15 Best Restaurants in Beaufort, SC (Reviews, Photos, Maps)

Whether you visit the quaint town of Beaufort for business or vacation, this charming seaport offers breathtaking views of mossy oaks along a freshwater river with an ocean bay ideal for dining and hotels.

You will find just that in the streets of this historic town rich with early US history events and antebellum architecture.

The city of Beaufort offers an astounding 150 restaurants including independent eateries and chains. A jewel of the Lowcountry, it takes knowledge of the area to suss out the best dining establishments in a city with so many choices.

So, what does the seaside city offer in the way of food? Of course, you’ll find seafood and Southern cuisine typically referred to as home food. Also, look for soul food, BBQ, Asian, and Italian.


$$$ | (843) 524-3663 | WEBSITE


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The upscale family restaurant Madison’s offers a family-owned and family-operated casual dining experience that uses locally grown ingredients for its traditional American fare.

Try the offerings from the oyster bar, grits, gourmet sandwiches—including shaved prime rib with horseradish—and a selection of pasta dishes. Despite its family atmosphere, reservations are recommended.


Blackstone’s Café

$ | (843) 524-4330 | WEBSITE


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Dine Southern when you eat at Blackstone’s Café. Try the house specialty of eggs benedict at your breakfast or lunch. Also, the Southern staple of shrimp and grits makes a delicious choice for breakfast or lunch.

You can dine on the patio with your pet or indoors without. Explore the interior for its historical memorabilia scattered throughout the buildings’ two stories.


Red Rooster Café

$$ | (843) 379-2253 | WEBSITE

Red Rooster Café

Head to Red Rooster Cafe for Southern cuisine, a type of American food indicative of the Deep South. Try the traditional favorites such as shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, or the crab Benedict.

Add their delicious biscuits to any meal. This casual dining experience starts with the metal rooster statue that greets you. The owners of the café show their sense of humor by dressing the rooster according to upcoming holidays.

Feel the kitsch as you enter and cozy up at a table or booth. Expect to dine with many locals since they love this place, which only serves breakfast.


Old Bull Tavern

$$ | (843) 379-2855 | WEBSITE

Old Bull Tavern

You’ll feel transported to England at this Beaufort bar decorated like an English pub. Enjoy both American and European cuisine with a focus on comfort food. Because you’re in SC, it might seem a little kitschy between the bull’s head hanging above the bar and an old-fashioned English telephone booth to the side.

This may be the only eatery that serves both pizza and braised lamb shank. You can find unique menu items, too, such as the wasabi-deviled eggs and original cocktails. Don’t let the fact that it’s a pub fool you; you’ll need reservations.


Shrimp Shack

$ | (843) 838-2962 | WEBSITE

Shrimp Shack

Cross the Wood Memorial Bridge to St. Helena Island to enjoy the Shrimp Shack. You can dine on shrimp in numerous ways, including a shrimp burger. Of course, for tradition’s sake, you should try the fried shrimp.

You probably can’t get more casual than their outdoor seating of picnic tables. You can also dine indoors at one of their simply decorated tables. The cooks at the Shrimp Shack make every order fresh, from scratch. Leave your credit cards at the hotel or your home because this Beaufort eatery only accepts cash.


Wren Bistro & Bar

$$$ | (843) 524-9463 | WEBSITE


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Head to Beaufort’s historic district to enjoy the home food of Wren Bistro & Bar. Whether you choose meatloaf and steak fries, pecan chicken, crispy flounder, or salad, you’ll find your meal made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients.

You can enjoy a farm-to-table experience at Wren Bistro & Bar. The bar serves microbrews and wines designed to accompany the meals.


Lady’s Island Dockside

$$$ | (843) 379-3288 | WEBSITE


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This dockside eatery specializes in seafood from fresh catches. Dine on lobster, crab, oysters, or a plethora of fresh fish. The restaurant offers sampler platters, such as the Captain’s Platter and the Dockside Diner.

You can sit outside on the deck to enjoy your meal and, at sunset, one of the most breathtaking views available of Factory Creek, Woods Bridge, and downtown Beaufort.


Q on Bay

$$ | (843) 524-7771 | WEBSITE


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The Deep South and BBQ have long been tied to one another. The restaurant Q on Bay serves up succulent meats fresh from the BBQ Smoker and slathered in homemade BBQ sauce.

