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A hand pouring wine at a table with olives, cheese, and bread.
Snacks and wine at Late Air.
Jason B James

18 Essential Restaurants to Savor in Savannah

From fancy fried chicken to fun wines to fine dining

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Snacks and wine at Late Air.
| Jason B James

Savannah’s food and beverage scene is ever-changing and expanding but also grounded in decades-old institutions. Most restaurants focus on plentiful coastal cuisine in some capacity, while others bring flavors from all over the world to the dining rooms. With its no. 1 draw being grabbing a drink to-go from one restaurant while strolling under live oaks and through squares to another, Savannah knows how to serve a good time and a good meal.

For all the newer restaurants that are creating buzz around town, check out the Savannah Heatmap.

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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. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Olympia Cafe

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In its 33 years on River Street, Olympia Cafe has been visited by many locals, tourists, and celebrities, and was featured in the 2022 film Devotion. Co-owners Nick Pappas and Vasilis Varlagas place importance on hospitality which is a close second to food in their restaurant. Its traditional Greek and Mediterranean menu features gyros, moussaka, spanakopita, prime cuts of meat, seafood, and, of course, flaming cheese.

Vinnie Van GoGo's

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Some Savannah diners have had a late-night Vinnie Van GoGo’s slice without knowing they had a late-night Vinnie Van GoGo’s slice (the city is known for allowing open containers, and sometimes visitors may overindulge). The menu is both simple and beloved. Choose from whole New York-style pies, slices, calzones, and spinach salads. With all the favorite toppings like spicy Italian sausage, spinach, and fresh mushrooms, honestly, it’s not at all forgettable.

The Grey

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The Grey has, arguably, become the best known restaurant in Savannah, outside of Savannah. Located downtown in a restored, Art Deco Greyhound bus station — hence the name — the Grey is a Port City Southern kitchen led by Georgia-born and James Beard award-winning chef Mashama Bailey. The menu varies by season and sometimes even by the evening, but diners can always expect familiar Southern food prepared both creatively and impressively. If you can’t get a reservation in the dining room, tuck into the diner bar menu, which sometimes features fried shrimp, pork pate, and a popular burger.

The Grey
Quentin Bacon Courtesy of The Grey

Flock to the Wok

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Flock to the Wok is downtown Savannah’s upscale Chinese restaurant. For years, it was the only place in town with soup dumplings, along with its varied menu and cosmopolitan interior design. It is popular for takeout and lunch specials, but while eating in what the restaurant self-describes as a “grand brass birdcage,” diners can better enjoy their craft sake cocktails, whole fish dishes, and fresh noodles.

Chinese plates from Flock to the Wok.
Flock To The Wok

The Olde Pink House

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The Olde Pink House is Savannah’s elegant and quintessential Southern restaurant. Every dish, like cornbread fried oysters, crispy fried lobster, and she crab soup, falls squarely in the elevated comfort food category. The Georgian pink house, which dates from the 1770s, was home to Georgia’s first bank in the 1800s, before eventually becoming a restaurant in 1971. Over the years, owners have added Arches Bar on the southern side of the house and Planters Tavern, a one-table wine vault that can be reserved for special occasions. Run by executive chef Vincent Burns since 1997, the Olde Pink House has remained one of Savannah’s top picks for a nice night out.

The Collins Quarter

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The brunch shift is the most popular shift at both locations of the Collins Quarter, and it lasts until 3 p.m. daily. Modeled after Collins Street in Melbourne, Australian-born owner Anthony Debreceny used specialty coffee and standard yet innovative breakfast foods as the basis of his restaurants. Menu favorites include bananas Foster French toast and shakshuka. The Collins Quarter’s second location is in Forsyth Park, and was a genius addition to the city’s 30 acre green space. Here, the takeaway coffee and pastry window lets visitors enjoy their morning without the inevitable wait and head straight to the park.

