Myrtle Beach is a tourist haven on the South Carolina shore. It is home to the Grand Strand, a 60-mile continuous stretch of beach, over 100 golf courses, and the Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Millions of visitors stop and enjoy all Myrtle Beach has to offer every year. This includes the fresh seafood and shellfish that can be found all across the city.
South Carolina might not be the first place you think of when you think of oysters, but it does have a long history with the delicious bivalves.
The indigenous tribes that lived in South Carolina and the Sea islands were particularly fond of oysters. They left behind huge amounts of shucked oyster shells that were used by early European settlers.
The European colonists baked the oyster shells to extract the lime. This was then used to create a concrete like material called ‘tabby.’ You can still see examples of buildings made from tabby across the state today.
Oysters remained incredibly popular in the state up until World War II. It is thought that raw bars were in operation since before the civil war. They became more popular as it became easier to make and store ice for longer periods.
Today, oysters remain incredibly popular across the state. Annual oyster roasts are held by towns, cities, and families during prime oyster season. This runs from September to April.
Myrtle Beach hosts its fair share of oyster roasts each year. They’re sort of like tailgate parties but with oysters instead of pork.
Oysters grown in the salt marshes, riverbanks and creeks of South Carolina are always Virginica oysters. These are also known as Eastern oysters.
Though the oysters are all Eastern, they will taste incredibly different based on where exactly they were grown. Oysters grown in the salt marshes will taste much saltier than those grown in fresher creeks.
To help you experience the incredible taste of South Carolina’s oysters, we’ve put together a list of some of the best oyster bars in Myrtle Beach. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, we know that you’re going to love these restaurants.
Dirty Don’s Oyster Bar
910 S Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
843 213 1632
Dirty Don’s is a Myrtle Beach staple. It has three locations across the city, all of which offer fabulously fresh seafood. The Ocean boulevard location is right on the boardwalk, so you can stumble up from the beach when you’re hungry.
Decked out in bright colors, garishly nautical decorations, and plenty of comfortable seats, Dirty Don’s is modeled after Key West style restaurants. It’s certainly not a place you’re going to walk past. If the giant swordfish doesn’t catch your eye, the neon lights certainly will.
When you step inside a Dirty Don’s, you’ll find yourself in a comfortable, welcoming, and friendly restaurant. The staff can’t wait to help you. They are incredibly warm and accommodating. If you have any questions about the food, they will be more than happy to help you.
Talking about the food, Dirty Don’s has one of the largest oyster menus we have seen. You have so many options that you might find yourself spoiled for choice!
You can have your oysters steamed, raw, or roasted by the half dozen or a dozen. Incredibly, a dozen oysters will only cost you $15.99! That’s a phenomenal price for such fresh and delicious oysters.
If you prefer your oysters cooked you can have them Rockefeller style, grilled with Parmesan, blackened, or cooked in buffalo sauce.
Oysters are also served fried as part of basket meals and seafood sampler plates. You can have an oyster dinner, an oyster po’boy, or even an oyster breakfast served with sausages and eggs.
Dirty Don’s will serve you oysters any which way you ask. However you have them, they are incredibly delicious, always fresh, and priced more than fairly.
If you are in Myrtle Beach or plan to visit, you have to make sure that you stop by one of the Dirty Don’s restaurants. It is not a place you’ll want to miss.
Original Shucker’s Raw Bar
300 N Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
843 448 6162
According to their website, Original Shucker’s has been ‘loved by the locals for over 20 years.’ This claim is backed up by hundreds and thousands of happy guest reviews.
They are known throughout Myrtle Beach for their raw bar and amazing happy hour prices. During happy hour, which falls between 4pm and 6pm every weekday, you can get oysters and wings for as little as $.75!
The happy hour is one of the most loved in the whole city. It draws locals and tourists in like a magnet.
The oysters are served raw, steamed or as shooters with delectable sauces and sides. You can’t go wrong at the Shucker’s raw bar. It is a place of pure delight! If you prefer, you can order a basket of fried oysters which comes with fries and slaw.
The oysters, no matter how you cook them, are delicious. Portion sizes are more than ample, so you won’t be walking away feeling hungry!
Outside of oysters, Shucker’s offers a whole host of wonderful seafood dishes. You can have crab cake, shrimp, scallops, steak, plus many more. The food is always incredibly well prepared and cooked.
This isn’t an upscale restaurant where presentation is part of the price, your food will be heaped onto plates or in baskets. It’s a cheap and cheerful kind of place, perfect for families and groups of friends.
Styled as a wooden fishing cabin with lots of deep wood paneling and décor, Shucker’s has a cozy and comfortable atmosphere. It’s a place you can spend hours relaxing in, just enjoying the food and drink.
Bimini’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Market
930 Lake Arrowhead Rd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
843 449 5549
By their own admission, Bimini’s is not like other seafood places in Myrtle Beach. They avoid the ‘cut-and-paste franchised tourist trap’ aesthetic and ethos that they feel permeates a lot of places in Myrtle Beach.
Instead, they style themselves as a ‘no frills local oyster bar where you can enjoy huge, family style steam pots of the best oysters.’
According to their website, Bimini’s is the ‘friendliest bar in Myrtle Beach.’ They care about ‘fresh seafood, cold drinks, and a cool local vibe.’ If that is what you’re looking for, then you’ll definitely want to check out Bimini’s Oyster Bar.
On the oyster menu you have raw oysters by the half dozen or the dozen as well as oysters Rockefeller. You can also find them in the sampler menu along with other shellfish.
If you prefer your oysters cooked, you could co for the fried oyster platter, which is particularly popular with the locals. This platter is served with hush puppies and your choice of fries or chips and slaw.
If you want to take home some seafood, you just need to pop next door. The seafood market stocks a huge variety of fresh seafood and shellfish.
Bimini’s really is all about providing top notch food without the fuss. The seafood is always fresh and wonderfully prepared, while the drinks are always cold and ready to go. If you’re in Myrtle Beach, go where the locals go and check out Bimini’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Market.
Barnacle Bill’s Rum & Raw Bar
405 8th Ave N, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
813 945 9154
Barnacle Bill’s is a family friendly restaurant that serves seafood with a ‘Cajun Caribbean twist.’ The food is flavored wonderfully with Cajun seasoning and spices, while the cocktails bring a taste of the Caribbean to Myrtle Beach.
With its orange and blue color scheme, Barnacle Bill’s has a bright and vibrant feel. Pre-pandemic it often hosted live music and entertainment which locals and tourists loved. Hopefully, this is set to return soon.
If we look at the menu, oysters are served on the half shell raw or steamed. You can also order oysters Rockefeller or an oyster shooter which comes with a beer, horseradish, and Tabasco.
The rest of the menu is full to the brim of incredible Cajun and Caribbean foods including their famous Cajun gumbo, Cajun flounder sandwich, and the bayou bomb. The bayou bomb is a jacket potato smothered in Alfredo sauce and topped with Cajun chicken or shrimp.
Locals and tourists love the food and service at Barnacle Bill’s. Everything is done with the customer in mind. Whether it’s cooking and prepping the food, serving drinks, or simply answering questions, the staff are always trying to please and impress.
Customers can’t praise this place enough. You’ll definitely need to check it out next time you’re in Myrtle Beach. Heck, we’d make a trip there just to visit Barnacle Bill’s!