Written by Hadley Passela

The finish line towards graduation is near and you are probably living on Red Bull and fly-by meals from vending machines. For some light at the end of the tunnel, plan a dinner for your graduation celebration at your favorite restaurant or one you’ve never tried.

With the influx of people here for the graduation activities, local restaurants book up quickly, so be sure to secure reservations in advance. Listed below are five top Savannah restaurants for you to choose from:

The Grey

Photo courtesy of The Grey.

The Grey is a Savannah favorite and has been listed as one of the five best restaurants in America by Food & Wine magazine. Designed within a 1930s Art Deco bus terminal, it welcomes you in for a savory journey of contemporary southern fare consisting of fresh local seafood, farm raised meats, and organic vegetables from nearby farms.

Their menu begins with a raw bar of oysters followed by starters, middles, mains and hearty sides to share. There are many components to each dish, all with Chef Mashama Bailey’s touch of southern soul. Advanced reservations are required for the main dining room, and can be made with open table.

Local 11ten

Photo courtesy of Local 11ten.

Credit Local 11Ten’s elegant design and award winning staff to SCAD alumni Jamie Durrence, Managing Partner, and Creative Director, Robby Perkins. They cover every detail for an impeccable dining experience.

Begin your evening under the Spanish moss with cocktails up top at their lush hideaway, The Perch; then head downstairs to enjoy a meal of unique southern flavors in their luxuriously designed dining room with a chic modern ambiance. All ingredients are sourced from local farmers and the menu offers an array of choices for everyone. They also offer a four-course chef’s tasting menu, which is a great way to streamline things for a large party.

Cohen's Retreat

Photo courtesy of Cohen’s Retreat

Slightly off the grid (away from the crowds) in midtown, adorned among live oaks and Spanish moss, Cohen’s Retreat is not only a restaurant but an oasis of creativity. “Open Table’s” Diner’s Choice Winner of 2016, their focus is on seasonally prepared southern dishes in an artistically eclectic atmosphere, designed to inspire.

What a lovely way to celebrate your completing art school. Their southern charming Porch and Library bar offer private dining options, as well as a chef’s table meal in their perennial dining room for large parties.

The Collins Quarter

Photo courtesy of The Collins Quarter.

Collins Quarter, everyone’s favorite brunch spot, is even more delightful for dinner. Turn up that Lavender coffee to a well-deserved (if you are of age, of course) Lavender Martini, and enjoy the cosmopolitan quarters in a softly lit setting. Collins Quarter’s evening menu is an epicurean delight inspired by Australian nuances.

On the dinner menu are full-flavored dishes such as roasted lamb shank with sautéed eggplant and tzatziki, and house made naan bread. For a vegetarian option, cauliflower steaks, with orange braised endive, are as delectable as everyone’s favorite avocado smash.

39 Rue de Jean

Photo courtesy of Rue de Jean.

Relive your moments in Lacoste at 39 Rue de Jean, an eclectic French brasserie. Located next door to the SCAD museum, this is a convenient way to give your guests a tour through the museum and then head next door for a traditional French dinner.

39 Rue De Jean offers a lovely open space to celebrate with high ceilings and an elegant setting. Specializing in traditional French fare, their menu offers a wide variety of dishes such as escargot, mussels Provençal, and coq au vin. This is a great option for an artistic and culturally inspired evening for your guests.

Now is the time to indulge and bask in the glory of your accomplishments while sparing no expenses. This could be the last supper before you move on from Savannah, or your parents move on from funding you, now that you’re on your way to a paycheck! Keep in mind restaurants are beginning to book up, so make sure to get those reservations made.

Congratulations and bon appétit!