A Birmingham travel post has been a long time coming. Over the past few years, my friends and I have made several trips to the “Ham” to visit our friend and each time we go there’s a new restaurant to try and something new to see.
Instead of recapping one of the many trips to Birmingham, I’ve compiled a list of the best restaurants we’ve tried, the must-see spots, and some cool places to hang in B-ham. This sweet Southern city is certainly worth seeing.
El Barrio I had the best breakfast tacos of my life here and one of my new favorite summer cocktails, the Paloma. This place is always hoppin’ and they don’t take reservations, so just embrace it by ordering some chips & guac to nosh on while you wait. It’s worth it.Hot & Hot Fish Club Chef Chris Hastings of Hot & Hot Fish Club was awarded the “Best Chef of the South” in 2012 by the James Beard Foundation and his restaurant certainly speaks to that. The menu changes daily to offer the best of local ingredients, which showcases the talent of Hastings and his team. If the Hot & Hot Tomato Salad is on the menu during your visit, be sure to try it!
Bottega Cafe There’s another James Beard award-winning chef in Birmingham. Frank Stitt, who owns multiple restaurants in the area (two of which are on my list for future visits!) serves up Italian cuisine in two adjoined restaurants, Bottega & Bottega Cafe. The cafe side is more casual, with a lively and warm dining room. This was one of my first dining experiences in Birmingham way back in 2011, but still one of my favorite meal experiences while visiting B-ham.
Alabama Biscuit Company Biscuits are a Southern staple, but the Alabama Biscuit Company is doing them differently. Made with sprouted spelt flour, these healthier, hearty biscuits will surely surprise you as they aren’t dry at all, as one might expect from a whole-wheat biscuit. The menu features daily specials, but be sure to order the Goat Cheese, Pecan & Honey biscuit to share among a couple people–it’s so good, but very rich!
Post Office Pies Neapolitan pizza pies have made their way into the Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham in a re-purposed post office. They’re obviously doing pizza right as Post Office Pies was recently featured in Garden & Gun Magazine. The Chicken Pesto Pizza is absolute perfection and the menu features house-made beer cocktails using beer from Avondale Brewery, which is next door!
Coffee Shops & Treats
O’Henrys We always stop at this locally owned coffee shop in the Homewood area for something to sip on while we bounce in and out of the local shops in the area.
Octane Another great coffee shop option in the Homewood area and conveniently located next to Steel City Pops! Word on the street is that Nashvillians can expect to see an Octane opening in Germantown later this year.
Steel City Pops With flavors like Sweet Tea, Cucumber-Lime, and Blueberry Cream, do you really need any other reasons to visit this popsicle shop? I love the story of how this family started their business–just one more reason it’s a worthy place to check out!
Buffalo Rock Gingerale Before leaving Birmingham, be sure to stop at the Piggly Wiggly or other local grocer for a case of this gingerale. It is like no other. Once you try Buffalo Rock, you’ll never be able to drink the weak stuff again. This gives you a real kick in the pants….in a good way. I buy at least two cases each trip (one for me, one for my dad!) and when I’m feeling bold, I’ll crack one open.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens Step away from everything else and take a moment to appreciate the beauty in the 67.5 acres of the Botanical Gardens.
Pepper Place Farmers Market This high-energy farmer’s market entwines with local shops and takes place every Saturday from April to mid-December.
Vulcan Man This burly, bearded iron statue of a Roman god sits in Vulcan Park atop Red Mountain overlooking the city.
Good People Brewing Company I’ve been to their brewery twice for food bloggers events and I’ve become a big fan. They are my go-to brew choice when I’m in the mood for beer.
Avondale Brewing Company With an outdoor stage for live music located in the brewery’s backyard, Avondale is the perfect place to hangout with friends. Collins Bar This cozy cocktail bar made Southern Living’s list of 100 Best Bars in the South. And guess what. There is no cocktail menu. You simply tell them what you like and they’ll craft the perfect cocktail for you.
Have you visited Birmingham? What are some of your favorite places?
Even if you’re just passing through Birmingham, I hope you’ll take the time to check out some of these award-winning, nationally recognized hot spots!