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Hooray for Hollywood Dining: Five Restaurants Worth a Stop

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 35 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
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Get it by the slice or order a whole pie at Hollywood Pizza.

Travelers tooling down SC Highway 162 through the rural crossroads village of Hollywood aren’t looking for glamour and bright lights. They are likely on their way to the shores of Edisto Island to enjoy the serenity of the beach and the pleasures of dining on fresh SC seafood.

While the “We’re the Real Hollywood” signs will certainly evoke a good-natured chuckle from passersby, when it comes to good eats, this tiny Tinseltown namesake is no laughing matter. If you find yourself hungry and within the vicinity—or if you just want to sample some starring dishes—make a pit stop at one of these locally famous restaurants. And if you’re so inclined, venture just a little farther down the Edisto Island route for a couple more dining surprises. 

Fillin’ Station Diner
This family-owned and -operated Hollywood tradition has been serving award-winning burgers, hot dogs, blue-plate specials and more since 2013. An appreciative fan base fills the tables daily for their fill of made-from-scratch meals for lunch and dinner like country-fried steak with gravy and meatloaf that’s moist enough to rival Mama’s. The house-made desserts are legendary, so save room for caramel pecan cheesecake or whatever decadent treat is on the lineup that day. The retro/automotive theme gives the dining room a whimsical, nostalgic flavor that pairs perfectly with the old-fashioned goodness of the menu.

Hollywood Pizza
From the outside, this little pizza joint’s most eye-catching feature is the red Hollywood star emblazoned on its cinderblock façade. But rest assured, there is magic issuing from the ovens here in the form of New York-style pies with spot-on thin crust with puffed edges, a tasty blend of cheeses, piquant, house-made tomato sauce and a great selection of toppings, generously applied. (Calabrian peppers, anyone?) These slices are huge and just right for those fond of the fold-over technique. There are also Midwest-style pies distinctive for their crispy, thin-to-the-edge, no-yeast crust cut into squares. Vienna Beef Chicago-style dogs, fresh salads and keto pizza bowls round out the menu. While there’s no dining room, out back you’ll find a garden from which greens and other ingredients are sourced as well as a decorative little patio with picnic tables for fun al fresco dining. Order a cold can of craft beer or wine and eat your pizza the way it was meant to be enjoyed: hot and fresh from the oven. There’s a reason why so many Charlestonians go to Hollywood for their pizza.

Pane e Vino
Before opening its doors in Hollywood, this trattoria enjoyed a long run in downtown Charleston. Now, its legion of fans gladly traverses the extra 21 miles to get their pasta fix inside a cozy, renovated fire station. Chef Alfredo Temelini has continued his tradition of serving fine Italian cuisine without missing a beat. Diners here get the same experience they enjoyed in Charleston with attentive service, an interesting and diverse wine list, and expertly prepared favorites like spaghetti alla Bolognese, creamy risotto, house-made gnocchi, and chicken, lamb, duck, pork and fish dishes that are inspired and executed with finesse. The restaurant kicks back on Tuesdays for brick oven pizza and salads only, then reverts to a full-menu, white-tablecloth operation the rest of the week. Reservations are strongly suggested, as is the tiramisu.

Venture just a little farther to check out two more restaurants worthy of applause:

Roxbury Mercantile, Meggett 
Just a short drive from Hollywood along SC 174 toward Edisto, you’ll find this historic dining gem that most recently housed Captain Jimmy Bell’s seafood cafe. Renovated and named for the general store that burned down after serving the area for six decades, this restaurant is infused with Southern charm and a Lowcountry menu worthy of a place in local culinary lore. The outdoor areas are designed for socializing, with a fire pit, joggling boards and rockers on the homey front porch, a small stage for live entertainment, and a prettily landscaped patio with plenty of tables for diners. Inside, the atmosphere is warm and friendly, with a bar that knows how to crank out the cocktails, wine and brew to a fun-loving crowd. The food is something to crow about, too, with fresh seafood dishes, pulled pork platters, inventive tacos and regional sides like Sea Island red peas, red rice and local stone-ground grits. In the mood for a great hot dog? Get one here featuring franks made from Brasstown Farm's grain-fed beef. House-made desserts like red velvet cake and cheesecake are always on point, too.

Edingsville Grocery, Edisto 
Go a few miles farther on SC 174 and pull off at this recent addition to the local dining scene. Super fresh seafood is the specialty of the house, courtesy of brothers Russell and Robert Hughs who hail from Conway. They fired up this restaurant in 2021, blending a coastal vibe with homey touches like antiques, framed family pics and a fireplace for chilly nights. Chef Robert heads the kitchen where local catch is transformed into shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, crab cakes and more. Barbecue plates can be completed with regional favorites like homemade hash and rice, butter beans and Adluh grits. Start with an order of the house-made pimento cheese to get your meal off to a proper South Carolina start. And for a perfect ending, order a cup of coffee and a slice of one of Chef Robert’s delicious cakes.

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 35 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.