Jekyll Island was formerly a wealthy man’s playground. It was owned by a consortium of millionaires that included the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Astors, and their associates. They constructed a Victorian clubhouse and magnificent residences known as cottages.
Now, their private Jekyll Island Club is a Georgia state park where we can see the lifestyle of the wealthiest and most famous during the Robber Baron period.
The island has excellent beaches and a campsite in addition to the historic area and museum. Your eating options will depend on whether you want a nibble while seeing the historical neighborhood, some substantial cuisine for a full dinner, or a unique culinary journey.
- 1 The Historic Area
- 2 The Beach Resort
- 3 Great Dunes National Park
- 4 Wrap-Up of Jekyll Island Restaurants
The Historic Area
Apart from the mansions and other historic structures, the Historic District offers a variety of culinary options.
Restaurant on the Wharf
At the Wharf, history and gastronomy collide. It is situated on the dock in the historic quarter, where the members of the Islands club came. Before then, the only way to get to the island was via boat. When members of the Club arrived on the mainland, they were transported to the island aboard The Jekyll Island, the Club’s 100-foot steamer.
This is one of the greatest restaurants on Jekyll Island for watching the sunset from the outside deck, but there is also interior eating. The cuisine is conventional American Southern fare. Start with Fried Green Tomatoes or Fried Okra for a taste of the South. Seafood is strongly highlighted, although there are poultry, beef, and veggie options as well.
Shrimp and Grits is my favorite meal here. The massive shrimp were caught in the same seas. The andouille sausage is little hot, but it’s a Louisiana specialty, so that’s to be expected. The Low Country Boil with Georgia white shrimp, crawfish, mussels, smoked sausage, sweet cob corn, and red bliss potato is genuine if you’re truly hungry or want to share with someone.
Live music is available Wednesday through Saturday nights.
Snack Shop Docs
Pier Rd, +191231921809
There are various locations to get a quick bite while seeing the homes in the historic neighborhood. Docs Snack Shop serves hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken salad sandwiches, grilled cheese, and a variety of other quick-service items.
The quarter-pound all-beef hot dog with chili, mustard, relish, slaw, and cheese is my favorite here. It comes with chips and pickles on the side. It’s not the healthiest cuisine, but it’s delicious. There are tables and a restroom on the deck.
The Commissary’s Office
Pier Rd +1912635287824
Stop by the Commissary if you’re camping on the island and want a quick cup of coffee, frozen drink, ice cream, or baked treat. It is the island’s oldest store, having been established about 1915.
It served as the island’s general shop for both inhabitants and workers. Feeding Road was the name given to the roadway where the Commissary is situated in the early 1900s. This street also housed the employees’ Dining Hall, in addition to the Commissary. The Farm Bell, which was placed adjacent to what is now the Gift Shop, summoned the workers to their midday meal every day at noon.
Georgian jams and jellies, as well as other items, are available here.
The Beach Resort
After leaving the Historic District and traveling down the beach road, you’ll arrive at Beach Village, a mall-style shopping center with stores, shops, restaurants, pubs, and even a hotel. The beach town has some of the top eateries on Jekyll Island.
Jekyll Island Market
Main Street +1912635225311
You’ll see Jekyll Market as soon as you pull up and park. It’s a gourmet grocery store with four eateries on the premises. The Love Shack is one of my favorites. It’s a barbecue restaurant with options including BBQ Pork, Wild Georgia Shrimp, Chicken Fingers, Rotisserie Chicken, and Chicken Wings. Brunswick Stew is a local favorite.
Sandwiches cooked with Boars Head Meats are available at the Boardwalk Deli. If you’re starving, their Muffuletta with chips is a fantastic option.
If you need something fast, get a cup of coffee from Good Day Coffee & Bakery and a cupcake, chocolate toffee bar, or a Mile High Tower Cheesecake from A Sweet Shop Called Sprinkles. Long Necks Beer and Wine serves soft and strong beverages.
There are lots of tables outdoors beneath the overhanging canopy where you may enjoy your selections. If you need to reload your pantry, there are hundreds of different gourmet food products available in the market. It’s one of Jekyll Island’s oddest eateries.
