Ultimate Guide of Places to Eat in Savannah, GA (2023)

Drawing of Downtown Savannah Skyline

Savannah, GA is a charming, historic city filled with friendly locals and Southern charm. It’s no wonder the city has quickly grown to be one of the most popular vacation destinations in the South. Known most for its Spanish moss and ghost tours, Savannah is also home to a vibrant restaurant scene.

Whether you are a seasoned foodie traveler, or just a casual weekend diner, the city has a variety of cuisine that appeals to everyone. In no particular order, here is the ultimate guide of places to eat in Savannah.

The Olde Pink House

Centrally located in the historic district of Savannah, the Olde Pink House is an absolute staple. Locals and visitors have been enjoying fresh seafood and celebrating special occasions here for decades. While houses-turned-restaurants aren’t necessarily unique in the South, the Olde Pink House is unique in that they preserved nearly every upstairs room.

Rather than an open floor space, the dining room is a series of smaller rooms which creates a private and charming ambiance. If you are lucky, you may even score a table right next to the antique fireplace. While you can’t go wrong with any of the menu items, the crispy cornbread fried oysters and the pecan-crusted chicken are fan favorites.

After dinner, take an adventure down to the basement bar and enjoy some live music. With a wonderful happy hour menu, delicious food, and after-dinner entertainment, you can have a wonderful time all evening in just one location. Check out their menu here to learn more or make a reservation.

The Gray Restaurant

The Grey Restaurant is one of the new kids on the block, opening just a few years ago. But that hasn’t stopped it from rising to the top of everyone’s favorite restaurant list. Chef Mashama Bailey and partner Johno Morisano restored a historic 1930’s Greyhound Bus Terminal into a fine dining restaurant.

They preserved the ambiance of the terminal but included beautiful upgrades that locals and visitors enjoy every night of the week. The only thing that took more time to renovate the building was developing the menu. Chef Bailey brings her global culinary training to the kitchen, while honoring classic Southern cuisine using local ingredients. Her menu went through several iterations before being presented to the public, and it features an array of creative yet familiar dishes.

For dinner, the foie gras and grits never disappoints, and for brunch diners rave about the biscuits and gravy. Be sure to get a reservation far in advance, as you may be on the waiting list for as long as 6 weeks! Chef Mashama’s hard work has paid off, as she recently won the coveted James Beard Award. If you are interested in learning more about her story, you can buy her book: Black, White, and The Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant.

You can find more at The Gray’s website.

Collins Quarter

Collins Quarter

Not all Savannah restaurants are focused on Southern charm and cuisine. Such is the case with Collins Quarter. The café/restaurant is named after the historic Collins café district in Melbourne, Australia. What makes Collins Quarter so unique is it operates as a café during the day and a fine dining restaurant by night.

The transition from brunch to dinner is much more involved than simply changing out the menu. During the day, visitors enjoy classic Aussie selections served in a casual environment. In preparation for nighttime, the restaurant transforms  into a candlelight, romantic dining experience with a contemporary menu.

No matter what time of day you visit, there are wonderful options on the menu. You’ll find satisfying dinner dishes such as braised short ribs, and classic brunch offerings like French toast. If you want to lean into the Australian roots, try the Leo’s Aussie brekkie or the salmon club sandwiches. Collins Quarter is a favorite among visitors, but also locals, because the menu is continually refreshed.

The coffee shop can stand as its own offering delicious to stay or to go coffee offerings. Start your morning with a Spiced Lavender Mocha, a classic latte, or hand crafted espresso. With offerings all day long, Collins Quarter can fit into your schedule any time of day. If you find yourself near Forsyth Park, you can also check out their second location located within the park itself.

Peruse the menu here to learn more about Collins Quarter.

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

If you haven’t done any research on Savannah, chances are you may walk right by Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Located off an unassuming, residential street, this local favorite, lunch-only restaurant is a historic gem in the city. If you are visiting in the future, there’s no sense in getting your heart set on something on the menu, as it changes all the time.

Mrs. Wilkes serves all meals family style at communal tables, which means that you may make new friends at your shared seating assignment. There are no reservations which means there is often a long line, but that doesn’t stop people from waiting over an hour for the opportunity to dine here.

Come hungry, as the menu is often filled with hearty, wholesome options like fried chicken and yam souffle. Mrs. Wilkes is a truly one of the best restaurants in the area where you’ll great food, great company, and exceptional service.

Menus and more information here.

Treylor Park

Most locals will tell you that no trip to Savannah is complete without a meal at Treylor Park. This great spot is easily one of the most popular restaurants in the city, and has been featured in national newspapers, on the Food Network, and more.

An absolute must-try is the Treylor Park nachos. Served on a lunch tray, waffle fries are stacked tall and topped with fried chicken, bacon, cheese, pickles, chive ranch, and balsamic gastrique. It’s more than enough food for two people and is an absolute staple of the menu.

No one ever claimed that Treylor Park has a particularly familiar cuisine, as their menu includes some eyebrow-raising options like PB&J wings, shrimp and grits tacos, and the chicken pancake. The good news is, every item on the menu is great, the bad news is, you’ll have trouble picking just one entrée. Between regulars, tourists, and the downtown location, the wait to get a table can be quite long. If you don’t have time to wait, head down the street to the restaurant’s second location: Double Wide. You can also try many of the menu items at their sister restaurant, Hitch, just a few blocks away.

