If the response you receive from "Jeet yet?" is "No, jew?" then it is time to find a restaurant that y'all both like. In Savannah, there are lots of restaurants - and all kinds of food.
In addition to excellent seafood, there are two local favorite foods you should be sure to enjoy while in Savannah. One is grits. They are served for breakfast just about anywhere you might go - and definitely put lots of butter on em. Butter just makes everything better. But be sure to use salt. I heard recently about a confused out-of-towner who put sugar on his grits. That's just not done. The second local favorite is southern fried chicken. Pretty much every restaurant in Savannah has its own tried and true recipe. A few restaurants you might want to try (in no particular order): Any Carey Hilliards, Mrs. Wilke's, Paula Dean's, Pirate's House, and Johnny Harris. They all have fantastic fried chicken without a doubt. Ok, fried chicken might not be all that healthy, but it sure is good.
Fine Dining in Savannah's Historic Area
Restaurants flourish in coastal Savannah, a city that uniquely balances tradition and history with emerging currents of industry and art. As such, downtown Savannah is home to a variety of unique and traditional restaurants - old, new, down-home, and everything in between.
Walking through the Historic District is a fun way to explore many of the new cafes and architecturally impressive dining venues the area has to offer. Environmentalists and preservationists will also appreciate the conscientious "recycling" of historic homes and buildings once threatened by demolition and economic downturns. Antebellum mansions double as Bed & Breakfasts. Renovated cotton warehouses operate as restaurants, many of which claim to be haunted. Dine at 17 Hundred 90
, and perhaps the legendary ghost of Anna Powers will join you. The home's cozy lounge is also a cool place to dine or enjoy a cocktail with locals. Even an antique fire station is put to use at Garibaldi's Escape.
The "Crispy Flounder" remains on the menu for good reason. Elizabeth's on 37th Street
endures as one of the loveliest fine dining establishments in the Victorian district. Of course, some may want to explore The Mansion on Forsyth; stunningly renovated, 700 Drayton Restaurant
juxtaposes nouvelle American dining with colorful and expressive art. The grandeur extends throughout this updated mansion, where luxury is newly defined for this increasingly popular area.
Many downtown Savannah restaurants enjoy national fame for regional delicacies. By now almost everyone raves about Paula Deen and her home-style southern restaurant, The Lady & Sons
. The lunch buffet is understandably popular among tourists. Be forewarned: Friends of Butter form a line outside the restaurant daily, so you may want to bring along your Soduko! Paula's fried chicken and crab cakes are definitely well-known, but the crab-cake competition never ends in Savannah. Soho South Cafe'
s crab cake sandwich is the real deal: seasoned crab as opposed to seasoned breading.
River Street, a colorful expanse of boutiques, galleries, and souvenir curiosities, also boasts a full array of eateries. Seafood restaurants are a mainstay on the waterfront, naturally, and most display an outdoor menu board featuring daily specials and dining hours. Choose from an abundance of spirited taverns, gourmet bistros, oyster bars, and continental cafes. If you enjoy authentic Greek cuisine, stroll in to Olympia Cafe
for savory gyros and salads. This charming little cafe is still a Savannah lunchtime favorite. For those who enjoy festive dining, Kevin Berry's Irish Pub
serves good pub grub and live Irish music on weekends. Similarly, Spanky's Pizza Galley & Saloon
is also a fun place to watch a football game or share some pizza. Their chicken finger basket, served with signature "spuds," continues its local tradition at three great locations (check our listings).
Tradition in the midst of change is important. Sometimes a restaurant captures the zeitgeist of an age and, even as new traditions emerge, continues to thrive for multiple generations. One good example is Johnny Harris Restaurant
Drive. My grandparents could tell you about romantic date nights in the ballroom (nothing casual about it); my parents could elaborate about the lamb and succulent prime rib; and my friends, to this day, rave about the 1924 House Salad. And I have never, ever been disappointed with the hickory smoked chicken, topped with warmed Johnny Harris sauce. Neither do I tire of dining in the relaxed bar area because it has serious retro filmic appeal. I should check their "wall of fame" again to see if Sammy Davis Junior sipped martinis with Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra here. Johnny Harris's charm is unmistakably Savannah. And, yes, they have a delicious fried chicken dinner too!
Historic Savannah is home to so many fabulous restaurants. Whether you choose a trendy cafe, a renovated mansion, or a Mom and Pops diner depends, of course, on circumstance and taste. SavannahCityDirectory.com has a soft spot for the art of dining, and we hope you will bookmark our dining page for new restaurant listings, reviews, and further exploration into Southside and Midtown dining.