The Crab Shack

The Original Crab Shack on Chimney Creek: See Our Review!

Bo Approved Seal

While visiting any town food is at the top of our list. The Crab Shack in Tybee Island is not only a great restaurant but offers some adventures for the whole family. They also offer outdoor pet-friendly dining so it is Bo Approved!

The Tybee Island Crab Shack, known as The Original Crab Shack is a great place centrally located on the western side of Tybee on Chimney Creek. The spot was originally a Fish Camp where locals could launch their boats and get bait, beer, and other necessities for their fishing trips. In 1983, Jack and Linda Flanigan purchased the Fish Camp and migrated from Atlanta.

After moving to Tybee Island, Jack, and Linda obtained their captain’s licenses the began running a marina and charters from the 4-acre site. Since the fishing was great, bare feet were allowed, and the shellfish was in abundance, the Crab Shack became popular with locals and travelers alike. They originally started with just a few days a week, but it quickly grew into one of the most popular restaurants in the area and has been growing ever since.

The Crab Shack Attractions

When I contacted the General Manager of the restaurant to let them know we would be visiting. She mentioned that the Crab Shack is two different places. Not only is it a restaurant with the finest crabs around but it also has some attractions to visit while you are there. I wanted to go during the day to get photos. We headed over during the mid-afternoon to see everything they had to offer.

The Original Crab Shack Tybee Island
The Crab Shack Deck overlooking Chimney Creek

When you first pull in your will notice some cabins on the property. There is also a warehouse and a smokehouse. The entire area is covered under an oak hammock, so it is nice and cool. The outdoor seating looks so inviting, with the warm sun trickling through the oak trees.

Book More Amazing Attractions Below

Gift Shop and Bird Sanctuary

While we were waiting for the manager, we found a gift shop and a room with exotic birds in their own area. The room housed several tropical birds that the owners had rescued. Being a bird owner myself I appreciated that the owner was helping to rescue these beautiful birds.

In the gift shop, you will find treats for the Gators and many other relevant Tybee Island souvenirs like hats, T-shirts, and locally crafted spices!

The Restaurant

The first thing you see as you approach the restaurant is a hostess stand and a massive crab adorning the entrance. This was the original bar when the Crab Shack was first built. Since then, many decks and rooms have been added to the restaurant to accommodate their growing seafood lovers fan base for the best seafood in town.

Entrance The Original Crab Shack Tybee Island
The Crab Shack

As the manager showed us around the venue, there was a sprawling outdoor deck where folks were enjoying the warm sun and cool breeze from the creek. We headed to the docks where we could see one of Captain Jack’s charter boats stranded on the shore. There is plenty of room both inside and outside to accommodate couples to large parties.

Gator Lagoon

The Flanigans have created a tropical oasis for their cold-blooded friends. As you approach the protected area, you will see a lagoon with several small baby alligators.

You can purchase treats for the gators that are nutritious snacks, in the gift shop. There are pretend fishing poles where you attach the treats. Once you have secured the snack on the end of the line, you lower your pole to feed the gator. This is great fun even as an adult. I have interacted with many gators in my lifetime, but I think this was the most fun since I was able to put the food right in front of their snout and watch them snap it up.

Gator Lagoon at The Crab Shack
Gator Lagoon at The Crab Shack

Dinner at The Original Crab Shack

After we finished our tour, the manager insisted we come back in the evening. She stated to us that it was a different atmosphere after dark. And I knew exactly what she meant when we arrived. The entire restaurant was lit with twinkly lights and sparkly fish hanging from the ceiling. The lighting made The Crab Shack at night warm and inviting. You could even say it was romantic.

We were seated inside due to the chilly weather. As we sat at our table, we noticed there was a big hole in the middle. The server explained to us that there is a garbage can there, for shells, etc. How clever!

We ordered drinks, and I ordered them based on the server’s recommendations. The Crab Shack does offer a full bar. I ordered the Big Kahuna and Jack got his usual Corona. The Big Kahuna was tasty.

Cocktail The Original Crab Shack Tybee Island
Big Kahuna!

Believe it or not, we do not eat shellfish, so the menu was limited for us. We ended up ordering the roasted chicken and nachos, and they also offered hot dogs. The seafood platters going out looked amazing. The Captain Crab’s Sampler platter was huge, and the tray was piled with Snow Crabs. I love their menu because you can do several different combinations of their many menu items and order them in different sizes for larger parties.

The Original Crab Shack Tybee Island
Crab Shack Main Dining Room

You can check out their menu items here. But if you do not like or can not eat shellfish, there are a couple of items you can still get. Unless the majority of your party eats shellfish and pork, I would not recommend bringing too many of those friends to The Crabshack. Their primary focus is shellfish and pork BBQ, and I can tell by the happy faces they do it right and with great service and great food!

Wrap Up!

All in all, The Crab Shack was a great experience with plenty to do, see and eat while you are there. The atmosphere of the original sleepy little fishing camp was authentic, clean, and in the evenings romantic and inviting. It is still a very casual restaurant, but the service was also excellent. The Crab Shack is a Tybee Island staple that you must visit for the best outdoor dining and delicious food. I know it may look like a tourist trap, but the casual dining atmosphere, live music, and delicious food will not disappoint. If you are looking for a Tybee Island low-country dining experience, The Crab Shack will be sure to please.