Cotton & Rye

Cotton & Rye is a true hidden gem of the city. It’s not located in downtown Savannah, but in the city’s up-and-coming Starland district, just a couple of miles from the center of the city. The restaurant strikes the perfect balance between high-end and accessible. It has a modern industrial yet inviting feel, it is a perfect spot for a casual yet romantic dinner.

The bar has a wonderful selection of spirits, along with bartenders who can make pretty much anything you can dream of. They offer seasonal drinks as well as local spirits and beers. The menu includes Southern food staples like shrimp and grits, chicken wings, cornbread, collard greens, and fried green tomatoes.

You can also choose from lighter fare like salads and fish. A lot of the seafood is sourced locally. If you are dining with the group, the charcuterie board is an excellent choice. With hand-picked cheeses and meats smoked in-house, it’s the perfect introduction to your meal. As far as dessert, the peanut butter pie is definitely worth saving room for.

Leopold’s Ice Cream

Leopold's Ice Cream

Ice cream parlors don’t often make the list of top places to eat, but Leopold’s has more than earned a spot on the best-of-Savannah list. Since 1919, Leopold’s has been making award-winning, homemade ice cream.

The menu includes the staples such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, but also some unique flavors for the more adventurous palette. Coffee chocolate chip, honey almond & cream, lemon custard, rum raisin, and tutti frutti are just a few of the unique flavors available.

While Leopold’s may be using old recipes, they continue to innovate and regularly release new flavors. If ice cream isn’t your thing, consider trying their made-from-scratch soups, or a custom flavor from the fountain soda menu.

It’s a rare sighting when there’s not a line out the door at Leopold’s. The shop opens at 12pm and there are usually a few patrons already waiting to get in. Ice cream is also a favorite among celebrities. Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, and Anthony Hopkins have all visited the famous shop.

Savannah Seafood Shack

If you are looking for good old-fashioned Southern seafood, look no further than Savannah Seafood Shack. One of the most delicious hot spots in the area, the restaurant has been featured in countless publications including the Cooking Channel, the Travel Channel, and the Food Network.

Counter service ordering helps them stay efficient and offer their food at a price that’s accessible to everyone. They are so popular that they are currently seeking other locations around the country to the franchise.

The most popular dish on the menu is easily the Low Country Boil. While the dish is far from unique to Savannah Seafood Shack, the serving style is. Low Country Boil is generally served as a communal meal, often poured out on a large table.

Savannah Seafood Shack serves it in a single portion bag, with equal parts shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob. Aside from the Low Country Boil, you’ll find perfectly fried fish and delicious po-boy sandwiches. Check out the menu here.

Vic’s on the River

Vic's on the River

Savannah is known to be one of the most romantic weekend getaway spots in the state. If you are visiting for a romantic weekend, Vic’s on the River is easily one of the most beautiful and romantic places to eat in. Located in a historic cotton warehouse on the iconic River Street overlooking the water, you can’t ask for a better location.

The ambiance is classic but inviting, with high ceilings, large windows, and white tablecloths. A lot of restaurants claim fresh seafood, but Vic’s means fresh, and sources a lot of their product locally.

Enjoy your meal with a glass of wine from their large selection, and if you have room for a side, order the crab soup. After dinner, you can go for a walk down the river and check out many of the rooftop bars and shops in the area.

Lunch and Dinner menu for Vic’s on the River here.

Crystal Beer Parlor

Crystal Beer Parlor

The oldest restaurant and bar in Savannah, Crystal Beer Parlor has been serving the city for decades. While other old establishments do remodels to keep up with the times, Crystal Beer Parlor has maintained its historic look and preserved most of its interior structure and décor.

The dress code is casual, the people are friendly, and it is one of the favorite places to eat among locals. The menu is full of hearty options including burgers, shareable dips, and sandwiches. A good southern staple to try is the pimento pig sandwich. The full menu can be found here.

At the bar, you’ll find a great selection of beer, including a lot of local brews. A lot of the staff has been there for ages, so don’t hesitate to ask a question about the menu or the restaurant’s history! And if you ever journey to Augusta, you may enjoy these local breweries and taprooms as well!

Alligator Soul

Usually calling an establishment a hidden gem is a figure of speech, but Alligator Soul is literally a hidden gem of Savannah. It is located in the basement of an old grain warehouse off an unassuming side street. There are no big signs or A-frame ads, just a small sign hanging above the staircase entry.

Once inside, you’ll be impressed by the décor, especially the detailed brick archways. Alligator Soul features a creative seasonal menu and uses local and regional ingredients. But what the restaurant is really known for is its selection of exotic meats including antelope, kangaroo, and alligator.

If you are feeling adventurous and want to step out of your comfort zone for dinner, Alligator Soul is one of the best places to do it. More about the menu and experience here.

Eat Your Heart Out in Savannah

While Savannah may be home to some of the best food in the state, the city offers so much more than regional traditions. From ethnic food to experimental menus to world-class craft cocktails, you can find great places to eat with impressive food and even better people.

If you are interested in trying out some Savannah cuisine at home and learning a bit of history along the way, check out the Savannah Cookbook by David Lee Fowler.

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