Much of Savannah life revoles around the Historic District, and it is this part that tourists really want to visit. As a result, the best eating spots are found right here. So check out these 5 beauties:
1. The Olde Pink House
This restaurant is in one of Savannah’s wonderfully restored historic buildings, originally built in the 1700s. There are stripped wooden floors, antique dining furniture and chandeliers, and these,
combined with wonderfully knowledgable and attentive staff, make for an amazing dining experience. On the lower ground floor is a relatively new addition to the restaurant, the Planters Tavern. This has been sensitively renovated and is quite in keeping with the rest of the house, and feels intimate and cosy. The food served in everypart of the restaurant is out of this world – traditional Southern cooking at its very best, with a fish menu second to none. Eating here is not just a meal, it is a whole experience.
2. Sapphire Grill
Sapphire Grill has a bistro feel, very cool and even edgy, and different parts of the building have slightly different atmospheres. The restaurant is a mecca for celebrities and foodies, local and otherwise, because the chef is acclaimed far and wide and has received numerous awards. He describes his menu as ‘coastal cuisine’, and part of the menu is based around the day’s catch, although it is not, by any means, exclusively fish based. A six course tasting menu is available and although quite expensive, is worth every penny. Needless to say, the staff are also worthy of this fine dining experience.
3. Mrs Wilkes’ Dining Room
This restaurant is often mentioned in ‘best places to eat’ listings in Savannah, and for very good reason. This is Southern cooking at its best – apparently simple food cooked superbly – fried chicken, jambalaya, beef stew- all sublime. Customers eat together at long tables, and there is always a queue for seats, so be prepared to wait. Mrs Wilkes’ Dining Room is only open Monday to Friday, 11am until 2pm, and be warned, cash or cheque only (no credit cards) and no alcohol – you’ll be drinking sweet tea or water. But the food is so good, you won’t mind.
4. Elizabeth on 37th
Elizabeth on 37th has been in business some thirty one years, so they must be doing something right! It is often mooted as the place to go in Savannah, and with justification. The cooking is described as American southern or modern southern, and it is exactly that, and cooked to perfection. Fish, often done with a twist, herb seasoned rack of lamb, grilled aubergine soup, it is recognisable but that little bit different. The desserts are frequently described as the best in Savannah.
5. The Lady & Sons
The food at The Lady & Sons is often categorised as southern comfort food, and that is what it is, but very well cooked southern comfort food. The number of people waiting patiently in a queue for the buffet bears witness to this, though you can order off menu instead if you wish. The restaurant is the baby of a television cook, Paula Deen, started with the help of her sons. The cooking is largely local with a creative touch, and chicken pot pie is the signature dish – deservedly so! The only downsides are the waiting times, and the number of other diners having their photograph taken with a cardboard cutout of Paula Deen!
Savannah’s Historic District is a mecca for tourists, and is always advisable to check with Savannah hotels as to whether you should make a reservation, or if you simply need to queue. The restaurants in Savannah will have you coming back for more, just make sure you have a spare notch on your belt buckle in case you orders seconds. Enjoy!
By author and travel enthusiast Richard Orban, writing on behalf of Marriot Hotels. If you’re looking for Savannah Hotels, look no further! Follow his occasional rants at http://www.twitter.com/richardorban!