Fresh fruit and french fries on a table.
The brunch fare at the Collins Quarter.
Collins Quarter

Crystal Beer Parlor

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The Crystal Beer Parlor was once a grocery store, then a speakeasy, then the Crystal, and now it’s one of Savannah’s most popular and enduring restaurants with a rich history. Known for its extensive bar menu and massive onion rings, anyone can find something to eat on its three-page menu. It’s both family-friendly and great for a night out, and be sure to check out the Crystal Trading Company goods in the adjacent gift shop.

A large pretzel and a plate of onion rings.
Plates at Crystal Beer Parlor.
Crystal Beer Parlor

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

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Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room makes every Savannah must-visit list there is. It’s even President Barack Obama’s go-to Savannah stop. It’s cash only, doesn’t take reservations, doesn’t do takeout orders, and has filled up daily since 1946. Winner of a James Beard Award in the American Classics category, Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room serves homestyle Southern staples like fried chicken, cornbread dressing, gumbo, and black eye peas. Hop in line by 11 a.m., and join other diners at one of the 10 communal tables for one of the best lunches in town.

A plate full of macaroni and cheese and fried chicken.
Plate at Mrs. Wilkes.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Shuk has only been open in Savannah for just over a year, but has already taken over as the area’s top provider of Mediterranean foods, dips, and spreads. It was a region of food that needed representation in the city, and Shuk filled it expertly with chicken shawarma, shakshuka, and doner kebabs. The menu standout is the muhamara, a spread that’s comprised of roasted red pepper, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds, and served with pita bread and crudités. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but it is set up with plenty of high tables and bar stools to accommodate as many eaters as possible.

Plates of salads and kebabs.
A variety of Mediterranean fare at Shuk.
Shuk

Bull Street Taco

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Bull Street Taco has made Taco Tuesday philanthropic by supporting a local nonprofit every week with specials. Popular a la carte items are the carne asada tacos and the tuna poke tostada, and the quesabirria is a standout special. The Starland neighborhood joint is known for its takeout taco box. Choose two or three protein options — or spiced tempura cauliflower for vegetarians or just really good cauliflower lovers — to be accompanied by handmade corn tortillas, salsas, queso fresco, limes, and jalapenos. And, it’s Savannah, so customers can get their margaritas to go, too.

Common Thread

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Common Thread calls a historic house on the corner of 37th and Abercorn Streets home. Diners can even sit on its wraparound porch for true Southern ambiance. With emphasis on expert and unique preparation of in-season vegetables, Common Thread offers a separate vegetarian menu, complete with starters and mains. The full dinner menu celebrates local vegetables too and pairs them with freshly caught seafood and farm-raised beef and pork. Hot tip: It’s where a lot of Savannah’s celebrity sightings happen.

A plate of oysters on ice.
Ask about the oyster specials at Common Thread.
Common Thread

Elizabeth's on 37th

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Downtown, on the corner of Drayton and 37th, in a historic house, is Elizabeth’s. Named after its first executive chef Elizabeth Terry and a favorite of locals for over 30 years, Elizabeth’s serves seafood from all over the coast: clams from Sapelo Island, wild Georgia shrimp, local black sea bass, and North Carolina oysters. For the ultimate Southern fine dining experience, try the seven-course chef’s tasting menu always paired with wine flights. Nominated for James Beard Award in hospitality, Elizabeth’s on 37th sets high standards for service in Savannah.

Brochu's Family Tradition

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Brochu’s Family Tradition simply describes its fare as fried chicken and fancy seafood. Dishes include a whole fried chicken with biscuits and pickles, oysters served seven ways, salads, and creative snacks (try the cheddar rillette with puffy bread at least once). The restaurant’s flavors are served in homes throughout the Lowcountry, but here, they come with unique details from ex-Alinea Group chef Andrew Brochu. Walk-ins are welcome, but with this restaurant’s popularity, reservations are encouraged.

A fried chicken, charred chicken, and chicken salad.
The fried chicken service at Brochu’s.
Jason B James

Starland Yard

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While Starland Yard is more of an ever-changing patio than an actual restaurant, it’s included here for its great and varied food and popularity with locals. It’s an everyday food truck rodeo that updates its Instagram and website daily with which food trucks will be on the yard. Regulars include Jonny Boy Cookies, Nom Nom Poke Shop, and Chazito’s Latin Cuisine. Its fixed point — which could make this list on its own — is Pizzeria Vittoria Napoletana that has a small menu of noteworthy Neapolitan-inspired pizzas, grinders, and salads from renowned chef Kyle Jacovino. Located in the heart of the artsy Starland District, Starland Yard also incorporates live music, art, and culture into its daily landscape. Look out for drink specials when it rains.

