When we were waiting on our Uber to pick us up at the airport after we landed in Savannah, we talked with a local who lives there and asked where we should eat. She did not hesitate to tell us about Mrs. Wilkes. She suggested we go there for lunch and then Lady and Son’s for dessert later that night. We took her advice….
We can now say that when you visit Savannah it is an absolute must to eat at Mrs. Wilkes. The line will be very long, (as in out the door, down the walkway and along the side-walk long) but well worth it. It was a boarding house style setting with large dining tables, allowing for numerous guests to get acquainted and have a marvelous meal. The food was endless and so was the conversation between strangers, who by the end of the meal became our friends. If you go to Savannah, don’t let the thought of waiting for a very, very long time to get in scare you because it is a wonderful experience and well worth the wait. Our table consisted of the three of us, a family from Connecticut, and two professors from New Jersey. Mrs. Wilkes restaurant is so famous that even Presidents as well as people from all over the world have come to dine at her table. Be sure to visit the room with the map and put a pin in to show where you are from.
At the end of the meal Marcia, Mrs. Wilkes granddaughter, joined us for a little history about her grandmother and the boarding house. She was delightful and very charming, the epitome of a true southern lady.
With a lot of time in line outside in the beautiful weather we got a little silly!
A little history about Mrs. Selma Wilkes is that she took over the Savannah Boarding House in 1943 which stands in a house dating back to 1870. She worked with locals to get the freshest foods from the area. Her only goal was to build a business to sustain her family. She did not hang a sign advertising her restaurant until 1987. She possessed a seemingly magic formula….so much so that folks from all corners of the earth were willing to wait in line to dine family style, side by side with strangers . There is no set menu, you eat what is on the table and believe us, you will love it all!
Although Mrs. Selma Wilkes is gone, her granddaughter, Marcia Thompson, is still meeting and greeting patrons daily with her authentic southern hospitality.
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