I’m asked, surprisingly often, for a place in the Grand Strand to get a good burger. You’d think it would be a recommendation for a seafood place, but I digress. My answer is always the same – River City Cafe.
If you stumbled upon River City Cafe, you’d think cool, eclectic, even maybe consider it a dive. There are unique license plates everywhere. The outdoor dining area is filled with picnic tables covered in graffiti. While I’m not sure it’s encouraged by the management, it clearly isn’t stopped. Don’t worry, though. The restaurant offers tablecloths. Well…it’s actually brown craft paper off a roll, but it serves the purpose of providing a barrier between your food and the table, so no complaints. We actually had a pretty good time drawing all over it. We like to think of it as temporary graffiti.
The kids menu has the typical fare. The regular menu has a spectacular amount of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and fried yummies. My favorite is the Palmetto Burger, which features pimento cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo. My second favorite dish is fries with bacon, cheese, and ranch. I’m sure onecould eat healthy at River City Cafe, but it’s kind of like going to IHOP and getting a bowl of Cheerios. Why? They have something called the S’more Burger which comes topped with peanut butter, marshmallows, and Nutella. I’m dying to try it!
Both of my children got the kids chicken fingers and they were good. My picky kiddos complained, though. They were batter-dipped and a little greasy. In my eyes, that’s kind of perfect. In theirs, it wasn’t the garden variety frozen chicken strips available everywhere else. Fries and Doritos (another side option) sweetened the deal and everyone enjoyed their meal.
The burgers are big and kind of sloppy. I told our server that I felt like David Hasselhoff in that really sad drunken video and promptly requested a knife and fork. Much better! In fact, our server said it’s always entertaining to watch someone attempt to eat their “Kitchen Sink” burger.
River City Cafe is definitely the place you want to go to get really good, casual food and great service all at a reasonable price. Because of the atmosphere, it’s perfect for a family with children of any age. Burgers start at about $5.50 and going up to about $8.50. Many of the portions are perfect for sharing, making it even more affordable. My favorite locations are at Barefoot Landing, the Surfside pier, and the Socastee swing bridge.
River City Cafe has been a family favorite for many years. We’ve been there many times and plan to enjoy it time and time again. However, please be advised that they use peanut oil. In fact, there are peanuts offered on each table and the shells disposed of on the floor. If someone in your family has a nut sensitivity or allergy this is NOT the place for you.