Eating out for me has taken a different turn lately. After visiting countless restaurants and experiencing fine dining at a lot of them, I learned that my favorite ones are the ones that offer a more specific experience and complement the place I’m visiting.
Sure, eating masterpieces at some elegant restaurant run by a renown chef can be a lot of fun. But it isn’t what I look for when I plan a visit to historic cities, such as Savannah.
During a recent trip to Boston I ate at the oldest restaurant in the U.S. and it was a unique experience. So I wanted something similar for my trip to Savannah, something unique from the city.
That’s how I found The Pirates’ House – a World Famous Restaurant (it’s actually is a member of the International World Famous Restaurants organization).
This place offers so much more than a meal. The history behind it can write volumes upon volumes.
Tour of The Pirates’ House Savannah
There are basically three things you experience at The Pirates’ House:
1. Food – They claim to have one of the best Savannah and Southern style buffets in the city. After having a taste, I can honestly say that they are not lying. Everything I tried was delicious. They are also known for their Chatham Artillery Punch. This mix is most true to the Chatham Artillery’s original recipe from the Civil War.
2. Museum (like) – The oldest house in Georgia is part of The Pirates’ House. Because Savannah has such strict laws about their historic buildings, the house is still intact.
The owners had a wonderful surprise when they bought the property. They started doing some renovations and conservation work and they found tunnels that were once used by pirates to bring in their goods to the city. You can now see them on display.
There is also a tavern below the restaurant filled with legends of pirates doing all sorts of nasty stuff. There are stories of people who got so drunk that they would wake up hog-tied on a boat going to China. The most famous of these legends is the one of a Savannah policeman who stopped by The Pirates’ House for a drink and ended up sailing to China. It took him two years to make his way back.
3. Bonus – Freebie – When you enter the restaurant you will notice there are pirates strolling around the restaurant. These aren’t just actors. They actually give free tours that are around 15 minutes long for FREE.
History of The Pirates’ House
You can read all about the history of the Pirates’ House on their web site. Here are some of the highlights, direct from the page:
• The Pirates House is located in the Trustees Garden. This was the first experimental garden in the US.
• When General Oglethorpe and his crew arrived in 1733, they came ashore approximately seven blocks west of The Pirates’ House..
• The small building next to The Pirates’ House was constructed in 1734. It is said to be the oldest house in Georgia.
• The building originally housed the gardener of Trustees’ Garden.
• Around 1753, the garden was developed as a residential section.
• One of the first buildings constructed on the former garden site was an Inn for visiting seamen.
• The Inn became a rendezvous of blood-thirsty pirates and sailors from the Seven Seas.
• The property was acquired by the Savannah Gas Company in 1948 and transformed it into its present use as a restaurant.
• Legend has it that the tunnel beneath goes from the Captain’s Room to the river through which these men were carried, drugged, and unconscious, to ships waiting in the harbor.
• Hanging on the walls of the restaurant are pages from an early, very rare edition of the book Treasure Island.
• Savannah is mentioned numerous times in this classic by Robert Louis Stevenson.
• Some parts of the book are supposed to have happened in The Pirates’ House.
• The validity of The Pirates’ House has been recognized by The American Museum Society which lists this historic tavern as a house museum.
Information for Visiting The Pirates House Savannah
Address: 20 East Broad Street | Savannah, GA 31401
Phone: (912) 233-5757
Lunch Menu 11:00am-4:00pm
Southern Style Buffet 11:00am-3:00pm
Dinner Menu 4:00pm-9:30pm Fri-Sat 4:00pm-10:00pm