The Sunrise Grill
Main Street +1912319237621
Sunrise Restaurant is located just around the corner from the market. It’s an all-day eatery that serves a delicious bacon-and-eggs breakfast. Late-night dinners go well with an Appletini or Godfather Cocktail. Crab Quesadillas and Shrimp Poboys are popular dishes here. They claim that all of their cuisine is created from scratch. From dawn to sunset is their mantra.
McGarvey’s Little Pub
+1912574233720 Unit 100 Main St
McGarveys Wee Tavern in Beach Village brings you to Scotland. It’s a real Irish bar, with dark wood and beautiful signage all throughout. My personal favorite is in the ladies’ toilet, where it depicts a young couple gathering flowers in a green field. It’s better to have loved and lost than to spend the rest of your life with the lunatic.
McGarveys offers numerous rooms, one of which can accommodate a large group. There are comfortable booths and, of course, a well-stocked bar. The ledge over the bar is covered with autographed empty Jameson bottles. The client who has the final shot from a bottle is given the opportunity to autograph it.
In a little corner nook, a miniature Irish bar scene depicts a tiny table furnished with food, liquor, and a glass of frothy ale. If anybody wants to play checkers, there is a checkerboard set up.
The meal is traditional Irish fare. Menu items include bangers, mash, and shepherd’s pie, as well as handmade corned beef and cabbage. They provide burgers and other American cuisine to non-Gaelic customers. Everything is handcrafted. Remember to leave space for dessert.
I enjoyed their Butter-Pecan Bread Pudding, which was covered with caramel and whipped cream and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Their bread pudding has won first prize at A Taste of Glynn County for multiple years in a row. That’s one of the reasons it’s the greatest Jekyll Island restaurant.
Kevin McGarvey’s family hails from Donegal County in northern Ireland and owns Wee Pubs. He returns to the Emerald Isle on a regular basis to maintain it real.
Juke Joint Sweet Georgias
Main Street +1912635991841
Sweet Georgias Juke Joint is another option in the Village for a meal or an after-dinner drink. It is located at the end of Main Street and features an outside balcony overlooking the beach as well as a spacious bar with enough chairs to keep a few bartenders busy. You may buy any sort of mixed drink here, as well as a variety of southern foods.
The Shrimp and Grits is a local favorite. Another dish is fried chicken with collard greens. These beverages reflect the juke joint’s history. Several moonshine drinks are available, such as Miss Ceelys Punch, which is created with moonshine and pineapple juice.
Traditional beers, wines, and cocktails are also available. During the days of segregation, juke joints like this one throughout the Southeast provided a platform for Black performers on the Chitlin Circuit. There is, of course, an old-fashioned jukebox here.
Great Dunes National Park
Great Dunes Park, located towards the island’s north end, is a 20-acre beachside park that is a popular day trip destination and home to some of the top Jekyll Island restaurants.
The Tortuga Jacks
201 Beachview Dr N +19123422600
Tortuga Jacks is a Baja Mexican restaurant in the vicinity of Great Dunes Park. It is popular with both residents and tourists since it welcomes dogs, has outside sitting at a tiki bar overlooking the beach, and serves delicious meals from dawn to night.
I like to sit on the balcony, although the interior dining area is comfortable, and the bar is well-stocked. Margaritas are the drink of choice here, but you may also order cocktails, beer, or wine.
My personal favorite here are the Sweet Chili and Pineapple Sauce Tortuga Wings, but there are plenty of other options. They provide typical Mexican cuisine like as Fajitas, which may be ordered with chicken, shrimp, or beef, or with all three.
You may order enchiladas or burritos, or if you don’t like Mexican cuisine, you can get burgers or shrimp. Sweet Plantains and Mexican Street Corn are two uncommon sides that you won’t find elsewhere.
Throughout the summer, there is live entertainment on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights.
Pizza at Red Bug Motors
Beachview Dr N +19126359730550 Beachview Dr N
The Great Dunes Entertainment complex is located just across Beachview Road from Tortuga Jacks. Red Bug Motors Pizza serves pizza at this location. Apart from the homemade pizzas, you’ll discover lasagna, pastas, and other Italian dishes, as well as sandwiches and salads if you’re not in the mood for Italian. Beer, wine, and soft beverages are available.
Wrap-Up of Jekyll Island Restaurants
There are several eateries on Jekyll Island. It’s hard to try them all, but these were the best for me.
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