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Dorothy’s Cocktail and Oyster Bar

Where to Dine While Visiting St. Simons Island and Brunswick, Georgia

The historic island off the coast of Georgia and nearby city of Brunswick offer everything from barbecue, local beer, and burgers to fresh seafood, pizza, and pho

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People generally don’t associate beaches with Georgia despite it having 100 miles of Atlantic coastline and 14 barrier islands; some of which are state parks or dedicated to protecting wildlife like sea turtles and wild horses. For many Georgia residents, an annual trek to the beach wouldn’t be complete without a visit to St. Simons Island. The large barrier island just off the coast is home to an iconic lighthouse, salt marshes teeming with birds and sea creatures, treelined streets dripping with Spanish moss, historic sites, and some really good beach food.

Below is a list of just some of the great dining to be found while visiting the beaches on St. Simons Island or checking out the nearby city of Brunswick.

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Twin Oaks BBQ

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Since 1943, this Brunswick barbecue joint and drive-in institution has been serving up smoked rib plates and bone-in rib sandwiches, old-school burgers, country fried steak plates, and slaw dogs with sides of battered fries and fried green tomatoes for lunch.

Happy Pappy's Bakery

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Sticky toffee cake, mini pies, glazed buttermilk doughnuts, and pecan pie bars are all baked fresh at Happy Pappy’s Bakery in Brunswick. Some baked goods offered here even come from 100-year-old family recipes. Grab coffee, a latte, or a coffee protein shake and a sweet treat for the road. Vegan, keto, and gluten-free options available.

Hwang Keum Jung Korean Restaurant

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This family-owned and operated Korean restaurant in Brunswick serves everything from rice cakes, mandu, and seafood pancakes to bulgogi, generous plates of japchae, and hot pots and hearty galbi soup on the menu. Make sure to check out the lunch specials here.

Tacos Don Panchos

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Pop into this Brunswick Mexican restaurant for birria tacos, a meaty molcajete bowl filled with steak, chicken, chorizo, carnitas, and shrimp, torta sandwiches, and barbacoa chimichangas. There’s also Mexican seafood dishes and breakfast here, along with churros, fried ice cream, and tres leches cake for dessert.

La Salsa Taqueria Tienda

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Located across the street from a Publix in Brunswick, La Salsa Taqueria Tienda offers a vast menu featuring everything from tortas stuffed with scrambled eggs mixed with pork, sausage, steak, and chicken and a variety of tacos to a selection of Mexican seafood dishes, hearty soups like menudo on the weekends, and chilaquiles.

Island Jerk Shack

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This is the spot for jerk chicken and fish entrees in Brunswick served with rice and peas and plantains, bowls of brown stew, oxtail plates, and Jamaican beef patties. Can’t decide? Try the sampler platter, which comes with a choice of three meats, rice and peas, and plantains.

Angel’s Cafe (Brunswick)

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A low-key, no frills spot for lunch in Brunswick, Angel’s Cafe includes a revolving menu of daily soups, salads, burgers, and sandwiches. Order a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast with a side of the restaurant’s popular pasta salad and a cup of the soup of the day.

A Moveable Feast

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Another Brunswick option for soups and sandwiches, A Moveable Feast offers salads like tuna nicoise or a traditional wedge with creamy blue cheese dressing, as well as egg salad sandwiches with smoked salmon, a caprese panini, and a turkey BLT. Be sure to order a cup of the soup of the day and an ice cream sandwich for dessert.

Palmer's Village Café

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This quaint cafe located in the village near the lighthouse serves an all-day breakfast and lunch. Order any of Palmer’s Village Cafe’s omelets, like the hooch with spicy tomatoes, provolone, cheddar, and sausage topped with fried onions. For lunch, try the crabwich with herb mayonnaise, bacon, lettuce, and tomato jam on a griddled English muffin.

Barbara Jean's

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Sometimes nothing beats a plate filled with Southern comfort food. Barbara Jean’s serves everything from fried chicken and catfish sandwiches to shrimp and grits and chicken fried steak. The restaurant is known for its crab cakes. Make sure to order a slice of key lime pie for dessert.

Del Sur Artisan Eats

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Del Sur Artisan Eats mixes the flavors of Argentina with Italy in its dishes. Start with the grilled game sausage or lamb empanada before the main course of linguini alla vongole or smoked pork butt sautéed with guava sauce and a side of polenta.

