Visit one of these local markets to see (and taste) the superiority of Lowcountry shrimp.
Many parts of the country are famous for a specific type of food or cuisine. Philly has the cheesesteaks. New York has the bagels. New Orleans has po’boys, Chicago has deep-dish pizza, and Ohio has Skyline Chili. When it comes to shrimp, the Lowcountry is king. The waters surrounding Beaufort County are loaded with fat and flavorful shrimp that are of much higher quality than imported shrimp found at grocery stores. Visit one of these local markets to see (and taste) the difference.
This local market has only been around for a few years but has already established itself as one of the top spots for fresh, local shrimp. Dondi Wall, who owns the market with his wife, Theresa, is the former co-captain of the shrimp trawler, Smells Like Shrimp. “I’m concentrating on local,” he said. “And if mine’s not local, I’m going to tell you upfront. Everything comes in seasons.”
Get there: 18 Executive Park Road, Hilton Head Island. Open 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Dig the Pig
Piggly Wiggly in Coligny Plaza has been locally owned by David Martin and his family since 1969. Find your way to the Fish n’ Tales Seafood section of the grocery store to find fresh, local shrimp caught by local shrimpers. The Pig offers different sizes of shrimp perfect for grilling, steaming or adding to pasta. Staff members steam shrimp in the store for free and can add a little Old Bay Seasoning so the shrimp are ready to peel and eat when you get home.
Get there: Coligny Plaza, Hilton Head Island. Open 7:45 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday-Friday and 7:45 a.m.-9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
All in the family
The Hudson family is considered the first family of local seafood. For more than five generations Benny Hudson Seafood has been supplying locals and visitors with local shrimp, unloading boats daily from its docks. The market also prides itself on being a sulfite-free facility, ensuring no chemicals are applied to its shrimp or other seafood.
Get there: 175 Squire Pope Road, Hilton Head Island. Open 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
Did you know this popular waterfront restaurant also sells fresh shrimp by the pound? Jeff and Skip Toomer are third-generation shrimpers who dock at the restaurant and deliver the freshest locally caught shrimp, based on season. Roe shrimp season usually occurs in May or June. The fall white shrimp season usually begins in August and lasts through December, peaking in September and October.
Get there: 1 Hudson Road, Hilton Head Island. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
The world is your oyster
This iconic, family-owned seafood market has been catching shrimp in the Port Royal Sound for more than 50 years. Bluffton Oyster Company sells raw, cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp — however you want it. Get the whole family together for a Lowcountry boil, a popular to-go meal service Bluffton Oyster Co. has perfected. For a minimum of 10 guests at $24 per person, enjoy fresh local shrimp, kielbasa sausage, potatoes and fresh corn. In addition to its market on Wharf Street, the Toomer family also operates a fresh seafood restaurant on Mellichamp Drive in Bluffton.
Get there: 63 Wharf Street, Bluffton. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
A family tradition
Russo’s Seafood has been Savannah’s premier seafood market since 1946. Charles Russo III, a third-generation fishmonger, continues his family’s tradition at this wholesale and retail fishmongering operation just outside of Old Town Bluffton. Find fresh and frozen local shrimp sourced from the same fishermen his family has worked with for decades. Many popular local restaurants source their shrimp and other seafood from Russo’s.
Get there: 246 Red Cedar St., Bluffton. Open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Other hot spots for local shrimp:
• Barnacle Bill’s (HHI)
• Spanish Wells Seafood & Produce (HHI)
• Lemon Island Seafood (Okatie)
• Captain Mike’s (Ridgeland)
• Sea Eagle Market (Beaufort)
• Highway 21 Seafood (Beaufort)
• Ocean to Fork (Beaufort)
• CJ Seafood Express (Port Royal)
• Bradley Seafood Market (St. Helena)
• Gay Fish Co. (St. Helena)