Myrtle Beach dining: A foodie’s guide to the Grand Strand

 
The Library in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a haven for foodies.
The Library in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a haven for foodies.
 

What is a foodie, exactly? Blogs all over the internet are full of opinions, but I think it’s generally safe to say that foodies appreciate eateries where the emphasis is on quality ingredients being used to create new and unusual flavor combinations. This might mean that appreciation for cuisines from foreign lands is inherently part of a foodies framework. Also, must a foodie be a locavore, at least sometimes? Must a foodie allow themselves to be satisfied with the same old for only so long? These are questions better answered over a memorable dining experience, so here are some options along the Grand Strand.

Happy Hour Foodie

Divine Prime, 1160 Farrow Parkway, Myrtle Beach (843) 839-9790
This normally expensive fine dining establishment offers numerous tapas for happy hour, all at half price. Choose from highlights like Pork Belly, Prime Beef Truffle Sliders, and something called Tofu Agedashi (sweet soy broth, radish, wild mushroom). Prices start at $2.50 per small plate if you’re there from 4-7 any day of the week. 

The Library, 1212 N Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach (843) 448-4527
Once you’re inside The Library, you might as well be in an Ivy League Professors Lounge. But there’s definitely nothing wrong with eating like a snob every once in a while, especially at these prices. Oysters Rockefeller, Escargot Chablisiens, Steak Tartare, and Beef Carpaccio are all half off from Monday to Friday from 5-6. Yes, these dishes have been around forever. And there’s a good reason for that.

Foreign Food Foodie

Redi-et Ethiopian Cuisine, 746 Main Street, Myrtle Beach (843) 238-2879
This should really be in any foodie’s regular rotation. Billed as the only Ethiopian restaurant in South Carolina (what’s up now, Charleston?), getting to read the names of the dishes is worth the price of admission. Alicha Siga Bedinich (beef stew), Kei Doro Wat (spicy chicken and hard boiled eggs)? Awesome. Offering some of the most unique flavors in the area and plenty of vegan options, Redi-et is worth a try for any enthusiastic eater.

Sobaya Japanese Bistro, 3590 St. James Avenue, Myrtle Beach (843) 839-4899
Very distinctive compared to the legions of hibachi menus in the area. If it’s the little things that count, the brown rice at this little bistro scores big points, as does the menu. Using all kinds of words you’ve never heard before, Sobaya serves proteins like short rib, smoked pork spare rib, monkfish, and duck meatballs along with all the other usual suspects (chicken, beef, shrimp, etc). And talk about diversity of menu – the options range from creative appetizers to bento boxes to ramen and other Japanese/Thai noodle soups, stir-fry noodles, entrée salads, and rice dishes. Have a sweet tooth? Try the green tea ice cream.  

Fancy Foodie

Fire and Smoke, 411 79th Avenue, Myrtle Beach (843) 449-0085
The area’s newest foodie haven, this gastropub puts equal effort into food and drink. Serving a tapas menu full of things like Duck Confit Nachos, Lamb Porterhouse with fig gastrique and carmelized onion bread pudding, and a Charcuterie Plate with black truffle salami, Wagyu bresaola, and wild boar prosciutto, Fire and Smoke also carries numerous craft beers, an ample wine selection, and elusive liquors such as Pappy Van Winkle 20 year.

Rivertown Bistro, 1111 3rd Avenue, Conway (843) 248-3733
The emphasis on and aptitude for creatively using local ingredients automatically qualifies the Bistro for this list. And with a menu that changes with the seasons, it would be hard to get tired of this Conway gem. Were there an award for best use of grits, Rivertown would win, hands-down. Cheese grits accompany crab and crawfish stuffed rainbow trout, while a jalapeno grit cake tags along with shrimp, sausage and tasso gravy. Other starch standout’s on the dinner menu include a mac’ n’ cheese noodle cake, tomato and spinach risotto, and roasted chive and crème fraiche new potatoes.

 

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