Cherry-Picking the Best Restaurants in Cherry Grove Beach

President George Washington passed through this town in 1791 during his tour of the Southern States and stopped to dine in nearby Little River. More than two centuries later and hungry visitors are discovering this diamond in the rough for restaurants and relaxation. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Intracoastal Waterway to the west and the larger towns of Little River and North Myrtle Beach to the north and south, respectively, this small fishing village has managed to maintained an island-like seclusion and an old-school beach town identity that makes it a distinct community. That uniqueness is reflected in the restaurants of Cherry Grove Beach. From waterfront seafood shacks to some of the finest dining on the Grand Strand, Cherry Grove offers a wide range of choices for such a small area. Most come with an amazing view of the diverse landscape with spectacular vistas of the ocean, waterway, sunset and marinas. Enjoy the ocean breeze and view at 3500 North Ocean Grill or watch the sun set and ships roll in at Capt. Poo's Bar & Grill or Filet's on the Water. Visitors also can get a true taste of the close-knit community and some good country cooking at Duffy's or The Shack. Just tell them George sent you.


Hamburger Heaven
Photo courtesy of Hamburger Heaven

Fortunately, you don't have to die to go there. But for regular customers, Hamburger Heaven is to die for, a little slice of comfort-food heaven in the small community of Cherry Grove Beach. But don't let the name fool you. Yes, they make a mean burger, and lots of them, like the popular Pimento Cheeseburger and the Double Jumbo Cheeseburger for the brave and hungry. But Hamburger Heaven also specializes in good country cooking, offering daily specials such as fried shrimp and shrimp tacos. Located on the second floor of a stilted beach house, the hot pink exterior and brightly colored interior create a casual atmosphere you want and expect in a beach town.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: Despite all the seafood and fine-dining choices, sometimes your body wants the comfort food Hamburger Heaven is cooking.

Terry's expert tip: Make sure to try the sweet potato chips that are sliced and deep-fried on-site.

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Screamin' Pig BBQ
Photo courtesy of Screamin' Pig BBQ

From the curb, the Screamin' Pig isn't much to look at - that's how you know they serve good barbecue. This hole in the wall was once a drive-in and walk-up style diner that has been concerted into a family dining establishment, but iot more than makes up for what it lacks in curb appeal with tasty barbecue and other country classics. Serving slow-cooked pork over hickory coals as well as barbecue chicken and ribs, accompanied by some of the best sides in town - hot hushpuppies and fries, cole slaw and BBQ beans and some excellent banana pudding and other desserts. Stick around after your meal for a game of cornhole outside. Raining or cold out? Forget the pizza and order take out or delivery from the Pig.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: Good Southern barbecue is hard to find on the north side, but the Screamin' Pig has your fix with all the fixin's.

Terry's expert tip: Try not to fill up on the hot hushpuppies and butter before your order arrives.

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Capt. Poo's calls itself "North Myrtle Beach's Best-Kept Secret," but the word is out on this Cherry Grove Beach hot spot. Located beside a marina on the Intracoastal Waterway beneath the Highway 17 overpass, Capt. Poo's is easier to access by boat than vehicle. But that doesn't stop patrons from coming in by both land and sea to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and excellent food. Offering some of the freshest seafood on the waterway, Capt. Poo's specializes in fish, shrimp, crab legs and more. Daily lunch specials are also popular, with country-style blue plate lunches for only $6. Relax by the water on the patio deck and enjoy a cold drink while watching the boats float by and listening to live music.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: Capt. Poo's is the place to go if you're looking for a nice place to party to go with your seafood.

Terry's expert tip: Happy hour is the time to check out Capt. Poo's. Drinks are discounted and wings, oysters, shrimp and crawfish are only 45 cents apiece.

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Relax on the shore of the Intracoastal Waterway and enjoy some of the best steaks, seafood and sushi on the Grand Strand at Filet's on the Water. Located at Harbourgate Marina beneath the historic Little River Swing Bridge, Filet's make for a great place to watch fishing boats return from a long day at sea. Don't be surprised if the fresh catch winds up on your plate as Filet's uses local seafood from fleets that sail out of the marina. But as the name implies, steaks and chops are what this place is known. Featuring hand-cut filets of prime beef, you'll be tempted to go for the surf and turf even if your surroundings suggest seafood. Indoor and outdoor seating are available and happy hour is a big draw for locals and tourists alike.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: Filet's offers an excellent combination of great food, atmosphere and view, and the crowd is as eclectic as they come.

Terry's expert tip: Filet's regularly features live music on the patio deck and has some of the best sushi on the waterway.