The Half Shell SSI

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The Half Shell is located in the Pier Village at the tip of the island. This is where to head for peel-eat-shrimp, oysters on the half shell, and chilled tuna tacos. Try an oyster shooter, like the Red Neck with a shot of PBR or an Old Bay rimmed with an oyster topped with hot sauce, lemon and lime. Walk to the pier after dinner for spectacular sunsets or a nighttime stroll on the beach.

CJ's Italian Restaurant

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This Italian restaurant filled with kitschy decor on St. Simons Island bills itself as a family-friendly spot. Head in for plenty of pizza, meatballs subs, and classic American-Italian pasta dishes, including baked spaghetti and chicken parmesan. Order a slice of Reece’s Peanut Butter pie for dessert.

Palm Coast Coffee, Cafe & Pub

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Palm Coast isn’t just a cafe, it’s also a coffeehouse and a pub with a full bar. The cafe is open for breakfast starting at 8 a.m. Order the shrimp frittata with tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions topped with goat cheese and chives paired with an Irish coffee or a bloody mary. For lunch, try the Thai chicken wrap or the ham, apple, and cheddar panini with a beer.

Frosty’s Griddle and Shake

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Old-fashioned hamburgers, hot dogs, chocolate-dipped soft serve cones, and milkshakes are what’s on the menu at Frosty’s. Order a Frosty De-luxe topped with American cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles, and Frosty sauce with a basket of crinkle fries. End the meal with a milkshake, root beer float, or a fudge brownie sundae.

Mallery Street Cafe

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Mallery Street Cafe is a family-owned and operated breakfast and lunch spot located near the historic St. Simons Island lighthouse. The menu is simple and straightforward with pancakes, eggs, and coffee in the morning and salads, burgers, and sandwiches for lunch.

Porch is serving up Nashville-style hot chicken — and catfish and shrimp — with four levels of heat ranging from naked (no heat) to the order-at-your-own-risk napalm. There’s a great outdoor seating area here, too.

Sandy Bottom Bagels

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Sandy Bottom Bagels makes New York-style kosher bagels fresh daily from its St. Simons Island shop. The deli carries traditional bagel flavors like everything, pumpernickel, egg, and sea salt as well as asiago, sun-dried tomato, and French toast. Swing by in the morning and order a build-your-own bagel breakfast sandwich.

Southern Soul Barbeque

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Southern Living magazine once dubbed this St. Simons barbecue spot housed in a former gas station “the best barbecue in the South”. While which joints actually serve the “best” barbecue is a matter of personal taste in the South — and will forever and always be a hotly debated topic — Southern Soul does serve really great ‘cue on the menu, along with Brunswick stew. Order the Southern Soul Sampler with a choice of two or three meats (get the brisket and the ribs) and two sides.

Island Pho

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Some days just call for a steaming bowl of hot pho. Island Pho is a family-owned restaurant serving Vietnamese fare, including bowls of chicken or beef flank pho, spring rolls, lemongrass chicken, and shaking beef. Order brown sugar bubble tea or strawberry fruit tea here, too.

Crabdaddy's Seafood Bar Grill

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This seafood bar and grill is a St. Simons mainstay. For over 30 years now, Crabdaddy’s Seafood Grill has played host to island residents and tourists seeking fried shrimp, grouper fingers, and crab cakes. Make sure to order a side of cheese grits and green bean casserole. There’s banana pudding for dessert.

Halyards Restaurant

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Most people who live on or visit St. Simons regularly consider Halyards Restaurant beach fancy. There’s no need for a coat and tie here, but do prepare for dishes such as seared ahi tuna, filet mignon, and blue crab bisque paired with a glass of champagne or a big, bold cabernet.

Barrier Island Brewing

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This brewpub opened on the island in 2019, brewing everything from an amber lager and wheat ale to hazy and double IPAs and seasonal beers. The beer-friendly food menu features bites like a stuffed pretzel board, scallops and hash, a steak sandwich, and, of course, a pub burger. Unlike many breweries, the seating set-up at Barrier Island Brewing is more restaurant than taproom.

