My husband and I moved to Myrtle Beach 20 years ago, from the great Pacific Northwest. We were so ready to enjoy more than two days in a row of sunshine, and we have certainly not been disappointed. We had heard that Myrtle Beach was the home of hundreds of restaurants, and we looked forward to checking out the dining here on the Grand Strand, as this stretch of beach is called.
Being a pretty good chef in my own right, I knew I would be picky about where we ate out. Over the years, I can count on one hand those restaurants I consider a favorite and those I want to visit over and over. At the risk of ruining quiet evenings out, I'm going to spill the beans and tell you where to find my 3 favorite best "finds." They are all locally owned and operated.
1. Salt Creek Cafe is just 3 miles north of the popular Brookgreen Gardens, in the Murrells Inlet area, just south of Myrtle Beach. It's right on the main Highway 17. You will find it's warm, cozy, and has an outdoor patio where you can dine under a HUGE live oak tree. But the real secret here is the portable sushi station inside the mirrored bar area. The sushi chef, Shozo, is thoroughly Japanese, and is one of the best sushi chefs we have ever encountered anywhere in the world (and we've traveled a lot). Even though he's been in the US over 25 years, his English is still just passable. We've been eating his sushi more than 15 years, and it's not a good month unless we've visited at least a couple times.
2. eNoodles & Co. is a locally owned Asian Fusion Bistro, just a block or two from the ocean, on 20th Ave. S., on the south end of Myrtle Beach. I love it here and so far the tourists have not found it, so if you want to try it, keep a good eye out because it's easy to miss. We can choose our favorite Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese or Chinese dishes. Of course, there's plenty of southern influence with the soft-shelled crabs when in season.
3. Now, for the Latin flavor, there's Sun City Cafe. I'm sure there's been a stray tourist or two who have wandered in, but typically, this little Cuban food dive is not on the radar. Good for us locals. The menu is very limited, but it's all so good, it just does not matter. It's a small dark place with the craziest, most eclectic decorating you'll ever see. I think there's still a life-sized cardboard poster of Big Bird and Elmo in the restrooms. You can not beat the margaritas! The salsa is homemade and good, but I always ask for a side dish of the chef's special "rocket sauce" to kick it up a few notches.
So, there you have it – I've just probably made a lot of locals mad by telling our secrets, but then maybe they're not reading these articles.
In closing, I do love living here in Myrtle Beach and I welcome you to visit and enjoy the southern hospitality. If you do not know where to stay, I would like to recommend Oceanfront Vacation Rentals . They're the folks who always help me find the best beach condos and houses when my family and friends come to town. They'll treat you right.