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A wooden dining room with large windows and wicker chandeliers.
The dining room at Saint Bibiana.
Andrew Frazier Photo

16 Hottest New Restaurants to Check Out in Savannah, January 2024

Coastal Italian plates, West African fare, and Thai food heat up in Savannah

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The dining room at Saint Bibiana.
| Andrew Frazier Photo

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends, and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? What are the new restaurants? What’s everyone talking about? While the Eater 18 is a crucial resource covering old standbys and neighborhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the “it” places of the moment. Enter the Eater Heatmap, which will change continually to highlight the spots crowds are flocking to at the moment or generating a big buzz. Folks are asking, “Have you been yet?” Try one of these newbies today.

New to the list:

January 2024: No new additions, but a few subtractions
December 2023: Casa Guava Cuban Cafe
November 2023: Buffalos, Cafe Taureau, Das Box, Circa 1875
October 2023: Treylor Park Pizza Party, Saint Bibiana, Klom Klom by PJ’s Thai
September 2023: Sobremesa, Sweet Patricia’s, Deposito’s Seafood
August 2023: Wildflower Cafe, Colleagues & Lovers, Strangebird, Dottie’s
July 2023: Ọkàn
June 2023: Two Tides Crispi

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Ọkàn

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Ọkàn isn’t in Savannah, but it’s only a 38-minute drive to find innovative examples of West African cuisine in an upscale, yet comfortable, dining room. Chef Bernard Bennett’s food truck of the same name often traveled to Savannah, so residents might already be familiar with the flavors from the 2023 James Beard Emerging Chef semifinalist. Standout dishes on the restaurant menu include corn pudding with blue crab, okra roasted in harissa, jerk goat with grilled pineapple, and callaloo in coconut milk — for those who like extra spice, ask for the housemade mango habanero sauce.

A brightly lit room with wooden tables and soft leather benches.
The dining room at Ọkàn.
Ashlee Carrozza

Buffalos

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Buffalos, the sophisticated staple of Palmetto Bluff’s Wilson Village, is back with interior and edible upgrades. Long loved for its idyllic corner location on the May River with views of the May River Chapel and the Wilson mansion ruins, the restaurant’s impressive renovation is the first of many planned upgrades in the Bluff. Enjoy a delightfully slow dinner of local greens and international standouts such as red snapper al pastor and braised lamb campanelle. For those who like their cocktails to also be theater, the Dreamer comes to the table with a glittery opaque bubble on top.

The new interiors at Buffalos.
Palmetto Bluff

Circa 1875

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Locals and tourists are falling back in love with Savannah’s long-standing unpretentious Parisian pub, Circa 1875. Seventeen years after it first opened its stained glass doors, the architecturally accurate 18th-century style bistro is in a renaissance. Chef JaDerrick Reed is back preparing country French classics like pan-seared foie gras, braised beef bourguignon, and the finest coquilles St. Jacques in the city. Front-of-house, old-world wines, and masterfully rendered classic cocktails collide with a convivial atmosphere to make this the choice wintertime hideout for Savannah socialites and creatives.

Dottie's Market Savannah

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Wine and cheese shop meets refined soul food at Dottie’s, the newest culinary addition to Savannah’s Broughton Street. The cafe, filled with light, old-school Motown music and the smell of fresh-baked confections, invites customers to linger over long conversations and off-the-bone meats. As owners Chris Meenan and Ericka Phillips (partners in business and love) say: Dottie’s is a destination for “the nostalgia seeker and the story lover, where all are welcome, and no one leaves hungry.” Insider tip: order the Italian beef.

Wildflower Cafe on Telfair Square

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The brains behind Farm Bluffton, Common Thread, and Strangebird bring their culinary creativity to a new airy, light-filled cafe inside the Jepson Center & Telfair Children’s Art Museum. Wildflower Cafe features shifting seasonal menus and uninterrupted views of Telfair Square. Those with dietary restrictions will appreciate the dedication to offering creative vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Casa Guava Cuban Cafe

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Cuban Window Cafe has some downtown competition. Casa Guava Cuban Cafe opened quietly this past month in the heart of the city on Drayton Street. After five years with Southern Cross Hospitality Group (i.e., the Collins Quarter Empire), Miami-raised chef Joaquin Montesino is now doing his own thing. The Cuban is perhaps the best North of Miami and enough to feed two. With no menu item tipping above $15, Casa Guava Cuban Cafe is the spot for a filling and frugal lunch worth lingering over.

