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Swain Seafood Shack

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About
Small family owned business dedicated to serving fresh mouthwatering dishes using local resources. Daily specials including locally caught fish!
PRICE RANGE
$14 - $35
Special Diets
Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner
CUISINES
Seafood
FEATURES
Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free off-street parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Reservations, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Gift Cards Available
Reviews (157)
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157 results
Traveler rating
109
29
9
7
3
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
109
29
9
7
3
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All reviews homemade chips coconut cake hush puppies grouper cheeks seafood tacos panko crumbs trip to the salad bar trigger fish key lime pies sandwich peel and eat shrimp clam strips fresh catch cole slaw golden tile small salad bar
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Reviewed September 14, 2020

My family stopped for some takeout during a recent beach vacation. The fried shrimp and chicken tenders were very good. I thought the fried oysters were mediocre but overall the food quality was very good. I would recommend for fried seafood at a reasonable price.

Date of visit: September 2020
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Reviewed September 3, 2020 via mobile

Excellent food and service. Scallops and shrimp grilled exactly to my taste. Wife’s fillet done exactly the way she imagined. Reservations required during this Covid time. Signature desserts fantastic (if you saved room).

Date of visit: September 2020
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Reviewed August 7, 2020

The food is absolutely great. It is the best I have had on Oak Island, and we come a few times a year to visit parents. By far the best seafood. The operation is a little rough around the edges, but with the fantastic food...I came to view it as a more local, down home, experience. Our server was just as kind as could be. She was patient and easy going and moved fast - anything we asked for she was on it. The food is the real star here. We got the Crab Dip and the Thai Shrimp for appetizers. The Crab Dip is served with real potato chips, which by themselves are off the chart delicious. the Crab Dip has a little spice kick to them but not too much - my kids gobbled it up. Definitely a must have starter. The Thai Shrimp were good - not super great, but still good. The sauce is what gives the Thai Shrimp their yum - it is more spicy than the Crab Dip, only my oldest ate them after trying. For Dinner, I order the Fresh Catch Combo +2. Grilled and Blackend Grouper, with Scallops and Shrimp. Wow. It was fan-freaking-tastic. The fish The scallops were actually cooked right, soft with a little grilled action on the top/bottom. The shrimp too. The Grouper perhaps could have been a thicker piece but it was cooked so nicely that I enjoyed every bite. With the combo, you have to order all your choices cooked the same way. In my case, grilled/blackened was superb, but I could see someone being picky about that. I didn't even eat the hush puppies and only a couple chips that were served with dinner - the Combo +2 is a LOT of food. My son ordered the New England Clam chowder, which he said was awesome. He also got the Seafood Italiano, which I tried and it was very good. Fresh, not overwhelmed with sauce, but tons of shrimp, mushrooms, etc., a really good fresh island take on an italian dish. Wife ordered the Mermaid Surprise (I think that's the name). Basically a seafood pasta in a cream sauce. Like the other dishes, it was fresh, and delicious. The salad is always a good tell-tale, and the salad came out cool and fresh, with lots of pecan crumbles and, as requested, only a bit of blue cheese. All in all, this is by far the best place for a kick-ass dinner on Oak Island. Other places, even with good reviews, serve what is clearly a frozen Calamari appetizer, and crab cake. The prices were what I would expect for good portions of fresh, well prepared seafood. Last thought... I ordered a "Mango Rita" and when our waitress said they were out of the mango, I had it prepared as a standard margarita. Even that was outstanding. Whatever sour mix they uses is not the electric green death syrup you get at a lot of the other island bars. It was balanced and refreshing.More

Date of visit: August 2020
Helpful?1  
Reviewed August 4, 2020 via mobile

The grilled shrimp was awesome. My wife and mother also loved the flounder. Will definitely be back!

Date of visit: August 2020
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Reviewed July 1, 2020 via mobile

We reluctantly made our way to Oak Island about two weeks ago trying to have a relaxing vacation during this horrible pandemic. We wanted some deep fried seafood, and had heard good things about Swain's, so we tried it. We had to call ahead and...make a reservation due to the pandemic. We arrived on time, we had to knock on the side door to be let inside and be seated. They did a pretty good job of keeping their customers separated and we all felt pretty comfortable in our seating placement. The food was fantastic! Not your typical batter on their deep fried seafood selections. It wasn't thick and heavy, or overly breaded, but light and crispy. Big servings too. The clam strips and oysters were some of the best I've had since my trip to Maine two years ago. Everyone was very happy with their food. Dessert was delicious! We ordered a few pieces of cake, two slices of coconut cake and the last slice of blueberry cheesecake stuffed lemon cake. You read that correctly. A blueberry cheesecake baked inside of a lemon cake! Unbelievable. All three pieces were HUGE! None of us had ever had cake in a restaurant with slices that big. Definitely enough to share. We all waddled out and wedged ourselves back into our SUV, eager to get back to our beach house to unbutton our pants and let our meals digest. I would have given 5 stars but only one thing kinda turned me off. When we arrived, and were let inside, it really smelled bad. I know that it's a seafood restaurant, but it shouldn't smell like a bait shop on Lake Erie. Hopefully they'll work on that if we're all still alive and can return to Swain's next year. God Bless!More

Date of visit: July 2020
Helpful?1  
Reviewed May 20, 2020 via mobile

NEVER disappoints! The Italian dinner for two $20 is more than enough. We got 6 manicotti, a large salad and garlic bread. Bake for 30 minutes and you have a fantastic supper!! And don’t forget their famous deserts! Our favorite is coconut cake YUM See...ya next week ❤️More

Date of visit: May 2020
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Reviewed February 2, 2020

Love the fried shrimp basket with hushpuppies and chips. All three delicious. Service very fast and friendly. They use panko crumbs for breading and it is wonderful and not at all greasy. Will be a regular for surel.

Date of visit: February 2020
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Reviewed January 4, 2020

We arrived late to the island 🌴 for dinner on our first day and were out of options so we ate here for the first time. The food was good, the portions were fair and the value was fair. It was an’ any port in...a storm’ type of deal. Might visit again but probably for lunch.More

Date of visit: August 2019
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Reviewed December 27, 2019

This is the best fresh prepared seafood we have found anywhere south of Wilmington. If you get fried, realize it is panko. We prefer a light tempura. The choice of blackened is really good. No fries, but the homemade chips are really good as well...as the hushpuppies. Servings are huge. The small is really enough for 2 people with big appetites. The desserts are homemade and wonderful. Key lime pie with chocolate was excellent. If you are too full to order dessert, get a piece to go. We drove from Holden Beach and it was worth the drive. Super nice staff. Accept credit cards.More

Date of visit: December 2019
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Reviewed November 20, 2019 via mobile

Awesome! I had the fried shrimp and flounder. Both were great and I’d order them both again today if I had the chance. They have homemade chips instead of fries and they’re great as well. I’ll go back when I’m in town and would recommend...you go as well.More

Date of visit: November 2019
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Questions & Answers
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Rpo1
August 28, 2019|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from 1wvkayaker | Reviewed this property |
yes
2
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65_PB
December 27, 2017|
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Response from LMBandW | Reviewed this property |
I would think calling the restaurant and getting that information from the owner/manager would be best.
1
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Libby G
April 30, 2017|
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Response from maggiemae4 | Reviewed this property |
Very inexpensive no reservations, only open for lunch. Very very casual like off the beach casual. If you want a place that takes reservations for dinner try Island Way on Oak Island or all of Olivers in SOUTHPORT, both... More
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