If you’re looking for some of the best restaurants on Jekyll Island, you’ll definitely want to check out these spots. From seafood favorites to Italian cuisine, there’s something for everyone here.
My husband and I visited Jekyll Island in May. The beach and amenities at the Jekyll Island Club Resort were great, but we loved the food and were thrilled with the excellent restaurants on the island.
Jekyll Island Club Resort hosted our visit. All opinions are my own.
These are some of my personal favorite restaurants to experience when you visit Jekyll Island. Whether you’re looking for a casual bite or a more upscale meal, I’m sure you’ll find something that fits your taste!
1. Eighty Ocean Kitchen And Bar
This stylish resort eatery and bar features a menu focused on coastal cuisine and Lowcountry dining with an open-air dining room overlooking the pool. Eighty Ocean Kitchen and Bar has a U-shaped bar perfect for catching up with friends, watching golf matches, or the big game. The centerpiece of the open kitchen is a wood-fired oven where artisanal pizzas are hand-crafted.
Depending on weather and season, the open-air concept changes. A screened-in porch offers room for private events.
Our first dinner on Jekyll Island was at Eighty Ocean, and it was a memorable meal. We enjoyed dinner with a window seat overlooking the pool.
My meal started with a wedge salad topped with juicy cherry tomatoes and tender pork belly with a tasty dressing.
I ordered the bone-in pork chop as my main entree. It was grilled and served on a yummy apple ginger puree and topped with kimchee slaw. The flavor combination was a savory mix of delight for your tastebuds.
My husband ordered the Georgia Seafood Paella that included bomba saffron rice mixed with piquillo peppers, chorizo, olives, fish, shrimp, and mussels. He said it was delicious.
A dish I want to try the next time I visit is the pan-seared catch of the day prepared with a peach-miso glaze, pickled red onion, and citrus segments over a corn puree or one of their wood-fired pizzas.
2. Grand Dining Room
The Grand Dining Room is in the Jekyll Island Club and is a part of history. It was used by the “rich and famous” during their heyday at the club as a venue for extravagant meals, gala balls, and other social events. For over half a century, our nation’s elite and their guests partied in this room.
Iconic columns and glimmering white trim highlight the Victorian decor.
The Grand Dining Room is currently serving breakfast only. You can order from the menu or enjoy a bountiful buffet.
We enjoyed the buffet that included:
- Fresh fruit
- Bagels and English muffins
- Breakfast potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Hashbrown casserole
- And more.
Eating in the Grand Dining Room is a quintessential Southern dining experience you don’t want to miss when visiting Jekyll Island.
3. The Pool House
If you enjoy an afternoon by the pool or want a light lunch, stop by The Pool House at the Jekyll Club. The family-friendly Pool House provides shade and outdoor seating to enjoy their tasty menu items.
Their menu includes:
- Street tacos
When we visited for lunch, I wanted something light, so I ordered the orange cashew salad, which included lettuce, shredded fresh veggies, broccoli, cashews, and mandarin oranges with a savory sesame dressing. I added chicken to the salad and a side of their homemade waffle chips.
The salad was delectable, and the portions were huge. Two people could have shared the salad. But I had to eat it all by myself because my husband had ordered a Mermaid Burger — a hamburger with lettuce, pickle, onion, and homemade waffle chips.
Mixed drinks at The Pool House are delicious too!
Pro Tip: The Pool House restaurant is open to the public. The pool is only for club guests.
4. The Wharf
Located on the historic Jekyll Pier near the Jekyll Island Club Resort, The Wharf is the ideal dining destination for a romantic dinner, fun celebration, or group gathering. It is the perfect place to catch a beautiful sunset, and every Wednesday through Saturday, they have live music performances on the deck.
The Wharf is an airy, nautical-themed eatery open for lunch and dinner featuring seafood and Southern comfort fare. You can enjoy a curated selection of beers or a craft cocktail. You have both indoor and outdoor dining options.
When we visited, it was sprinkling rain, so we opted to dine inside, but we had a window seat and could watch the sunset.
If you enjoy fried green tomatoes, you will want to try them at the Wharf. They were the best. My husband enjoyed the East River Lump Crab Cake as his appetizer and raved about it.
