The Crab Shack
Any trip to Savannah requires a visit to nearby Tybee Island and its beaches and marshes, and any visit to Tybee requires a leisurely stop at The Crab Shack, where you can sit under the live oaks and palms at the water’s edge, maybe see dolphins playing in the creek, enjoy some of the best fresh seafood anywhere, feed the baby alligators, and—during St. Patrick’s—party with Bahamian Junkanoo performers Barrabas and the Tribe.
The Crab Shack got its start 36 years ago as the natural outgrowth of a fish camp and small boat marina. Jack Flanigan opened up his tin-roofed, screened porch for a few basic steamed seafood dishes and posted a sign: “Shirt and shoes not required.” A little later, the Crab Shack posted another sign: “Where the elite eat in their bare feet.”
With a huge open deck underneath tiny, twinkling lights woven into the branches of Spanish moss-draped oak trees, the Crab Shack offers a continual party atmosphere. Fans stir a breeze when none is present. For less than perfect weather, the Party Shack and Gator Deck offer heated or cooled comfort and screened-in protection.
The Crab Shack offers rustic dining at its most relaxed and fun. A hole in the center of the table provides a handy dishwasher. Messy hands? A small sink is nearby.
If you’re in a mood to linger over the best the Low Country has to offer, order the Low Country Boil, with peel-and-eat boiled shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob and sausage. Or splurge on the Crab Shack Sampler—snow crab, red rock crab, steamed shrimp, crawfish, mussels, sausage, potato and corn on the cob. These dishes can be ordered for a crowd and are placed in the center of the table on an elevated rack for all to share.
The Crab Shack also serves plump raw or steamed oysters, crab stew, stone crab, Dungeness crab, deviled blue crab and Alaskan king crab.
The Crab Shack has recently expanded their menu and now offers barbecue ribs and chicken. Try the Creekside nachos, with chipped pork, sour cream, cheese, chives and jalapeños. In addition to the regular menu, there are $7.99 lunch specials served until 3 p.m. daily.
The Crab Shack’s showstopping attraction is the “Gator Deck.” Everyone will enjoy the “Gator Lagoon,” an educational alligator lagoon providing safe interaction with alligators. Children and adults can offer “gator treats” affixed to the end of a line attached to a cane pole to the one-year-old alligators. Specially trained attendants are ready to answer questions and offer interesting “gator” facts.
Then visit the gift shop for a peek at their many exotic rescue birds: macaws, a cockatoo, African grey parrots, Yellow-Tipped Amazons, a Blue Frosted Amazon Parrot; and a pair of peach-faced lovebirds.
The Crab Shack is open year-round, closed only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday - Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Reservations are not accepted or required, unless your group is larger than 30 guests. 40 Estill Hammock Road on Tybee, (912) 786-9857. For directions, menu and more visit www.thecrabshack.com or "The Official Crab Shack" page on Facebook.