Bluffton, South Carolina, has always been a charming destination for those seeking a taste of Southern hospitality and exquisite cuisine. With each passing year, the culinary scene in this Lowcountry gem continues to evolve and surprise. Set alongside the banks of the May River, and with its close proximity to Palmetto Bluff, Hilton Head and Savannah, this up and coming small town is quietly becoming a culinary destination of its own. We’re excited to introduce you to some of the the top restaurants that have opened their doors in Bluffton, including the remarkable Okàn, fast becoming Bluffton’s most coveted dinner reservation in 2023.
Introducing Okàn, the restaurant that’s been the talk of the town since it opened in spring 2023. Okàn brings a unique cuisine to Bluffton that follows the culinary journey of West African-rooted cooking and a blend of Southern flavors, creating an unforgettable dining experience. Okàn’s Executive Chef, Bernard Bennett has been recognized as a “2023 Semifinalist for Emerging Chef” by the James Beard Foundation.
Located on Calhoun Street, Okan’s interior is a fusion of modern design with traditional elements, creating a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The menu at Okàn takes you on a taste journey that focuses on the foods and flavors that came to the Lowcountry through the enslavement of African Americans and the dishes that are a nod to their West Africa heritage. Okàn knows how to surprise and delight your taste buds. Don’t forget to try their craft cocktails, expertly paired with the dishes, to complete your dining adventure.
Located on May River Road in Bluffton, Farm offers a locally-sourced menu and a distinctive dining experience at this rustic-yet-modern, Lowcountry eatery. The seasonally inspired, ever-evolving dishes created by Chef Brandon Carter pay homage to the small local farmers, fishermen and artisan producers who provide the restaurant with its fresh produce, seafood and food products.
The Bluffton Room
Named in the “Top 10 Places to Dine in Bluffton” by The Culture Trip this contemporary American cuisine will not disappoint! They’ve ditched the idea of classic dining by providing table-side preparations in an intimate setting, both indoor and outdoor, paired with service beyond anything you’ve experienced before. The intimate and vibrant atmosphere of the dining room and open-air bar has earned this restaurant rave reviews from diners and critics alike. Enjoy classic American cuisine, tableside preparations and crafted cocktails for dinner. Gracious service, well crafted cocktails, and table-side preparations evoke the feeling of a lively dinner party.
The Pearl Kitchen & Bar
Located at 55 Calhoun Street in the heart of the historic art district of Bluffton, The Pearl Kitchen and Bar brings a refreshing new approach to the dining experience focused on a complete sensory experienceWith an outstanding wine list, handcrafted drinks, fresh locally sourced produce, and certified steaks, it’s no surprise that this is one of Bluffton’s most popular spots to dine at. Enjoy drinks by the outside fire pit before or after dinner.the freshest of ingredients prepared in a manner that will excite, entice, and keep you coming back for more.
May River Grill
Located on May River Road, the menu at this local favorite is heavy on fresh seafood from the local waters. Throughout its 15 year history, the May River Grill has earned the accolades of Wall Street Journal, South Carolina Living, Taste Magazine, and Bluffton Today. Top picks include Daufuskie-style crab cakes, scallops meunière, seafood pasta pomodoro, stuffed shrimp and bone-in scored flounder.
Stay in Luxury
Plan to stay in luxurious comfort within the Palmetto Bluff resort where your vacation can include a fun-filled day spent exploring historic Bluffton. A stay booked in our portfolio of luxury vacation homes offers the breathtaking lowcountry backdrop of Palmetto Bluff’s centuries-old oak trees, majestic pines and vast waterways. Palmetto Bluff is a lush, lowcountry resort community nestled within 20,000 acres of Bluffton’s stunning wildlife. With its scenic landscape and resort style amenities, Palmetto Bluff has both a quaint, small-town feel and a sense of understated luxury. Our collection of vacation rentals in Palmetto Bluff features incredible amenities and superb locations. Let our Concierge team plan a fishing charter for you and your friends, or have a private chef waiting to cook your catch-of-the-day while you sit around the fire pit with a cocktail, telling stories of the big one that got away. And, while you’re there, why not plan a southern-style happy hour on the porch, or travel by private water taxi to explore the Bluffton Farmers Market? With our Guide to Exclusive Experiences, these are just some of the ways you customize your stay for an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind vacation – and we have a team of people ready to help you plan it all.