Eat Like a Local: 5 Restaurants in Tybee Island You'll Love (and One to Avoid) - Georgia Trek (2024)

As you embark on your Tybee Island adventure, it’s easy to build up an appetite on this enchanting coastal paradise. Let’s look at the best places to eat on Tybee Island. We aim to make your visit unforgettable by uncovering the best restaurants in Tybee Island and the tastiest drinks around.

Before you dive into the guide, here are three key takeaways to keep in mind during your stay:

  • Embrace the local flavors: Tybee Island is home to a variety of unique and delicious culinary experiences. Make sure to try the fresh seafood, craft beers, and frozen adult beverages at the restaurants in Tybee Island.
  • Seek out hidden gems: Go beyond the typical tourist traps and explore the lesser-known eateries and watering holes, such as Lili’s Restaurant and Bar on Wilmington Island, to fully appreciate the island’s charm.
  • Balance your activities with relaxation: With a range of activities like biking around the island, visiting the historic Tybee Island Lighthouse, Fort Pulaski, and the Marine Science Center, remember to also take the time to unwind and enjoy the serene ocean views with a drink in hand at one of Tybee Island’s restaurants.

Now, let’s dive into the local’s guide to Tybee Island and discover the best restaurants and drink spots that await you!

Places to Eat in Tybee Island: A Foodie’s Paradise

Tybee Island, a coastal charm just off Georgia’s shores, seamlessly blends relaxation, adventure, and historical fascination. As you delve into this picturesque retreat, a medley of activities awaits. Whether you’re pedaling around the island, soaking in panoramic views from the historic Tybee Island Lighthouse, stepping into history at Fort Pulaski, or marveling at marine life at the Marine Science Center, every venture will whet your appetite.

Post your adventures, you’ll want to savor some of the best food and drink offerings. Allow us to guide you through a culinary voyage, introducing top-tier restaurants and must-savor beverages that will enhance your island stay. Prepare for a flavor-filled journey as you explore the island’s gastronomic delights!

Tantalizing Tybee Island Dining Experiences

Below, we delve deeper into some of the most acclaimed places to eat in Tybee Island. Each brings its unique flair, promising a variety of unforgettable experiences:

Salt Island Fish & Beer

Dive into a seafood lover’s dream at Salt Island Fish & Beer. This laid-back eatery draws in patrons with its mouth-watering, locally-sourced seafood dishes. Whether you’re craving a classic shrimp po’ boy or an innovative fish taco, there’s something for every palate.

Don’t miss their impressive collection of craft beers. These hand-picked brews, many of which are sourced from Georgia’s top breweries, are the perfect companions to the delectable seafood offerings.

To top it all off, the relaxed atmosphere, accentuated by its cozy outdoor seating, promises an experience where you can truly unwind and savor your meal.

Sea Wolf Tybee

Anchoring itself firmly as one of Tybee Island’s culinary gems, Sea Wolf Tybee offers a dining experience steeped in maritime charm. The menu serves up an array of seafood options, along with hearty sandwiches and more.

But the allure of Sea Wolf Tybee extends beyond its food. Regular live music events infuse the restaurant with an energy that’s hard to resist, turning an ordinary meal into an unforgettable experience.

Camacho’s Tacos and Surf

For those in the mood for a flavorsome detour to Mexico, Camacho’s Tacos and Surf has you covered. Serving up authentic Mexican street food, this vibrant joint is a firm favorite among locals and visitors alike. The menu boasts an assortment of tacos, burritos, and quesadillas, each packed with traditional flavors that transport you straight to the heart of Mexico.

In addition to the meat-filled offerings, Camacho’s Tacos also caters to vegetarian and vegan diners with a delicious range of plant-based options.

AJ’s Dockside

Experience dining at its most scenic at AJ’s Dockside. This waterfront restaurant boasts stunning views over Back River, making it a picture-perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner.

The diverse menu is sure to satisfy, with a line-up featuring fresh seafood, juicy burgers, crisp salads, and hearty sandwiches. Plus, their pet-friendly patio means that even your furry friends can join in on the fun.

Combining exceptional food with breathtaking views and a warm, inviting atmosphere, AJ’s Dockside captures the very essence of dining on Tybee Island.

A Unique Spot: North Beach Grill

Near the Marine Science Center, North Beach Grill presents casual dishes with a burst of flavor.North Beach Grill offers a variety of casual dishes, including seafood, sandwiches, and burgers. Enjoy a drink and an appetizer with an ocean view, taking in the relaxed atmosphere.

A Hidden Jewel: Lili’s Restaurant and Bar on Wilmington Island

For the more audacious foodies, Lili’s Restaurant and Bar on Wilmington Island promises an unforgettable dining experience. Plan ashort detour on your route to or from Tybee Island, you’ll find the gem that is Lili’s.

Fresh, local seafood stars in many of their dishes, paired brilliantly with the freshest produce, all sourced sustainably and free of hormones. Signature dishes like the delectable Lamb Chops and the Tandoori-spiced Chicken & Waffles blend traditional Southern charm with an exotic twist, creating an unforgettable dining experience.

Whether you’re on your way to Tybee or heading back to the mainland, Lili’s is a delightful pit stop that allows you to savor the coastal flavors in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere.

Tourist Traps to Avoid: The Crab Shack

While visiting Tybee Island, it’s important to know which spots to avoid. The Crab Shack has a reputation as a tourist trap, with decent but not exceptional food and only a mediocre view. Instead, try one of the local recommendations mentioned earlier.

Frozen Adult Beverages on the Pier

No visit to Tybee Island is complete without enjoying a frozen adult beverage on the pier. Be sure to sample the island’s favorite concoctions as you take in the beautiful ocean views and unwind.

