There’s an ongoing joke in Savannah that if you plan to share gossip over a meal, don’t do it at Toucan Café. The Midtown eatery, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, attracts so many locals that you’re bound to be sitting a stone’s throw away from someone you know.
Fortunately, the inability to chat openly about others hasn’t put a dent in Toucan’s business. The restaurant is more popular than ever, drawing regular customers and newcomers who adore Toucan’s eclectic menu, flavorful food and lively atmosphere.
Toucan is known for its brightly colored interior and toucan theme — Photo courtesy of Toucan Cafe
Owner Steve Magulias and his wife Nancy first opened Toucan in 1994 in the Eisenhower Shopping Center. Six years later, the restaurant had outgrown its small digs and was relocated to a newly constructed building just a couple of blocks away on Stephenson Avenue.
Since then, Toucan has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most popular spots in the city for lunch and dinner. Locals head to Toucan for business lunches, bridal showers, date nights, family dinners and everything in between.
Much of Toucan’s appeal can be attributed to the colorful ambiance, which features a toucan theme throughout, and the restaurant’s personable and attentive waitstaff. Magulias himself is often seen roaming the restaurant’s three rooms, chatting with customers and making sure the food and service are impeccable.
Macadamia-encrusted tuna is one of the restaurant's most popular recurring specials — Photo courtesy of Toucan Cafe
But what really keeps locals going back to Toucan time after time is the food. The varied menu includes soup, salads, a number of sandwiches and entrees such as Jamaican jerk tilapia, bourbon salmon and chicken farfalle. Both the lunch and dinner menus feature daily chef specials, with past choices including orange-glazed salmon, macadamia-encrusted tuna and filet mignon Oscar style.
Guests can choose from several beverages, including soda, iced tea and wine, along with beer and wine. The dessert menu rotates but always features the restaurant’s to-die-for cappuccino pie and decadent coconut kiwi cake.
Toucan is family friendly and features a kids’ menu with several healthy and reasonably priced choices, such as grilled cheese pita, grilled chicken strips and angel hair with marinara.
Diners hoping to score a table at Toucan often must contend with local crowds and a short wait. If you find yourself waiting in line with a rumbling tummy, hop back in the car and head a couple of blocks to Sweet Potatoes, Magulias’ second restaurant.
You’ll be equally impressed with this eatery, which features Southern-style favorites like fried catfish, homemade biscuits and corn pudding, and just as likely to find locals holding their tongues, minding their manners and enjoying a great meal.