Best of Savannah 2006: Food 

Best Chef

Robbie Woods

Serving up delectable dishes at Georges’ on Tybee makes Savannah native Robbie Woods the city’s best chef, according to our readers. His specialties are Nouveau Southern dishes such as shrimp and grits, and Pan Asian, especially Thai. But he also makes a mean steak tartare and sashimi to die for.

Runner-up: Paul Kennedy cooks up tasty treats and elegant cuisine as the owner of Paul Kennedy Catering.


Best Service

Elizabeth on  37th

Glorious food served in the romantic atmosphere of an authentic mansion by a friendly, efficient and caring wait staff make Elizabeth on 37th a perennial favorite of Conne readers.

Runner-up: The Olde Pink House Restaurant provides friendly service and wondrous food in a romantic 18th century setting.


Best Restaurant View

Pearl’s Saltwater Grille

Located on LaRoche Avenue, this waterfront restaurant offers spectacular views and scrumptious seafood. Be sure and try the hush puppies.

Runner-up: Windows at the Hyatt offers a stunning view of the Savannah River, with passing ships and an excellent opportunity for people-watching.


Best Restaurant in Which to be Seen

Il Pasticcio

This upscale Italian restaurant is a favorite with the many celebrities who visit Savannah. In addition to exquisite food and drink, the restaurant offers an elegant atmosphere among the glitterati that makes it the restaurant to be seen in.

Runner-up: Elizabeth on 37th Street is a James Beard Foundation award-winning, upscale restaurant that is famous for its food and service.


Best Outdoor Dining

The Crab Shack

Want to go on a Caribbean cruise but can’t afford it? Visiting The Crab Shack is like a journey to a tropical island, with live oaks growing right up through the deck and resident alligators to visit nearby. This restaurant is always a favorite with locals and tourists.

Runner-up: Vinnie Van Go-Go’s is a popular spot for pizza lovers, and who doesn’t love pizza? Its location in City Market means a never-ending passing parade of people to watch and wonder about.



Best Appetizers

Jazz’d Tapas Bar

These may be appetizers, but they come in generous portions. Enjoy both Spanish and Lowcountry flavors.

Runner-up: Tapas at City Market offers international cuisine, including some unusual but oh-so-tasty appetizers.


Best Buffet

Lady & Sons

Owner Paula Deen’s star continues to rise, with more cookbooks, a national magazine, a popular show on the Food Network and a plum movie role to her credit. But it is the incredible buffet at The Lady and Sons that is the star in her crown, and it gets the highest marks from locals and the many tourists who come to Savannah just to eat there.

Runner-up: Golden Corral offers a huge variety of food with something to please every one, no matter what age or appetite.


Best Cheap Lunch


A large and diverse menu, a location on Broughton Street, yet this restaurant has reasonable prices and quick, friendly service. How do they do that?

Runner-up: Sweet Potatoes offers tasty Southern cuisine in large portions for  astonishingly low prices.


Best Hamburger

B&D Burgers

Burgers is what they do, folks, so don’t go in expecting to order chicken or pizza. But, oh, what a variety of burgers! Even one for vegetarians!

Runner-up: Crystal Beer Parlor offers burgers that are huge and juicy, with lots of tasty sides to choose from.


Best Pizza

Vinnie Van Go-Go’s

This place just keeps getting more popular all the time. It offers great pizza, outdoor dining and it’s pet friendly, too, making Vinnie’s hard to beat.

Runner-up: Mellow Mushroom on Liberty Street offers hot, tasty pizza and plenty of outdoor seating for the large crowds that gather there.


Best Pizza Delivery

Mellow Mushroom

With the crowds that surround this popular restaurant every night, it might seem that everyone dines in at Mellow Mushroom. But guess what -- they have a speedy and friendly delivery service, too!

Runner-up: Domino’s delivers the goods.


Best Internet Cafe


Located in City Market, Boba’s is a great place to munch and get in some quality computer time.

Runner-up: Gallery Espresso offers coffee, tea, wine, baked goods and dessert to keep you noshing while you surf the net.


Best Bakery

B. Mathews

In addition to salads, deli meats and other goodies, B. Matthews offers baked goods such as gourmet cookies and a wide selection of breads, plus cakes for all special occasions.

Runner-up: Back in the Day makes its cakes, donuts, pastries and other goodies the old-fashioned way -- as they were done “back in the day.”


Best Salad

Kayak Kafe

Located in the Downtown Athletic Club, the Kayak Kafe offers gourmet salads and other healthy offerings.

Runner-up: The Exchange on Waters Avenue knows how to do salad right, with fresh, crisp ingredients and delectable dressings.


Best Coffee House

The Sentient Bean

It’s not just the coffee and other delicious offerings that make The Sentient Bean so special, it’s the art shows, film screenings, live music and social gatherings. This is truly Savannah’s gathering spot.

