There are all kinds of wonderful flavors and unique fare to eat in Shelter Cove. Everything from Mexican to Italian restaurants can be found. Don’t forget about all of the fresh seafood, straight from the local waters, that the restaurants serve. And there’s no better way to enjoy these great meals than sitting outside under the shaded patios overlooking the harbor.
Top Dawg Tavern
Are you looking for that perfect place to grab a bite to eat or have a drink while visiting with friends and family? Top Dawg Tavern is the place for you! They serve fresh, quality food with a smile.
Come hang out on the outdoor patio and enjoy a full selection of local craft beers. There are plenty of TVs to catch your favorite team or favorite sport, including a jumbo projection screen. Come on in and join the fun! (843) 785-5600. topdawgtavern.com.
Tucked into a southern corner of Shelter Cove is a buzzing cantina serving Mexican on the marina. Start your meal off right at San Miguel’s with chips and some chili con queso, guacamole or bean dip. Order a margarita while you decide whether you want steak, chicken, beef, pork carnitas, chorizo, shrimp or fish tacos.
If tacos aren’t your meal of choice, then consider the variety of quesadillas and chimichangas they serve. With spinach, veggie and wild mushroom, in addition to their typical cheese and fajita quesadillas, there’s a little something for everyone. If you want seafood with Mexican flair, then the crab and shrimp chimichanga or the fish tacos with chipotle mayo and pico de gallo are great options. And their fajita, burrito and enchilada specials with rice and beans are just as good.
San Miguel’s stays pretty busy on weeknights with a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, where an outdoor patio and bar is entertained with live music. It might just be one of the very best restaurants in the harbor. 9 Shelter Cove Ln. (843) 842-4555. sanmiguels.com.
Scott’s Fish Market
Seafood is best eaten casually by the water and Scott’s is the seafood place to eat in Shelter Cove. Their waterfront restaurant is a great stop to make in Shelter Cove, especially if you’re with friends and family who want fresh seafood. The restaurant has been on the island for over 20 years serving fried, baked and blackened seafood, as well as filet mignon and strip steaks, pasta and even chicken sandwiches.
Amid their crabs, oysters, mussel and shrimp starters, they offer bacon-wrapped oysters with sweet and sour sauce and the popular Lump Crab Cake. They also have shrimp and tuna salads, she crab soup and gumbo to get you ready for your main course.
Grilled salmon, blackened tuna and Cajun seared tilapia, grilled swordfish, shrimp and sea scallop fettuccine, steamed mussels and the herb parmesan-crusted grouper are just a few of their fresh seafood selections. Their Charbroiled Mahi Mahi is a hit with a ginger teriyaki marinade, topped with grilled scallops and pineapple rum butter.
They also have sandwiches and chicken for those wanting something other than seafood. And for kids, they serve popcorn shrimp, hot dogs, pasta and chicken tenders with fries. 17 Harborside Ln. (843) 785-7575. scottsfishmarket.com.
ELA’s Blu Water Grille
Looking for a more upscale bistro with great wines and excellent views of the harbor? Then head on over to ELA’s Blu Water Grille. This family-run establishment is a step away from all the crowds, past San Miguel’s, at the eastern most tip of cove, serving seafood and steaks with a little southern flair.
Check out their extensive wine list, with bubbles, chardonnay, Sauvignon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot and fun reds from all over California, Oregon and France, New Zealand, Spain, Italy and Australia.
Start with Mama’s fried green tomatoes, fresh catch skewers, buffalo shrimp or their Margherita pizza and be sure to order one of their decadent salads. It doesn’t matter whether you get the Maine lobster bisque, pear arugula or steakhouse chopped wedge; you really can’t go wrong.
One of their most popular classics is the Ahi Tuna Tartar, which is a marinated ahi tuna over a fresh cucumber and avocado salad. The shrimp cocktail with citrus-poached shrimp and their specialty cocktail sauce is another favorite.
Their variety of entrees are sure to please and might keep you staring at the menu, because they’re all so great and you just can’t decide. Their pan roasted grouper, grilled Atlantic swordfish, flounder, famous crab cakes, steamed lobster and pan seared duck are just a few of their fine dinners. 1 Shelter Cove Ln. (843) 785-3030. elasgrille.com.
Frosty’s Italian Ices
If you need a cool treat after a day filled with fun out in the harbor, then stop by Frosty’s. They have all kinds of cold, sweet snacks to enjoy, from ice cream, Italian ice and slushies to cappuccinos and coffee.
They also sell candy, cotton candy, pretzels and they’re known for their delicious homemade fudge (which can even be ordered). So whether it’s an ice cream bar or a chocolate ice cream cake, their sweet treats wil make you smile. 9 Harbourside Ln. (843) 341-5423. frostysitalianices.com.
Hilton Head Social Bakery
A lovely little french bakery displaying a section of savory pastries, like Brioche, warm flaky croissants, artisan breads, chocolates, wedding cakes and custom-order cakes and more! Stop by for coffee or tea at the coffee bar, free WiFi and daily newspapers. 17 Harbourside Ln. (843) 715-3349. hiltonheadsocialbakery.com.