A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Situated on a saltwater estuary just south of Myrtle Beach, the small community of Murrells Inlet is a colorful waterfront escape. Established as a port in the mid-18th century, Murrells

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Situated on a saltwater estuary just south of Myrtle Beach, the small community of Murrells Inlet is a colorful waterfront escape. Established as a port in the mid-18th century, Murrells

8 Fin-to-Fork Restaurants in Murrells Inlet

Situated on a saltwater estuary just south of Myrtle Beach, the small community of Murrells Inlet is a colorful waterfront escape. Established as a port in the mid-18th century, Murrells Inlet transitioned from a bustling trade center to a buzzy destination for eating, drinking, and dancing against a backdrop of rippling blue water and green marsh grass. The lifeline that bridges all that activity is the MarshWalk. This half-mile, wooden boardwalk stretches between the restaurants, from Neptune Bistro & Raw Bar to Bovine’s, one side lined with slips for boats and the other with restaurants’ outdoor decks, yards, and beer gardens under the shade of palmetto and live oak trees.

When the sun is shining, people flock to this waterfront stretch, where they can stroll end to end with a drink in hand and live music (often) filling the air. In this single destination, you can experience eight different restaurant concepts — completely by foot — with live music in the air and different food and drink specials to check out.

Hungry to get started? Read on for our ultimate dining guide to Murrells Inlet.

Round up your crew so you can sample as many items as possible at Neptune Bistro & Raw Bar, from tuna crudo to oysters on the half shell. Photography courtesy of THE MURRELLS INLET MARSHWALK

Neptune Bistro & Raw Bar

This newcomer to the MarshWalk — housed in the location that used to be Mojo’s — offers an extensive raw bar and varied menu with a Mediterranean tilt. Start with the chef’s selection of raw oysters (or, if you’re squeamish, the baked ones, which are broiled with garlic aioli and Parmesan gremolata), paired with a craft cocktail. Then, order one of the flatbreads for the table to share, but be sure to leave room for the blue crab grilled cheese — local blue crab with cheddar and mozzarella, garlic aioli, and scallions, all served with a side of tomato bisque.

Wicked Tuna

With a cupola towering above the south end of the MarshWalk, you can’t miss Wicked Tuna’s light blue, cedar-shake compound. They engineered their “hook-to-plate” concept, where their own fishing fleet brings local seafood into the restaurant every day. From the water, you can even see their on-site fish house, where they clean and pack the fish to distribute to other nearby restaurants. These local fishermen are the lifeblood of Murrells Inlet’s community. Most of them are the children of fishermen who worked out of the marina before it became Wicked Tuna; today, they continue their parents’ legacy of supplying these restaurants with fresh, local seafood. In the dining room, fresh catches like tuna, grouper, blue crab, and shrimp shine in elevated Low Country seafood dishes, as well as in sushi and sashimi. Try the fresh catch picatta — whatever seasonal fish the boats bring in that morning, sauteed in a picatta sauce with shallots and capers. After dinner, cruise next door to the Tuna Shak, an open-air bar with live music every night.

You could make a meal from the loaded crab nachos alone at The Claw House. Photography courtesy of THE MURRELLS INLET MARSHWALK

The Claw House

Rooted in a New England-style raw bar concept, The Claw House has found a welcome reception in the Low Country. Belly up to the horseshoe-shaped raw bar for oysters on the half shell or a giant platter of crab nachos — wonton chips topped with mango salsa, pico de gallo, avocado, green onions, and lump crab meat. The Claw House’s lobster roll has a loyal following, and it pairs deliciously with one of the 90 (yes, 90) cold craft beers on tap. If you’re simply thirsty, head to the beer garden, situated between The Claw House and Dead Dog Saloon, and sip a cold one while basking in the cooling breeze off the water.

Dead Dog Saloon

If you find yourself on the MarshWalk in the morning, greet the day with an omelet stuffed with lump crab meat or pork belly benedict. As the only restaurant on the MarshWalk that serves breakfast, Dead Dog offers a full day-to-night experience. While seafood specialties range from Surf & Turf tacos to the wildly popular shrimp and grits, there are plenty of other options for those looking for something different, including an impressive smoked meats selection, all smoked in-house. We recommend the brisket with onion rings and coleslaw.

Dig into fresh mahi tacos on the patio at Creek Ratz while enjoying the breeze from the water. Photography courtesy of THE MURRELLS INLET MARSHWALK

Creek Ratz

When the sun is shining and the breeze is just right, head to Creek Ratz. This cozy eatery has more outdoor seating than in, whether you prefer to sip a cold beer in an Adirondack chair in the yard, relax on a perch on the back porch, or gather in the shade of an umbrella at a picnic table. Their mahi-mahi tacos alone are worth the visit, but the menu also features baskets of crispy fried oysters, shrimp, and fish; sandwiches; burgers; and raw bar items. Plus, there’s a sizable kids’ menu for the younger diners in your group — a fitting tribute since Creek Ratz is named for the community kids who grow up playing in this marsh!

Don’t miss the seafood royale at Drunken Jack’s, where local triggerfish is grilled and topped with lump crab meat, sautéed mushrooms, asparagus, and béarnaise sauce. Photography courtesy of THE MURRELLS INLET MARSHWALK

Drunken Jack’s

Embrace the coastal atmosphere at this popular spot where a pirate motif shines through the nautical decor, and the fresh seafood is hand-selected by award-winning Chef Casey Blake. From the sweeping patio, you’re treated to panoramic views of the water and marsh islands, making this a go-to spot to sip a piña colada while watching the boats enter the inlet. If you’re craving a fried seafood platter, Drunken Jack’s is your spot for golden-battered scallops, local shrimp, triggerfish, flounder, and oysters (pro tip: each platter comes with a side of hush puppies, a fan favorite item that’s served with a whipped honey butter).

Wahoo’s Fish House

When you can’t decide between a quality dining experience and live entertainment, Wahoo’s offers the best of both worlds: The two-story dining room invites visitors to dig into seared salmon over creamy cheddar grits with shrimp and a roasted red pepper beurre blanc while taking in the sunset views. Then, head next door to the wooden tiki hut at Wahoo’s, where you can sway to the rhythm of the band’s music with a mai tai in hand. The tiki hut hosts live musicians every night, allowing you to get a taste of the local music scene whether you find yourself there on a Monday or a weekend.

It’s not all surf in these parts — dig into a juicy rib-eye cooked to order and served with your choice of sides at Bovine’s. Photography courtesy of THE MURRELLS INLET MARSHWALK


At the northern tip of the MarshWalk, the view from Bovine’s differs dramatically from its neighbors, oriented toward the curvature in the marshland and the communities across the water. Cooked-to-order steaks and brick-oven-fired pizzas shine on the menu, and the open kitchen lets guests steal glimpses of the roaring pizza oven. Underneath the soaring ceiling in the dining room or the warm glow of rope lights illuminating the deck, dig into a rib-eye paired with asparagus in béarnaise and a jammy pinot noir. Seafood specialties also star, like the saucy shrimp and grits, simmered in a roasted red pepper cream sauce and topped with savory herbs.

Beyond the nightly dining scene, the MarshWalk comes alive with events throughout the year. Click here to visit their calendar of events to learn more about live music, entertainment, and holiday festivities that happen year-round.

This story was published on May 29, 2024

Hannah Lee Leidy

Hannah Lee is a born-and-raised North Carolinian and the digital editor for Our State magazine. Her contributions have appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Culture, and the Local Palate. When not parenting her Bernese mountain pup named Ava, she's visiting the nearest cheese counter.