Traveling is one of the best ways to experience the world around you, and one city that’s not only traveler friendly but also full of fun and appeal is Savannah, Georgia. Known for historic architecture and Southern charm, Savannah is also exceptionally walkable and great for those looking forward to activities both night and day, according to Live Like It’s the Weekend. Savannah is also wrapped tightly in a rich, complex history. The roots of this history traverse a strong, wide path across the world, from the wealthy families whose grand homes lined the streets of the downtown to the coastal Gullah communities that span all the way to South Carolina (via Visit Savannah). These communities have undergone many struggles and have seen much change, but in the end, they bring a spark of energy and unique perspective to Savannah’s history.

The underlying theme that runs through this city is hospitality — the ability to cater to guests and give them something to love, remember, and connect with the people of Savannah. Known as the "Hostess City of the South" for a reason, Savannah offers plenty of hidden gem spots to grab some wonderful grub (via Travel Awaits). The variety of meals to try in Savannah gives visitors a well-rounded experience. Whether you prefer fine dining or simple yet delicious foods at hole-in-the-wall dive bars, you can find it in Savannah. Especially if you’re on a budget!

Southern comfort at its finest

Southern cooking is defined by two key words: "comfort" and "delicious." One of the best ways to feel that comfort is to enjoy food with friends and family. The Savannah Seafood Shack on East Broughton Street is one of those places that brings people together through Southern cooking in a hands-on type of way. The menu ranges from appetizers to desserts and showcases lowcountry boil, a traditional dish known throughout the southern coast of the U.S., as their signature offering.

Whether you order a single serving or grab from the family platter, the seasonings of the South can be tasted throughout the entire dish, from the boiled corn on the cob and potatoes to the succulent, sweet meat of the shrimp. This place is a favorite amongst travelers and other local businesses; one reviewer notes they were recommended by a local shop owner (via Tripadvisor). Others add that the taste outweighs those of more expensive restaurants, saying that "the food was so good I ended up eating here twice!"

Speaking of expensive, Savannah chefs know that good Southern food doesn’t need to cost much. Patrons at Sisters of the New South, located along Skidaway Road, know this too, saying the restaurant offers "authentic Southern fare" that isn’t flashy or fancy — "just good Southern food" (via Yelp). Their specialties cover all bases, from fried chicken and smothered pork chops to oxtails and barbecue ribs, all prepared with secret family recipes. You can even purchase one of their seasoning bottles to bring the flavor of the South home with you.

Americana food and fare throughout the city

Walking through the streets of Savannah can feel like you’re stepping through time, as the look and feel of the city covers a few different eras of American history. If you’re looking to explore places that honor history and retro Americana fare, there are some inexpensive options that make dining fun.

When talking retro Americana, you can’t miss Betty Bombers on Bull Street. Though opened in 2012, this ’50s-themed diner celebrates the past by going all out with their vintage aesthetic. The restaurant is located in an American Legion Post (135) and serves classic American dishes. According to Frommers, this place is rarely visited by tourists and well loved by its regulars for its classic, delicious dishes — the 10 for $12 chicken wing deal is definitely a crowd favorite.

Fork and Dagger might have a 1950s look to it on the outside, but its signature dishes are far ahead in both time and flavor. The menu at Fork and Dagger reflects New York and Puerto Rican tastes. For owners Brian Torres and Sky Hoyt, these dishes are what they love to eat, so why not bring them to everyone else? "We just want to do what we do, and do it well enough that people keep coming back," Torres says (via Savannah.com). With a neighborhood vibe serving artisan-level gourmet sandwiches and breakfast food, this place is ideal for a laid-back brunch.

A delicious twist on Southern cuisine

Liege Belgian waffle on plate

Finding unique fusions of different cultural cuisines is always exciting and helps you connect to where you’re visiting. There are plenty of great fusions of culinary styles in Savannah, at affordable prices, that combine the tastes of the South with some unexpected flavors.

