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Eating in Historic Savannah, Ga.

Eating in Historic Savannah, Ga.


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Admittedly, two days exploring any city isn’t usually enough time, but due to flight delays, three days turned into two. Fortunately, with a little planning, I found out that two days is enough to get a taste of this genteel and cultured city.

Visitors come to Savannah for the laid-back atmosphere, manicured and shady public squares with Spanish moss laden oak trees, the history (Savannah is the largest National Historic Landmark District in the U.S.), and the food. In fact, there are so many dining options that it was hard to narrow things down to just a few.

If there is one local place that’s an institution, it’s Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room. We walked the short distance to Jones Street where hungry diners were already lining up for the 11 a.m. seating. Sema Wilkes started serving her home-style Southern meals in 1943 and the tradition still continues today. Patrons are seated around large tables that are covered with bowls of fried chicken, black-eyed peas, collard greens, beef stew, and about a dozen other sides. A blessing is given by a staff member and then the food-a-thon begins. Meals cost just $20 and include sweet tea and dessert.

For lunch we were told about a fantastic barbecue place rated #1 on Trip Advisor just a short drive from downtown Savannah, off of Hwy 80 called Wiley's Championship BBQ. Don't let the strip mall setting deceive you – these folks are serious about their barbecue. How serious? Owners Wiley and Janet McCrary did the professional barbecue circuit for 12 years and have all the trophies to prove it. "We cook the same way we would in a contest,” says Wiley, “so you're eating competition barbecue here." We tried the brisket, ribs, chicken, pork, corned beef, and even a custom smoked baloney sandwich. All of the meat was tender, succulent and in a word: delicious. Start with their nachos made with homemade chips and white cheddar cheese, then move on to the meats. Wash it all down with sweet tea and you have yourself one of the best barbecue experiences of your life.

For dinner that night, we walked just a block from the Green Palm to Cha Bella for a light farm to table dinner of flatbread pizza and risotto that was fresh pleasing. Then, it was off to bed and ready for another day.

First, we headed to the riverfront. This is a major tourist draw with retail shops, restaurants, streetcars, and the wide Savannah River that has been the thoroughfare of primary transportation since the day when cotton was king. Today, mainly large container ships use these shipping lanes to bring cargo into port.

Here, you can find a couple of stores selling my wife’s favorite candy: pralines. These pecan treats are one of the South’s true unique confections.

We had lunch on the riverfront at Fiddler’s Crab House where they offer fresh seafood and a Savannah Julep – a variation of the classic mint julep with sweet tea added to the cool libation.

After lunch, we made our way to Broughton Street and Leopold’s Ice Cream. Now I do admit that I am an ice cream lover, and the Leopold family has been making homemade ice cream and sauces from scratch since 1919. Their chocolate chocolate chip ice cream with hot fudge was, well, heaven!

After all this food, we weren’t hungry for dinner but ended our day at the Historic Savannah Theater for their play, Savannah Nights. This patriotic high-energy dance and comedy show left the audience standing on their feet and cheering, begging for more – exactly our sentiments on our short visit to this historic city.

A version of this story was originally published by JustSayGo.


10 Things I Ate About You: Historic Savannah

Mossy oak trees and sprawling old Colonial-style homes can make Savannah feel more like a Civil War time capsule than a modern culinary destination. The city packs plenty of small-town charm and loads of history into its tree-lined streets and quaint city squares, not to mention its bars and restaurants, many of which have their own tales (and ghost stories) to tell. The beauty of dining in Savannah is that you can still enjoy old-school Southern staples along with spiffed-up classics making modern-day history. Here’s where to get your historical eats and drinks on in the Hostess City.

Southern Seafood Bouillabaisse at Vic's on the River

With a perch overlooking the Savannah River, Vic’s emphasis on fresh, local seafood feels especially right. Before it was a restaurant, the waterfront building was once a cotton warehouse and later the Stephen Shipping Company. The seafood-heavy menu is full of enticements, including the signature pecan-crusted flounder, but the Southern Seafood Bouillabaisse is the heartiest option after a day of wandering. The bowl holds sea scallops, wild Georgia shrimp, Sapelo Island clams, mussels and a daily fish, all clustered in a smoked tomato broth. When the weather’s nice, ask for a table on the patio beneath the canopy of centuries-old live oaks.

Housed in a converted 1900s grocery store, The Crystal Beer Parlor is one of Savannah’s oldest and most-beloved local eateries. Rumored to have been a speakeasy, it was one of the first establishments to serve alcohol after Prohibition was repealed. Today, it lives up to its name, pouring more than 25 beers on tap, to serve alongside burgers like the Au Poivre, smothered in green peppercorn brandy sauce. Start with the namesake Crystal Crab Stew, a creamy sherry-based soup that is chock-full of blue crab claw meat and has been a menu staple since 1933.

Tucked beneath the town’s post office in what was once a grain warehouse, Alligator Soul is a Creole-Southern restaurant with a penchant for local ingredients and a dash of global flair. Try the Pork Cornucopia, an Instagram-worthy dish that features ham hock-stewed cannellini beans and sauteed rainbow Swiss chard spilling out from a roasted acorn squash half onto a fan of herb-encrusted Savannah River Farms pork tenderloin. Bookend the meal with menu mainstays like the crawfish-bacon-stuffed baked Oysters a la Soul and puffy, caramel-drizzled banana beignets. The adventurous can opt for the rotating exotic-meat specials, such as elk pad Thai or python spring rolls.

At Leopold’s ice cream parlor, you’ll get a sprinkling of vintage soda-fountain charm with your scoop. Every flavor is still made one batch at a time according to a nearly century-old top-secret family recipe handed down from the original Leopold brothers. Their hallmark flavor is Tutti Frutti, a retro rum-based scoop studded with candied cherries, pineapples and pecans that was famed lyricist Johnny Mercer’s go-to. Chocolate fans should go for the perennially popular Chocolate Chewies & Cream, vanilla ice cream strewn with pieces of pecan brownie cookie made according to the original recipe from local institution Gottlieb’s Bakery.

