Altman’s is one of my favorite restaurants in McIntosh County and whether you’re a local or a first time visitor, you’ll feel equally welcome. Their specialty, of course, is local shrimp, but in addition to other local seafood specialties, they have some of the best fried chicken around.
That tide clock in the background isn’t for decoration; the men who bring in the shrimp eat here. That’s always a good sign.
The daily buffet is small but always has something for everyone. Their shrimp and brown gravy heaped over rice (below) may be an acquired taste for some but it’s a local favorite.
Considered by many to be the best one of the best seafood restaurants in Georgia*, Speed’s Kitchen is an unassuming place, impervious to aesthetics but instead completely focused on the quality of the food they serve.
They have very limited hours and they don’t take credit cards but aficionados will tell you it’s well worth the wait. For the impatient, they note on their menu that they’d rather you come back when you’re not in a rush.
Find them on Facebook or Trip Advisor for menu, location, and hours.
*- Shellman Bluff has another iconic local seafood restaurant, Hunters Cafe. We’ll visit there on our next trip.
Built as a residence in 1930 and now used for that purpose again, this is best remembered as John Arthur and Bootsie Dasher’s Harbor House Restaurant.
Some have suggested it was among the oldest truck stops in America.
Locals will quickly point you to Jodee Sadowsky’s legendary Breakfast Club, on the corner of Butler Avenue & 15th Street near the Tybee Pier. There’s nothing pretentious about the place and you can tell when you walk in the door that it’s a temple to good food. It’s made right in front of you by friendly cooks and the staff are as welcoming to tourists as they are to locals, always a good sign. But you likely won’t find it with any empty stools unless you go in the winter and even then that’s not guaranteed. Blogger Nick Dekker sums up Breakfast Club “etiquette”: …The place runs like a well-oiled machine, so you need to know how the process works. First, expect a line. Things move quickly at Breakfast Club (don’t hang around when you’re done eating), but waiting is often part of the game. Line up outside, and server will poke his/her head out once in a while to check on your group size (your whole group needs to be present to get seated).
It may cost slightly more than a breakfast at McDonald’s but it’s exponentially better. The Breakfast Club makes their own sausage and uses as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.
If you know anything about Savannah, you’re likely familiar with this sign and the iconic local food chain it represents. The story goes that Carey Hilliard hitchhiked from Jesup to Savannah in the 1950s and failed at his first attempt in the restaurant business. He persevered and made another go at in 1960 and the rest is history. Five locations would follow the original on Skidaway Road and the chain even expanded to Charleston in 1979. Carey and his wife Kathleen died in a plane crash in 1982 but the fare they made famous remains a popular local favorite.
This photo was made at the Waters Avenue location.
This spot in the Belleville community on the Sapelo River has been a seafood destination at least since the 1940s, when Rosco’s Place served up fresh local fare to scores of locals. Later, the Barnett family operated the Sandpiper Inn here until it was struck by lightning and burned in the 1960s. Mike Phillips opened Pelican Point here in 1986 and in 2015 his son Charlie reinvented the restaurant as The Fish Dock at Pelican Point. While some bemoan the loss of the legendary buffet, new patrons are warming up to the fresher seafood now being offered. And the fresh clams come from Charlie’s Sapelo Sea Farms.