Big Tuna Restaurant & Raw Bar is Living Large on Georgetown’s Waterfront

December 2020
Written By: 
Ashley Daniels
Photographs by: 
Niki Nero

Big Tuna Restaurant & Raw Bar is living large on Georgetown’s waterfront

(Left) Fresh-caught seafood, fried and plated, is a must order at Big Tuna; (Right) Cold cocktails are even more refreshing when served at Big Tuna’s waterfront location

Big Tuna Restaurant & Raw Bar has weathered enough storms to make even the strongest, seafaring dining venues take notice and bow down. Spared from hurricanes and a fire that gutted seven neighboring buildings on Front Street, this downtown waterfront restaurant has been a staple in historic Georgetown for the last several decades.

Not much has changed inside or out over those years, but that’s just the way the locals like it, so no apologies needed. Rustic wood paneling mingles with neon bar signs, unique nautical decor and impressive big catch fish mounts. Choose to take a seat in the casual eclectic ambience offered indoors or relax on the back deck, where you can catch sunset views over the Sampit River and people-watch passersby along the Harbor Walk. You can even tie up your boat at Big Tuna’s dock for a pit stop.

Just as the name implies, Big Tuna is known for serving fresh-caught seafood prepared in an ocean of ways. Recommended starters are the Seared Tuna (yellowfin over ginger sesame dressing); their infamous, fresh Tuna Tartar tossed in a soy lime dressing with cilantro, scallions and avocado; and either a dozen clams steamed in garlic butter or a half-dozen chilled raw oysters with cocktail sauce. 

Salads and handhelds include scoops of their homemade shrimp or crab salad; a fried fish of the day sandwich with tartar sauce, lettuce and tomato; or an oyster or shrimp po’ boy served on a hoagie roll. If you prefer something by land, Big Tuna’s cheeseburger is unbeatable. Continue on by diving into the fried shrimp, fried oysters, fried scallops or fresh local fish of the day, each served with black beans and rice and coleslaw; two lump crab cakes or shrimp and grits served with the same sides; or a whole fresh flounder, scored and deep-fried. A good choice for red meat lovers is the 12-ounce prime cut ribeye. 

A visit to Big Tuna isn’t complete without an ice cold beer or cocktail or a glass of wine from any of their varietals. If you’re looking for a venue for your holiday gathering, ask them about their private dining room available to rent. And don’t leave Big Tuna without saying farewell to their resident parrot, Sassy, who may just strike up a conversation!

Big Tuna Restaurant & Raw Bar
807 Front St., Georgetown
(843) 546-1045
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.