Open containers, Spanish moss, water views, and haunted houses all make Savannah a desirable destination to both live and visit. If in town for the night or just out for the night, Savannah has a growing list of essential places to visit.Read More
18 Essential Savannah Restaurants to Visit
From bagel sandwiches to Southern staples
1. Pizzeria Vittoria Napoletana
Located within the Starland Yard food truck park, the only brick and mortar restaurant, Pizzeria Vittoria, is a destination within a destination. Chef Kyle Jacovina tosses Neapolitan-style pies with an emphasis on organic, locally and regionally sourced ingredients. Looking for more than just pizza? Italian favorites like meatball parm and muffalatta grinders served on hearth baked bread or pasta specials add to the overall draw of Pizzeria Vittoria. Although it is a slow food concept, it will be devoured quickly.
2. Big Bon Bodega
Sitting on the corner of Bull and 37th St, Big Bon Bodega feels like a locals’ corner shop with a city vibe. Big Bon Bodega’s Bagels are hand rolled, boiled, and wood-fired. Daily specials and regular bagel options like The 912 containing bacon, fried egg, cheddar and herb butter belong with a morning coffee to stay or to go. Rotating quotes and captions positioned on a sidewalk sign grace the front of the restaurant providing that photo worthy opportunity.
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3. Elizabeth's on 37th
Fine dining with perfectly paired wine. Elizabeth’s on 37th brings fancy pants coastal cuisine to Savannah. Although the extensive wine list is not the star of the show, it is a best-supporting character. Elizabeth’s on 37th is located in a Victorian Mansion both suited for the cuisine including choices from the sea or land like the coastal grouper or the double-cut Berkshire pork chop — and the wine. Shiny credit cards are recommended here.
4. Service Brewing Co.
Live music, fresh-brewed beer, and daily events keep the Service Brewing taproom full of locals, tourists, and puppies. Rotating food trucks set up just outside of the brewery entrance include favorites like The Naked Pig, Red Taco Truck, Big Bon Ghost Kitchen and Strange Bird. There is always a reason to enjoy local food purveyors and a cold beer or two or three.
5. Crystal Beer Parlor
Famous for being one of the first bars to serve alcohol following prohibition, the Crystal Beer Parlor continues its love of alcohol with over 80 beers, 26 of them on tap mostly from local breweries. Big burgers come on big plates loaded with multiple toppings and sides of large onion rings. There is no shame in using a fork and knife to tackle one of these beautiful burgers.
6. The Grey
Reservations required. With James Beard Award-winning chef Mashama Bailey at the helm, the Grey continues to be in high demand by both locals and tourists alike. Now offering four or six course dining options that change often based on local seasonality of the Savannah region. If unable to obtain a reservation or unwilling to sit down for a longer meal, the Diner Bar offers small plates to be enjoyed in the renovated retro Grey Hound Bus terminal. Side note, the Grey Market, a secondary concept of the Grey, sits around the corner ready to serve double burgers and drinks during the lunch hour if day drinking is on the menu.
7. Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room
Savannah, GA 31401
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is basically a Savannah institution. Open since 1946, this Southern family style restaurant embraces the idea that no one will leave hungry. Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room provides platefuls of Southern staples including butter beans, sweet potato souffle, macaroni and cheese, and, of course, fried chicken. Mrs. Wilkes is cash only and does not take reservations. The only difference between take-out or dine-in is where the food coma begins.
8. The Lost Square
Drinks are always better with a view. The Lost Square is a rooftop bar housed in the upscale Alida Hotel. Not staying at the Alida? No problem. The rooftop is open to everyone. With views of both the river and the city of Savannah, The Lost Square provides light bites and champagne views along with quirky craft cocktail names like Get in Loser and Your Mom’s Chest Hair.
9. Vinnie Van GoGo's
Is a trip to Savannah even complete without a late-night pizza after walking around the city with a cocktail in hand? Picture a dive bar with pizza’s flying in the air and employees yelling out orders and plastic draft cups waiting to be filled. The line may be long but the large slice will be well worth the wait. The perfect way to soak up all that alcohol enjoyed by the historic district’s open container law is a slice of Vinnies.
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10. Cotton & Rye
Taking a modern twist on both the decor and Southern food, Cotton & Rye rotates menu items and nightly specials for starters, main courses, and even desserts. Focusing on traditional favorites like fried chicken thighs but also throwing in unique options such as eggplant cannelloni. Desserts are just as popular and ordering the dessert before dinner is encouraged. Cotton & Rye is a little bit Southern and a little bit rock and roll.
11. 700 Drayton Restaurant
Found attached to the Mansion on Forsyth, 700 Drayton mixes the eclectic with a southern flair. Executive chef Daniel Herget brings a coastal Georgia cuisine to fine dining all while overlooking the well traveled and beautiful Forsyth Park. Braised short ribs with smoked peach chimichurri and creamed turnip greens take Southern comfort food to a sophisticated level. Special occasions may lead to booking the carriage wine cellar for a private dining experience. Brunch, lunch, or dinner available daily.
12. Hop Atomica
This brewery and neighborhood gastropub is located in the up-and-coming Baldwin Park neighborhood. Along with rotating beers and hard seltzers, the wood-fired fare of pizza and tacos encourage additional rounds. With an outdoor walk-up bar and open-patio seating, Hop Atomica is designed to welcome the local neighbors to come in and share a beer. .
13. Tequila's Town Mexican Restaurant
Tequila, yes. Tacos, obviously. Customers can quench any margarita cravings while watching servers make fresh guacamole at the table. Stocked with over 100 labels of agave spirits, sipping on high-end tequila never felt better. Empanadas, ceviche, and, of course, street tacos round out the menu.
14. Husk Savannah
Known as one of the most haunted buildings in Savannah, this restaurant and bar has two types of spirits. Known for its bourbon-focused bar menu, Husk also has an extensive wine list and local rotating menu focused on Southern food like the Grassroots pork paired with seasonal ingredients like Bradford corn and summer vegetables within the region. Great food, great service, and ghosts — a true Savannah combo.
15. Flock to the Wok
Flock to the Wok is a family style Chinese restaurant with a modern twist. From veteran-owned Savannah restaurant group Ele and the Chef, Flock to the Wok is located in the historic district and boasts trendy interior and a various range of handmade dumplings and noodle dishes for either dine in or carry out.
16. The Collins Quarter
Cafe or bar? How about both. This Bull Street eatery opened its doors in 2014 with a focus on coffee and food pairings. With exposed brick and posh leather banquets, Collins Quarter moves from brunch to dinner as every Southern restaurant should. The brunch menu focuses on favorites like the smashed peas and “Swine Time” Benedict, while dinner changes over to larger portions including pan-roasted market fish and braised short ribs. The punny cocktail names might require a second round to try out a few like “Gin and Roses” or “Sage by the Bell.”
17. The Olde Pink House
Under the storied Olde Pink House lies a dark, candle-lit tavern. Experience old Savannah by sitting at the Planters Tavern bar, listening to the live music hidden under the house. Often a tourist hub, locals will still come to the tavern wishing to seek out Southern favorites like the fried founder, which continues to remain on the menu year after year.
18. Leopold's Ice Cream
Sitting near the end of Broughton street, Leopold’s Ice Cream continues to see lines streaming out of their doors even when the weather is too cold or most likely too hot in Savannah. With a register method of ordering, customers peer over the freezer chests excited to sample the flavor of the month. All of Leopold’s Ice Cream is handcrafted in historic downtown Savannah using the original recipes handed down since 1919. The restaurant also serves diner-style food, however most patrons are happily heading back into the heat with their triple-scoop cone.