Best of Savannah 2018: Eats

Photo by Beau Kester

From thousands of reader surveys comes our inimitable Best of Everything list. Categories run from appetizers to desserts, bike shops to barbershops. Here, the year’s best food, including fine dining, outdoor dining, coffee house, brunch and more. 

Breakfast sandwich

Back in the Day Bakery | 2403 Bull St.
What they’re all about: Flaky biscuit perfection with mouthwatering add-ons 
Insider pick: Biscuit special
Runner-up: Clary’s Café 

Biscuits and gravy

Clary’s Café | 404 Abercorn St.
What they’re all about: Fluffy, gravy-soaked goodness
Insider pick: The Victorian, the café’s signature take on a classic
Runner-up: J. Christopher’s

Shrimp and grits

The Public Kitchen and Bar | 1 W. Liberty St.
What they’re all about: A comfy classic, spiced up here with peas and chorizo
Insider tip: Pair with a crisp chardonnay
Runner-up: The Olde Pink House

Fried chicken

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room | 107 W. Jones St.
What they’re all about: A presidentially approved yardbird, served family-style
Insider tip: Worth the wait in line — we swear
Runner-up: The Olde Pink House

Green Truck’s award-winning burger and fries. Photo by Beau Kester

Burger, Fries: Green Truck Neighborhood Pub

It’s all about great people!I’ve always made it my goal to find enthusiastic, passionate people to work with us. That applies not only to our hardworking staff, but it’s something we look for in our suppliers as well, like the family behind Hunter Cattle Company that supplies our grass-fed beef or our local brewers putting out so many great craft beers nowadays.

            — Joshua Yates, Green Truck Pub

Runner-up, Burger: B&D Burgers Runner-up, Fries: Circa 1875

Pizza

Vinnie Van Go-Go’s | 317 W. Bryan St.
What they’re all about: New York-style perfection and a wait staff lately famous for its toughness
Insider tip: For instant gratification, get a cold slice to go 
Runner-up: Screamin’ Mimis

Salad

Starland Café | 11 E. 41st St.
What they’re all about: Local greens tossed with inventive (and addictive) ingredients
Insider pick: Kitchen Sink (asparagus, dates, golden raisins, artichokes, apple, grapes, crunchy rice noodles, tomatoes and onion
Runner-up: Butterhead Greens Café 

Soup

Soho South Café | 12 W. Liberty St.
What they’re all about: Savannah’s favorite tomato basil bisque, made the same way for over 20 years 
Insider tip: Fancy up the classic Soho soup/sandwich combo — top that grilled cheese with fried green tomatoes
Runner-up: Kayak Kafé

Seafood

Sorry Charlie’s Oyster Bar | ? 116 W. Congress St.
What they’re all about: Heaven on a half shell in the heart of Congress Street
Insider tip: $1 house oysters on Tuesdays
Runner-up: Flying Fish Bar & Grill

Sushi

The Vault Kitchen and Market | 2112 Bull St.
What they’re all about: Innovative bites served in a stylishly renovated bank
Insider pick: Salmon nigiri or sashimi
Runner-up: Ta Ca

Tacos

Bull Street Taco | 1608 Bull St.
What they’re all about: Street-style eats for every palate
Insider tip: Win the office lunch game: order The Taco Box
Runner-up: Tequila’s Town

Fresh/organic grocery store

Brighter Day Natural Foods | 1102 Bull St.
What they’re all about: Kindhearted, knowledgeable service from a family-owned business
Insider tip: Sip ‘n’ shop with a pressed juice from the deli
Runner-up: Whole Foods Market

Produce market

Forsyth Farmer’s Market | Forsyth Park
What they’re all about: A bustling Saturday morning tradition
Insider pick: Watermelon juice
Runner-up: Davis Produce

Seafood market

Russo’s Seafood Market | 209 E. 40th St.
What they’re all about: Conveniently located, family-owned freshness
Insider pick: Georgia white shrimp
Runner-up:Jackie’s Seafood Market

Specialty/gourmet foods store

Smith Brothers Butcher Shop |  535 E. Liberty St.
What they’re all about: One-stop shop for gorgeously curated cuts and entertainment essentials
Insider pick: Cash Cow Sprinkles by Libbie Summers
Runner-up: Brighter Day Natural Foods

Appetizers

Husk Savannah | 12 W. Oglethorpe Ave.
What they’re all about: Chef Sean Brock’s world- famous Southern fare gets a Savannah twist 
Insider pick: Pimento cheese, benne wafers, cured beef and pickles
Runner-up: The Shrimp Factory

Breakfast 

Clary’s Café | 404 Abercorn St.
What they’re all about: A landmark with a history as delicious as its diner-style menu options
Insider pick: Freshly made corned beef hash
Runner-up: J. Christopher’s

Brunch

The Collins Quarter | 151 Bull St.
What they’re all about: Aussie-style all-day café vibes
Insider pick: Avocado smash (add shrimp!)
Runner-up: The Funky Brunch Café

Business lunch

Soho South Café | 12 W. Liberty St.
What they’re all about: Fresh salads and soups in an easy-in, easy-out location
Insider pick: An order of black-eyed pea hummus for the whole table
Runner-up: Edgar’s Proof & Provision

Fine dining

Alligator Soul | 114 Barnard St.
What they’re all about: Upscale Southern tucked away on Barnard St.
Insider pick: Oysters a la Soul
Runner-up: 1540 Room

Cheap eats

Huc-A-Poos Bites and Booze | 1213 US Highway 80
What they’re all about: Stone-baked pizzas and cold beers under the Tybee moon
Insider pick: Miko Miko (Hawaiian pie with pineapple and ham) 
Runner-up: Kay’s Pizza (formerly known as Sweet Melissa’s)

