The Ultimate Guide to Eating Like a Local in Savannah

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This weekend I visited Savannah, GA with a few of my friends for a weekend getaway. Savannah is a beautiful coastal Georgia city full of history and Southern charm. As an Atlanta native, I am very unfamiliar with what to do in Savannah. Typically when I travel, I like to balance visits to touristy attractions with local experiences– especially when it comes to food. For me, one of the worst feelings in the world is knowing that I’ve fallen into a tourist trap and overpaid for mediocre food when on vacation. Since this weekend was my fourth visit to Savannah, I went all out with pretending to be a local. Thankfully I also had my friend Jamie, who is a Savannah native, to show me the best local eats around the city. In this ultimate guide to food in Savannah, I’m going to tell you all about the food I ate this weekend so you can have an awesome food experience the next time you’re in the city!

Coffee

The Gallery Espresso

The Gallery Espresso is located on the corner of Chippewa Square– the famous square where the Forrest Gump bench scenes were filmed. Although the Forrest Gump bench is no longer there, flocks of tourists visit the square to capture pictures with the iconic background. Little do they know, there is a delightful local coffee shop just around the corner. While at The Gallery Espresso, I ordered a simple iced coffee. Their menu covers all of your basic coffee staples and they also offer a variety of baked goods. The coffee shop has a very chill atmosphere and is full of mismatched furniture and decor. Living up to its name, the walls are covered with art created by local artists that is also for sale. It is the perfect place for studying and catching up with friends.

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Lunch

Zunzi’s

Zunzi’s is a staple for casual dining in Savannah and a favorite among SCAD students and locals. They offer a variety of globally inspired sandwiches, salads, and entrees, but South Africa has the most dominant global influence on the food at Zunzi’s. A popular favorite for customers is the Conquistador sandwich, which contains baked chicken breast served with lettuce, tomato, and special Zunzi’s sauce on French bread. Zunzi’s is also known for their iced African tea. I ordered one of these during my visit here, and it was very delicious and unlike any other tea I have ever had before!

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Snack

Vinnie Van Go Go’s Pizzeria

On the edge of City Market is Vinnie Van Go Go’s– the best pizza you’ll find in Savannah. Vinnie Van Go Go’s is known for their thin crust New York Style pizza, beer, and people watching. If you’re hungry you can order an entire pies or if you’re just looking for a snack, they also sell pizza by the slice. A single slice at Vinnie Van Go Go’s is equivalent to two regular slices at a typical pizza restaurant. I filled up on a single slice of pepperoni and onion pizza and my total bill was less than $5. Remember to visit the ATM before you stop by because this restaurant only accepts cash!

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Dinner

Flying Monk Noodle Bar

While all of the tourists flock to River Street, all of the locals go to Broughton Street. On Broughton, you can find a variety of local boutiques, iconic brands, and plenty of restaurants. One of the best restaurants on Broughton is the Flying Monk Noodle Bar. This restaurant offers a variety of Asian cuisine including Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese. I’m typically hesitant to eat at Asian restaurants that can’t commit to a single type of cuisine, because it is usually an indicator that the food is not authentic. This is definitely not the case at Flying Monk Noodle Bar! I ordered the Bangkok Curry Noodles (pictured) which was absolutely outstanding and tasted very authentic! The food is priced reasonably and the portion sizes are very generous. If you decide to eat dinner here, come early or make a reservation because they usually have a long wait to get in!

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Dessert

Leopold’s Ice Cream

Leopold’s Ice Cream is a place everyone must visit while in Savannah. Yes, it is a very touristy ice cream shop, but there is something about its old-school charm and nation-wide acclaim that continue to draw in tourists and locals alike. Leopold’s is also located on Broughton Street next to the iconic Savannah College of Art and Design’s Trustees Theater. The ice cream shop offers an assortment of ice cream flavors and is very generous with their samples and scoop sizes. I ordered a single scoop of peppermint ice cream, and it was the perfect treat for ending a hot summer’s day exploring Savannah!

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The next time you’re in Savannah make sure to stop by all of these places if you’re looking for delicious local food! Are you from Savannah? What other local restaurants do you recommend to visitors? Comment below!

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4 Comments

  1. Great suggestions! I am also a Atlanta native and do not know much on where to find the best eats in Savannah. I love that you took a local approach, I have been to the city several times, yet almost always find myself caught in the tourist restaurant trap. I will surely check these spots out next time I’m there, especially the Flying Monk Noodle Bar, YUM! Thanks for the post.

  2. Yum! All of this food looks so delicious. Getting a day in the life of a local was also a very cool treat. I would very much like to eat those Bangkok Curry Noodles sooner rather than later. Photos were a great touch. All of these suggestions only make Savannah that much more appealing! Thank you!

  3. These all look like awesome places to grab a bite to eat. I am visiting Savannah later this year and will definitely be attending some of these restaurants. You seem like you have a pretty good grasp on what is available in that city- I have thought about doing a similar post but with restaurants in Athens. The world needs more local food reviewers.

  4. I can totally relate to not wanting to fall in the tourist trap– nothing worse than being in new city and overpaying for sub-par food. Savannah is such a great city for foodies, and it looks like you did a great job of hitting a great variety of restaurants! (P.S. those noodles look incredible).