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Food for thought: Where to dine along South Carolina's Grand Strand

Myrtle Beach
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Everyone knows about the golf on South Carolina's Grand Strand.

With approximately 90 golf courses to choose from, there's never a shortage of availability. But there are also an abundance of top-notch restaurants in the Myrtle Beach area to keep the good vibes going.

If you're headed to Myrtle Beach, here are some restaurants that should be atop your list.

Myrtle Beach restaurants: North end

Greg Norman's Australian Grille has just enough of the golfer's touch for diners to consider any affiliation between the two. Visitors won't be smacked over the head with the Shark's accomplishments on the links.

Located in North Myrtle Beach at the popular Barefoot Landing, Greg Norman's Australian Grille is patterned after restaurants in the Sydney harbor. Locally, it's positioned on the Intracoastal Waterway, so you can enjoy your meal while watching the boats go by as a leisurely pace.

Greg Norman's Australian Grille has salads that will fill you up, but if that's not your thing, it has options galore.

On the fish front, you can choose from items like lobster ravioli or seared ahi; a premium strip and pork chop with a BBQ rub also comes highly recommended.

And did we mention Norman has his own brand of wine?

Myrtle Beach restaurants: Central

Maybe that 18 holes you had planned turned into 36. And maybe you forgot to eat throughout the day.

It just so happens one of Myrtle Beach's favorite restaurants also has sizes capable of accommodating the biggest appetites.

Across the street from the area's biggest attraction (Broadway at the Beach), the Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse is a gut-busting, high-end venue that tricks you into thinking you're having a healthy meal before seeing your salad bar and raising you 10-fold. Meat after meat comes at you -- from filet to chicken breast to pork ribs. Rioz has customized several flavors of steak; some include items like bacon and sea salt.

The best part is you can try everything. The portion sizes allow visitors to go with as little or as much as you like. Most go with the latter.

If Rioz isn't up your alley, there's another great option just down the street.

Sea Captain's House is almost universally understood to be one of the Grand Strand's best. The high-end restaurant recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and the quality of food combined with excellent service explains why.

From the front, Sea Captain's House doesn't look like much; it's sandwiched between the strip of hotels on Ocean Boulevard and some residential/rental housing.

Once inside, however, staff members dressed to the nines greet you. That type of dinner atmosphere won't end until after you leave. In between, no matter which meal you go with, get an order or the sauteed crab cakes to go with it.

Myrtle Beach restaurants: South

There are a number of quality steak restaurants on the Grand Strand, including the chain-famous Ruth's Chris. But there's only one Bovine's Wood Fired Specialties.

Bovine's ribeye, filet mignon and New York strip are all priced at less than $30. And while it may sound silly with those steak options, the wood-fired pizzas (all less than $10) are an underrated option, especially if you have kids with you.

Bovine's is located in Murrells Inlet on one of the main stretches. If you're not looking for an over-the-top dining experience, try the back deck that overlooks the area's marshlands.

As a back-up plan, give Bistro 217 in Pawleys Island a try. Head Chef Adam Kirby has refined his craft across the U.S., and there are influences from as far away as Hawaii reflected on the menu.