Allan and I had lots of fun at a landmark and tourist institution in Savannah called The Pirates'House.
It has been welcoming people to Savannah since 1753. It first opened as an inn for seafarers. "Here seamen drank their grog and discoursed, sailor fashion, on their exotic high seas adventures from Singapore to Bombay and from London to Port Said".
Today, The Pirates' House is a restaurant for visitors, locals, and is especially enjoyed by entire families. They have an extensive menu that appeals to almost everyone. I especially enjoyed the desserts! This restaurant is quite unique and spreads out in all directions. There are 15 separate dining rooms, and each one is different. There is a wide selection of wines, a Pirates' House Bar, and it is noted for its distinguished service.
Favorite Dish: The superb service was quite appreciated. I loved the lobster tail with an unusual butter sauce that was laced with citrus. I found the lobster to so tender it melted in my mouth.
Allan enjoyed the filet mignon that was sliced and served with roasted potatoes tossed with a blue cheese cream sauce. The flavors mixed nicely. Another time he tried the wonderful Peppered Rack of Lamb.
Of course I anticipated the much talked about desserts. It was difficult to make a decision, but I ordered the flourless hazelnut torte, and was I happy. I found that it was dense and fudge-like [ as it should be]. Allan had the Mocha Creme Brulee...if you love chocolate, you'll love it.
The combination of excellent service, friendly staff, and delicious cuisine made for an outstanding dining experience.
Here are some other suggestions for a variety of culinary experiences while visiting Savannah.
404 Abercorn Street
This place has been around since 1903 and used to be a drugstore with a lunch counter. It now serves everything from burgers to Caesar salads, and, of course, milk shakes and malts. We were told that breakfast is especially excellent. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Vinnie Van Go-Go's
110 West Julian Street
This place was voted "Best Pizza in Savannah" year after year, and I know why. Even though it's New York style pizza (not my favorite kind), I really enjoyed it. Try it with the excellent spinach salad. The building is set in a narrow wedge of a building in the City Market area. It's a low-ceilinged bohemian enclave.
This is an ice cream shoppe with authentic Italian gelato that is made fresh daily. There are 24 flavors, superior coffee, specialty drinks, wines, and fresh lemonade.
Favorite Dish: Wall's Barbecue
5151 East York Lane
This restaurant is located on a narrow alley in the middle of the historic district. It's like a shack, but it serves cheap deviled crabs, red rice, and smoked ribs with mustard sauce. (First time I ever had BBQ made with Mustard Sauce). Only a few tables so you might want to order "To Go"!
Old Pink House
23 Abercorn Street
This is a landmark restaurant that offers fresh seafood and expertly prepared meats as their house specialties. It's an historic building with nine dining rooms and a cozy, dark tavern downstairs.
Gryphon Tea Room
337 Bull Street
This used to be Solomon's drugstore, but it was recently refurbished by the Savannah College of Art and Design. It is now a charming but quirky tea room" which serves sandwiches, soups, and salads as well as hundreds of hot teas. The name comes from a carved mahogany gryphon clock in the restaurant...it's quite an ornate building too. Serves Breakfast and lunch only.
Savannah Candy Kitchen
This is a great place for handmade southern confections, cakes, and candies. You'll just think you are in heaven!
There are others, but these are some of my favorites.
Fiddlers Crab House has an upstairs balcony/patio that you can sit at and watch the HUGE barges and other types of boats go up and down the Savannah River..It also has some VERY good seafood..The fish sandwichs are HUGE and the baked oysters are out of this world..The inside ambiance is really nice also but we spent our time outside on the balcony. It's very casual but nice.
Favorite Dish: Baked oysters on the Halfshell..Very good because they use real bacon bits and then melt cheese over the top..Super yummy!
Mrs. Sema Wilkes who ran her Dining Room 59 years died in 2002, and the restaurant was closed for some months. Mrs. Wilkes and her Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room have been a Savannah legend for many years. Both locals and visitors loved her Southern charm and her delicious Southern style of cooking.
She won recognition and awards from Conde Nast Traveller and Southern Living Magazines, and she wrote and published two cookbooks.
