If I learned anything from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (full disclosure: I owned but did not read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, although I did catch about half of the film version starring Kevin Spacey-Jude Law Southern scorned-gay-lover-crime-thriller on a red-eye flight in 1998), it is that Southern guys are H-O-T. And crazy! That always sets the scene for a town that knows how to have a good time.
When considering your next trip abroad, remember the astronomical fees that will be added to your ticket as well as the endless flight crammed in the middle seat with bad wine. Then remember steamy, exotic Savannah, GA. Filled with gorgeous parks, grand homes and a colorful history that is sure to offend at least one person in the room (originally founded as a Protestant colony, home to the largest sale of human beings in American history – sorry Catholics, Jews, gays and people of color). It’s kinda like visiting a foreign country. The dirty past is far behind them, and Savannahians have been welcoming a collection of bawdy folks for centuries.
And did we mention that Savannah is one of those few magical places in America where you can legally roam the streets carrying your booze in a plastic cup? Bars actually have travel cup dispensers ready and waiting for you at the door. As if we need a list of reasons to visit after that fun fact…
Here is the NNN guide to Eating and Drinking in Savannah. Enjoy.
Leoci’s Trattoria Fresh pasta, fabulous outdoor dining & adorable wait staff. Add an exciting but small list of Italian wines and you have yourself a winner.
Cafe 37 Far away from the tourist shops, Cafe 37 is a local’s joint. This small, unpretentious spot offers shockingly good salads and sandwiches for a satisfying light lunch. Order the Garden Salad with Grilled Shrimp.
Cafe at Forsyth Park After all that ooo-ing and ahh-ing over the enchanting Forsyth Park, have a seat and a snack at the Park’s casual eatery.
Green Truck Pub After a long night taking advantage of the open container law, head to Green Truck Pub to lunch on their famous burgers.
Local 11ten Don’t be fooled by the pretty trappings of this chic restaurant on Forsyth Park. These folks have crafted a fabulous wine list that complements their smart, well executed dishes.
Vinnie Van Go Go’s Sometimes you just need a pie, and in Savannah, this is THE place for pizza.
Leopold’s Ice Cream This ice cream has been the stuff of legends and balm for screaming children since it opened in 1919. Yes, the lines are long, and yes, the ice cream is truly worth the wait. Classic vanilla, strawberry & chocolate are always a hit, but the seasonal flavors like the Chatham Artillery Punch Sorbet and Japanese Cherry Blossom might cause you to have a religious experience.
Crystal Beer Parlor Savannah’s second oldest restaurant offers a first rate selection of beers in a nostalgic pub with old timey Savannah photographs.
Gryphon Tea Room Owned by the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD), this sweet cafe is lined with old books and new finishes like vermillion lacquer bistro chairs and modern lighting. A great respite from the walking tours on Bull Street.
Perch The picturesque rooftop bar at restaurant Local 11ten sells the cocktails that the urbane boozer has come to demand from fancy drinking establishments as of late. Try their “local sweet tea”, made with vodka, St. Germain, Domain de Canton, and orange pekoe tea. Interesting wines by the glass and bottled beer available as well as a selection of small plates.
Abe’s on Lincoln Abe’s defines perfect local pub in this city of watering holes. Low ceilings, stiff drinks, and a crowd of new friends just waiting to be met.
The Paris Market Every inch of this lifestyle store is filled with things to covet. From the divine fragrance counter to the portraits by local artists and little glass boxes with small, authentic French daguerrotypes available to purchase, you will want to spend hours combing through the treasures. Before you begin, fuel up at their tiny coffee counter in the back. Order a lavender soda, perhaps a little cookie. Consider changing your profession to Bon Vivant.