Go to the best and forget the rest.
For fresh ingredients and fabulous flavor, Italian cuisine often draws us in. On the Grand Strand, you can find a few stellar restaurants that’ll make you glad you stopped in. Great food on vacation — how can you beat that?
Here are things you might not know about this favorite cuisine.
Your calorie count might be a casualty of some dishes, but we say, you’ve got to live a little!
Flavors differ by region
Anyone who’s toured Italy knows about Spaghetti alla Carbonara in Rome. Or how, in Emilia-Romagna, Lasagne alla Bolognese is the signature dish. They might even have experienced Pizzocheri in the north. Spaghetti al nero di seppe in the south, and Cavatelli somewhere between.
Salad isn’t an appetizer
In Italy, salads come post-meal for roughage to aid digestion. And all it takes is extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.
Gelato and dolce are magnificent
If you’ve never had it, gelato takes ice cream to new levels, with light folds packed with flavors. Dolce is a pudding, albeit heavenly. Tiramisu, pannacotta, and torta de riso will have you seeing dessert as never before.
For bold, authentic flavors right here on the Grand Strand, go here.
Villa Romana Italian Restaurant is a festive space to enjoy classic dishes. You’re in for dynamite service and entertainment from the resident accordion player. He’s a hit with kids of all ages, making this a wonderful spot for your family getaway.
PRO TIP: Start out with Polenta in Roasted Pepper Sauce as an appetizer. Linguini with Clams is remarkable, in red marinara or white wine sauce.
Exchange a fast-food dinner during your stay with a trip to a refined family-run local spot. You’re in for an awesome ambiance and a wait staff that can answer questions about the menu. Sole Italian Restaurant is your go-to place in the making.
PRO TIP: Say hello to the owner if you see him making the rounds. He’s quite the character and cares about your meal experience. Chicken Parmigiana is delicious, by the way.
This place will activate those old-world vibes the moment you step in. Crave Italian Oven & Bar serves wood-fired pizzas and offers valet parking. The bar staff has serious talent and charm, and the drinks they concoct are excellent. It’s an intimate space with big tables you’re sure to love.
PRO TIP: Drop in for Happy Hour, 4-7 p.m. daily. Try Crave Plates, such as Meatballs & Ricotta. Then an open-flame, New York-style, brick-oven pizza. The Di Prosciutto is a fabulous choice.
For a solo experience or a special occasion, Ciao Italian Restaurant is the spot. Fresh ingredients and exquisite cuisine make for an enchanting evening. The taste of the Mediterranean is on display at Ciao, a place the locals love to eat too.
PRO TIP: Make your reservation for dinner, or join Ciao for Happy Hour. Enjoy a House Martini with an elegant Eggplant Rollatini.
Let this place displace a ho-hum meal you have along the way that might be okay. Toscana Italian Kitchen isn’t a place that’ll leave you wishing you’d gone elsewhere. The staff is kind and attentive, the sangria is out of this world, and the food is first-rate and memorable!
PRO TIP: Imagine: A Mimosa at Happy Hour, with Mozzarella in Cardoza. Check out the wine list, too. Save room for dessert: Bomba Tartufo. That’s chocolate and vanilla ice cream with shaved almonds, a chocolate shell, and a cherry on top.
The beauty of Myrtle Beach is a huge draw. Stay in a resort fitting for such a wonderful destination. Compass Cove is in the heart of the Grand Strand, with water features that’ll help you relax and the kids have a blast. Visit a local farmers market for a night to stay in and cook. Choose your arrival date and room type, and book your getaway today.