From traditional fine dining establishments to casual soul food eateries, Birmingham, Alabama is a must-visit destination for foodies, known for its welcoming Southern hospitality and a diverse selection of flavors. Here you will find outstanding Southern cuisine, excellent pizza, French-inspired dishes, Californian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian, Spanish and other delicious creations. Top it all off with one of the local brews and a chocolate pudding dessert. Here are the best restaurants in Birmingham, AL.
1.Highlands Bar and Grill
© Highlands Bar and Grill
Highlands Bar and Grill has been serving Southern cuisine since 1982 and is one of the best best restaurants in Birmingham AL. Dishes are carefully prepared using French techniques, creating a culinary fusion that is popular with visitors and locals alike. After 5 pm, the atmosphere at the Highlands really comes to life, turning the restaurant into a social hub. Frank Stitt serves as Executive Chef, and he is committed to preparing his dishes using flavorful, high-quality ingredients.
The menu always features the most enticing dining options available for the season. Two items that you will always find on the menu are the stoned-ground baked grits and beef carpaccio. Recognized for his early advocacy of using locally grown food, sustainably raised poultry and meat, as well as local organic fresh fruits and vegetable, Chef Stitt provides his patrons with a unique dining experience. Guests are welcome to dine at the bar or in the formal dining room.
2011 Eleventh Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-939-1400
2.Hot and Hot Fish Club
© Hot and Hot Fish Club
Hot and Hot Fish Club opened in 1995 by chefs and co-owners Chris and Idie Hastings. The menu showcases a unique blend of French, Southern, and Californian styles of cooking. Guests have a choice of either enjoying an intimate dinner at the chef’s counter, which offers a front row view of the open kitchen, in the main dining room, the harvest room, or at the bar, which also offers snacks and cocktails.
Chef Chris Hastings serves as an advocate for Alabama Seafood Commission, while Chef Idie is committed to animal welfare causes. The dynamic team seeks inspiration from the local farmer’s harvest and other artisans, and the two have earned a reputation for serving some of the most flavorful and refined dishes in the region.
2180 11th Court South, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-933-5474
© Bistro 218
Bistro 218, a fine dining restaurant serving both lunch and dinner, has been a crowd pleaser since it opened in 2012. Chef Saab worked his way through many kitchens, gaining experience in preparing various styles of food before he opened his own restaurant. Bistro 218 is reflective of French style, and a touch of Southern influence can be seen in ingredients such as grits and okra.
Chef Saab believes in sourcing locally and regionally, a practice that guarantees him the best produce of each season. He also gets mushrooms, watercress, and ramps from a local forager, ensuring the freshness of the ingredients. Treat your taste buds to a bistro style meal of either quiche or duck confit. If you decide to stay for dinner, try the West Indies. Whenever you decide to order at Bistro 218, you will find that the restaurant always delivers delectable fare and exemplary service.
218 20st Street North, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-983-7999
4.Post Office Pies
© Post Office Pies
Post Office Pies offers a variety of delicious hand tossed pizzas cooked in fired brick ovens, a unique selection of salads, and a bar stocked exclusively with Avondale Brewing Co. brews, opened its doors in 2014. Co-owners Mike Wilson and Brandon Cain with the assistance of expert chef John Hall brought this lively, celebrated pizzeria to life.
They are committed to using fresh and local ingredients whenever possible and feature both vegan and gluten free options on their menu. One of their most popular specialties, better known as the “Swine Pie,” is exclusive to Post Office Pizzas, and is laden with thick slabs of pepperoni, savory sausages, and bacon covered cheese and topped with fresh basil. If you are looking for a casual lunch place, Post Office Pies is a great place to visit.
209 41st St. So, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-599-9900
Pastry Chef Becky Satterfield opened Satterfield's in Cahaba Heights in 2005. The cuisine is delicious and reflective of French, Italian, Spanish, and Mediterranean influences. Executive Chef Patrick Horn carefully concocts the delectable stocks and sauces that are used each night. Some of the favorite dishes include tuna, scallops, duck and angus beef filet. For dessert, you can order delicious items such as creme brulee, chocolate torte or an artisanal cheese plate.
3161 Cahaba Heights Road, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-969-9690
6.Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar
© Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar
Little Savannah Restaurant & Bar opened in 2003, shortly after chefs and co-owners Clif and Maureen Holt returned from saying “I do” in the South of France. The cuisine is a fusion of Southern ingredients and several different bold flavors from around the world. The Holts add their own personal touch to everything, and they will greet you at the door as though they were inviting you into their own home.
Sip on a Watermelon Mojito or Spicy Peach Magarita, their specialty cocktails, while you make the difficult decision of choosing what you want to eat. Alternatively, you can select a wine from the award-winning list to compliment your dish. Only the freshest ingredients are used either from the local farmers market or from the Holts’ own backyard garden.
3811 Clairmont Avenue, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-591-1119
7.5 Point Public House
5 Point Public House is an industrial-chic gastropub and oyster bar in Birmingham, owned and operated by executive chef George Reis since 2015. The local favorite watering hole is known for its award-winning pub entrees, including daily gourmet mac and cheese specialties, beer-battered fish and chips platters, signature house burgers, and beef brisket plates served with beer bourbon bacon jam and apple fennel slaw. Diners can also share oven-fired duck confit flatbreads or clever appetizer options like pork kimchi spring rolls, beer-battered cheese curds, or Brussels sprouts and pork belly hash. More than 30 craft brews are available on draft, including local Alabama ales and lagers.
