Located about 250 miles southeast of the state's capital of Atlanta and easily accessible via Charleston, South Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida, Savannah is a perfect day trip as well as a destination in its own right. The coastal city offers historic sites, antebellum architecture, romantic oak-covered trees, lush parks, and a vibrant culinary scene. While you can find the expected seafood staples like oysters and fried seafood platters as well as Southern fare like BBQ, the city offers a variety of options for every taste and budget. From port city Southern food at the award-winning The Grey to casual vegan fare at Fox and Fig Cafe, here are the top ten restaurants in Savannah.
The Grey's chef and co-owner Mashama Bailey won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Southeast in 2019, and it was well-deserved. This 1930s art deco Greyhound bus terminal turned modern restaurant offers her spin on Southern staples. Think thoughtful soul food that takes advantage of local and seasonal produce with a menu divided into four categories: pantry, water, dirt, and pasture. Highlights include the crab rice with Carolina Gold heritage rice and bell peppers and smothered quail with blackening spice, Creole spice, and grit cake. Attentive hospitality, a focused European wine list, and outstanding cocktails make this a must-visit.
B's Cracklin' BBQ
Named one of the South's Top 50 BBQ Joints in 2019 by Southern Living, B's Cracklin' specializes in Carolina style whole hog barbecue of chef Bryan Furman's native South Carolina. Expect heaping plates of pork, chicken, ribs, wings, and brisket with classic sides like collard greens, hash and rice, macaroni and cheese, and slaw, all best when doused with his signature vinegar sauce. Wash it all down with a large sweet tea and finish with homemade banana pudding.
Vinnie Van GoGo's
For perfectly made, thin-crust Neapolitan pizza and a respite from sightseeing in the Historic District, try Vinnie Van GoGo's. Available for both dine-in and takeout, the spot offers to build your own calzones and whole 14 and 18 inch pies with the usual toppings: pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms, spicy Italian sausage, banana peppers, salami, and more.
The Olde Pink House
Located in Savannah's only surviving 18th-century mansion inside the Planters Inn next to Reynolds Square, the Olde Pink House is a time-honored Savannah dining destination. The setting is elegant but not fussy, and the restaurant excels at Low Country cuisine like pan-seared jumbo lump crab with fried green tomatoes in a rich rémoulade and fried quail with succotash, honey glaze, and spiced peanuts. Want your seafood fix? Try one of the Pink House platters, like the Habersham with shrimp and grits, crab cake, and seared scallops, perfect for sharing.
Fox & Fig Cafe
Yes, even in a city known for its Southern fare and stellar BBQ, there are options for non-carnivores. One of the best is Fox and Fig Cafe, located just off Troup Square. Serving plant-based, all brunch-centric food like eggless quiche, the signature Fox "burger," and clever takes on Southern staples like the fried Southern seitan and sweet potato waffle, a nod to classic chicken and waffles served with sorghum-sriracha syrup; the cafe also has an excellent selection of coffee, tea, and coconut-cream milkshakes.
Green Truck Pub
For hearty neighborhood grub, check out this spot from the husband and wife duo of Whitney and Josh Yates. Both the all grass-fed, all-natural beef, and the veggie patties have been voted best in the city, so try either with "The Lone Star," with housemade chipotle BBQ sauce and jalapeños. Sandwiches range from the classic grilled cheese to a veggie Reuben and California-style BLT with bacon, avocado, and house Ranch dressing. The restaurant also offers several salads, a vegan black bean chili, and sizable starters like a must-get pimento cheese plate.
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room
Queue up early for a taste of homegrown Southern Cooking at this historic downtown spot. The doors open at 11 a.m. sharp, and the restaurant doesn't take reservations. But the wait is worth it for hearty platters of biscuits, fried chicken, gumbo, okra, meatloaf, black-eyed peas, and macaroni salad, all served family-style at communal tables. Prices are $25 per person (including tax) and half-off for children under 10. Stop by the ATM before you go—the restaurant is cash only.
The Collins Quarter
Get a taste of Australia in the heart of Savannah at this restaurant modeled after the cafes of Melbourne’s historic Collins Street. The all-day breakfast (champagne optional) offers a mix of savory and sweet options ranging from short rib hash and grits shakshouka style to coconut chia pudding and brioche French toast. After 11 a.m., the options menu expands to sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, and burgers. Don't miss out on the cafe's beverage program, which includes several Georgia brews as well as tea and coffee, like the signature Aussie iced coffee with espresso, vanilla syrup, and vanilla ice cream.
Back in the Day Bakery
You can't ever go wrong with build your own biscuits, which you can do at this Bull Street eatery starting at 8 a.m. Thursday through Sunday. Choose from ham, apple smoked bacon, and chicken as the bases, then add gruyere, white cheddar, pimento cheese, or an egg bake, then top it off with jam or pepper jelly, honey, or butter. Not into biscuits? The bakery serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with options ranging from seasonal salads to house sandwiches like the "Tom & Moz," with tomato, mozzarella, lettuce, salt and pepper, olive oil, and balsamic as well as a rotating selection of baked goods, pies, and coffee offered all day.
Located in a renovated gas station, this airy, light-filled spot specializes in seasonal, seafood-forward small plates. From the lobster roll with Duke’s mayo and celery on a brioche bun to seared scallops in lemon beurre blanc served with steamed asparagus to the canned sardines, the food is simple but satisfying. Vegetable plates and a tightly curated list of mains like seared pork belly with peas, beans, and corn succotash round out the menu, which is also friendly to those with dietary restrictions. Weather permitting, grab a pre-batched cocktail or glass of bubbly and enjoy the restaurant's patio, shaded by the city's ubiquitous Spanish moss.