You’ve taken a stroll down River Street, admired the fountain in Forsyth, and toured downtown by trolley, but there’s a lot more to see when you stay in Savannah if you know where to look! Here are our top ten Savannah gems, hiding in plain sight.
1. Mata Hari — 306 W Lower Factors Walk
You’ll need a golden key or a secret password to access this semi-exclusive speakeasy, tucked behind the Quality Inn, and marked only with a mysterious door. Like a clubhouse for adults, figuring out how to obtain entry is half the fun! Once inside, enjoy a craft cocktail while you lounge on an antique sofa, and catch a live show if you’re lucky.
2. Sandfly BBQ at the Streamliner — 1220 Barnard St.
What could be cozier than comfort food served in a converted railway car? A short walk from Forsyth Park, you’ll find this barbecue outpost, where you can curl up in a booth and chow down on BBQ beef brisket, smoked sausage, collard greens, and potato salad. With its coca-cola-colored décor and checkerboard floors, it feels like a diner straight out of the ‘50s. When you’ve eaten your fill, you can take home a local favorite for later: Brunswick stew, available to go by the pint or quart!
3. Totally Awesome Bar — 107B Whitaker St.
If you feel like basking in ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia, this basement bar has exactly what you need. The vibe is downtown dive meets teenage rec room, with pool tables, arcade games, and movie posters. The bar itself is covered in colorful cassette tapes, and the jukebox spins hits from grungier times. So brush up on your Mortal Kombat moves and grab a Punky Brewster cocktail at this underground spot!
4. PERC Coffee Shop — 1802 E Broad St.
Every coffee-loving local is familiar with PERC – the brand favored by many Savannah establishments like The Coffee Fox and Green Truck Pub – but few have gone straight to the source on East Broad St. where the blends are born and the cold brew is nitro. Here in the warehouse, you can grab a cup to go, or hang out and watch the roasting process happening on site. Stop by Saturdays at 1 for a free public cupping!
5. The back patio at Foxy Loxy — 1919 Bull St.
Foxy Loxy is hardly a secret to the SCAD students who call it home during the school year. Half coffee shop, half tex-mex cantina, it’s The Coffee Fox’s cooler younger sibling located south of the park. But on Saturday nights from 7-10 the place transforms for Fire & Wine – a weekly outdoor event that’s worth checking out if you’re into live music, half price bottles, and roasting s’mores.
6. Perch at Local 11ten — 1110 Bull St.
You don’t have to stray too far from Forsyth Park to reach this relaxing rooftop oasis. Perch is the perfect place to enjoy a pre-dinner drink and enjoy the view, situated over the sleek and elegant Local 11ten restaurant. Here among the tree-tops you can sip an invigorating jalapeno lime spritzer or sample a refreshing rosemary lemon martini, while you chat with friends over charcuterie and cheeses.
7. The Alley Cat Lounge — 207 West Broughton St. Unit B
You have to know where to look to find this aptly named cocktail bar, halfway down an alley off busy Broughton St. Down below street level, the air is cool and the cats are cooler in the dimly lit lounge where you can snag a booth if you show up early. Flip through a newspaper chock-full of high quality creative cocktails delivered to your table in classic coupes and tiki tumblers. Out with a group? Try the Artillery Punch, which comes by the bowl.
8. Congress Street Up — 220 W Congress St.
Climb the stairs on Congress to this speakeasy where the ‘20s are definitely still roaring! Nestled in the middle of Savannah’s Prohibition Museum, bartenders with flapper-style flare are serving up authentic cocktails like the Sidecar and Gin Ricky. If you visit during museum hours, you can peer through the two-way mirror to spy on patrons while they try their hand at dancing the Charleston.
9. Wall’s BBQ — 515 E York Ln.
If you’re unperturbed by the no-frills atmosphere, this hole in the wall may very well blow your mind with some of the best home cooking in the south! It’s a local favorite for lovers of soul food, tucked away down a quiet lane near Price St. and half-hidden by palm fronds. Here you can order pit-cooked ribs by the slab with a side of black eyed peas, and top it all off with sour cream pound cake piled high with whipped cream.
10. The Ordinary Pub — 217 1/2 W Broughton St.
Blink and you’ll miss it! It’s easy to pass by the entrance to The Ordinary Pub, as you saunter down Broughton. Look for the sign shaped like a penny-farthing and you’ll find a set of stairs that will lead you down to the perfect place to hide from the heat. With its brick walls and cobble-stone floor, this pub is delightfully dark and cool, serving twists on old favorites like house made fritter tots covered in Gouda and pork belly donut sliders. Don’t miss their brunch, where they serve $10 bottomless mimosas 7 days a week!
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