26 Jul 2018
Though not well known, South Carolina has a variety of dishes that would be considered “authentic” local cuisine. Some of these are traditional southern favorites, and some truly are unique creations that locals and tourists alike have loved for years.
Traditional Southern Cuisine
If you are familiar with traditional southern food, you may have tried shrimp and grits. This is a mainstay on local menus throughout the state, but may vary slightly depending on where you order it. There are some upscale variations on this dish, using fresh jumbo Atlantic shrimp, specialty cheeses, and varying blends of spices to make sure each chef’s recipe is distinguished from others.
Raw oysters are another favorite, and dozens of oyster bars around Myrtle Beach serve up raw or cooked oysters fresh from nearby waters. Crab cakes made from fresh local blue crabs are also a must-have if you want a tried-and-true seafood dish. Again, many variations of this can be found in the area, from upscale restaurants to crab cake sandwiches from festival vendors.
South Carolina also takes its barbecue seriously! Whether you like vinegar based sauce or thick, tangy sauce, plenty of barbecue joints serve melt-in-your mouth smoked pork and beef sans sauce so you can customize your flavor with the sauce of your choice.
Unique South Carolina Favorites
If you are the kind of foodie that loves local inventions that can’t be found anywhere else, there are a couple of favorites you must have while you’re in town. Chicken bog is a South Carolina staple and is made with rice, chicken, and sausage. Some people will add vegetables or hot sauce to their recipe for extra flavor. Don’t forget to try chicken bog at local restaurants, cookouts, festivals, and even the annual “bog off” in Loris, SC.
If seafood is more your style, head up to Calabash, NC to partake in “Calabash-style” seafood. There are many fishing vessels that unload their fresh catch directly to the waterfront restaurants so you can enjoy the freshest fried seafood you've ever had.
By Brandon Moss of Ocean Drive Beach Rentals