Fortunately, her spirit lives on since her family reopened the restaurant.
The scene is still the same: at 11:00 am, a line snakes to the street from the basement entrance of this restaurant (a former boarding house). All the meals are served family style.
The sign of the restaurant stands beneath mossy oaks, but you won't miss it because of the lines of people waiting to get inside. The menu is seasonal and features a rotating group of traditional delights.
Grace is always said before you eat, and you clear your own dishes! A delightful experience.
Favorite Dish: The Southern fried chicken is delicious as are the snap beans, black-eyed peas, candied yams, buttery cornbread, and collard greens.
I could not live in Savannah because if I did, the temptation to go to Clary's everyday for breakfast would take me over. The food here is great and the ambience is that of the small town diner where you see the same people everyday (we saw a lot of locals here) and can just sit back and read the paper over some coffee and a giant eclair. That's right, I said a giant eclair. We did not have one, but the eclairs were the size of a nerf football. We did have a pecan bun, which though smaller, was still insanely big and full of taste. Everything we had at this place (we went twice for breakfast over three days- that says something) was delicious and hearty. Make sure to do it right when you go and get your breakfast order with a side of grits and a buttermilk biscuit (in most cases, it is included). This place does not seem to have lost its local charm, depite becoming a tourist site after its appearance in Midnight in the Garden of Good And Evil.
Favorite Dish: The pancakes were maybe the best I have ever had.
The grits and the buttermilk biscuits rocked.
If you are brave, try a pecan caramel bun and then go back another day for a slice of warmed up pecan pie.
Every tour guide book tells you not to miss this. And I agree! My last trip had me waiting in line for an hour to get into this place for lunch. Worth every minute I stood out there! They seat you at a large table with other customers (who you may or may not know). The food is served "family style"---dishes just passed around. There was so much food on this table! As my grandfather always used to say, "if you go hungry it's your own fault"!!! Everything was wonderful. I even enjoyed foods that I normally don't eat (such as tomatoes and sweet potatoes). This place is a good deal for the low cost. No need to eat again the rest of the day!
Favorite Dish: sweet potatoes
When we got into town, our taxi driver, our hotel check-in lady and a host of others told us that we had to make at least one trip to the famed Savannah restaurant, The Lady and Sons. Of course, we already knew we needed to go to The Lady and Sons, having watched one too many episodes of Paula Deen's show on the Food Network while we should have been dieting. The restaurant is huge, taking up an entire block. Even with it's size though- three floors of southern cooking goodness, it cannot always accomodate the crowds of people that rush in for the unbeatable fried chicken and cheese biscuits. We were lucky and got a table, but for the rest of our trip I overheard other tourists talking about not being able to get in. If you can get in, this is authentic Southern cooking- it is bad for you and it is tasty. Do the buffet so you can try a bit of everything and be prepared for singing waiters to serenade you as you stuff your face. My boyfriend lost his mind over the fried chicken, displaying demonic qualities I never want to see again. I think trying to go on a week day/night might be your best bet for getting in, although we went in the off season and I am sure it becomes much more difficult during tourist season (March-October/ November)
Favorite Dish: The fried chicken is not to be missed
The cheese biscuits
The mashed potatoes
i was too sick to eat by the time dessert came out, but i am sure that was good too.
I ate breakfast here... a lot.
They have a huge menu (breakfast and lunch) and everything is made fresh.
Eat in or take out.
Depending on what you order, it can be pricey.
Favorite Dish: The breakfast burrito or croissant, both with egg, bacon, and cheese (burrito comes with salsa).
They're bacon is excellent! Very crispy.
The banana nut muffin is tasty!
Clary's is one of those cafes you have to discover when you least expect it. In operation since 1903, the interior has an old soda fountain... the tables spill out to the sidewalk to enjoy the air. Terrific because the menu is so extensive... a zillion versions of breakfast.... and reasonably priced as well. Very handy to us because it was at the end of the block.
Fresh baked desserts, fresh salads, basket lunches, fresh baked croissants....and Clary's Down Home Cookin'.
