The 16 Best Restaurants And Bars In Savannah

Compared to some other Southern cities, Savannah has historically been glossed over in favor of larger metropolises — and established dining hubs — like Charleston, Atlanta, and New Orleans. But this timeworn Georgia city has been on quite the cultural ascent of late, and its food scene has a lot to do with that renaissance. Nestled on the northeastern corner of the state, a few miles from the coast and amidst fertile terrain that lends itself to fresh ingredients year-round, Savannah is not only uniquely positioned for bountiful dining, but its chefs and restaurants know how to maximize it.

As evidenced by the fact that Savannah chef Mashama Bailey won the 2022 James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef, this is a city commanding the spotlight. Coupled with dining destinations new and old, from historic soul food institutions in colonial mansions to sleek new hotel restaurants putting spins on seasoned Southern staples, the city's distinct culinary landscape is just as stunning as its famed architecture and Spanish moss-lined roads. Here are the best restaurants and bars in Savannah.

The Grey

Long lauded as one of the foremost contemporary Southern restaurants in Savannah, impactful enough on a national scale to beget a top-tier James Beard Award for its chef, The Grey merits its top-billing position as a must-do restaurant not only in Savannah, but for any foodie near and far. The restaurant, housed in an Art Deco Greyhound Bus Terminal on the edge of downtown's historic district, is the handiwork of chef Mashama Bailey, a powerhouse lending her talents and vision to a city whose food scene is rapidly on the rise.

The restaurant offers a more casual oyster and cocktail bar in the front, followed by a soaring and lofty dining room in the rear of the vintage building. It's here where Bailey's seasonally driven artistry gets its grand stage, showcased on dinner and brunch menus that combine unexpected ingredient pairings and modern riffs on Lowcountry staples. This includes lamb heart with tahini and carrots, oxtail pot roast with sunchokes, black bass in bouillabaisse broth with ruby red shrimp, and sweet potatoes with coconut milk and Swiss chard. The accompanying wine list is refined and curated, while cocktails offer both newfangled and vintage renditions — go old-school with the Chancellor, a Scotch tipple with port, vermouth, and bitters.


If there's ever been a chef helping to forge a path forward and upward for Savannah's culinary community, all while honoring and harkening to the city's soulful roots, it's Rob Newton. The author of "Seeking the South," he's also the driving force behind Fleeting, a stunning new restaurant in the Thompson Savannah hotel that, in spite of its youth, feels like an instant classic. Located on the ground floor of the mod hotel in the city's burgeoning Eastern Wharf, Newton commands an ever-changing, dynamic menu that maximizes local produce, fish, and seafood (the Savannah River is literally right outside the front door), all served up in sleek confines by an expert team of consummate hospitality professionals.

Before dinner, stop for a sophisticated cocktail at Bar by Fleeting in the hotel lobby, then settle in for some serious wow factor at dinner. Hyper seasonal and locally sourced, the menu updates often, but elegant and intricate interpretations of coastal Georgia cuisine is rest assured. Start with a Georgia pork and cheese plate, or the country captain spring rolls, a riff on a curried chicken dish originated by sea captains, made with roasted rice powder, almond, vadouvan, and coconut. Larger plates include wood-grilled strip steak, pan-roasted market fish, and spiced duck breast, while sides offer the likes of a hefty shaved collard salad with cured egg yolk and anchovy dressing. Fleeting also offers breakfast, and the cocktail list devotes a section to impressive spirit-free libations.

Big Bon Bodega

There's nothing small about the flavors and food at Big Bon Bodega, a cool garage-like space in a residential part of town that attracts consistent lines for wood-fired bagels and pizza. It all started with big dreams, as a humble pizza truck put down brick-and-mortar roots in 2019 as a bagel-centric bodega, slinging toothsome and chewy flavors like poppy, cinnamon-raisin, and Herbes de Provence, all of which are used for sandwiches that go far and beyond the call of breakfast duty.

Hulking bagel sandwiches come in flavors like The Green Gosh, with chicken breast, prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, tomato, and green goddess dressing; the PBJ, with peanut butter and raspberry jam; and the Bon Mi, with roasted pork, spicy mayo, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, cilantro, and jalapeños. Also be on the lookout for specials, like meatloaf bagel sandwiches, and wood-fired pizza on select evenings. It's all best enjoyed on Big Bon's aptly huge outdoor patio.

