Whether you’re a first-quarter freshman freshly arrived from Phoenix, Ariz. or a dirty hipster wise to the ways of downtown, you still need to eat.
Thing is, you’re a student and you want good taste without spending a fortune. There are those loans looming in the not-so-distant future to pay off, after all. Fortunately for you, Savannah offers a plethora of restaurants, cafés and bistros that balance that struggle between cravings and the moths hiding out in your wallet.
Graduate writing student, Tiffany Cullen, offers the insider’s guide to finding the best flavors for the best value.
B. Matthew’s Eatery on Bay Street is a great place for a traditional Southern breakfast. Dine inside in the pub-style dining room or outside under the large umbrella topped tables. Try the ultimate Lamp Post Breakfast of three eggs any style, bacon, sausage, or ham with creamy grits, home-style gravy, hash browns and a fluffy biscuit. Or dive into the Shrimp and Grits for real local flavor with tender grilled shrimp over stone-ground cheddar grits. For the non-meat eaters, the Veggie Wrap is a great alternative filled with scrambled eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, fresh spinach and mushrooms and served with a side of tangy salsa. On Sunday, try the Salmon BLT or the Apple Bourbon Pancakes served with fresh fruit for a brunch that’s out of this world.
Price Range: $5.25 – $10.00
Is it a gas station or a gourmet wine shop? Either way, the Parker’s Market on Drayton Street provides a quick breakfast for people on-the-go. Starting Sundays at midnight and continuing to 10 a.m. the following morning, you will find home-style cheese grits, a breakfast burrito or spinach croissant. Note: This place is essential for making it through midterms and finals. The Parker’s breakfast bowls—made with eggs, sausage and a southern gravy covered biscuit— provides a hearty powerhouse of protein and carbs for those who bike between classes. A meeting place for tourists and locals, the laid-back atmosphere and collection of high-end giftware encouragse shoppers and diners to relax at the outdoor dining tables as the bustling world passes by. The 100-year-old red and white Mediterranean style building invites patrons 24/7 to fill up their tanks, both personal and vehicular.
Price Range: $1.29-$5.99
J. Christopher’s on Liberty Street reads more like a museum than a restaurant with vivid its white walls adorned with oversized, colorful works of art. It’s a hip atmosphere to enjoy a lip-smacking breakfast from 7 a.m- 2 p.m. every day.
A perennial favorite is the Eggs Christopher, a bit of a twist on eggs Benedict made with poached eggs nestled on a bed of honey roasted turkey, crisp bacon and tomato atop a toasted English muffin that is then drizzled with freshly prepared Hollandaise sauce. Have it with a side of oven-roasted potatoes and fresh fruit. For a special treat, try one of the original omelets. The Billy Goat and the San Bernardino rank among the most popular.
Price Range: $1.29 – $13.99
From 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on State Street, Taste of India Express’ lunch buffet gets you in and out in short order, but the lunch specials invite you to linger. The buffet options change daily on a set schedule. Be sure to stop in on Thursdays for the Chicken Korma or the Lamb Vindaloo. Nothing is terribly spicy, but can be made so to order. If the buffet options don’t tickle your fancy for that day, order from their extensive standard menu.Order one meat, one vegetable, basmati rice, naan bread and a soft drink for only $5.99. The ornate interior of hand-painted murals and decorated elephants transports you to heart of India.
Price Range: $5.99 – $12
Sail away on a boatload of flavor at Kayak Kafé on Broughton Street. Try any of its healthy salads and delicious sandwiches. Sit at the window to watch Broughton Street pop with activity while you enjoy a delicious gourmet salad, sandwich, wrap or panini. Order the Broughton Cobb, an organic bed of mixed greens, sliced avocados, organic tomatoes (from locally owned Polk’s Market), hardboiled eggs, and applewood smoked bacon, succulent roasted chicken, sliced carrots and alfalfa sprouts.
Not looking for a salad? Try one of Kayak’s signature paninis. The Balsamico filled with Portobello mushrooms, red peppers, eggplant, spinach and melted mozzarella satisfies both the vegetarian and the carnivore. For a winning combination, enjoy a half sandwich with your choice of soup or salad. End your lunch with a giant chocolate chip cookie or brownie.
Price Range: $7.50- $10
Next time you need to visit York Hall, walk a few steps across the street and try the local favorite with the South African flair, Zunzi’s, where Europe joins Africa in a delightful and mouthwatering meeting of taste sensations. Pick up one of their popular sandwiches or salads for a hearty and flavor-filled portable lunch. Try the Charbroiled Salmon Salad for a hearty and healthy meal or pick up the intoxicatingly good falafel with lettuce, tomato and onions on a soft baked pita wrap. For the meat eaters, try the Burger Jo Burg Style made with crispy bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato and topped with a fried egg. The wait down the street is definitely worth every penny and every wonderful bite.