It's a nice spot to stop if even for a cold drink and snack and an afternoon "sit" outside at a sidewalk table.
Had to re-visit this neighborhood haunt when I returned to Savannah. We had one of those breakfasts that stay with you til dinner. It was great.
Voted best pub food in Savannah.... this little spot is typically British. They have captured every detail right down to the English phone booth on the sidewalk. I was sorry we didn't get a chance to stop in for a drink or supper. I would return to this one if I had another opportunity.
This build used to be an old sugar and cotton warehouse built prior to 1790. This is the oldest masonry building in the State of Georgia. Located in the Historic district in Savannah.
Sunday - Thursday: 5:30 P.M. - 10:00 P.M
Friday - Saturday: 5:30 P.M. - 11:00 P.M.
The Chart House Restaurant chain opened it's first doors in 1961 and is known for great food and a casual, relaxed atmosphere, now has 25 locations all over the east and west coast.
The Gryphon was a great stop for lunch and a good cup of tea. I ordered one of their fresh and scrumptious salads.. the service was excellent... and I had a very pleasant window seat. The building was a pharmacy originally. There are all sorts of reminders of that inside. The black and white tile floor, stained glass pharmacy symbols, dark wood pannelling and the old soda fountain are just a few of the details that remain from its former life. Highly recommend the combination of a tour at Sorrel-Weed House, stop in at the art school's store, and then have lunch at the Gryphon. Maybe a short sit in the park is in order as well.
In the same block as the Gryphon you will see a lovely piece of architecture which houses the Masonic Scottish Rites Temple. This is also a fairly prominent organization throughout this Savannah district.
Cute little cafe' near the river front, the food was rather expensive but the food was good and so was the service. People were very friendly. We both had the Waffle with strawberries, perfect! The coffee was really good and they gave us a togo at no extra charge. This use to be an old basement and they turned it into this little cafe'.
Belford's is located in a beautiful old brick building in the heart of Savannah's National Landmark Historic District. With its arched windows, soaring ceilings and exposed brick walls, they transports diners back to a more romantic period of the city’s history. Inside the walls carry framed photographs of the area as it appeared during the hey-day of Belford's Wholesale Foods, many of which were provided by the Belford family.
Tables are set simply with black and white linens. The restaurant has a patio for outdoor dining.
Belford’s was also a favorite by Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. During their relationship, the couple caused quite a stir by dropping in at Belford’s, and then pronouncing the shrimp, greens and grits suitable celebrity fare.
The staff was very friendly. We had a great lunch that day. It was also nice to sit outside and watch the people and listening to the live music of City Market.
Next time, when we are in Savannah, we’ll definitely go to Belford’s!
Breakfast 8-11 am Mon-Sat; lunch 11:30 am - 3 pm daily; dinner 5:30-11 pm daily; happy hour 4-7 pm Thurs-Fri
At bar only and outside
Available on the street
Favorite Dish: I had the Beer Battered Grouper Sandwich,
Parmesan beer battered filet of grouper served on an oven-fresh rustic loaf with crisp lettuce, sliced tomato and our homemade tartar sauce. (price $9,95)
My friend had the Belford's Award Winning Crab Cakes, Pan-seared premium jumbo lump crab cakes with lemon aioli and spicy tomato jam. Served with Savannah red rice and sautéed vegetables.
Winner - “Best Menu Item” - at the 2001 "Taste of Savannah" as judged by Southern Living Magazine.
This is a delightful and delicious little place. It is such an authentic deli I thought some New Yorker must have been transplanted to Savannah. I learned from the Oklahoma Sooners football memorabilia that the owner is actually from my home state of Oklahoma. None the less, the food is wonderful and in good weather the sidewalk tables make for a wonderful place for lunch.
Favorite Dish: All the sandwiches and soups our group of 4 had were wonderful. We especially liked the "Natural Sandwich" with sprouts, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, walnuts and cream cheese on wheat bread. The cole slaw and espresso were both excellent which gives it a good rank in my book. You can have them construct your sandwich to order - 3 different breads and a host of fillings. I give it two thumbs up.