(Field Trip Fridays are interesting, fun, food-related and/or fishing adventures I like to share with you!)
My hubby and I recently drove to Savannah for a few days. Tourism sites say March to July is the best time to go in order to experience peak azalea season, warm temps and outdoor events (especially St. Patrick’s Day celebrations honoring some of the first [Irish] settlers in Savannah in 1734), so it was a perfect time for our first visit, and we crammed in a lot, including delicious food.
We stayed at the Marriott Riverfront, with a bird’s eye view to barges and riverboats going by. It’s at the opposite end of the Plant Riverside District, a converted power station anchored by J.W. Marriott (even if you’re not staying there, be sure to walk through the lobby because it’s amazing – full of geodes, dinosaur fossils, and skeletons).
When I check out a city, I like to visit farm to table restaurants. Two we were able to get reservations at were Local 11ten and Cha Bella. At the former, I had a rosemary/lemon martini, and a beautiful salad of crispy greens/herbs, baby beets and honey nut/seed granola. The mussels with chorizo, cherry peppers and basil, with a huge garlic aioli-slathered focaccia, made us swoon, and the house-made Garganelli bolognese was a treat. The vegetable-forward menu was filled with things like tarragon/horseradish mushrooms, polenta with bottarga/brown butter/sun choke chips, coconut curry with okra, and cauliflower with tahini/Kalamata/mint. Yum.
Cha Bella’s tagline is “a made from scratch, earth to table experience,” so it’s my kind of place.
It’s not ‘vegetable-forward,’ as it leans toward meat and seafood, but it’s all fresh and mostly local. The chunky fish cakes with caper berry remoulade were hot, crispy and delicious. The shrimp/crab risotto with Chardonnay-tarragon sauce was rich, but not overwhelming. We also had gilled Romaine with cornmeal dusted oysters, Grouper en papillote, and scallops with crispy leeks. But it was hard to turn away the cast iron hog chop, crispy pork belly, and pepper beef carpaccio. . .
On an early walk along the River we found Rhett at The Alida Hotel. The menu’s full of southern nods and fresh perspective, along with locally-sourced products from Carolina Mountain Hatchery, Geechie Boy Mill, Zeigler Honey and more. We split a delicious breakfast, but have no pics because we were starving!
Sunday brunch (on one of the prettiest days ever recorded) at Collins Quarter at Forsyth Park was delish. It was hopping, but our wait was only ~20 minutes (go early because they don’t take reservations). It’s surrounded by the park (with the famous Forsyth Park fountain), passersby/dogs, and azaleas. I had the divine Mushies & Toast (egg, wild mushrooms, chèvre, kale pistou & fried garlic). My friend had chicken & waffles with spicy maple syrup — all delish, and perfect alongside a Mimosa.
I really wanted to visit Husk, Common Thread, Erica Davis Lowcountry, The Grey (a renovated bus station), The Wyld (seafood), and Green Truck Pub (vegetarian and burgers), but we couldn’t get reservations, or ran out of time. Please try them if you go!
Savannah boasts many rooftop bars and we tried Electric Moon Skytop Lounge & Moon Deck (see my Cosmo on the geode bar top) and Perch (at Local 11ten). It’s fun seeing the city from different angles, so be sure to visit one or more if you’re in town.
The “Hop on Hop Off” tour with Old Town Trolley allowed us to experience parts of Savannah we might have otherwise missed. The guides are knowledgeable and share lots of funny stories and historical facts, so give it a try.
Finally, while I don’t eat much candy, I had to visit River Street Sweets, known for pralines and other sweets since 1973. If you’re wondering, the praline was delish 🙂
There’s so much to see and do this time of year, including farmer’s markets, street festivals, and more. I hope you plan your trip now!
How fun and every bit of it looks delicious!
It was definitely a fun trip – because it’s a fun city! There were so many good restaurants I wanted to visit, but I’ll just need to schedule another trip!
How timely as we just returned from our first visit to this enchanting city in late March. We stuck to the more pedestrian restaurants and activities so I really appreciate this deeper dive I which is the exact justification I needed for a return trip! Bookmarking this for next time – thank you!
Thanks for your note Kathryn – I’m glad I gave you new inspiration for your next trip. There’s so much to see and do, I wish I had more time (and more space to write about it all!).
We used to think Charleston was the only place to be for this type of scenery and fine low country dining. Our opinion has changed since our first trip to Savannah. Now we stop two hours short of Charleston to take in the pleasures of Savannah. If we can squeeze it in we do both cities. Thanks for the tips on new restaurants. We can verify that Husk should be on everyone’s list and we have to get to the Grey the next time there. You have Nikki and me planning a trip.
I’m glad I inspired a new trip for you and Nikki! Hopefully, we can all do more traveling these days. And, yes – the dining options and scenery in Savannah are wonderful, and it’s especially great that the city is only about a 6-hour drive from our area 🙂
Nicole, I look forward to your Friday blogs and this one I just had to forward to my 3 sisters who live in different parts of scsavannah is one of Tim’s and my favorite cities and the next time we go will definitely use this blog as a guidewe had ( very difficult to get) reservations at husk but had to cancel due to illnessso it is still on our list
your recipes are going on our ” meals to do list”Family recipes are the bestand I remember dressing in our Easter finery, too…Easter hat ( a must), frilly dress, white anklets, even gloves
Thanks for the memories❤and so much more
I’m so glad you enjoy my Field Trip Fridays! This was our first trip to Savannah, but it whetted our appetites to learn/see more of the beautiful city, so we’ll be back some day. I wish we still dressed for Easter. . .as a kid, it was one of my favorite times of the year, wearing my new dress, gloves, patten leather shoes and hat 🙂 Happy Easter!
This is great. I will reference for future bucket list trip along with Charleston SC. Thanks Nichole.
Thanks Janice – I hope you go some time. I wish had been able to stay/explore longer, but we’ll just have to go back again!