Beachtime with the family is great fun. Finding a restaurant to suit everyone - maybe not so much. When the hungries hit, nobody wants to wring their hands over where and what to eat. Whereas Dad is dreaming of a giant steak dinner, Mom might want pasta, and Grandma might be envisioning a steamy bowl of soup. And when it comes to the kids, well, they want an exciting kiddie menu and atmosphere to match.
Let us take some of the guess-work out of the "where to eat" dilemma. Here are our top picks for family-friendly spots to eat when you visit Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand.
The Original Benjamin's Calabash Seafood
What it's known for: Benjamin's has been serving up seafood - much of it locally sourced - to hungry families since 1986. Folks love the Calabash-style offerings, which are lightly breaded and fried to golden, crispy goodness. Bring the whole crew and head to the buffet, because they really mean "all you can eat." It's also tons of fun for kids who will be amazed to see one of the world's largest nautical collections and enjoy climbing aboard the seafaring dinghy, getting their pic taken in the pirates' corner and more!
What it's known for: LuLu's at Barefoot Landing offers a beachy dining experience for adults with some key features that appeal to the kiddie crowd. Tables have plenty of elbow room and the food hits all the right notes: crisp salads, juicy burgers, enticing tacos, fresh fish and shrimp, tasty rice bowls, Southern sides and a tangy Key lime pie. (The Krispy Kreme bread pudding is worth consideration, too.) The menu (based on the recipes of owner, Lucy Buffett - Jimmy's sister), includes a lineup for folks with dietary restrictions. There's also a sandy ‘beach’ where kids can play while parents kick back with a cold beverage - sounds pretty perfect, right?
What it's known for: For more than 30 years, Angelo's has been serving oh-so-tempting hand cut steaks, but the real pleaser is the homemade Italian buffet. Your family can be choosy, or try it all. There's plenty of comfortable seating, so you can all sit together and the wait won't be long. An early bird menu, kids menu, and complimentary buffet for kids 3 and younger make Angelo's a solid family favorite.
What it's known for: A Myrtle Beach staple for 45 years, the Chesapeake House knows what it takes to keep families coming back year after year. With each meal you'll get homemade cinnamon rolls and hush puppies for the table as well as a fresh bowl of their famous fish stew. Senior and kids menus offer just the right portions and variety for those with lighter appetites.
Style: Seafood, casual, family-friendly, dinner
Address: 9918 US 17 North, Myrtle Beach
Johnny D's Waffles & Benedicts
What it's known for: Chef Jamie Daskalis (South Carolina Chef Ambassador 2020-2021) has a reputation for luscious waffles, skillets, pancakes, omelets, benedicts, pastries and great craft cocktails. This means you can get the breakfast/brunch of your dreams at all three Grand Strand locations of Johnny D's. Savory lunch offerings aren't shabby, either - think juicy burgers, triple-decker sandwiches, Mexican-inspired dishes, and a build-your-own grilled cheese option. Snack-size servings are great for lighter appetites. There is also a menu for the health-conscious as well as "He Man" servings for the extra hungry.
Style: Casual, lively, breakfast, brunch, lunch, early bird menu
Address: 3301 N. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach (See website for other Grand Strand locations)
River City Cafe
What it's known for: For a truly good burger and a place where it's OK to be a little loud and a little messy, River City Café is just right. The menu features plenty of classics like the bacon cheeseburger, crispy chicken tenders, fresh salads, shrimp and fish platters. But you can also go a bit rogue with one of their more adventurous offerings like the peanut butter bacon burger. (It's really good!) And don't dare leave without documenting your vacation on the wall!
Address: 11 N. Seaside Dr., Surfside Beach (See website for other Grand Strand locations)
What it’s known for: Although it looks a lot different than it did when it opened in 1937, Peaches Corner continues to be the place that families go to make vacation memories. Stop into the diner anytime between 10 and 12 a.m. for a famous foot-long hot dog and ice cream cone, and start making some traditions of your own.
Style: Diner, casual, family-friendly
Address: 900 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach
Sea Captain's House
What it's known for: A trip to the beach and good food are two of the best ways to bring a family together. Sea Captain's House offers the best of both with its unbeatable ocean view and fresh seafood dishes. In fine weather (which is often in these parts), sit a spell outside and enjoy listening to live music while watching the waves. Order the fresh catch of the day and a bowl of she crab soup for yourself and get the little ones something yummy from the kids menu.