Braised Pork
#The Lowdown

Food Destination: Where You Must Eat in Birmingham

By Travel Savvy

When Time Inc  announced that their tastemaking magazine, Food & Wine, was moving south to Birmingham, Alabama, foodies across the globe took note. Alabama's largest city has become a serious food destination, complete with a thriving food-media industry, and countless award-winning chefs and prominent food professionals dishing out some of the best bites in Birmingham. 

This diverse city has everything from highbrow European-style cuisine to down home southern food. Click through for a taste of why foodies have their eye on Birmingham as a favorite place to go for dining.

Hot and Hot Fish Club 1

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Hot and Hot Fish Club

Hot and Hot Fish Club

2180 11th Ct S

Open Tuesday through Saturday 5:30PM - 10:00PM

Hot and Hot Fish Club is co-owned by one of Birmingham's very own master chefs, Chris Hastings, and his wife Idie. Chris, twice named a James Beard "Best Chef in the South" Finalist, mixes French, Californian, and Southern styles of cooking and has earned a solid reputation for serving some of the freshest and most sophisticated dishes in the city.

Highlands Bar and Grill 2

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Highlands Bar and Grill

Highlands Bar and Grill

2011 11th Ave S

Open Tuesday through Saturday 5:30PM - 10:00PM

Famed chef and restaurateur Frank Sitt opened Highlands Bar and Grill in 1982 and has been keeping locals happy with his refined French-inspired Southern cuisine ever since. Having worked in several kitchens throughout Paris, as well as with famed food pioneer Alice Waters, Sitt uses the region's harvest to create a daily changing menu highlighted by classic French technique. The eatery's wine list is just as impressive, offering over 300 labels of wine, each chosen for it's uniqueness. For a glimpse of the daily menu, click here.

Galley and Garden 3

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Galley and Garden

Galley and Garden

2220 Highland Ave

Open Monday through Friday 11:00AM - 10:00PM; Saturday 5:00PM - 10:00PM; Sunday Brunch 10:30AM - 3:00PM

Having earned spots on several of Zagat's "Must-Try" lists regarding Birmingham, Galley and Garden has become a top destination for modern American-French cuisine. Housed in a local historic house built in 1908 (known locally as the Merritt House), the restaurant underwent a total transformation in 2014 that opened up the space and restored the elegant home to its Southern glory. Owner and chef James Boyce, 25-year restaurant industry veteran, invites guests to enjoy their seasonal dishes in the house where the grandeur of the past and present come to meet.

El Barrio 4

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: El Barrio

El Barrio

2211 2nd Ave N

Open Tuesday through Friday 11:00AM - 10:00PM; Saturday Brunch 10:30AM - 2:00PM; Saturday Dinner 5:00PM - 10:00PM

Listed on Zagat's "8 Must-Try Restaurants in Birmingham, Alabama," El Barrio brings exciting flavors to the local food scene with its take on multi-regional Mexican cuisine. Decorated with vibrant Mexican street art and inventive lighting, the atmosphere is as festive and inviting as the food. With a Southern twist on traditional recipes, this is not your typical 'taco joint'. Expect mash-ups like Grilled Chorizo Meatloaf and Al Pastor tacos (made with chile-marinated pork, pineapple and pickled onion). Eat in the bar area for a more casual night out.

SAW’s Soul Kitchen 5

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: The Food Network

SAW’s Soul Kitchen

215 41st St S

Open Monday through Saturday 11:00AM - 8:00PM; Sunday 11:00AM - 4:00PM

Serious soul food lovers should catch a flight to Birmingham, drop the bags off at the hotel and head straight to SAW’s Soul Kitchen for their popular dish of 'Pork and Greens on Grits,' featuring bites of cheesy grits and pork shoulder interlaced perfectly piquant, vinegar braised greens.  Co-owners Mike Wilson and Brandon Cain have decked out their popular joint in piggy paraphernalia, making it a unique place to grab a bite of authentic 'Bama cuisine. 


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