The latest trend in dining is called “progressive dinner,” but the concept has been around for a while in drinking circles as the “pub crawl.” For foodies, however, it’s more like a grub crawl where diners stroll from restaurant to restaurant to taste the best each has to offer.
Myrtle Beach was made for this kind of four-course moveable feast. Filled with complexes and developments that place a number of dining options within close proximity, visitors can sample dishes from some of the best establishments on the Grand Strand. Here are five places that are perfect for a progressive dinner and a fun night out on the town:
* Barefoot Landing: Known for its shopping (more than 100 stores) and entertainment (the Alabama Theatre and House of Blues), this North Myrtle Beach multi-purpose complex also provides a nice mix of restaurants for a progressive dinner. Enjoy appetizers overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway at sunset on the patio deck of the Flying Fish Market, experience an elegant surf-and-turf dinner at Greg Norman's Australian Grill, grab a frozen dessert from Sweet Molly's and have a nightcap at Boardwalk Coffee House. If you've still got the time and energy for some late-night fun, the HOB's Crossroads bar always has live music and cold beer.
* Broadway at the Beach: With more than 20 restaurants to choose from on one property, the only hard part about having a progressive dinner at Broadway is deciding which restaurants to skip. Start things off with the most popular happy hour in town at Liberty Steakhouse & Brewery, which features half-price apps and $2 drafts from 4 to 8 p.m. Go for some sushi at King Kong, feast on the flavors of the Caribbean at Key West Grill, and cap things off with frozen treats (both drinks and desserts) at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Broadway is also a good place for an international grub crawl, from Italian (Amici's) to Japanese (Yamato's) and from Brazilian (Rioz) to Mexican (Senor Frogs).
* Murrells Inlet Marshwalk: This is the ultimate grub crawl for seafood-lovers. This wooden waterfront walkway features fishing boats unloading their daily catches to the east and a dozen restaurants serving that same seafood to the west. Start on the north end with some Grade-A sushi at Wahoo's, chow down on some fresh oysters and shrimp at Creek Ratz Raw Bar, enjoy an elegant dinner overlooking the inlet at Captain Dave's Dockside and close the evening at the Dead Dog Saloon with some live music, cold beer and a comfy hammock.
* Myrtle Beach Boardwalk: The 1.2-mile beachfront walkway has been a shot in the arm to the downtown district's dining and nightlife scene. You can still go old-school casual – hot dogs at Peaches Corner and ice cream at one of the many vendors along Ocean Boulevard. But now you can also go a bit more eclectic, like Art Burger Sushi for its two specialties, Atlas Tap House for some gastropub tasting, and the Boardwalk Coffee House for some hot and cold nightcaps.
* Restaurant Row: The name says it all when it comes to being progressive-dinner friendly. This 2-mile strip between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach features a wide array of dining opportunities without having to move the car. Start out at Bimini's Oyster Bar for some apps straight from the ocean. Take a short hike through the parking lot for an elegant surf-and-turf dinner at Thoroughbred's, and shut things down at Rossi's for some award-winning tiramisu, coffee and drinks at the connecting piano bar, 88s.