The Wreck is one of those places that locals either love or hate, but in my book it remains the quintessential Shem Creek seafood shack. Just know what you’re getting into up front: it’s a low-key, bare-bones joint with an “our way or the highway” aesthetic. There’s no air-conditioning in the screened-in dining room, just a bunch of ceiling fans overhead trying to whip up a breeze. It’s open just a handful of hours each day, and the meals are served on paper plates with iced tea in clear plastic cups, soda in cans, and beer in bottles. No reservations taken, no kids menu provided, and no checks split. What you do get are paper plates filled with fresh local seafood, including grilled or fried fish, shrimp, and scallops along with fried oysters, deviled crab, and stone crab claws. The smoky fried hominy squares are delightful, and the dense, dark-fried hushpuppies even better. Once a cash-only business, the Wreck in recent years started accepting credit cards, but that’s the only visible concession to modern convenience. —Robert Moss
Dish (Summer 2014)
The Wreck serves up some of the best fried and grilled shrimp, scallops, and oysters to be found anywhere. No credit cards accepted.
Features: Outdoor Dining, Dinner, Waterfront, Top 50
Hours: D. Sun.-Thur: 5:30p.m.-8:30 p.m. Fri.&Sat: 5:30 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.