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Marcia Thompson, Restauranteur

Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room has been a fixture on historic and beautiful Jones Street in Savannah, Georgia since 1943. Open Monday-Friday from 11:00am-2:00pm, diners wait in line for seats at one of the large tables-for-ten shared by strangers. Once inside, they’re greeted by an assortment of delicious home-cooked Southern dishes. You’re about to meet Marcia Thompson, whose late grandmother, Sema, is Mrs. Wilkes, considered a pioneer for women in the restaurant business. This is a fascinating and mouth watering conversation about love, family and history.

Listen to Marcia’s Interview on The Sandi Klein Show »

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In the News

Mrs. Wilkes’ reputation was strong, and business was brisk from the beginning. It received coverage in Esquire and the New York Times, and was even profiled on David Brinkley’s evening news program. That brought Southern food lovers from all over the world to her doorstep. Read More…


Everyone loved that lady!

In 1943, a young Sema Wilkes took over a boardinghouse in historic downtown Savannah. Her goal was modest: to make a living by offering comfortable lodging and homestyle Southern cooking served family style in the downstairs dining room. Mrs. Wilkes picked up where the previous proprietor left off, cultivating relationships with nearby farmers who dug sweet potatoes for her in the fall and shelled whippoorwhill peas in the summer. Read More…


Try a few of Mrs. Wilkes’ recipes!

Check out one of Mrs. Wilkes’ cookbooks in the Store for more featured articles over the years that have been written about this famous restaurant. Or stop by for a hearty lunch and read some of the articles hanging on the restaurant walls. Try a few of her recipes from

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