Savannah, Georgia is full of history and culture – and the food scene is no exception. Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or moving in for good, you’ll find an abundance of tasty choices, from traditional Southern comfort food to fine dining, all served with a side of Southern hospitality. Here is a list of places to eat in Savannah that we tried on our first visit and enjoyed and would happily revisit.
According to TripAdvisor, there are 684 restaurants and places to eat in Savannah, Georgia’s First City. That means that you will never be too far from your next meal or treat in this Southern city that is full of Southern charm.
I had an idea of some of the places that I wanted to eat at in Savannah based on ratings and recommendations. In reality, we know things don’t always go as planned and in my case this was true. The best thing you can do when you are on the road is to be flexible and roll with the punches. In the end, my favorite thing to eat in Savannah was at a location that was not on my original list.
In this post, I want to share with you a few places that you might want to add to your list of where to dine in Savannah. If you have been to Savannah, leave a comment letting other readers and me know what you enjoyed and where you would go back to dine.
I am going to start in reverse – with desserts. As the old saying goes, “Life is short – eat dessert first.”
1. Leopold’s Ice Cream
Leopold’s Ice Cream has been around for around a hundred years, give or take 35 years. In 1919, Greek immigrants George, Peter, and Basil Leopold opened their own sweet shop/ice cream parlor in Savannah. Sadly, the ice cream shop closed in 1969 and remained closed until 2004 when it reopened at 212 E. Broughton Street.
Up for the debate is the issue of whether or not Tutti Frutti ice cream was created at Leopold’s. Some say it was created by Roy Motherhead in Kentucky. It’s reported that there are recipes for tutti frutti ice cream in cookbooks from the late 19th century.
Regardless of which sweet treat you choose, you’ll end up with something delicious. My personal pick at Leopold’s is Savannah Socialite which is made with milk and dark chocolate ice creams and roasted Georgia pecans and swirled with bourbon-infused caramel.
My tip: You don’t have to go big or go home. You can order a child-size sugar cone for $3.25 and still enjoy some of the best ice cream in the United States.
If you like hot fudge sundaes, you won’t be disappointed. You can watch the soda jerk through each of the steps making YOUR sundae.
Leopold’s is located at 212 East Broughton Street. It is open Monday & Tuesday from 1:00 PM until 9:00 PM and Wednesday – Sunday from noon until 10:00 PM. Long lines WILL form but typically seem to move fast.
If you go to Savannah and don’t go to Leopold’s, then did you really go to Savannah?
2. Byrd’s Famous Cookies
You’ll want to flock Byrd’s Famous Cookies if you deem yourself a cookie monster.
Ben Byrd began baking cookies in 1924 and the baking hasn’t stopped since. The company has been in business for 90 years baking cookies in small batches. One truly unique feature is the cookie bar where customers can sample as many of the cookies as they’d like for FREE.
This could be dangerous because once you start sampling them, you want to buy them. I left after purchasing a souvenir tin that I had filled with a bag of Georgia Peach Cookies and Benne Wafers.
Not only do they have sweet cookies, but they also have savory snacks. If you like cheddar wafers and spicy foods, be sure to sample the Jalapeno Cheddar wafers. They definitely pack some heat.
There are three locations of Byrd’s Famous Cookies in Savannah:
- 423 East River Street – open daily at 11 AM and closes at 7 PM Sunday – Thursday and at 8:00 PM Friday and Saturday
- 213 West Julian Street (City Market) – open daily at 11 AM and closes at 7 PM Sunday – Thursday and at 8 PM Friday and Saturday
- 6700 Waters Avenue (Flagship Store) – open 10 AM to 6 PM Monday – Saturday & Noon to 5 PM on Sunday
3. The Seafood Shack
The Seafood Shack is located just a few doors down from Leopold’s at 116 East Broughton Street. This seafood restaurant is practically a celebrity – it has been featured on 4 different shows on the Cooking Channel as well as on Food Paradise on the Travel Channel. There’s a good reason for that – it serves the best shrimp.