Brochu's Family Tradition

A buzzy new entry on the Savannah food scene comes courtesy of one of the most acclaimed chefs in Chicago, as Andrew Brochu decamped Alinea Group to move South and open his dream project. The result is Brochu's Family Tradition, a rustic-chic newcomer in the Starland District that focuses on regional comfort foods like roasted oysters, fried chicken, shrimp, and banana pudding — albeit each and every item comes with a unique twist.

At once casual and elevated, offerings include a whole section devoted to oysters (raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, and casino-style with bacon and green pepper), plus chicken sandwiches, fried chicken, dirty rice with grilled chicken and egg yolk, and a familial chicken dinner that comes with thighs, charred breast, chicken salad, biscuits, and pickles. Other options include barbecue swordfish, cheeseburgers, cheddar rillettes, crab dip, honey pie, and banana pudding with bourbon bananas, while drinks include a few beers, bourbons, esoteric wines, and "boat drinks," a.k.a. tropical cocktails made with the likes of coconut gin, pineapple rum, and citrus cordials.

Bar Julian

Rising like a beacon, perched on the 13th-floor rooftop of the stunning new Thompson Savannah hotel in the Eastern Wharf, Bar Julian boasts the distinction of being the tallest rooftop bar in town, soaring over this Southern city with unparalleled views of the river, the historic district, and lustrous sunsets. Indoors, though, the atmosphere is just as striking. Open all day long, Bar Julian radiates an ethereal Mediterranean quality, aglow in hues of white and seaside blues, while the vibe shifts to moody romance and metropolitan funk after the sun sinks behind the horizon — especially on Tuesday nights when acoustic musicians perform for Bar Julian After Dark.

No matter the day, the night, or the seat, the cocktails and food are sure to match the view. In addition to happy hour specials, offerings include herbaceous libations like Sages & Elders, with hibiscus gin, violette, bergamot, elderflower, and sage, as well as farm-to-glass sips like the Fire Sign, with mezcal, red pepper, lemon, and cocoa. Don't overlook the spirit-free options, either, exhibiting impressive balance with the likes of zero-proof gin, prickly pear, lime, and soda. To eat, the menu serves a miscellany of bright Mediterranean snacks, like crispy paprika-dusted cauliflower, mezze platters, and kafta flatbreads with beef and lamb meatballs, muhamarra, and harissa.

The Olde Pink House

Despite the exciting surge of splashy new restaurants and swanky rooftop bars, Savannah will always be a city that honors its roots. The type of city that doesn't shun old-school institutions in favor of the hot new thing, that sentiment is made abundantly clear by the eternal popularity and omnipresent crowds at The Olde Pink House, a soul food fixture that's been open since 1971.

True to its name, the institution is an easy-to-spot pastel-pink building in a historic colonial mansion, where diners come from far and wide to feast on Lowcountry Southern suppers. At once timeworn and inventive, the menu bridges the gap between the old and the new, outfitting fried green tomatoes with sweet corn cream, stuffing spring rolls with shrimp, crab, and sausage, and rolling "Southern Sushi" in coconut-crusted nori. Entree options are numerous, from the iconic fried chicken and the deep-dish chicken pot pie to fried pork chops, pecan-crusted chicken, and ravioli stuffed with caramelized Vidalia onions and sweet potato.

Alley Cat Lounge

A quasi-speakeasy nestled down a nondescript alley in the heart of the downtown historic district, Alley Cat Lounge lurks as one of the most inventive and clever cocktail bars not only in Savannah, but throughout the greater South. Sure, the signage out front makes this a little more transparent than most speakeasies, but it scratches that itch with its alley locale and the stairs that descend into an ambient basement lined with cavernous booths and custom-printed newspapers that double as immersive cocktail menus.

