Breakfast of champions

Green grits, green beer, and all the corned beef you can stomach. St. Patrick's Day in Savannah is as much about the food and the beer as it is about the pub-crawling, the greening of the fountain, or the world-famous downtown parade.

And while newcomers to Savannah may expect to find the best eats on River Street after-dark, the locals know that St. Paddy's Day in Savannah is all about the breakfast.

Before you pound your first beer, fill your belly with a hearty first meal from any one of these Savannah staples, all nicely situated directly on or just a short jaunt from the parade route.

The Rail Pub:

Savannah's "favorite dive bar" is hosting their 17th annual Kegs and Eggs party at 7 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day morning. Too early for you? What if they offered you a complete-free-breakfast with the purchase of just one drink. Eggs, sausage, green grits, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, donuts and more, so long as you get there early and grab a beer. Food is served on a first-come-first-served basis, and because Kegs and Eggs have become a Savannah tradition, you should prepare to get there before seven to beat the crowds. The Parade kicks off at 10:15 a.m. which means you have plenty of time to walk up Congress Street and catch the floats as they meander down Bull Street.

The Rail Pub/405 West Congress St.

(912) 238-1311/Open 7 a.m. - 3 a.m. March 17

B. Matthews Eatery:

Voted "Best Breakfast" in Georgia in 2010 by Food Network Magazine, this hidden treasure is located on the corner of Bay and Lincoln Streets, directly adjacent to the parade. And this year, they're making things easy for their St. Patrick's Day partiers with a full spread of breakfast sandwiches and grab-and-go items that parade-watchers can purchase for $5 each. Egg, cheese, and meat wraps, sausage biscuits, coffee and more all served bright and early from 7-11 am. Come back after the parade for traditional Irish fare on their lunch menu from 11 a.m. to late afternoon.

325 E. Bay Street/ (912) 233-1319

Breakfast served 7-11 a.m/Dinner reservations strongly encouraged

17 Hundred 90 Grill and Tavern

This little Tavern is a paranormal hotspot and a regular stop on the tour of haunted Savannah, but it doubles as an old southern Bed and Breakfast and fine-dining restaurant. This St. Patrick's Day, 17 Hundred 90 is trading its white-table cloths for an express-breakfast experience-and no holiday breakfast is complete without extra spicy Bloody Maries. Grab an early bite when the restaurant opens at 7 a.m. and choose between a variety of bacon or sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit sandwiches. Wash it down with the restaurant's signature Savannah Flu Shot, a take on the horseradish Bloody Mary. 17 Hundred 90 is also the only restaurant on the East side of the parade route serving beer and liquor during the festivities, so get there early and come back later for the full Irish experience when they roll out a special dinner menu featuring Beef and Guinness Stews, classic Bangars and Mash and all the corned beef and cabbage you can eat.

307 E. Presidents St./(912) 236-7122

Breakfast 7-11 a.m

Goosefeathers Express Café and Bakery

Diners at Savannah's Goosefeather's café should expect to make some difficult decisions on St. Patrick's Day morning: the Eggetarian-two poached eggs, pesto, tomato, hollandaise and cheddar between two slices of buttery croissant-or the mile-high corned beef Rueben on thick slices of rye? Wash it down with a cup of piping hot coffee and round out your meal with a whimsical mint-green whoopee-pie baked specially for St. Patrick's Day. Located on the corner of Barnard and Broughton, you're only a short walk away from the Bull Street leg of the parade route, which means you won't miss a single float on account of your delicious breakfast.

39 Barnard St./(912) 233-4683

Open 7 a.m.-2.30 p.m.

J. Christopher's

Sunday-morning church goers, revelers from Saturday's night's bar crawl, and plethora of SCAD students and professors all convene at this immensely popular breakfast, brunch, and lunch joint for some of the biggest portions and most decadent pancakes you've ever seen. St. Patrick's Day at J. Christopher's this year is all about infusing hearty American breakfasts with a little luck o' the Irish. Try the Eggs O' Benedict or chow down on the corned beef hash with the Skillet O'Bryan. And don't forget about their delicious lunch options: nothing tames those post-parade hunger pangs quite like J. Christopher's Dublin Chicken Sandwich.

122 E Liberty/(912) 236-7494

Open 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Whether you kick off St. Paddy's with "Kegs and Eggs" or grab a bite as you cheer on the parade, your first meal of the day should set the tone for the rest of the party. After all, one can't live on beer alone, and with so many options to choose from, this St. Patrick's Day, you won't have to.




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