ELA'S On the Water

4.6
3317 Reviews
$30 and under
Seafood
Featured in Bon Appetit and the winner of numerous Open Table awards, ELA'S On the Water is a shining star on the Hilton Head scene. Fresh catch seafood and prime cut steaks of the highest quality, artfully prepared by our culinary team of experts, compliment the extensive boutique wine selection. Located at Shelter Cove Harbour overlooking the marina and Broad Creek, ELA's is known for the best water views on the island. A casual intimate interior, wrap around dining patio exterior, and nightly entertainment provided by local recording artists sets the perfect dining experience or location to host special events, private parties, or rehearsal dinners.
What 3317 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DA
vipDawgsfromAthens
Charleston
86 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hosted friends who are staying with us on this visit to HHI. Brunch at Ela’s on the water is a regular treat for us when on the island, but a new experience for our friends. They have had dinner at Ela’s but not Sunday brunch. Our server, Kimberly, made sure everything was excellent (as we always find is true). The Benedict menu met everyone’s taste. We had the crab, the smoked salmon, and the traditional. All were tasty and satisfying. We topped it all off with strawberry cake, hummingbird cake, and key lime pie and good rich coffee. Good times had by all! Special thanks to Kimberly for taking such good care of us.

CG
vipCindyG
Charleston
15 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal and service! We ate outdoors and the heat lamps were very effective.

b
bkcadcdine
Charleston
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great outside dining with outstanding view of the marina. The food was outstanding; as always. I think Ela’s is the best restaurant on the island. The wait staff was attentive, personable and efficient. Great evening. Thanks!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Food was very good and environment excellent. Just a little overpriced , there is equal quality food in area much cheaper.

A
vipAtmosphere52
Pittsburgh
12 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outdoors sunset can’t be beat

S
vipSonja
Columbus
8 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a lovely dinner by the water. Enjoyed multiple items from their appetizer menu- loved the lobster nachos. Best raspberry martini I’ve ever had!! Service was excellent- highly recommend 👍

BB
BetsyB
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good food and service, nice atmosphere and not crowded!

T
vipTony
Atlanta
68 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

ELA's does not disappoint. A very nice evening with good friends!

RM
RandyM
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience4

Went for brunch. Salmon BLT had no bacon. Grouper sandwich was very greasy. View was wonderful and the waitress was nice.

LD
LarryD
Atlanta
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The service and ambience are excellent. The food was very good. We'll be back!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The food has definitely improved over the years. The more I go back the more I like it. Luke our server was really nice and didn’t get mad at me when I drank wine straight out of the bottle.

c
vipchewy
Baltimore
75 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a lovely dinner at Elias a few evenings ago. The food was very good. The service was great.

B
Bruce2019
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dining experience. Will definitely be back.

MW
vipMaryW
Charleston
62 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Great food. The crab cake is AMAZING! As was the tuna my husband had. And the chocolate mouse pie for dessert! Yummy all around.

N
Nikmtay
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ela's never disappoints!!!! Perfect every time!!!

SM
vipScottM
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience5

Food was disappointing. Double charged for an item and was not refunded after they called and said they would. Revisiting this restaurant four years after our honeymoon. Ela’s has gone downhill since our first visit. Service was kind but poor. The view is still good. Maybe just stop by for drinks and apps next time.

K
Katie
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

The interior hasn’t been renovated in a while. Old, dark, and dated. The food tasted like cafeteria food. It was the worst $150 I’ve spent on Hilton head.

NA
vipNASHVILLENATIVEFOODIE
Nashville
108 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We went to Ela’s early in the evening for the first time during Restaurant Week (RW)on Hilton Head. Their approach to RW was unique in giving a free bottle of good wine with the purchase of two entrees. The downside of this was, of course, there was no “bonus” for those who did not want wine with their meal.

In summary, everything was lovely and the host/owner made us feel very welcome, thanked us for coming, and gave us a very nice table. The food was attractive and delicious and prices reasonable for a restaurant of this quality. Our server was very experienced and friendly and she did the very best she could with too many tables to serve. She was very rushed and busy as the evening progressed. We will definitely return and will put it on our “Favorites List” for HHI.

MM
MrsM
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow! Found this amazing place via Open Table while looking for a last minute dinner reservation. It was our lucky night. We had a beautiful booth near the window. The host was very friendly, as was our server. Couldn't have been more pleased with our meal. I had the scallops and my husband had the Salmon Rockefeller. Our son had the truffle fries (yum!) and calamari. Everything was delicious. Will absolutely be back when we are visiting HHI.