The drink lineup here is truly staggering. Far beyond a typical cocktail menu, Alley Cat Lounge goes to great lengths to write, illustrate, and print its own newspapers filled with historical details and notes on ingredients and inspiration. At any given time, said menu could contain upwards of 50 options, each one as nuanced as the next. Recent examples include the French Groundwork, with rum, lime, passion fruit, vanilla, absinthe, and bitters; the Easy Target, with vodka, cocoa oil, mango sake, and lemon; and the fragrant Cigarettes and Jazz, with cognac, sweet vermouth, smoked sunchoke, fennel, mole, and Scotch.

Baobab Lounge

Outfitted with numerous themed restaurants, lounges, cafes, and rooftop bars, the sprawling JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District is like the EPCOT of dining and drinking destinations in town, and chief among those must-visit watering holes is the singular Baobab Lounge. A love letter to the Mother Continent, this pan-African bar and lounge serves inspired snacks and sips in a transportive den lined with funky faux taxidermy, crocodiles dangling from the ceiling, and ostriches strutting alongside African art.

The signature drinks are among the most unique in Savannah, from Tamarind Martinis and rum punch spiked with baobab syrup to Nyati, made with bourbon, ginger liqueur, pineapple and lemon juices, sumac syrup, and both sassafras and sorghum. In addition to some South African wines, the menu also offers small plates like biltong, a type of South African dried meat, along with chicken skewers, beet hummus, malva pudding, and plantain tostadas topped with basil yogurt and spicy ground lamb.

Stevedore Bakery

With an atmosphere that feels almost Scandinavian in its airy ambiance, sleek simplicity, and rigorous attention to detail, sourcing, and artisan grains, Stevedore Bakery is the kind of modern, scratch-made bakeshop that proves quality will always trump quantity. Sporting a curated array of wholesome breads and pastries, both sweet and savory, the polished Eastern Wharf cafe is a breath of fresh coffee-scented air, courtesy of dexterous pasty chef Noah Writenour.

Adhering to regional terroir and ingredients, the bakery offers masterful interpretations of all the bakery requisites (e.g. butter croissants, chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls), along with Southern spins like pecan croissants, benne seed profiteroles, biscuit sandwiches, and sweet potato-maple pound cake. Be sure to stock up on some of the best bread in town, available in loaves like benne seed sourdough and Calabrian chile focaccia, while other savories include chicken salad sandwiches, Croque Monsieurs, and pasta salad strewn with tomatoes, olives, feta, and Greek dressing.

Six Pence Pub

Housed in a venerable corner location in the historic district, in a longstanding pub space originally operated by a London transplant, Six Pence Pub keeps the real-deal British vibes alive with flavors, beer, and ambiance that instantly transports guests from the streets of Savannah to a charming pub in the U.K. Steps from the iconic Savannah Theater, Six Pence Pub emerged in its current form in 1999, complete with British flags and a classic phone booth outside, and all manner of British Monarchy ephemera inside.

The Queen Elizabeth memorabilia isn't the only element that sings of British escapism, though. The pub is authentically cozy and rustic, outfitted with polished wood and lots of homey nooks and crannies to sit. Then there's the lengthy central bar, a comfy place to perch and sample English and Irish ales and ciders (remember that drinks can be taken to-go in this part of town, as the historic district has an open-container policy). The food is the most authentic part, from Scotch eggs and Welsh rarebit to shepherd's pie, bangers and mash, and beef Guinness stew served in bread bowls.

The Collins Quarter

A duo of sunny and hip Austrian-style cafes, with locations downtown and in historic Forsythe Park, The Collins Quarter hustles and bustles for both brunch and dinner, each outpost offering sun-soaked patios and ample opportunity for al fresco imbibing.

For brunch, familiar American fare like avocado toast and eggs benedict share menu space with smashed pea toast, coconut chia pudding, and Moroccan scrambles with ground lamb and garbanzo beans, while dinner features beef tartare tostadas, shrimp skewers, steak frites, and chorizo and cauliflower fundido. Both locations offer coffee and tea, along with full-blown cocktail programs, wine, and beer. While dinner is only offered at the downtown outpost, Forsythe Park has a to-go window for coffee, teas, lattes, and pastries, as well as a dedicated menu section for mimosas.

