The classic southern colonial city of Savannah, Georgia, is perhaps best known for its charm, haunted history and the founding site of the Girl Scouts of America. But, believe it or not, Savannah also has some amazing food.
I'm going to skip over the Paula Deen buffets in this post. I'm also not going to mention any of the food-centric tours of Savannah that you can book. Because, in reality, you can easily do your own food tour of Savannah – all without breaking the bank!
Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room – Forget breakfast and instead enjoy a lazy morning before heading over to West Jones Street to get in line for what is said to be one of Savannah's best dining experiences. Mrs. Wilkes is only open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday, but there's a reason people line up for this food. For $18 you can expect all the Southern staples – fried chicken, cornbread, okra gumbo, sweet potatoes, biscuits, and more. The food here is served up family-style, and strangers sit together around large 10-person tables. The familial setting and delicious food make this a not to miss experience.
Vinnie Van Go Go's – Don't want to wait in a long line or eat family style (or drop $18 on lunch)? Then head to Vinnie Van Go Go's pizza shop in City Market. Here you'll sit at a rusty little table and get served slices of New York-style pizza the size of your head. The pizza is GOOD, and only costs about $3 a slice. (Note though that they only accept cash here!)
Savannah Bee Company – It may sound strange for me to tell you to go to a shop that sells things like shampoo and hand lotion for a snack, but hear me out. Stop in to the Savannah Bee Company shop on West Broughton Street for a honey tasting. The experts behind the “honey bar” can tell you all about different types of honey (including the fact that the honey's flavor is based on the type of flower the honey bee pollenates), and there are about 10 different types that you can taste. Also munch on a piece of honeycomb and perhaps wash it down with some honey-mint green tea.
The Olde Pink House – If you're after a true Southern-style dinner (complete with amazingly friendly and helpful wait staff), head to the Olde Pink House at Reynolds Square. The restaurant is located in a beautiful old historical building, and has plenty of Southern classics on the menu. This place isn't cheap (and you'll also need a reservation), but the quality of food and the superb service makes it worth the splurge.
Leopold's ice cream – A famous staple in Savannah (and also often named as the best ice cream spot in Georgia), a cone of homemade ice cream at Leopold's is an absolute must. Try the tutti frutti (invented here), or maybe even the Thin Mints mix in honor of the locally founded Girl Scouts.
The Pirates' House – Looking to cap off your night with a drink? Head to the Pirates' House on Broad Street. This is the oldest restaurant in Savannah (having been in operation since 1753), and has some colorful history to go along with it. It is said that pirates used to “recruit” sailors here – by getting them drunk and sneaking them out to ships using secret tunnels. Part of Robert Louis Stevenson's “Treasure Island” is even said to take place here. Head to the bar and try a Savannah Tea. Even this non-drinker found it delicious.
Where is your favorite food spot in Savannah?
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Graduate student by day and avid traveler and blogger by night (and on weekends and during holidays), Amanda is just a small-town Ohio girl trying to balance a "normal" life with a desire to discover the world beyond her Midwest bubble. Amanda's adventurous nature and inability to say "no" have led her to some pretty amazing adventures all around the world. But she has no desire to stop exploring anytime soon. Read Amanda's blog, A Dangerous Business, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.
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