From salty southern meals to sugary sippin’s and late night nibbles, Savannah’s culinary scene is vast. But you don’t have to spend a fortune at restaurants in Savannah to sample some of The Hostess City of the South’s specialties. Between your scenic strolls along the Savannah River and stops in the city squares, make sure to indulge and Savor Savannah with these popular plates:
1. Fried Green Tomatoes
This simple golden side peaked in popularity when the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” came out in 1991. Though it’s been said to be southern fare for years, this dish has its own secret backstory, emerging from Jewish immigrants in the Northeast and Midwest before becoming a star of the South. Some of the first recipes found published on this traditional tomato dish appeared in America were in Jewish cookbooks, before showing up in cookbooks in the Midwest and newspapers. No matter where they’re from, we’re just glad they’re here and you can find them almost anywhere. So forget the fried pickles and try this crispy creation!
Where? Tubby's Seafood, 45 Bistro or Belford's
Photo provided by Tubby's.
2. Shrimp & Grits
A staple on any Southern table, Shrimp & Grits is another hot dish that you won’t want to miss. This regional specialty hails from the Lowcountry, with origins in the Native American Muskogee tribe who ground corn in a stone mill, giving it a gritty texture. It wasn’t until 1985 when Craig Claiborne of the New York Times visited North Carolina and published a recipe about them, that the Shrimp & Grits we know today gained widespread popularity. From hole-in-the-wall diners to upscale eateries all across the South, this plate is made many different ways, each pleasing palates of many different people.
Where? Tubby's Seafood
Photo provided by Tubby's.
3. Chatham Artillery Punch
When you’re in a town where you’re welcome to carry your drink out on the street, you might be tempted to get anything and do it, but hold fast brothers and sisters! Beers are great and your favorite cocktail is just that, but when in Georgia’s First City, thou shall do it like those before thee—with Chatham Artillery Punch, a champagne cocktail that some say has stuck around since the colonial period. Named after and first formulated by the Chatham Artillery, Georgia’s oldest military unit, this punch comes on strong. With a mix of champagne, rum, brandy, and bourbon, it’s the perfect drink to request while you’re here.
Where? Fiddler's Seafood
You can’t just stroll down River Street or stop by City Market without smelling sweet aromas sifting through the air around the candy kitchens, where fresh pralines are made constantly. Though they’re known for their caramel color and crunchy pecans in the United States, these delights actually hail from France, where they’re much firmer, made with almonds and caramelized sugar. When they were brought over by French settlers to Louisiana, local chefs substituted the ingredients for the ample pecans and sugar cane. They’re in abundance here in the Hostess City of the South, so be sure to grab some sugar when you’re in Savannah!
Where? River Street Sweets and the Savannah Candy Kitchen
While you’re looking for something sweet, don’t forget to grab a Georgia Peach! Franciscan monks first introduced these succulent snacks to Georgia’s coast in 1571, which continued to flourish until 1928 when they production peaked with about 8 million bushels. Though they might not be Georgia’s number one export anymore but they’re definitely woven into the fabric of the state. Whether you’re in the mood for peach ice cream, peach cobbler or just some fresh peaches from a roadside stand, be sure to get some of this fuzzy fruit while you’re here!