The Original Crab Shack Tybee Island
The hostess stand at The Crab Shack

The Crab Shack has the following hours, but please check directly with the restaurant on the phone number before heading there. They do not currently offer reservations. They are pet-friendly.


Sun- Thu: 12pm-8pm  |  Fri-Sat: 12pm-9pm
Gift Shack: 12pm-8pm

Crab Legs • Low Country Boil • Oysters • Raw Bar • Shrimp • Pork Chicken • Ribs • Nachos • Soups & Sandwiches

5 2 votes
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48 responses to “The Original Crab Shack on Chimney Creek: See Our Review!”

  1. Kari Avatar

    This place was disgusting. I ordered a crab leg and sausage plate. The crab legs were the only edible thing on my plate. Potatoes were not boiled all the way and the shrimp was tiny and not deveined. No seasoning whatsoever, although they did have some for purchase in their gift shop. Over hyped and overpriced.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I am sorry for your experience. Since Covid things have been tough for restaurants. Maybe try them again when things get better.

  2. Cindy Avatar

    I probably couldn’t eat a thing there but it sounds like a cool place to visit.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Probably not if you are a Vegan. But the attractions are cool to visit as well.

  3. Cindy Mailhot Avatar
    Cindy Mailhot

    That looks amazing…I have always seen these types of platters on TV but I have never had one.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      People were certainly enjoying all of the crabs. You need to get one soon! Tybee Island is waiting!

  4. Sara Avatar

    The indoor dining area looks so dreamy with all those lights!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      We really enjoyed it. Thanks Sara!

  5. Barbara Avatar

    Yummo! This looks delicious!

  6. Carey Avatar

    Its been years since I’ve at the Crab Shack but I remember the food being amazing! I love crab legs as well.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      They are a Tybee Island main attraction!

  7. kmf Avatar

    I LOVE shellfish so this looks and sounds perfect for me. And what a cool place with the gators to add a little personality.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      I agree! It takes it up a notch for sure!

  8. Lori Nielsen Avatar
    Lori Nielsen

    Crab is my all time favorite seafood! I would go even without the fun ambiance and the gator feeding. But these things sure add to the experience!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Thanks Lori! It is definitely an experience!

  9. Donna Garrison Avatar
    Donna Garrison

    You had me at that first picture. Crab Shack Feast, I am in! The baby alligators are so cute. I think feeding them would definitely be a highlight for my youngest (and maybe me too).

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Be sure to go on a warm day so the gators are more active. The feast is a site to see for sure!

  10. Michele Avatar

    We LOVE this place and eat here every time we visit Tybee! The food and atmosphere are both wonderful.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Awesome Michele! I am glad to see others agree that it is special.

  11. Lisa Manderino Avatar
    Lisa Manderino

    This looks like a fun place to visit. I love all the decorations!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      You see something new every time you go to the Crab Shack!

  12. alison netzer Avatar
    alison netzer

    Being from Baltimore, I love a good crab shack. This one sounds so awesome. I love that they have a place to feed crocs and a bird sanctuary. What a fun meal.

  13. Missy Avatar

    The food and drinks look yummy. Love the area too.

  14. Taquia Avatar

    The Crab Shack looks like a great place to visit. I love that you can enjoy a meal and attractions! I’ll have to add this to my list of things to do in Georgia!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Awesome Taquia! I can’t wait to hear about your visit!

  15. Pam Avatar

    We love fresh crab, so this looks amazing! Love the atmosphere too.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      The atmosphere nails the experience! Thanks Pam!

  16. Amanda Avatar

    I don’t do shellfish either, but it still looks like a fun place to eat!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      It had a nice atmosphere!

  17. Charlene Avatar

    I went to Tybee Island back in 2013, but only for a few hours of beach time with the kids, so we need to go again!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Tybee is a great spot for families. You will enjoy it!

  18. Lisa Avatar

    What an amazing Crab Shack! We have only been to one, we will need to check this one out!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      There are many different ones! Joe’s comes to mind. This is a privately owned spot. Not a corporate store. And much nicer in my opinion!

  19. Elaina Mogren Avatar
    Elaina Mogren

    What a great experience! The food looks so good. I cannot wait to be able to travel again, I think this will be on our list of must sees.

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Awesome Elaina! I look forward to hearing about your trip to Tybee Island!

  20. heather Avatar

    Well if it is Bo approved, count me in! It looks like a fantastic place to spend some time. Not sure about the gators, but you are talking to a Yankee 😉

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      LOL You get used to them and it was very safe. I promise!

  21. Angela Avatar

    Oh my! Gators, cocktails and crab – triple fun!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      For sure! Tybee is all about fun!

  22. Karie Avatar

    I don’t eat fish but looks like a place I would love to go for the experience. The ambiance looks amazing!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      Same here. I eat fish but not shellfish and they had no fish on the menu! But it was still fun and a great atmosphere!

  23. melissa Avatar

    That looks like such a fun place to eat! The night atmosphere looks super fun, and I would love to feed the alligators!

    1. Tricia Snow Avatar

      We loved it there. Thanks Melissa!

  24. Sabrina DeWalt Avatar
    Sabrina DeWalt

    This looks like a fun place to eat.

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