Hilton Head, South Carolina, is known for its mild winters and extended summers. Northerns flock to the island’s beaches while others take up permanent residence sixty-nine square miles. The island offers ample beach space, endless golf courses, and winding bike paths. However, don’t overlook Hilton Heads dining scene. The island is a dining destination with a cuisine type for everyone. Check out the best outdoor dining Hilton Head has to offer. 

The Frosty Frog

Despite being centrally located in the Coligny Plaza, the design, food, and vibe feel like you are beachside on a tropical island. 

The laid-back bar and restaurant features a menu that is sure to please the entire family. Order up sandwiches, pizzas, strombolis, calzones, wraps, and fresh local seafood. In addition to adult options, the children’s menu is extensive, so even the pickiest eater won’t leave hungry.

Check out the inside bar. Frozen drink machines line the wall directly behind the bar staff. The options are endless, and overindulging is challenging to resist. 

 Believe it or not, The Frosty Frog has a beach. A section of the outdoor seating is built in a sandpit. Sunshades are extended and retracted to keep you feeling comfortable during the hottest summer months. Don’t miss out on game days. The patio is lined with big-screen TVs. Come in early to avoid missing out on the outdoor dining space. 

Ela’s On The Water

Ela’s On The Water is notable for its upscale dining and scenic water views. The restaurant sits elevated above the Shelter Cove Harbour. 

Ela’s serves dinner and Sunday brunch. While the menu is extensive, they take pride in the seafood dishes. In addition to seafood, consider the steaks, vegetarian, veal, and pork options. 

The exterior seating and marsh views combined with excellent food make Ela’s a must-see on Hilton Head. Island. Reserve ahead of time and request patio seating. While the windows are prominent from the inside looking out, the experience is amplified when seated on the patio. 

Hudson’s On The Docks

Hudson’s is perched on the shores of Port Royal Sound. The outdoor seating is accompanied by dockage space for the restaurant’s commercial fishing fleet. A commercial fishing fleet is an indication that Hudson’s serves only the freshest fish and crustaceans. 

The restaurant has been a mainstay on the island for over 50 years. Due to its longevity, it is a weekly staple for residents. 

Despite the spacious dock, the outdoor seating fills quickly. High-top tables line the patio space, but patrons remain firm in their seats, taking in the sights, sounds of the waves, passing dolphins, and fresh catch offloads from the boats. 

In addition to tables, the bar is front and center to Port Royal Sound. Sit back in the orange chairs to a cold cocktail or beer while dining on fresh seafood. 

What is intriguing about Hudsons is the fact that the restaurant is equipped with blue crab molting tanks. Crabs molt during the spring which is by removing their hard external shell. Softshell crab dishes are served by Hudsons when the molting process is complete. Hudsons molts and serves thousands of soft shell crabs per year. 

Which Outdoor Dining Hilton Head Restaurant Will You Choose

The decision on which outdoor dining restaurant to pick is challenging. We have had the opportunity to dine at each of the three. When you’re on the island for extended periods, visit all three. However, each is varying price points. When it comes to the cost per entree, Ela’s tops the list, followed by Hudsons and lastly, the Frosty Frog. No matter which you choose, the experience and food will be top-notch.