Cheap Eats – St. Simons Island, Georgia

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A trip to the coast is just not complete without a calorie-laden, hunked-up plate of fried shrimp. But it often takes a search to find just the right place –– and it usually is not the one where the hordes of sunburned, flip-flopped tourists line up forlornly grasping an umbrella-enhanced drink while waiting 45 minutes for their name to be called.

We’ve found our place right near St. Simons Island, just before the causeway to Sea Island and St. Simons. There’s nothing fancy about Jinright’s, but you can count on delicious fried shrimp, fresh fried okra and drinks so large I have to hold my water glass with two hands to prevent a spill that would surely flood the ancient-carpeted floor. And the prices? Our shrimp lunch with two sides is just $6.55.

Although we generally eat at the same places every time we go, on our trip last week we tried a new place –– Bubba Garcia’s, which you probably guessed is Mexican. Located in Redfern Village, the restaurant is biking distance from our house, so we saddled up and headed down there.

We started our meal with my observation that if I had to gain 50 pounds like Jim Carrey is doing to star as Curly in a movie of The Three Stooges, I would accomplish that goal easily by adding a large vat of cheese dip, accompanied by a mega-baskets of chips to my diet. Daily. Although I could work up an entirely plausible justification for doing that anyway because of its high calcium content, my desire to continue to fit into my cute jeans prevents this as a life goal.

Our two-taco lunch was $11, a bit pricey at first glance, but then we realized we could have shared just one because the portions are so large. The other option is to order a single taco for just $8.

The soft-shelled tacos were quite large. The rice served on the side tasted fresh and it came with black beans, much better for you than the usual refried glop you get that has the color and the consistency of wet mud.

Our other requisite food group is barbecue, and for that we head to
Southern Soul, located right on the roundabout near the airport in St. Simons. The sandwiches are piled high at this small true ‘cue joint, where the smoker is just outside the restaurant, with seating for not much more than a dozen on the inside.

If you have a smaller appetite, try the knuckle sandwich, a smaller version for just $2.50. There are plenty of sides, including chips, collard greens, hush puppies, Hoppin’ John and fried okra, starting at just 75 cents.

There are also burgers and for true southerners, you can even get a ‘mater sandwich, made with Duke’s mayonnaise, of course.

We don’t always get great weather when we go to St. Simons, in fact we shivered a bit on the beach, but we always know where to get the best food.

Jinright’s: 2815 Glynn Ave, 912-267-1590


  1. Elizabeth Morgan

    Southern Soul also has incredibly moist smoked turkey that we bring home for sandwiches. We think that Frederica House has the best fried food on the island (and they have cheese grits).
    It’s nice to know that Jinright’s is still good. We’ll stop by there next trip. By the way, has anyone been to the oyster shack near the entrance to the causeway?

  2. admin

    No – don’t know about it! What’s it called? Chris loves oysters!

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