Saint Bibiana

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700 Hundred Drayton Street has a sexy new makeover. Inspired by the leisurely luxury of the Sardinian coast, Saint Bibiana is effortlessly Savannah’s most glamorous restaurant in its first month of opening. Chef Derek Simcik leads the kitchen, preparing and plating gorgeous Southern Italian and Sardinian dishes. Standouts include saffron arancini stuffed with tomato-braised pork, campenelle with octopus puttanesca and pork crackling, and duck rotolo. This welcome, high-end addition to Forsyth Park’s dining scene is ideal for birthdays, anniversaries, or any random weeknight when you want to feel famous. 

Saint Bibiana

Strangebird Savannah

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Anything is possible in Savannah — including a feast of smokehouse tacos and tortas in a repurposed streamliner. Strangebird, a popular food truck frequently seen at Starland Yard, now has a free-standing location in the Victorian District. Wash down Mexican staples like cochinita pibil and beef barbacoa tacos with horchata made from Carolina Gold rice and coconut milk, as the restaurant’s tagline beckons, “Eat Tacos. Be Guapo.”

Das Box

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A needed addition to Savannah’s lacking late-night food scene, Das Box is the Eastside’s hip, new industry hangout. Cocktails, like the signature Modern Box (simple, lemon, sloe gin, mezcal, absinthe spritz, and lemon peel) are easy to drink and priced right to encourage customers to linger late into the night shooting pool and enjoying shrimp fritters, bulgogi bowls, spring rolls, and other Asian-fusion nibbles. As the staff says, they “accidentally made it far too sexy in there.” See for yourself.

Sweet Patricia's

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Beyond the bustle of Savannah’s Starland District, Sweet Patricia’s brings Italian-inspired baked goods to Thomas Square. Owner Andria Canella opened the neighborhood cafe in the image of her grandmother and the shop’s namesake Patricia. Confections like seven-layer cake, banana bread, and tiramisu are straight from Grandma Pat’s recipe book. Come for sweets like cannolis and mascarpone danishes, and stay for generously portioned country-Italian staples like chicken marsala and penne and meatballs. Vegans will enjoy meat-free alternatives like the mushroom “(Not) a Reuben.”

Hot Rye

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The team behind popular new American restaurant Cotton & Rye is stretching its culinary creativity with a food truck named Hot Rye. The mobile kitchen, which premiered on April 23 outside of the restaurant, serves fun lunch items like chili cheese latkes, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, and a Jewish banh mi with chopped liver spread and corned beef tongue.

Sobremesa Wine Lounge

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The Spanish concept of “sobremesa” translates literally to “at the table” but encapsulates much more. Remember that one dinner party you attended where everyone merrily ate, drank, and shared stories, and all of a sudden, it was 2 a.m.? That was sobremesaand how it feels to enjoy wine and light bites at Sobremesa Wine Lounge in Savannah’s Starland District. Expect a lush, intimate, and elegant atmosphere where a knowledgeable staff introduces you to new wines to share with old friends. Insider tip: Go for Wine Education Thursdays with sommelier Ethan Glover.

Two Tides Crispi

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Chef Steffan Rost moved to Savannah to work at Husk, and now he’s putting out his version of fast food classics with a refined polish just outside of Two Tides Brewing Co. in the Starland District. Rost’s Crispi trailer sits outside of the brewery and serves smash burgers, bulked-up hot dogs with cheese sauce, and his version of a Crunchwrap. “You really can’t beat a simple burger,” says Rost, “It’s a nostalgic nod to the classic McDonald’s double cheeseburger, but the big focal point is on the crispiness of the patties — hence the name.”

A white woman biting into a cheeseburger.
The burgers at Crispi are indeed crispy.
Jason B James

Cafe Taureau

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Euro flair comes to Savannah’s Ardsley Park neighborhood with the opening of Cafe Taureau. “Inspired by lazy afternoons along the Seine and lively conversations amongst friends,”it states on its website. Cafe Taurau beckons Savannahians to slow down and deepen friendships over house-baked tartines, boules, and quiches. Remote workers are welcome to start their day with a seasonally flavored latte and stay beyond the workday for wine, cheese, and conversation.

Desposito's Seafood Restaurant

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For decades, Desposito’s Seafood was a restaurant, part-time community cornerstone, and full-time watering hole for NASCAR enthusiasts. This summer, the storied seafood shack returned to a new location by the Savannah Bend Marina. Expect a thoughtful resurrection with all the ambiance of the old Desposito’s — neon blue beer lights and gregarious service — with an expanded menu of boiled shrimp, crab legs, seasonal staples, and more.

