The Best Restaurants In Savannah, Georgia guide image

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SAVGuide

The Best Restaurants In Savannah, Georgia

The best spots for peel-and-eat shrimp, tonkotsu ramen, and butter pecan ice cream in Savannah.

While the city may have come to prominence with tourists following the publication of John Berendt’s 1994 bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Savannah, Georgia has always been on the map, especially for those that love a good meal and drink. As the author described the city and its wild characters, “In Savannah the first question people ask you is ‘What would you like to drink?’”

Today, the dining scene is among the best in the country, highlighting a mix of African and English influences, with a big emphasis on the region’s excellent seafood. And, with a mild climate nearly year-round, outdoor dining options are easy to find, often tucked into the iconic public squares.

Whether you’re in town for the weekend or a local looking for a new dinner spot, these are all of the places you should add to your list. There’s something for everybody, from textbook shrimp and grits and buttery biscuits to Japanese-style ramen and plant-based brunch.


BUZZY SIT-DOWN DINNER SPOTS


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Husk

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12 W Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah
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Husk has been a pretty successful restaurant in Charleston and Nashville for a while, and they opened this newest location in Savannah in 2018. The space feels appropriately special, with a large dining room inside a converted home filled with colorful artwork and intimate tables around the chandelier-lit bar priming you for the big fancy dinner to come. The menu is all about seasonal dishes that use ingredients native to the south, so expect to see things like oysters on the half shell, yellowfin tuna with Carolina Gold rice, and dan dan noodles with a benne seed tahini. Save room for an order of fluffy biscuits and the Husk charcuterie, which includes country ham and locally-made cheeses.


Ukiyo is the newest and best Japanese restaurant in Savannah. The casual izakaya opened in the Starland District in 2022 with a great selection of Japanese whiskeys and sake and plenty of worthwhile dishes. Go with a couple of friends so you can share everything, either at a table in the dining room decorated with Japanese tapestries and art or at the yellow-lit bar and counter overlooking the kitchen. Get things like the okonomiyaki cabbage pancake, wagyu beef bun, tonkotsu ramen (made with broth cooked over two days), and tuna tataki.


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The Grey is located in the city’s formerly segregated Greyhound bus depot, and you might've seen them featured in an episode of Chef’s Table serving their spin on a Savannah childhood favorite, the “thrills.” There are a couple different ways to eat here, all serving dishes that feel effortlessly connected to the city. In the main dining room, you’ll find sleek banquettes, moody lighting, and a prix-fixe menu focused on seafood and whatever is in season, which might include smoked pork with hominy or purloo Carolina Gold rice with salted fish. For something more casual, The Diner Bar in the Art Deco waiting room has an a-la-carte menu with similar dishes like fish croquettes and chicken Country Captain, a one-pot stew with Indian spices. And if neither of those work out, grab a bite at their casual bodega-like option, The Grey Market, for benne seed bagels and pastrami reubens.


SOUTHERN FAVORITES


While there are plenty of soul food spots in the historic district, Sisters of the New South is an option we really like in Victory Heights, with its bright blue tables and a tree mural on the wall. They serve dishes you might expect to see at a family gathering or holiday, like fried chicken and slow-cooked oxtails, all made from recipes that have been passed down for generations. It’s perfect for a casual lunch or dinner, especially if you add on some of the standout seafood options —like shrimp and grits and fried oysters with a side of collard greens and yams. Finish it all with some peach cobbler, caramelized to perfection with a crunchy crust.


Narobia's Grits & Gravy expanded their simply-styled dining room during the pandemic to make room for all the people stopping by for the restaurant’s breakfast, coastal, and Lowcountry dishes. The crab stew is one of the best options, made with a rich sauce and served on a bed of creamy grits, but you also can’t go wrong with fluffy biscuits and gravy, french toast dusted with plenty of powdered sugar, and flaky crab patties. Weekends get especially busy, so bring your patience and enjoy the laid-back experience on the upstairs balcony.


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You’ll have to line up outside this 1943 boarding house for the city’s best family-style Southern food. That’s because the restaurant is only open on weekdays from 11am-2pm, but if you’re even hesitating at the word “line,” know that Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is definitely somewhere to prioritize. The menu changes by season, with candied yams and apple salad in the fall and snap beans in the summer. But you’ll always find our favorites: fried chicken, heaping portions of macaroni and cheese, and black-eyed peas.


The appropriately-named Olde Pink House is easy to find, with its iconic shade of pink, right across from Reynolds Square. The classic art-filled dining room with patina walls feels like you’re traveling back in time, while the menu includes Southern classics with the occasional twist, like fried green tomatoes, fried chicken with macaroni and cheese, and shrimp and grits “sushi.” We like this place best for dinner, when they serve more substantial plates that include crispy scored flounder and grilled pork tenderloin. Arches Bar, inside the same space, is a casual alternative if you can’t get into the main restaurant, and offers many of the same menu items, along with cocktails like the Pink Lady, made with lemonade and local Ghost Coast raspberry vodka.


