Kiawah Island Outdoor Dining
We’ve always been fans of outdoor dining around Kiawah Island—even before everyone’s least-favorite pandemic swept in. After all, one of life’s true pleasures is digging into a delicious meal under a string of lights in the Lowcountry evening breeze. Or stepping in from the beach for a poolside sandwich and an icy drink. Or putting on a snazzy outfit and sampling the gourmet delights of resort-style dining by the sea. It’s merely a bonus that eating outdoors is now a healthy and safe thing to do, as well!
Thankfully, Kiawah Island has many options for outdoor dining, and we don’t just mean on the decks and patios of our Kiawah Island Getaway’s vacation rentals. (Though you will probably want to set aside an evening for that, too.)
Here a list of some of our favorite outdoor dining spots on Kiawah Island:
A Charleston sports bar staple, The King Street Grille’s Kiawah Island location offers up classic game day cuisine like wings, burgers and nachos. Not to mention their “king size sandwiches,” which include a vegetarian portobello mushroom, a “piled high” Ruben, and—a customer favorite—their Chesapeake Chicken with crab cake and Swiss cheese on a pretzel roll.
Despite its no-frills menu, the leafy ambiance of King Street Grille’s outdoor patio makes this spot equally appropriate for a date night. Located at Freshfields Village, you can also slot this in for lunch or dinner after doing a little shopping.
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. every day
Location: 679 Freshfields Dr., Kiawah Island, SC
Ladles is a casual lunch spot with a few outdoor bistro tables for sipping your selection. Great on a crisp autumn day! Another Charleston-based chain that made its way to Kiawah, Ladles nails comfort food, like the She Crab soup, or the Tomato Basil with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich alongside. They have a rotating selection of daily specials, too.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday (days of operation may vary)
Location: 190 Gardeners Circle Kiawah Island, SC (Freshfields Village)
Photo credit: Stono Farm Market & The Tomato Shed
The Tomato Shed is hands-down one of our favorite places to eat in the area. Though it’s actually located about 20 minutes off-island, the short drive is more than worth it for the locally sourced, homestyle comfort food brought to you by a family of farmers. Friendly folks and the pride of long-time locals shines through. This is the kind of place where the waitresses call you “hun” and the locals know all the waitresses by name!
Not to mention, of course, the delicious food. Shawn’s favorite is the fried catfish, but they only have it on the menu every so often. The crab cakes are to die for! Their Catch of the Day is always locally sourced and definitely worth trying, and the Southern-style sides are plentiful, too—Squash Casserole, their famous Tomato Pie, Grits, Mac & Cheese… we could go on!
All of this, and a big front porch on which to enjoy it!
The Tomato Shed is also part of the Ambrose family’s Stono Market. So, while you’re there, you can pick up a different Catch of the Day and some fresh, seasonal veggies to take home and prepare in your vacation rental’s kitchen.
Tuesday & Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday from 5 – 9 p.m.
842 Main Road, Johns Island, SC 29455
One of our top picks for brunch! Angel Oak Restaurant is named after our iconic, 400+-year-old oak tree (another highly recommended addition to your vacation itinerary) and its food is equally otherworldly. The eggs benedict are my favorite—absolutely delicious! Grab an umbrella-shaded spot out front and dine with a pretty palmetto.
Or, if you prefer, head inside to their rustic, homey dining room. Like every option on our outdoor dining list, this restaurant does (at the time of this writing in September 2021) offer inside as well as outside dining.
Angel Oak Restaurant is located right off Highway 17, about 25 minutes from Kiawah.
Sundays from 9:00am – 2:00pm
Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday through Saturday, 4:00pm – 9:00pm
The Loggerhead Grill
The perfect poolside cocktail and mouth-watering Mahi tacos await at Loggerhead Bar, one of several dining options within the sprawling Kiawah Island Golf Resort (this one is at The Sanctuary Hotel, specifically). Dining and bar service are open to everyone, even those not staying at the hotel—but you can’t use the pool unless you’re a guest, alas. Nonetheless, we love this spot for casual lunches with a view of the pool and the Atlantic Ocean… the perfect setting for savoring the best of island life.
Plus, Saturday nights during the summer they offer an outstanding outdoor buffet!
Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. every day mid-May to mid-Nov., weather permitting (bar service until 5:00 p.m.)
1 Sanctuary Beach Dr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455 (Poolside at the Sanctuary Hotel)
The most upscale option on our list, Jasmine Porch is the place to go on Kiawah for a special occasion, a fill-you-up Lowcountry breakfast buffet, or a date night. Locally caught, seafood-forward entrees include classics like Shrimp & Grits and Bouillabaisse. You can also go meaty with Filet Mignon, or meatless with mushroom risotto.
On Sundays, try their brunch buffet—our good friends Bob and Michael Williams play their violin and guitar during lunch!
Reservations are required for dinner, and recommended for other times of day. Patio dining, in particular, seems to be limited, so call ahead if you have your heart set on it: (843) 768-6252.
6:30am – 11:00am every day
11:30am – 2:00pm every day
5:30pm – 9:00pm every day
1 Sanctuary Beach Dr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455 (Located in the Sanctuary Hotel)
Not just for golfers (though it is a great spot for food and drinks after a round), the Ryder Cup Bar has some WOW! ocean and golf course views from its spot at the very end of Kiawah Island. All the better if you can manage to get an outdoor table at sunset, when the rolling green Ocean Course and the Atlantic Ocean beyond are infused with golden light. Spectacular!
This spot is also a great destination for your bike ride on the beach. Just ride the winds until you reach this spot at the end of the island.
11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m every day
1002 Ocean Course Dr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455 (at the Ocean Course Clubhouse, at the far end of the island)
Another convenient option for golfers after their rounds, as well as anyone else staying on the island! Conveniently located in West Beach, and delicious for both lunch and family-friendly dinners, The Players’ Pub has a lovely veranda overlooking the greens and a menu of traditional pub fare like Fish & Chips, burgers, and Seafood Steamers.
12:00pm – 4:00pm every day
4:00pm – 9:00pm every day
Location: 12 Kiawah Beach Dr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455 (Cougar Point Club House)
Your Home Away from Home
As we mentioned, some vacation rentals in the KIG portfolio include options for al fresco dining in the comfort of your own space. No shoes, shirts, or reservations required! Here are a few of our favorites.