Savannah has always been known as the Southern Belle, with its beautiful colonial architecture, delicate Spanish moss lining the streets and its stories of ghosts of centuries past. But the Georgia city is also a paradise for foodies, with cuisine that ranges from Southern comfort to modern bites, all located right downtown.
Check out the 10 best restaurants in downtown Savannah that are worth the trip. Award-winning plates, fresh seafood and southern hospitality await you in the historic district.
When The Grey opened in 2015 inside an old Greyhound station, it wasn't long before the restaurant was showered with praise, including a James Beard award. Chef Mashama Bailey has created a stunning seasonal menu that mixes her French training with Southern influences. Don't miss the smothered quail, pasta with white anchovies (above) and the shishito peppers plate.
A historic gem, Elizabeth On 37th has been a part of Savannah's dining scene since 1981. The formal dining room still displays its architectural beauty and its menu offers fresh seafood, homegrown herbs and sweet fresh fruit pies. The seasonality of the menu is a perfect opportunity to try their tasting menu.
Originally called the Habersham House, the Olde Pink House has earned its national landmark status. The place was the host of many secret meetings in the 1770s while planning the independence from England. The building harbors many stories — and ghosts — and the restaurant is a gem.
The restaurant offers a wide range of Southern comfort food, including fresh seafood, chicken pot pie and the crispy half duck.
Cha Bella's unique concept is what makes it a must — the restaurant's menu is sourced by local farmers and fishermen that are driving distance from the restaurant. It's one of Savannah's first farm-to-table concepts and it shines when it comes to pairing seasonal ingredients.
Chef Michael Lacy excels at this vision with Cha Bella's homemade pasta entrees, homemade breads and wild-caught seafood. Be sure to check out their outdoor space if the weather allows. The ambiance is both relaxing and romantic.
Led by a husband and wife team, Noble Fare excels at merging different flavors in one plate. The vindaloo chicken with carrot pappardelle and the cauliflower puree accompanied by the pan-seared scallops are both comforting and delicious.
The intimate restaurant offers a cozy setting to enjoy a nice evening and the wine list has several options that will make the food sing. The service will keep you coming back, time and time again.
Located on Barnard Street, Alligator Soul was once a grain warehouse in the 19th century and it was renovated to its current iteration by the team, thanks to their background in movie sets.
The oysters a la soul are not to be missed — oysters in a half shell stuffed with bacon, crawfish and more. It's a delectable bite. The diver scallops (above) come with a surprising gator and pork chorizo.
Cotton & Rye offers a merge of modern influences — from New England, the South and Florida. The menu shows this fusion through its homemade sausage, freshly-baked breads, mustard and molasses BBQ lamb ribs and of course, award-winning crispy chicken wings (above). Chefs Zach Shultz and Brandon Whitestone also pick their vegetables seasonally and make delicious sides to accompany these entrees. Keep an eye out for their braised kale.
Cotton & Rye is a welcomed twist on many classics with new flavors.
Located right in the historic Savannah district, Husk Savannah has built strong bonds with local farmers, such as Lindera Farms. To inform its menu, Chef Chris Hathcock brings together his Savannah roots with a new perspective on what southern cuisine can be.
Some of the amazing dishes on past menus include the NC trout paired with black garlic, the pecan tortellini and the sweet peppers with pickled mustard seed side.
Pro-tip: The menu changes daily — both for lunch and dinner — so be sure to check out their site before going.
Cohen's Retreat has renovated a Savannah historic mansion to bring the community under its roof again. The restaurant's interior is bright and welcoming. Their brunch is its true strength with crowd favorite avocado toast on the menu, but don't miss the bacon jam Benedict and the southern tomato pie.
The perfect mix of sweet and salty will have you craving these dishes for months to come. The restaurant also offers lunch and dinner.
Right off E Victory Drive, Atlantic came into the Savannah dining scene with the mission to bring many global influences to their menu. Atlantic keeps it interesting with a thoughtful cocktail menu with new takes on favorites. The menu draws inspiration from everywhere — a Spanish paella, canned sardines, gazpacho and more.
As with many new restaurants, Atlantic caters to vegetarians, pescatarians, gluten and dairy free folks. The menu is easy to read with dietary markers and meals split into categories from snack aisle to full detail.
Savannah is more than ghost stories and bachelorette parties on River Street. The Southern city's dining scene has a lot to offer. Savannah's close proximity to the ocean gives it an upper hand when it comes to wild-caught seafood and fish, making it the perfect place to enjoy the fish of the day.
The city's award-winning chefs are reinventing the way we think about Southern heritage and food with Savannah's best restaurants.