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Courtesy of Hamilton Turner Inn

Best Restaurants in Savannah

Our favorite places to eat include some of this destination's best restaurants—from fine dining to simple fare.

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Southern comfort food. A Lowcountry boil. Seafood plucked daily from coastal waters. These are the staples on Savannah's restaurant tables, which is why a gourmet meal should be on your list of things to do during your trip. Whether you prefer the old favorites or exciting new classics being created in Savannah's premiere local restaurants, deciding where to dine out while on vacation is as simple as letting your taste buds pick for you.

Dine Near Your Hotel

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Many downtown restaurants are within walking distance of Savannah's most popular historic hotels and inns, so you won't have trouble finding where to eat. Fireplaces, antiques and artwork lend to the warm, homey ambience of The Olde Pink House , in an 18th-century mansion. Some say the ghost of the original owner even roams the premises. Southern-inspired cuisine and seafood specialties with regional ingredients come together with professional, personable service for a relaxed, fine-dining experience.

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A menu of Continental cuisine offers enough variety to tantalize even the most discriminating patron of 45 Bistro at the Marshall House , which was constructed in 1851 and was the first hotel in Savannah. The restaurant's upscale décor blends with the building's historic aesthetic, providing comfortable, relaxing surroundings in which to enjoy distinctive food preparations.

A Major Dining Destination

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The Lady & Sons owes its popularity as a travel hot spot with out-of-towners to charismatic owner, cookbook author and celebrity chef Paula Deen. Buffets of Southern home-style cooking—shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, fried chicken and chicken potpie, for example—await diners on two floors of the restaurant. Menu service also is available Mon.-Sat. The atmosphere is bustling and the service attentive. Reservations are recommended.

A Historic Eatery

The intriguing history of The Pirates' House is intertwined with the settlement and growth of Savannah. On the site of founder James E. Oglethorpe's experimental garden, the original tavern opened in 1753 and became a gathering place for sailors and pirates. Each of the 15 dining rooms is decorated in period. A menu centered on seafood and Southern cuisine includes she-crab soup, fried green tomatoes and honey pecan fried chicken.

Garibaldi's Cafe , a stylish restaurant with hand-painted murals, offers a varied menu of Italian and seafood dishes. Imaginative plate presentations complement the well-prepared cuisine.

Dine on the Riverfront

An 1850s cotton warehouse overlooking the river houses River House Seafood & Bakery , known for Lowcountry cuisine and a variety of breads and desserts made on the premises. Pecan-encrusted tilapia, shrimp and grits, and chocolate cheesecake are signature dishes that keep customers coming back for more. Original ceiling timbers and brick-and-mortar walls accent the restaurant's nautical theme.

Expect long lines during lunchtime at bustling B. Matthew's Eatery . Worth the wait are the restaurant's signature deli sandwiches—black-eyed pea cake, fried green tomatoes and a ham-blueberry-brie combination, to name a few—and an array of fresh breads, cookies and assorted treats from the bakery. Like many of Savannah's downtown eating establishments, this one is in a historic property.

Good eats and eateries ranging from casual to classic abound in neighborhoods just south of downtown, too. Elizabeth on 37th is an excellent choice for nouvelle Southern cuisine, the chef's health-conscious take on classic dishes and cooking methods. The décor of the elegant mansion evokes early Savannah.

At Sweet Potatoes Kitchen , its namesake vegetable, a Southern staple, finds its way into soup, salad and entrée menu selections. If you're not fond of sweet potatoes, try Jamaican jerk pork served with a black-eyed pea relish or a plate of peach-glazed barbecued chicken. Like its sister, this restaurant's décor is whimsical and colorful.

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Love's Seafood Restaurant , overlooking the scenic Ogeechee River southwest of Savannah, has been family owned and operated since 1949. As the name suggests, fresh seafood is the specialty here, and you can get it fried, broiled or grilled, or in soups and stews, as an appetizer, in a cocktail, or piled up on a giant platter. You can even pair your favorite seafood with steak. Rustic décor and optional patio seating add to the casual atmosphere. Love's was a filming location for the movie “Forrest Gump.”

See all the AAA Diamond designated restaurants for this destination.

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Savannah, GA

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Travel Information

City Population

136,286

Elevation

41 ft.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate for Savannah is 7%. The state of Georgia adds a $5 per night fee on all hotel-motel stays less than 31 days.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(912) 652-6500

Hospitals

Candler Hospital (912) 819-6000; Memorial Health (912) 350-8000; St. Joseph’s Hospital (912) 819-4100.

Visitor Information

301 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Savannah, GA 31402. Phone:(912)944-0455

Air Travel

Some major carriers serve the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), 15 miles from the historic district.

Rental Cars

Hertz, (800) 654-3080, is at the airport and offers discounts to AAA members.

Rail Service

The Amtrak train station, (800) 872-7245, is at 2611 Seaboard Coastline Dr.

Buses

Service is provided by Southeastern Stages, (912) 232-2135, and Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, at 610 W. Oglethorpe Ave.

Taxis

Cab companies include Yellow Cab of Savannah, (912) 224-3298 or (912) 236-1133 (base fare is $2 with a rate of $1.92 per mile), and Chatham Cab, (912) 691-4466 (base fare is $2.28 with a rate of 38c per 1/6 mile).

Public Transportation

Bus service is provided by Chatham Area Transit (CAT); phone (912) 233-5767 for information about routes and schedules.

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