While Southerners may take issue with Plymouth, Massachusetts as the site of the first Thanksgiving, they nevertheless take this holiday of gratitude with both seriousness and a sense of fun. Nowhere is this more evident than in Savannah, Georgia. This exciting city near the South Georgia coast offers all the expected vacation distractions, history, entertainment, recreation, and luxury accommodations. It is also the home to numerous dining establishments where Thanksgiving holiday revelers can enjoy traditional and updated meals with family and friends. Several of them make a point of pulling out all the stops for this uniquely American holiday.
All-you-can-eat buffet diners will relish the offerings at John Ryan’s Bistro, a purveyor of classic American cuisine. Located inside the DoubleTree Hotel, serves up a uniquely southern Thanksgiving menu, which includes roasted turkey, ham glazed in Coca-Cola (produced in Georgia), and cherries along with buttermilk fried chicken, cornbread giblet stuffing, black-eyed peas, pumpkin bisque, and sweet potato souffle. Quite a hefty feast!. Another popular buffet option is the Savannah Riverboat Cruises. Traveling up and down the Savannah River, passengers can feast on a traditional Thanksgiving buffet with southern characteristics. Cruises depart at 12:30 pm and 5:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day.
Believe it or not, one of the finest meals on this authentically American holiday can be consumed at Savannah’s English tavern, The Sixpence Pub. Turkey with all the trimmings, along with all of the Pub’s regular menu items, are available on this special day. The Olde Pink House, dating back to 1771, also serves up traditional Thanksgiving edibles when the great day arrives. The delicious three-course brunch can be enjoyed by the imposing yet homey fireplace. This establishment is beloved by tourists and residents alike. It is not alone, however, as a Thanksgiving dinner destination.
Known and celebrated for its various seafood dishes, Garibaldi is another favorite for traditional Thanksgiving feeding. Its annual Turkey Plate includes white and dark meat with dressing, as well as ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and collard greens. A special fish entree, selected just for the occasion, will also be available for Thanksgiving dinners. Nevertheless, Garibaldi is by no means suspending its regular menu that is so coveted by Savannah denizens. Crispy flounder, lobster tails, grilled New York strip, and Chicken Milanese is still served to Thanksgiving patrons who prefer a favorite dish.
Those visiting Savannah may prefer the intimacy of a few close loved ones, eschewing the restaurant ambiance, no matter how elegant. They are in luck. Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, long a bastion of family-style eating, has transformed itself into a high-quality takeout establishment. Its strength is southern home cooking and it will not disappoint on Thanksgiving. Begun as a boardinghouse in 1943, this eatery now presents its entire menu as a take-out option. Tripadvisor has dubbed the Turkey Day fare at Mrs. Wilkes as “Thanksgiving on Steroids.” Enjoy it in the comfort of home.