Two items that you should look into ordering are the Low Country Boil and the Shrimp Waffle Cone.
A single serving of the Low Country Boil is only $ 12.95, and you can order it with the shrimp already peeled (that’s how I would do it!). A regular order of the dish comes with shell-on shrimp, corn on the cob, beef sausage, and red potatoes and it is topped with garlic butter and their house Cajun seasoning.
For a meal that is not only delicious but also Instagram-worthy, order the Fried Shrimp Cone. A homemade waffle cone is filled with creamy coleslaw and fried shrimp and topped with the Seafood Shack’s creamy house sauce. If you like to have your dessert and dinner all in one bite, then this is definitely for you. At $8.95, it’s pretty affordable.
If you are a fan of crab cakes, you’re in luck because they are on the appetizer menu and are only $4.50.
The Seafood Shack is open Monday -Thursday from 11 AM until 9 PM,
Friday and Saturday from 11 AM until 10 PM and on Sunday from Noon until 9 PM.
4. Tequila’s Town
When you think of Savannah, it would be natural for you to NOT think about Mexican cuisine. But once you dine at Tequila’s Town, you will develop a completely different mindset.
You won’t find a watered-down version of Mexican food at Tequila’s Town. This restaurant got its beginning in Morelia, Michoacán, and prides itself for its authenticity and traditional recipes.
THIS is the place where I had my favorite meal in Savannah – a Shrimp Fajita Taco Salad.
The fajita salad ($12) is made with a crispy flour tortilla shell topped with grilled meat (shrimp in my case) and queso dip and served with a side of sour cream and guacamole dip. (Other protein options are grilled chicken and asada steak. For an additional $1, you can have ALL the meats.)
Tequila’s Town is located in the historic district at 109 Whitaker Street and is open at 11 AM daily (except for Sunday which is at noon) and closes at 10 PM Sunday through Thursday and at 11 PM on Friday and Saturday.
5. The Pirates’ House
While the name may scream “tourist trap,” the food says something entirely different. To be honest, though, the historic house was built in 1734 and is said to be the oldest standing structure in the state of Georgia. While it initially was a gardener’s home, it later became an inn for sailors. Old tunnels in the home may have been used by real pirates in the 18th century.
A hundred years later, The Pirates’ House was mentioned in Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous novel, Treasure Island.
In the 1940s, the house was almost demolished but thanks to the efforts of Mary Hillyer and the Savannah Gas Company, it was not only saved but also restored and preserved.
The food served at The Pirates’ House today is bountiful, to say the least. My travel companion and I shared two dishes, each dish could have easily fed us both well. The waitstaff had the dishes already split for us when they arrived at the table.
The Pirates’ House is located at 20 East Broad Street and opens at 11 AM daily.
6. Hitch/Treylor Park
Among the eclectic menu items are:
- “POPCORN” SHRIMP – Lightly fried shrimp on popcorn with chive buttermilk ranch and chili powder
- CHICKEN & PANCAKE TACOS – Lightly toasted peppered pancakes with fried chicken, chili aioli & strawberry salsa
- BACON BROWNIE – With coffee toffee & vanilla bean ice cream
- HANG TANG MOJITO – Tang rum, lime, mint, orange, club soda
- MAN-MOSA – Treylor Park fruit punch, high life
Hitch is located at 300 Drayton Street and is open weekdays from 11 AM until 1 AM and on the weekends from 10 AM until 1 AM.
7. The Sentient Bean
If you are a vegan or vegetarian and need some veggie options, you can grab a bite to eat at The Sentient Bean by Forsyth Park. Breakfast is served from 7 AM until 5 PM and some of the items are:
- Vegan Breakfast Tacos – tofu scramble, black beans, housemade spicy veganaise, and spinach on 3 corn tortillas served with salsa
- GF Breakfast Bowl – black rice, local greens, red onion, tomato, avocado, a fried or scrambled egg with a side of spicy vegan mayo
- Oatmeal – topped with pecans and cranberries, vegan optional is milk
Brunch is served at The Sentient Bean on Sundays from 9 AM until noon.