Chef Hugh Acheson’s newest restaurant is named partly for local legend Florence “the Waving Girl” Martus, the unofficial greeter of all vessels entering and departing the Port of Savannah (look for her statue at the eastern end of River Street). But it’s also a nod to the city of Florence in Italy, the country that inspires much of the menu. Signatures include Neapolitan oven-fired pizzas and handmade pastas, like Black Bucatini, a local flour-squid-ink extruded pasta that’s pan-finished with spicy Calabrian chiles, scratch-made pork sausage, plump local shrimp and clams. Don’t overlook the bar seats: Acheson’s favorite perch is on a stool in front of the pizza oven, where he recommends relaxing with a glass of wine and watching the pizzas cook.

Whether you graze on charcuterie at the bar or feast on inventive Southern cuisine under the skylit main dining room, you’ll want to drink in The Grey’s sublime decor. The restaurant, which was once home to a 1930s art deco Greyhound bus terminal, echoes the original footprint: The old ticket counter is now a glass-walled kitchen the old Union News Cafe, a diner-style bar and the driver’s bunk room became the wine collection. Chef Mashama Bailey’s menu takes cues from the past, too, but is firmly rooted in the present. For example, instead of relying on traditional smoky ham hocks to flavor collard greens, Bailey ingeniously smokes the collards and then cooks them with an aromatic mix of leeks, onions and shallots.


Savannah Riverfront Restaurants

Come on down and dine on the Historic Savannah Riverfront. On River Street you’ll find a variety of restaurant options from casual dining to fine dining and everything in between. Below are just a few of our favorite places to grab a bite and enjoy the view!

All River Street

Nightlife

Restaurants

Shops

Lizzy's Tequila Bar & Grill

River House Seafood

The Shrimp Factory

Dub's, A Public House

Welcome to Dub’s, a Public House, the only sports bar on River Street! With our carefully thought-out menu and an inventive cocktail list created by our mixologists, we have something for everyone!

The Shrimp Factory

The building at 313 E. River Street was built during the winter months of the years 1823 through 1826 to serve as a warehouse for cotton, resin, and other products. All of the beams, stones, and brick, which you see in the building, are original. Ceiling beams and rafters are heart-pine from . this area and the Savannah-gray bricks were handmade. The top floors were added in 1850. Today, instead of cotton bales, you will find the locally owned Shrimp Factory. Dining is casual. Our famous signature recipes are always consistently delicious, served to you in a friendly, professional manner. Come…Watch the Ships Go By!

Huey's

Huey’s serves up authentic New Orleans cuisine on Savannah’s historic River Street from morning til’ night. Stop by and check out our happy hour or get one of our award-winning Bloody Mary’s to enjoy as you stroll down the riverfront.

Tubby's River Street

Talk about a room with a view! It doesn’t get more relaxing than kicking back at Tubby’s Seafood above River Street and watching the tankers cruise by — even when the Savannah heat is at its peak, outdoor diners always stay refreshed with Tubby’s ingenious mister system. This . is always the place for fresh seafood. The catch of the day is served grilled, fried, or blackened with plenty of sides, and the crab cakes and fish fingers have folks raving. Land lovers will find lots to take in, including filet mignon and chicken cordon bleu, and there are sandwiches galore for the lunchtime crowd. Save room for dessert — preferably a piece of pecan pie, baked fresh every day by Tubby himself in Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.

Fiddlers' Crab House

Fiddlers’ River Street with a front row seat to River Street’s historic cobblestones, Fiddlers’ serves up the freshest locally caught seafood available, setting the standard for fresh ocean fare on River Street.

Chart House

Constructed of ballast rock sometime prior to 1790, the Savannah Chart House, once a sugar and cotton warehouse, is the oldest masonry building in Georgia. The restaurant is located across the street from the Savannah River in the historic downtown area.

Vic's On the River

Vic’s is located in a beautiful old cotton warehouse overlooking the Savannah River and historic River Street. With entrances on both Bay Street and River Street, we are easy to access. Along with our spectacular views, Vic’s menu reflects Savannah’s Southern charm with our . take on traditional Southern food and our fresh seafood selections. The Vic’s staff continues the tradition by giving friendly and gracious service to all our guests. Bring your guests to enjoy a wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, bah mitzvah, bat mitzvah, dinner party, luncheon, or business meeting in one of our private dining rooms overlooking the Savannah River. Our fifth floor Stoddard Room can seat up to 165 guests at one time and provides two balconies onto which the guests can walk and enjoy the view. Our smaller Dieter’s Den is located on the third floor and can seat as few as 10 and as many as 35 guests for a more intimate dining experience.

River House Seafood

Genuine Savannah flavor in an 1850’s king cotton warehouse. Sit riverside and enjoy local seafood that the Savannah Morning News awarded its highest rating, A, while watching local and merchant ships sail by. Delight in our homemade breads and desserts, baked on premise and served warm or . available to take home. River House features some of the freshest local seafood available helping to create some of the finest signature items you’ll find in Savannah. Pecan Encrusted Tilapia or Shrimp and Low-Country Grits with Tasso Gravy are just a few of the dishes we’re proud of. We also have Po-Boys, Pizzettas, and the best Low Country Boil Savannah has to offer. We are sure it will satisfy any sweet tooth. If you’re too full, we offer mail-order service on many of our classic pies, cakes, and breads. Pie so good, you will probably ship one to yourself.

Spanky's

One of River Street’s oldest restaurants and taverns that has become a local and tourist hot spot. Chicken fingers just don’t get any better than this! Savannah’s friendliest lunch and Happy Hour restaurant. Voted Savannah’s best bar food and “Home of the Original . Chicken Finger.” All of us at Spanky’s welcome you and your friends and assure you that we will do everything possible to make your visit comfortable and satiable pleasing.