Runner-up: Starbuck’s may be a chain, but it still offers a convivial atmosphere for gathering with friends.


Best Coffee


No wonder there’s a Starbuck’s going up everywhere you look. We Americans just can’t seem to get enough of that Starbuck’s coffee.

Runner-up: The Sentient Bean offers the finest in free trade coffees and teas, plus all the goodies to go with them.


Best Iced Tea

Carey Hilliard’s

Nothing beats the heat like a cold glass of sweet tea, and Carey Hilliard’s restaurants know just how to brew this long-standing Southern favorite.

Runner-up: The Lady and Sons serves its iced tea fresh, cold and good.


Best Sandwich

SoHo South

Legendary among those in the Savannah art scene, this cafe is located in the Savannah Fine Arts Gallery and serves up some unique and delicious sandwiches, such as the grilled salmon club.

Runner-up: The Sentient Bean serves sandwiches that are fresh and hearty.



Best Wings


This chain restaurant on Broughton Streets has a huge menu with sandwiches, sides, salads, plate lunches -- and the best wings in town.

Runner-up: Coach’s Corner is a sports bar that takes its food seriously, and the wings are to die for.


Best Sushi

Sushi Zen

Now with two locations, this Japanese restaurant has become a favorite for many Savannahians.

Runner-up: Sakura offers up fresh and tasty favorites.


Best Steak


This Aussie-style chain restaurant offers the finest cuts of beef, and to get you started, the Bloomin’ Onion, Mate.

Runner-up: Longhorn may not be glitzy or trendy, but it is a consistent favorite of Connect Savannah readers.


Best Desserts


Upscale with a decided Southern twist, Gottlieb’s carries a long family history of fine dining and service and some of the most scrumptious desserts you’ll ever find.

Runner-up: Elizabeth on 37th offers desserts as elegant as the main courses.


Best Fast Food

Chic Fil-A

This one is a consistent favorite with Connect Savannah readers, who can’t get enough of those yummy chicken sandwiches.

Runner-up: Wendy’s offers burgers, fries, chili and other fast-food delights.


Best Ice Cream Shoppe


In addition to freshly made ice cream treats, Leopold’s offers a bit of Hollywood glamor through its owner, Stratton Leopold,  who is executive producer of the blockbuster Mission:Impossible III and a native of Savannah who revived his family’s beloved business.

Runner-up: Cold Stone Creamery is highly praised for its high quality ice cream. Slurp!


Best Smoothie

Smoothie King

The reigning royal among smoothie makers, Smoothie King has the finest ingredients to blend into the smoothie of your choice.

Runner-up: Maui Smoothie offers a taste of the Hawaiian Islands, in the heart of downtown Savannah.


Best Catering

Creative Catering

This professional catering service believes no group is too small or too large, and serves groups ranging in size from 50 to 5,000 people.

Runner-up: Susan Mason’s Catering offers full service catering, for all types of events.


Best Breakfast

The Breakfast Club

Established in 1976 on Tybee Island, this eatery has become world-famous for its breakfast offerings. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait in line to get inside -- it’s that good.

Runner-up: Clary’s offers a variety of breakfast foods, which are served all day on weekends, but the undoubted favorite is the delicious but mysterious Hoppel Poppel.


Best American Cuisine

The Lady and Sons

A never-ending choice of main dishes and sides, plus some of the best desserts around. Oh, and by the way, it’s owned by Savannah’s own Paula Deen.

Runner-up: Johnny Harris has been serving American favorites continuously since 1924, making it Savannah’s oldest restaurant.


Best Tea Room

The Savannah Tea Room

This charming tea room offers lunch and afternoon tea, plus a fine selection of loose teas to take home and brew.

Runner-up: Gryphon Tea Room offers a large selection of hot teas -- and iced teas, too.


Best Exotic Restaurant


Enjoy delicious foods from the Middle East at Savannah’s only Morrocan restaurant, complete with desert-tent decor and bellydancers.

Runner-up: Taste of India serves up authentic North India cuisine with a few delicacies from Bombay and South India.


Best Southeast Asian Cuisine


This Broughton Street eatery offers authentic Thai and Vietnamese food made daily with fresh vegetables and meat.

Runner-up: Kao in Thunderbolt offers the finest in Thai food, the comfort food of Asian cuisine.


Best Seafood

The Crab Shack

Nestled along Chimney Creek on colorful Tybee Island, this seafood restaurant is open seven days a week and offers lunch specials until 3 p.m. Live oaks growing through the deck and a tropical lagoon exhibit with 78 live alligators make this one unique place to dine.

Runner-up: The Oyster Bar is a favorite with locals, who love its seafood and steaks. There are two locations -- on historic River Street and another on Johnny Mercer Boulevard.


Best Chicken

Johnny Harris

A Savannah favorite since 1924, Johnny Harris is world-famous for its barbecue and fried chicken.