Local Brew Coffee Makers

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Open daily at 7:30 a.m., this cafe serves coffee and a range of coffee drinks, tea, and fresh-pressed juices paired with sandwiches and salads throughout the day. Kick off the morning with a BEC croissant sandwich or a three-egg omelette. At lunch, order a grilled cheese BLT with beefsteak tomato and bacon or an open-faced tuna melt salad.

Certified Burgers and Beverage

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Certified Burgers and Beverages opened on St. Simons in 2017, and it’s become a must-stop for burger enthusiasts at the beach. Try the Nola burger (an ode to that city’s muffaletta sandwich) topped with salami, lettuce, tomato, provolone, and olive relish. Order a side of chickpea fritters, boiled peanuts, or smoked fish dip to nibble on before the meal and an ice cream float for dessert.

Cafe Frederica

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Cafe Frederica is a favorite for breakfast and lunch for the island’s permanent residents and its frequent visitors. The cafe has been open for well over 30 years now on St. Simons. Try the crab cake benedict or the eggs benedict with country ham and corned beef.

Dorothy's Cocktail & Oyster Bar

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This is one of the island’s most reNamed for chef and owner Daniel Auffenberg’s grandmother, kick off a meal at Dorothy’s with selections from the raw bar, including oysters, crudo and shrimp ceviche. Next, order shrimp toast or the scallion pancake, before diving into fire-roasted fish served with curried cauliflower, a Georgia shrimp roll, or the crispy fish sandwich topped with Fresno chilis and Asian-style slaw. Pair a meal with one of the top-notch cocktails from the bar, like the classic daiquiri or Lion’s Tail. Great spot for happy hour.

Sals Neighborhood Pizzeria

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Founded by New Jersey native and professional boxer turned pizza slinger Sal Cenicola, Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria is said to have the best pies on the island. In addition to New York-style pizzas, Sal’s also offers heaping bowls of pasta, sandwiches, including a giant meatball sub, and calzones aptly named “salzones”.

Bennie's Red Barn

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Another longtime St. Simons Island staple, Bennie’s Red Barn first opened in 1956 and has grown into a destination restaurant for couples and families gathering together for a meal. Housed in a rustic red barn, the menu features steaks, fried chicken plates, and fried or boiled seafood with appetizers like conch fritters, oysters Newberg, and batches of “mighty fine” onion rings. Do not skip the desserts at Bennie’s, including the pecan and derby pies and the bread pudding.

The Market at Sea Island

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Looking for a spot to grab a breakfast sandwich and coffee in the morning or a made-to-order sandwich in the afternoon from the deli while stocking up on food provisions for the beach house? The Market at Sea Island sells take-and-bake meals, fresh-baked breads and cookies, local produce, meats, and seafood as well as cheeses and wine in its shop.

Twin Oaks BBQ

Since 1943, this Brunswick barbecue joint and drive-in institution has been serving up smoked rib plates and bone-in rib sandwiches, old-school burgers, country fried steak plates, and slaw dogs with sides of battered fries and fried green tomatoes for lunch.

Happy Pappy's Bakery

Sticky toffee cake, mini pies, glazed buttermilk doughnuts, and pecan pie bars are all baked fresh at Happy Pappy’s Bakery in Brunswick. Some baked goods offered here even come from 100-year-old family recipes. Grab coffee, a latte, or a coffee protein shake and a sweet treat for the road. Vegan, keto, and gluten-free options available.

Hwang Keum Jung Korean Restaurant

This family-owned and operated Korean restaurant in Brunswick serves everything from rice cakes, mandu, and seafood pancakes to bulgogi, generous plates of japchae, and hot pots and hearty galbi soup on the menu. Make sure to check out the lunch specials here.

Tacos Don Panchos

Pop into this Brunswick Mexican restaurant for birria tacos, a meaty molcajete bowl filled with steak, chicken, chorizo, carnitas, and shrimp, torta sandwiches, and barbacoa chimichangas. There’s also Mexican seafood dishes and breakfast here, along with churros, fried ice cream, and tres leches cake for dessert.

La Salsa Taqueria Tienda

Located across the street from a Publix in Brunswick, La Salsa Taqueria Tienda offers a vast menu featuring everything from tortas stuffed with scrambled eggs mixed with pork, sausage, steak, and chicken and a variety of tacos to a selection of Mexican seafood dishes, hearty soups like menudo on the weekends, and chilaquiles.

