Birmingham Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Birmingham

April 14, 2018 Almeta Stockton

It has been said that Birmingham is the last major Southern city in America, where a friendly "How y'all doin'," a hearty meal of country-fried steak with butter beans and a true taste of Southern hospitality await visitors. Whether you're into the history of the Civil Rights movement, a fan of jazz music or just looking for culture and a few fun activities for the family, Sweet Birmingham is the place for you. Spend the morning at the Birmingham Museum of Art, then have lunch at a traditional Southern tea room. Outdoor enthusiasts can tee off at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail or pack a lunch and spend the day hiking and enjoying the vistas at Ruffner Mountain. A world-class zoo, the innovative McWane Center and VisionLand, Alabama's first amusement park, are sure to keep families entertained and on the go. In the evening, listen to a blues show at an outdoor cafe and then spend the night at a small cozy inn or splurge for an elegant hotel.
Things to do in Birmingham

1. Highlands Bar & Grill

2011 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205-2801 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 66 - SGD 66 +1 205-939-1400
Excellent
84%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 706 reviews

Highlands Bar & Grill

Reviewed By Carolyn P - Prattville

Gourmet fare coupled with attentive detail. Presentation added just the right touch of elegance. You will not be disappointed by this restaurant. Add this to your bucket list.

2. El Barrio

2211 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203-3880 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Mexican, Southwestern, Latin, Central American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night +1 205-868-3737
Excellent
74%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 393 reviews

El Barrio

http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/45/1641255/restaurant/Downtown/El-Barrio-Birmingham

Reviewed By Tiffany W

El Barrio is delicious and consistent! After trying just about everything on the menu, I can say the attention detail and quality of food is papable in every dish. Plus, the bartenders are nice! Ask for an OG Margarita, it comes served as they did when they opened.

Two things to note about El B: 1) Lots of people love this place, read as the wait can be crazy, 2) If you can time it right, you can avoid the wait. Pro tip: Get there between 5:00 and 5:20 and you should be good, also go early on Tuesday and Wednesday for less traffic in general.

3. Chez FON FON

2007 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205-2801 Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar French, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 59 +1 205-939-3221
Excellent
74%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 446 reviews

Chez FON FON

Reviewed By moviegeekjn - Phoenix, Arizona

Stepping inside this restaurant, it's difficult to imagine that you're in Birmingham. No southern style food here; its menu is full of French items, and the waiter began the presentation with an elaborate array of specials, which all sounded delicious.

I opted to try an escargo plate for an appetizer and a more conventional "country dish" of croque madame for the entree. The restaurant scored well with both; in fact, the snails were tastier than most that I've had in Paris. This surprising restaurant lives up to its hype, and should be high on the list of any visitor who considers themselves a "foodie."

The service is very prompt and courteous, far faster than anything you'll experience in Paris.

4. Amore Ristorante Italiano

5510 Highway 280 Ste 116, Birmingham, AL 35242-6586 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Wine and Beer, Accepts Credit Cards Mediterranean, Italian, Vegetarian Friendly Dinner, Drinks SGD 26 - SGD 131 +1 205-437-1005
Excellent
81%
Good
11%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 269 reviews

Amore Ristorante Italiano

We are a fine dining establishment, with an ambient candlelit atmosphere, serving authentic Italian food.

Reviewed By jadams2018 - Birmingham, Alabama

Absolutely wonderful. I've had Italian food at a lot of different restaurants in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, etc., and I do not believe I have had any better food anywhere - it is that good.jadams, Thank you very much! We appreciate the kind words immensely! We hope for the chance to serve you again!

5. Bottega Restaurant

2240 Highland Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205-2922 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, American, International, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night SGD 41 - SGD 46 +1 205-939-1000
Excellent
73%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 506 reviews

Bottega Restaurant

Reviewed By brewColumbus_Georgia - Columbus, Georgia

Enjoyed the entire experience-be prepared to wait if you dont have reservations. We were celebrating our Anniversary and they made it very special-let them know when making the reservations and anything extra you want or need. I had a pasta dish while partner had steak-perfect!!!! The deserts were great and huge. The staff was wonderful and made for a great night.