Lizzy's Tequila Bar & Grill

Featuring lunch and dinner daily: fresh seafood, sandwiches, salads, sizzling fajitas, steaks, margaritas, and drink specials all day long. Savannah’s newest addition on historic River Street, One-Eyed Lizzy’s is a restaurant with a Southwest flair, offering tex-mex cuisines with . what could be considered the best dining view on River Street…that is if you are lucky enough to dine on one of their three balconies. With two levels to choose from, One-Eyed Lizzy’s has something for everyone. All of these unique features combine to make a very delicious and fun dining experience.

Boar's Head Grill and Tavern

Boar’s Head Grill and Tavern claims to be the oldest restaurant on River Street and is located in a building that was once a cotton warehouse. Exposed brick walls decorated with a collection of gold plates and hunting trophies create a cozy atmosphere. From a seat at the bar, or on the . small patio, patrons can look out over River Street and the Savannah River. Kitchen specialties include crab cakes and she-crab soup, and the bar recommends Bumbo Punch, a special rum punch.


The Best Places to Eat Southern Food in Savannah

If you've spent any time in the South, you know how closely tied soul food is with the food culture of Savannah. The city's thriving food scene embraces both authentic methods of cooking as well as new, upscale takes on flavors synonymous with the South. With so many restaurants & bars scattered through the historic streets, choosing a place to eat can seem daunting. That's why we compiled a list of the best places to eat Southern food in Savannah.

1. Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Coming in #1 as a true Savannah staple: Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Doors open at 11am sharp on 107 W. Jones Street, one of Savannah’s prettiest moss-dripped streets. Yes, as you may have heard, you will have to wait in line to get into this restaurant. But, we promise that all good things (and fried chicken) come to those who wait. Experience true Southern hospitality in food form while passing plates to one another, Thanksgiving style, at one of their large tables for 10. This family-style meal will have you thinking about Southern Soul Food for days to come.

Price: Lunch runs $25 per person and half off for kids under 10.

Info: Ditch the credit card, as this is a cash-only establishment.

2. Sisters of the New South

Three words: Real. Southern. Cooking. Sisters of the New South specializes in just that. They are your one-stop-shop for all things southern, dishing up everything from breakfast to fried chicken to a peach cobbler recipe noted in The Culture Trip’s “Top Ten Places to get Peach Cobbler in Georgia.” Hosting a family gathering? Let them cater your event or pick up one of their ready-made pans to bring home.

3. Soho South Cafe

Locally known as Savannah’s famous weekly business lunch spot but especially for Sunday brunch! Originally an automotive service station, the beautifully renovated space holds as one of downtown’s restaurants and event venues. The atmosphere is “quirky New York” meets “simply Southern” and is perfect for a casual dining experience or an elevated brunch spot for a girls’ trip. Rent out the entire venue for your next birthday celebration, family gathering, anniversary, or corporate event.

Dress: Casual to business casual.

Price: Meals run around $10-15

4. Olde Pink House Restaurant & Tavern

The Olde Pink House is one of Savannah’s most popular restaurants and our favorite for Lowcountry cuisine. Dine in the sophisticated and historic setting of an 18th-century mansion, a national landmark, for either lunch or dinner. Or take things back 200 years and pay a visit to Planter’s Tavern for an evening of candlelit dinner & cocktails in the cellar of the Olde Pink House.

Dress: Dressy casual to semi-formal.

Price: Meals run from $20-50+

Info: Live music nightly. Reservations recommended.

5. Alligator Soul

Photo courtesy of Frank DiBona.

Located underground in what was once a grain warehouse, Alligator Soul boasts an elegant downtown dining experience with a focus on local, organic, farm to table meals that emphasize Southern flavors. If you are looking for a true Southern cuisine experience, you are sure to find it here.

Price: Meals run from $20-50+

Info: Reservations recommended.

6. The Grey

Formerly a Greyhound Bus Terminal built in 1938, The Grey is a feast for both the eyes and the stomach. Offering a personal take on Southern food from James Beard Award recipient Mashama Bailey, patrons can expect dishes that are layered, Southern, and soulful. While creating an experience focused on old-world hospitality, The Grey is Southern cuisine done right. On the go? Check out their newest addition: The Grey Market.


The Best Restaurants in Savannah, Georgia

Call it Midnight in the Garden of Tasty and Delicious: Savannah has raised the dining bar, challenging Charleston in many ways. Here's a guide to some of the best places and dishes to be found in this Southern charmer.

Related To:

Family Meal: Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Lunch in Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is like a typical family meal in households across the South. Community tables of 10 are filled with family, friends and strangers, and close to two dozen shareable platters and bowls filled with rotating Southern staples like fried chicken (sinful and, thankfully, available every day), beef stew, meat loaf, cornbread dressing, candied yams, black-eyed peas, okra and tomatoes, butter beans, mashed potatoes, pickled beets, collard greens &mdash you get the idea. To make it feel even more like home, it's first-come-first-served. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. sharp, you clear your own dishes and they only take cash.

You Scream, We All Scream: Leopold's Ice Cream

Forming lines that often snake down the block, people flock to this throwback ice cream parlor, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2019. Founded by three brothers from Greece and now run by descendants of that original family, this spot serves up its legendary hand-crafted ice cream in two dozen classic flavors (including the original 1919 Tutti Fruitti &mdash rum ice cream with candied fruit and fresh-roasted Georgia pecans), rotating seasonal flavors like Japanese Cherry Blossom and Pumpkin Spice, decadent banana splits (pictured), overstuffed sundaes, ice cream sandwiches on scratch-made cookies, milkshakes, ice cream sodas, floats and specialty hot beverages. Many of the ice cream ingredients and toppings are prepared in-house, as are the sandwiches and signature salads.

