“Hand me my swish” is a real sentence that actually came out of my mouth the other night.
I, just a little tipsy, was referring to the ever-evolving boozy concoction I had been sipping throughout the evening, enjoying that fleeting sense of rebellious freedom one finds in drinking alcohol in a city that permits open containers in public.
Others in our party went a different direction with Savannah’s open container culture, like my brother who put his ramen noodles in a solo cup and took them out on the town. He doesn’t drink, but When in Rome.
My song pick for this entry is Batushka’s “Утреня” (Utrenia), just because.
Savannah, Georgia has a multitude of bars, taverns, cafes, pubs, and restaurants, and almost every place we walked into had a warm atmosphere with curious menus.
Unlike most American cities, you are allowed to take your alcoholic drinks to go in Savannah, which is convenient when you have loads of things to see and do.
Here are some of our favourite places to eat and drink in Savannah:
I believe it is safe to say that the Portal was a group favourite. Whether you are a gamer, want to fill your belly, or just have a drink and listen to music, this is the place.
The bartenders gave us a lot of great info about local breweries and a metal festival happening over the weekend. They let us try some house specialties and were just really cool in general.
I loved the 80s new wave videos they were showing. I have never heard one of my favourite songs, “Desire” by Gene Loves Jezebel, played in public so I was really jazzed.
Portal’s kitchen is open late and they serve up a great grilled cheese. I went for colby and cheddar on rye.
Portal is famous for their gourmet deviled eggs which range from pulled pork barbecue or jalapeno bacon, to blue cheese and many other kinds.
This is the pulled pork barbecue one that we DEVOURED!
Naan on Broughton
We are crazy for curry, and Naan on Broughton’s Indian-Chinese fusion really hit the spot. I ordered the tikka korma with juicy baked chicken, fragrant rice with veggies, and a rich korma sauce.
My boyfriend had the lamb rogan josh and even convinced me to try some. I am a bit squeamish when it comes to most meats so this was quite an accomplishment. It was delicious!
He says Naan has the best sweet tea in this town full of Southern charm and Paula Deen chains. I take mine unsweet but have to agree that their tea is unique. We also ordered some rosemary naan with mint chutney and hoisin-style sauce.
One of the first places we visited was The Warehouse for dinner and some of the “coldest, cheapest beer in town.” It looks out over the river and is one of the most happening places in downtown Savannah.
An energetic blues rock band was playing and there were abundant people watching opportunities.
I chose The Islander, a grilled chicken sandwich with pineapple, onions, tiki sauce, and cheese. Others had a Reuben, chicken tenders, and fried shrimp.
I liked the anything-goes atmosphere and would have returned if we had a bit more time.
The view from the Bohemian Hotel‘s rooftop bar does not disappoint, and it is open to the public. Try one of their fancy cocktails while looking out over the Savannah River.
Inside the lobby and lounge, they have a lot of fancy, distinguished furniture and decor. It is such a lovely and cozy place to visit!
It may have been the bustling holiday crowd filling the city, but I had a little trouble finding a bar that felt like the right fit until we visited the Jinx. One of my friends suggested it and he was right on.
First off, they have a massive Black Lodge symbol (what’s up Twin Peaks fans?!) on the ceiling and lots of gothic/horror decor, chandeliers, punk posters, esoteric and cult-film art pieces, and an ecclectic mix of pop culture memorabilia.
Throw in a few vintage game tables and some tasty Old-Fashioneds and I could definitely see myself being a regular here.
Moon River Brewing Company
After a couple hours on the Hop On/Off Trolley, we all went for lunch at Moon River Brewing Company.
I had what they call “taco-dillas” which are two mini cheese quesadillas folded up and filled with brisket and queso. They come with a cup of gouda-escalloped potatoes in case that was not enough cheese already. Whew.
Moon River has some really fancy dishes like seafood ravioli with grilled shrimp in a mustard sauce, shrimp po’boys, and more. I had one of their Pitmaster’s Pride beers, and it was rich and smokey with a bit of a bbq pit aftertaste.
The Pirate’s House has a pretty wild history. Many moons ago, young men were lured in and imbibed with alcohol until they blacked out or were conked over the head at some opportune moment.
When they woke up, they discovered they were now enslaved on a ship for god knows how long. It sounds pretty grim and frightful, and to this day, the tunnel where these men were dragged from the tavern to the port still lurks in the darkness below the restaurant.
The original structure connects to the updated one that holds the bulk of the restaurant. It is a stop on most trolley tours and a must-stop for dinner.
We had the crab melt, burgers, fried chicken, and a shrimp po’boy. Our server was awesome, and a costumed pirate came around to tell us some corny jokes.
For a few extra bucks you can tour the Pirate’s House, but they will not take you down the notorious tunnel anymore.
I noticed that the placemats have a recipe for Savannah’s infamous cocktail, Chatham Artillery Punch. I figured every bar in town would be serving this but oddly enough it was the only place I saw it offered.
Bayou Cafe is the maker of my favourite hot sauce, and my parents have been telling me about the restaurant for some time now, so I had been looking forward to visiting.
I wish I could say I had a good experience but my food never came. The waitress was rude and argumentative with my mother and me for absolutely no reason, but was friendly with the men in our group.
She failed to put my order in at all, and waited until everyone else had finished eating to tell me. The restaurant was not particularly packed, but it took over an hour for the other four meals to come out and she still left off several items. Ultimately we got a free beer for the trouble, and we laughed about it later.
I sampled a few bites of crab corn chowder, the jambalaya burrito, and fried shrimp, and all of it was good.
As a rule, I do not bother writing about places I did not enjoy, but in this case it was all on the waitress. The food I tried was great and I liked the interior. I plan to go back next time, and until then I have several bottles of their awesome hot sauce.
Lulu’s Chocolate Bar
The best place in town for dessert is a hard choice between Lulu’s Chocolate Bar and Leopold’s Ice Cream.
As a baker, and being that my name is Lulu, many people have told me about Lulu’s bakery over the years. If my name is spelled out in chocolate on a treat, I have to eat it, right?
Check out this heavenly flourless chocolate cake: the layer of dark chocolate ganache crackles when you bite into it and the cake itself is like creamy fudge.
Leopold’s Ice Cream
Just recently, Leopold‘s celebrated their 100th Anniversary and they have won countless awards.
They tend to stay packed but it is definitely worth the wait.
Photo taken by my mama
Pounce Cat Cafe & Wine Bar
Last but not least, Pounce is a boutique wine bar with loads of adorable kitties. I am violently allergic to cats but stopped in anyways because I could not resist the sweet little creatures basking in the window sun and purring against the glass.
What did I miss? I would love to hear your feedback and recommendations for our next visit!
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