6. Melt

4105 4th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222-1944 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner +1 205-917-5000
Excellent
63%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 248 reviews

Melt

Reviewed By Fiery2015 - McCalla, Alabama

We have visited this restaurant on several occasions but on this visit we tried the mac and cheese stuffed egg rolls with sweet & spicy dipping sauce. All I can say is WOW. We have tried several of the other appetizers but this is my favorite. This is always our go to restaurant when visiting Birmingham, The food and service can't be beat!

7. Saw’s Soul Kitchen

215 41st St S, Birmingham, AL 35222-1932 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Television, Wheelchair Accessible American, Barbecue, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 205-591-1409
Excellent
69%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 728 reviews

Saw’s Soul Kitchen

you need to track this place down and add it. Great food in the Avondale district of Birmingham. Their phone is 205-591-1409

Reviewed By jfadds - chicago

This place will not win awards for its fancy style but it may for the food.We sampled several menu choices- a fried green tomato BLT that was stacked high with artisanal bacon along with cheese grits and sweet potato fries.We ended with their over the top banana pudding. They do have a few tables outside- on a nice day those would be the place to sit.

8. Gianmarco's

721 Broadway St, Birmingham, AL 35209-6209 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Wine Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 205-871-9622
Excellent
72%
Good
15%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
5%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 296 reviews

Gianmarco's

Reviewed By Farrah H - Alabama

It is difficult to get a reservation at Gianmarco’s, so we took matters into our own hands and dared to get a seat at the bar on a Friday night. Luckily, it only took us about thirty minutes to get a small table in the bar. We had excellent service and fantastic drinks from the two bartenders. We enjoyed pasta and more pasta. The wedge salad was an excellent starter! The penne pasta with sausage was perfect, too. My husband enjoyed the pork chop special with sausage bread pudding. It was full of flavor! We finished our meal with the chocolate torte and ice cream.

9. Texas de Brazil

2301 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203-1104 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Validated Parking, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover South American, Steakhouse, Brazilian, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 41 - SGD 66 +1 205-588-8333
Excellent
64%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 289 reviews

Texas de Brazil

Texas de Brazil is no ordinary steakhouse. It’s a dining experience like no other. Here, traditions of Brazilian cooking blend with Texas hospitality to create a lively atmosphere in an upscale setting. Your meal begins with a visit to our extravagant salad area where you can indulge in a wide array of seasonal roasted vegetables, fresh artisan breads, charcuterie, imported cheeses and other specialties. Then enjoy the rodizio-style dining that has made us famous. An endless parade of gaucho servers visits your table with skewers of freshly grilled beef, lamb, pork, chicken and Brazilian sausage carved directly onto your plate. It’s all served with authentic side dishes of garlic mashed potatoes, Brazilian cheese bread and sweet fried bananas. To complement your meal, select from our award-winning collection of wines or traditional Brazilian bar creations. And don’t forget to treat yourself to one of our decadent à la carte desserts.

Reviewed By Lee I

I had heard so very much about this restaurant.
After going here for a special occasion I was a bit disappointed. The service was excellent however the food and price point were lackluster. The salad bar was just okay and there were not nearly as many items to choose from as I was led to believe. The meat service was good but these side dishes were an afterthought.
For the amount of money for the meal I expected the food to be spectacular not just good. You may also want to keep in mind Beverages and desserts are not included in this price.

10. Hot & Hot Fish Club

2180 11th Ct S, Birmingham, AL 35205-2810 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 46 +1 205-933-5474
Excellent
68%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
5%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 353 reviews

Hot & Hot Fish Club

Reviewed By aovt - Birmingham, Alabama

Looking for atmosphere, great service, first rate food? Look no further. Owner/Chef Chris Hastings has created a restaurant par excellence. The somewhat seasonal menu is fantastic any time of the year. If you're visiting Birmingham, put this on your list of places to visit!

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