The New South: Husk

New on the scene in 2018, but a sister to outposts in Charleston, Greenville and Nashville, Husk pays homage to the indigenous ingredients and heirloom products of coastal Georgia. Located in the heart of the historic district, it has a Southern-inspired menu that highlights local and regional ingredients and farmers, and changes daily, based on seasonality and availability. Dishes like country ham biscuits with purple ribbon cane syrup from Sapelo Island, sassafras-glazed pork ribs with pickled Georgia peaches and butter beans, and Georgia shrimp and grits with tomato and sweet corn celebrate the region's bounty while striving to refine Savannah cooking and changing the way we look at Southern cuisine.

Pizza: Green Fire Pizza

Hoping to fill a void of true big-city pizza, father and son Russell and Parker Lee found the sweet spot with Green Fire Pizza. Using an 800-degree wood-fired pizza oven imported from Italy, they are cooking up perfectly charred Old World Neapolitan-style pizza with a thin and crunchy &mdash yet still slightly doughy &mdash crust filled with local and organic ingredients. Available by the slice or the pie, the classic margherita sets the bar with San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, garlic and locally grown Genovese basil. But don't overlook the Lemon Chicken Cheddar pizza or the famous Giardino, with Calabrian chile pesto, broccolini, cherry tomatoes and sausage. Or create your own with more than two dozen out-of-the-(pizza)-box toppings.

Baked with Love: Back in the Day Bakery

With its sweet smells of freshly baked confections or its warm ambiance created by whitewashed walls and retro decor (think vintage mixers, flour canisters and antique pendant chandeliers), this place will make you feel like you've traveled back in time to your childhood. A magical display case bursts with rainbow colors of cupcakes, pies, cookies, bars and brownies. But those in the know come for the savory side of the menu as well. Morning people flock here for the tarts, quiches and the Sunny Day Biscuit with egg frittata, bacon and housemade seasonal jam. The flaky layers in the all-butter buttermilk biscuits make it the bakery's top seller. And don't even get us started on the piquant breads and creative sandwich fillings.

Afternoon Tea: Gryphon

Located on Madison Square in the architecturally rich 1926 Scottish Rite Masonic Temple &mdash which served as Solomon's Drugstore for more than 70 years &mdash Gryphon harks back to another era with its white tablecloths, carved mahogany bookcases and original mortar and pestle stained-glass panels. Now the premier cafe of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Gryphon serves traditional afternoon tea every day for a true Savannah respite. Featuring a pot of tea &mdash you can choose from 10 varieties daily plus a flavor of the day &mdash along with a selection of tea sandwiches, scones with housemade Devonshire cream and strawberry jam, fresh fruit and an assortment of freshly made tea sweets, it is a fitting taste of Southern hospitality.

Island Eats: The Deck Beach Bar and Kitchen

Oceanfront dining is less than 20 miles away on Savannah's Tybee Island, and The Deck &mdash nestled within the dunes &mdash offers up killer views and a classic beachfront vibe. It's all about the seafood here, whether you're dining inside (plenty of windows bring in the ocean breeze) or out on the deck. Start with the crab cakes, served up with charred-pineapple chutney and arugula. Fave entrees include Buffalo shrimp tacos with cilantro slaw and blue cheese crema, and the massive seafood platter, which serves two to three people. It includes beer-battered tempura cod, grilled shrimp, fried calamari, snow crab legs, ahi tuna poke, corn on the cob, malt vinegar fries, sweet potato fries and island slaw, so you'd better come hungry.

All-Day Dining: The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market

Part restaurant, part bistro, with a little takeaway, coffee shop and market in the mix &mdash and open from early to late &mdash The Emporium is the perfect spot for enjoying a tasty breakfast, a creative lunch or dinner, or a leisurely cocktail, or picking up dinner provisions or the perfect hostess gift, all under one eclectic roof. The menu features savory and sweet breakfast and brunch items, housemade charcuterie, the freshest fruits de mer (the roasted barbecue oysters with bourbon smoked jalapeno butter are not to be missed), spectacular seafood towers and French-leaning entrees (think croque madame, moules mariniere and coquilles Saint Jacques). Decadent desserts are available to go (as are prepared salads and made-to-order sandwiches), along with an impressive wine selection.

To Share: Atlantic

A neighborhood filling station from the 1930s to the 1960s, Atlantic is now a neighborhood eatery that conjures up a sense of sharing and camaraderie. Whether you're seated in the sleek dining room, at the community table at the bar or on the front or back patio, the menu is filled with tasty small plates &mdash along with a few big plates &mdash that are perfect for sharing. Begin with the beet carpaccio, sprinkled with pistachios, fried capers and a champagne vinaigrette. Share the roasted shishito peppers in a butternut squash coulis. And revel in the ratatouille. But no matter what you do, don't miss the seared pork belly with a corn, field pea and miso compound-butter succotash. Trust us.

Cuban: Rancho Alegre Cuban

Savannah's restaurant scene includes plenty of typical ethnic genres, but for a truly colorful cultural take, taste a slice of Havana (and more) at Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant, where the focus is on Cuban, Caribbean and Spanish dishes. Start with a cool Cuba libre or mojito with appetizers like chicharittas (plantain chips) with mojo sauce, papa rellena (potato ball stuffed with ground beef) or croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes). Then go big with lechon asado (roasted and shredded pork), slow-cooked stovetop paella Valenciana or the national dish of Cuba, ropa vieja (slow roasted shredded beef in a Creole sauce), all served with yellow rice, black beans and sweet fried plantains. There's live Latin jazz on the weekends.

Sweet Spot: Lulu's Chocolate Bar

Devoted to scratch-made desserts and creative cocktails, Lulu's Chocolate Bar is definitely on the "Why didn't I think of that?" list. Start at the bar (daily happy hour until 7 p.m.) and enjoy one of the 20 different martinis &mdash many of which feature chocolate, like the Lulutini or the Milky Way &mdash or a chocolate beer or deep ruby-red wine. Then move on to dessert with a savory cheese board or a sweet treat like Lulu's strawberry suspension cake, white chocolate chip cheesecake, triple chocolate mousse served on a disc of pure chocolate with a chocolate sauce bath, or the Big Cookie (pictured), a giant, delicious mini-dark-chocolate chip cookie that's cut into a pie wedge, heated and served with vanilla ice cream.