Island Jerk Shack

This is the spot for jerk chicken and fish entrees in Brunswick served with rice and peas and plantains, bowls of brown stew, oxtail plates, and Jamaican beef patties. Can’t decide? Try the sampler platter, which comes with a choice of three meats, rice and peas, and plantains.

Angel’s Cafe (Brunswick)

A low-key, no frills spot for lunch in Brunswick, Angel’s Cafe includes a revolving menu of daily soups, salads, burgers, and sandwiches. Order a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast with a side of the restaurant’s popular pasta salad and a cup of the soup of the day.

A Moveable Feast

Another Brunswick option for soups and sandwiches, A Moveable Feast offers salads like tuna nicoise or a traditional wedge with creamy blue cheese dressing, as well as egg salad sandwiches with smoked salmon, a caprese panini, and a turkey BLT. Be sure to order a cup of the soup of the day and an ice cream sandwich for dessert.

Palmer's Village Café

This quaint cafe located in the village near the lighthouse serves an all-day breakfast and lunch. Order any of Palmer’s Village Cafe’s omelets, like the hooch with spicy tomatoes, provolone, cheddar, and sausage topped with fried onions. For lunch, try the crabwich with herb mayonnaise, bacon, lettuce, and tomato jam on a griddled English muffin.

Barbara Jean's

Sometimes nothing beats a plate filled with Southern comfort food. Barbara Jean’s serves everything from fried chicken and catfish sandwiches to shrimp and grits and chicken fried steak. The restaurant is known for its crab cakes. Make sure to order a slice of key lime pie for dessert.

Del Sur Artisan Eats

Del Sur Artisan Eats mixes the flavors of Argentina with Italy in its dishes. Start with the grilled game sausage or lamb empanada before the main course of linguini alla vongole or smoked pork butt sautéed with guava sauce and a side of polenta.

The Half Shell SSI

The Half Shell is located in the Pier Village at the tip of the island. This is where to head for peel-eat-shrimp, oysters on the half shell, and chilled tuna tacos. Try an oyster shooter, like the Red Neck with a shot of PBR or an Old Bay rimmed with an oyster topped with hot sauce, lemon and lime. Walk to the pier after dinner for spectacular sunsets or a nighttime stroll on the beach.

CJ's Italian Restaurant

This Italian restaurant filled with kitschy decor on St. Simons Island bills itself as a family-friendly spot. Head in for plenty of pizza, meatballs subs, and classic American-Italian pasta dishes, including baked spaghetti and chicken parmesan. Order a slice of Reece’s Peanut Butter pie for dessert.

Palm Coast Coffee, Cafe & Pub

Palm Coast isn’t just a cafe, it’s also a coffeehouse and a pub with a full bar. The cafe is open for breakfast starting at 8 a.m. Order the shrimp frittata with tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions topped with goat cheese and chives paired with an Irish coffee or a bloody mary. For lunch, try the Thai chicken wrap or the ham, apple, and cheddar panini with a beer.

Frosty’s Griddle and Shake

Old-fashioned hamburgers, hot dogs, chocolate-dipped soft serve cones, and milkshakes are what’s on the menu at Frosty’s. Order a Frosty De-luxe topped with American cheese, lettuce, onions, pickles, and Frosty sauce with a basket of crinkle fries. End the meal with a milkshake, root beer float, or a fudge brownie sundae.

Related Maps

Mallery Street Cafe

Mallery Street Cafe is a family-owned and operated breakfast and lunch spot located near the historic St. Simons Island lighthouse. The menu is simple and straightforward with pancakes, eggs, and coffee in the morning and salads, burgers, and sandwiches for lunch.

Porch

Porch is serving up Nashville-style hot chicken — and catfish and shrimp — with four levels of heat ranging from naked (no heat) to the order-at-your-own-risk napalm. There’s a great outdoor seating area here, too.

Sandy Bottom Bagels

Sandy Bottom Bagels makes New York-style kosher bagels fresh daily from its St. Simons Island shop. The deli carries traditional bagel flavors like everything, pumpernickel, egg, and sea salt as well as asiago, sun-dried tomato, and French toast. Swing by in the morning and order a build-your-own bagel breakfast sandwich.

