There’s no need to take out a second mortgage just to enjoy good food during your trip to Savannah. The city has plenty of restaurants that serve stellar food at reasonable prices. Pizza is always a good choice for budget-conscious travelers, and Savannah delivers, offering several options including Vinnie Van Go-Go’s in City Market and Screamin’ Mimi’s with two locations in Downtown Savannah.
If you’re determined to eat a traditional down-home meal but don’t want to break the bank, head to Sweet Potatoes, a Midtown restaurant featuring meatloaf, fried catfish, collard greens and other classic Southern dishes. Barbecue lovers will be thrilled to stumble upon Sandfly Bar-B-Q, a casual eatery that’s big on flavor but reasonably priced.
Breakfast, a meal that’s usually synonymous with lower prices, can be ordered all day at Goose Feathers, Henry’s and the Sentient Bean. The three Downtown restaurants also serve equally well-priced lunch items.
Those looking to spice things up will appreciate the selection–and the low prices–at Fire Street Food. Of course you won’t be disappointed if you try one the eatery’s sister restaurants, including the highly regarded Ele Fine Fusion, but you’ll feel like you’re cheating the system by getting the same great flavors for a fraction of the cost.
This laid-back restaurant, located just a block from the beach on Butler Avenue, is a favorite among Tybee residents, and for good reason. The casual eatery, which features indoor and outdoor seating, has a menu chock-full of fresh, local catches. Favorites include the buffalo shrimp appetizer, soft shell crab sandwich and fried shrimp plate. Those having a difficult time deciding what to order will love StingRay's Platter, a seafood feast with steamed shrimp, snow crab, blue crab, Jonah crab claws, crawfish and mussels. The less healthy but equally delicious Tybee Fisherman's Platter is loaded with fried shrimp, scallops, fish, oysters and deviled crab. Many patrons enjoy washing down their meals with StingRay's famous margaritas while kicking back and listening to live music. (912-786-0209)
The Sentient Bean
This hip coffee house, which is adjacent to Forsyth Park, serves vegetarian and vegan breakfast fare seven mornings a week, along with an outstanding brunch on Sundays. Coffee aficionados will appreciate the Bean's great selection of coffee, which usually includes freshly brewed single origin roasts from Africa and South America, along with an array of made-to-order espresso drinks. The breakfast menu features a vegetarian breakfast burrito with eggs and a vegan breakfast burrito with scrambled tofu, along with quiche, egg and cheese sandwiches, omelets and frittatas. The brunch menu boasts a rotating selection of specialties, among them tofu scramble loaded with fresh, seasonal vegetables and an outstanding breakfast burrito with spicy, homemade vegan sausage. (912-232-4447)
This popular takeout restaurant boasts an eclectic menu thanks to the Swiss, Italian, South African and Dutch heritage of proprietors Johnny and Gabriella DeBeer. The couple has created a delicious and reasonably priced menu that blends flavors from these and other countries, with standout dishes including a cottage pie with ground beef, a vegetarian curry stew and homemade lasagna. But perhaps Zunzi's is most famous for its sandwiches, namely the Conquistador, a baked chicken breast served on French bread and topped with lettuce, tomatoes and Zunzi's special sauce. The tangy and hearty sandwich received national attention when the Travel Channel's Adam Richman named it one of the top three sandwiches in America on his show Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America. (912-443-9555)
Freshly made food, good service and reasonable prices all contribute to Henry's reputation as one the best places for breakfast in the city. This relative newcomer has wowed patrons with its all-day breakfast fare that includes traditional items such as eggs, grits, hash browns, biscuits, French toast, waffles pancakes, omelets and more. Fancier breakfast options include pork chops with eggs, shrimp and grits, and fried or grilled catfish served with two eggs, grits and toast. Henry's also offers a lunch menu that's available all day, for those who are craving a burger before they start their morning. On the weekends, the restaurant offers an affordable buffet with a terrific selection of breakfast favorites. (912-232-6628)
Screamin' Mimi's Pizza & Subs
