Little Black Book

The Chef's Tasty Tour of Savannah, Georgia

by Kyle Jacovino
Chef Chef Kyle Jacovino at his Pizzeria Vittoria. Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee.

When we want to know the best places to eat and be, we always ask the chefs. Kyle Jacovino, a longtime chef in Georgia and now the chef and owner of Pizzeria Vittoria in Savannah, shares his little black book of local favorites.

I've spent the majority of my culinary career in Georgia, first heading south in 2010 to work alongside three greats: chefs Linton Hopkins at Restaurant Eugene; Hugh Acheson at Empire South State, Five & Ten, and The Florence; and Ryan Smith at Empire South State. While I've spent time in Atlanta and Athens, I've been in Savannah since 2013 — and it's here that I've found my voice as both a chef and a baker, first at The Florence, and, now, at my own restaurant, Pizzeria Vittoria. At Vittoria, my goal is for the pizzas and dishes to reflect the incredible farmers, millers, and producers from this region. It's an honor to use the restaurant as a platform that celebrates the culinary ecosystem and slow food movement within the southeast. While I grew up in the northeast, I'm inspired by how supportive this community is and feel honored to contribute to this special, historic city. These are some of my favorite places to eat and be around town.

Troupial
2605 Whitaker St.;+1-912-441-0506
A new Venzuelan-owned coffee shop that specializes in pour-overs/anything coffee. Owner Majo Laprea is known to reach out to top-tier roasters, and her Venezuelan baked goods and arepas are killer. Troupial is really cozy and has great vibes and just opened in their new "Yellow House" location, a historic space with outside seating.

Finches Sandwiches & Sundries
2600 Mechanics Ave., Thunderbolt, GA 31404; +1+912-509-8053
A cool little sandwich shop carved out of a cottage house and an old historic oil station that used to fuel the race cars back in the 1940s. Located in Thunderbolt, they serve great sandwiches with rotating specials.

Cappuccino at Troupial. Photo by Kyle Jacovino.
A beer flight at Two Tides. Photo by Kyle Jacovino.

Two Tides Brewery
12 W 41st St.; +1-912-667-0706
James and Liz Massey own a micro-brewery built in an old house. They brew some of the best beers in the southeast, from sours to IPAs. It's a must stop for beer drinkers.

Common Thread
122 E 37th St.; +1-912-944-7482
A new, upscale restaurant from chef/owner Brandon Carter located in a beautiful restored house. I come for the insane bar program and amazing food.

The Grey Market
109 Jefferson St.; +1+912-201-3924
Owners Johno Morisano and Mashama Bailey's counter service spot is super casual, with grab-and-go vittles and the best smashburger in Savannah. If you’re in town on a Sunday, hit up the fried chicken dinner.

Lone Wolf Lounge
2429 Lincoln St.; phone # N/A
The Lone Wolf is a dive bar located in the Starland District — a low-key spot that serves amazing cocktails. If you're lucky, they'll be playing OG wrestling on the TV. Go see Clay and Gordon and ask for Dealer's Choice.

Savoy Society
102 E Liberty #109; +1-912-662-6665
A polished cocktail bar with table service is the downtown hangout for industry folks. Jane Fischel has been a pioneer in the Savannah cocktail scene, and now she finally has her own brick-and-mortar spot. Be careful if you get too cozy: They might start dealing you shots of Fernet.

The courtyard at Foxy Lady. Photo by Kyle Jacovino.
Eggplant steak at Common Thread Savannah. Photo by Kyle Jacovino.

Wormsloe Historic Site
7601 Skidaway Rd.; +1-912-353-3023
Remember the famous scene in Forrest Gump when he was running away back to his house? It was shot here. Wormsloe is one of the most beautiful sites you’ll ever see — one mile of Spanish moss trees running parallel next to each other, three miles of trails and historic facts. It’s a must-see in Savannah.

Isle of Hope Bluff Drive
West Bluff Drive
After you’ve seen one of the most beautiful sites ever at Wormsloe Site, drive or walk a half mile up and stroll Bluff Drive to see the gorgeous historic homes running parallel to Skidaway River. If you’re traveling with a bike, the Isle of Hope is an amazing bike ride.

Foxy Loxy Coffee Shop
1919 Bull St.; +1-912-401-0543
Located in the thriving Starland District. Jen Jenkins, a SCAD grad, has invested so much in Savannah, and her art background is on display in this artsy cafe. I love the beautiful ivy-covered courtyard in the back, as well as the killer kolaches and tacos. She recently renovated the famous Gingerbread house next door. Go snap a few pictures and chill out in the courtyard.

Kyle cooking at Pizzeria Vittoria. Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee.
The proof is in the pizza at Vittoria. Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee.

Starland Yard
2411 De Soto Ave.; +1-912-417-3001
Owners Guy and Niko have revitalized an old park lot, turning it into Savannah's first and only food truck park. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience in the southeast. Built out of old shipping containers, the destination houses an open-air bar and rotating food trucks. This is where I sling pizzas at Pizzeria Vittoria.

East Shaver Booksellers
326 Bull St.; +1-912-234-7257
The oldest bookstore inSavannah was built in 1842 and is now owned by Jessica Osburne. Just next to the gorgeous Madison Square in downtown Savannah, East Shaver is a sight to see and has Savannah's best book selection. Be ready to greet the bookshop cats.