Beautiful beaches alone are a real treat, but pair that with history and authentic regional food and you’ve got the perfect vacation. One of the many highlights of our family vacation to St Simons Island, Georgia, was enjoying authentic southern food including lots of fresh seafood. Here’s what we found to be the best family dining on St Simons Island.
Best Brunch: Palmer’s Village Café
Our first day on the island we finally convinced the kids to leave the beach and headed down to the pier area. After exploring the pier we played at the park and met a local family who highly recommended Palmer’s for brunch. This was Sunday and there was a line out the door. We decided to come back on a day when it was less busy and were so glad that we did. It is a small bustling cafe with a hands-on owner who was food expediting, busing dishes and also the cashier. I am a big believer in ordering what is native to the area so the I saw the Surf Squared with two poached eggs on top of seared Georgia tomatoes and crab cakes with spiced hollandaise, arugula, Georgia olive oil and pickled red onion. It was to die for! It sounded so rich I didn’t think I would be able to eat it all but I almost resorted to licking the plate. My husband had the steak and eggs, which he seemed just as over the moon about. The kids each thoroughly enjoyed a huge fluffy chocolate chip pancake that they really couldn’t finish.
Best Fine Dining: Crabdaddy’s Seafood Bar & Grill
Located just steps from the Beach Club at St Simons, where we stayed, this restaurant was the nicest dining experience we had on the island. Our local friends took us to dinner here, so the company was also the best. Again, we ordered local cuisine. I enjoyed crab cakes and my husband enjoyed shrimp & grits. The vegetables were very fresh. And they had a great kids menu, also local to the area. Their cocktails and wine list was also excellent.
Best Family Dining: Iguana’s Seafood Restaurant
Known for its fresh shrimp, Iguana’s also has a nice patio area. Whenever the weather is bearable we much prefer sitting outside with our kids. There’s just a more casual feel about it and I don’t worry as much about them bothering other diners. The fried shrimp here lived up to its reputation and the kids also really enjoyed the fried fish bites. We actually ate here two nights and tried a couple of other items, but I’d recommend sticking with their fabulous fried fish. Perhaps the favorite part for our kids was the free ice cream bar.
Best BBQ: Southern Soul Barbecue
So this one is no surprise. With accolades from the Travel Channel and Southern Living Magazine there was no way that Southern Soul Barbecue would disappoint. We drove by a couple of times and it was always packed. So we went early one evening and got food to go. The ribs were the best I’ve ever had. The meat just fell off the bones and was packed with sweetness. This is coming from someone who isn’t a huge barbecue fan. My husband is a fan of barbecue and loved it all. I hadn’t had fried Okra in years so it was fun to get a taste of that and a couple of other authentic southern sides. The only thing I’d pass on the next time were the fried Oreos, but the kids did seem to enjoy them.
Best Ice Cream: Moo Cow Ice Cream
We rented bikes built for two and rode a few blocks to Moo Cow Ice Cream. It was delicious. They had some pretty unique flavors but we stuck to the basics, for the most part. Our 4-year old ordered Superhero flavor, a multi-colored ice cream that was really vanilla.
From our experience you really can’t go wrong dining out on St Simons Island, but we certainly found our favorites!