Pelican Point Restaurant & Lounge, Crescent
What to expect: Enormous seafood buffet; go for the shrimp, spicy crab stew, and crab au gratin.
Check it out: 1398 Sapelo Avenue Northeast; 912/832-4295 or pelicanpointseafood.com
Mudcat Charlie’s, Brunswick
What to expect: Go with what’s fresh. Grilled shrimp is a good bet.
Check it out: 250 Ricefield Way; 912/261-0055
Desposito’s Seafood Restaurant, Savannah
What to expect: Boiled or steamed seafood served on newspaper-covered tables.
Check it out: 187 Macceo Drive; 912/897-9963
Love’s Seafood & Steaks, Savannah
What to expect: This rustic family restaurant has served customers along the languid Ogeechee River southwest of Savannah since 1949. Try the crab stew at this rustic riverfront restaurant.
Check it out: 6817 Chief Of Love Road (Basin Road); 912/925-3616 or lovesseafood.com
Williams Seafood Restaurant, Savannah
What to expect: This beloved institution on the Bull River between Savannah and Tybee Island serves great seafood, as it has since it opened as a roadside crab stand in 1936. We recommend the terrific broiled seafood platter.
Check it out: 8010 Tybee Road (U.S. Highway 80 East); 912/897-2219
Hunter’s Café, Shellman Bluff
What to expect: The café’s ramshackle exterior conceals an uncluttered, surprisingly pretty interior and a menu that includes crab stew (like creamy she-crab soup with potato chunks) and tuna filet with sesame-ginger sauce and fried spinach.
Check it out: 1093 River Road; 912/832-5771
The Crab Shack, Tybee Island
What to expect: “Where the Elite Eat in their Bare Feet.” The elite love the Capt ’n Crab’s Sampler and the Low Country Boil.
Check it out: 40 Estill Hammock Road; 912/786-9857 or thecrabshack.com
North Beach Grill, Tybee Island
What to expect: Southern- and Caribbean-influenced seafood next to the lighthouse.
Check it out: 41A Meddin Avenue; 912/786-9003
Driftaway Café, Wilmington Island
What to expect: Try the tuna tartare―bits of tuna atop crispy wontons and cucumbers, drizzled with a wasabi-and-miso sauce. Crispy scored flounder with sweet apricot sauce appeals to more-traditional tastes. Driftaway Café’s Sandfly location (912/303-0999 or driftawaycafe.com) offers virtually the same menu.
Check it out: 216 Johnny Mercer Boulvard; 912/898-4161