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Where to eat in Birmingham, Alabama? Our Top 15 Picks!

James Anderson

April 11, 2022

In part because of the city's rapid industrialization, Birmingham, Alabama, has been called "The Magic City," but the term might equally be given to the culinary magic that is taking place in its professional kitchens today.

Chefs in this city labor diligently to transform the plethora of resources sourced from the Gulf of Mexico, the Appalachian Mountains, and the lush agricultural of the area into delicious dishes.

Aside from barbecue and biscuits, Birmingham's culinary culture includes French fine cuisine, global fusion, specialty cocktails, and local brewers, among other things. Some of the best restaurants, bars, and other hybrid establishments in the city may be found here.

You may dine like a native in the magic city if you visit the following eateries:

Pita House.

There is no shortage of Middle Eastern delicacies at the Pita House, which is only a few kilometers from the city center and is a favorite of the locals. A long line of customers waits outside the restaurant's front entrance to place an order.

A wide variety of options are available on the menu, including hummus and falafel, chicken or beef shawarma, and tabbouleh.

In any case, the popular gyro platter, which includes skewers of seared lamb and beef with tahini-dressed pickled veggies and olives, is a must-order for a good reason (and can also be served as a sandwich).

The restaurant and adjacent Middle Eastern store only take cash, so expect to spend no more than $10 on food.

Kitchen Sync.

Because of its warm and friendly ambiance, this neighborhood bar exudes a welcome vibe to its patrons.

Food at Kitchen Sync is a fusion of classic comfort foods, such as superb burgers and pizzas, but it also has veggie-forward dishes such as Southern tomato pie, which is topped with creamy garlic aioli and layered with Parmesan, mozzarella, and sharp white cheddar cheeses.

Burgers To Show The Best Places To Eat In Birmingham

Kitchen Sync's environmental sustainability is also on the menu. Their sustainable practices, such as a year-round rooftop garden, the use of 100 percent compostable straws and take-out containers, and the composting of more than 3,500 pounds of organic material monthly, have earned them the title of "Greenest Independently Owned Restaurant" in the United States since they opened in 2016.

Public House.

As a self-taught meat-loving chef, Anthony Gray has found the right location to work at Public House.

Gray's claim to fame is his visually appealing charcuterie and meat boards, which are displayed in the huge curing chamber with viewing glass.

Meats, pates, and rillettes from all over the world appear in the ounce-sized portions, which are topped with beer mustard prepared by local brewers, pickled dill cucumbers, and homemade cheddar thyme biscuits.

But don't forget about the appetizers (think deviled eggs, pimento cheese, and bacon caramel popcorn), salads, sandwiches, made-daily BBQ selections (until they're gone), traditional South-leaning entrees (like shrimp and grits), and oh-so-Southern sides like fried chicken.

Vault & Vator.

Elegant speakeasy Vault & Vator fills that need downtown that has long been crying out for an authentic traditional cocktail bar. A former Dr. Pepper Cola Co. bottling factory, now home to Vault & Vator, the popular but now-defunct American Grocery's successor, has the original vault (where it's claimed the secret formula was stored) and a vintage elevator from the 1920s (thus the name "Vator") that were formerly in operation.

Design features such as these and an all-female crew of mixologists have been included in this year's new look.

The Pina Pisco Sour, for example, uses two-day pineapple-infused Peruvian Pisco, vanilla syrup, lemon juice, egg whites, and angostura bitters for a fresh take on a familiar classic cocktail.

Stella’s Southern Brasserie.

Stella's Southern Brasserie in adjacent Simpsonville, South Carolina, is the hipper, more sassy sibling of Stella's Southern Bistro, specializing in traditional European cuisine with a Southern twist.

These dishes combine flavors from the South with those from Europe, starting with fresh ingredients acquired close to home. In addition, Chef Jason Scholz's cuisine and Julia Scholz's hospitality make for a great culinary experience.

Magic City Grille

Soul food is a divisive topic in Birmingham. According to locals, Magic City Grille is the greatest spot to get your fill of comforting classics.

Even many who live in the neighboring regions think that the filling breakfasts and filling lunches in Birmingham are worth the trip.

Southern favorites like mashed potatoes, juicy collards, creamy macaroni and cheese, and flawlessly baked cornbread are served at the restaurant throughout the week and after church.

These sides may be ordered to complete a chicken, beef, or fish dish even if they are full on their own. Combination meals may be bought for as little as $10.99. It's up to you whether or not you want to share it.

The Collins Bar

By establishing itself as Birmingham's first craft-cocktail bar, this quaint establishment set a precedent for others to follow.

As a result, the drinks are the only thing on the menu at The Collins Bar, which doesn't turn into a coffee shop or share space with another concept throughout the day.

Besides specialty cocktails, you can enjoy classics like White Russians and a wide selection of beers from both local and national breweries.

 In addition to the cocktails, the bar's gourmet nibbles, which come straight from the kitchen, are noteworthy.

 A Birmingham-themed periodic table, vintage typewriters, and retro games like Rock'em Sock'em Robots provide a fun atmosphere that's ideal for passing the time.

Sam’s Super Sandwiches

With more than 45 years of providing breakfast and lunch sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers in the Birmingham neighborhood of Homewood, owner Sam Graphos has built quite an impressive clientele.