Klom Klom

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The downtown authority on Northern Thai food, PJ’s Thai, quietly opened a new outpost in Midtown this September. Klom Klom, a Thai term loosely translated to “tasty,” lives up to its name, serving fragrant favorites like boat noodles and papaya salad. Expect a small, unfussy space with friendly service that invites you to linger over Thai coffee and conversation. Like PJ’s Thai Corner, Klom Klom accommodates a range of dietary restrictions with plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.

Ọkàn

Ọkàn isn’t in Savannah, but it’s only a 38-minute drive to find innovative examples of West African cuisine in an upscale, yet comfortable, dining room. Chef Bernard Bennett’s food truck of the same name often traveled to Savannah, so residents might already be familiar with the flavors from the 2023 James Beard Emerging Chef semifinalist. Standout dishes on the restaurant menu include corn pudding with blue crab, okra roasted in harissa, jerk goat with grilled pineapple, and callaloo in coconut milk — for those who like extra spice, ask for the housemade mango habanero sauce.

A brightly lit room with wooden tables and soft leather benches.
The dining room at Ọkàn.
Ashlee Carrozza

Buffalos

Buffalos, the sophisticated staple of Palmetto Bluff’s Wilson Village, is back with interior and edible upgrades. Long loved for its idyllic corner location on the May River with views of the May River Chapel and the Wilson mansion ruins, the restaurant’s impressive renovation is the first of many planned upgrades in the Bluff. Enjoy a delightfully slow dinner of local greens and international standouts such as red snapper al pastor and braised lamb campanelle. For those who like their cocktails to also be theater, the Dreamer comes to the table with a glittery opaque bubble on top.

The new interiors at Buffalos.
Palmetto Bluff

Circa 1875

Locals and tourists are falling back in love with Savannah’s long-standing unpretentious Parisian pub, Circa 1875. Seventeen years after it first opened its stained glass doors, the architecturally accurate 18th-century style bistro is in a renaissance. Chef JaDerrick Reed is back preparing country French classics like pan-seared foie gras, braised beef bourguignon, and the finest coquilles St. Jacques in the city. Front-of-house, old-world wines, and masterfully rendered classic cocktails collide with a convivial atmosphere to make this the choice wintertime hideout for Savannah socialites and creatives.

Dottie's Market Savannah

Wine and cheese shop meets refined soul food at Dottie’s, the newest culinary addition to Savannah’s Broughton Street. The cafe, filled with light, old-school Motown music and the smell of fresh-baked confections, invites customers to linger over long conversations and off-the-bone meats. As owners Chris Meenan and Ericka Phillips (partners in business and love) say: Dottie’s is a destination for “the nostalgia seeker and the story lover, where all are welcome, and no one leaves hungry.” Insider tip: order the Italian beef.

Wildflower Cafe on Telfair Square

The brains behind Farm Bluffton, Common Thread, and Strangebird bring their culinary creativity to a new airy, light-filled cafe inside the Jepson Center & Telfair Children’s Art Museum. Wildflower Cafe features shifting seasonal menus and uninterrupted views of Telfair Square. Those with dietary restrictions will appreciate the dedication to offering creative vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Casa Guava Cuban Cafe

Cuban Window Cafe has some downtown competition. Casa Guava Cuban Cafe opened quietly this past month in the heart of the city on Drayton Street. After five years with Southern Cross Hospitality Group (i.e., the Collins Quarter Empire), Miami-raised chef Joaquin Montesino is now doing his own thing. The Cuban is perhaps the best North of Miami and enough to feed two. With no menu item tipping above $15, Casa Guava Cuban Cafe is the spot for a filling and frugal lunch worth lingering over.

Saint Bibiana

700 Hundred Drayton Street has a sexy new makeover. Inspired by the leisurely luxury of the Sardinian coast, Saint Bibiana is effortlessly Savannah’s most glamorous restaurant in its first month of opening. Chef Derek Simcik leads the kitchen, preparing and plating gorgeous Southern Italian and Sardinian dishes. Standouts include saffron arancini stuffed with tomato-braised pork, campenelle with octopus puttanesca and pork crackling, and duck rotolo. This welcome, high-end addition to Forsyth Park’s dining scene is ideal for birthdays, anniversaries, or any random weeknight when you want to feel famous. 