Explore Further: Coastal Georgia’s Other Charms

After experiencing the culinary delights of Tybee Island, the alluring charm of Coastal Georgia beckons. Discover the pristine beaches of St. Simons Island, delve into the historical mystique of Savannah, or explore the untouched beauty of the Cumberland Island National Seashore.

For the more adventurous you can evensnag your own fresh catch of the day at one of the area’s local saltwater fishing piers in Georgia.

Everywhere you turn, another gastronomic adventure awaits, each one more tantalizing than the last.

Looking for more insider information on Tybee Island? These resources can be your guiding star:

  • Tybee Island Official Tourism Website: All-inclusive information on lodging, activities, events, and a comprehensive list of the best places to eat in Tybee Island.
  • Local publications: Savannah Morning News, Connect Savannah, and South Magazine feature articles on Tybee Island and its vibrant food and drink scene.
  • Tybee Island Chamber of Commerce: Gain insights into local businesses, events, and the island’s happenings. A handy tool for supporting small businesses during your visit.

Remember, the most memorable culinary journeys are those that capture the essence of the destination. So dive in, experience Tybee Island’s gastronomic wonders, and make your visit a tale worth retelling. Enjoy the flavors, relish the views, and let Tybee Island capture your heart.

Eat Like a Local: 5 Restaurants in Tybee Island You'll Love (and One to Avoid) - Georgia Trek (2024)


Which Tybee Island beach is least crowded? ›

Tybee Mid Island Beach

It is usually much less crowded than the south or north ends and is an absolutely stunning expanse of shoreline.

What is the most popular part of Tybee Island? ›

South Beach on Tybee Island

Tybee's South Beach is the busiest area of the entire island and includes everything south of 14th Street.

What seafood is Tybee Island known for? ›

Tybee Island is a foodie lover's paradise filled to the brim with coastal delicacies like shrimp, oysters, crab, and so much more. For those looking to indulge in a flavorful dining experience that's unmatched elsewhere, add these Tybee Island dishes to your travel wish list.

What should I wear to Tybee Island? ›

Stick with staple pieces like long sleeve shirts and shorts for your daytime activities like climbing to the top of the Tybee Island Lighthouse. A sweater or light jacket will keep you warm even with the cool ocean breeze.

What is the secret beach on Tybee Island? ›

Tucked away at the end of Highway 80, on the outskirts of a quiet neighborhood, lies Tybee's Back River Beach. Often referred to as the island's secret beach, this wide stretch of sand offers gentle rolling waves, dolphin sightings and show-stopping sunsets.

What is the best month to visit Tybee Island? ›

From early April to late May, visitors can enjoy warm weather without the extreme heat that is sometimes experienced during the summer months. In the spring, average temperatures hover comfortably in the mid-70s. Consider packing a light jacket and clothes that can be easily layered.

What celebrity lives on Tybee Island? ›

Sandra Bullock isn't the only celebrity to discover the tranquility of Tybee. Other stars have also been keeping it under their hat such as musician-actor John Mellencamp and best-selling-author Mary Kay Andrews who also have homes on the island.

Which side of Tybee Island is best? ›

South Beach is Tybee's most popular beach, with more crowds and activity than anywhere else on the island, you'll enjoy walking the Tybee Island Pier and shopping along Tybrisa Street. The island's "secret beach" is Back River Beach.

Is Tybee Island clothing optional? ›

It shall also be unlawful for any person to come upon the beaches or structures erected thereon and act in any way which is likely to cause endangerment to himself or others. (12) Nudity. no nudity on beaches. (13) Beer kegs.

What bacteria is in Tybee Island? ›

The advisory was issued on June 22, 2022, after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers. Subsequent water samples showed the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency's recommended limits.

Why is Tybee Island famous? ›

Tybee was extremely important because of its location at the mouth of the Savannah River. In 1736, Oglethorpe had a lighthouse and small fort constructed here to ensure control of river access. Also in 1736, John Wesley, the “Father of Methodism”, said his first prayer on the American continent at Tybee.

Can you swim in the ocean at Tybee Island? ›

The City of Tybee Island's Ocean Rescue provides seasonal Lifeguard Services between April and September, and we encourage the public to swim in life-guard protected areas.

What should ladies wear to the beach? ›

As the foundation of your wardrobe, select comfortable and elegant swimwear. Wear it with a light cover-up, such as a loose-fitting linen shirt or a flowy kimono. Wear denim shorts or a light skirt over your bikini. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, flip-flops, or sandals to complete the appearance.

Can you walk everywhere on Tybee Island? ›

Tybee Island is a smaller island at only three miles long and one mile wide so you can walk to any destination on the island.

Can you drink the water on Tybee Island? ›

Under special circ*mstances, such as an emergency, bottled water is a good choice. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates public water systems. As shown in our Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), City of Tybee Island's water supply meets all federal and state EPA drinking water standards.

Which is better, North or South beach Tybee Island? ›

South Beach is the island's busiest spot and has the biggest parking lot, between 14th and 18th streets. North Beach is located across from Tybee Lighthouse and is the closest beach to Savannah. It's a great place to do some nature walking with a lot of marsh areas.

How crowded is Tybee Island? ›

Weekends on Tybee are very crowded. Weekends will be very tough at Tybee unless you walk far from the Pavilion (mid beach). People stay close to the Pavilion as there are food, drink, and restrooms there. So keep walking to the far right or left and the crowds will diminish.

Is Tybee Island or Folly Beach better? ›

Tybee Island offers up a bit more space to roam than Folly Beach but maintains that relaxed vibe that keeps visitors returning year after year. It's considered the northernmost barrier island in Georgia and is popular for its fresh seafood, sandy beaches, and ocean waves that are ideal for surfing.

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