Last updated on December 1, 2022 by Wandering our World
Just 25 miles southwest of Charleston is stunning Kiawah Island, home to ten miles of Atlantic beaches and nature preserves. This island has the most amazing resorts and private villas that happen to accompany some of the best food South Carolina has to offer.
And luckily for you we know the best restaurants in Kiawah Island to have the best experience cuisine.
In Kiawah Island, you’ll eat at restaurants with delicious dishes while enjoying iconic ocean views. The combination of award-winning food and the lush atmosphere is an unbeatable feature of this island, which is why our carefully selected list of Kiawah Island’s best restaurants is bound to guide your meals on your trip.
Whether you want to dine and watch the water or enjoy the best seafood in the region, take a seat. Here we show you the nine greatest places to grab a bite in Kiawah Island.
1. The Ocean Room at the Sanctuary
Sitting right on the Atlantic Ocean, this aptly named restaurant provides unmatched elegance perfect for those seeking a romantic date night. Using locally sourced beef, poultry, and produce, The Ocean Room’s ever-changing menu is one of the top spots for exceptional cuisine in Kiawah Island.
This is one of the premier steakhouses in the area, but with an extensive wine list that stretches beyond 1,000 selections to match each entree, Not to mention, its Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond ratings, so you have know this is going to be an unparalleled dining experience.
With Executive Chef Robert Rando’s culinary experience at five-star restaurants in Manhattan and the West Coast, you really can’t go wrong with the cuisine here. The signature Ribeye is USDA Certified Angus Beef, 21-day wet-aged and offered in a 16-ounce portion. Most pair the dish with the homemade bearnaise sauce.
Make sure you call for a reservation and dress your best, as they require collared shirts for men and cocktail attire for women.
1 Sanctuary Beach Dr.
2. Cantina 76
Independently owned and oh-so inviting, Cantina 76 serves Mexican-inspired cuisine and is the perfect setting for catching up with friends over a drink or enjoying some tacos with the family. Its handcrafted drinks and welcoming atmosphere make it a breezy and comfortable dining experience, no matter how long you want to stick around.
The range of mixed drinks will suit anyone’s fancy, even offering skinny margaritas for those who want to enjoy a drink while avoiding some calories. Check out their happy hour on weekdays from 4-7 pm for half off margaritas, discounted beer, and sangria!
We highly recommend their Peruvian shrimp tacos and a Cantina margarita. The perfectly lightly fried shrimp drizzled with sesame chili sauce and topped with cool coleslaw are sure to make your mouth water. Not to mention, their salsa is homemade with local ingredients.
219 Farm Lake View Rd.
3. Jasmine Porch
Another restaurant with incredible ocean views lands on our list of the best restaurants in Kiawah Island. Jasmine Porch’s famous Lowcountry cuisine was named some of the “Best Downhome Cookery” by the prestigious Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report. This place is a vision of old Southern hospitality, packaged in a fabulous Kiawah Island restaurant on the water.
Its seasonal menu offers fresh and local seafood, just one facet of the homey atmosphere. The brick walls and oak floors are sure to envelop you with rustic charm and provide a quaint Southern meal experience.
The head chef’s background in a small Midwestern farming community fueled his passion for down-home cooking, and the menu makes that no secret. As a bonus, for breakfast and lunch, a walk-up service is available. At dinner, you must reserve a table.
We recommend the staple entree, Shrimp & Grits, which you can find on the menu during throughout the day at Jasmine Porch. The locally caught shrimp is buttered and placed over organic grits, then topped with tomato gravy.
1 Sanctuary Beach Dr.
4. Loggerhead Grill
Loggerhead Grill is a seasonal restaurant open from May until November. This incredible dining spot offers views of the Atlantic and the Sanctuary Pool, enhancing that whole island feeling.
Complementing the enchanting setting is the menu which has a variety of gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, wraps, and burgers, which couple perfectly with their hand-crafted cocktails.
Their blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos are a must, as they have a bit of a tropical twist. Topped with salsa, sweet and sour slaw, cilantro, and lime, they add a bit of spunk to the typical taco toppings. Just for the tacos alone, this grill makes our list of the best restaurants in Kiawah Island!
1 Sanctuary Beach Dr.
5. La Tela Pizzeria
There is nothing better than sharing a pizza with your loved ones after a long day of sightseeing. At La Tela, you feel the familial atmosphere the moment you walk through the door. The family-owned and operated Neapolitan Pizza restaurant makes their pasta, pizza dough, bread, and mozzarella in-house. Their kitchen features a wood-fired oven and a pasta machine from Italy.
The traditional Italian dishes on the menu are sure to cure your cravings, be it handmade pasta, wood-fired oven pizza, or a simple salad. They don’t take reservations so you can bring any party at any time!
One of their main priorities is utilizing local ingredients, working with farmers from John’s Island and Wadmalaw Island. Look out for La Tela’s seasonal dishes that highlight Italian fare with freshness and care.
133 Village Green Ln.
6. Cherrywood BBQ Ale House
Acting as a stop on the South Carolina BBQ Trail, Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House offers savory meats smoked low-and-slow in true Carolina fashion. With more than 60 local, imported, draft, and craft beers, there is a drink to accompany any of their variety of seasonings and signature, homemade sauces.
Their Signature Dish is the Cherrywood BBQ’s Barbecue Sandwich, constructed with award-winning all-natural pulled pork from Heritage Farms, NC, and topped with Carolina Coleslaw, served on a chewy pretzel bun.
Complementing their entrees, they have a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, and desserts for you to try. Their Four-Cheese Macaroni is superb, winning awards each year in the Charleston Mac-Off. With a team dedicated to crafting authentic Southern BBQ, you cannot go wrong with this menu.
700 Governors Dr.
This classy wine bar has – you guessed it – 48 wines available by the glass on any given day. Given an option for three tasting sizes, you can sample as many or as few wines as you want and take a bottle home if you desire. They have wine from every region of the world, so feel free to explore your taste buds, right here in Kiawah Island! If wine does not suit your fancy, one of their 48 craft beers will.
To accompany the fabulous drinks available, be sure to try one of FortyEight’s famous crab cakes, steak, or delectable charcuterie boards that contain cheeses from near and far. This family-owned wine bar is one of several in the country, as the owners split their time between Kiawah Island and Chicago.
Don’t miss their live music events every Wednesday from 5:30 – 8:30 pm! So if you’re looking for food and drinks on a Wednesday, this is definitely one of the best restaurants in Kiawah Island to consider!
547 Freshfields Dr.
8. The Ryder Cup Bar
For the best sunset view on Kiawah Island, try the Ryder Cup Bar. Sitting upon the Ocean Course, this bar overlooks the beach and beyond. Whether you are finishing up a round of golf with friends or seeking an evening drink with a view, this is just the place.
The modern pub-like menu and outdoor seating options make this one of the more casual dining options on our list. But don’t let the relaxed menu fool you – the eating here is nothing short of a dream.
The beach views and shrimping boats undertow is not just for show, as the signature dish at Ryder Cup Bar is the Crispy Shrimp. This dish is tossed in sweet chili sauce and served on a bed of cabbage for the perfect refreshing, but savory meal.
The Executive Chef’s Bagger Burger is another foodie favorite, sporting Angus Beef, Smoked Cheddar, and Peppered Bacon, all placed upon a Potato Roll. Delicious.
1002 Ocean Course Dr.