Saint Bibiana

Strangebird Savannah

Anything is possible in Savannah — including a feast of smokehouse tacos and tortas in a repurposed streamliner. Strangebird, a popular food truck frequently seen at Starland Yard, now has a free-standing location in the Victorian District. Wash down Mexican staples like cochinita pibil and beef barbacoa tacos with horchata made from Carolina Gold rice and coconut milk, as the restaurant’s tagline beckons, “Eat Tacos. Be Guapo.”

Das Box

A needed addition to Savannah’s lacking late-night food scene, Das Box is the Eastside’s hip, new industry hangout. Cocktails, like the signature Modern Box (simple, lemon, sloe gin, mezcal, absinthe spritz, and lemon peel) are easy to drink and priced right to encourage customers to linger late into the night shooting pool and enjoying shrimp fritters, bulgogi bowls, spring rolls, and other Asian-fusion nibbles. As the staff says, they “accidentally made it far too sexy in there.” See for yourself.

Sweet Patricia's

Beyond the bustle of Savannah’s Starland District, Sweet Patricia’s brings Italian-inspired baked goods to Thomas Square. Owner Andria Canella opened the neighborhood cafe in the image of her grandmother and the shop’s namesake Patricia. Confections like seven-layer cake, banana bread, and tiramisu are straight from Grandma Pat’s recipe book. Come for sweets like cannolis and mascarpone danishes, and stay for generously portioned country-Italian staples like chicken marsala and penne and meatballs. Vegans will enjoy meat-free alternatives like the mushroom “(Not) a Reuben.”

Hot Rye

The team behind popular new American restaurant Cotton & Rye is stretching its culinary creativity with a food truck named Hot Rye. The mobile kitchen, which premiered on April 23 outside of the restaurant, serves fun lunch items like chili cheese latkes, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, and a Jewish banh mi with chopped liver spread and corned beef tongue.

Sobremesa Wine Lounge

The Spanish concept of “sobremesa” translates literally to “at the table” but encapsulates much more. Remember that one dinner party you attended where everyone merrily ate, drank, and shared stories, and all of a sudden, it was 2 a.m.? That was sobremesaand how it feels to enjoy wine and light bites at Sobremesa Wine Lounge in Savannah’s Starland District. Expect a lush, intimate, and elegant atmosphere where a knowledgeable staff introduces you to new wines to share with old friends. Insider tip: Go for Wine Education Thursdays with sommelier Ethan Glover.

Two Tides Crispi

Chef Steffan Rost moved to Savannah to work at Husk, and now he’s putting out his version of fast food classics with a refined polish just outside of Two Tides Brewing Co. in the Starland District. Rost’s Crispi trailer sits outside of the brewery and serves smash burgers, bulked-up hot dogs with cheese sauce, and his version of a Crunchwrap. “You really can’t beat a simple burger,” says Rost, “It’s a nostalgic nod to the classic McDonald’s double cheeseburger, but the big focal point is on the crispiness of the patties — hence the name.”

A white woman biting into a cheeseburger.
The burgers at Crispi are indeed crispy.
Jason B James

Cafe Taureau

Euro flair comes to Savannah’s Ardsley Park neighborhood with the opening of Cafe Taureau. “Inspired by lazy afternoons along the Seine and lively conversations amongst friends,”it states on its website. Cafe Taurau beckons Savannahians to slow down and deepen friendships over house-baked tartines, boules, and quiches. Remote workers are welcome to start their day with a seasonally flavored latte and stay beyond the workday for wine, cheese, and conversation.

Desposito's Seafood Restaurant

For decades, Desposito’s Seafood was a restaurant, part-time community cornerstone, and full-time watering hole for NASCAR enthusiasts. This summer, the storied seafood shack returned to a new location by the Savannah Bend Marina. Expect a thoughtful resurrection with all the ambiance of the old Desposito’s — neon blue beer lights and gregarious service — with an expanded menu of boiled shrimp, crab legs, seasonal staples, and more.

Related Maps

Klom Klom

The downtown authority on Northern Thai food, PJ’s Thai, quietly opened a new outpost in Midtown this September. Klom Klom, a Thai term loosely translated to “tasty,” lives up to its name, serving fragrant favorites like boat noodles and papaya salad. Expect a small, unfussy space with friendly service that invites you to linger over Thai coffee and conversation. Like PJ’s Thai Corner, Klom Klom accommodates a range of dietary restrictions with plenty of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.

Related Maps