Late Air

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Late Air is a natural wine bar with creative plates and a place where you can trust the bartenders to teach you how good riesling, among other wines, should actually taste. The kitchen keeps it simple with housemade sourdough served with butter and inspires with Asian-influenced potato dishes and red shrimp with Carolina gold rice. Stay for dinner, or start here and then head to any other popular restaurants in Midtown.

A plate of crudo next to a glass of white wine.
Late Air serves great wine and fare.
Jason B James

Bella's Italian Cafe

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Bella’s Italian Cafe in Habersham Village is named after the owner’s Italian grandmother who was known for her manicotti and pasta fagiola in Brooklyn. Both dishes are on Bella’s menu now, and the family takes great pride in getting the recipe as close to hers as they can. Though popular with locals for takeout, especially pizza, be advised to eat in, so the little fried breadsticks served with dill-infused butter and marinara keep coming.

The Wyld

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The Wyld has the best scenery of any restaurant in Savannah. As inferred in its name, the bar is adjacent to the dock, or, basically, on the dock. The indoor restaurant is small compared to the sprawling deck filled with tables and the restaurant serves Lowcountry staples like local shrimp, a clam roll, and succotash while completely immersed in the Lowcountry itself. Every year, it throws a popular oyster roast that brings locals and tourists together right on the marsh. The Wyld is a tough restaurant to beat for ambiance and consistency.

Auspicious Baking Company

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Don’t let the line out of the door be a deterrence — instead, let it be an assurance that Auspicious Baking Company is worth a little wait. Luckily though, the community-supported bakery in Sandfly has an efficient system in place to quickly serve croissants, cinnamon rolls, loaves, and spreads. The menu rotates, but expect staples like chocolate and ham cheese croissants, baguettes, and English muffins mixed in with inventive pastries like churro croissant loaves and lemon cheesecake “Pop-Tarts.” Vegan selections are always available, like everything, on a first-come, first-serve basis, and other cafes and restaurants around town, like Origin Coffee Bar and Provisions, sell Auspicious’s baked goods if you want to skip the line.

Olympia Cafe

In its 33 years on River Street, Olympia Cafe has been visited by many locals, tourists, and celebrities, and was featured in the 2022 film Devotion. Co-owners Nick Pappas and Vasilis Varlagas place importance on hospitality which is a close second to food in their restaurant. Its traditional Greek and Mediterranean menu features gyros, moussaka, spanakopita, prime cuts of meat, seafood, and, of course, flaming cheese.

Vinnie Van GoGo's

Some Savannah diners have had a late-night Vinnie Van GoGo’s slice without knowing they had a late-night Vinnie Van GoGo’s slice (the city is known for allowing open containers, and sometimes visitors may overindulge). The menu is both simple and beloved. Choose from whole New York-style pies, slices, calzones, and spinach salads. With all the favorite toppings like spicy Italian sausage, spinach, and fresh mushrooms, honestly, it’s not at all forgettable.

The Grey

The Grey has, arguably, become the best known restaurant in Savannah, outside of Savannah. Located downtown in a restored, Art Deco Greyhound bus station — hence the name — the Grey is a Port City Southern kitchen led by Georgia-born and James Beard award-winning chef Mashama Bailey. The menu varies by season and sometimes even by the evening, but diners can always expect familiar Southern food prepared both creatively and impressively. If you can’t get a reservation in the dining room, tuck into the diner bar menu, which sometimes features fried shrimp, pork pate, and a popular burger.

The Grey
Quentin Bacon Courtesy of The Grey

Flock to the Wok

Flock to the Wok is downtown Savannah’s upscale Chinese restaurant. For years, it was the only place in town with soup dumplings, along with its varied menu and cosmopolitan interior design. It is popular for takeout and lunch specials, but while eating in what the restaurant self-describes as a “grand brass birdcage,” diners can better enjoy their craft sake cocktails, whole fish dishes, and fresh noodles.