If you’re lucky enough to secure a suite at the boutique Mirabelle, or even somewhere nearby, you’ll also have the chance to try delicious offerings at its cafe. Combining the comfort foods of the South and Belgium in one place, the Liège waffle is Mirabelle’s signature dish and can be customized in a myriad of ways, from classic American flavors like s’mores and peach cobbler to the traditional Liège waffle or even a croque monsieur. The cafe at Mirabelle offers treats with "delicate flavors and perfect sized portions to start your day in Savannah," as one visitor tells Restaurantji.

When it comes to food, exploration of flavors between different cuisines is encouraged. At Sly’s Sliders and Fries, the number of taste combinations across the menu, and sometimes on the sandwich, makes for a buzzworthy addition to the list of places to visit in Savannah. Their staple sandwiches and hot dogs are decked out with well-known flavor combinations, from a reuben-style slider to a Cuban-style hot dog, all with a side of hand-cut fries with its own range of tasty toppings. There are even vegan and vegetarian options, according to one Georgia native who counts Sly’s among their go-to lunch spots (via Yelp).

These places celebrate food both local and abroad

British pie pub style

When in Savannah, there’s no limit on tastes you can try. If you’re looking to break from the classic Southern fare, there are plenty of flavor options that span across countries and won’t break the bank. One popular option is Latin Chicks Restaurant & Catering, one of the only Latin American restaurants in the city. The owners originate from Peru and promise authentic flavors in every dish served, from tamales and empanadas to whole or half rotisserie chickens — perfect for any size of party. Fresh ingredients are a priority at the restaurant, and patrons on Yelp have noticed.

Speaking of authenticity, another one-of-a-kind staple found in Savannah is The Little Crown by Pie Society, a quaint British-style pub that serves meat pies, dessert pies, and hot, savory pastries. This establishment honors the traditions of British cuisine and techniques and surpasses expectations of those who visit. Many crowd favorites include the steak and mushroom pie, chicken curry pastries, and the sausage rolls, which one visitor urged is a "don’t-miss" item (via Tripadvisor).

Late-night cravings thrive in Savannah

downtown Savannah at night

One of the most interesting insights into the atmosphere of Savannah is its duality, going from historical tourist attraction during the day to an exciting, bar-hopping downtown with live music and nightclub attractions once the sun goes down. For those looking to have fun and spend less on food and more on experiences, there are great options that will satiate your hunger and keep the fun rolling.

Vinnie Van GoGo’s on West Bryan Street is an ideal thin-crust pizza joint open until 10 or 11 p.m. on weeknights and weekends. Described as a favored "hole-in-the-wall" type of place, both tourists and locals know to come here for a slice, or whole pie, of great New York-style pizza. If you want to avoid lines, come early, as reviewers tell Tripadvisor that Vinnie’s gets crowded late and on weekends, though the crowds are typically fun and party ready.

With two locations in Savannah alone and others throughout the country, Wet Willie’s is a great food spot for partygoers. Its grub leans into the late-night vibe with nachos, tacos, and fried appetizer-type dishes. Its signature appeal lies with its frozen daiquiris, which come in over 15 original flavors, plus the ability to mix and match them. Wet Willie’s is great for late nights, as well as afternoons and evenings. One reviewer notes that with Savannah’s open container policy, Wet Willie’s is the "perfect ‘walk-thru’" place (via Yelp).

Hidden gems in the Savannah cafe scene

window with "cafe" sign

The cafe scene can often feel flooded with options, many serving small portions at high prices. If you’re looking for good Southern food in a small cafe-type location, The Maple Street Biscuit Company can give you the best of both worlds. Everything from grits and gravies to biscuits is made in small batches to prioritize flavor, of which there is an endless supply. This place is great to go if you’ve got time to kill, as there’s space on two levels to sit and enjoy your meal, as well as see the kitchen work its magic, according to Tripadvisor.

