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With the self-proclaimed ‘coldest, cheapest beer in town’ The Warehouse is very much the locals bar. One big, dimly lit room, uneven floor boards, a single, unisex toilet, long wood tables, a pool table and the best damn shrimp in town, recommended not just by me but also by the locals who know. The steamed shrimp, cooked and served in the shells as they should be, come tossed in the ‘secret’ sauce which is a mix of old bay making for a spicy bite. Order them in a half or full pound, and tuck a piece of paper towel into your collar before you get going, things will get messy. There is of course plenty else on the menu from burgers and hot dogs to salads.
- Sample Pralines
I wasn’t entirely sure what a praline was before I arrived in Savannah. Then I heard they had nuts in them, my least favorite food, and I wasn’t planning to be impressed. However, being the adamant eater that I am, I graciously accepted the first warm sample offered to me over the glass separating myself from the candy counter at Savannahs Candy Kitchen and sunk my teeth into something so exquisitely, disgustingly delicious. Nothing but sugar and butter and the tiny crunch of candied pecans. I was sold. I soon discovered that there are multiple Candy Kitchen’s around the city as well as a few River Street Sweets and you could waltz into each one at any time of any day and grab a free sample, before going on to the next one. And lucky for you, should anyone figure out you’re doing it, the south is the type of place where this type of self-indulgent sugar intake is strongly encouraged. So, sample on my friend. Sample on.
- Sample Byrd’s Famous Cookies
‘Free samples’ is one of those phrases I’ll never tire of hearing. Especially when it involves a buffet. And that is exactly what you’ll find in Byrd’s Famous Cookies. Walk in to either of the two downtown locations and you’ll find a bar covered in jars of cookies for your sampling. Don’t leave without trying the Georgia Peach. It’s life altering.
Hipsters are in Savannah and the proof is at Gallery Espresso. Overpriced yet delicious coffee drinks. Mismatched yet purposeful seating. Scruffy students who don’t ever glance up from their computer screen. Discussions about bitcoin. Exposed wood. Gallery Espresso is a great place for a quick breakfast and coffee or an all-day café work session.
A great mix smack dab in the middle of the sliding scale between casual, stale beer stench bar and fancy, posh oyster and wine bar. Oysters change daily, check in for $1 oysters at happy hour(s). There is plenty else on the menu if you’re looking for something else.
Paula Dean comes home to roost at The Lady & Sons. Both a store full of products decked out in ‘y’all’s’ and a restaurant. If you’re in the restaurant, either order off the menu (there aren’t many choices) or head over to the buffet for an all you can eat $18. There’s fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, salad and plenty more. If you’re aiming for an early dinner, say, between 5-7PM, you’ll want to make a reservation. If you’re ok eating a bit later you should be fine with a walk-in. Any big Paula Deans fan will want to pay a visit to her home base, otherwise this one can take a miss, there are better options in town.
Looking for some activities between all the finger licking? Check out my guide of what to do while you’re in Savannah!
Everyone, and I mean everyone, will recommend you stop be Leopold’s. They are famous for their ice cream, of course, and also their milkshakes. But they do serve food and you can have a sit-down meal, though with the ice cream crowds coming and going it doesn’t seem like the most appealing place to have a dinner. If you walk by and there’s no line out the door and down the block, seize the opportunity, it’s a rare one. If the lines are perpetually daunting, save your ice cream indulgence for the airport, where there’s a small Leopold’s kiosk with the same ice cream but fewer flavor options.
Named after the Greyhound station that once called this building home, The Grey has repurposed the space into a high ceilinged, dimly lit restaurant where what was the waiting room is a bar and where as they say they ‘continue the building’s long tradition of transporting people to a destination, but that destination is now one of elevated hospitality and intrinsic satisfaction.’ The menu features a section each dedicated to pantry, water, dirt and pasture and offers small plates as well as larger mains. Something for everyone and a pleasant, comfortable yet unpretentious dining experience.
In case you can’t go a vacation without watching whatever sports game it is you watch, you’ll find it on here. Two floors plastered in TV screens showing just about everything will surely have what you’re looking for. There are plenty of beers on tap to choose from and a great bar food menu including wings and mac and chees egg rolls (get those!).
Out on Tybee Island which, in season, fills up with tourists, head over to the locals watering hole of Huc-A-Poos. The walls and ceiling are covered in license plates, dollar bills and scribblings. The tables are big, wood and meant to be shared. The bar is full of year rounders who come in on their lunch breaks and order a beer and a slice of pizza, just as you should. And do order just a slice before you commit to more. A slice is about a quarter of what you would call a normal pizza. A full pizza is enough for a party.