Chinese plates from Flock to the Wok.
Flock To The Wok

The Olde Pink House

The Olde Pink House is Savannah’s elegant and quintessential Southern restaurant. Every dish, like cornbread fried oysters, crispy fried lobster, and she crab soup, falls squarely in the elevated comfort food category. The Georgian pink house, which dates from the 1770s, was home to Georgia’s first bank in the 1800s, before eventually becoming a restaurant in 1971. Over the years, owners have added Arches Bar on the southern side of the house and Planters Tavern, a one-table wine vault that can be reserved for special occasions. Run by executive chef Vincent Burns since 1997, the Olde Pink House has remained one of Savannah’s top picks for a nice night out.

The Collins Quarter

The brunch shift is the most popular shift at both locations of the Collins Quarter, and it lasts until 3 p.m. daily. Modeled after Collins Street in Melbourne, Australian-born owner Anthony Debreceny used specialty coffee and standard yet innovative breakfast foods as the basis of his restaurants. Menu favorites include bananas Foster French toast and shakshuka. The Collins Quarter’s second location is in Forsyth Park, and was a genius addition to the city’s 30 acre green space. Here, the takeaway coffee and pastry window lets visitors enjoy their morning without the inevitable wait and head straight to the park.

Fresh fruit and french fries on a table.
The brunch fare at the Collins Quarter.
Collins Quarter

Crystal Beer Parlor

The Crystal Beer Parlor was once a grocery store, then a speakeasy, then the Crystal, and now it’s one of Savannah’s most popular and enduring restaurants with a rich history. Known for its extensive bar menu and massive onion rings, anyone can find something to eat on its three-page menu. It’s both family-friendly and great for a night out, and be sure to check out the Crystal Trading Company goods in the adjacent gift shop.

A large pretzel and a plate of onion rings.
Plates at Crystal Beer Parlor.
Crystal Beer Parlor

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room makes every Savannah must-visit list there is. It’s even President Barack Obama’s go-to Savannah stop. It’s cash only, doesn’t take reservations, doesn’t do takeout orders, and has filled up daily since 1946. Winner of a James Beard Award in the American Classics category, Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room serves homestyle Southern staples like fried chicken, cornbread dressing, gumbo, and black eye peas. Hop in line by 11 a.m., and join other diners at one of the 10 communal tables for one of the best lunches in town.

A plate full of macaroni and cheese and fried chicken.
Plate at Mrs. Wilkes.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Shuk

Shuk has only been open in Savannah for just over a year, but has already taken over as the area’s top provider of Mediterranean foods, dips, and spreads. It was a region of food that needed representation in the city, and Shuk filled it expertly with chicken shawarma, shakshuka, and doner kebabs. The menu standout is the muhamara, a spread that’s comprised of roasted red pepper, walnuts, and pomegranate seeds, and served with pita bread and crudités. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but it is set up with plenty of high tables and bar stools to accommodate as many eaters as possible.

Plates of salads and kebabs.
A variety of Mediterranean fare at Shuk.
Shuk

Bull Street Taco

Bull Street Taco has made Taco Tuesday philanthropic by supporting a local nonprofit every week with specials. Popular a la carte items are the carne asada tacos and the tuna poke tostada, and the quesabirria is a standout special. The Starland neighborhood joint is known for its takeout taco box. Choose two or three protein options — or spiced tempura cauliflower for vegetarians or just really good cauliflower lovers — to be accompanied by handmade corn tortillas, salsas, queso fresco, limes, and jalapenos. And, it’s Savannah, so customers can get their margaritas to go, too.

Common Thread

Common Thread calls a historic house on the corner of 37th and Abercorn Streets home. Diners can even sit on its wraparound porch for true Southern ambiance. With emphasis on expert and unique preparation of in-season vegetables, Common Thread offers a separate vegetarian menu, complete with starters and mains. The full dinner menu celebrates local vegetables too and pairs them with freshly caught seafood and farm-raised beef and pork. Hot tip: It’s where a lot of Savannah’s celebrity sightings happen.

