Food & Drink

Pacino’s is the hidden gem of Murrells Inlet

By Emily Smith

For The Sun News

Pacino’s Beef Shawarma
Pacino’s Beef Shawarma Emily Smith

Pacino’s Mediterranean Grille in Murrells Inlet may be small but it packs a sizable punch. For years now the restaurant has been a staple for locals, gathering business even in the depths of winter. During the on season, this little eatery overflows with guests, more often than not making reservations a necessity.

As the name suggests, the menu at Pacino’s is filled with Mediterranean dishes with heavy Italian inspirations and sprinkles of Turkish, Greek, even Lebanese and Jewish foods. There is enough of a variety to appease different cravings or dietary restrictions, including kid’s meals and vegetarian dishes.

Though the exterior could be called nondescript, the inside is warm and inviting. Pacino’s is relaxed enough to be considered casual but also nice enough to make for a charming date night. Guests can start the evening off with their choice of appetizers, from simple garlic bread to stuffed grape leaves or baba ganouj.

Plenty of pastas are available, including spaghetti and fettucine, plus breaded parmesan dishes and marsala. All these pastas can come with beef, veal, chicken, or seafood, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

Other than pasta, Pacino’s has amazing Mediterranean platters like their shish kebab or baked kibbeh. The restaurant’s shawarma with beef has been cooked to tender perfection, and comes with pita, hummus, and grilled tomatoes which altogether create a perfect combination of flavors that melt in your mouth.

The servers are attentive and friendly with a willingness to accommodate and answer any questions that may come up. This includes inquiries about the wine options, which are plentiful, and the daily specials that are written on a small chalkboard in the entryway, like the popular escargot.

Other specials that change regularly can include the soup of the day and a few dessert options, often offering the popular house made crème brulee. Pacino’s also has early bird specials for guests who have arrived before 6 p.m., but for dine-in customers only. However, even without choosing the early bird specials, the prices are quite reasonable for the quality of great food.

Live keyboard music is available every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to make an enjoyable evening out even more special. The owner also makes regular rounds in the dining area, visiting with regulars and constantly making sure that all customers are satisfied.

In its lifetime, Pacino’s has done everything right to be a household name for locals and a hidden gem for tourists. With its popularity, the restaurant could no doubt be successful even in a larger location but most guests, if not all, would consider Pacino’s to be perfect the way it is.

At A Glance

What | Pacino’s Mediterranean Grille

Where | 3103 S. Highway 17, Murrells Inlet

Hours | 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Information |, 843-651-0532