Savannah’s Best Southern Restaurants

Food — By Lauren Quinn on May 7, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Crawfish, collard greens and grits—there’s nothing that truly grounds you in the spirit of the South than a belly full of of its traditional fare. And what better place to indulge in some truly down-home eating than the restaurants of Savannah?

Southern cuisine reigns supreme in Savannah’s restaurants, with a healthy dose of the nature’s abundant seafood offerings. But with so many restaurants serving up steaming plates of low-country goodness, it can be hard for a traveler to know where to find best of the best. Just join the queue at these locals-favorites. We promise it will be worth the wait.

Hands-down the biggest Savannah star, Lady & Sons is a must for every eater. Run by local celebrity Paula Deen and family, you know you’re getting close to the W Congress Street restaurant when you get engulfed by the aroma of crab—and the intimidatingly long line. But Lady & Sons more than earns any time waiting. The menu is heavy on seafood, with everything from Shrimp and Grits to Crab Stew, but fans also swear by the fried chicken. Choose from the buffet or a la carte menu, but either way, be sure not to miss out on this Savannah institution.

Just as much of an institution, but many claim far better, is Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room. The charming Mrs. Wilkes may have passed on to the big kitchen in the sky, but the restaurant is still cranking out the favorites that have won the hearts of locals and travelers since 1940. Family-style dining and a warm staff enhance the cozy, no-fuss Southern vibe that the cuisine inspires. Fried chicken, black eyed peas, beef stew and, of course, that famous low-country boil are what motivates fans to brave the hour-plus wait.

Most likely, Lady & Sons and Mrs. Wilkes’ won’t sate your appetite for Southern fare, but merely get it going. Then it’s time to check out some of the lesser-known stars. Uber-historic and just-a-tad-cheeky, The Pirate’s House has been feeding travelers, including the likes of pirates, since 1753. Kids will get a kick out of the pirate-themed decor, and the huge portions promise to satisfy.

For a twist of something different, make the well-deserved journey outside of Downtown to Sweet Potato’s Kitchen. The menu stays true to Southern favorites like peach-glazed barbecue or bourbon molasses chicken, but aims for healthier version with a Caribbean flair. Make sure to try a dish with their signature Jerk seasoning. It’s comfort food with plenty of Savannah soul.