Mexican: Tequila's Town

Sure, there are some great taco shops in Savannah. But Tequila's Town is where you want to go for an authentic Mexican experience. Owned and operated by a group of Mexican "compadres," this place has a legit menu filled with genuine Mexican recipes and Tex-Mex favorites like the Piggy Burritos filled with shredded pork carnitas and topped with queso dip and pico de gallo. Start with the tableside made-to-order guacamole &mdash you get to pick your ingredients and your heat level &mdash served up in a lava-rock molcajete. The street tacos won't disappoint, and you can mix and match from 10 tasty selections. Wash it all down with the restaurant's own house-branded tequila, Tequila Blanco, in a margarita or tequila cocktail.

Retro Dining (at the Greyhound Station): The Grey

The Grey's refurbished 1938 art deco Greyhound bus-terminal setting &mdash diner car included &mdash and its vintage take on updated "Southern eats" give a whole new meaning to retro. With this place that opened in 2014, chef-partner and 2018 James Beard Award nominee Mashama Bailey and hospitable front-of-the-house founding partner Johno Morisano bring local fare and friendly flair to Savannah's burgeoning dining scene. Southern twists abound, including red pea pancakes with whipped lardo and pork jus salted fish toast (pictured) with sweet potatoes, garlic, parsley and scallions foie and grits with plum mostarda and red wine gravy okra purloo with Carolina Gold rice, field peas and ham hocks and their spin on Indian-meets-Southern-inspired Country Captain Chicken with curry, currants and almonds.

Eat in the Wild: The Wyld

Overlooking a bucolic tidal creek less than 20 minutes from downtown, The Wyld is a world away &mdash and so worth the drive. The waterside dock-bar restaurant offers up stunning views of the marshland, plus bocce, a fire pit and seafood-focused monthly menus. Start with the seasonal oysters, a crab cake with bitter greens and remoulade or the scallop corn fritters with habanero honey butter. Keep the seafood theme going with the pan-seared catch of the day with green curry, callaloo and ginger basmati or the popular fish tacos with locally caught fish steamed in a banana leaf with spicy tomato jam and fresh ginger and topped with savory dill and basil chimichurri.

Brunch: The Collins Quarter

Brunch is big in Savannah, and there's no better place to see and be seen than at Australian-inspired The Collins Quarter. This ode to Melbourne's historic Collins Street pairs specialty coffees (the Lavender Mocha is to die for) and elegant cocktails (think bloodys, mimosas, bellinis, and rosés) with innovative and land-down-under-leaning cuisine. The Swine Time Beni is luscious brioche French toast topped with pulled pork, a poached egg, hollandaise and bacon. Leo's Big Breakfast is a bit heartier, with healthy portions of Italian sausage, bacon, eggs, baked beans, mushrooms and a grilled tomato. And the #Tag This Hash is a tasty mashup of braised pot roast, potato hash cakes, smashed avocado, a fried egg and chimichurri.

Date Night: 700 Drayton

What better way to celebrate date night than with a romantic table for two at 700 Drayton in The Kessler Collection's Mansion on Forsyth Park? The stunning ambiance is filled with world-class artwork, fireplaces and original wood flooring and trim in a historic 1888 mansion overlooking the park. The evening menu focuses on simply prepared regional specialties, fish and chophouse steaks. Enjoy a magical tete-a-tete with several shareable plates like the Hunter's Board with soppressata, truffle chicken mousse, speck, goat and Cambozola cheeses and lingonberry jam, or the Southbound Lager beer mussels (pictured), dressed in butter, Fresno peppers, onions and fennel and served with a warm baguette. Add to the romance with a cooking class in the 700 Kitchen Cooking School.

Oh So Savannah: The Olde Pink House

Legend has it that the cotton-candy-pink exterior of this aptly named restaurant resulted from the deep red of the original bricks bleeding through the white stucco. Be that truth or fiction, it's a fact that this 1771 Georgian mansion is the perfect setting for a romantic dining experience whether you're situated in one of the ornate dining rooms filled with heart-pine planks, crystal chandeliers and fireplaces, or in the more intimate and casual tavern downstairs. The menu features oh-so-Savannah gussied-up sauteed local shrimp with country ham gravy and cheddar cheese grit cakes, a fall-off-the-bone braised pork shank with macaroni and cheese plus collards, and a whole fried flounder &mdash all of it will make you think you've died and gone to Southern heaven.

Barbecue: B's Cracklin' BBQ

Ask anyone in town where to get some classic Southern barbecue and most folks will point you in the direction of B's Cracklin' BBQ. Bryan Furman and his wife Nikki are smokin' up whole heritage-breed hogs they raise themselves and putting out plates of pulled pork, brisket, ribs and chicken that have folks calling Furman Georgia's new king of barbecue. With a unique sauce that's part Carolina tangy mustard and part sweet Georgia peaches, he cooks everything the old-fashioned way &mdash low and slow over wood. Add in sides that he learned from his momma, like macaroni and cheese, collard greens, BBQ beans, and hash and rice, and you've got the South in your mouth.

Burger: Crystal Beer Parlor

Situated in what was once the Gerken Family Grocery Store, "The Crystal" opened in 1933 and is reputed to have been one of the first restaurants to serve alcohol after the repeal of Prohibition. Enjoy your choice of more than 85 beers &mdash including a selection of "Beers of Our Fathers" (hard-to-find time-honored beers) and a host of burgers, including an au poivre burger, Greek lamb burger, meatloaf burger, bison burger, the classic griddled half-pound Crystal Burger, which has been on the menu for 80-plus years, and the N.O.G.S. (North of Gaston Street) burger with bacon, balsamic-marinated sauteed portobello mushrooms, Brie and fresh spinach. Splurge on the onion rings, which are always freshly prepared and fried to order.

