Saint Simons Island is one of four historic protective barrier islands, known as the Golden Isles, just off the Georgia coast nestled between Little St. Simons Island and Sea Island to its north and Jekyll Island to the south. St Simons is home to an iconic lighthouse, salt marshes, and southern, tree-lined streets.
St. Simons Island restaurants are great places to have a casual lunch or special occasion fine dining. These Georgia treasures are some of the best lunches on St Simons Island, serving everything from fried shrimp and crab, tacos, fried chicken to fusion Vietnamese.
Southern Soul BBQ is true St Simons Island royalty, called one of the secrets of the Georgia Coast by Atlanta Magazine. While BBQ is very personal, Southern Soul BBQ offers bone-tender brisket and an amazing Brunswick stew. The restaurant sits in a former gas station in the traffic circle — welcoming visitors to the island. And they are always busy, so grab a table when you can.
2020 Demere Road, Saint Simons Island, GA. 912.638.7685
Certified Burgers and Beverages is a local favorite with a southern flair. Try the Nola Burger topped with salami, lettuce, tomato, provolone, and olive relish or a side of chickpea fritters, boiled peanuts. If you have time, the smoked fish dip is a must.
44 Midway Square, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.268.4330
No muss, no fuss. Frosty’s Griddle and Shake is an old-fashioned burger joint serving classic hamburgers, hot dogs, chocolate-dipped soft-serve cones, and milkshakes. Reminiscent of small-town milkshake parlors, the Frosty De-luxe with American and the usual veggies, and Frosty sauce. Don’t forget the crinkle fries and thick milkshake.
501 Mallery St, St Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.434.9509
Gnat’s Landing is “Flip-Flop Friendly” for the whole family. No reservations are needed for the daily specials, which combine American fare with a few southern twists, like the Vidalia Onion Pie and Grit-Bowls. Looking for something lighter? Try the Gnat’s Famous Slaw Bowl is a perfect choice.
310 Redfern Village, Saint Simons Island, GA. 912.638.7378
Blocks from St. Simmons Island Pier, this family-owned cafe does seafood right. Mallery Street Cafe offers daily sandwich specials, including a local favorite, St. Simons Cedar Salmon. The lunch menu offers a variety of choices, from lobster bisque to seafood crepes.
408 Mallory Street, St Simons Island, GA 31522. 912-634-7772
Crab Daddy’s is a 30-year-old island mainstay, frequented by visitors and locals. Locally sourced seafood, including shrimp and mahi-mahi, is transformed into delicious choices include a secret recipe for crab soup, grouper fingers, and Crabdaddy’s Shrimp and Grits house specialty. Don’t forget the Banana Pudding.
1217 Ocean Blvd., Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.634.1120
For over 30 years, Cafe Frederica has been a Saint Simons Island staple for breakfast and lunch. Serving daily breakfast and lunch specials, including the Friday favorite, shrimp in grits and crabcakes. If you are in a brunch mood, the crab cake benedicts will take you to your happy place.
110 Sylvan Drive, Saint Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912-638-6777
Initially a casual, fried seafood joint, the kid-friendly Crab Trap has expanded its menu to include grilled fish and salads. Each entree consists of a mound of the famous fries, plenty for sharing, and the best hush puppies on the island. The shrimp is out of this world—-huge Georgia whites, lightly seasoned and breaded. And yes, the crab cakes are amazing.
1209 Ocean Blvd. St. Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.638.3552
Halyards is casual, upscale breakfast, brunch, and dinner dining at its best. Not every meal needs to be beachside, but Halyards off of Sea Island Road offers locally sourced and hand-prepared creative American cuisine in an intimate setting. The blue crab bisque is delicious and is a perfect appetizer for the aged filet mignon. Choose a big cabernet from their wine list. And leave room for dessert. The pecan pie is a sure bet.
55 Cinema Ln, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.638.9100
Part of The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, the Echo Restaurant is the only beachside dining on the island. The outdoor seating is best for oceanfront views. The Echo’s Coastal Cobb, a twist of the traditional salad, includes mixed field greens, smoked salmon, blackened Wild Georgia Shrimp, bacon, avocado, heirloom tomatoes, bleu cheese crumbles, balsamic vinaigrette. Locally sourced ingredients make this simple menu shine. And, the Grouper Tacos are a sure bet.
101 Downing Street, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.268.5967
Halfway between Jacksonville and Savannah, Barbara Jean’s crab cakes are nothing short of culinary masterpieces. It is easy to order everything, especially the crab soup. But if you are not a crab cake fan, there is plenty on the menu to tempt. Made-from-scratch, southern and home-style cooking with a coastal flair such as the shrimp and grits are a must. It is easy to see why Barbara Jean’s was named one of Coastal Living’s Favorite Seafood Dives and is open for casual in-person lunch or take-out.
