrumptious fare with old-world charm and true Southern hospitality. Stop by for breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea or dinner. While you are there be sure to try their award-winning pastries, breads, pies, and cakes. I’ll warn you – it’s gonna be one tough decision. One looks yummier than the next.
Owner Leslie Rowland is the genius behind the famed cafe on Calhoun in the heart of historic Old Town.