SAMPLING SOUTHERN FARE NEVER TASTED SO GOOD
Famous & Secret East Side Food Tour
Written By: Rosalind Stefanac
As first-time visitors to Savannah, my sister and I had only a few days to experience this charming, historic spot. Our mission was simple: explore the city and sample that tasty southern cuisine we’d been hearing so much about.
There was one caveat, however. We wanted to find some food options off the typical tourist path. We wanted to discover Savannah’s real foodie gems. So, when we heard about a secret food tour offered by Savannah Taste Experience, we were instantly intrigued.
Joined by a small group of fellow food adventurers, we met at our first location—a gourmet butcher shop. Here we were offered a bevy of local cheeses, sausage, prosciutto and other charcuterie, accompanied by crusty, fresh bread and crudités. The spread was impressive, but little did we realize it was just the appetizer of a six-stop feast of notable culinary finds.
For the next three hours of our walking tour, we discovered many hidden gems worth revisiting. What stands out for me are places like Walls BBQ, a tiny, unassuming, family run establishment serving the tastiest chicken and ribs I’ve sampled to date. Or the elegant Cha Bella, which sources almost all of its menu items from farms and producers within the area. We capped off our time there with some refreshing fun cocktails at the bar—minted ginger beer for me and a lemon/lavender pairing for my sister.
Even with this smorgasbord of food sampling, I can’t deny that I was secretly hoping there would be an ice cream stop on our route. Leopold’s Ice Cream did not disappoint. This Savannah staple, established in 1919, still makes its premium ice cream from scratch and its nostalgic decor took me right back to my younger years.
By the end of our tour, not only were we satiated with generous-sized samples, we got a first-hand look at many of the city’s charming neighborhoods along the way. Stopping for lunch in one lovely park, we enjoyed a picnic of freshly made sandwiches courtesy of Zunzi’s, a South African-inspired takeout spot that should be on everyone’s sandwich bucket list.
Thanks to our well-versed guide, we gleaned some interesting insights on Savannah’s rich history too. We learned, we ate, and then we ate some more. With secret locations added periodically, my sister and I agree: this is one tour worth repeating next time we’re here.