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You won't find a better combination of a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and exquisitely prepared food under the same roof (or canopy) on the north end of the Grand Strand than 3500 North Ocean Grill. Located behind the Prince Resort at the Cherry Grove Beach Pier, this open-air restaurant offers a relaxing ocean breeze and an unprecedented vista of the Atlantic. The atmosphere is beach casual but the food is something you would expect from a fine-dining restaurant. Excellent steaks and seafood are on the dinner menu, and lighter fare is available for lunch. A breakfast buffet is a great way to start the day as the sun rises over the horizon. This special spot between the beach and the sea makes the perfect environment for surf and turf.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: One of the best beachfront restaurants on the entire Grand Strand, 3500 North Ocean Grill is a must-visit for those on the north end.

Terry's expert tip: Friday evenings are prime rib night, and you can combo it with the fresh catch for an ideal surf-and-turf experience.

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Classic bar food makes up the menu, like the world-famous fried bologna sandwich and fried dill pickle chips, but the atmosphere is the main draw to this seaside shack. Shag dance on the outdoor deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean while you sway to the sounds of the waves and the sweet tunes that have been rocking this beach bar for six decades. Although the music is heavy on the juke box during the week, Harold's is known for attracting some of the top beach music acts in the business - no small feat for a bar this size. But there's plenty of room to dance and spectate, even if it involves listen from a nearby blanket on the beach. Harold's also offers a full menu specializing in seafood, of course, and the ice-cold beer and frozen drinks are always flowing on the open-air deck.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: You might be able to find better food in Cherry Grove Beach, but not a better time.

Terry's expert tip: On crowded nights with popular acts, take a beach blanket and listen to the music without dancing elbow to elbow.

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A bit of a departure from the more family-oriented places that pepper the Strand, SeaBlue is a sophisticated space that caters to diners with discriminating tastes. The dreamy, marine-blue bar area is the perfect place to enjoy a martini, and the intimate, cafe-style tables are smartly appointed with white linens and candles. The tapas-heavy menu allows guests to enjoy several different dishes over the course of their visit, including pan-seared lump crab cakes, Caribbean jerk-rubbed grouper, and petit filet with crumbled gorgonzola and balsamic syrup. Each dish is delivered to the table when it's prepared, ensuring that your group will have a new topic of conversation every few minutes.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: Fresh local seafood, prime beef and excellent sushi make this place a can't-miss for a romantic dinner.

Terry's expert tip: Guests should select several dishes from the tapas menu for the entire table to share to get the full SeaBlue experience.

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The award-winning Parson's Table, housed in a former church, offers true fine dining in an atmosphere of elegance and intimacy. Beautiful stained glass windows dot the interior, which is comprised of several individual rooms that are equally conducive to special family occasions and romantic dinners for two. Menu choices include prime rib, bacon-wrapped filet mignon topped with bernaise sauce and crab, sauteed shrimp with ham and vegetables over cheese grits, and sauteed shrimp and scallops in lemon butter with pecans and rice pilaf. Wine suggestions accompany each dish, or you may select something from the vast wine list. Reservations are recommended.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: The Parson's Table's chef, menu and atmosphere are creative and award-winning.

Terry's expert tip: If you want to treat a loved one to special evening in a romantic environment, book a table for two at The Parson's Table.

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The Shack
Photo courtesy of The Shack

Known for generations as the Biscuit Shack, this Cherry Grove Beach institution is under new management but with the same familiar country classics. The new crew kept the spirit of the old place alive - great Southern cooking and friendly service at a decent price - while updating the menu and decor a bit. The Shack specializes in South Carolina favorites and serves daily meat-and-three specials. The food is like something you can only get at your grandmother's house - true Southern cooking, especially for breakfast. Be sure to save some room for dessert because The Shack makes some of the sweetest around.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: The Shack is the place to go for Southern cooking and hospitality - not to mention gossip.

Terry's expert tip: Breakfast is now served until 2:30 p.m. daily so no need to rush out of bed to get a good taste of breakfast.

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The Brentwood Restaurant

Set in a beautiful white Victorian in Little River, The Brentwood certainly necessitates a wise departure from the Strand's busier drags. This historic abode dates from 1910, features a wrap-around porch and retains its time-tested charm. And it isn't all about appearances at The Brentwood. Guests savor such well-done classics as steak au poivre, prime rib, grilled ostrich, baked lobster tail and veal saltimbocca. Upstairs from the main dining room, there is a classy lounge area that features a full bar. For an area filled with seafood shacks and casual/family options, this award-winning establishment is about as upscale as it gets.

Recommended for Cherry Grove Beach's Best Restaurants because: Dining at the Brentwood is as much about the atmosphere and the experience as it is the food.

Terry's expert tip: Reservations are highly recommended, especially if you plan to try the famous Sunday brunch.

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Meet Terry Massey

It's no surprise that journalist Terry Massey is credited with creating the word 'stay-cation.'  He considers the past 18 years in Myrtle Beach a vacation.

He and his wife Stephanie were...  More About Terry