RR
RaRa
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed a double birthday celebration for both my husband and I and it was just perfect! The service was excellent and they all just really went out of their way to make us feel special & have a memorable evening. The food was delicious, generous and quick ... a great first impression!

CG
vipCindyG
Charleston
16 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great dinner and night out at Ela's! Thank you.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service! Delicious food! Will definitely return!

MF
MadisonF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Delicious food and wonderful service! The lobster bisque and ribeye was phenomenal. Can't wait to return during the warmer months to enjoy the outside seating area.

MW
vipMichelleW
New England
5 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a delicious meal with a beautiful table and view! Our server was terrific and very attentive. My husband had the short ribs and they were scrumptious. I had the salmon and it was perfectly cooked and very tasty! Our chocolate torte dessert was also excellent! Can’t wait to return.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience3

We called the restaurant when we realized we would be late for our reservation due to a bad wreck on the bridge entering Hilton Head. The host said it would be fine and our table would still be available since we were eating so early in the evening.
We arrived and were seated outside. This normally wouldn’t be an issue but it was 40° outside which made it very uncomfortable for dinning. They have heaters over most of the tables but unfortunately, we were sat at a table with no heater.
We requested to be moved to a vacant table (all outside tables with heaters were vacant at the time) and was told those tables were being held for future reservations. The server politely guided us to a table inside where it was much more comfortable for dining.
Once we sat, our server Kimberly told us that we only had about an hour to dine because our table would need to be available for the next reservation. Thought it was odd she would even mention that but as the evening progressed it was very obvious that we were not welcome and were rushed through our meal.
I asked about the charcuterie board ($24) because that’s what we would usually order. She insisted that it was too big for two people and suggested the fried green tomatoes ($10). I can only assume she wasn’t wanting us to get the board because it would take us too long to eat it.
Normally I wouldn’t complain about fast service but this was a record for us. We had an appetizer and dinner and were out the door in less than 30 minutes. My plate was almost taken away before I had finished. I noticed other tables were offered more drinks and dessert. Our check came without any such service.
Date nights don’t happen for us very often so when they do it’s nice to enjoy our time and not be rushed out the door.
I do not recommend this restaurant. The view is the only thing nice here. The food, service and decor is mediocre. There are much better places to eat in Hilton Head.

J
vipJdspin
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Andre was great as was bartender David.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

David & rest of team were superb! Professional, respectful, friendly, and completely hospitable.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious and the service was excellent! Highly recommend.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Very nice date night spot great food and good price

WL
vipWLZPA
Columbus
24 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We just wanted something small, but we're surprised. We ordered the Pear salad ($11) and it was a sprinkling of baby spring greens so light you could see the plate through them. There were four tiny slivers of pear. Overall the taste was good, but it was not even half the size of similar salads elsewhere on the Island.

JW
JosephW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great spot on the harbor, awesome views - Food was excellent and a decent value.

t
turtle
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had to keep calling and change the number of people in our party and they were very understanding and accommodating. Our dinner was a wonderful experience from the food to the service.

B
Bruce2019
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our Filet Mignon dinners were delicious and were cooked perfectly. Service was excellent and such a great atmosphere. We will definitely be back.

TF
vipTerryF
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Very nice but a little cold and windy

ET
vipEpicurusTheYounger
Western NC
10 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sunday brunch on Valentine’s Day became even more special at ELA’s. The dining room is on the second floor of a building that fronts the Marina, so all the boats add to the ambience. Very nice.

m
vipmariav
Charleston
9 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We had a great Valentines Brunch despite the gloomy weather. Our server Katie was great as well.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charleston
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was Valentine’s Day and we were greeted with warmth. The guitarist was entertaining. Our waiter Andre gave us the best recommendation based on what we loved and we will definitely be back for lobster, risotto and the bread. But let’s talk about the calamari and horseradish sauce omg. The flavor dances on my tongue and the sauce was the beat. I can’t wait to go back.

l
viploverestaurants
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We sat outside with heaters and a nice view of the water. Our server was excellent a d food delicious.

DJ
DwayneJ
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was great. It was well prepared. Will definitely eat there again.

TM
vipTimM
Charleston
21 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Another great meal at Ela's. Food and service is always great. One of our favorite restaurants on the island.

FAQs

ELA'S On the Water offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (843) 785-3030.

ELA'S On the Water is rated 4.6 stars by 3317 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

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