Price Range: $4.95 – $10
Retreat to the Mediterranean without your frequent flyer miles with only a short jaunt to Stephenson Avenue. Toucan Café offers soups, salads and sandwiches for moderate prices. Step into the vibrantly colored dining room adorned by retail displays showing off the craftsmanship of local artisans. Wooden and painted toucans line the walls. Enjoy the chicken farfalle with mushrooms, artichokes, and basil all tossed in a sweet cream sauce.
For the seafood lover, try the delicious bourbon salmon slow roasted in a wood burning oven with mashed sweet potatoes and tender portobello mushrooms. Foodies obsessed with prime cuts of steak and pork will delight in the meat entrees all accompanied by stir fired veggies and potatoes. For a lighter course, take a bite out of the house salad and Toucan’s famous sweet mustard vinaigrette.
Price range: $8 – $22
Enter a world of exotic beauty on Broughton Street with sparkling hardwood floors, tables with white linens and a booth area with a wooden thatch roof. Ruan Thai Cuisine’s atmosphere matches the quality of its food. The cobalt blue glassware accents the deep red walls and ornate decorations.
Start your relaxing dinner with an order of crispy spring rolls filled with seasonal vegetables and chili dipping sauce. Follow up your appetizer with a cup of the hot and sweet Tom Yum soup with tofu, chicken or seafood. For dinner, enjoy a spicy curry, their famous Holy Basil, Drunken Noodle or the Ruan Thai Fried Rice with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and tofu. For a special treat or when parents come in town, try the whole snapper or flounder seared to perfection and topped with Ruan’s special three sauce marinade.
Price Range: $12.95-$20.95
Gather the gang for a lively night out of great Mexican food—Texas style. Mosey on down Broughton Street to the prehistoric white bricked arena of T-Rex Mex, located under the Clothing Warehouse. A white dinosaur head welcomes patrons to the bar as delicious pub grub aromas fill the air. Dive into their assortment of nachos, tacos, quesadillas and burritos.
Both vegetarians and meat eaters will find something to satisfy their south of the border cravings. Tacos come with your choice of meat and lettuce, tomato, and jack cheese. The key stone of the menu—the awe inspiring quesadillas come on a honey wheat tortilla with black beans, jack cheese and salsa. For a lighter entrée, try the Southwest Salad with grilled chicken, black bean corn salsa, olives and banana peppers over a bed of romaine lettuce.
Price Range: $4 – $7
Nothing ends a meal better than dessert. So if none of the desserts at the restaurants mentioned above send you sailing with gastronomical delight, try out the following places for desserts that tickle any taste bud.
Move over TCBY, frozen yogurt has a new kid in town and its name is delicious, well, actually, it’s Fruzen Twist.
Owned and operated by the dynamic duo, brothers Simon Vu and Justin Tran. Every flavor of yogurt is made with fresh ingredients to provide a healthy dessert alternative. Try the coconut and mango twist for a crazy taste ticker tape parade in your mouth.
Some other great flavors to try include coffee, raspberry, peanut butter and the classics vanilla, chocolate and original. With more than 50 toppings to chose from, adding crumbled cookies, crunchy cereals, fresh fruits and assorted candies opens up a whole new world of taste experiences.
Price Range: $.45 cents per ounce
For more than 90 years, Leopold’s Ice Cream has packed a punch to the taste buds with its velvety, homemade ice creams, next door to the Trustees Theater. Locals and tourists alike wait in lines that extend well down the block just for a couple of scoops of Peanut Butter Chippy, SCAD Honey and Almond or the Mocha Chocolate Chip.
Leopold’s also carries seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Spice, Eggnog, S’Mores, and Huckleberry Cheesecake. Get any of these flavors in a classic malt or milkshake made the old fashioned way. If ice cream is a little too heavy, try one of their floral or fruited sorbets for a light and refreshing end to the day.
Price Range: $2.75-7.50
Want to impress your date? Finish the evening by taking a short stroll to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and share a generous slice of Lulu’s Chocolate Bar’s signature strawberry suspension cake—a rich pastry of whole strawberries suspended in cream between two layers of dark chocolate pound cake and encased in a shiny layer of smooth chocolate ganache.
Chase it with one of the many house-made truffles, dipped fruits or crème brulees. Finish the evening with a cup of Lulu’s traditional drinking chocolate—just to cut the sweetness—or, if you are of age, a chocolate martini. The brick walls and mood-lit atmosphere manages to be both swank and festive.
Price Range: $4 – $14