Run by the famous TV cook Paula Deen, this is a must-see and do restaurant. Some people comment that it has become too commercial and has lost some if its appeal. I've been there 3 times and have enjoyed the buffet every time. Once we even ran into Paula Deen hanging around the front entrance and had our picture taken with her!
You can order off the menu or have the buffet- the best idea, since you can sample a variety of foods.
The reservation list starts to be filled up long before the restaurant opens. You can get there early (at 10 for lunch, or 3 for dinner) and get on the menu and then leave to sightsee until your reserved time is near. But if you just show up at 12:30 or 6:30 expecting to wait and then be seated you may disappointed. A lot depends on how heavy the tourist traffic is, as well. i was there once 2 days before Christmas and the wait was almost non-existent. But if you go during the summer or when another event is happening in town the line can be very long!
Favorite Dish: Paula's Southern Fried Chicken and Low Country Shrimp Boil
We went to the Pirate's House for brunch, so I cannot attest to how it measures up at dinner, but if brunch is any indication, probably quite well. This place is fun because it is old and full of history and ghost tales. While you are there, ask your waiter or waitress if anything eerie has happened to them in their time in the Pirate's House. Our waitress talked to us about chairs put up on the tables for the night mysteriously coming down and becoming rearranged. Hmmm? Sounds like a ghost to me. I would say the food is good. Some things are great. The fried chicken is phenomenal and can be eaten plain or dolled up with their pecan butter sauce. The cornbread was the most tender I have ever had and is delicious. The brunch featured a lot of lunch type options, such as fried chicken and greens that I find difficult eating in the morning so I tasted fewer things than at other restaurants in Savannah. After you eat, definitely wander around and read some of the historical placards that have been put up to let you know exactly why this place is a historical landmark. Don't be afraid to explore- even though the restaurant seems cramped and small, it is actually pretty large.
Favorite Dish: Fried chicken
We asked a local where to go one night. Wanted simple supper. We had to wait in line to get in!! That's how good their burgers, fries and everything else were. Nice folks, reasonable prices, good service...delicious food.
Green Truck Pub and Bell’s Brewery combine forces
If you read last month’s issue of Bon Appetit, you know that it is the new dawn of the neighborhood joint. The starched table cloths, gleaming bone china and leather-bound wine lists as thick as Vogue’s September Issue that were once prerequisites for restaurant greatness are no more. Nowadays the no-reservations pizza place or the seafood shack down the street from your house has just as good a chance at a feature in The New York Times.
One of the best places to watch the casual come-up, in my opinion, is Green Truck Pub, here in Savannah, Georgia. Their grass-fed burgers with locally grown toppings, fries that put all others to shame and rotating craft beer selections have become something of legend around these parts, including the sometimes 30+ minute wait to enjoy them.
Favorite Dish: burgers and fries.... like you've never had before
Lots of places in Savannah serve pizza, but none do it as well as Vinnie Van Go Go. Vinnie is located at 317 W Bryan Street, across Franklin Square. The smell of pizza will draw you in to this pizzeria as you walk around the City Market. The atmosphere is very casual. There's a small indoor dining area and counter, but most people prefer to sit outside, where they can people watch and relax. They offer slices, whole pizzas, all the toppings, plus white and pesto pizzas, calzones and spinach salad. Year after year, the New York style pizza at Vinnie Van Go Go’s is voted best in Savannah. When you have no table to sit, then you can as, many people do, order your pizza to go and just sit in the City Market somewhere and eat from the box. For example; Malone’s allow you to eat your pizza. They keep it simple and straightforward. That's what keeps locals and tourist piling into Vinnie's day after day.
MON-THU 4 pm-11:30 pm.
FRI 4 pm-1 am.
SAT 12 pm-1 am.
SUN 12 pm-11:30 pm.
Important note: It is a cash only place.
Here is another neighborhood restaurant that is something you discover almost by accident. Lots of little sparkling lights are the give away... but you won't find a big neon sign to alert you. We had a delicious dinner here. It is obviously not a secret with the locals. Very busy place...so much so that a few people sat outside on the sidewalk under umbrella tables in spite of it being a very rainy night! The waitress was having quite a time trying to get to them without getting drenched.
Our dinner, wine and desert were all wonderful...altho I'll leave the food descriptions to Deecat the master of restaurant reviews. :-)
When I visited Savannah this year we returned to the Firefly and brought my daughter in law to enjoy it. We all raved about our dinners and thoroughly enjoyed our evening.
Tubby's Tankhouse is located in Thunderbolt, which is right on the River and right outside Savannah. It’s an old house with inside and outside eating. This place has a great laidback atmosphere. They serve good grilled and broiled fish and shellfish. Thursday evening is the best evening to go. All the locals are gathering at Tubby’s to have a great night. You can sit in rocking chairs, and look out over the inter coastal waterway, while the sun is going down. You can have diner or you can just have a drink and listen to the music. Live-music! Inside there is a bar and a dance floor.
There is also a Tubby's Tankhouse at Riverstreet in Savannah. It is good, but it is nothing compare to this one in thunderbolt.
I can highly recommend the experience of the sunset celebration at Tubby's!
Favorite Dish: Everything with fish, it's there specialty!
