Let’s start off by first saying that there are two camps when it comes to the best shrimp and grits in Savannah. There is the ham tasso gravy kind, often with bacon and/or cheese (I’m drooling just talking about it), and the kind with peppers and onions. Let me just emphatically say…
The best shrimp and grits in Savannah are NOT defiled by peppers and onions!
There, I said it. Ok, ok, I know a lot of people love them that way but I personally detest onions, and peppers are a close second. So I am not reviewing those restaurants that make their shrimp and grits that way. And since this is my article, what I say goes. #itsgoodtobetheboss
You may be wondering, what the heck is tasso and why do I want to make gravy with it? Tasso is a spiced chunk of pork, similar to ham but with cajun seasoning. At least, that’s what Google tells me because until I moved to Savannah I had never heard of tasso before. But when you make a gravy and put shrimp and tasso in it and smother cheesy grits with it, let’s just say that it is perfection.
So what goes into my own personal criteria for deciding who has the best shrimp and grits in Savannah? I look for a few things:
- Not too salty (I love salt, but let’s not go crazy, people.)
- No skimping on the shrimp
- Reasonably priced ($25 for shrimp and grits? Nope, not gonna cut it for my list.)
- Great flavor – just throwing fried shrimp on a lump of grits is a no no.
I spent months researching this blog. I’m not exaggerating. We eat out a lot because a) I don’t really like to cook all that much, and b) I’m a pretty terrible cook. My husband loves to cook and he’s great at it, but he often gets home after 6 pm and I hate to make him do all the cooking. Hence the eating out a lot part.
So every time we go somewhere that has shrimp and grits on the menu, I always order it. (Assuming it doesn’t have peppers and onions – sorry, Pirate’s House.) To the point where it’s the running joke with my parents. “What, you didn’t order shrimp and grits today? Are you feeling alright?” Or they say, “We can’t meet you at the new Italian place downtown because they don’t serve shrimp and grits.” So BELIEVE me when I say, I’ve personally eaten at every one of these places and they had to be pretty #[email protected]! good to make my own personal Top 5 list of the best shrimp and grits in Savannah.
So without further ado, here is my pick for the Top 5 Best Shrimp and Grits in Savannah.
Fannie’s has so much going for it – killer oceanfront location, casual beach chic environment, and fabulous shrimp and grits. The downside? Their shrimp and grits are only available on the weekends on their brunch menu. Come on, you’re killing me here! If this were available every day it would have been bumped up higher on the list of the best shrimp and grits in Savannah for sure.
Their version of the classic dish has hollandaise-type sauce and lobster in it too. It’s pretty amazing! (Sorry, I wolfed it down so fast I forgot to take photos of the dish itself.)
Located in the building that was formerly Uncle Bubba’s, the Creek House sits right on Turner’s Creek and has a large outdoor dining area. One of my favorite parts about it is the kids’ play area stocked with games, so the kiddos can go entertain themselves outside while you’re waiting for the food to arrive. Bonus!
The shrimp and grits here are gooooood, y’all. I’m sure there’s a stick of butter in it – it is Paula’s recipe after all. I WILL say that it comes with peppers and onions sprinkled on top by default but the kitchen had no problem omitting them for me, so I was a happy camper.
Entertainment for the kids? ✅
Some of the best shrimp and grits in Savannah? ✅ ✅ ✅
3. The Public
The Public is right downtown in the historic district. It’s a charming old building covered in vines, and their shrimp and grits was a bit spicy in a sort of tomato broth. Good and garlicky too! This was an easy pick for the best shrimp and grits in Savannah.
Love’s has a huge outdoor seating area looking over the water. They had a bonfire going the night we were there and the fire with the setting sun was truly stunning. Their shrimp and grits DID have peppers in it but the waitress convinced me that it was the best thing on the menu, and she was right! Luckily the “onions” were just scallions or I wouldn’t have been able to order it, no matter how good she said it was.
Fun fact: did you know a pivotal scene in Forest Gump was filmed at Love’s? It’s the one where Forest pulls Jenny out of a seedy club to tell her he’s going to Vietnam.
And now, drumroll please. The award for the best shrimp and grits in Savannah goes to…
I want to first say that I actually had fairly low expectations of this place. I mean, it’s right on River Street and clearly caters to tourists so I was thinking it was going to be WAAAY overpriced. But it’s a few doors down from a bar where my husband and I had tickets to see Walker Hayes perform. (He was AMAZING, by the way, but I digress.) The concert didn’t start till 10 pm so we decided to run over to Dockside for dinner first. I was happy that they had shrimp and grits on the menu but I truly wasn’t expecting it to knock my socks off.
Well, let me tell you just how wrong I was! The grits were formed into little patties and then sauteed to a golden brown. It kind of looked like french toast. The shrimp were large and then it was all covered in a cream sauce. They called it gravy on the menu, but it wasn’t brown. I wanted to hook this stuff up to an IV, it was that good. And there were little chunks of hammy goodness in the sauce too. After I wolfed down my food I start snitching vegetables off my husband’s plate to dunk in the rest of the sauce. Not only is this the best shrimp in grits in Savannah, it might very well be the best I’ve ever had and I’ve had A LOT!
I guess I should be a bit embarrassed that not one, but TWO different servers saw my nearly empty plate and said, “Wow, you did really well! Most people can only finish about 1/3 of what comes on the plate.” And truly, I would have eaten that last patty if I’d had any shrimp left. #truthbomb
Since Dockside is right on River Street, it’s in the historic district in a building that was constructed in 1792 and is lined with cobblestone streets. It looks right over the Savannah River and you really feel like you’re stepping back in time.
Here’s a map with the locations of each restaurant, in case you’re inspired to eat at a few of them.
What did you think about my roundup of the best shrimp and grits in Savannah? Did I miss your favorite? Drop me a line if your fave didn’t make my list – I’m always happy (and looking for an excuse) to try new restaurants.
About the Author: The article above, Best Shrimp and Grits in Savannah, was provided by Karin Carr, an authority on Savannah area real estate and a leader in the field of real estate blogging and vlogging. Karin has helped literally helped hundreds of families buy and sell homes since 2005.
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