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 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.
Passing by this rather plain metal building you might not even give it any notice, but to locals, it’s a landmark. Poteet Seafood has been a leading distributor of Wild Georgia Shrimp for over 35 years. I am passionate about documenting and promoting these places because the people behind them really are a vanishing breed. Due to the prevalence of pond-raised Asian shrimp and the lower price of that product, combined with higher fuel costs, it’s harder than ever for independent fishermen to survive. Though I personally don’t buy any imported shrimp, I understand that not everyone is lucky enough to live near the coast and have easy access to the product. But by all means, please buy Wild Georgia Shrimp whenever you can. If you live far from the coast and just have to have some, you can order from Poteet’s website, linked above.
The old dock here is no longer used due to disrepair but the early-20th-century dock house [also known as the Valona Fish House] is a survivor. [As the sign clearly states, don’t trespass]. Beth Walters-Parker notes that this was Captain Hunter’s place. The Valona Shrimp Company, which operates in this area, is perhaps the oldest shrimping businesses in Georgia.
This small vernacular structure once served as Valona’s post office. It’s located on the waterfront. Beth Walters-Parker writes: My great-grandmother, Lewis Burrows Graham was the postmistress at Valona and worked in that post office six days a week up until the week before she died at age 96.
I live near Darien so I’ve photographed the shrimp boats here more times than I can count. With all the challenges facing independent fishermen, I think it’s important to document their presence.
Seeing them in a coastal fog is a totally different experience.
Some of the best fresh-off-the-boat shrimp on the coast can be found at the Shrimp Shack on US17 near the Sapelo River in Eulonia.They sell the shrimp heads on. It’s not a restaurant, but this family-owned business is known for their high quality Wild Georgia Shrimp and they’ve been in business for over 20 years. They use a price sign similar to one you’d see at a gas station, and if the open sign is on, they’re open. When they run out of shrimp they close. Simple and perfect.
First opened at a nearby location in 1940, and once known as the Shrimp Boat Restaurant, Archie’s was a longtime Darien landmark and a favorite stop for travelers along the busy Coastal Highway (US 17).
As traffic moved off 17 and onto nearby I-95, business slowed and the restaurant was closed by 2006. The structure seen here opened circa 1975 and was demolished in 2015.
This is an outttake from the 2012 Blessing of the Fleet. I believe this boat was the Amazing Grace, which was lost not long after the festival.