Collins Quarter Savannah
Credit: Collins Quarter

While vacations are supposed to be for snooze buttons, waking up for breakfast can be one of the best ways to see a city as it is, especially in Savannah. While most tourists are sleeping off their late nights on River Street, you can miss the amateur hours when they emerge from their hotel rooms with a quiet meal amongst the locals with the morning light peeking through palmettos and live oak branches.

Here are five spots to try:

Back in the Day Bakery: A bright bakery and coffee shop in the Starland District decorated with vintage cookware, this local favorite gives you permission to have a cupcake for breakfast. Another pro pick: a biscuit sandwich with ham and herby-cheesy egg bake on top.

Collins Quarter: In Australia, cafe culture is a phenomenon taken seriously. Anthony Debreceny has brought Melbourne style to Savannah with red banquettes, marble tables, palm-green chairs, and a coffee bar out of a luxury travel magazine. Our favorite order: the Avocado Smash toast with a lavender-bud topped latte.

Clary's Cafe: It's a mandatory classic for a reason. Find a table out front on Abercorn Street and watch neighborhood life pass by over a plate of eggs, bacon, and Georgia pecan pancakes.

Foxy Loxy Cafe: Across from Savannah College of Art and Design's liberal arts building, this Gingerbread-style Victorian house has a new life as a coffee shop and cafe favored by students and professors. Their Tex-Mex brunches in the courtyard are not to be missed with brisket hash and breakfast tacos inspired by owner Jen Jenkins' home state.

The Florence: For when you really want to treat yourself, there's Sunday brunch at Hugh Acheson's Savannah outpost where they fix a frittata filled with nduja (a spicy pork sausage), peppers, and mozzarella or Southern-style Johnny Cakes with candied bacon.