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ELA'S On the Water

4.6
4.6
5075 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.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 32 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Steak, Wine Bar

  • Hours of operation

    BRUNCH: Sunday 11:00 - 2:00pm LUNCH: Monday - Friday 11:00 - 2:00pm DINNER: Daily 5:00 - 10:00pm LIVE ENTERTAINMENT: Thursday - Sunday 7pm -10pm F Thursdays 7pm - 10pm : HARRY SANTANA Fridays/Saturdays 7pm - 10pm : JOHN WASEM Fridays/Saturdays 7pm - 10pm : REID RICHMOND Sundays 11am - 2pm: MARTIN LESCH Sundays 7pm - 10pm : TIM MALCHAK Private Party bookings available in our Penthouse Private Dining Room Docking fees/ complimentary when arriving by boat with reservations

  • Phone number

    (843) 785-3030

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Executive chef

    Doug Vernon

  • Catering

    Second Level private dining for Wedding & Private events for up to 80pp<br />Penthouse VIP Dining Room available for parties up to 20pp

  • Private party facilities

    Best Water View Dining on Hilton HeadSecond Level private dining for Wedding & Private events for up to 80ppPenthouse VIP Dining Room available for parties up to 20pp

  • Private party contact

    Lynn Malvasio : (843) 785-3030

  • Neighborhood

    Hilton Head Island

  • Parking details

    Enter Shelter Cove Harbour and follow Shelter Cove Lane to the private parking for guests.<br /><br />OMNI RESORT / MARRIOTT RESORT / WESTIN RESORT offer free shuttles to ELA'S <br /><br />For directions call our concierge at 843-785-3030

  • Public transit

    OMNI RESORT / MARRIOTT RESORT / WESTIN RESORT offer free shuttles to ELA'S <br /><br />Palmetto Dunes - DunesBuggy - free shuttle to ELA's

  • Entertainment

    Original Artist Productions, Classic Rock, Island Music John Wasem every Thursday & Friday from 7 - 11pmReid Richmond every Saturday from 7 - 11pmBill Peterson every Sunday 11 - 2pmDean St. Hillaire every Sunday 7 - 10pm

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 5,075 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.6Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • South Carolina

    Seafood

  • Hilton Head

    Best Ambiance

  • Hilton Head

    Outdoor Dining

  • Hilton Head

    Scenic View

  • Hilton Head

    Most Booked

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Filters

  1. KS

    KatieS

    Denver

    14 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    14 reviews

    Dined today

    overall3food3service5ambience5
    Lobster bisque was very salty as was the crab risotto side. The atmosphere outside was lovely and service was good.
  2. RC

    RCSIII

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined today

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent!!! Dinner was great and service was as well!!!
  3. G

    Grace

    Houston

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love this restaurant! Food, service, atmosphere, all wonderful.
  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New England

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Food and server, Vanessa, we’re both excellent. We have been to Ela’s several times and have always been completely satisfied. Noise level when there is live entertainment we find to be high, however. All in all, a great choice for dinner on HHI
  5. LG

    LoriG

    Memphis/West TN

    18 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    18 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Excellent food! Waitress was very night. Would recommend.
  6. SB

    SteveB

    Charleston

    48 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    48 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    My wife loved the braised ribs! Probably her favorite on the island. I had the shrimp and grits, although they were prepared very well, would not order that again.
  7. s

    susank

    Richmond

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very pleasant dining experience.We will definitely return.We had a taste of different seafood dishes.The scallops were outstanding as were the crabcakes and the salmon.Our waiter was fantastic.
  8. J

    Justmy2cents

    Charlotte

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent thanksgiving dinner. Aside from my pumpkin cheesecake being frozen in the center the meal was great!
  9. MZ

    MillicentZ

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall3food3service4ambience3
    We had asked for specific seating window with harbor view. The reservation confirmation indicated that it was accepted. Upon arrival we were seated in a dark corner, no window , no view. The cocktails were watered down, the dinner was ordinary at best. It was the Thanksgiving turkey dinner. The dressing was dry, like brick and served with no gravy. The turkey was palatable but had no redeeming seasoning- pretty bland. Had to ask for extra gravy, Big disappointment we won’t go back.
  10. DT

    DonnaT

    Naples

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Thanksgiving Dinner was amazing. Traditional meal...sitting outside overlooking the water. Excellent service.
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We enjoyed a very tasty Thanksgiving meal! We have been looking for a CLEAN restaurant outside of Beaufort and finally found a place we felt comfortable and a turkey dinner much like ones we were used to before moving to Beaufort! I have a physical disability and my request for a larger table was fulfilled. We will return! We wish it wasn’t such a distance but the drive was worth it. The turkey was tender and moist. Apple pie was great! The staff was very friendly! Thank you for being open for Thanksgiving. We are thankful for you, especially Kim our server!
  12. DT

