SAVANNAH EATS: The Best – and Coolest – Restaurants in Town

Spent 3 fantastic days in Savannah as a guest of friends from my recent Nat Geo Trip. Will cover the art scene tomorrow (Saturday), followed by my Top 5 things to do when visiting Savannah on Sunday.

First, however, food. Here are the two restaurants that blew me away. Not only the best – but also the hippest and most of-the-moment food destinations in Savannah.

The Grey
109 MLK Blvd

This is an absolute game-changer for Savannah. Opened in late 2014, in a restored 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Station, the Grey is a real stunner. Very difficult to get reservations, so book early. You can also get a feel for the place at their Diner Bar which opens at 4pm and offers an exceptional cocktail program with delicious bar food.

The Grey is owned by a former NYer – Johno Morisano. Savannahians have embraced this newcomer – as they should! The Grey knocks it out of the park! All I could think is, why can’t we have something as fabulous in NYC?

Here’s what I loved most:

The design and the vibe:

Cool, mid-century style, beautiful art deco colors, creative lighting, quirky touches e.g. numbers on the wall correspond to gate stations where buses previously lined up. The tables are also reproductions of what existed in the space back in the day – only change is the removal of the ashtrays that were built in to the center of each table (see photos below). Elegant renovation by Parts and Labor Design.

The inventive food by Chef Mashama Bailey:

Everything is both familiar and yet new. Interestingly, the chef cooked previously for Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune in NYC. I am wholeheartedly recommending everything we ordered: the crab and coconut starter with Serrano chili, the coffee roasted beets with ricotta, the country pasta with ragu of braised pork shoulder, bison meatballs with zaatar spice, the smoked collards with maldon salt.

The cocktail and wine program:

I had both the Spanish Caravan with bourbon, vermouth and sfumato amaro as well as a great glass of sancerre with dinner.

LOVE THIS PLACE!

Read on below for my other favorite restaurant – as well as several favorites of my hosts. Unfortunately, we did not get to all during my brief stay. Also, more pictures at the end of the post from The Grey.

The Collins Quarters
152 Bull Street

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We came for breakfast, I had the avocado smash – delicious!! So many things on the menu I wanted to try including the Australian Breakkie, the watermelon salad, the ahi poke tacos.

Beautiful airy space, lots of light coming in through gigantic windows, colorful banquets and chairs. A wonderful laid-back vibe. Free wi-fi and communal tables for working.

Collins has been open since 2014 and is owned by Australians, Anthony Debreceny from Melbourne and his wife Rebecca.

Avocado Smash and notice the tea timer – 3 different times from 2 to 3 to 5 minutes based on how strong a brew you want. have never seen this before.

Two additional spots my hosts recommended highly:

The Vault Kitchen and Market which features Asian fusion cuisine. Located in a former bank (including tables in the vault!). I’m sad that we didn’t make it here because it definitely looks like my kind of place.

Elizabeth on 37th Street which is located in an old mansion and is considered the fine dining grand dame of Savannah.

MORE PHOTOS OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVE, THE GREY:

the bar which opens at 4pm

Cocktails

Dining room

View into the kitchen

Replica of the original tables in the greyhound bus station. the center was previously an ashtray

crab appetizer

bison meatballs

beets

My wonderful hosts – Alice and Bob Jepson

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