SOMETHING CASUAL


Crystal Beer Parlor started as a family-run grocery store and Prohibition-era speakeasy. These days, photos of past customers cover the walls, and the place feels relatively unchanged from the early days. While the burgers and beers no longer cost under a dollar, they’re still great—whether you’re going with the classic option, or the Mountain Jam that comes topped with beer cheese and grilled onions. Consider ordering the crab stew and pimento pig sandwich if you’re really hungry.


Leopold's is an old-fashioned ice cream shop on Broughton Street that pretty much always has a line during summer. A Savannah icon since 1919, the shop feels out of a different era, especially because all the employees still wear old-school bowties and hats. Flavors include butter pecan (with Georgia pecans) and Tutti Frutti’s candied fruit and rum ice cream, which has been on the menu since they opened.


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Ask any Savannah College of Art and Design student and they’ll tell you how many evenings they’ve spent at Vinnie Van Go Go's, a Neapolitan pizzeria near Ellis Square named after Vincent Van Gogh. The heaping $4 slices drape over the sides of the plates and make for a perfect quick and affordable meal that doesn’t sacrifice quality for the not-so-starving artists. If you’re with a group, order a whole pie (we like the white pizza) to eat on the patio with a couple of beers. Just know that the pick-up window usually gets busier as the night goes on and the rowdiness of nearby River Street picks up.


Sandfly BBQ used to operate out of a Streamliner trailer, but now has a brick and mortar between downtown and Isle of Hope that’s become a destination in its own right. They specialize in Memphis-style BBQ, but also showcase other dishes like St. Louis ribs and Brunswick stew (said to have been invented in nearby Brunswick), and fries topped with hand-pulled pork for the south’s version of poutine. You should always leave room for sides, including fried okra, baked beans, and coleslaw, to enjoy in the booths in the air conditioning. Come here for a quick lunch while exploring the nearby Wormsloe State Historic Site.


Originally a laid-back fish camp on the water, a couple from Atlanta purchased the property in 1983 and made it what it is today: The Original Crab Shack. Tables sit underneath a gnarled tree, providing some much-needed shade to enjoy super fresh local seafood like deviled crab and stew, Lowcountry boil, and boiled peel-and-eat shrimp. And if you time things right, you might run into an aspiring pirate, in town for an annual Buccaneer Ball that’s been in a bunch of TV shows and movies. The restaurant also carries Leopold’s ice cream and key lime pie.


BREAKFAST & BRUNCH


Owned by the team behind Foxy Loxy and The Coffee Fox, some of Savannah’s best coffee shops, Fox & Fig has lattes that are just as good, as well as a great menu of plant-based dishes. Come here for all-day brunch in the plant-filled and airy cafe, fueled by avocado toast and vegan nachos with cheese made from cashews, or grab a gooey cinnamon roll to go and eat it while you walk around nearby Troup Square.


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A husband-and-wife team opened Back in the Day Bakery in the Midtown area of Savannah in 2002, and it quickly became one of the city’s most popular breakfast spots. The pastel-hued shop has a large case full of pastries, thick and fluffy biscuits, cakes like tres leches, and chocolate chip cookies you shouldn’t miss. Take them with you for a snack while you walk around the artsy neighborhood, and absolutely grab some of the stocked jellies and jams to take home.


The Collins Quarter is an Australian-inspired cafe that opened in 2014 and should be your destination for petal-sprinkled lavender lattes and smashed avocado toast with beet hummus. While they have seats inside and out, we love the light-filled indoor space with vases of flowers on every table, especially at brunch. While their Forsyth Park location is bigger, there’s nothing quite like people-watching at the cafe tables downtown, especially once you get your spread of delicious shakshouka, shrimp and grits, and an Australian flat white.


After a big night out on River Street or before a day relaxing on the beach at Tybee Island, come to The Breakfast Club. Counter seats and tables along the tight row of booths can be hard to come by on weekends, but that’s because the diner really excels in breakfast, including crispy hashbrowns, stuffed-to-the-brim omelets, pecan-filled waffles, and creamy grits. The burgers are another highlight, cooked to perfection on the griddle and topped with bacon and cheese, but you’ll have to get one for an early lunch—the restaurant closes by 12:30pm. Unless you’re a burger-for-breakfast kind of person, in which case, you have our full support.


Big Bon Bodega in the Starland District serves Montreal-style bagels out of a converted auto garage, and seeing as the chef ran a mobile pizza oven, this is a place that knows their way around carbs. The bagels are hand rolled and boiled in honey water before getting baked in the wood-fired oven, at which point you can build your own or choose one of the existing options, like the Vietnamese-inspired Bon Mi or the 912, a New York-esque bacon, egg, and cheese. Order your breakfast in advance for maximum efficiency, or line up at the busy counter and go to town at one of the outdoor picnic tables. And if that mention of pizza sounded intriguing, stop by for some Neapolitan pizza on Wednesday and Saturday nights.


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