This family restaurant provides lovely views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Start with the Brisket Dip or Pulled Pork Sliders, then order a combo plate to enjoy a selection of meats and side dishes.

Choose from the Barnyard for chicken and pork, the BBQ Platter for each type of meat, or Surf n Turf, which consists of traditional seafood and steak.


Breakwater Restaurant and Bar

$$$ | (843) 379-0052 | WEBSITE


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Hungry for wild-caught salmon? Head to the upscale Breakwater for lox and fries or salmon in an apple cider glaze. The seasonal menu also includes a salmon with orange olive oil.

While many restaurants in the Deep South stick to home food, Breakwater experiments with Southern cuisine, updating it and adding a twist. If you want a culinary experience, try Breakwater Restaurant and Bar.


Griffin Market

$$$ | (843) 524-0240 | WEBSITE

Griffin Market

Don’t judge this Lowcountry gem by its name. You won’t shop at this market, you’ll enjoy a fine Italian meal including clams and handmade pasta at Griffin Market. The seasonal menu uses locally sourced ingredients.

A few tried and true favorites carryover from season to season, including The Agnello, lamb rib chops encrusted in Parmesan and parsley, and Tagliatelle Verdi, a green fettuccine-shaped pasta. To complement their foods, the eatery offers a well-stocked wine cellar.


Bricks on Boundary

$$ | (843) 379-5232 | WEBSITE

Bricks on Boundary

Try the fried shrimp that made Bricks on Boundary a household name in these parts. The dining establishment believes in huge portions and traditional Southern food. Bricks provide the ideal date spot though because it serves a wide array of cuisines, including German, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Italian.

Save room for dessert since you’ll have numerous pies from which to choose. Whether you choose cottage pie or pecan pie, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and remember that you can’t go wrong with either pie choice.


Papaya Thai and Sushi Bar

$$ | (843) 379-9099 | WEBSITE

Despite its name, Papaya doesn’t serve entrees of the tasty fruit. It specializes in sushi. Locals rate it the best sushi in the city. Dine indoors or on the patio for lunch or dinner. You’ll find sushi nigiri and sushi makimono, as well as, pho, curries, fresh seafood, accompanied by fried rice or noodles.

If you drink alcohol, many recommend the Lychee Martini. The eatery doesn’t require reservations but can get busy since it tops the list of local favorites.


Saltus River Grill

$$$ | 843-379-3474 | WEBSITE


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Call to check for table availability before heading to Saltus River Grill for the steamed mussels. This eatery offers fusion seafood featuring the region’s flavors. For example, they serve a fresh fish catch with sweet corn chow chow, tomato gravy, and smoked pimento cheese grits.

Whether you want a chargrilled burger or raw oysters, you can find it here. Saltus also offers sushi and a few traditional Southern dishes, so you can dine here frequently and not get bored with its ever-changing menu.


Lost Local

$$ | (843) 379-3838 | WEBSITE

Lost Local

You say you want tacos, but you want BBQ, too. A small order of fried shrimp sounds good, too, with baked oysters on the side. Head to Lost Local, so you don’t have to decide. This independent eatery in Beaufort, SC offers a surprisingly tasty sendup of Mexican food and Southern seafood plus BBQ.

Try the BBQ tacos for a tame start. For something more adventurous, taste the Carne Asada tacos, which pair the meat with brie cheese and red apple pico de gallo. If you don’t consider that adventurous because you once dined at a Fat Sandwich Company location, the Mac Chicken Tacos might be up your alley.

Try the Mac blackened chicken with macaroni and cheese in a taco, topped not with pico or salsa, but with bourbon-infused bacon jam. If you dare, wash it down with craft beer or their magnificent margaritas.


In Conclusion

The small city of Beaufort offers some of the most exciting cuisines in South Carolina. You can find traditional seafood or experimental cuisine. You won’t leave your table hungry because most restaurants heap on the food.

You might need to extend your trip to taste all that this city has to offer. You’ll find as many food experiments as you can imagine and a few you probably didn’t. Regardless, the one place you must make time for is the Shrimp Shack. Although simple, it defines Lowcountry comfort food.

Best Restaurants in Beaufort

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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.