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“Thank you Mrs. Wilkes!!”

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room
Ranked #5 of 884 Restaurants in Savannah
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Buffet
Neighborhood: Downtown
Reviewed October 5, 2012

When you go to Mrs. Wilkes, you have to be in the right frame of mind. This will not be a private dining experience. In fact, it will be a more of a social occasion than a meal. Not that the food isn't fantastic. All those Southern comfort foods, and so many choices!! But the appeal of this place is truly mingling and getting to know your fellow diners. From the off hand conversations with the people standing in line with you, to sharing a anecdote with a table full of what was complete strangers a moment ago, you will be engaged with those around you. Locals and travelers alike, you find that the differences and reservations disappear, and that ancient ritual of sharing food with another human brings out the social being in all of us. People from all over the world, from all different social and economic and ethnic backgrounds share a table and a wonderful meal....and more importantly...a little piece of themselves. If you come here just for the food, while quite delicious, you will be missing the whole point of Mrs. Wilkes. Loosen up, take your time, and open up :)

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2  Thank vantine8665
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,961 - 2,965 of 4,112 reviews

Reviewed October 2, 2012

We arrived and stood on line for an hour wait. It was so worth it. The hours are from 11:00am to 2:00pm M-F.
You are seated with 9 others. The meal is family style with 20 sides and the moistest Fried Chicken.
This is must when you come to Savannah. It is so worth the wait.
FYI - what was real cool is that you must clear off your table by bringing your plate, cup and silverware to the kitchen. A Family tradition.

2  Thank Tina D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

This was a wonderful way to try southern comfort food. It's served family style and you can try so many different things without the stress of ordering something you might not like. The food was excellent. I actually discovered that I really liked some things I would have never even thought to try. Be prepared to wait to get in. I found the wait worth it.

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1  Thank marshmallowMN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

food was great. lots of different comfort food. But dessert was one item,( banana pudding), take it or leave. How about a piece of pie. Long wait standing in the sun, how about offering guests some cool water, while they wait.

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Thank Stewart C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Most of the negative reviews fall into two categories - the wait in line, and the surly service. As to the first complaint, yes you can expect to have a wait, unless you are among the first in line, of anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. If that is a major issue, then don't go. As to the service, yes, they are feeding a lot of people as fast as they can, so politeness may not be their primary concern. This place is very popluar with tourists, so it must be hard to maintain a sunny demeanor all the time. That said, however, we interacted with the staff politely, and they responded in kind. For the quality of food and the price paid, in a VERY busy place, you can't expect the kind of personal attention that you would receive in a different sort of venue. The space is small, and there are lots of staff going every direction all the time, so this isn't the sort of place where you can "spread out," let your kids run wild, etc. We were all so pleased with the meal that we paid them a compliment or two, and the hostess (and others, to a lesser extent) warmed right up. Once you are finished, yes, they will "encourage" you to leave quickly, but given the nature of the place, that's just common courtesy - there are hungry people waiting, after all. Everyone in our group thought it was all great! Sometimes the attitude you get reflects the attitude you give.

The concept is one of family-style tables, each seating 10 people, which you may have to share with strangers unless you have a group of 10. When you are seated, the table will already be set with bowls of fried chicken, BBQ pork and a multitude of side dishes. Some of my favorites were the collard greens, black-eyed peas, boiled cabbage, mac and cheese, sweet potatoes, squash casserole and cornbread dressing, but there were a lot of others, and all were excellent. Some reviewers have commented that they grew up on Southern food and this isn't it, but I will say that I grew up on it too, and this is about as close as I've ever come, in a restaurant, to the food I grew up eating. Good stuff, as far as I'm concerned. Even in the South, different cooks have different methods, so to each their own, but I loved it.

They are only open for lunch, from 11:00 to 2:00 on weekdays, they don't take reservations, and they only take cash. When you are that good, you get to make your own rules, and anyone who doesn't like them doesn't have to come. While we were waiting in line (about 45 minutes), I made the comment that it just couldn't be worth the wait, but once I started eating, I took it all back. It was well worth it.

Some have compared it unfavorably to Lady & Sons, and while they were good, I still rate Mrs. Wilkes' as better. It's just a completely different concept, and you have to decide for yourself which one appeals to you most.

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Thank WynneWoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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