Friday, February 24, 2012

Hilton Head Island - Mexican Restaurants

Disney HHI room number fish

Most people headed to Hilton Head Island, when they are thinking about food, are not thinking about going to Mexican restaurants.  Seafood is the order of the day on the island.  Of course most people are not my wife.  She likes fish, is allergic to shrimp and shellfish, but she loves guacamole.  So on our trip to Disney’s Hilton Head Island resort we managed to have lunch 4 days at Mexican restaurants.  OK, it was 3 Mexican and one “southwest” and not 4 Mexican restaurants. 

January at Hilton Head is a strange time.  Most restaurants close for the month.  So if you visit during January you have to look a little harder to find a place to eat out.  Disney’s HHI resort does not have a sit-down restaurant.  It has 2 counter service (one at the resort and one at the Beach House).  This past January the Beach House was closed for renovations so that only left Tide-Me-Over.  Mom and I did not eat there but Amy and her family did more than once.  Tink loved it as the  kids meal comes in a sand bucket, complete with shovel.

Since there was no sit-down restaurant at the resort and all but one of the restaurants at Shelter Cove were closed we ventured out to find places to eat.  With our trusty iPhone Apps, AroundMe and TripAdvisor, we tracked down some Mexican restaurants. 

The first place we found was Fiesta Fresh Mexican Grill (  It was in a shopping center toward the north end of the island.  I dropped mom off near the door and went to park the car.  When I got into the restaurant, I found her leaning on a bar-height table looking over the counter at the menu on the wall.  I could tell she was thinking “Taco Bell” and was not real happy.  Since we were there and it was way past lunch, we picked out items of the menu plus some guacamole and chips.  Well, “Taco Bell” it is not.  While a counter service restaurant, the food was cooked fresh when ordered.  It was served up hot, and was very unexpectedly, delicious.  The guacamole was wonderful, chunky, and the chips were warm and crunchy.  This was our favorite Mexican place except for another Fiesta Fresh Mexican Grill on the south-end of the island near Sea Pines Circle.  Amy found this one looking for a place she thought Tink would eat not knowing we had eaten at the other Fiesta Fresh.  Tink loves her chips and salsa.  Amy has posted some pictures of the girls in paper hats at this Fiesta Fresh.  And the food was just as good as the first.

We found another Mexican restaurant in the Publix shopping center near Sea Pines circle.  La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant ( was notable, not so much for the food, as for the sign as you walked over a footbridge to the entrance that read “Do Not Feed The Alligators”.  Sure enough near the bank at the end of the walk in front of the restaurant was an alligator floating in the water.  The food was typical Mexican fare; Tasty, but nothing really outstanding.

My favorite Mexican meal was at Santa Fe CafĂ© Southwestern Cusine(  Almost directly across from the entrance to Shelter Cove, we almost did not stop here.  It is sort of an upscale Southwestern restaurant with a large bar and an open kitchen area.   The only problem mom had here was drinks were served in old-fashioned bar glasses.  Mom likes BIG glasses for her tea.  The waitress did work for her tip just keeping her supplied with tea.  The presentation of the food was only surpassed by the taste of the food.  The Painted Desert Soup, Santa Fe Salad, and Chicken Quesadilla I had from the lunch menu were wonderful.

 When you go to HHI, where do you eat?  What is your favorite place?


1 comment:

  1. Ditto on Fiesta Fresh. Not much to look at but my fish tacos were very good. You left out our dessert buffet there. :) (We tried the sopapillas, flan, & churros. All tasty. Tough research, huh?)


Thanks so much for visiting us and reading this post. Please leave us a message because we love to hear your Disney stories and tips too!