- Marcelina Morfin
The oldest city in Georgia, Savannah is steeped in history and Southern hospitality. This charming city offers visitors many exciting adventures spanning from art exhibits to a rich selection of sweet and savoury dining choices. With everything from lively dessert bars to Southern cuisine served in historic spaces, foodies will be impressed with the culinary offerings featured in this updated piece on Savannah, Georgia.
Run by the Savannah College of Art and Design, Gryphon is a friendly café and tearoom offering brunch, lunch, plus afternoon tea all within an elegant environment. Located in the historic district in the 1926 Scottish Rite building, the interior is stunning with high ceilings, gorgeous mahogany bookcases displaying books and porcelain, and stained glass. With an emphasis on organic locally sourced ingredients, the menu is seasonal and offers tasty items that will sate many a visitor’s hunger. Dishes to note are the peppered pork tenderloin medallions with goat cheese, potato cakes and vegetables served with a Dijon sour cream sauce and an organic peanut butter sandwich with local honey, house-made granola and banana on wheat bread.
Gryphon, 337 Bull St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 525 5880
Opened in 2001 by Sandy Hollander, 45 Bistro is a fine dining and award-winning restaurant located in the historic Marshall House. Built in 1852, the interior underwent a complete renovation in 1999 returning it to its previous glory, including oak floors and exposed brick walls, which in turn created an elegant environment for savouring delectable cuisine. Discerning diners have an array of New American dishes from which to choose, including starters, pizza, entrées, and desserts. Notable highlights include local blue crab cakes; the grilled cervena venison chop with wild mushroom kugel, Brussels sprouts, cipolini onions and lardons finished with a lingonberry demi-glace; and for something sweet, the chocolate torte with raspberry coulis. This bistro also features a full bar offering handcrafted cocktails, as well as a great selection of wine.
45 Bistro, 123 E. Broughton St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 234 3111
Established in 2012 in the heart of historic Savannah by Daniel Berman, a.lure specialises in Low Country cuisine, which is regional cuisine, with a contemporary twist and an emphasis on seafood. Focused on the farm-to-fork movement, this eatery seeks its ingredients from local purveyors whenever possible ensuring quality and freshness. Within a contemporary rustic interior complete with exposed brick walls and modern accents, diners can feast upon a host of small plates, succulent entrées, and tantalising desserts. Some recent highlights include shrimp and grits with local shrimp, smoked bacon, peppers, onion and leeks served over creamy grits and a filet of beef tenderloin accompanied by caramelised onions and bleu cheese potato gratin, asparagus and a red wine demi-glace.
A.lure, 309 W. Congress St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 233 2111
Green Truck Neighborhood Pub
A well-loved multi-award winning neighbourhood joint, Green Truck Pub is known for its laid-back friendly atmosphere, mouth-watering food, and great selection of beer. Opened in 2010 by Josh Yates and his wife, Whitney, the folks at this venue firmly believe in the sustainable movement; and as such, they source their ingredients and décor locally and recycle anything they can. With many delicious options for meat lovers and vegetarians alike, diners can savour items such as the pimento cheese plate, which is house-made, served with pickles and crostini; and the trailer park burger, made with an all-natural grass-fed beef patty or house-made veggie patty topped with pimento cheese, bacon, tomato and onion.
Owned by Brendan Pappas and Mallie Clark, Kayak Kafe is a welcoming eatery with two locations in Savannah — one in the heart of the historic district plus one in Midtown. Serving New American cuisine with a Tex-Mex flair, this dining establishment focuses on organic and all-natural ingredients that are sourced locally whenever possible. Serving lunch and dinner in a vibrant atmosphere, guests can choose from daily specials, tacos, salads, sandwiches, and more. Flavourful choices include the Southern-fried chicken tacos with homemade slaw and spicy mayo and the kayak kasa salad with organic greens, red onion, pecans, tomatoes and feta served with a choice of house-made dressing. With indoor and outdoor seating, this is a great place to watch the world go by while enjoying a meal.
Kayak Kafe (Downtown), 1 E. Broughton St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 233 6044
Kayak Kafe (Midtown), 5002 Paulsen St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 349 4371
Lulu’s Chocolate Bar
Locals seeking to satisfy their sweet tooth head to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. A restaurant specialising in scrumptious desserts, Lulu’s is voted ‘Best Dessert’ in Savannah year after year by the readers of Connect Savannah. Open seven days a week from late-morning until late into the night, dessert aficionados have a host of made-from-scratch sweet edibles to choose from, including tarts, cheesecakes, mousse towers, and chocolate fondue to name but a few. With rotating flavours, some recent highlights include lemon-blueberry cheesecake, blackberry crisp tart, chocolate espresso crème brûlée, and a triple chocolate mousse tower. In addition to desserts, which include gluten-free options, this café also features speciality drinks and local coffee, all within an art-infused space.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room
A family-owned and operated local institution since 1943, Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is a lovely dining place providing Southern hospitality and delicious eats. Nestled in the historic downtown area, this eatery is a true gem where everything is served family-style at communal tables where locals and tourists sit side-by-side. Guests will find a delectable array of Southern comfort food on the tables, including fried chicken, sausage, beef stew, and meatloaf. There are also a host of side dishes, such macaroni and cheese, black-eye peas, mashed potatoes, and baked beans to name a few. A well-loved eatery, the queues can be long, but for the dining experience alone, it is a wait worthwhile.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, 107 W. Jones St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 232 5997
Sweet Spice is a gem of a restaurant tucked away in Midtown serving up flavourful Caribbean cuisine for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Established in 2011 by Donovan Smith, a native of Jamaica, this welcoming eatery offers guests a host of entrées, featuring meat, chicken, and seafood, alongside numerous side dishes and desserts — try the tropical coconut cake — all within a colourful and cosy interior. Succulent main dishes to try include curry goat, jerk chicken, and fried shrimp while the side dishes, which complete the meal, include rice and peas, macaroni and cheese, and plantains to name but a few.
Sweet Spice, 5515 Waters Ave., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 335 8146
The Olde Pink House
Located in historic downtown in an 18th century Georgian mansion, The Olde Pink House serves up delectable contemporary Southern cuisine. Named after the pink stucco covering the exterior, this building is steeped in history as it used to serve as a home and at one point, a bank. Today, the elegantly casual interior is a lovely spot to sample lunch and dinner while listening to live entertainment. An impressive menu offers diners a host of wonderful options, including mac and cheese jalapeño poppers with red pepper coulis and green tomato salsa verde; fried pork chop served with pan gravy, macaroni and cheese and collard greens; and caramelised Vidalia onion and sweet potato ravioli with a pecan cream sauce.
The Olde Pink House, 23 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 232 4286
Zunzi’s and Zunzi’s 2
A true international venue owned by Gabriella and Johnny DeBeer, Zunzi’s is a lively takeaway eatery featuring cuisine with Swiss, Italian, South African, and Dutch influences. Zunzi’s 2, on the other hand, is a larger dine-in restaurant with indoor seating, an upper deck with gorgeous views, a full bar, live music, plus an expanded menu. Flavourful items diners can take delight in include the conquistador sandwich — which won ‘best sandwiches in the South’ on the Travel Channel’s Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America — with baked chicken, lettuce, tomato and special sauce on a baked bun and Italian meatloaf topped with brown gravy. With plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options, every foodie is sure to find something to tickle their taste buds.
Zunzi’s, 108 E. York St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 443 9555
Zunzi’s 2, 9 Drayton St., Savannah, GA, USA, +1 912 443 1554
By Marcelina Morfin