A Squared: Dining on St. Simons Island: Part I

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dining on St. Simons Island: Part I

For almost every spring over the last 15 years, my parents have packed up and headed down to St. Simons Island for a little R&R by the ocean. I have joined them a handful of times on these trips, but until this year it had been a few years since I had been back. It was so fun to go back and for the first time, bring my husband and daughter along to this place that has been so special to my family. My parents rented a house and we spent a lot of time there hanging out on the decks or walking down to the beach or the pool to play. When we did venture out though, we had some great food too. Here are a few great casual dining spots to consider when you're visiting St. Simons Island. I'll be back with a second post about a more upscale dinner that Alex and I enjoyed on a date night there too!

Shortly after we arrived on the island to start our vacation, a huge thunderstorm blew into the area and for the next day or two the weather was a bit too windy for us to enjoy the beach with a toddler. We took that opportunity to stay off the beach and took a trip over to nearby Jekyll Island, specifically to see the amazing Driftwood Beach, which is basically a graveyard of uprooted trees that create sort of a natural jungle gym (or an easy place to hand a hammock) for tourists.

Tortuga Jack's
Jekyll Island

While on Jekyll Island, we headed over to Tortuga Jack's, a fun waterfront Mexican restaurant with a great patio and live music. If you want to kick back, listen to music, and sip on a mojito or a margarita by the ocean then this is the place for you! It's super laidback and the food is solid. We really enjoyed the white queso and guacamole along with endless baskets of warm tortilla chips.

And I tried the grilled Baja fish tacos for my lunch. The fish was a little greasy, but the fillets were super generous and the seasoning was great. They were served with lettuce and a spicy "Bangin'" sauce, which added a great kick of flavor to the tacos.

Palmer's Village Cafe

Since we have been vacationing on Saint Simons Island forever, we typically dine at the same handful of restaurants every time we visit (see Southern Soul Barbeque below for reference). On a trip into town during this visit, though, we stopped in to a new (to us) spot and were delighted to discover a new favorite! Palmer's Village Cafe is a small quaint restaurant right in the middle of downtown Saint Simons Island. The staff is fun and the menu is full of comfort food classics with a southern twist-- plus breakfast all day. The dinner menu changes as Palmer's is only open Thursday - Saturday for dinner.

I order The Pimiento Cheese sandwich for lunch, which came on thick slices of buttered toasty bread with sliced tomato, lettuce, and lots of crispy bacon. The pimiento cheese was slathered on thick and melty, the perfect glue to keep this sandwich together. It was served with a simple kale and cucumber salad on the side, a nice cool complement to this decadent sandwich. We had a great lunch here and I'm confident that we will be visiting Palmer's on our next visit... hopefully to try that amazing breakfast menu!

St. Simons Sweets

One place that we visit frequently when we're on the island is St. Simons Sweets. It's the perfect stop for satisfying a sweet tooth after a meal (like lunch at Palmer's) or to stock up on a few goodies to keep back at the house. St. Simons Sweets offers an amazing array of housemade candies, baked goods, fudge, and chocolates, along with traditional boxed candy too. But, we went with ice cream in mind!

St. Simons Sweets has a great selection of ice cream: from the traditional to the more unique. I immediately decided on the banana pudding ice cream. When in the South, am I right? It was delicious: Creamy vanilla ice cream with generous chunks of ripe banana and vanilla wafers. I loved it!

Southern Soul Barbeque

We love to eat at Southern Soul Barbeque, but the restaurant is small so you usually end up waiting for a table during peak times. With Hannah in tow, we knew waiting wasn't a great idea so we ordered takeout from here and enjoyed it back at the house. I didn't take any photos, but this is some delicious barbecue-- and it never disappoints! See my previous post here about dining on Southern Soul BBQ during my last visit to the Island. This time around, we managed to score one of their smoked half chickens which sell out quickly. It's one of the best items on the menu, so be sure to try one if it's available!

Smallcakes Cupcakery

Smallcakes is a franchise and I have told you about the ice cream they serve at the location just a few blocks away from my house, but when we were on St. Simons Island we made a stop there too. This time, we stopped in for cupcakes-- specifically, to pick one up for a belated first birthday celebration for Hannah. Look at that sweet little face trying her first chocolate cupcake!

On the right is the Lemon Drop cupcake: it starts with vanilla cake filled with lemon curd filling, topped with lemon buttercream frosting. It was tangy, moist, and a pretty solid cupcake!

I'll be back soon with a follow up post all about a great date night dinner on St. Simons Island too!


  1. I love pimento cheese! that sandwich looks awesome! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. We are heading to Jekyll Island Club in February and are looking for some good restaurants on St. Simons Island. ... St Simons. I've lived here for 30 years and have been in the food and beverage business for a large part of it.click here


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