A plate of oysters on ice.
Ask about the oyster specials at Common Thread.
Common Thread

Elizabeth's on 37th

Downtown, on the corner of Drayton and 37th, in a historic house, is Elizabeth’s. Named after its first executive chef Elizabeth Terry and a favorite of locals for over 30 years, Elizabeth’s serves seafood from all over the coast: clams from Sapelo Island, wild Georgia shrimp, local black sea bass, and North Carolina oysters. For the ultimate Southern fine dining experience, try the seven-course chef’s tasting menu always paired with wine flights. Nominated for James Beard Award in hospitality, Elizabeth’s on 37th sets high standards for service in Savannah.

Brochu's Family Tradition

Brochu’s Family Tradition simply describes its fare as fried chicken and fancy seafood. Dishes include a whole fried chicken with biscuits and pickles, oysters served seven ways, salads, and creative snacks (try the cheddar rillette with puffy bread at least once). The restaurant’s flavors are served in homes throughout the Lowcountry, but here, they come with unique details from ex-Alinea Group chef Andrew Brochu. Walk-ins are welcome, but with this restaurant’s popularity, reservations are encouraged.

A fried chicken, charred chicken, and chicken salad.
The fried chicken service at Brochu’s.
Jason B James

Starland Yard

While Starland Yard is more of an ever-changing patio than an actual restaurant, it’s included here for its great and varied food and popularity with locals. It’s an everyday food truck rodeo that updates its Instagram and website daily with which food trucks will be on the yard. Regulars include Jonny Boy Cookies, Nom Nom Poke Shop, and Chazito’s Latin Cuisine. Its fixed point — which could make this list on its own — is Pizzeria Vittoria Napoletana that has a small menu of noteworthy Neapolitan-inspired pizzas, grinders, and salads from renowned chef Kyle Jacovino. Located in the heart of the artsy Starland District, Starland Yard also incorporates live music, art, and culture into its daily landscape. Look out for drink specials when it rains.

Late Air

Late Air is a natural wine bar with creative plates and a place where you can trust the bartenders to teach you how good riesling, among other wines, should actually taste. The kitchen keeps it simple with housemade sourdough served with butter and inspires with Asian-influenced potato dishes and red shrimp with Carolina gold rice. Stay for dinner, or start here and then head to any other popular restaurants in Midtown.

A plate of crudo next to a glass of white wine.
Late Air serves great wine and fare.
Jason B James

Related Maps

Bella's Italian Cafe

Bella’s Italian Cafe in Habersham Village is named after the owner’s Italian grandmother who was known for her manicotti and pasta fagiola in Brooklyn. Both dishes are on Bella’s menu now, and the family takes great pride in getting the recipe as close to hers as they can. Though popular with locals for takeout, especially pizza, be advised to eat in, so the little fried breadsticks served with dill-infused butter and marinara keep coming.

The Wyld

The Wyld has the best scenery of any restaurant in Savannah. As inferred in its name, the bar is adjacent to the dock, or, basically, on the dock. The indoor restaurant is small compared to the sprawling deck filled with tables and the restaurant serves Lowcountry staples like local shrimp, a clam roll, and succotash while completely immersed in the Lowcountry itself. Every year, it throws a popular oyster roast that brings locals and tourists together right on the marsh. The Wyld is a tough restaurant to beat for ambiance and consistency.

Auspicious Baking Company

Don’t let the line out of the door be a deterrence — instead, let it be an assurance that Auspicious Baking Company is worth a little wait. Luckily though, the community-supported bakery in Sandfly has an efficient system in place to quickly serve croissants, cinnamon rolls, loaves, and spreads. The menu rotates, but expect staples like chocolate and ham cheese croissants, baguettes, and English muffins mixed in with inventive pastries like churro croissant loaves and lemon cheesecake “Pop-Tarts.” Vegan selections are always available, like everything, on a first-come, first-serve basis, and other cafes and restaurants around town, like Origin Coffee Bar and Provisions, sell Auspicious’s baked goods if you want to skip the line.

Related Maps