1210 20th St S, Birmingham, AL 35205, Phone: 205-918-0726
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8.John's City Diner
© John's City Diner
Owner and Executive Chef Shannon Gober transformed a downtown landmark into John’s City Diner in 2004. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant has an excellent menu, which offers classic comfort food and a wide range of flavors inspired by Southern and Asian cuisines, among others. Only locally grown produce, hormone-, GMO- and antibiotic-free meats are used in meal preparation.
The menu also features low fat and gluten free options for those guests with certain dietary restrictions. Show up wearing whatever makes your comfortable, whether that happens to be sneakers or a suit, and relax while you enjoy a well-shaken martini, a John Zombie or a mug of local tap brew. If you’re hungry, the chicken and waffles, the meat loaf, or the pork chops are popular requests, and whatever you choose, don’t forget the decadent white chocolate pudding to round off your meal. Things to Do in Birmingham
112 Richard Arrington Blvd N, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-322-6014
© Eagle's Restaurant
Eagle’s Restaurant first opened in 1951 and is one of the community’s beloved lunch places because of its great food and affordable prices. All dishes come with cornbread and a choice of two vegetables. Whatever you choose is guaranteed to be tasty considering the fact that they have access to fresh produce from the Jefferson County Farmers Market, just a mile away. Try the ox tail, a house specialty.
2610 16th Street North, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-320-0099
© El Barrio
Located on 2nd Ave North, El Barrio is a bar and grill restaurant known for delivering an excellent lunch and dinner experience that allows guests to savor reinterpreted Mexican cuisine. The restaurant only utilizes humanely raised meats and seafood, as well as locally sourced produce that is often organic, ensuring that guests enjoy a healthy, nutritious meal.
The venue has an eclectic feel to it, created by panels of distressed wood, creative seating arrangements (such as communal tables), and a colorful wall covered by a bright Mexican inspired collage. Try the tacos, guacamole, or the meatloaf accompanied by a cool drink.
2211 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-868-3737
Slice Pizza & Brew is a warm, laid-back restaurant, the kind of place where you can relax, hang out, and savor your lunch or dinner. That’s exactly what the Bajaliah brothers Jeff, Jason, and Chris had in mind when they opened the restaurant in 2011. The menu offers an extensive list of pizza options accompanied by fresh salads and authentic Italian and Mediterranean sides made with fresh, local ingredients. Each pizza is hand crafted and baked in a natural stone oven.
The brews on top are all local as well. Check out the daily deals before you decide which day you want to visit, and be sure to try their celebrated specialty pizza topped with bacon, red grilled onions, and Wickles pepper rings, a local favorite. Sit on the patio, dine inside, or on the covered porch, and feel free to stick around and chat.
725 29th Street South, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-715-9300
© Chez Fonfon
Located on Birmingham’s 11th Avenue South, Chez Fonfon is a charming bistro that serves classic French dishes for lunch and dinner. Pardis and Frank Sitt first opened the restaurant in May 2000. The decor, credited to Patrick Dunne, captures the glory of older days, as it reflects the French spirit with its antique coffee tables that date back to the Belle Époque and its beautiful glass doors from Lyon. Some of the menu’s highlights include steak tartare, delicious, juicy burgers, and homemade charcuterie.
2007 Eleventh Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-939-3221
© Bottega Restaurant
Bottega Restaurant is famous for its delicious regional Italian food in two different settings. Opened in 1988 by Executive Chef Frank Stitt and his wife Pardis, the café is casual and laid back with a menu that includes pizza, roast meats, and fish, all prepared in a classic wood burning oven. Come to this relaxed eatery for lunch and linger around until dinner.
The two-level dining room features a slightly more extensive menu with dishes made using only the finest ingredients; homemade pasta, fresh seafood, meats, and games are the stars of the show. Chef Stitt has mastered the art of perfectly blending Italian and Southern flavors, and you won’t be disappointed by the result. Try the tomato chutney served with the roasted sweet pepper pizza or pork scaloppini with greens and polenta.
2240 Highland Ave South, Birmingham, Alabama, Phone: 205-939-1000
Fun things to do in Alabama for nature enthusiasts: the Noccalula Falls Park, McFarland Park and Burritt on the Mountain.
12 Best Restaurants in Birmingham, AL
- Highlands Bar and Grill, Photo: Highlands Bar and Grill
- Hot and Hot Fish Club, Photo: Hot and Hot Fish Club
- Bistro 218, Photo: Bistro 218
- Post Office Pies, Photo: Post Office Pies
- Satterfield's, Photo: Satterfield's
- Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar, Photo: Little Savannah Restaurant and Bar
- 5 Point Public House, Photo: karepa/stock.adobe.com
- John's City Diner, Photo: John's City Diner
- Eagle's Restaurant, Photo: Eagle's Restaurant
- El Barrio, Photo: El Barrio
- Slice, Photo: Slice
- Chez Fonfon, Photo: Chez Fonfon
- Bottega Restaurant, Photo: Bottega Restaurant
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Highlands Bar and Grill