Eat Like a Local: Savannah, Georgia
For Yahoo Food’s travel summer series, Eat Like a Local, we’re taking you on a cross-country food crawl, city by city. Here’s where to chow down in America’s lesser-known destinations without sticking out like a sore thumb.
A strawberry milkshake from Leopold’s. Courtesy: Leopold’s, Facebook
Got Georgia on your mind for summer vacation? Well, first of all: Kudos to you for bravery. It is HOT there right now, so rent a car unless you’re staying in the (compact, walkable) downtown.
So says Jim Morekis, proud city native and editor-in-chief of Connect Savannah. He’s witnessed a “real Renaissance” in his hometown over the last several years. It’s a bit of a party town, he laughs, reminding us that his town has “probably the most liberal open container law in the country. In the historic district and almost the entire downtown you can walk around with a cocktail.” (That would sure take the edge off the heat.)
It’s also “not just another old history town,” he insists, and although “it’s in a conservative part of the country, it’s always been a cosmopolitan place because it’s a seaport. People really like to have a good time here.” With that in mind, here’s where to eat and drink to do Savannah like a local.
Best Place for Steak… and Karaoke: McDonough’s
Thanks to its “pub-lounge atmosphere” the “best karaoke singers in Savannah,” and “certainly the best steak in town,” McDonough’s is a very necessary stop-off. The eclectic clientele is “half-local, half tourists,” says Morekis, with hipsters and army rangers elbow-to-elbow at the bar. “Everybody gets along,” he says, deeming this “kind of the best melting pot in town.” (And get that steak. Really.) (21 E Mcdonough St; 912-233-6136)
Where to Take the Edge Off Savannah Swelter: Leopold’s Ice Cream
Although Morekis discloses that he’s friends with the owner, he thinks many would agree that this is straight-up “the best ice cream you’re probably gonna find in the South.” Tourists flock here, and lines are “really long,” Morekis admits, but thanks to staffers who walk up and down that line proffering ice water to potential customers, “the line moves fast… not like Paula Deen’s where you’re gonna be waiting for hours and hours.” (212 East Broughton St.; 912-234-4442)
Best Burger: Ampersand