Best Hidden Gems in Myrtle Beach SC

Hey everyone, Josh Bell here.

Before we get down to the business of me divulging all of my secrets to you people, let me stress that it’s very difficult for me to just blatantly GIVE away all of these restaurants & bars in the Myrtle Beach SC area for your enjoyment. I feel a bit conflicted, however I am indebted, i.e. it’s my job to give these amazing secret hideaways along the Grand Strand the appropriate coverage they deserve; these are some of my favorite places to eat, drink & be merry in Myrtle Beach.

Oh well.  Here goes nothing.

THE SHACK

First things first and in no particular order, we’re gonna get things rolling with Cherry Grove’s, The Shack, sitting on the corner at 1128 Sea Mountain Hwy in North Myrtle Beach.1

No, not the book.

When you and all your friends sit around talking about fried chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits, fried okra … I could go on and on, but I digress. Basically the very definition of good down-home southern cooking.

When you sit around dreaming of all these wonderful down home southern foods, little do you know that you’re talking about The Shack.

The Shack, formerly The Biscuit Shack, opened in May 2010. Scott Childers and Todd Fineran, who are longtime friends and business aquaintances, purchased it after Nora “Boots” Jordan passed away in November 2009. The partners chose to continue with the same style of southern food that made the restaurant a 40 year old Cherry Grove tradition.

There’s only one way to sum up your experience at this treasure trove of gluttony.• Why it made the list: Are you kidding? This place is the definition of good eating.  Say goodbye to that beach body.

HWY 55 BURGERS, SHAKES & FRIES

Did you ever have that friend who took things a little too far?  A little too scary on halloween, a little too big on your highway-55-burgers-friesbirthday?

Well that’s what Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes & Fries did with…well, burgers.

Hwy 55, located in the 501 Tanger Outlet center at 4635 Factory Stores Blvd, Suite B210 in Myrtle Beach, makes an awesome burger.  Plain and simple.

They’re full, lush, juicy.  This is one of the only burgers I’ve found that is comparable to the pictures you see blasted all over your television. So the food is good.  Quality, amazing.

Herein lies the problem, Hwy 55 will give you what they think you can handle.  And they have VERY high expectations of you.

Without further adieu, I give you The 55 Challenge. It has frightened some men to their very souls, and is not for the faint of heart. This is your only warning.

The Five Five Challenge, as 55 calls it, goes as such:

They stack 55 oz. of meat on a burger bun, with at least four toppings. They’ll give you a side of fries and a 24 oz. soft drink. If you can eat all of this in 30 minutes or less, then it’s on the house. If you can’t or if you cheat, then you get to pay.

Regarding The Five Five Challenge, I think Ian Malcolm said it best.• Why it made the list: As far as quality goes, Hwy 55 reigns supreme.  Thick, juicy cheeseburgers, amazing onion rings and fries, and of course The 55 Challenge. Everyone has their Everest, and this is ours.

HAMBURGER JOE’S

Next up we’ll head over to Hamburger Joe’s.hamburger-joes

I’ve never met Joe personally, but the nickname suits him. If you’re searching for a hamburger, cheeseburger, whathaveyou, then rest assured your search is over.

Family owned & operated, Hamburger Joe’s is America’s number one weapon in the battle against anorexia.

Joe’s majored in the art of the hamburger, with minors in hotdogs and sandwiches.

The restaurant itself is situated right on the marsh with a deck available for outdoor seating as well as a large indoor dining hall. And if you’re feeling generous, sign a dollar bill for Joe’s to nail to the wall to reserve your place in Hamburger Joe’s history for years to come.

Hamburger Joe’s has two locations, at 1410 U.S. 17 Business in Myrtle Beach and at 712 48th Avenue South in North Myrtle Beach.• Why it made the list: Because hamburgers are great, and this is where you buy them.

INTERNATIONAL CAFE

Got your passports?  We’re going international.
BarsInternational

International Cafe, that is.

This special little hole-in-the-wall spot is locals central; if you’ve lived here for more then 3 days you’ve heard of International Cafe.

The cafe is situated right smack dab in the heart of North Myrtle Beach at 221 Main St, walking distance to literally everything.  Well not literally, you might need a foot soak if you try to make it to Broadway.

International Cafe has 40 different sandwiches with over 60 different beers from around the world and an array of awesome appetizers (Cheese fries, cheese fries, cheese fries.  That’s all I’m saying.).

The staff is second to none and you’re guaranteed to meet a new friend at International Cafe.

And if you don’t, it’s because you’re not trying hard enough. Stop that.• Why it made the list: Not too big, not too small, great local crowd, amazing service, and tons of beer to choose from.  What more could you ask for?

LULU’S CAFE

image55Whoever, (whomever)? Lulu is, she deserves a pat on the back.

Welcome to Lulu’s Cafe at 1903 N Ocean Blvd in Myrtle Beach, one the best little overlooked establishments on the beach, and I do mean ON THE BEACH, Lulu’s is about 50 yards away from sand.

Lulu’s has incredible chicken and waffles, amazing burgers, and the best eggs benedicts in Myrtle Beach.

In addition to the Lulu locale and the amazing food, Lulu’s is also a sight to see for another huge reason:

THE SUPER COOL 61 by 16 foot wall mural on the side of the building, painted by famed surf artist Drew Brophy.

The mural was completed in 13 days, using 400 pounds of spray paint, and it’s a sight to see.

