Restaurant dishes

8 Local Restaurant Dishes You Must Try in Beaufort SC

Photo courtesy of Q on Bay

Famous for its unspoilt history, blazing sunsets, holm oaks covered in Spanish moss, and laid-back lifestyle, Beaufort has a perfect southern vibe that makes it the perfect escape from everyday life. Not only does the area have scenic views and one-of-a-kind local charm in abundance, but it is also becoming known as a foodie’s paradise.

Beyond fresh seafood, which is a staple here thanks to Beaufort being an island surrounded by salt water, you’ll find local specialties to suit all tastes; from farm-to-table fresh dishes to the most incredible dishes of the Lowcountry.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite in paradise, be sure to seek out these destination-worthy dishes and eat like a local.

Shrimp and Grits at Blackstone’s Cafe

Photo courtesy of Blackstone’s Cafe.

Shrimp and grits is a simple meal that was traditionally a breakfast dish. Many prefer it as a lunch or dinner dish today. It was invented by local fishermen as an easy-to-get seasonal dish of shrimp cooked in bacon grease served over creamy grits. The kitchens in many of our homes here in Beaufort know how to do it, and you should do yourself a BIG favor and head over to Blackstone Cafe and order it. Blackstone’s makes theirs with fresh local Beaufort shrimp and just the right amount of seasoning to give you the taste you’re looking for when visiting the Lowcountry.
Blackstone’s Cafe • 205 Scott Street • Downtown Beaufort SC

Local Fried Green Tomatoes at Dockside

In the 20th century, the agriculture of our Maritime Islands shifted from cotton and indigo to tomatoes and was at one time a major supplier to the rest of the United States. Working with what the locals had available, a dish of fried green tomatoes is simply made from unripe (green) tomatoes coated in cornmeal and fried. Quayside restaurant goes way beyond tradition and offers a fried green tomato appetizer that is out of this world. Dressed in a secret sauce and topped with black beans, tomatoes, corn, and scallions, it’s definitely an old staple with a new twist.
Dockside Restaurant • 71 Sea Island Parkway • Ladys Island SC

Crab soup at Panini’s on the Waterfront

Photo courtesy Panini’s on the Waterfront

Crab soup is a rich soup similar to chowder or bisque, made with heavy cream, crab broth or fish and local crabmeat. It is very popular along the coast from Charleston, SC to Savannah, GA and will quickly become one of your favorites. It is named after the female crab because its roe (roe) is a key ingredient and some of the best in all of Beaufort is found at Panini by the water downtown. Creamy and grumpy, Panini crab definitely goes hand in hand with being in the Lowcountry.
Panini’s on the Waterfront • 926 Bay Street • Downtown Beaufort SC

Chicken Salad with Roasted Pecans and Cranberries at Wren Bistro

Besides the roasted pecans and cranberries, the chicken salad recipe at Wren Bistro is known to be a secret. Image courtesy Wren Bistro

There’s nothing sexy or scream-worthy about chicken salad. That is, until you tried it at Wren Bistro & Bar downtown. People love it. Besides the toasted pecans and cranberries, the chicken salad recipe at Wren’s is known to be a secret. A perfect breakfast selection, it’s served with whole-grain bread and on a hearty plate bursting with fresh fruit.
Wren Bistro & Bar • 210 Carteret Street • Downtown Beaufort SC

Fried local prawns at Q on Bay

Photo courtesy of Q on Bay

You can’t be in Beaufort and not enjoy our fresh locally caught shrimp. It would be like being in St. Louis or Memphis and not trying ribs, or being in Pittsburgh without eating pierogies. It’s just not appropriate and you would probably regret it. If you’re looking for local prawns and want to sample some right off the boat, order the fried prawns at Q on the bay downtown. Beaten and seasoned just right, they are incredible. Or try them grilled, steamed, blackened, barbecue-glazed, or buffalo-fried at Q. You’ll go home knowing that no shrimp is better than the one you had in Beaufort.
Q on Bay • 822 Bay St. • Downtown Beaufort SC

Local Tomato Pie at Herban Market & Cafe

Photo courtesy of Herban Market and Cafe

Tomato Pie is a special dish that is available during the summer here in Beaufort SC when the local tomatoes are harvested. It is usually made with a combination of tomatoes, Vidalia onions and herbs covered with a semi-hard filling consisting of a mixture of mayonnaise and grated cheeses. Served hot or cold, it’s a local favorite and it will quickly take over your taste buds and become something you look forward to every year, just like many of our locals already do. The tomato pie Herban market and cafe is a light version of this classic southern dish. Made with organic tomatoes, Greek yogurt, havarti cheese, and a flaky crust, it’s a healthy (AND VERY TASTY) modern take on the classic southern dish that dates back to the early 1800s.
Herban Market & Cafe • 1601 North Street • Beaufort SC

A shrimp burger at Shrimp Shack

Photo courtesy of Shrimp Shack

Shrimp burgers are definitely a local favorite. Once nothing but a hearty lunch for local shrimpers, burgers are now a staple here in the Lowcountry. A shrimp burger is simply a cake of shrimp and seasonings served on a bun, with lettuce, tomato, and the sauce of your choice. Simply put, Shrimp Shack has the most sought after shrimp burger in all of the Lowcountry. Just ask Southern Living Magazine. They will tell you. No foodie trip to Beaufort is complete without a trip to St. Helena.
Shrimp Shack • 1925 Sea Island Parkway • Île Sainte-Hélène SC

Salmon at Breakwater Restaurant & Bar

Do yourself a favor and order the fresh Scottish salmon at Breakwater Restaurant & Bar. Image courtesy of Breakwater

Breakwater restaurant and bar does some very special things with fresh Scottish salmon. As a menu item, it’s made with an orange and lemon infused olive oil, but as a feature, the sky’s the limit. We saw a fantastic seared salmon steak with apple cider glaze, and even smoked salmon with fries. If it’s not wild salmon, Breakwater won’t serve it.
Breakwater Restaurant & Bar • 203 Carteret Street • Downtown Beaufort SC

Article contributed by Brancho gene


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