My favorite part about visiting Savannah, GA was of course, the food. Savannah prides itself on having amazing southern cuisine, and they do not disappoint. There are local restaurants on every corner with shrimp and grits on every menu, but no dish is alike. I tried she-crab soup at several different restaurants and all of them were completely different.
My husband is not the foodie that I am but when it comes to good southern cuisine, he becomes as excited as I am to try as many restaurants as possible. Our trip to Savannah was largely influenced by food. We would be sitting at a café for breakfast and talk about where we wanted to eat lunch and dinner that day. Don’t judge.
Before I go any further, you probably already know if you have read any of my previous blogs, that my diet is gluten free, mostly dairy free, and grain free. However, when it is a special occasion, I will splurge sometimes. So some of the food I will be discussing will not adhere to my normal dietary restrictions.
The two places the locals are going to tell you to try are The Pirate’s House and The Olde Pink House. So guess what? We tried them both. The Pirate’s House is more of a casual dining experience with rich history. I won’t spoil the history and ghost stories that go along with the house that the restaurant resides. The locals can tell the stories much better. The ambiance in this restaurant is much like you would expect an actual old pirate ship to look like. So the dining experience in itself is a lot of fun and the food is delicious. It was so good, that we actually went twice to The Pirate’s House for lunch. They have the best she-crab soup I have ever tasted! They also have a buffet with assortments of southern foods. Now I will be the first to tell you, I do not like buffets. The food is usually low quality and disgusting. However, my husband does not share this opinion so he ordered the buffet one of the days we were dining there. Much to my surprise, the buffet food was actually really good. It was fresh tasting packed with lots of flavor. Everything I ordered on the menu was phenomenal as well, including the best salad I had in Savannah.
Now stay with me, because it going to keep getting better from here. The Olde Pink House is a must when visiting Savannah! The restaurant is an old mansion converted into a fine dining restaurant and it is spectacular. The house itself is absolutely breathtaking and the food is amazing. The menu is huge and has any type of southern dish you could ever want. If you don’t like most typical southern cuisine like me then not to worry, even their southern dishes have a modern spin that is simply delicious. I ordered the sweet potato ravioli because #ishouldhavebeenbornitalian with a side of collard greens. It sounds like a weird combination but I just cannot pass up collard greens if they are on a menu and I’m glad I didn’t because they were the best collard greens I have ever had! Like any southern girl, I have to eat my greens with a little vinegar. Well, they soak their vinegar in some type of peppers so it has just the right amount of spice and paired with the collard greens is fantastic. For dessert, we ordered a homemade pecan praline basket that was filled with vanilla ice cream, a mango reduction, whipped cream, and fresh berries. Wow, I may have drooled a little while writing that last sentence. I cannot put into words how amazing this dessert was. It had just the right amount of sweet and salty, oh goodness my mouth is watering again. I better stop talking about the dessert.
Savannah also has a large amount of healthy restaurants and markets as well. They even have a farmers market every week in Forsyth Park. The most adorable plant-based café we visited was called Fox and Fig. They have everything from toasts, salads, sandwiches, tacos, and my personal favorite, an espresso bar.
While on a morning walk one day, we went past the cutest little market called Brighter Day Natural Foods; it was heaven, pure food heaven. They had everything from local organic produce to every herb and spice you could dream of. It’s not just food; they also carry a large amount of all natural products like soap, face creams, deodorant. You name it, they have it. This cute little market is definitely worth taking a look.
Some of the other great lunch and dinner places we dined were Vic’s On The River for great low country cuisine and fresh seafood, Huey’s New Orleans Café where I tried my first bowl of gumbo – it was delicious. We also stopped at Treylor Park, which had the best shrimp tacos I’ve ever put into my mouth. Zunzi’s is a great casual lunch spot for an amazing sandwich but go on a pretty day because all they have is outdoor seating. The owner’s are a husband and wife team. He is South African and she is Italian, so the spices on the meat are outstanding and the bread is freshly baked. Another local favorite was Bella Napoli Bistro, which was authentic Italian food and you felt like you were dining in Italy. Don’t forget to try the lemon cello cake while dining at Bella Napoli….it was marvelous.
Two great breakfast places we tried were Mira Belle Café and Two Cracked Eggs. Mira Belle serves waffles in every way you can imagine and bonus, they have a coffee bar. Two Cracked Eggs has the biggest breakfast menu I have ever seen and they serve it all day. All of their food is served on cast iron skillets and there is no skimping on portion sizes. This was my husband’s favorite breakfast spot.
Savannah not only has great southern cuisine, but they have a lot of French influence in the restaurants as well. My favorite breakfast/lunch spot was right beside our hotel called Café M. The food is SO GOOD. They have pastries, macaroons, sandwiches, salads, and the best quiche I’ve ever had. I had a lot of “best food” on this trip if you couldn’t tell already. But seriously, you cannot stay in Savannah without going to Café M. They also serve some awesome coffee and tea. Plus, their coffee is from a local roasting company, so it is very fresh. And their pastries are to die for! I have been to Paris so I know what authentic French pastries taste like, and Café M serves them as good as the ones I had in Paris.
Our favorite part of the trip was the food tour we participated in called the Savannah Taste Experience. Now this blog is getting too long for me to talk about all the restaurants we visited in depth while on the tour, but I will list them at the end of the post. My absolute favorite place we dined while in Savannah was Cha Bella. We had the pleasure of talking with the owner and touring the restaurant while it was closed. The owner told us that they do not own any freezers because he goes every 2-3 days and buys all the ingredients from local farms or farmer’s markets so nothing is every frozen. He also buys whatever is in season so the menu changes constantly. Additionally, because everything is so fresh, the majority of the menu is gluten free. We liked the restaurant so much on the tour, we made reservations to dine at dinner. Upon ordering, we were served homemade biscuits with peach butter. The owner is part Sicilian, so any pasta on the menu is homemade. Naturally, I ordered the mushroom ravioli that came with a pesto sauce, roasted eggplant, and truffle oil. I don’t like eggplant, but even it was good. My husband got shrimp risotto and he said it was the best he had ever tasted. Of course we had to get dessert, which is made by an in-house pastry chef, and we chose the crème brulee. It was incredible. If I had to pick one place to go back to eat in Savannah, it would be hands down Cha Bella.
I’m not going to apologize for this being such a long blog, because if you go to Savannah and try any of these places, you will thank me. If you have any questions about the restaurants we visited, send me a message on my contact page!
Other restaurants we visited while on the Savannah Taste Experience:
- Smith Brother’s Butcher’s Shop
- Proof & Provisions
- East End Provisions
- Leopold’s Ice Cream