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Myrtle Beach Restaurants Serve Tasty Fare, Family Atmosphere



Going out for lunch or dinner during your family vacation can be a real hassle, but it doesn't have to be if you know where to go. Many restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area cater to families with varying taste buds and tastes in entertainment. That's right, some places are famous for serving up heaping helpings of both food and fun for families looking for more than just another meal.

Novelty restaurants like Dick's Last Resort have a hook for families looking for good food as well as good-natured exchanges with the wait staff. Servers crack jokes with patrons, sing songs and make mock dunce caps for the kids, who will enjoy the rare treat of using bad table manners in a socially acceptable environment. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville also offers great "restau-tainment" with stilt-walkers, balloon artists and other characters roaming the restaurant and entertaining customers, and the hourly "Hurricane Warning" sees the whole place singing along to Buffett tunes while a giant blizzard stirs up a storm.

Of course, good food is the biggest factor in your dining decision and there are plenty of quality establishments with extensive menus for maximum people-pleasing. Special kids menus and buffet stations. Try Original Benjamin's Seafood Buffet has all the little ones' favorites, as well as diverse choices for the grown-ups. Check out Dagwood's Deli and Hamburgers Joe's for a nice, affordable dinner or lunch.


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Dudley the dog and inspirational namesake may be dead and gone, but this saloon is still going strong! Another in a long line of solid Murrells Inlet eateries, Dead Dog Saloon delivers a tasty array of fresh seafood, steaks, burgers and pasta dishes. Without a doubt, the place's chief asset is its awesome patio deck, which offers great views of the water and even a few hammocks for lazing with a cold one. Speaking of spirits, this fish-shack style restaurant is believed by many to be haunted by the ghost of Dudley, so be sure to save a hushpuppy or two as a peace offering.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: This legendary establishment burned to the ground in 2011, but a new-and-improved version is open and better than ever.

Terry's expert tip: Request a table on the patio deck for scenic views of the inlet to go with your fresh seafood.

Read more about Dead Dog Saloon →




The name may say Italian, but the sign out front says "Greatest Steaks in the Universe," and there are many repeat customers who will testify to that statement. Hand-cut Grade A steaks are cooked and served on a cast-iron skillet, sizzling their way all the way to your table and drawing the envy of those around you who wish they hadn't ordered the linguini. The Italian menu is vast and tasty, so this is a good place to come if you have folks with differing tastes in your party. But the steaks are what make this such a popular place among locals and tourists alike.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: This popular establishment has something for the whole family - surf-and-turf for the bigger eaters and the Italian buffet for the kids.

Terry's expert tip: A great spot for people with children in their party. Kids eat free from the Italian buffet with a paid adult.

Read more about Angelo's Steak & Pasta →


Dick's Last Resort


You'll either love it or hate it, but you'll never know unless you try it. Extra large portions of typical American food - ribs, steaks, chicken wings, fried shrimp, buckets of fries and the like - is only half the story. The other half is the legendary service rendered by the saucy and energetic staff. Some folks say the servers are rude and disrespectful; others say, "Lighten up, it's all in good fun!" However you interpret it, you're sure to agree that Dick's has its own distinct personality. Check it out when you're really hungry and in a really good mood.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Dick's Last Resort turns a family dinner into a hilarious exchange with intentionally rude servers.

Terry's expert tip: If you don't want the servers to mess with you, just say so and they'll leave you alone. But trading barbs with the staff is part of the experience.

Read more about Dick's Last Resort →


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Legendary crooner Jimmy Buffett sang about this mythical place back in the 1970s, and now it has become a reality. Margaritaville is everything Buffett sang about and more, featuring shrimp that are beginning to boil and generous servings of frozen concoctions that help you hang on. Located in the Heroes Harbour section of Broadway at the Beach, just below a tall lighthouse and beside a mock shipwreck, walking through the doors is like taking a trip to the Caribbean with Buffett himself. The dining area is decorated in typical tropical style and the menu, loaded with fresh seafood, salads, sandwiches, and music are inspired by the life and times of Buffett.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: There's always a party going on in the huge bar and outdoor deck, where live music plays nightly during the summer months.

Terry's expert tip: Grab a seat on the patio deck at night and enjoy live music with your dinner and drinks.

Read more about Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville →




This local pizza chain takes fun and games to the next level with a new concept on Restaurant Row. Featuring an arcade and sports bar in addition to a traditional pizzeria, Ultimate California Pizza provides a fun place for families to dine and play together. The arcade offers a nice mix of old-school amusements and the latest high-tech video games, and players can win tickets to exchange for a prize at the gift counter. Parents can join in the fun or take a break from the little ones by stopping in the sports bar. The dining area is family friendly and the pizza is among the most popular in town.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Parents find UCP to be the perfect place to let the kids burn off some energy and enjoy their favorite dish.

