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Q: Where To Eat Local Fresh Foods in Savannah GA? A: This Cozy Historic District Bed and Breakfast + Beloved Top Dining Spots

SAVANNAH, Georgia — When a Savannah-bound traveler asks the question “Where to eat local foods in Savannah GA?”, we know right away that the healthy food trend has reached Savannah. The result is that Savannah GA is attracting more discerning, adventurous and health-conscious travelers who are foodies, too!

The bed and breakfast guests at Green Palm Inn are among those wanting unique, authentic, uber local experiences and wanting to enjoy refreshingly different and delicious cuisine.

“I want to continue to be a part of enticing travelers to Savannah, and I am happy to win over travelers through their stomachs!” says the fun-loving Diane Crews, innkeeper at Green Palm Inn, a top-pick cottage B&B known for its focus on the Softer Side of Savannah.

“I am all about pleasing my guests whether it’s reduced salt, gluten free, attention to avoid food allergies, etc.” The result? “Our Savannah inn’s food is a topic of happy lodging reviews.”

Thanks to dedicated chefs, faithful local farmers, and “buy local” businesses, today Savannah, Georgia’s cuisine is cobbled among the best reasons to get away, even last minute for a spring and summer vacation in Savannah, GA.

“Years ago, Cynthia Creighton Jones told me that professional chefs in Savannah wanted and were working for Savannah, Georgia, to be a top cuisine destination,” states retired marketing executive Sandy Traub. “That goal is rapidly becoming a reality because of diligence and focus on imaginatively prepared and presented fresh, local, seasonal food — the three basic criteria of New York Times food critic, the late R. W. Apple.”

Savannah’s Southern Food Legacies Continue!

Famously in Green Palm Inn‘s extended manner of southern hospitality, Diane and staff suggest also the uber local food indulgences.

“Great southern cooks have set what is now a continually rising and impressive benchmark for Savannah cuisine and southern cooking.  We applaud and welcome the growing number of new chefs and talented cooks entering the Savannah food scene — Chef Hugh Acheson at The Florence, Chef Mashama Bailey at The Grey Savannah, “Ele and the Chef” Ele and Sean Tran whose restaurants dot Savannah with inspiring Asian cuisine, the Daniel Reed Group who brought more local farm foods to Local11ten, Public Kitchen and Bar, and SoHo South. Gratefully, the praise-worthy list is swelling! New additions that were successful in Charleston, SC, and opening also in Savannah are CO (freshly prepared Asian cuisine) located on Whitaker Street near Bay Street, and the highly anticipated 39 Rue de Jean opening soon on West Oglethorpe Avenue near the Bike Share and DOT transportation hub.

“We cannot forget, however, those who have for decades peaked (and continue to peak) the curiosity of foodies, business travelers, and celebrities to seek out the best southern food in Savannah,” Diane adds.

  • With her Executive Chef Stephen McLain, Maureen Craig, owner of Alligator Soul builds the dinner menu at this fine dining restaurant based on the choicest day-boat fish and freshest from-the-farm produce and artisan cheese. While the restaurant enjoys rave reviews for exotic meats, southern Cajun cuisine, imaginative cocktails and romantic desserts, it is the vegetarian diners too who adore being treated like VIPs, rather than an inconvenience.

    Side note: Maybe Robert DiNiro will dine here while filming on nearby Tybee Island. When asked “20 Questions” by EatItandLikeIt‘s Jesse Blanco, McLain’s answer to “What’s your favorite movie?” is “Heat -Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.  Character development is amazing in that movie.  (Director) Michael Mann is amazing.”

  • The inspiring Mrs. Sema Wilkes began Wilkes Boarding House modestly, serving fresh southern meals cooked and served in family style. Now Wilkes Dining Room continues as a top place to eat lunch in Savannah thanks to Mrs. Wilkes’s family — great-grandson Ryan Thompson and his mother, Marcia. The family-style lunch is served from the original Jones Street location on Monday through Friday only. (Check with the restaurant your travel dates. All the staff take a vacation at one time, typically in January each year.)

