For years, the argument against all those package rounds near Conway’s golf courses was the lack of nearby food.
That’s no longer the case.
The county seat for Horry County (the big-picture version of Myrtle Beach) has spent plenty of money in recent years attracting new businesses that can tie up some of the dining loose ends that have existed in the past. And it’s not all about the nicknamed “Chicken Row” along U.S. 501.
For anyone looking to get past the ordinary, Conway now has your bases covered.
QUICK AND EASY
With so many government workers parked out in downtown Conway throughout the week, the fast options were almost necessary. Two of our favorites local joints simultaneously give you an authentic taste of something different.
Speedy Gamboa, just south of Coastal Carolina’s campus off 544, has Mexican choices that won’t leave you wanting. The chip and dip sampler is a huge hit for those who can’t wait 5-6 minutes for the rest of the order. Similarly, Jo Hibachi in downtown serves ridiculously portioned meals for a matter of dollars. The quantity doesn’t give way to the quality.
When it comes to bar food, Crafty Rooster and Tongy’s Shmack House are the name of the game in Conway.
Crafty and its Chanticleer-themed menu (and huge number of craft beer choices) is arguably the most bar-riffic of of the downtown establishments. Because of its location, you’re going to see mostly non-college patronage.
Tongy’s is closer to the other end of the spectrum, thanks to its spot near student housing. Beer pitchers are of the domestic variety, but the standard pub food (burgers, wings, etc.) are all solid and will take care of the post-round stomach grumbles. (Photo right from Crafty Rooster’s Facebook Page)
Downtown Conway is about tradition, and that tradition is often food.
At Pickled Cucumber, the line out the door at lunch time is as bonafide an endorsement as you’ll probably find. Each day, the veggie options are updated on the chalkboard and daily specials on main items keep the palate from getting stale.
A few blocks north along the Waccamaw River, Bonfire has withstood Mother Nature and an in-house fire, growing in popularity as its take on southern dishes meld with those from even south of the border.
SIT AND STAY AWHILE
Fine dining here isn’t obsolete. Oddly enough, Rivertown Bistro and Crooked Oak Tavern have proved quite the contrary.
Crooked Oak is a farm-to-table that experimented during its early days and has now attracted big meat eaters (the place serves a bison ribeye, after all) while complementing them with some seafood options.
Rivertown is the gold standard, if for no other reason than time. It is fast approaching its 30-year anniversary (although it did close for a fire of its own for one small part of that). It merges everything you’d expect from a high-end restaurant and even provides outdoor seating to overlook the bulk of downtown. (Top photo from Rivertown Bistro’s Facebook Page, photo right from Crooked Oak Tavern’s Facebook Page)