South's Spring Foodie Tour
It's springtime in Savannah, which means shorts, sandals and plenty of food. From Broughton St. to the river to, here's our recommended list of must-try restaurants that'll surely satisfy and craving.
1. Jazz'd Tapas Bar
If you’re in the mood for sharing, you’ll want to wind your way down the stairs to the perfect spot, Jazz’d Tapas Bar. Nestled deep beneath the busy streets of the ordinary downtown nightlife waits a special scene complimented with live entertainment. Jazz’d Tapas Bar is the leader of Savannah’s underground scene, offering patrons plenty of delectable small plates and a round of creative cocktails. Menu items are inspired from Korea, Hawaii, France and the Pacific Coast, so whatever your tastes are, you’re sure to find a culinary experience that will leave you wanting more. Jazz’d is a space that captures that intangible energy of downtown Savannah, where locals and tourists a-like can discover delicious food, craft cocktails, martinis and live entertainment, with an upscale more metro feel. Jazz’d is a Savannah treasure, a refreshing and exceptional dining adventure that must be experienced; preferably with a friend.
2. Moon River Brewery
Moon River Brewing Company has been a trailblazer from the very start. When they first opened in 1999, Georgia was one of the top three states for Anheuser-Busch drinkers. With so many locals stuck in their ways, serving craft brew to the public was no easy feat. Co-owner Gene Beeco said his best customers were tourists and those who moved to Savannah from somewhere else. Now, Moon River Brewing is leading the pack in a local industry that continues to see phenomenal growth. Craft beer lovers rejoice–this one is for you. In October, Moon River Brewing will debut its highly anticipated seasonal black IPA, Boo Hag. This Halloween beer is perfect for the transitioning weather from summer into fall. Hoppy and bold like an IPA but with a dark color and a bit toasty, this highly hopped, not too malty beer is hop-centric and great as we transition from light, crisp beers into the darker brews of fall.
3. Top Deck Bar
A passion for food is a must in the service industry, but Chef Tommy Dye takes it to the top level at Top Deck. With an eclectic menu—a true representation of Savannah—Chef Dye’s vast culinary knowledge has proved to be stellar. With careful intentions to cook to perfection, Top Deck’s menu is loaded with Savannah classics. From smoked pork to hand rolled sushi, there’s something for everyone with no room for disappointment. Top Deck’s selection of signature cocktails are also a promised palate pleaser. Enjoy bartender Rachel Urbano’s signature Top Deck Mojitos as you watch the sunset over the Savannah horizon. Located right on top of the Cotton Sail Hotel, Top Deck casually overlooks River Street, with a stunning view of the Savannah River and the Talmadge Memorial Bridge. Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to watch the sun set. But step outside and immerse yourself in classic Savannah design, with natural hard wood decking and contemporary décor.
4. The Ordinary Pub
Shortly after the Ordinary Pub’s opening in 2015, Chef Justin “Grizz” Grizzard join the team because of his vast culinary knowledge and unique take on cuisine. Although he brought a lot to the table, he also embraces the Pub’s reimagined pub fare style, which creates an impressive menu of culinary delights. Step downstairs for a delectable dinner at the Ordinary Pub. A casual dining experience with professional service, Chef Grizz and his team cook up bar food classics and brunches daily. Enjoy Duck Confit Tacos or Gumbo & Stone Ground Grits, all while feeling among friends. Located right below Broughton Street, a single set of stairs lead you to Savannah’s most unique gastropub. A comfy interior set among exposed brick walls will leave you having a relaxing and hauntingly good time.
5. 39 Rue de Jean
A Savannah native, General Manager J.G. Curry began his service industry career as a server when he was 18. Now, he has been involved in the opening of more than 80 restaurants around the country. In August of 2014, he brought his vast culinary and wine expertise to 39 Rue de Jean. Emanating the characteristics of a late 1800s brasserie, 39 Rue de Jean is the perfect Paris getaway, right in the heart of downtown Savannah. In typical French fashion, 39 Rue de Jean, or Rue, as locals call it, features an extensive wine list and delicious French cuisine. Don’t forget to check out their sushi options. Modeled after a French brasserier, Rue has become known as “the” social hub in Savannah. Enjoy divine cuisine by candlelight, or take up in jubilant socializing at the gorgeous bar.