Back story: “In 1943, a young and determined Sema Wilkes took over a nondescript turn-of-the-century boardinghouse on a sun-dappled brick street [Jones Street] in historic downtown Savannah. Her goal was modest: to make a living by offering comfortable lodging and Southern home cooking served family style in the downstairs dining room. Mrs. Wilkes’ reputation was strong and business was brisk from the beginning, but it was the coverage in Esquire and the New York Times, and even a profile on David Brinkley’s evening news that brought Southern-food lovers from all over the world to her doorstep….” Source: Mrs. Wilkes’ Boardinghouse Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from Her Savannah Table

  • Elizabeth Terry of Elizabeth on 37th established relationships with local farmers to serve her now-famous Southern Coastal menu. Elizabeth reportedly knew and called farmers by their first names when they delivered fresh local produce and Savannah grown herbs to her back door. Brother’s Greg & Gary Butch, long-time employees at Elizabeth on 37th, joined Michael and Elizabeth Terry as partners in 1988. The fine dining restaurant remains top tier and a favorite of celebrities filming or visiting in Savannah.

Side note: Did you know in Pat Controy’s novel “Beach Music”, the main character, Jack McCall, a cookbook writer and restaurant critic, is drawn straight from the dining room of Elizabeth on 37th? Thanks, Sandy Lee for sharing that tidbit!

  • “Who can come to Savannah and not enjoy the refreshing, freshly churned Leopold’s Ice Cream?” Diane quips. Reviving the legacy of three Leopold brothers who immigrated to Savannah from Greece, Hollywood producer Stratton Leopold and his wife Mary reopened the family’s hometown ice cream shop, now on Broughton Street next door to SCAD Trustees’ Theatre and around the corner from the historic Lucas Theatre.  The rest of this dreamy ice cream story is being written daily in downtown Savannah amid roaring applause, happy faces, and grateful palates!

Tip:  Leopold’s Ice Cream shared their seasonal flavors with us, and we are happy to pass along. We’ll begin this tempting list with Leopold’s spring and summer additions :)
→ May – Japanese Cherry Blossom, Orange Blossom, Rose Petal Cream
→ June – Huckleberry Cheese Cake, Dutch Utopia
→ July – Firecracker
→ August – Birthday Cake, Huckleberry Cheesecake
→ September – Lavender
→ October – Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon
→ November – Pumpkin Spice (ends after Thanksgiving), Cinnamon, Huckleberry Cheesecake, Sugar Plum Fairy (after Thanksgiving)
→ December – Sugar Plum Fairy (first week), Frozen Hot Cocoa, Cinnamon, Eggnog
→ January – Frozen Hot Cocoa
→ February – Chocolate Cherry Cordial, Strawberry Shortcake, Rose Petal Cream
→ March – Guinness (1-17th), Thin Mints & Cream
April – Thin Mints & Cream, Lavender, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Orange Blossom

Innkeeper/co-owner Diane Crews touts Green Palm Inn (circa 1897) as “The Softer Side of Savannah”. Originally sea captain cottages, the four-room Gingerbread Classic B&B shares cottage-inn comforts in the quiet of Greene Square’s residential neighborhood in the National Landmark Historic District. Fodor’s guide calls Green Palm Inn a “pleasing little discovery” and “a little gem of an inn”. BedandBreakfast.com named the cottage B&B a top pick for a holiday trip – “Top 10 B&Bs for the Holidays, 2011″. For more information: GreenPalmInn.com; Email GreenPalmInn@aol.com, telephone toll free in USA 888/606-9510, local and international 912/447-8901, 548 East President Street, Savannah, GA USA 31401. Twitter @GreenPalmInn, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Copyright © 2015 Green Palm Inn.

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