Terry's expert tip: Visitors can purchase an Eat & Play Combo pass that includes a personal pizza, drink and a $5 game card for a discounted rate.

Read more about Ultimate California Pizza Game Zone →


Hamburger Joe's


Hamburger Joe's is the perfect lunch spot if you're on a tight vacation budget. In fact, you can probably afford to splurge and get some wings and a beer along with your cheeseburger, which comes heaped with coleslaw, chili, onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, or whatever combination you'd prefer. Kids enjoy the fried bologna sandwich, hot dog, or grilled cheese; grown-ups appreciate the onion rings - and the fact that they can get a rum and coke or a Long Island Iced Tea with their burger or BLT. The screened-in back porch also offers spectacular views of the salt marsh.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Kids and adults love Hamburger Joe's food, atmosphere and affordability.

Terry's expert tip: Hamburger Joe's has $1 domestic drafts ALL THE TIME! Big parties can save money by buying discounted pitchers.

Read more about Hamburger Joe's →


Dagwood's Deli
Photo courtesy of Dagwood's Deli


Named after the famous cartoon character with an affinity for sandwiches stacked to the ceiling, Dagwood's Deli follows the same recipe for a long time, lunch-time favorite that has patrons lined up out the door. Beat the rush by calling ahead and picking up a picnic package that won't leave you hungry. Offering deli meats that are sliced on site, fresh deli bread big enough to hold a skyscraper and all the veggies and fixings, Dagwood's keeps them coming back for more by being more than generous with the ingredients. Grab some chips, fries or pasta salad to go with it and enjoy the feast. Wash it all down with a cold drink or beer.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Dagwood's is only one block from the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, so families can grab a sandwich and enjoy a picnic on the beach.

Terry's expert tip: If you have time to dine in, be sure to check out the adjoining Bumstead's Pub for sports, games and a diverse beer menu.

Read more about Dagwood's Deli →


Original Benjamin's
Photo courtesy of Original Benjamin's


Original Benjamin's is a Myrtle Beach stalwart, loved as much for its gargantuan seafood buffet as for its eclectic nautical decor. Each of the nine dining rooms has plenty to occupy your eyes, including an 800-gallon saltwater fish tank with sharks and eels, museum-quality nautical relics and an impressive collection of model ships. And the buffet is overflowing with Calabash-style (fried) seafood, broiled fish, crab cakes and snow crab legs - about 170 items in all, plus impressive salad and dessert bars, a carving station, on-site bakery and more. The raw bar and the steam table are the most popular spots in the huge dining area.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: In addition to offering kids' favorites on the buffet, like pizza and chicken fingers, there's also a nautical museum and aquarium display for children.

Terry's expert tip: If you love crab legs, pay the extra $5 and eat nothing but crab legs. You'll definitely get your money's worth.

Read more about Original Benjamin's →


Bummz Beach Cafe
Photo courtesy of Bummz Beach Cafe


The name says it all for this casual, come-as-you-are bar and grill, where patrons often stroll up from the beach with sand on their feet for a bite to eat and a cold one. Ocean views, frozen concoctions, live music and great food is what it's all about at Bummz Beach Cafe, which offers all these and more in a fun-filled and family-friendly atmosphere just steps away from the ocean. Situated in a 1930's beach house setting, guests can sip on a cocktail while lounging in beach chairs and hammocks on the back patio deck, or get their grub on via a host of tasty burgers, sandwiches and salads.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: Carolina Roadhouse's diverse menu features items for picky adults and kids.

Terry's expert tip: The menu is loaded with can't-miss classics, but the Bummz Burger, which is loaded with bacon, coleslaw, mushrooms and two kinds of cheese, is a unique and filling fixture.

Read more about Bummz Beach Cafe →


Dave & Buster's
Photo courtesy of Dave & Buster's


This national chain offers good times, great food and cold beer. Part sports bar and part video arcade, Dave & Buster's provides a fun atmosphere for both families and for grownups who are kids at heart. The arcade is unlike any other, featuring games built specifically for Dave & Buster's franchises, as well as sports-themed games, interactive virtual-reality amusements, and carnival-style contests of skill. The restaurant and sports bar are perfect for catching the big game and enjoying a diverse menu of food and drinks. Located in the Celebrity Square section of Broadway at the Beach, Dave & Buster's is in the heart of the nightlife district.

Recommended for Family Friendly because: The laid-back atmosphere and diverse menu are a winning combination for families looking for a good time and meal.

Terry's expert tip: Purchase an "Eat Drink Play" combo pass to save money on food, beverages and games.

Read more about Dave & Buster's →


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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

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