Savannah offers eye candy for architectural aficionados and history buffs alike, but it has the goods to capture the attention of the food crazed, too. Whether you’re planning a vacation in Savannah this summer or just passing through on your way to ocean paradise, here are a few stops that will please gastronomes who swat away the thought of eating at McDonald’s as if it were a pesky sand gnat.
The Atlantic: Opened last November, this is a worthy destination for new American small plate creations. Locally sourced produce and proteins are served up in stylish fashion, like a recent dish of risotto flavored with braised fennel and studded with blackberries. The menu is divided into four sections — garden, plates, breads and bowls, with prices ranging from $8 to $20. Set in a renovated gas station, the space is airy and bright, while two comfortable patios invite lingering over a glass of wine from an impressively curated list or with one of its on-point-for-summer cocktails (like the gin and blanc vermouth Amalie). 102 E. Victory Drive, Savannah. 912-417-8887, atlanticsavannah.com.
Congress Street Up: Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, the bar inside the newly opened American Prohibition Museum turns into a speakeasy for the 21-and-older crowd. You'll find classic sips like the Aviation, Sidecar and Mary Pickford served up in vintage glassware. Look for the entrance on Congress Street and head upstairs. 200 Congress St., Savannah. americanprohibitionmuseum.com/savannah-speakeasy.
Goose Feathers Cafe: When you have a hankering for freshly baked goods, this Euro-style cafe and bakery is the answer. Breakfast yummies include croissants and sticky buns, while lunch fare sees a variety of sandwiches on house-made ciabatta and even gluten-free breads. Add eggs every which way, quiches, soups and salads, and Goose Feathers has enough variety to please the whole family. With counter ordering in a quickly moving line and runner service, Goose Feathers is also a good brunch option if you don't feel like a fussy, full-on dining experience. 39 Barnard St., Savannah. 1-866-221-1948, www.goosefeatherscafe.com.
Leopold's Ice Cream; A trip to Savannah isn't complete without a visit to Leopold's. The Lemon Custard and Tutti-Frutti have been flavor fixtures since Leopold's first opened nearly a century ago. But don't overlook monthly options. For June, the counter is stocked with Blueberry Cheesecake, Dutch Utopia, Savannah Socialite (our choice) and two sorbets: Mint Lime and Strawberry. For a true old-school treat, make that milkshake a malt or get an old-fashioned ice cream soda. Honestly, there's no wrong order at this ice cream parlor, and standing in the long line day or night feels right, too. 212 E. Broughton St., Savannah. 912-234-4442, leopoldsicecream.com.
Sentient Bean: After strolling through Forsyth Park, fuel up at this cafe with spunky character. Besides a complete cart of coffee drinks, it serves vegetarian eats that include a selection of soups, salads, tacos and paninis. Breakfast is available all day, with bites that range from a vegan breakfast burrito holding a tofu scramble and house faux sausage to strata and frittata. 13 E. Park Ave., Savannah. 912-232-4447, http://sentientbean.com.
Smith Brothers Butcher Shop: Smith Brothers is a butcher shop, and a whole lot more. It's got charcuterie, fancy cheeses, regionally produced pantry perks, nice wine and even a lending library stocked with cookbooks that makes you wish you were a local so you could borrow every day. For an easy lunch, check out the sandwiches that showcase house-made meats like pastrami and roast beef slapped between slices of house-made bread. 535 E. Liberty St., Savannah. 912-239-4512, www.smithbrothersbutchershop.com.
Wiley's Championship BBQ: In the mood for 'cue? Hit up Wiley's for its St. Louis-style cut ribs or go whole hog with an order of the sampler plate that includes beef brisket, pork, a quarter-chicken and two sides. Wiley's owners Janet and Wiley McCrary are winners when it comes to competitive barbecue, and the walls are adorned with proof of their victories as well as posters, memorabilia and more spouting praise for barbecue. 4700 U.S. 80, Savannah. 912-201-3259, http://wileyschampionshipbbq.com.
Ligaya Figueras is the AJC's senior editor for Food, Dining and Living. Prior to joining the AJC in 2015, she was the executive editor for St. Louis-based culinary magazine Sauce. She has worked in the publishing industry since 1999 and holds degrees from St. Louis University and the University of Michigan.