Thin crust pizza loaded with fresh toppings is the specialty of Screamin' Mimi's, a Jersey-style pizza and sub joint conveniently located in one of the Historic District's only shopping centers with ample free parking. The pizza, regarded by many as the best in the city, can be ordered whole or by the slice. Screamin' Mimi's also offers a number of Italian subs, including meatball, chicken parmesan with marinara, and baked salami and provolone, plus salads and pasta dishes such as baked manicotti, gnocchi and spaghetti. The casual setting features tables for two and four, plus additional seating on an outdoor patio. (912-236-2744)
Located in Sandfly, a historic neighborhood near Isle of Hope that has become a hotspot for restaurants and boutiques, this barbeque joint is a favorite among locals. The casual, cozy eatery features walls lined with license plates from all 50 states and several countries, but the menu is decidedly local, with favorites such as barbeque pork, ribs, smoked sausage and baked beans on the daily menu. The sweet potato fries and Brunswick stew are the best in town. Each table is topped with three bottles of homemade barbeque sauce, allowing everyone from novice barbeque eaters to seasoned spice-mongers to find their favorite flavor. ((912) 356-5463)
Fire Street Food
From the masterminds who brought Savannah The King & I, Tangerine Fusion and Sushi Bar and Ele Fine Fusion comes Fire Street Food, a Historic District eatery that prides itself on being fresh, fast and affordable. The restaurant's influences run the gamut from Thai to Japanese to Vietnamese to American, with standout items including the wagyu kobe burger, gang dang gai chicken curry, endamame salad and skewers, which can be ordered with chicken, beef, pork or shrimp. The eatery's bright, modern d�cor is a welcome change from the many dark, historic restaurant's in Downtown Savannah, and the food is a veritable bargain. ((912) 234-7776)
Goose Feathers an Express Cafe & Bakery
Just a few steps away from Ellis Square in the heart of the Historic District, Goose Feathers has been a favorite among locals for more than a quarter of a century. The restaurant serves breakfast all day, boasting a great selection of traditional dishes such as Belgian waffles, fruit-topped oatmeal, eggs, quiche and bagels. The casual eatery, in which orders are placed at the counter and delivered to patrons at their tables, also features an array of inexpensive, quick bites, such as stuffed croissants, sticky buns and muffins. In addition, Goose Feathers has an extensive lunch menu for those craving soup or a sandwich. (912-233-4683)
Sweet Potatoes touts itself as serving "endearing food," and this popular Midtown eatery, indeed, specializes in the kind of familiar comfort food your grandmamma made. The restaurant offers an array of salads and sandwiches, but it's the entrees that really shine. From fried freshwater catfish to peach glazed barbeque chicken to meatloaf, there's something to please every Southern food-loving palate. Picking an entree may be easy, but choosing the accompanying two sides may prove more challenging. The long list of side dishes includes corn pudding, lemon collard greens, dilled lima beans, sweet potato salad, black eyed peas, fresh sliced tomatoes with vinaigrette, sliced cucumbers with vinaigrette and rice, plus a rotating selection of daily specials. If you're finding it hard to make up your mind, you can always opt for the vegetable plate, a reasonably priced entree that includes your choice of four sides. (912-352-3434)
Vinnie Van Go-Go's
Long considered one of Savannah's best pizza restaurants, Vinnie Van Go-Go's in City Market is a popular destination among both locals and tourists alike. The restaurant's thin and hearty crust Neopolitan-style pizzas can be ordered whole or by the slice and feature an array of toppings including standards such as pepperoni, spinach, onions, mushrooms and olives, along with more adventurous choices like banana peppers, broccoli, sundried tomatoes, pineapple, spicy Italian sausage and more. Vinnie's also offers spinach salad and calzones for those who want something a little different, along with a great selection of beer. The majority of seating at Vinnie's is outdoors, though a few patrons may be able to snag seating inside. (912-233-6394)
About Amy Pine
Amy's thrilled to have the opportunity to share her love of Savannah with the world. A Savannah native, Amy has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and editor, and her work has appeared in numerous local, regional and national publications. Prior to launching a freelance career, she was executive editor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she served as editor of the college’s alumni magazine. Amy received a B.A. in English and communications from the University of Pennsylvania. She's currently putting the finishing touches on her young adult novel, The Girl in a Picture Frame.
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