Much of Savannah showcases a lot of French influences, from architecture and history to culture and food. This is also showcased in quaint French cafes throughout the city, some that are more than meets the eye. The Paris Market, for instance, offers an entire set of curated markets in one central place to bring local artisans together. The market’s cafe serves hand-pulled espressos, gourmet beverages, and fresh patisserie items from local bakeries, all perfect to enjoy as you explore the market (via The Shopkeepers).

If French cuisine is on your mind, Le Café Gourmet is the place to go for all things French. This cafe heavily leans into the French connection, in both aesthetic and flavors. Its bakery only uses flour and butter from France to create decadent pastries and culinary treats that are inherently French, including sweet and savory crepes, baguette sandwiches, and charcuterie platters.

Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options in Savannah

vegan wrap sandwich

Plenty of restaurants and food markets in Savannah offer dishes that cater to dietary restrictions, with vegan, paleo, and gluten-free menu items. One in particular includes Zunzi’s, a South African-inspired restaurant that offers food that celebrates vegetables as well as meat, with South African, Swiss, Italian, and Dutch flavor influences. Many sandwiches can be made vegetarian, and there are some vegan alternatives for those interested. One review on Yelp noted how their vegetarian sandwich was packed full, certainly not lacking in flavor. Zunzi’s is available for both takeout and delivery, perfect for whatever plans you have in the city.

For a sweeter treat, the menu at Marché de Macarons offers gluten-free macarons in seasonally rotating flavors, along with plenty of beloved daily flavors. The menu also includes dairy-free options for vegans, such as Blueberry Cobbler, which incorporates the shop’s homemade blueberry jam. You can enjoy these in house or give them away as a yummy souvenir in their handcrafted branded boxes (via Tripadvisor). To accompany your sweet treat, The Coffee Fox offers delicious handcrafted hot or iced beverages to wash everything down. Their menu also offers vegan milk alternatives.

Enjoy these soul food favorites in Savannah

Soul food is a staple in the Savannah food scene, which delights both travelers and locals who can’t get enough of the rich, mouthwatering comfort foods. Neighborhood dives like NaRobia’s Grits and Gravy on Habersham Street make all who visit feel welcome, especially with their unique style of dishes. There’s a little something for everyone, from sweet slices of French toast to smothered shrimp over hot grits, according to Yelp.

Geneva’s Famous Chicken and Cornbread Co. is another Savannah soul food staple, bringing homestyle recipes into a place where anyone can enjoy them. Geneva Wade tells Connect Savannah, "The cornbread is made from scratch. It is made from flour and cornmeal. It does require quite a bit of butter to make it, and I think that is one of the secrets of it."

The fried chicken and cornbread is, of course, the signature favorite amongst patrons, but that’s not to say the side dishes aren’t as delicious, from the macaroni and cheese to the chicken gumbo and so much more. Not to mention their menu offerings are affordable no matter the size of your group (via Restaurantji).

These sweet Savannah treats can’t be ignored

There’s always room for dessert, even after traipsing the beautiful streets of Savannah. Luckily there are plenty of places serving decadent treats that satisfy more than just your sweet tooth. One in particular is T-swirl Crepe, a Japanese crepe shop. T-swirl’s crepes are made to order and perfect for eating while walking. Sweet classics abound, including Strawberry Nutella and Caramel Apple, but the menu spans both sweet and savory options. The Thai Chicken and Matcha Chocolate Truffle crepes are fan favorites, with all crepes coming in large portions that don’t hurt your wallet, according to Yelp.

When it comes to tradition, there’s nothing better than ice cream. Leopold’s Ice Cream has understood this since opening in 1919 and has dazzled with its delectable flavor offerings. Many of these flavors also incorporate both Southern and local flair, from the Savannah Socialite with roasted Georgia pecans and bourbon-infused caramel to the Honey Almond & Cream, which uses honey from the Savannah Bee Company. The use of local ingredients and ice cream made by hand in small batches make this ice cream shop a must-stop destination in Savannah (via 365 Atlanta Traveler).