    DouglasT

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall2food1service4ambience3
    Disappointing, ordered the Thanksgiving dinner special and the food was cold, stuffing tasted like it was sitting out for a long time, had to send both plates back and order something else off the main menu. Our server was good. He did what he could to make up for the disappointing food. Not sure we would go back a second time.
  13. S

    Schenkster

    Charleston

    62 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    62 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall3food2service4ambience4
    We were so excited to have a Thanksgiving dinner on the water at Ella’s. Sat out on deck enjoying the views of the harbor. Service was great…giving us time to enjoy our cocktail and appetizer…great wine list. Husband ordered the grouper and I ordered the special Prime Rib. Grouper was flavorful, but a small portion. I asked for a medium rare slice of prime rib, and received a medium well. When I returned (which I rarely do), I received a very rare (like they just cut it off of the roast) slab of meat. Of course, my husband was already done with his entree by the time I received mine. That was enough to pack it up and leave. Ended up doing a sear at home. Unfortunate…Not sure we will be back. Very disappointing.
  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Such a treat and special for the holidays!
  15. HD

    HeartDay

    Charleston

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Overall, we were pleased this time with our experience. The only issue was that there is no elevator to the top sitting area. While I was able to climb up and down the steps to the dining area, it was a struggle for my knees. Once I was there, everything went as anticipated. Our passed experiences at Ela's has always been downstairs and well worth it. Thank you.
  16. MM

    MerlinsMom

    Pittsburgh

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    ELA’s never disappoints. The food is delicious and is a step up from most restaurants on the island. Service is consistently good and the view is incredible. It’s one of our favorite restaurants on HHI. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but is so worth it on my opinion.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall3food4service2ambience2
    Party of 5 seated at a 4-top despite there being other open tables. Table was completely out of the general area so we were pretty much ignored.
  18. BB

    BostonBruins4

    Chicago

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of the best overall dinners I've ever had. The food is absolutely top notch, the drinks list is on the right side of things, and the service was very attentive. We had the scallops, hand picked oysters, and Napoleon beets and loved all of it! I will certainly look forward to returning.
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great atmosphere for our first anniversary, good food and great service by moisa
  20. K

    Kmgchicago

    Chicago

    30 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    30 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall3food4service1ambience5
    Our waitress was abrupt and rude. She was in such a hurry, was clearly annoyed by our questions about the menu, and rushed us while ordering. After I ordered my wine from the wine menu she literally grabbed it out of my hands and snapped the book style menu shut. When one of my guests didn’t care for the house wine she ordered, the waitress didn’t help her choose something different and remarked that “the cheap wine isn’t always the best choice”. We were a table of five and I left a 20% tip on the full bill but shouldn’t have. My guests even commented on the rude service which I felt badly about since I recommended this restaurant.
  21. CJ

    ChristopherJ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our server, Kim, was outstanding, as was our server last time (Karen). I feel the wine is priced appropriately, but the food is priced significantly higher than it should be. We'll be back. Chris
  22. JR

    JudyR

    Exclusive

    8 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall2food2service5ambience5
    We started with lobster nachos. We were hard-pressed to find any lobster on them. They were also served on flour tortillas. Typically one would find nachos served on corn tortillas. We moved on to the crab stack. The crowd was very fishy and inevitable. Plus they added additional ingredients other than the mango and avocado and crab one would typically make them with. We moved on to the grouper. That was very mediocre at best. We finished with the strawberry cake which was excellent.
  23. NA

    NASHVILLENATIVEFOODIE

    Nashville

    129 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    129 reviews

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    The food at Ela’s is excellent and well presented and the service and value are very good but the noise level was very high on this particular night which affected the ambiance. Unfortunately, there was also a noisy small child that added to the noise. We had the beautiful and delicious whole flounder and salmon and, at $34 each, the values is in line with that of comparable HHI restaurants. We also split a salad which was done beautifully in the kitchen and was ample prior to the also generous entree’s. We have dined at Ela’s at least once on previous visits and will continue to do so.
  24. WS

    WallyS

    Vancouver

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food and service were very good. The view was beautiful as well. All in all it was a great dining experience.
  25. RA

    RAG46

    New York Area

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on November 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Excellent food. Good service!
  26. F

    Felicia

    New York Area

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on November 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I ordered two appetizers instead of an app and an entre. So many delicious things on the menu, I had trouble deciding what to order. Our waiter was attentive and helpful, and we had a great time.
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Exclusive

