Best Eats on Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island

Located 13 miles north of Charleston, the barrier islands of Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island are as rich in history as they are in beauty. Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan’s Island, was built in 1776 to defend Charleston against British attack. The soft palmetto logs that formed the walls of the early rampart absorbed the British shells during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, in which the Patriots emerged victorious. (After that battle, the palmetto tree was adopted as the South Carolina state symbol.)

Today the wide, sandy beaches on Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island each have a different feel. In high season, the public beach park on Isle of Palms has a resort ambience, while Sullivan’s is more laid-back and residential. Also on Isle of Palms, private Wild Dunes resort encompasses two championship golf courses, a tennis center, a host of accommodations for rent, and the resort’s only hotel, The Boardwalk Inn.

As you’d expect, eateries on Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island are overwhelmingly casual, with beach bars holding sway on several blocks of the Ocean Boulevard strip in the former and along Middle Street in the latter. There are, however, several options for fine dining – some even boast ocean views.

Sea Biscuit Cafe


A tiny place with a big reputation, the Sea Biscuit Café is where the locals gather for their morning meal, just a short walk from the oceanside strip. You can go as light or heavy on breakfast as you like here. The Treehugger (homemade...  Read More



Take a break from the sun at this beachfront bar and restaurant, where you can sit outside on the covered deck and still enjoy a view of the sand and surf. Signatures include Joe's coconut shrimp, Steph's shrimp and grits, and the grouper...  Read More

Sullivan's Island


For smokin' hot barbecue, Fiery Ron's on Sullivan's Island is the place to be. Founded by CIA-trained chef and pitmaster Aaron Seigel, this barbecue joint dishes up heaping helpings of made-from-scratch comfort food, from pulled pork to cornmeal...  Read More

Sullivan's Island


There always seems to be a boisterous crowd on the front porch of this quintessential beach hangout, located two blocks from the ocean on the small commercial strip on Sullivan's Island. Inside, the casual décor and menu both celebrate the life...  Read More



Opened in 1986, this little gem tucks into a small shopping strip just over the IOP Connector Bridge. Long Island Café underwent a facelift of both its dining room and menu in 2012, when restaurateur Michael Proetto and Chef Ravi Scher...  Read More

Sullivan's Island
High Thyme Cuisine


Serving dinner Tuesday through Saturday nights and a popular brunch on Sunday, High Thyme Cuisine is a local find. You might start here with PEI mussels in garlic chile coconut broth or a salad of roasted red beets, grilled asparagus, roasted...  Read More



Everyone loves that little long-established neighborhood restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Acme Lowcountry Kitchen has been a local favorite for years, and even more so since Chef Frank Kline (formerly of The Boathouse) has...  Read More

Sullivans Island
The Obstinate Daughter
Photo courtesy of Andrew Cebulka


Brought to Sullivan's Island in March 2014 by Executive Chef Jacques Larson of Wild Olive on Johns Island, The Obstinate Daughter prides itself on going against the grain. The restaurant's name pays homage to the Battle of Sullivan's Island in...  Read More



A local favorite, this nautical-themed family-friendly restaurant features excellent fresh, local seafood, along with great views of Breach Inlet. The Boathouse offers casual dining both inside and outside on the screened porch (cooled by fans...  Read More



Chef Ken Vedrinski (of Trattoria Lucca on the mainland in Charleston) brings haute cuisine to the Isle of Palms front beach strip in his new Italian seafood place, whose name means "tail of the fish" in Italian. Seafood reaches new heights in...  Read More


Meet M. Linda Lee

As Senior Editor for Michelin Travel Publications for 17 years, Linda worked on the Michelin Guide (the acclaimed red guide to restaurants and hotels), as well as on Michelin’s series of...  More About M. Linda