It wouldn’t be called The Sentient Bean if coffee wasn’t served, now would it? You can get your coffee fix by ordering Drip Coffee, Iced Coffee, Shakeratto, Espresso, Americano, A Shot In the Dark, Cortado, Latte, Cappuccino, Mocha, Frozen Mocha, Macchiato, or Frozen Vanilla Latte.
The Sentient Bean is located at 13 East Park Avenue. Food is served until 4 PM.
8. b. Matthew’s Eatery
If dining in a cute bistro that serves New American-style food is on your To-Do list, then you head to b. Matthew’s Eatery.
Located in historic downtown Savannah at 325 East Bay Street, b. Matthew’s Eatery is open daily at 8 AM and serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. (The restaurant closes at 3 PM Sunday – Tuesday, 9 PM Wednesday and Thursday, and at 10 PM Saturday and Sunday.
Originally built as a home in 1854, the building has served a variety of purposes over the years – a sailor’s boarding house, a fruit store, a pub, and nowadays a restaurant. The old brick walls and wood floors are charming and the waitstaff is excellent.
Brunch is served daily at b. Matthew’s. Southern-style breakfast dishes grace the brunch menu such as Biscuits and Gravy, Chicken ‘N Biscuit, and Shrimp and Grits.
9. The Funky Brunch
The Funky Brunch is a fun place to go for breakfast. What really stands out are the hot griddles that some of the tables have. Those are there for diners to make their own pancakes. (I bet you were thinking you weren’t going to cook on vacay, right?)
Order Flippin’ Funky at the Table and you’ll get a 10-ounce bottle of pancake batter (buttermilk or gluten-free for an additional $1) and 1 add-on/topping. The toppings are Chocolate Chips, Reese’s Pieces, Bananas, Apple Pieces, Strawberries, Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Coconut, Butterscotch, Chips, Granola, Peanut Butter, Whipped Cream, Raspberries, Berry Blend, and Blueberries.
If you don’t want to be cooking your own breakfast, there are plenty of other items on the menu, many with fresh greens and/or seafood.
The Funky Brunch is located in downtown Savannah at 304 East Broughton Street and is open Thursday through Monday from 8 AM until 3:30 PM (closed on Tuesday and Wednesday). They don’t take reservations, so arrive early to beat the line.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room – This hidden gem ranks among the best restaurants in Savannah, according to TripAdvisor. (It must serve really good food because it is ranked #6 out of 540.) Southern staples like fried chicken, beef stew, and meatloaf along with macaroni & cheese, black-eyed peas, squash, collard greens, and macaroni salad, to name a few, are served Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m. If you want to eat there, you will want to get there early because lines form at this local favorite where guests are seated at large tables and dine family style. (This restaurant won a James Beard award in 2000 for the America’s Classics category.)
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room is located at 107 W Jones Street.
The Olde Pink House – If the antique walls could talk, they might share tales of the past, but for now, they keep their secrets. While you peruse a menu of Southern delights and sip on a refreshing spirit, keep an eye out – you might not be dining alone. With its historic charm and ghostly allure, The Olde Pink House offers a dining experience that transcends the ordinary, inviting you to savor both the flavors of the South and the possibility of a spectral encounter. Reservations are recommended, not just for a seat at the table, but for the chance to dine with the unseen guests of centuries past. When we stopped by, there was a long wait to get a table.
The Olde Pink House Restaurant is located at 23 Abercorn St and is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday and for dinner on Sunday and Monday.
What is your favorite restaurant in Savannah? What’s your favorite dish in the Hostess City?
Heading to Savannah? Be sure to check out these other posts before you go: