Where to Dine Alfresco on the Island
You don’t have to be a restaurateur to know that a relaxing, scenic environment is the perfect accompaniment to every dish. And really, what better dining venue is there than a beautifully-crafted patio overlooking endless sky and sea? For those auspicious islanders, alfresco dining is pretty much a regular pastime. Tybee hosts a diverse collection of renowned restaurants that offer patrons the option to enjoy their meals with a refreshing side of open air. If you haven’t yet relished seaside dining on the island, summer affords you a glaring opportunity to do just that. Head to these local faves for a culinary encounter that mingles palate-pleasing plates with a healthy dose of fresh air.
The Crab Shack
Ask any local and they’ll point you to The Crab Shack for an authentic alfresco dining experience on the island. This captain-owned-and-operated eatery serves up fresh seafood staples caught right from the surrounding waters daily – oh, and about those surrounding waters; patio dining at the shack showboats picturesque ocean views that have earned the establishment the coveted award for ‘best outdoor dining’ since ‘98. Combine that with the onsite alligator pond, the friendly wait staff and the appetizing coastal cuisine and you’re in for a meal to remember on the water at the shack.
A-J’s Dockside is another island favorite for locally-sourced seafood and a warm, relaxed atmosphere. Come out and have a satiating meal on their vibrant outdoor deck, which overlooks Tybee’s pristine Back River. Colorful umbrella-topped tables provide ample shade on a sunny island day. A great option for lunch or dinner, A-J’s boasts ocean-fresh dishes that are the makings of seafood lovers’ dreams. And with 46 distinct bottles, the harbor house is also a popular locale among craft beer connoisseurs. All the more reason to dine dockside soon.
Coco’s Sunset Grille
It’s in the name for a reason. There’s nothing more emblematic of the good life on Tybee than watching the sunset sky go orange, pink, then cerulean over the glistening river waters with a cool cocktail in hand while live music drifts sweetly to your ears atop a posh, lit patio. That’s just one small part of the allure of Coco’s Sunset Grille. You’ll find this island jewel tucked neatly in a marsh very near the operating marina at Lazaretto Creek. Diners can watch boats bring fresh catches in to the docks daily. If farm-to-table is today’s culinary standard, then Coco’s has sea-to-plate covered. Delicious coastal fare, handmade drinks, live entertainment and newfound friends are abundant at the grille, so it’s always a fun time on the patio.
Proudly known as home to the three B’s – that is, blue crabs, beach music, and beer – Stingray’s Seafood is another top spot for alfresco island dining that’s not to be missed. Located on the Tybee’s main strip, Stingray’s is a lively gathering place for beachgoers, surfers and sunbathers alike. Locals flock Stingray’s spacious patio on the regular for signature seafood creations, outstanding margaritas and blaring beach music every day of the week. Live acts take the patio stage Friday and Saturday nights, providing you with the perfect way to unwind Tybee-style on the weekend.
North Beach Bar and Grill
Literally steps away from the beach with the iconic Tybee Island Lighthouse in near view, North Beach Bar and Grill is your place for the quintessential island dining experience. The unpretentious shack is a haven for hungry beach bums after a satisfying bite just seconds from the surf. Lowcountry seafood favorites are amped up by Caribbean flavors to make for an eclectic culinary experience that’s unique to North Beach Bar and Grill. Their cozy beachside patio is also frequented by string-strumming acts, further enhancing your blissful escape to island paradise.
About the Author: Chantel Baul
Chantel Baul is a Savannah native with a knack for writing and an ever-growing curiosity. She received her BA in English and Professional Communications from Armstrong State University, and when she’s not writing she’s serving the country as a US Army Reserve Officer. She’s an NPR nerd/foodie with a deep passion for all things travel, sustainable living and fun.