214 Mallery Street, Saint Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912.634.6500
Located at the island’s center, Island Pho offers casual indoor dining or enjoy a Thai iced tea with your Pho al fresco. Pho serves traditional Vietnamese noodle dishes with a coastal twist, including beef flank pho, spring rolls, lemongrass, and is open for lunch and dinner.
111 Longview Plaza Driveway, Saint Simons Island, GA. 912.268.4081
New York-style kosher bagels fresh daily from Sandy Bottom Bagels island bakeries are a morning tradition. The deli stocks cream cheese, pumpernickel, egg, salmon, sea salt, asiago, sun-dried tomato, and French toast.
242 Retreat Village, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.434.9310
The Half Shell SSI sits in the Pier Village at the tip of Saint Simons Island and is known for peel-eat-shrimp, oysters on the half shell, and chilled tuna tacos close to the pier. With a small patio that offers intimate outdoor dining, grab a dozen oysters and enjoy the salty breeze.
504 Beachview Dr, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912. 268.4241
True island casual, this local hotspot offers appetizers, sandwiches, and an impressive salad menu. Grab an order of Fried Green Tomatoes and a Brogens Philly – an island take on the classic or the Blackened Mahi Sandwich. In search of a lighter lunch, the shrimp salad will do. Don’t worry, Brogens serves burgers too.
200 Pier Alley, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.638.1660
How about breakfast for lunch? This intimate cafe serves all-day breakfast and lunch. It might take a few minutes to peruse the menu, but the choices are mouthwatering. The Surf Squared is excellent and served with poached eggs on Seared Georgia Tomatoes, Café Crab Cakes, spiced hollandaise, arugula, Georgia olive oil, and pickled red onion. The Crabwich is a griddled English muffin with herb mayonnaise, bacon, lettuce, tomato jam, and southern tomato soup.
223 Mallery St, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.634.5515
An island hidden gem, Del Sur Artisan Eats fuses the flavors of Argentina with Italy. Intimate and unpretentious, the menu offers game sausage or lamb empanadas followed by linguini alla vongole entrees. Del Sur Artisan Eats sits at the edge of the historical downtown of St. Simons Island Village.
321 Mallery Street, Saint Simons Island, GA, 31522. 912.638.1223
Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria has the best pies on the island.
Sal’s also offers pasta, a giant meatball sub, and calzones, known as “salzones” for founder Sal Cenicola, a New Jersey native and professional boxer.
3415 Frederica Road, Saint Simons Island, GA. 31522. 912.268.2328.
Iguanas Seafood Restaurant is kid-friendly and has a large outside covered patio. Famous for its locally sourced, sweet Wild Georgia Shrimp, Iguanas is great food in a casual setting. It serves a wide variety of American coastal choices like the Crab Cake sandwich or an order of jumbo scallops. But there are burgers and salads too.
303 Mallery Street, Saint. Simons Island, GA 31522. 912 638 9650
Delaney’s Bistro and Bar is fine dining, within a classic American island bistro. The menu at Delaney’s features locally caught seafood, prime steaks & tapas. The crab cake sandwich or the mushroom pizza are local favorites for lunch. If you are looking for a vegan choice, the grilled eggplant sandwich is a good bet.
3415 Frederica Road, Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.638.1330
Italian for “among friends,” Tramici is considered by locals as some of the best Italian food on the island. A sister restaurant to Halyards, Tramici offers traditional Italian food with locally sourced ingredients. Try a Seared Salmon salad or share a thin and crispy pizza.
75 Cinema Ln., St. Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.634.2202
Under the mastery of Zack Gowen, the Georgia Sea Grill is quite possibly the best lunch on St Simons Island sourcing fresh, sourcing our favorite vegetables, fruits, and herbs from local growers, and combining the sea’s tastes into delicious creations. First Calls such as Wasabi Pea Encrusted Tuna or Crab Stuffed Hushpuppies followed by Satilla Ponds Fried Catfish, and a choice from a rather impressive wine list, make this Saint Simons restaurant a must.
Georgia Sea Grill, 407 Mallery Street, Saint Simons Island, GA. 912.638.1197
This marina-side seafood restaurant is a beloved brunch spot. Excellent views complement the Lump Crab Frittata & Asparagus or lightly battered French Toast, freshly caught seafood, and great shrimp and grits.
102 Marina Dr., Saint Simons Island, GA 31522. 912.638.7790