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Savannah Historic District
Savannah Historic District/ Riverfront
Savannah Historic District
Savannah Historic District

It’s the end of the holiday season and the beginning of a new year. (Is it really 2020? How’d that happen?). Chances are, you’ve raised your glass a time or two over the course of the past month or so and toasted to family, friends, success, and any number of causes for celebration. Now, here we are in a new year and I have one more toast to propose: Here’s to your health!

Now wait a minute – before you dismiss this as just another “lose weight” kinda resolution-making pep talk – it’s not. It’s about smiling, laughing, having energy, enjoying every bite, and knowing you’re eating real ingredients. It’s about doing something good for you and possibly feeling far better than you have in months – or even years. It’s about just giving something a taste and opening your mind to the very real possibility that you could – wait for it – actually fall in love with plant-based eating. Better yet, you can make this profound discovery while on vacation in Savannah! Here’s how:

Let’s start just off Troup Square in historic downtown Savannah at the plant-based Fox & Fig Café. Touted as Savannah’s premier vegan café, Fox & Fig has a loyal following of patrons who can’t get enough of the café’s brunch-centric menu. Pizza? Burgers? Lasagna? Yes, yes, and yes! All are served up, plant-based style with ingredients that include macadamia ricotta, organic cashew cheese, cauliflower crust, chickpeas and more good-for-you surprises. The café also offers locally roasted PERC coffee, coconut cream milkshakes from famed Savannah landmark Leopold’s Ice Cream, and even house-made cashew hemp lattes. Since opening in 2017, the café has earned four “Best” honors including Best Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurant in the area, and in November 2019 was recognized as the most vegan-friendly restaurant in the entire state of Georgia by Yelp. Whether you’re just staring out on the plant-based journey are have been on it for miles, Fox & Fig will not disappoint.

But wait! There’s more! Kayak Kafé downtown on Broughton Street has been serving the Savannah area for more than 13 years. “Whether you follow a plant-based, gluten free, vegan, paleo or omnivore diet, we offer great house-made choices made from the highest quality ingredients around,” said owner/operator Brenden Pappas.

Brenden described the café as “a healthy oasis in the land of Southern cooking.” We all know the land of Southern cooking, though incredibly delicious, isn’t necessarily famous for being the most health conscious (but guilt-free splurging is certainly allowed). All of Kayak Kafé’s cuisine is made fresh, in house and includes betcha-can’t-tell-it’s-healthy selections like the Black-Eyed Pea Burger, Lime Chicken Enchiladas, and Walnut Chorizo Tacos. “If you didn’t know it was healthy, you would still love it as much,” Brenden affirmed. One more reason to love Kayak is that they’re looking out for your health and the health of our planet by serving to-go orders in biodegradable, compostable products. Don’t you feel better already? With another location in Midtown Savannah, you should definitely give Kayak a try.

So, you’re eating good, feeling good, now let’s keep that good going with a stop at Brighter Day Natural Foods Market at the south end of Forsyth Park. According to a recent article in the Savannah Morning News, one of the first customers of Brighter Day back when it first opened in 1978 was Sandy West, who is about to turn 107 years old. Kinda makes you think there must be something to this healthy eating craze, huh? Owners Janie and Peter Brodhead have been the mainstays at Brighter Day since the beginning and have lovingly grown the store into a mecca of all things health related including fresh produce, vitamins and supplements (and the expert staff to guide you to what you need), deli and juice bar, outdoor café, and more.

Brighter Day recently made headlines when Peter and Janie announced their retirement and introduced the city to its new owners, Brad Baugh and Kristin Russell, owner of another good-for-you downtown Savannah stop, The Sentient Bean – which also happens to be next door to Brighter Day. Can’t decide which place to go? Go to both! Stop at Brighter Day to load up on vitamins (and the knowledge to go with them) then swing by Sentient Bean for an amazing cup of coffee or food selections like the ‘queso no queso’ that swaps out cheese for hummus or the vegan super-bowl that we assure you lives up to its name!

If this blog post has done its job, then you’re feeling healthier just by reading it! And if you’re nodding your head in agreement right now, just imagine how great you’ll feel when you actually try all these amazing places!  So, here’s to your health and an incredible, life-enhancing stay in Savannah!

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