Soul Food: Narobia's Grits & Gravy

With a true Savannahian take on soul food, Narobia's lifts grits and gravy to another level. Heaping servings of grits come with varied gravy combinations, including shrimp, sausage (beef or turkey), lamb with green peppers, onions and mushrooms, or the tasty crab stew loaded with succulent shrimp, crabmeat, green peppers, onions and just the perfect amount of spice. Or, simply get the brown gravy with liver and onions, fried flounder, a salmon patty or a rib eye on top. All breakfast plates come with two eggs any way you'd like them, plus toast or a butter-kissed biscuit. If grits aren't your thing, substitute hash browns or french fries, or try the sausage gravy over biscuits.

Breakfast: Clary's Cafe

What's better than a classic diner-style breakfast? A classic diner-style breakfast joint that serves breakfast all day. Clary's Cafe has been serving it up all day every day since 1903, and locals swear by it. Naturally, this spot offers eggs in all styles and lots of omelets, all served with buttered grits or breakfast potatoes and toast or biscuits. But then there are eggs Benedict (try the crab cake), French toast (get it stuffed with strawberries and cream) and Georgia pecan pancakes. And don't miss the specials like the famous freshly made corned beef hash (they make their own whole corned-beef briskets in the back) or the Hoppel Poppel (scrambled eggs with salami, potatoes, onion and green pepper).

Fine Dining: Elizabeth on 37th

For fine dining, Savannah's grande dame since the early 1980s has been Elizabeth on 37th. It's set in a turn-of-the-century Georgian mansion filled with fireplaces, high ceilings, original paintings and ceramics, resulting in comfortable elegance. Guests are treated to a culinary experience of Savannah traditions with a contemporary flavor &mdash with many of the vegetables and herbs coming from the restaurant's own garden. Start with a fresh mozzarella and local tomato salad with herb pecan pesto, balsamic and truffle oil, or local blue crab cake. The double-cut Berkshire pork chop with five-cheese macaroni and apple-cabbage slaw oozes decadence, and the potato-crusted American red snapper with Brussels sprout hash shows off the bounty of the region.


Savor Savannah: Five foods you MUST try in Town

But you don’t have to spend a fortune at restaurants in Savannah to sample some of The Hostess City of the South’s specialties. Between your scenic strolls along the Savannah River and stops in the city squares, make sure to indulge and savor Savannah. with these popular plates:

1. Fried Green Tomatoes

This simple golden side peaked in popularity when the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” came out in 1991. Though it’s been said to be southern fare for years, this dish has its own secret backstory. It emerged from Jewish immigrants in the Northeast and Midwest before becoming a star of the South. Some of the first recipes found published on this dish appeared in America were in Jewish cookbooks. It then starting showing up in cookbooks in the Midwest and newspapers. No matter where they’re from, we’re just glad they’re here and you can find them almost anywhere. So forget the fried pickles and savor Svannah this crispy creation!

Where? Tubby's Seafood, 45 Bistro or Belford's

2. Shrimp & Grits

A staple on any Southern table, Shrimp & Grits is another hot dish that you won’t want to miss. This regional specialty hails from the Lowcountry, with origins in the Native American Muskogee tribe. The Muskogees ground corn in a stone mill, giving it a gritty texture. It wasn’t until 1985 when Craig Claiborne of the New York Times visited North Carolina and published the recipe. The Shrimp & Grits we know today gained widespread popularity. It is served at hole-in-the-wall diners and upscale eateries all across the South. Shrimp & Grits is made many different ways, each pleasing palates of many different people.

Where? Tubby's Seafood

3. Chatham Artillery Punch

Beers are great and your favorite cocktail is just that, but when in Georgia’s First City, thou shall do it like those before thee—with Chatham Artillery Punch. It is a champagne cocktail that some say has stuck around since the colonial period. Named after and first formulated by the Chatham Artillery, Georgia’s oldest military unit, this punch comes on strong. With a mix of champagne, rum, brandy, and bourbon, it’s the perfect drink to request while you’re here.

Where? Fiddler's Seafood

4. Pralines

You can’t just stroll down River Street or stop by City Market without smelling sweet aromas sifting through the air. Candy kitchens are always making fresh pralines, and they smell heavenly. Though they’re known for their caramel color and crunchy pecans in the United States, these delights actually hail from France. The French version is much firmer and made with almonds and caramelized sugar. When they were brought over by French settlers to Louisiana, local chefs substituted the ingredients for the ample pecans and sugar cane. They’re in abundance here in the Hostess City of the South. Be sure to grab some and savor Savannah!

Where? River Street Sweets and the Savannah Candy Kitchen

5. Peaches

While you’re looking for something sweet, don’t forget to grab a Georgia Peach! Franciscan monks first introduced these succulent snacks to Georgia’s coast in 1571. Peaches flourished until 1928, when they production peaked with about 8 million bushels. Though they might not be Georgia’s number one export anymore but they’re definitely woven into the fabric of the state. Whether it's peach ice cream, cobbler or some fresh ones from a roadside stand, try Georgia's fuzzy fruit!

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Savor Savannah: Five foods you MUST try in Town

But you don’t have to spend a fortune at restaurants in Savannah to sample some of The Hostess City of the South’s specialties. Between your scenic strolls along the Savannah River and stops in the city squares, make sure to indulge and savor Savannah. with these popular plates:

1. Fried Green Tomatoes

This simple golden side peaked in popularity when the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” came out in 1991. Though it’s been said to be southern fare for years, this dish has its own secret backstory. It emerged from Jewish immigrants in the Northeast and Midwest before becoming a star of the South. Some of the first recipes found published on this dish appeared in America were in Jewish cookbooks. It then starting showing up in cookbooks in the Midwest and newspapers. No matter where they’re from, we’re just glad they’re here and you can find them almost anywhere. So forget the fried pickles and savor Svannah this crispy creation!