Since Graphos initially opened its doors, the menu has stayed almost intact, other than the move from Pepsi to Coca-Cola products.

To fuel up for the morning or afternoon, customers cram into the little diner, which is open until 4 p.m. The bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich is a must-have for the morning, while the bacon cheeseburger is a certain lunch option.

 For more than four decades, Graphos has fed the residents of his town, as proven by the images and plaques that decorate one wall of his business.

Eugene’s Hot Chicken

With the help of owner and Nashville native Zebbie Carney, Eugene's Hot Chicken food truck serves up some of the spiciest chicken in Birmingham, Alabama. To him, Nashville's Prince's was where he first tasted hot chicken, and he wanted to bring it to Atlanta.

Carney was able to get his vehicle on the road after winning a local business pitch competition. For those who want their chicken mild or fiery, there are four options available, ranging from Southern-style to the self-explanatory Stupid Hot.

Even the most flamboyant combination is balanced with a sweet and savory breading that gives way to the luscious meat inside.

Café Dupont

Birmingham's Café Dupont is a venerable fine-dining establishment. Over the course of his career, Chef Chris Dupont has worked in two separate locales, each time focusing on using fresh, regional foods.

The fried chicken, a menu mainstay that has been praised by the press and residents alike, demonstrates long-term attention to quality.

Lemon butter sauce and creamy mashed potatoes make it simple to understand why this meal has been a staple in the city for so many years now.

Oven Bird

James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Hastings' recollections of family camping excursions and his thoughts on Birmingham's strong steel and iron industry linkages generated the concept for Oven Bird.

Many of the dishes are prepared over an open fire in cast-iron pans (yet another nod to the city's industrial background).

The menu is exclusively constituted of tiny plates. Menu items from throughout the globe are available, allowing customers to design their own multi-cultural feast.

Check out some of the dishes, such as the beef candle stew or the empanadas, for starters. Oven Bird's drink menu is a great match for the dishes. The seasonal crostata is a must-have dessert.

Feast and Forest

When it comes to reinventing a tried-and-true meal, owners Victor King and Kristen Farmer Hall are masters of the art.

Before uniting their culinary skills and opening Feast and Forest in 2015, both had achieved success with their own pop-up stores and dinners.

In the same way that many of Birmingham's best-loved venues are a hybrid notion, this one is no exception. To start your day off well, you may get a bowl of creamy grits filled with pork, fresh fruit, and a fried egg.

And don't forget about the flaky croissants and biscuits with a variety of fillings. You may stock up on cookies and other sweet treats for later, thanks to the carefully chosen range of baked products.

Iron City

It's no surprise that Iron City is one of the more recent additions to Birmingham's cultural landscape. Because it offers both fine dining and live entertainment, this hotspot has become well-known.

Concert hall and fine-dining restaurant in a renovated 1929 building: that's the transformation of a once-drab place. A creative New American cuisine influenced by regional ingredients draws in the pre-show diners at The Grill.

 Small plates and entrees are available on the menu, so you may choose between a light snack (such as the gluten-free Buffalo cauliflower nibbles) or a heartier dish like the grilled duck breast accompanied with fingerling potatoes and roots.

 Leaving the restaurant, go through the rear of it, and down a steep hill to the main music hall.

Hotbox at Parkside

A stationary food truck serving fusion cuisine is housed in a converted Airstream that is permanently parked outside Parkside Café, a local drinking spot.

The menu at Hot Box often changes, with a variety of meats and veggies always on offer. Despite this, the Lemongrass Fried Chicken has remained a staple due to its overwhelming popularity.

 Lemongrass and coconut marinade the chicken, which is then fried to crisp perfection. Once they've been fully spiced, they're sprinkled with fresh cilantro and served with a spicy coconut-and-jalapeno aioli for some more kick.

Hot Diggity Dogs

In Birmingham's industrial era, the city's hot dog history started. Back then, the dining options downtown were mostly limited to soul food and regular dogs.

Hot Diggity Dogs has gained notice for employing new techniques to enhance the old dog, despite the fact that the alternatives have expanded greatly.

 The restaurant offers kosher beef or tofu dogs topped with a variety of non-traditional ingredients culled from different cuisines (such as sushi, poutine, and Korean barbecue). There is, however, a notable exception to the rule.

Onions, kraut, mustard, and sauce are included in the Birmingham Dog's unofficial toppings. Also, you may create your own dog. Pork skin nachos and chili are among the other options on the restaurant's extensive menu (vegan or meat).

 Look inside the phone booth if you're looking for something a little more potent than what's on offer at the soda fountain. There's a speakeasy called the Marble Room nestled away behind there.


What food is Birmingham, Alabama known for?

In Birmingham, you can get a wide choice of cuisines from across the world, including Southern favorites like chicken and waffles and Alabama barbecue drenched in the state's iconic white sauce.

Does Birmingham, Alabama, have good food?

Chicken and waffles and Alabama barbecue slathered with the state's famous white sauce are just two of the many delicacies that may be sampled in Birmingham.

In Birmingham, how many dining restaurants can one find?

There are 845 restaurants to choose from. As the number of restaurants and cafés in Birmingham grows, so does the city's food business. Birmingham currently has 845 restaurants, according to data compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

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