Food truck

Molly MacPherson’s Food Truck
What they’re all about: Scottish pub fare served with love from one of Savannah’s first food trucks
Insider tip: Why mess with perfection? Order the fish and chips
Runner-up: The Big Cheese

Late-night food

Kay’s Pizza (formerly known as Sweet Melissa’s) | 103 E. Congress St.
What they’re all about: Greasy slices and humongous pies for late-night downtown revelers
Insider pick: A fresh-out-of-the-oven slice
Runner-up: 520 Wings

Takeout

Zunzi’s Takeout & Catering | 108 E. York St.
What they’re all about: Savannah’s favorite South African hole-in-the-wall, which recently opened an Atlanta location
Insider pick: Oliver’s Lunch — quinoa or potatoes topped with slow-roasted chicken or sausage and smothered in sauce
Runner-up: 520 Wings

Vegetarian 

Kayak Kafé |  1 E. Broughton St. | 5002 Paulsen St.
What they’re all about: Leafy greens, savory mains and healthy flavor
Insider pick: Black-eyed pea burger
Runner-up: Cha Bella

Gluten-free options

Cotton & Rye | 1801 Habersham St.
What they’re all about: Sophisticated Southern fare served in a former bank
Insider pick: Crispy chicken wings
Runner-up: Crystal Beer Parlor

Outdoor dining (non-water)

B&D Burgers | 13 E. Broughton St. | 209 W. Congress St. | 11108 Abercorn St. | 238 Pooler Parkway #G
What they’re all about: Burgers are best enjoyed al fresco
Insider pick: Tater tots to share
Runner-up: Wild Wing Café

The Wyld Dock Bar has the best view in town. Photo by Beau Kester

Waterfront Dining: The Wyld Dock Bar

The setting at The Wyld sets us apart. I have been nowhere else in this area that truly exposes you to the natural local beauty of the Lowcountry while also treating you to the best of what this locale has to offer in the way of local seafood and produce. The Wyld, for many, I think, feels like a mini-vacation right next to home.

                — Brad Syfan, The Wyld Dock Bar

Runner-up: Vic’s on the River

Caterer

JThomas Catering
What they’re all about: A classically French-trained chef turns out Lowcountry-influenced, customer-tailored menus
Insider tip: Get a taste of sample menus at jthomascateringsavannah.com
Runner-up: Thrive Catering

Chef

Mashama Bailey, The Grey | 109 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
What she’s all about: James Beard finalist doing Savannah proud
Insider pick: Sunday supper – every third Sunday of the month, prix fixe
Runner-up: Nick Mueller

New restaurant (less than a year old) 

Little Duck Diner | 150 W. Saint Julian St.
What they’re all about: Bright, family-friendly charm from the Ele and The Chef group
Insider pick: Lavender Bellinis for the grown folks
Runner-up:Prohibition

Chinese

Wang’s II | 7601 Waters Ave. A
What they’re all about: Dine in, dine delivery, dine well on NYC-style staples
Insider pick: Chicken Egg Foo Young
Runner-up: Green Tea

Indian

Naan on Broughton | 114 E. Broughton St.
What they’re all about: The new kid on the block offering contemporary Indian flair
Insider pick: Vegetable samosas
Runner-up:Pakwan Indian Cuisine

Italian

Bella’s Italian Café | 4420 Habersham St.
What they’re all about: A family tradition, with a side of breadsticks
Insider pick: Veal parmesan
Runner-up: Cuoco Pazzo Cucina Italiana

Japanese

Ta Ca Sushi & Japanese Fusion | 513 E. Oglethorpe Ave.
What they’re all about: Fresh flavors and generous portions tucked away on Oglethorpe
Insider pick: Poseidon roll
Runner-up: Heiwa Japanese and Sushi

Mexican 

Tequila’s Town Mexican Restaurant | 109 Whitaker St. | 7360 Skidaway Road Suites G1 and G2
What they’re all about: Authenticity and eclecticism (and plenty of tableside guac) 
Insider pick: Enchiladas with mole sauce
Runner-up: Jalapenos Mexican Grill

Thai

The King & I | 7098 Hodgson Memorial Drive
What they’re all about: Ele & The Chef’s firstborn is a buffet of deliciousness 
Insider pick: Pad Thai
Runner-up: Fire Street Food

Vietnamese 

Flying Monk Noodle Bar | 5 W. Broughton St.
What they’re all about: Metro-inspired noodle slurping 
Insider pick: Bangkok curry noodles
Runner-up: Saigon Bistro

Southern

Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room | 107 W. Jones St.
What they’re all about: Southern comforts, family-style
Insider tip: Save room for dessert
Runner-up: Sweet Potatoes Kitchen

Coffee Shop

Foxy Loxy Cafe | 1919 Bull St.
What they’re all about: Artful, Texas-inspired kolaches, caffeine and community 
Insider pick: Horchata Latte
Runner-up: The Sentient Bean

Local coffee roaster

Savannah Coffee Roasters | 215 W. Liberty St.
What they’re all about: Worth a hill of beans, with the awards to prove it 
Insider pick: Captain’s Choice Blend 
Runner-up: PERC Coffee

New business (less than a year old) 

Rise Biscuits Donuts | 10 W. Broughton St. 
What they’re all about: Boosting morning spirits with sweet confections and savory creations
Insider pick: Rise “Hashpuppies” (a jumbo tot with grated Idaho potatoes and Cheddar cheese) 
Runner-up: Fox & Fig Café

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Best of Savannah 2018: Eats

From thousands of reader surveys comes our inimitable Best of Everything list....
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