A few menu items I would recommend are:
- Maple-glazed salmon with seared pork belly served over braised kale with a candied ginger-pecan crumble on top. (This is what I ordered, and it was divine!)
- Low Country Boil with Georgia shrimp, Dungeness crab, andouille sausage, sweet corn, and red skin potatoes.
- Snapper served with bacon, sea island red peas, and a gazpacho vinaigrette.
After dinner, we lounged on the deck to enjoy the music. Many were dancing the night away as we walked back to the Jekyll Island Club.
Pro Tip: The Wharf is no longer taking reservations. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and they usually fill up. So go early.
5. The Pantry
A great place to grab breakfast, lunch, or a snack, The Pantry has grab-and-go items and hot-cooked menu items. Or perhaps stop for your morning cup of coffee or cappuccino. There is indoor seating, but most prefer to sit on the charming veranda overlooking the fountain and enjoy the beautiful weather, flowers everywhere, and the sound of water flowing below.
The Pantry also offers Jekyll Island Club guests various picnic baskets to take with them to the beach or anywhere else.
Breakfast cooked Items Include:
- Cheese grits
- Bacon or sausage
- Egg and cheese croissant
- Breakfast sandwich
Lunch items consist of salads and sandwiches. A few recommended items are:
- Shrimp salad
- Chicken breast salad with grapes, green apples, and pecans
- Smoked salmon BLT with their delicious applewood-smoked bacon and toasted wheat berry bread
- Pantry Club also made with their toasted wheat berry bread
- Caprese panini — the balsamic vinegar drizzle on the ciabatta bread makes this panini special
We visited for breakfast, and I enjoyed the oatmeal and an order of bacon. My husband had a breakfast sandwich.
6. Driftwood Bistro
For a relaxed yet sophisticated island resort atmosphere, Visit the Driftwood Bistro for Lowcountry cuisine and local shrimp dishes.
You will enjoy the modern coastal feel as you dine amidst carved driftwood fish and a mix of local and regional arts and crafts.
One of the most popular restaurants on the island frequented by locals and guests, Driftwood Bistro, offers unique menu specials each night that often sell out quickly. They have many gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Their signature dishes include:
- Blue Ribbon Meat Loaf
- Catfish filet
- Pot roast
- Wild Georgia Shrimp and Grits
A few other items I recommend are:
- Wild Georgia Shrimp Cake with grilled shrimp mixed with red peppers, scallions, Japanese bread crumbs, and spices
- Herb Roasted Port Tenderloin, seasoned with 17 salt-free herbs and spices
- Non-Traditional Shrimp Salad — this is my favorite, grilled shrimp on tossed greens mixed with tomatoes and cucumbers served in a fried flour tortilla shell
Don’t leave without trying their delicious Georgia Bourbon Peach Cobbler served à la mode.
Pro Tip: Take a stroll on the boardwalk after your meal and enjoy the peaceful Jekyll Island beach.
7. Red Bug Motors Pizza
If you want delicious pizza made from scratch with fresh ingredients, head to Red Bug Motors Pizza. Red Bug has hot and cold sandwiches, salads, pasta, and, you guessed it, pizza — all served in a fun atmosphere and comfortable seating area.
I recommend the Red Bug Special. This local favorite is the pizza that started it all and includes pepperoni, sausage, black olives, red onions, and mushrooms on top of their made-from-scratch pizza shells.
Dine in, order to go, or have it delivered. Either way, you will love the taste of Red Bug Motors Pizza.
Pro Tip: You can rent a little red bug electric car for use on the island.
Dine On Jekyll Island
If you’re looking for a great dining experience while on Jekyll Island, be sure to check out any of the restaurants I’ve listed above. The Wharf has an incredible view and a great menu. Eighty Ocean Kitchen and Bar is perfect for pizza lovers. The Grand Dining Room will take your breath away with its elegance and beauty as you eat breakfast. The Pool House offers casual dining in a fun atmosphere. From seafood to Southern cuisine, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your taste buds. No matter where you end up eating, you’re sure to have a wonderful experience!