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Top Seafood Restaurants in Pawleys Island

By Ashlee Carson • September 27, 2016

You can literally smell the seafood at many different points across this arrogantly shabby island, so it’s only natural that there are an ample number of eateries serving all sorts of ocean life.

From raw bars and fresh sushi to daily catches and the ubiquitous fried seafood platter, you won’t have to look to hard to find a good meal.

But in case you’re wondering where the best spots are, check out this list of suggestions.  

Frank's Restaurant & Bar

10434 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island • (843) 237-3030

Executive Chef Pierce Culliton does some pretty extraordinary things with fresh fish, and has been for decades. A peek at Frank’s menu reveals inventive dishes like Tequila-steamed Shrimp with sriracha-spiced cocktail sauce and guacamole, Pan-fried Cornmeal-encrusted Grouper over stone-ground grits with shrimp in a Dijon cream sauce, and the Pan-seared Jumbo Sea Scallops over mushroom and asparagus risotto with a lemon caper butter sauce. Also, the digs are as fancy as the plates, so wear something nice.

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Bistro 217

10707 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island • (843) 235-8217

Whether you choose a spot in the cozy dining room or outside on the patio, one thing’s for sure - you’re going to leave Bistro 217 completely satisfied! The Oyster Tasting is a great way to start any meal and comes with a cucumber-wasabi mignonette, cocktail sauce and horseradish. Entree selections include Sesame-Seared Salmon, local flounder, seared George’s Bank Scallops and so much more. Reservations are definitely recommended.

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Chive Blossom Cafe

85 North Causeway, Pawleys Island • (843) 237-1438

Chive Blossom Cafe serves their fair share of locals and visitors in a quaint, beach cottage atmosphere. Eclectic seafood dishes are highlighted throughout the menu. Dishes include pan sauteed conch, charred octopus and cornmeal fried oysters - and that’s just the starters! The Southern Bouillabaisse is a must-try for your main course. It’s made with shrimp, scallops, little neck clams, flounder, tomato, okra, silverqueen corn and local butter beans in a white saffron broth.

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Hanser House

14360 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island • (843) 235-3021

This family-owned North Litchfield restaurant excels at several things, the first being their house made secret-recipe soups. Guests can start with a cup or bowl of Pawleys Island Red Clam Chowder, Hanser Family She Crab Soup, or Murrells Inlet Stew with oysters and spices in a cream base. From there, consider the Seafood Platter of lightly-battered and fried flounder, shrimp, oysters, scallops, and a crab cake, or the Stuffed Flounder with crab meat and a side of seafood cream sauce.

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Austin's Ocean One

1 Norris Dr, Pawleys Island • (843) 235-8700

The menu at Austin’s Ocean One changes seasonally to offer the best local products and seafood. They offer a variety of small plates including a jumbo lump blue crab cake with smokey bacon and a corn and Lima bean succotash as well as pan seared New England scallops. According to a review the “pistachio crusted grouper is a must have at Austin’s Ocean One.” That’s one recommendation we’ll definitely take as the dish is served with Parmesan risotto, baby beans and a blue crab basil sauce!

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Pawley's Raw Bar

9448 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island • (843) 979-2722

The name of the game here is fresh shellfish, but it isn’t the only one they’re playing well. Guests can start with a selection or two from the raw bar menu – Apalachicola Oysters, Blue Point Oysters, Little Neck Clams, Mussels, Shrimp, or Crab Legs – before moving on to a Low Country Boiler Pot, grilled, fried, or blackened Catch of the Day, Blackened Fish Tacos, or Fried Seafood Platter.

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Litchfield Beach Fish House

13060 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island • (843) 237-3949

The name gives this place away as a good place to go seafood, and the menu definitely delivers the goods. In addition to a daily fresh catch, the numerous Po’ Boy options include grouper, flounder, shrimp, scallops, crab cakes, oysters, and soft-shell crab. And for entrees, highlights include Sesame Scallops, Stuffed Local Shrimp, and a good ol’ Fried Seafood Platter.

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Captain John's Seafood Grill

13057 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island • (843) 235-9300

Captain John’s Seafood Grill describes their menu items as “a seafood feast at neighborhood prices.” If you’re in the mood for good seafood without the bells and whistles, this is the joint for you. Their seafood sandwiches come grilled or fried and topped with haddock, oysters, shrimp, scallops, lump crab cake, clams or even Maine lobster. Feeling adventurous? Try the Ahi Tuna Philly Cheese Steak served with peppers and onions or the spicy fried oyster salad.

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Island Bar and Grill

10744 Ocean Highway, Pawleys Island • 235-3399

This pet-friendly locale features a great happy hour menu with appetizers for just $5 and prides itself on being open 365 days a year. The menu at Island Bar and Grill in Pawleys Island has a variety of sandwiches, hot wraps, entrees, quesadillas, burgers, jumbo wings and appetizers. We think everyone needs some of the Ahi Tuna Nachos to start followed by an order of the grouper tacos served fried, blackened or grilled. Looking for something more traditional? Fill up on a crab cake sandwich or the shrimp or oyster po-boys.

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Wicked Tuna

4123 US-17 BUS, Murrells Inlet • (843) 651-9987

Okay so this one technically isn’t in Pawleys but you can’t have a list of top seafood restaurants without including one form the seafood capital of South Carolina, can you? Wicked Tuna is located along the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk and serves fresh seafood literally right off the boat. We recommend the Ocean Prime Grouper topped with lobster and jumbo lump crab meat over cauliflower puree and sauteed vegetables in a balsamic cream topped with microgreens. You can also opt for sushi creations and raw bar selections at this waterfront dining spot.

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