At the city market, there are numerous cafes, places to get ice cream and a tapas bar. It's great because you can just sit outside, relax and enjoy the city. Savannah definitely isn't lacking when it comes to outdoor seating, I love that about the city.
Favorite Dish: Mmmm...coffee
The food, staff and beer are wonderful. I love this place. It's conveniently located, it's reasonably priced and it's just a good place to go. They have a good menu with a large variety of things from appetizers and salads to sandwiches and entrees. Also, they have a good selection of vegetarian items if that's an issue. Locals seem to come here after work for a drink and we didn't notice other tourists, so the atmosphere is perhaps more genuinely local than on River Street
Favorite Dish: I've had the crab melt and the shiitake asparagus salad. Both were excellent and like $6.00. I want to get back and try the entrees because they look wonderful too.
And of course, the beer!
**we returned here in 2006 and it's still a great place to eat. In fact, Bobby and I had both been here separately in the past and decided that we had to return. This time I got a turkey wrap and rice. Very good. We both had beer--Bobby and IPA and me an amber. But they do have a sweet potato beer right now which would be interesting to try.**
My son, Christopher enjoyed this restaurant. He had been to dinner on one of the nights before I arrived in town, so I didn't want him to have to repeat the visit. We tried to try something different each time we had lunch or dinner.
He was very clear about the vegetables being cooked exactly right.. everything fresh... and totally satisfying. He's a good food critic... being married to a wonderful cook.
I found notes I took on my meal here: angel hair pasta w/shrimp and sea scallops in spicy saffron sauce w/ mushrooms and olives. "Delicious"
The restaurant was in the downtown part of Savannah.
As I recall the service was excellent, and the waiters all seemed to have Italian accents.
Update: This is really strange but when I googled Il Pasticci in Savannah with the hopes of coming up with an address, what did I come up with but my own VT review!! LOL
Tried again later and actually found additional info, including this overview from Yahoo Travel:
"Chic and modern, the airy dining room is not exactly what you would expect to find in Savannah's genteel Historic District, but the restaurant has a loyal following. A competent menu of Italian goodies is available, including lighter fare harvested from the busy Italian marketplace next door. The pastas, however, are king at this establishment, and can be spiced up with poultry, beef or seafood selections—additions which also spice up the price tag. Stop by on Sunday mornings for the live jazz-infused brunch buffet.
Open Hours: 5 -11pm Sun-Thu; 4pm-12am Fri and Sat"
Heading out of Savannah and towards the beaches is the world famous Crab Shack. This resturant looks like something out of an old south movie, right on the water and almost in ruins. The food is wonderful and the service friendly. Definitely don't miss this one!
Please please please do not confuse with the chain Joe's Crab Shack
Favorite Dish: Crabs of course!
We'd heard abou this place from our guide book and made a point of dropping in for lunch in June 1997. We were promised traditional homestyle southern cooking and we weren't dissapointed. It's quite a funny place with a mixed crowd. When we got there we were seated around big dining tables so that everyone was split up to encourage us to get to know eachother. This was a really good idea and considering most of our table was made up of senior ladies my mate and I were quite spoilt. You do have to observe ettiquette here (no food fights) and we even had to say grace which I found most amusing and had to bite my lip to stop myself from laughing! The food was amazing and Mrs Wilkes was really nice. My mate bought a cookery book which she signed, which he probably gave to his mum.
I just check the website and found that Mrs Wilkes had passed away but the place is still open continuing the tradition.
Favorite Dish: Every thing was yummy from starters to pudding.
This bakery is right across the street from the long park that overlooks river street and the river. They have a large selection of pastas, sandwiches, and pastries. The sandwiches here are really good, and they have a large selection of meats, cheeses, and bread to create your own with. They are made with the freshest ingredients, just like a good local bakery should be. My mom and sister tried the greek pasta salad, however, and they did not like the cheese on it so much that they couldn't eat half of it. We didn't try desert, but they looked very good and freshly made.
Favorite Dish: A Savannah tradition that should not be looked over is the flavored tea. B Matthews has the best peach mango tea I have ever had, nobody that likes tea should come here without trying it. They add the flavor to already made tea, so you can have it sweet or unsweet. The sweet tea here is very sweet, even to my liking, so you may want to have them fill your cup with half sweet/half unsweet so it tastes just right.
Casual place w/ amazing food and outdoor patios that blow you away! the property used to house a nursury and the greenhouses are now for our dining pleasure! waterfalls and flowers galore! lots of fun and firelight/ candlelight too!
Favorite Dish: George Quattlebaum oversees the kitchen here and it is sending out some superb delights!
Sesame ginger tuna tarter on crispy wontons or the pistachio crusted salmon with key lime custard butter. also hand cut steaks and slow cooked prime rib. The grilled asparagus and blue crab salad or the jerked salmon with golden pineapple salsa on spring mixed lettuce are two lighter options I like!
Jennifer is the sweetest bartender on Wilmington and can shake a martini baby!
This originally was a boarding house with a dining room for boarders. At street level it appears to be an average residential address. But starting at 11:00 am the side door opens and you are seated at long tables fitting 10 people per table and you eat what's put in front of you- true boarding house style. The menu changes a little each day and according to the seasons, but everything is decidedly 'Old Southern' cooking. A very unique experience, to say the least.
Note: Only cash is accepted, no credit cards.