Updated: Jun 14, 2019
If you’re looking for good food and a magnificent view of the ocean or marsh, look no further. These are our top picks for the best views while dining on Folly Beach, or nearby.
#1 Pier 101: The ocean view here is the best on the island, and that’s because this casual eatery is located on the famous Folly Beach pier, which juts 1,000 feet into the Atlantic. There’s inside dining amidst plenty of window-framing views, but if it’s a beautiful day, opt to sit at a table outside and take in the salty air, ocean breezes, and beach. An outside bar and live music on the weekends draw patrons. Pier One bills itself as a seafood restaurant, and the main entries range from shrimp and grits to grilled fish and Lowcountry boil. Salads, fish sandwiches, and fish tacos round out the smaller bites, and wings, fried pickles, and a burger would satisfy those who don’t want seafood.
#2 BLU: Located in the Tides Hotel across from the pier, BLU is an upscale restaurant (but not too upscale) that offers fantastic ocean views in a calming, beachy indoor and outdoor space. The food here focuses on sustainable seafood and local produce. The menu offers appetizers such as truffle fries and tuna tartare; entrees ranging from grilled swordfish to filet mignon, as well as a lobster roll, chicken sandwich and creative salads. A lovely breakfast is served daily as well.
#3 Lolo’s (Locklear’s on Little Oak): You won’t miss this restaurant on the right about a mile before you cross the bridge to Folly Beach. The small house is perched on the side of the Folly River. Drive onto the gravel lot, find a parking space, and head on in. Fried seafood is the specialty here - shrimp, oysters, fish, scallops - with fries and hushpuppies. If you’re not into fried food, lots of other options abound, including burgers, wings, salads, steak, and several pasta dishes with a creole/cajun twist. Sit inside or on the screened-in porch that provides stunning views of the marsh, especially at sunset.
#4 Bowens Island: For a unique, no frills dining experience, head to Bowens Island, a 13-acre island just a short drive from Folly Beach. You’ll see the sign on Folly Road directing you to turn into what looks like a long driveway. At the end is a waterfront fish house where you order from the counter and sit at tables or stools along the windows framing the marsh. Fresh, simple seafood is the star here - particularly locally harvested oysters. Bowens Island is an icon that has served up oysters, shrimp, fish, along with fries, grits, crab cakes and cold beer since 1946. It can get crowded depending on the day, but the views of the river, marsh, islands, and wildlife are worth it.
#5 Island Breeze: Just a little farther down Folly Road heading toward Charleston is Sol Legare Road. Turn left here until you get to Mosquito Beach Rd. Wind around until you see a few colorful buildings. Here’s where you’ll find Island Breeze, a sunny yellow Caribbean restaurant off the beaten path with views of the marsh and winding tidal rivulets as far as the eye can see. You’ll likely be greeted by the friendly owners who will make you feel right at home. You can opt to sit outside on the screened-in porch or inside the lounge area, where there are plenty of tables, and expansive bar, and space for bands, which perform mainly on weekends. The menu includes jerk pork, jerk chicken, goat, oxtail, fried seafood, all served with rice, beans, plantains, and cabbage salad.
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