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We have been to Ella’s a number of times. We have never been disappointed. We’ll worth going to Ella’s. Very special.
  28. M

    Mattie

    Philadelphia

    65 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    65 reviews

    Dined on November 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love it here. We had a table by the window for my bday . Raven, our waitress, was attentive and knowledgeable . My husband has the pork chop which he loved. I had swordfish which was a special. We both had the lobster bisque.
  29. WS

    WallyS

    Vancouver

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on November 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was good food and good service. Prices were reasonable for the food and service received. Can’t ask for more than that.
  30. j

    janc

    London

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Anniversary
  31. RH

    RobertH

    Charleston

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    We were greatly surprised how in expensive the brunch was. Also, the food was great and the service exceptional considering the large crowds that were there. Only downside to the large and loud crown was that we were never able to hear the pianist whom we've enjoyed each time we've been at Ela's. Was a great time.
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Ela’s was recommended by our adult children who call it their favorite restaurant. It certainly lived up to that honor. The food was wonderful and the menu extensive. Our waitress Karen was attentive and helpful in our decision making. I wish I had eaten outside however it was so charming with the twinkling lights . Next time! The Hillmanns
  33. RB

    RobertB

    Charleston

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience3
    Ordered crabcakes, too much breading. Expect better at the beach
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Very good service and atmosphere but overpriced.
  35. WS

    WalterS

    Charleston

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food great service beautiful view
  36. TS

    TomS

    Indiana

    15 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    One of our favorite restaurants on HHI. Very disappointed with the Bucatini dish. The pasta was in 4 to 6 inch pieces. The pasta was broken in the box and instead of opening a new box, this was cooked and served. Very disappointed with my meal. Outstanding service from our server. He did ask the chef about my pasta. We will try Ella’s again the next time we are in HHI.
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Cincinnati

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Great Service! Food Did Not come out warm enough!
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Anniversary celebration
  39. J

    John

    Charleston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Food was good but way to salty. Noisy you couldn't here the man playing music/singing
  40. AB

    AtlantaBrit

    Atlanta

    7 reviews

    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall3food2service4ambience4
    We had come here before for the brunch, which was excellent. Dinner was disappointing. My husband’s flounder was overcooked and managed to be simultaneously dry and watery. My shrimp and grits came with the tails still on the shrimp … Very nice cheese grits but I’m not sure cheese grits are a good pairing for a spicy sauce. The sauce was very nice too but I could have done with more sauce and less grits. (The best shrimp and grits I’ve had so far was at Alexander’s.) Oh and the hush puppies were … terrible! Hopefully an off night.

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 5075 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 32 times today
Google Map for ELA'S On the Water

One Shelter Cove Ln, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Hilton Head Island

  • Hours of operation

    BRUNCH: Sunday 11:00 - 2:00pm LUNCH: Monday - Friday 11:00 - 2:00pm DINNER: Daily 5:00 - 10:00pm LIVE ENTERTAINMENT: Thursday - Sunday 7pm -10pm F Thursdays 7pm - 10pm : HARRY SANTANA Fridays/Saturdays 7pm - 10pm : JOHN WASEM Fridays/Saturdays 7pm - 10pm : REID RICHMOND Sundays 11am - 2pm: MARTIN LESCH Sundays 7pm - 10pm : TIM MALCHAK Private Party bookings available in our Penthouse Private Dining Room Docking fees/ complimentary when arriving by boat with reservations

  • Cuisines

    Seafood, Steak, Wine Bar

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking details

    Enter Shelter Cove Harbour and follow Shelter Cove Lane to the private parking for guests.<br /><br />OMNI RESORT / MARRIOTT RESORT / WESTIN RESORT offer free shuttles to ELA'S <br /><br />For directions call our concierge at 843-785-3030

  • Public transit

    OMNI RESORT / MARRIOTT RESORT / WESTIN RESORT offer free shuttles to ELA'S Palmetto Dunes - DunesBuggy - free shuttle to ELA's

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Doug Vernon

  • Entertainment

    Original Artist Productions, Classic Rock, Island Music John Wasem every Thursday & Friday from 7 - 11pmReid Richmond every Saturday from 7 - 11pmBill Peterson every Sunday 11 - 2pmDean St. Hillaire every Sunday 7 - 10pm

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (843) 785-3030

  • Catering

    Second Level private dining for Wedding & Private events for up to 80pp<br />Penthouse VIP Dining Room available for parties up to 20pp

  • Private party facilities

    Best Water View Dining on Hilton HeadSecond Level private dining for Wedding & Private events for up to 80ppPenthouse VIP Dining Room available for parties up to 20pp

  • Private party contact

    Lynn Malvasio : (843) 785-3030

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