Lulu’s has been called “The best little diner on Ocean Boulevard”, and it lives up to its name.  If you leave Myrtle Beach without a Lulu’s t-shirt your friends WILL laugh at you.• Why it made the list: Good food, great service, MIMOSAS, super cool ridiculously awesome 60×16 surf mural.

EL CERRO GRANDE

Heading a little south of the border we arrive at El Cerro Grande.6

El Cerro is somewhat of a household name on the Grand Strand, family owned and operated with just eight locations in South Carolina.  If you take nothing else away from this segment, please take this:  QUESO DIP. QUESO DIP QUESO DIP QUESO DIP.

Remember that moment as a child when you first met Santa, or had your first kiss; that one captivating moment you keep up there in your memory as “the greatest moment of your life”? Well get ready to replace it with “that one time you had El Cerro’s Queso Dip”.

On top of that El Cerro has some of the best burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, tortillas, other…illas….if you love Mexican food, this is a must for your Myrtle Beach experience.

Check out El Cerro’s locations to find the restaurant nearest to you.• Why it made the list: Because burritos are the answer to so many of life’s problem’s, and QUESO DIP.

LITTLE PIGS BAR-B-Q

image4In similar fashion with The Shack, this next little piece of roadside heaven has mastered the art of southern cooking.

Little Pigs Bar-B-Q is the best barbecue you will eat.  Conversation over.

One of the best things about eating in the south are all those little hidden mom-and-pop roadside spots that the locals gush over.  Little Pigs is their king. I may never be forgiven for giving this one up, but it’s my job.

They have fantastic onion rings, baked beans, potato salad, and probably (definitely) the best hushpuppies on the Strand. The small, easily overlooked BBQ joint is located right off of Hwy. 17 northbound in Myrtle Beach.

Little Pigs’ hickory smoked pork barbecue sandwiches and chopped plates are untouchable.  They offer family packs with catering options as well, PLUS all pork is hickory smoked daily on premises for 18-20 hours.

Little Pigs sits right off the side of the road at 6102 Frontage Rd in Myrtle Beach.

Don’t miss out on this life-changing experience.• Why it made the list: Bar-B-Q is a southern staple, and this place has got it figured out.

MAXWELL’S

So we all watched the drama unfold as Sam and Diane fell in and out of love, Norm quipped his witty remarks and 4Woody stole the show.

Yes, I’m talking about “Cheers”, and that’s the closest metaphor I can come up with for our next stop, Maxwell’s, at 3456 Sea Mountain Hwy in Little River.

Maxwell’s is a bar and grill that would be fine in its own anonymity. It’s got a great local crowd, live entertainment and the most laid-back atmosphere you’ll find on the beach.

Adjacent to Billy the Kid’s restaurant in Little River, Maxwell’s is the spot where the locals go to wind down after a hard day at the office.  The best thing about Maxwell’s (in my opinion anyway) is if I don’t write this little snippet on it, you’d never know they exist, and that’s how they like it.

Maxwell’s offers an array of beer, wine and liquor, and one of the best burgers you’ll ever come into contact with.

Stop in and check out the ambience at one of the best kept secrets on the Grand Strand.• Why it made the list: Maxwell’s has cold drinks, great food and one of the best atmospheres you can find.

PIER 14

pier-14WHY does everyone travel to the beach?  Well, shopping mostly. But why else? Probably to get away from the snow too.  Ok, ok we’re getting off track, Why the beach?  Because of the ocean, duh!

Here you have Pier 14 Restaurant & Lounge, at 1306 N Ocean Blvd in Myrtle Beach, one of the best experiences in dining you’ll find. Where else can you  find great food, a wide beer selection and THIS VIEW?

Pier 14 was built in 1984 and given a 25 year life span. Hurricane Hugo did its best to shorten that estimate in September of 1989, but Pier 14 was having none of it; in fact, it was one of the only piers to survive Hugo’s force.

Pier 14 offers a lunch, dinner, kids and deck menu as well as a full bar.

When you’re finished with lunch you can head out to the pier for a day of fishing with the family. Pier 14 sells day passes for just $7 which allow you to come and go as you like from opening till closing.  No pole?  No problem, Pier 14 rents poles and bait for all your fish murdering needs.• Why it made the list: Despite the food being amazing the view gets all the credit here, as Pier 14 provides one of the best, most unique views on the beach.  And also it stood up to a hurricane, that’s pretty awesome.

CROSSROADS AT HOUSE OF BLUES MYRTLE BEACH

Last but certainly not least, we have a combined synthesis of culture and amazing food.9

Behold, Crossroads at House of Blues Myrtle Beach, located at 4640 S Kings Hwy in Myrtle Beach.

Now of course we’re all familiar with the House of Blues, but Crossroads is often overlooked. Crossroads is a lively restaurant and bar that features a tantalizing new menu created by celebrity chef and Food Network star, Aarón Sanchez. In addition to the fantastic menu, when you dine at Crossroads you get a whole experience. If you’re seeing a show obviously there’s that but if not, the sugar Shack deck is only steps away, an outdoor back deck concert venue with nightly shows throughout the summer.

When it comes to food, Crossroads offers several signature dishes such as shrimp & grits, meatloaf and fire-grilled flatbreads plus some new twists on House of Blues favorites like jambalaya, slow-smoked pulled pork, signature burgers, salads and steaks.

With all the artwork adorning the walls, the rustic decor and the central location, Crossroads is a sight to see.• Why it made the list: Crossroads has great food, service, and an (unduplicatable?) atmosphere. It’s a different dining experience, and a must-see in Myrtle Beach.

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