Runner-up: The Lady and Sons offers Southern-fried chicken made the way your granny used to make it.


Best Barbecue

Sticky Fingers

Flavorful ribs and wings, slow-cooked to perfection, in all barbecue styles known to man. Don’t worry -- they provide plenty of napkins to wipe those sticky fingers.

Runner-up: Sweet Leaf Smokery & Eatery on Abercorn Street has mastered the science of barbecue.


Best Japanese

Sushi Zen

Sushi, Tempura, grilled items and appetizers made from original Yoshi recipes make Sushi Zen a favorite. Dine downtown, or at Sushi Zen’s Southside location on Eisenhower Drive.

Runner-up: Hirano’s offers consistently tasty specials and friendly service.


Best Mexican


This restaurant offers authentic Mexican cuisine, including specialties such as Guadalajara Cheese Steak and Cream of Mushroom Pollo.

Runner-up: Carlito’s may be the new kid on the block, but  it’s already a favorite with diners.


Best Chinese

Wang’s II

This restaurant is a consistent winner in this category, and no wonder. It offers Hunan, Szechuan and Cantonese favorites, all under one  roof.

Runner-up: Asian Buffet has a seemingly endless number of dishes to choose from, from appetizers to entrees to dessert.


Best Greek

The Olympia Cafe

Three restaurants in one -- elegant dining, casual dining and Greek fast food. And it’s all delicious!

Runner-up: Grapevine Restaurant does for Wilmington Island what the Olympia does for River Street.


Best Vegetarian

Brighter Day Natural Foods

Giving up meat doesn’t mean giving up flavor, and Brighter Day is proof of that. And after dining, you can do your grocery shopping.

Runner-up: The Sentient Bean isn’t just about the coffee, you know. They also offer some excellent cuisine.


Best Italian

Il Pasticcio

This classy restaurant was voted one of America’s ten best Italian restaurants. It’s a favorite with visiting celebrities, and the Luna Lounge located above Il Pasticcio makes it a hot nightspot, to boot.

Runner-up: Bella’s is a true neighborhood cafe, with delicious Italian favorites.


Best Southern

The Lady and Sons

Who would argue that Paula Deen is simply the best Southern chef in the whole dang South?

Runner-up: Sweet Potatoes has delicious Southern favorites such as pork chops or catfish -- and of course, sweet potatoes!


Best Pub Food


With British decor and an authentic British menu (be sure and try the sausage rolls), Churchill’s offers up the finest of England, Southern-style.

Runner-up: Six Pence Pub is an authentic British pub, complete with a red phone booth, and it’s located in the heart of the Historic District.


Most Romantic Restaurant

Elizabeth on 37th

This restaurant definitely is for lovers of all ages, whether they are lovers of the romantic kind or merely lovers of fine cuisine.

Runner-up: The Olde Pink House offers intimate dining suitable for that oh-so-important first date to the 50th wedding anniversary.


Best Deli

Midtown Deli

The best in meat, cheeses, breads, pickles -- anyone who loves deli (and who doesn’t?) loves the Midtown Deli on Abercorn Street. Wait until you try the bagels!

Runner-up: Fresh Market is a relative newcomer to Savannah, but already is a favorite with our readers because of its luscious deli meats and super fresh produce.


Best Sunday Brunch


A large selection of entrees to choose from makes Sunday brunch at the Hyatt an enduring tradition.

Runner-up: The Westin’s Aqua Star features a world-class kitchen staff in a world-class hotel.


Best Tybee Restaurant

North Beach Grill

This is a great place to wind down after a long day at the beach. The menu offers fresh seafood and a hint of the Caribbean, and the location just below the Tybee Lighthouse is an additional blessing.

Runner-up: Georges’ of Tybee offers elegant and classy dining daily after 6 p.m.


Best Southside Restaurant

Toucan Cafe

Located on Stephenson Avenue, the Toucan gets high marks for food, atmosphere and service. And you can even shop for specialty items, such as garlic pickles, cheesecake and more, to take home!

Runner-up: Sweet Potatoes (Toucan Cafe’s sister restaurant) offers Southern food in generous portions, so don’t forget to bring your appetite!


Best Downtown Restaurant

The Sapphire Grill

The winner of the 2006 DiRona Award and the 2005 Wine Spectator Award, this restaurant offers the best in food and drink, plus it is one happening spot.

Runner-up: Avida Restaurant and Wine Bar not only offers incredible treats for the tongue, it’s a hip hangout, too.


Best Overall Restaurant

The Olde Pink House

Located in a historic, romantic, beautiful and (supposedly) haunted 18th century house, this restaurant offers savory delights, brought to you by friendly servers. The unique combination of food, atmosphere and superior service makes The Olde Pink House hard to beat, and Connect readers have named it Numero Uno.

Runner-up: Elizabeth on 37th Street offers incredible food in an incredible setting. 



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