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Sweet Taste of Savannah

Southern cookbook author and personality behind, A Food-Inspired Life, Libbie Summers, gives us a taste of her home-town Savannah, Georgia. With signature ingredients like bourbon, butter & peaches it’s hard to believe that you can go wrong with any dish coming out of this city. Luckily, we have your inside scoop to this sweet and savory city.

What are three things you love about Savannah?

The people, the history, and the weather!

Savannahians don’t trade on pretense. What you see is what you get –a creative and colorful people with an infectious sense of humor and endearing stubbornness. I’m always in awe of Savannah’s rich history. A must when visiting Savannah is going on a proper tour, whatever your interest. And trust me, they never disappoint. Some of my favorite tours include: Architectural Savannah, Freedom Trail Tour, Genteel and Bard Fine Savannah Walking Tours (History and Ghost). Gates and Gardens Tour. Mild winters keep things moving while steamy summers slow things down. I attribute the weather to why Savannahians live and work at a gentler, more thoughtful pace. It’s refreshing to see how that pace seems to rub off on visitors after a couple of days into their visit.

Best Hotels in the City?

At the top of my list is The Brice Hotel (pet friendly). I love the Brice for it’s soaking bath tubs, Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar Restaurant, large outdoor courtyard and the adorable seersucker uniforms the hotel staff wears.

The most inspiring dish you’ve had in Savannah?

It’s a simple thing that a cook may do with our locally grown ingredients that inspires me. The first time I had collards boiled WITH peanuts at a local BBQ shack, my world changed. It didn’t hurt that it was a side to the most wonderful pulled pork. Or, how the chow chow that Mashama Bailey from The Grey restaurant makes to go with her roasted “yard bird” (aka chicken) was so perfectly sour and sweet that it kept me up all night thinking about it.

A signature Savannah dish/meal entails:

Bourbon, butter and peaches.

Favorite places to eat?

The culinary scene in Savannah is on fire. Some of my favorites include:

The Grey: EVERYTHING!!! Amazing restored space, outstanding food, drinks and service.

Collin’s Quarters: Love the simple clean menu at breakfast and lunch. Their walk up coffee window is my favorite place to grab a coffee in town and the fact that they give away dog biscuits helps to seal the deal.

The AtlanticAn old gas station turned laid-back neighborhood eatery with a flavorful menu, extensive wine list, carefully picked beers and craft cocktails.

Sandfly BBQI dream about the pulled chicken sandwich.

Smith Brother’s Butcher Shop: A modern grocery store/butcher shop/lunch counter and the best house made garlic cheese spread you’ll ever eat.

Crystal Beer Parlor : …I have a crush on the lamb burger.

Circa 1875 : French bistro without the bravado.

Bella Napoli BistroThe size and feel of an Italian grandmother’s kitchen…complete with the best homemade pasta, sauce and family arguments.

Beetnix :This place is the sole reason why I hope Buddha Bowls and Fresh Pressed Juices are always in fashion.

Mrs. WilkesA Savannah tradition –get the fried chicken.

Flying Monk Noodle BarI rarely stray from the White Elephant.

Any treats you’ve ever tried to mimic yourself?

Since I’m a baker at heart, I challenged myself to make the best Red Velvet Cake in the history of red velvet cakes. I wanted my “super cake” to be organic and lower in sugar than the usual Savannah version. Two months of my life later, I think I nailed it and published it in one of my cookbooks.

Best spot for drinks and a social scene?

Yes, you can walk around in most of the Historic District with an open cup (plastic only) filled with libations of the liquor type –that alone should speak volumes. If you want to have a drink, walk by any courtyard on a Summer night and invite yourself in or hit up one of our many social spots. Some of my favorites include:  Abe’s on Lincoln, Perch, and The Jinx (for live music).

Family-friendly activities to do in the city?

Savannah is filled with things to do with the littles. Make plans to go to the Savannah Children’s Museum, Georgia State Railroad Museum, Oatland Island Wildlife Center, Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace (founder of the Girl Scouts), Forsyth Park, Massie Heritage Center and save room for Leopold’s Ice Cream!  

Best places to shop?

The best shopping in Savannah is found behind the often colorful doors of our many boutiques and galleries that are filled with high end, hand made and hard to find objet d’art. {See below for Libbie’s complete list of favorite go-to shops}

Anything else we missed?

Savannah is a rising star in the festival world. The Savannah Film Festival presented by SCAD, Savannah Music Festival, Savannah Stopover, Savannah Book Festival and Savannah Food & Wine Festival are each worth planning a trip around.

 Hotels in the City

The Brice Hotel, 601 E Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 238-1200
The Hamilton-Turner Inn, 330 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1  (912) 233-1833
Lucky Savannah Vacation Rentals, 317 E Broad St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 257-4050

Where to Eat

The Grey, 109 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 662-5999
Collin’s Quarters, 151 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 777-4147
The Atlantic, 102 E Victory Dr, Savannah, GA 31405| +1 (912) 417-8887
Sandfly BBQ, 1220 Barnard St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 335-8058
Smith Brother’s Butcher Shop, 535 E Liberty, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 239-4512
Crystal Beer Parlor, 301 W Jones St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 349-1000
Circa 1875, 48 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 443-1875
Bella Napoli Bistro, 18 E State St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 355-5555
Beetnix, 18 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 231-9643
Mrs. Wilkes, 107 W Jones St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 232-5997
Flying Monk Noodle Bar, 5 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 232-8888

Drinks & Social Scene

Abe’s on Lincoln, 17 Lincoln St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 349-0525
Perch, 1110 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 790-9000
The Jinx, 127 W Congress St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 236-2281
Treylor Park, 115 E Bay St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 495-5557
Hitch, 300 Drayton St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 239-6970
El- Rocko Lounge, 117 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 495-5808
Alleycat Lounge, 207 West Broughton Street Unit B, Savannah, GA, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 677-0548

Family Friendly

Savannah Children’s Museum, 655 Louisville Rd, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 651-4292
Georgia State Railroad Museum, 655 Louisville Rd, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 651-6823
Oatland Island Wildlife Center, 711 Sandtown Rd, Savannah, GA 31410|+1 (912) 395-1212
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, 10 E Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 233-4501
Forsyth Park, Drayton St & W Gaston Street, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 351-3837
Massie Heritage Center, 207 E Gordon St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 395-5070
Leopold’s Ice Cream, 212 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 234-4442

Shopping

Laney Contemporary Art, 1810 Mills B Ln Blvd #2a, Savannah, GA 31405| +1 (912) 272-1477
PW Short General Store, 414 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 349-6378
Custard Boutique, 422 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 232-4733
Alex Raskin Antiques, 441 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401| +1 (912) 232-8205
Measure: a fabric parlor, 311 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 209-0942
Number Four Eleven, 411 Whitaker St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 443-0065
Satchel, 4 E Liberty, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 233-1008
24 E Design Co., 24 E Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 233-2274
The Paris Market and Brocante, 36 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 232-1500
Urban Poppy, 2312 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 429-3298
Zia Boutique, 325 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 233-3237
Habersham Antiques Market, 2502 Habersham St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 238-5908
Picker Joe’s, 217 E 41st St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 239-4657
Emily McCarthy Shoppe, 2428 Abercorn St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 495-5386
Fabrika Fine Fabrics and Gifts, 2A E Liberty St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 236-1122
River Street Sweets, 13 E River St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 234-4608
Chocolat by Adam Turoni, 323 W Broughton St, Savannah, GA 31401|+1 (912) 335-2914

Image Credit for Libbie Cook

Teresa Earnest

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