The best local seafood restaurants in St. Simons Island offer seafood straight from the waters and marshlands surrounding the beautiful island. The English established St. Simons Island in 1733 and locals have been eating seafood ever since. It is a beautiful part of the golden Isles of Georgia. Trees are draped with Spanish moss, marshland meanders throughout the coast, and soft brown beaches surround the Island. The South is known for its great home cooking and hospitality. It is commonly known that Southerners treat their company like family and their family like company. The local seafood restaurants on St. Simons Island take their food and their company seriously and it definitely shows.
Coastal Georgia is known for its fabulous sweet seafood. Local Crab, shrimp, and fish, such as Flounder, catfish, and halibut dominate the menu at these coastal restaurants. These restaurants ensure that the seafood was caught, cooked, and served all in the same day. Whether you have it fried, boiled, broiled, blackened, or grilled freshness is the main ingredient.
Bennie’s Red Barn has been a St. Simons Island establishment for over fifty years. Serving up seafood in a family style atmosphere. Aptly named for the large red barn that serves as the main building of the restaurant. Guests walk into a huge open space that is the perfect blend of barn and restaurant, this is not a theme restaraunt . No need to feel ill as ease here, the atmosphere is southern casual and guests are warmly greeted and shown to their table. Reservations are encouraged only because the restaurant is so popular. While you can get a seat without one, you may be waiting for hours. A loft provides additional seating upstairs and a great view of the entire first floor. It is the perfect spot for a rehearsal dinner or special get together. Each meal is accompanied by a salad of traditional iceberg lettuce topped with Bennie’s Red Barn’s house dressing. . Home style is the word here, and no lettuce is more so than iceberg. Don’t ask for balsamic this or that or fat-free something or other, because you won’t get it.
Now for the best local seafood on St. Simons Island. It is hard to decide where to begin, and you will feel the same once you take in their extensive menu. Shrimp, Crab, and local fish dominate the menu of course, but they are also well known for their fresh cut steaks that they cook over an open fire. I recommend doing a little surf-n-turf here. The steak is to good to pass up and you definitely have to eat seafood. The crab au gratin is cheesy and creamy and wonderful. The fried shrimp are sweet in only the way that coastal Georgia shrimp can be. And the fish is superb whether fried, broiled, or grilled. Guests choose their sides separately from a lengthy list. Southern favorites can be found as well as the usual restaurant fare, like bake potatoes. They make amazing coleslaw that pairs well with any seafood dish. As you eat you will notice an employee traveling around form table to table asking if you would like to have your group photo taken. It is a tradition in the south to photograph special moments, especially those that include food!
A twist on more of the best local seafood on St. Simons Island can be found at George’s Mediterranean Grill. A new comer on the restaurant scene, it opened in 1998. It is located in the Redfern Village on St. Simons Island and is an upscale establishment. Fine dining at its best is what George’s is all about. The restaurant is set up like a European style cafÃ?Â©. Guests can choose between indoor our outdoor seating. This is the perfect place to take a romantic date, and you know the food will be great. The food here takes a focus on Greece. Although it may seem an odd choice in southern Georgia, the menu is full of inventive Greek specialties that take advantage of the local seafood, fresh fish, and produce. I recommend George’s Seafood Mediterannea. Shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, clams, mussels, and langostinos combine with linguine to create a fusion of Greek style cooking with southern coastal seafood. Menu items spread beyond the realm of seafood incorporating beef, lamb, and veal. They also offer an extensive wine list that includes special wines that hale from the Greece. They are open Monday through Saturday and reservations are suggested. George’s Mediterranean CafÃ?Â© brings the Golden Isle of Georgia together with the Greek Isles and the combination is a match made in heaven, Southern heaven that is.
The Crab Shack, located at 1209 ocean Boulevard, is exactly what most people want when they think seafood. No guessing is required here and you won’t be surprised with food fusions. The Crab Shack is an unassuming name for a straightforward seafood restaurant. It is open seven days a week serving up some of the best local seafood around. Their menu says, “fried, boiled, blackened, or grilled” and they mean it, which way do you want it? They have it all and they can cook it almost any way you would like to eat it. The atmosphere is casual here and is popular with both locals as well as tourists. Guests can dine inside or outside and there is always a wait. You always know it is going to be good when people are willing to wait. It has crab shack dÃ?Â©cor, which definitely lends to the friendly and fun atmosphere. I recommend the fried seafood platter here. It includes a little bit of everything. Fish, shrimp, oysters, scallops, and deviled crabs. Don’t waste room on the French fries if you expect to eat all this seafood. The Crab Shack is also well known for their oysters on a half shell. Fresh oysters are served southern style with saltines and hot sauce.
More of the best local seafood can be found at the Georgia Sea Grill. Located in the village on St. Simons Island on 310 Mallory Street, this restaurant offers the perfect location for seafood. The local pier is only a block away. The restaurant is owned by Allan and Kimberly Worthley and they also serve as the chefs. Their motto is, “Fish for all our friend.” No one is a tourist here. Their menu and atmosphere make all visitors welcome. Fresh seafood dominates this menu, but attention to detail and quality service permeates the restaurant. The main dining room holds only fifty-four guests and if you are lucky enough to be one of them you are in for an amazing menu. I recommend the Baked Shrimp Florentine. Shrimp, spinach, hollandaise sauce, and red pepper coulis make this dish a favorite with visitors. The Georgia Sea Grill is definitely upscale dining in a comfortable setting, making this a restaurant you will want to return to time and time again.