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15 Minutes Away on Foot: Step Back in Time at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

July 25, 2011

This week, we highlight Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room, located at 107 West Jones Street, just west of the Downtown Design District – near the corner of Whitaker and Jones Streets.

Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room is a Savannah lunch institution. Opened by the original Mrs. Wilkes in 1943, the dining room portion
of the boarding house grew in fame over the years until people began lining up on the sidewalk in the 1970s to sample her traditional souther cooking at a communal table. The original Mrs. Wilkes continued to operate the dining room until her death in 2002, when her family took over operations to carry on the institution.

Seating at Mrs. Wilkes’ is “family style,” with tables seating 10 people. Platters of food are passed around the table – just like at a family holiday dinner. With so many dishes to choose from, expect to fill your plate with tastings of everything before going back for seconds on your favorites. Dessert is brought to the table after you are finished (so be sure to save some room for it).

 

Open Monday – Friday for lunch only from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. To get in the first group of tables, expect to get in line between 10:00 AM and 10:15 AM. On extremely busy days, it is not unheard of for people to wait in line for an hour to an hour and 45 minutes. The line is a friendly line, with people often striking up conversations with those around. If you go with a partner/group, some can also take some time to shop the Downtown Design District while others hold the place in line.

Additionally, Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room traditionally is closed the month of January.

Getting to Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room from the Catherine Ward House Inn by foot is very easy. From door to door, it takes as little as 6-10 minutes to walk between the two.

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