Starland Yard

With a look and feel more akin to Austin or Portland, Starland Yard is a fun and hip food truck park in the Starland District, offering a rotating roster of internationally inspired vendors, along with a Neapolitan pizzeria, a bar, and recurring live music and events. Vittoria Pizzeria is the only consistent food concept, courtesy of chef Kyle Jacovino, adjoined by a dynamic lineup of trucks slinging everything from cookies and burgers to grilled cheese, Italian ice, tacos, and Japanese rice bowls.

An outdoor drinking mecca, the resident Yard Bar boasts a deep selection of cocktails and beer, including a huge assortment of draft beers from Georgia breweries. Cocktails exceed food truck expectations with the likes of the March to the Sea, made with gin, mezcal, lemon, and carrot-ginger shrub, while seasonal hot cocktails offer winter warmers like the No Glitter, Please, with pumpkin cordial, allspice dram, spices, and coffee.

Service Brewing Co.

The craft beer boom shows no signs of abating, as evidenced by the constant crowds circulating around Service Brewing Co., a veteran-owned brewery down by the Savannah River. Owned by husband and wife team Kevin Ryan and Meredith Sutton, the palpable passion project exudes a love for the craft, with enough loyal regulars and families to curate a warm, welcoming atmosphere for all.

Among the most beloved breweries in town, Service Brewing Co. features popular year-round staples like its Compass Rose IPA and Rally Point Bohemian Style Pilsner, along with eccentric seasonal offerings, like Savannah Banana Beer and Lincoln's Gift Oyster Stout. Then there are Research and Development Batches, which are inspired by local chefs and farms. Both kid- and dog-friendly, the brewery also hosts recurring events like trivia nights, live bluegrass music, and Savannah Power Yoga.

The Georgia Tasting Room

With Savannah's downtown historic district having open container laws that allow guests to take alcoholic drinks to-go and drink as they mosey, one of the best — and most unique — pit stops is The Georgia Tasting Room. This pint-sized bar may look frills-free and basic, more like a takeaway bottle shop than your standard bar, it's loaded with distinct drinks you won't find anywhere else in town, including a portfolio of impressive Georgia wines (which can be purchased by the cup or bottle), and a beer lineup that is entirely comprised of Georgia breweries.

The star attraction, though, is the wine smoothies. Not quite as health-centric as the name implies, these icy tipples are more like extra-boozy wine slushies, blending together Georgia wines in huge cups with add-ons like fruits, syrups, and spirits. A highlight is the Peach Sangria, a sunny blend of Southern peach with fruity sangria, as well as the Shenanigan Shake, with mango, piña colada, and key lime. Not boozy enough? The bar also serves frozen moonshine smoothies.

Water Witch

Considering its proximity to the ocean, it's no wonder that Savannah is home to one of the best tropical tiki bars in the country. Located in the Starland District, Water Witch is cozy and cavernous watering hole decorated like a shrine to tiki lore, bedecked in various island-inspired knickknacks, floral wallpaper, and kitschy mugs shaped like skulls and sharks.

So named for a ship — the USS Water Witch — that burned and sank off the Savannah coast during the Civil War, the bar shakes and stirs a dazzling selection of potent and funky potables. Original house cocktails include Witch's Topaz, with rum, banana liqueur, creme de cacao, lime, and coconut, and the Tiki Negroni, a tropical riff on tradition that uses coconut fat-washed gin, vermouth, pineapple Campari, and tiki bitters. There are also plenty of classics (e.g. Daiquiris, Painkillers), non-alcoholic variations, frozen drinks, and fun shots.

A-J's Dockside Restaurant

One of the great assets of Savannah is its close proximity to the coast and all the seafood and fish that comes with it. On nearby Tybee Island, residents and visitors have easy access to the beach, along with an endless array of beachside restaurants, dining docks, and open-air bars. Then there's A-J's Dockside Restaurant, a haven of seafood and super-sized cocktails in a league all its own.

Located on the island's interior side on a dock on the Back River, the restaurant and bar is a kitschy wonderland of seafaring memorabilia and eccentric comfort food. It's all best enjoyed on its namesake dock, where diners can feast and slurp under a canopy of colorful umbrellas as fishing boats dawdle by. The menu runs the gamut from boiled shrimp and conch fritters to po'boys, gumbo, fried oysters, and key lime pie, while the bar provides dozens of bottled beers and fruity margaritas in jumbo glasses.