Where? Tubby's Seafood, 45 Bistro or Belford's

2. Shrimp & Grits

A staple on any Southern table, Shrimp & Grits is another hot dish that you won’t want to miss. This regional specialty hails from the Lowcountry, with origins in the Native American Muskogee tribe. The Muskogees ground corn in a stone mill, giving it a gritty texture. It wasn’t until 1985 when Craig Claiborne of the New York Times visited North Carolina and published the recipe. The Shrimp & Grits we know today gained widespread popularity. It is served at hole-in-the-wall diners and upscale eateries all across the South. Shrimp & Grits is made many different ways, each pleasing palates of many different people.

Where? Tubby's Seafood

3. Chatham Artillery Punch

Beers are great and your favorite cocktail is just that, but when in Georgia’s First City, thou shall do it like those before thee—with Chatham Artillery Punch. It is a champagne cocktail that some say has stuck around since the colonial period. Named after and first formulated by the Chatham Artillery, Georgia’s oldest military unit, this punch comes on strong. With a mix of champagne, rum, brandy, and bourbon, it’s the perfect drink to request while you’re here.

Where? Fiddler's Seafood

4. Pralines

You can’t just stroll down River Street or stop by City Market without smelling sweet aromas sifting through the air. Candy kitchens are always making fresh pralines, and they smell heavenly. Though they’re known for their caramel color and crunchy pecans in the United States, these delights actually hail from France. The French version is much firmer and made with almonds and caramelized sugar. When they were brought over by French settlers to Louisiana, local chefs substituted the ingredients for the ample pecans and sugar cane. They’re in abundance here in the Hostess City of the South. Be sure to grab some and savor Savannah!

Where? River Street Sweets and the Savannah Candy Kitchen

5. Peaches

While you’re looking for something sweet, don’t forget to grab a Georgia Peach! Franciscan monks first introduced these succulent snacks to Georgia’s coast in 1571. Peaches flourished until 1928, when they production peaked with about 8 million bushels. Though they might not be Georgia’s number one export anymore but they’re definitely woven into the fabric of the state. Whether it's peach ice cream, cobbler or some fresh ones from a roadside stand, try Georgia's fuzzy fruit!

You May Also Like These Articles

“It all starts with fresh” at Goose Feathers Café & Bakery, a cozy European-style eatery&hellip

Four Must-Visit Psychics in Savannah The arts of psychic readings and using preternatural abilities to&hellip

Savannah’s unique dining establishments offers distinctive flavor in both cuisine and décor. Dine at a&hellip


Fine Dining in Savannah, GA

There are many award­-winning fine dining restaurants in Savannah that offer everything from traditional Southern dishes to unique and elegant meal selections. Many of our best restaurants have inhabited the same historic building for over a century, giving visitors yet another window into Savannah’s rich history.

All Restaurants

American

Asian & Sushi

Cafés

Coffee & Desserts

Fine Dining

Italian

Mexican

Pizza

Seafood

Southern Cooking

The Olde Pink House

The Collins Quarter

Belford's Savannah

Hitch

39 Rue de Jean

Escape to Paris in historic downtown Savannah. Featuring a festive brasserie atmosphere, 39 Rue de Jean is the perfect place for a bowl of Mussels Provencal, a creamy café au lait and a lively dinner with friends.

The Fat Radish

Farm-to-table cuisine offered in an intimate setting.

Circa 1875

Circa 1875 is Savannah’s Parisian bistro and pub where one can enjoy delicious French cuisine served with excellence in an authentic old world bistro setting. Circa 1875 has an extensive wine selection – both domestic and old world.

Husk Savannah

Centrally located in the heart of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District, Husk, from The Neighborhood Dining Group and James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock, transforms the essence of Southern food and highlights the unique ingredients of coastal Georgia. Led by Brock and Chef de Cuisine . Tyler Williams, the kitchen reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in Savannah.

A.Lure

Located in the heart of the Historic District, this downtown restaurant’s contemporary approach to classic southern recipes compliments its rustic, modern atmosphere.

Corleone's Italian Restaurant

Casual trattoria dispensing Italian & Mediterranean cuisine in a decor where vintage meets modern.

Hitch

Treylor Park and Hitch are built on the motto “Quality over Quantity”. In everything we do, quality comes first. Whether you are talking about our seasonal cocktails, our craft beer, or our local fare, everything is done with quality in mind. Treylor Park and Hitch are unique . spaces that offer a fun and unique food/cocktail/beer menu day and night. Whether you are in the mood for a nice, smooth cocktail or a cool, crisp draft beer, these unique classic restaurants are full of great music and great energy.

The Grey

Bringing her personal take on Port City Southern food to a city of her youth is for Chef Mashama Bailey not only a dream come true, but it allows her to tap into the full breadth of her skills and experiences. These all come together to create dishes that are deep, layered, and soulful in their . flavors while simple and approachable in their presentation. With a penchant for regional produce, seafood, and meats, Mashama’s current take on these traditionally southern ingredients reflects the cultural and ethnic melting pot that you find in a port city like Savannah and this style of food is perfectly at home in the beautifully restored Greyhound Bus Terminal.

Belford's Savannah

Belford’s Savannah Seafood and Steaks offers the best in Savannah fine dining. Our restaurant is located in the heart of Savannah’s historic district in City Market. Whether you are looking for a casual place to grab lunch or a venue to host your wedding reception our staff is . delighted to serve you. Choose a tender Angus steak, the best seafood in Savannah, or one of our other many choices. Belford’s will not disappoint.

17Hundred90 Restaurant

Nestled among its tree-covered squares, Savannah, Georgia is blessed with antebellum architectural treasures, and premiere among the Hostess City’s restored hotels and inns is its oldest, 17Hundred90. Named for the year it was constructed, 17Hundred90 has been in service for over a hundred . years providing an experience and attention to detail without equal in a historic city which prides itself in showering visitors in the unhurried luxury and service of times gone by. It is within easy walking distance (three short blocks) from Savannah’s renowned Factors Walk and River Street, perhaps the south’s finest restoration of an antebellum river port. 17hundred90 is tastefully decorated in old Southern tradition from the perfectly restored fireplaces to the brick floors throughout. We hope that your experience at 17Hundred90 will compliment your memories for years to come and remain a highlight of your time in the wonderful historic city of Savannah.