6. a.Lure Restaurant
Chef Bryce Knott is a classic case of working your way to the top. Starting as a dishwasher and moving his way up to executive chef, Knott brings a unique perspective and in depth culinary expertise to Lowcountry cuisine. A chef who is always trying to learn, he has certainly mastered his own craft and style. a.Lure’s contemporary, award winning approach to classic Southern recipes is rooted a passion for fresh seafood. From pan-seared grouper to a Lowcountry boil, the preparation is always improving and always fresh. Located right next to City Market, a.Lure is modern, yet classic Lowcountry staple. Comforted with classic, white tablecloths, black napkins, and a bar with blue neon lights, a sense of intimacy allows customers to be more engaged with their dining experience.
7. Tequila's Town
There’s nothing better than traditional, and with Chef German at the helm of Tequila’s Town’s Sandfly location, you’re guaranteed to feel right south of the border. With Chef German’s incredible attention to detail, the culinary experience is quintessentially and authentically Mexican. From their signature street style tacos, to burritos and Mole Poblano, all food is fresh and locally sourced. Step foot in Tequila’s Town and you’ll immediately recognize that they aim to be modern and minimalistic, yet inviting and upbeat. With both locations intentionally designed and crafted by local carpenters, architects, and artists, the atmosphere lends itself perfectly to the fresh, yet traditional cooking.
Although he’s a New York native, Chef Greg Garrison is no stranger to Southern cuisine. In 2015, Garrison became chef at Prohibition’s Charleston location and completely revamped its culinary program. In 2017, Prohibition decided to open their Savannah location with Garrison at the helm. With an updated style of food and cocktails, Prohibition’s casual atmosphere pairs well with the quality of service and ingredients. The entire menu is made from scratch and includes locally sourced items. But the fun aspect of dining comes with the bartenders’ and servers’ vast knowledge of the food and spirits they offer. Immediately step into the past when you enter Prohibition’s bootlegger style, prohibition era dining room. Immersed in wood and Edison style light bulbs, you’ll feel like you’re immersed in a time warp and ready to indulge in some quality cuisine.
9. Husk Savannah
Executive Chef Chris Hathcock, a Husk veteran—having worked at Husk Greenville since its opening, alongside Chef Jon Buck and Chef Sean Brock—maintains the philosophy of Husk by celebrating Southern ingredients and exploring the “foodways” of Coastal Georgia. He is both passionate and expressive, conceptualizing dishes that showcase a depth of flavor. Thanks to Chef Hathcock’s rich culinary expertise, the cuisine at Husk transforms the essence of Southern food and highlights the unique ingredients of Coastal Georgia. Chef Hathcock reinterprets the bounty of the surrounding area, exploring an ingredient-driven cuisine that begins in the rediscovery of heirloom products and redefines what it means to cook and eat in Savannah. The location itself is unique and charmingly Savannah. Located right in the heart of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District, 12 W. Oglethorpe Avenue speaks to a modern and minimalist theme. The second floor is home to a spectacular Husk Bar and raw bar, with handcrafted cocktails from Bar Manager Kevin King. The combination of the ambiance and the celebration of the food grown in this region provides a true taste of Savannah.
10. Savannah Riverboat
For more than 25 years, Captain Jonathan H. Claughton and his crew have been serving Savannah classic Southern dishes on their charming dinner cruises. A specially prepared buffet style dinner is the perfect compliment to a trip on the open waters. All dishes—such as the Savannah shrimp and grits, beef carving station, and squash casserole—are made with the freshest, local ingredients. Have your pick of two different boats when you reserve your spot for lunch or dinner. The Savannah River Queen, which can hold 600 passengers, features three climate controlled dining rooms, three bars, and a top deck snack shop. The Georgia Queen, the latest addition to Savannah Riverboat Cruises’ fleet, seats 1,000 guests and can hold more than 200 crewmembers. She measures an impressive 230 feet long, 64 feet wide, and a towering 68 feet tall. She has three grand ballrooms and a fully open-air top deck with patio seating. Enjoy classic Southern cuisine with a unique view of Savannah.