Seafood lovers of every stripe anticipate the fall harvest that starts ratcheting up into full swing this time of year as our fisheries go after our highly prized shellfish bounty, shrimp, oysters, and blue crabs. Coastal Georgia waters are known for their not inconsequential shrimp harvest every year as well as the rebounding blue crab population that is making a comeback after low harvests as a result of disease related to high salinity in coastal waters in 2003. The blue crab harvest is traditionally the number one seafood crop by weight every year and second in dollar value only behind shrimp in the state’s pecking order of seafood varieties. But enough about the metrics of harvesting seafood in the fall, we need to move on to the all important information of a few of our favorite locations to savor fresh local seafood.
The difference between eating fresh oysters as opposed to gulf coast imported oysters, same as shrimp or blue crab is the difference between day and night and would more appropriately be compared to the well known difference of eating fresh tomatoes raised in your own back yard versus tomatoes purchased at a local supermarket. With this in mind, here are a few of my favorite tried and true seafood restaurants that serve fresh locally harvested seafood found in close proximity to the Savannah River Basin and a little further south towards St. Simons Island. My personal favorite is Pepper’s Porch across the state line in Bluffton, South Carolina with their May River oyster harvest in full swing with a close second to Liberty County’s Sunbury Crab Company in historic Sunbury, Georgia fronting the Medway River for all three varieties of the above shell fish, and the awesome seafood buffet provided at Pelican Point Restaurant a mere 45 minutes south of Savannah. If you are coming to the historic district of Savannah here in the Lowcountry this fall, here is a list of Savannah area restaurants that you can confirm for yourself serves locally harvested seafood prior to showing up for their seafood.