Southern Soul Barbeque

Southern Living magazine once dubbed this St. Simons barbecue spot housed in a former gas station “the best barbecue in the South”. While which joints actually serve the “best” barbecue is a matter of personal taste in the South — and will forever and always be a hotly debated topic — Southern Soul does serve really great ‘cue on the menu, along with Brunswick stew. Order the Southern Soul Sampler with a choice of two or three meats (get the brisket and the ribs) and two sides.

Island Pho

Some days just call for a steaming bowl of hot pho. Island Pho is a family-owned restaurant serving Vietnamese fare, including bowls of chicken or beef flank pho, spring rolls, lemongrass chicken, and shaking beef. Order brown sugar bubble tea or strawberry fruit tea here, too.

Crabdaddy's Seafood Bar Grill

This seafood bar and grill is a St. Simons mainstay. For over 30 years now, Crabdaddy’s Seafood Grill has played host to island residents and tourists seeking fried shrimp, grouper fingers, and crab cakes. Make sure to order a side of cheese grits and green bean casserole. There’s banana pudding for dessert.

Halyards Restaurant

Most people who live on or visit St. Simons regularly consider Halyards Restaurant beach fancy. There’s no need for a coat and tie here, but do prepare for dishes such as seared ahi tuna, filet mignon, and blue crab bisque paired with a glass of champagne or a big, bold cabernet.

Barrier Island Brewing

This brewpub opened on the island in 2019, brewing everything from an amber lager and wheat ale to hazy and double IPAs and seasonal beers. The beer-friendly food menu features bites like a stuffed pretzel board, scallops and hash, a steak sandwich, and, of course, a pub burger. Unlike many breweries, the seating set-up at Barrier Island Brewing is more restaurant than taproom.

Local Brew Coffee Makers

Open daily at 7:30 a.m., this cafe serves coffee and a range of coffee drinks, tea, and fresh-pressed juices paired with sandwiches and salads throughout the day. Kick off the morning with a BEC croissant sandwich or a three-egg omelette. At lunch, order a grilled cheese BLT with beefsteak tomato and bacon or an open-faced tuna melt salad.

Certified Burgers and Beverage

Certified Burgers and Beverages opened on St. Simons in 2017, and it’s become a must-stop for burger enthusiasts at the beach. Try the Nola burger (an ode to that city’s muffaletta sandwich) topped with salami, lettuce, tomato, provolone, and olive relish. Order a side of chickpea fritters, boiled peanuts, or smoked fish dip to nibble on before the meal and an ice cream float for dessert.

Cafe Frederica

Cafe Frederica is a favorite for breakfast and lunch for the island’s permanent residents and its frequent visitors. The cafe has been open for well over 30 years now on St. Simons. Try the crab cake benedict or the eggs benedict with country ham and corned beef.

Dorothy's Cocktail & Oyster Bar

This is one of the island’s most reNamed for chef and owner Daniel Auffenberg’s grandmother, kick off a meal at Dorothy’s with selections from the raw bar, including oysters, crudo and shrimp ceviche. Next, order shrimp toast or the scallion pancake, before diving into fire-roasted fish served with curried cauliflower, a Georgia shrimp roll, or the crispy fish sandwich topped with Fresno chilis and Asian-style slaw. Pair a meal with one of the top-notch cocktails from the bar, like the classic daiquiri or Lion’s Tail. Great spot for happy hour.

Sals Neighborhood Pizzeria

Founded by New Jersey native and professional boxer turned pizza slinger Sal Cenicola, Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria is said to have the best pies on the island. In addition to New York-style pizzas, Sal’s also offers heaping bowls of pasta, sandwiches, including a giant meatball sub, and calzones aptly named “salzones”.

Bennie's Red Barn

Another longtime St. Simons Island staple, Bennie’s Red Barn first opened in 1956 and has grown into a destination restaurant for couples and families gathering together for a meal. Housed in a rustic red barn, the menu features steaks, fried chicken plates, and fried or boiled seafood with appetizers like conch fritters, oysters Newberg, and batches of “mighty fine” onion rings. Do not skip the desserts at Bennie’s, including the pecan and derby pies and the bread pudding.

The Market at Sea Island

Looking for a spot to grab a breakfast sandwich and coffee in the morning or a made-to-order sandwich in the afternoon from the deli while stocking up on food provisions for the beach house? The Market at Sea Island sells take-and-bake meals, fresh-baked breads and cookies, local produce, meats, and seafood as well as cheeses and wine in its shop.

Related Maps