When I visited Beaufort as a guest last fall, I was happily surprised to discover that restaurants in Beaufort SC are serving creative, exceptional meals! Beaufort might be a small town, but it rivals any of the big cities when it comes to its culinary scene.
Since living on the water is such a huge part of Beaufort life (#BFTLife), it stands to reason that fresh-caught seafood is a menu favorite, and the area’s Gullah-inspired flavors have also contributed to Beaufort’s wildly delicious lowcountry cooking.
Saltus River Grill
(802 Bay St., Beaufort, S.C.) Website
This upscale eatery overlooking the river is one of the finest in town and specializes in seafood, steak and sushi. Chef Brian Waters has created a modern lowcountry menu with locally sourced ingredients, cutting-edge flavors and sophisticated presentations.
I started with a bowl of split pea soup that blew my mind. The server told me it was unlike any split pea soup out there, and he was right. Delicious! My entree was the Keegan-Filion Farms roasted chicken with mashed potato puree, house bacon, brussels sprouts and apple cider jus, and it was sensational. For seafood lovers, don’t miss the shrimp and grits. My table mates absolutely loved it.
Dessert is the perfect finishing touch, and if it’s a chilly evening, the outdoor fire pit on the stone patio is a cozy spot to sit and enjoy the water view.
Lowcountry Produce Market and Café
(302 Carteret St., Beaufort, S.C.) Website
In what was once the Old City Hall, you’ll now find this popular neighborhood market and café, and it’s an absolute treat. The menu is full of regional Southern dishes, and they’re so appealing that it’s hard to decide what to order. The building itself is open, airy and filled with freshly made baked goods, local produce, artisan foods and more.
My comfort food is grilled cheese, and the Oooey Gooey might have been the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. The garlic pepper jelly (which I’ve since purchased) was incredible!
Old Bull Tavern
(205 West St., Beaufort, S.C.)
This European-style gastro pub is so popular that it doesn’t even need a traditional sign, and the ever-changing menu ensures you can try something new every time you visit. And when I say an ever-changing menu, I mean there’s a new menu every day. With an emphasis on homemade, seasonal and local ingredients, and an impressive line-up of specialty cocktails, craft beers and wine, it’s a foodie’s delight.
We began by ordering bruschetta with fresh mozzarella and tomato salad, which was ridiculously good. For my entree I chose the house-made pappardelle with marinara sauce — sublime! A dessert of fresh berries with whipped cream capped the meal to perfection.
Scout Southern Market
(709 Bay St., Beaufort, SC) Website
It wouldn’t be a proper visit to Beaufort without trying one of the Sweet Tea Floats at Scout Southern Market. Two scoops of either peach or lemon sorbet are topped with iced tea in a tall glass, and it’s as refreshing as it is delicious. I highly recommend it!
Although I only had a chance to try a few of the best restaurants in Beaufort SC, it’s clear that the culinary scene is exploding there, and visitors will not be disappointed. Lowcountry cuisine is on the rise!
For more information on these Beaufort SC restaurants and the area in general, check out www.beaufortsc.org.