Vic's On the River

Vic’s is located in a beautiful old cotton warehouse overlooking the Savannah River and historic River Street. With entrances on both Bay Street and River Street, we are easy to access. Along with our spectacular views, Vic’s menu reflects Savannah’s Southern charm with our . take on traditional Southern food and our fresh seafood selections. The Vic’s staff continues the tradition by giving friendly and gracious service to all our guests. Bring your guests to enjoy a wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, bah mitzvah, bat mitzvah, dinner party, luncheon, or business meeting in one of our private dining rooms overlooking the Savannah River. Our fifth floor Stoddard Room can seat up to 165 guests at one time and provides two balconies onto which the guests can walk and enjoy the view. Our smaller Dieter’s Den is located on the third floor and can seat as few as 10 and as many as 35 guests for a more intimate dining experience.

Garibaldi

A local favorite in historic downtown Savannah, Garibaldi offers refined Italian dishes with seafood leanings showcased in a romantic former firehouse.

Elizabeth on 37th

Southern hospitality, fine coastal cuisine, and well-chosen wines in a comfortable, elegant 1900 mansion have made Elizabeth on 37th a favorite destination in Savannah for 24 years. Inspired by Chef Elizabeth Terry, Elizabeth on 37th continues to serve a sumptuous combination of traditional and . innovative dishes, directed by Chef Kelly Yambor. The wine program and service staff are led by owners Greg and Gary Butch. Elizabeth on 37th is located in the Victorian District. The mansion, built for a cotton broker, is decorated with historic Savannah colors and patterns, fresh flowers, original paintings, and ceramics, and is entered through fragrant herb gardens.

Alligator Soul

Recognized among the best Savannah restaurants, Alligator Soul was founded in 2003 by Chef Hilary and Maureen Craig and quickly became known as a romantic and elegant downtown dining destination. Alligator Soul has become a cozy respite, a place to unwind or to celebrate. Cozy and inviting, . hearty and flavorful, elegant and sophisticated – these are all words to define Alligator Soul – and they are all reasons to step off of the beaten path for an exceptional dining experience.

700 Drayton Restaurant

Located within the new, chic and luxurious Mansion on Forsyth Park, 700 Drayton Restaurant is home to Savannah’s most eclectic, talked-about dining experience. A relaxing, vibrant, and artistic restaurant and cocktail lounge, adorned with chic artwork, stunning chandeliers, and the full . restoration and artistic touches of this original 1888 Savannah Mansion. The Mansion on Forsyth Park’s cuisine is as artful as its stunning surroundings. At 700 Drayton Restaurant, prepare to savor eclectic specialties complemented by an extensive wine list, and the wondrous Grand Bohemian Gallery. 700 Drayton Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week.

The Collins Quarter

The Collins Quarter opened in 2014, and brings Australia’s café capitol to Savannah. Styled after Melbourne’s historic Collins Street, we deliver a unique café experience by pairing specialty coffee with innovative cuisine – all served in relaxed and casual environment.

The Olde Pink House

Savannah’s only 18th century mansion with antiques, ancestor paintings, and fireplaces aglow in every room, The Olde Pink House is the ultimate Savannah setting for world-renowned elegant Southern cuisine.

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Visit Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Savannah, Georgia. Whether it’s a romantic steak dinner for two, an important business meeting, or a private party, Ruth’s Chris Steak House can accommodate your needs. Our Savannah steakhouse provides guests with a warm, comfortable . atmosphere.

The Vault Kitchen + Market

The Vault Kitchen and Market is a renovated, local banking institution turned industrially chic eatery. The bank was once a staple in the community, serving Savannahians for over 50 years. After the bank closed in 2013, we sought the space because of its history in the community. Residents of . the community looked to the bank as a familiar landmark and that is exactly the type of familiarity we are hoping to maintain. The Vault pays tribute to the iconic and intrinsic value of this space by providing members of The Starland District with an everyday, every occasion, rich and fresh dining experience. Deposit some memories with us!

The Public Kitchen & Bar

The Public Kitchen & Bar, located in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District is the perfect place for lunch, dinner or both! The Public’s “Contemporary Fresh American” fare coupled with a sophisticated, mid-century modern decor put a unique spin on Savannah’s . casual dining scene. First come, first serve. We do not accept reservations.


Quick Note on Our Savannah Food Guide

We’ve tried to be as comprehensive as possible when putting together this Savannah food blog, but of course, we can’t possibly include every dish and amazing restaurant, especially as they are ever-changing.

We hope to update this Savannah blog post regularly to keep it current.

Also, I’d like to specifically make it clear that this is an independent guide, and none of these recommendations are (or ever will be) paid placements.

They are all either restaurants in Savannah that we’ve personally eaten at or have on our Savannah food bucket list based on recommendations we trust.


Events

While the St. Patrick’s Day festivities are among the largest in the nation, it’s not the only big event held in Savannah.

Savannah Stopover Festival

The Savannah Stopover Festival in early March brings in musicians on their way to Austin’s South by Southwest festival.

Savannah Music Festival

The Savannah Music Festival in late March through mid-April also hosts big acts every spring and fosters arts education.

Savannah VOICE Festival

The Savannah VOICE Festival in August emphasizes opera, musical theater, and song.

SCAD Savannah Film Festival

SCAD Savannah Film Festival in late October through early November honors actors, directors, and films.

Savannah Food & Wine Festival

Bring your appetite to the Savannah Food & Wine Festival in November, when chefs from around the region and country gather for tastings and demonstrations.


Watch the video: 4 AMAZING Places to EAT in Savannah GA Travel to Savannah Georgia (July 2022).


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