Two Savannah originals come together: Adam Turoni's chocolates are filled with local honey from the Savannah Bee Company. — Photo courtesy of Chocolate by Adam Turoni; Photo by Lily Lewin
If you equate the Savannah food scene with a certain celebrity chef who’s mired in controversy, then it’s time to spend a day discovering the city’s true culinary treasures. You’ll end your day a few pounds heavier, but your foodie tour of Savannah will leave you convinced that this sleepy Southern city is a contender as one of the nation’s top dining destinations.
A waffle topped with fried duck at B. Matthew's Eatery. — Photo courtesy of B. Matthew's Eatery
Begin your morning at B. Matthew’s Eatery, a Historic District bistro that serves a variety of New American- and Southern-style dishes. Indulge in a Southern staple like shrimp and grits or the homemade biscuits topped with gravy while enjoying B. Matthew’s ambience, which boasts beautiful exposed brick walls and a lovely décor.
The Byrd Cookie Company's scotch oatmeal cookies have been a Savannah favorite for decades. — Photo courtesy of Byrd Cookie Company
After breakfast, you can walk off some of the calories from breakfast and continue your foodie tour of the city by visiting the Historic District’s many gourmet markets and specialty food stores. Start on Broughton Street, where you can sample honey at the Savannah Bee Company and aged-balsamic vinegars and flavored extra-virgin olive oils at Low Country Gourmet Foods. Next make your way over to The Salt Table on Barnard Street near City Market, where you can delight your senses with more than 200 samples of salts, seasonings, sugars, teas, dips and more. And you can’t pass up the treats at nearby Byrd’s Famous Cookies @ City Market, where you can taste Savannah’s most famous cookies, including Benne Wafers and Key Lime Coolers.
The Olde Pink House's entrees include several outstanding seafood dishes. — Photo courtesy of Erin & Ben R
Once you’ve perused all of the gourmet stores, it will almost be time for lunch. Head to the Olde Pink House, a highly regarded eatery that’s located in an 18th-century Georgian mansion. Start with the BLT Salad, a perfect combination of fried green tomatoes, crispy bacon and black pepper thyme buttermilk dressing. For an entrée, consider the crispy scored flounder with apricot shallot sauce, creamy grits and collards. The dish has been a Savannah favorite for years.
Can you resist Adam Turoni's dark chocolate peanut butter cups topped with sea salt flakes? — Photo courtesy of Chocolate by Adam Turoni; Photo by Lily Lewin
Though the Olde Pink House has outstanding desserts, pass them up and head back to Broughton Street to Chocolat by Adam Turoni. Turoni's handmade chocolate truffles are little works of art, almost too beautiful to eat. Let logic rule and savor every bite of your little chocolate wonder. The selection varies, but favorites include the mint julep truffle, bacon butter pecan toffee and habañero Mexican truffle.
You’ll undoubtedly want to put in some extra miles and explore Savannah’s squares and other historic attractions after such an indulgent treat. Once your appetite starts to reemerge, end your night at the venerable Elizabeth on 37th. The famed restaurant, which is housed in a converted early 19th-century mansion, features a seasonal menu of exquisite Low Country-inspired dishes.
Splurge on an appetizer of Half Moon River clams with roasted Vidalia onions, country ham and truffle oil. If you want to continue with a seafood theme, go for the Grouper Celeste, a longtime staple on the menu that features a crisp sesame-almond crust, peanut sauce and roasted potatoes. Elizabeth’s meats are equally outstanding, especially the Harris Ranch pepper-crusted beef tenderloin with Madeira cream sauce, roasted new potatoes and creamed spinach-feta torte.
And you simply can’t pass up dessert at Elizabeth. Loosen that belt and order the chocolate pecan torte, a sinful dessert with dense dark chocolate cream in a crushed pecan crust, topped with chocolate whipped cream. It’s the perfect–and most decadent– way to end your foodie tour of Savannah.