Restaurant Recommendations on Jekyll
We have a list of area restaurants and a growing set of reviews. But we also want to highlight our favorites. We currently have four go-to restaurants on the island. It is not that we don’t try other places, but we find ourselves eating most often at these establishments.
Fast Food and Ice Cream
Jekyll’s only fast food restaurant is especially popular during lunch hours. Like other Dairy Queens;, you can purchase ice cream treats as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner menu items. The restaurant itself does not have outdoor seating, but the island has a small picnic area within steps of the location.
Service was very good at this casual surf-and-turf restaurant. The wood paneling on the walls had a sense of driftwood, and other nautical touches gave the restaurant a pleasant atmosphere. Outdoor seating on a porch that wraps the building would have been more appealing on a bit warmer day. We saw a few groups outside with their dogs, so the outdoor seating is definitely pet-friendly. The high ceilings and lively sounds provide a place where kids would feel comfortable, without disturbing others.
On trips to Europe we’ve often seen dogs in public spaces, and Americans are increasingly including their pets on outings. Georgia State Parks are often dog-friendly, and many Jekyll Sandpiper renters bring their to dogs to share the family vacation. But please inquiry with us first as some restrictions apply. Dogs are welcome on most island beaches when leashed, and several island restaurants welcome pets in their outdoor seating areas. If this will be a new experience for your dog, we recommend first trying an outing during a quite period of the day.
Now that you’ve chosen Jekyll Island for your wedding or anniversary, you might be looking for a cake. Since Jekyll Island is a very popular destination wedding site, you can find services to meet all your needs, either on the island or nearby.
Jekyll Sandpiper renters can find delicious sweets and baked goods on the island, but you’ll want to include Brunswick when you look for your cake. In order to minimize your off-island trips, view the cakes on the bakeries’ websites and place your order over the phone.
The Wharf – Shrimp, Songs, and Sunsets
A new restaurant in an old location. The Club Hotel took over the management of this restaurant, which reopened in the Fall of 2017 after remodeling. It has a new name and a totally revamped menu. The Wharf sits on the pier near the Club, with spectacular views of the intracoastal waterway and the saltwater marshes beyond. Wonderful at sunset. Watch the birds or an occasional boat as it sails down the Jekyll River. You can select window seating inside or sit at an outside table on the pier.
Zachry’s – a Hidden Gem
A relaxed, casual restaurant serving food in the southern Georgia style. Zachry’s is a bit of a hidden gem located next to the marina on the inter-coastal waterway, close to where the causeway brings you onto Jekyll Island. If you don’t know the location of the marina, directions using google maps would be a good option.
Upcoming renters often ask us about buying groceries on Jekyll Island. Flash Foods runs a convenience store at the gas station, but by far the best place for groceries is Jekyll Market. The market sits just off the roundabout on Main St, first store on the left. You will find an upscale store packed with your typical grocery store items. Jekyll Market has grocery items delivered to their location regularly. So grocery store items here are fresh but more expensive. We find ourselves in the market often but do admit to buying the bulk of our groceries off island.
A nice addition to the restaurant and bar options on the island, with the lively atmosphere you would expect of a pub. Sporting events up on the TV’s and even at your table. There are a few spots off to the side that may be a bit more quiet. Our server was very friendly, and our food came quickly. Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, and the Reuben are our favorites. And don’t miss the onion rings! The fare here does not feel local, as there is no low country fare and not as seafood focused as many island restaurants. This makes for a nice change of pace. And we’ve really enjoyed everything we’ve tried so far. They have separate vegan and gluten free menus available upon request. We’ve seen live music advertised, but haven’t eaten when they were playing.
Pizza Pub and Golf
Behind the miniature golf course, near the intersection of Beachview and Shell Road, stands Red Bug Motor’s Pizza and Pub. Owned by the same person who can rent you the island’s iconic electric golf-cart-like vehicles from the airport’s Red Bug Motors, the island’s only pizza pub serves up tasty handmade pies.
Pizza, wings, and Italian style sandwiches. Oh, and they have a bar! You can have your pizza delivered or dine at the restaurant. Our crowd enjoys their Meatopia, Vegetarian Dream, and Pepperoni pizzas. The thin crust on the vegetarian is particularly nice. We may ask for thin crust on other pizzas on our next visit. Our family has also enjoyed their Salads, subs, and wings.
The Golden Isles have a variety of good restaurants, and while you might want to explore the area haunts, there are plenty of good restaurants right on Jekyll. Here is a restaurant guide, quick overview of the eating and drinking establishments on Jekyll Island. We plan to provide reviews for you of these various Jekyll eateries, and if we’ve written one, you can click the symbol to see it. Where available, clicking on a restaurant’s name will take you to its website.
Mexican Restaurant with a View
A Baja Mexican restaurant on Beachview Drive, Tortuga Jacks is just north of Great Dunes Pavilion. And what a great location! Head to the bar-height seating in the outdoor Tiki hut for a great view!
Baja is an important word for understanding the style of food offered at Tortuga Jacks. It refers to Baja California and is a milder and healthier style. We actually prefer spicier Mexican! So ask your server for a spicier salsa if you do, too. We enjoy the sweet plantains (maduros) and the tacos, made with a marinated meat. Other meals we’ve eaten seem to have something missing. But we haven’t explored the entire menu. And we know by their crowds that the Baja style is popular.
Where to Eat – Driftwood Bistro
Driftwood Bistro is a casual restaurant in the Villas By the Sea complex on Jekyll’s north end. It is well known by locals because they have good food at reasonable prices. You can even get petite plates that include half-sized entrees and smaller sides. The restaurant specializes in Low Country Cuisine, sort of home cooking for the area. Seafood specialties include Shrimp and Grits and Stuffed Flounder, two of my favorites. But they also have many dishes for the non-seafood eater, such as Meatloaf and Pot Roast. Their side are good, too! Each entree comes with two of them, and we have problems choosing. The Sweet Potato Souffle, Fried Okra, and Squash Casserole are among our usual choices. Oh no! My husband says don’t forget the Fried Green Tomatoes.