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Island Eats: Where to Dine on St. Simons Island, Georgia

When I was at St. Simons Island, it wasn't all exploring the King and Prince Resort and flying around the island on a historic plane.

I had to sample the local fare, too! (I know. It's a tough life I lead. Someone's got to do it!)

Island Eats: Where to Eat on St. Simons Island, Georgia | CosmosMariners.com

Over my few days in the area, I discovered some amazing restaurants, their owners, and their chefs. One thing that I loved about St. Simons Island was how much the locals support their own. I love to shop, stay, and eat locally on my stays, and St. Simons Island had plenty of opportunities for me to do just that.

If you've worked up an appetite playing on the beach or shopping, here are a few great places to dine on St. Simons Island.


Echo
Located in the main lobby of the King and Prince, Echo focuses on providing classic Southern and seafood dishes with a twist. Executive Chef John Palacio's southwestern influences pop up in the most surprising of places, which insures that even the most experienced of foodies will find something new to savor here.

Island Eats: Where to Eat on St. Simons Island, Georgia | CosmosMariners.com

"We want to be proud of what we're sending you, and you want to be proud of what you're putting in your body," Chef Palacio told me. Thus, he's committed to providing locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

I had the chance to sample Chef Palacio's offerings several times over the course of my time at the King and Prince and came away from each meal with a smile on my face and a full stomach. The menu is heavy on seafood offerings (as Georgia shrimp is a local speciality), and I highly recommend that you try the shrimp and grits based on what I heard from fellow diners.

For those of you who have allergies like myself, the staff at Echo will go beyond themselves to provide you with an equally good meal as those sans allergies. While everyone else was chowing down on shrimp and grits, Chef Palacio provided me with a plate of blackened chicken, grits, and collards--which was one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted.

Brogen's
This island staple has been serving up burgers, fries, and more since 1983. If the restaurant's longevity doesn't convince you that Brogen's is something special, the food will certainly win you over.

Island Eats: Where to Eat on St. Simons Island, Georgia | CosmosMariners.com


When I was there, the owner, Forrest Brown, came over to help me with my food selection after he discovered I was allergic to seafood. Since their fried foods are all cooked in the same oil, he couldn't guarantee that any fried food I got would be free of little tiny seafood bits. Instead, he pointed me towards their burgers, which could be made safely for me.

I'm sure the rest of their food is delicious--it certainly looked it!--but that burger I had was delicious. I got the sauteed veggies for my side and happily ate my allergy safe dinner. I'd highly recommend Brogen's if you're looking for a casual place to bring the entire family.

Brogen's is located near Neptune Park in Pier Village.

Sandcastle Cafe and Grill
Right down the street from Brogen's is this legendary island spot for breakfast and lunch. I dove into some amazing bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and corned beef hash. I'm not a morning person, but the food here definitely perked me up the morning I ate here!

Island Eats: Where to Eat on St. Simons Island, Georgia | CosmosMariners.com


I liked that the waitress came by to take my drink, carb (pancakes, waffles, or French toast) and egg order and then sent me on my way to the breakfast buffet. I like having a little bit of everything at breakfast from fruit, yogurt, and eggs to hashbrowns, sausage, and bacon--and Sandcastle gives you plenty of ways to customize your breakfast plate!

It's a small location, but it's also a great place to meet locals. During my breakfast, the owners (a husband and wife) came by to say good morning and chat for a few minutes. Stop by for breakfast or lunch, then head out to check out the shops in Pier Village or spot a few dolphins at the end of the pier.

Gnat's Landing
Located in Redfern Village, Gnat's Landing is another one of those places where you'll find locals waiting in line to eat. Original owner Robert Bostock built the restaurant into a place where you can get great food, watch the big game, or meet friends for a drink after work. After he passed away in 2013, the Pope family purchased the restaurant with the intention of keeping this island favorite for a new generation.

Island Eats: Where to Eat on St. Simons Island, Georgia | CosmosMariners.com


Today, you'll find Ryan Pope, one of the owners, busing tables and bringing out food to customers. And to the delight of Gnat's Landing customers, the food and atmosphere have retained their casual, fun flavor (both literally and figuratively).

Their salads are super delicious, as are the fried pickles and sweet tea. I also heard great things about the St. Simons Stew (their version of Brunswick Stew)!

Plus, how can you not love a place that has the phrasing "Gnatalies" on their women's bathroom?!?!

Island Eats: Where to Eat on St. Simons Island, Georgia | CosmosMariners.com


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How do you find new restaurants on your travels? What's been the best local place that you've tried?
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