Birmingham's Dining Guide
Award-winning chefs and inventive cuisine abound in Birmingham. To inspire your exploration of Birmingham’s thriving food scene, we’ve scouted a wide range of local favorites, from crowd-pleasing Southern comfort staples and the freshest Gulf Coast seafood to impeccable fine dining experiences – and every breakfast, lunch, or dinner meal in between. Enjoy, and don’t forget to tell them The Scout Guide sent you!
BREAKFAST & BRUNCH
1701 1st Ave S | @herodoughnuts | In addition to their beloved brioche style, yeast doughnuts in variety of sweet iterations from fresh fruit fillings and silky glazes to streusel-topped and sprinkles, Hero Doughnuts & Buns also serves balanced breakfast bites like seasonal yogurt bowls, egg sandwiches, and of course coffee.
300 Rele St | @ladybirdtaco | Lady Bird Taco is a fun, fast-casual concept bringing a taste of Austin, Texas to Birmingham via authentic, out-of-this-world breakfast tacos. Expect house-made tortillas, fresh and local ingredients, plus a full-service barista brewing up elevated coffee creations.
2018 Morris Ave | @essentialbham | The Essential is an all-day neighborhood cafe situated on the historic cobblestones of Morris Avenue. Expect new American brunch fare and craft cocktails with a Southern focus. Be sure to top off your meal with a pastry – they’re a can’t miss!
SCOUTED | 3813 Clairmont Ave | @generalbham | General is beautiful neighborhood café-meets-general store that makes for a darling spot for to enjoy a delicious lunch of soups, salads, sandwiches, plus an array of delectable pastries and cozy coffee creations. And besides being a lunchtime favorite, we also love this place for gorgeous gifts and home decor.
2829 2nd Ave S | @bluerootco | Whether you grab a seat inside Blueroot’s aesthetically pleasing interior or take your lunch to go, you can always expect delicious, delightfully nutrient-dense eats. Enjoy seasonal, produce-forward eats like salads, warm bowls, cleaner burgers, and sweet superfood snacks. Gluten-free? Paleo? This spot is also a must for those with a special diets or dietary restrictions!
2007 11th Ave S | @fonfonbham | Chez Fonfon is a casual, bustling bistro in the heart of Five Points South that offers a window to Paris through authentic decor and French fare. In addition to indulgent dishes (think steak frites and sautéed trout with brown butter) the menu boasts a lengthy list of lighter options for a satisfying meal that won’t weigh you down during the afternoon.
2810 3RD AVE S #100 | @thesonofabuthcer_bham | The Son of a Butcher is a family-owned butcher shop located in Pepper Place. While their focus is bringing you the best quality meat, seafood, cheese, and specialty goods, they serve up a mean sandwich every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. From house-made meatball subs to an incredible Muffuletta, check out their instagram to see the monthly lineup and be sure to head on down to TSOB.
COFFEE & TEA
3950 Autumn Ln | @calacoffeeco | From the organic modern interior to the vibey tunes, Cala Coffee offers a serene space for enjoying elevated brewed beverages while you tackle your work-from-home duties. Order caffeinated concoctions from classic cold brew and drip coffee to specialties like the rosemary honey latte, shaken strawberry matcha, or a lemon fizz ginger (a.k.a espresso, sparkling water, and lemon-ginger syrup).
81 Church St | @81churchstreet | Home of the famous break-up cookie, Church Street Coffee & Books serves up a bevy of delicious locally roasted brews and scratch-made baked goods — plus shelves and shelves of popular literature. Sip coffee while perusing the pages of a new book or bring your laptop to get some work done.
1909 Cahaba Rd | @continental_bakery | An ode to French café society, Continental Bakery is a tranquil nook inside Chez Lulu specializing in gourmet artisan European-style breads, pastries, and a few light bites coupled with delicious coffee beverages. While the morning bun and croissants are a can’t miss, their better-for-you options of house-made granola and tarragon chicken salad are an equally tasty choice for pairing with your morning latte or midday caffeine fix.
2902 18th St S | @johnnyshomewood | Here Southern staples, barbecue, and Greek fare live on the same menu at this modern meat and three counter serve eatery, resulting in an unexpected yet ultra-tasty take on traditional cuisine. Our order? Keftedes and a Greek salad when we want something light or souvlaki with a side of fried green tomatoes and parmesan grits for the best of both worlds.
817 39th St S | @therougarouxbhm | This quirky casual eatery is the real New Orleans deal serving well-loved Cajun classics including po’boys, gumbo, and more. Here you’ll also find a great patio to go along with the fantastic food making this spot a popular hangout for locals.
1008 Oxmoor Rd | @saws_bbq | Carolina-style smoked pulled pork, chicken, and ribs star in this snug barbecue joint packed with signs and sports mementos. For soul food with finger licking good flavor, look no further.
6801 Cahaba Valley Rd | @eatattacomama | This laidback taco shop has a straight-forward, fuss-free approach to Tex-Mex food with a coastal twist serving fan-favorites like tacos, burritos, chips and queso, plus a long list of house-made margaritas for washing it all down.
SCOUTED | 3916 Clairmont Ave | @redorwhitebham | A local favorite for upscale sips and gourmet fare, this classy wine bar and restaurant has a strong focus on quality, offering a diverse selection of fine wine while serving a delectable selection of antipasto boards, wood fired pizzas, and elevated entrees.
2824 5th Ave S | @automaticseafood | Comfortable, elegant, and classic, the atmosphere at Automatic is an ode to Americana that draws inspiration from the nation’s shorelines while serving coastal meets Southern-style fare. Enjoy unbelievably fresh seafood dishes, a delectable raw bar, a selection of land-based proteins prepared according to seasonality, and luscious libations.
2212 1st Ave N | @lafetebham | An ode to fine wine, elevated fare, and breezy Parisienne sensibility, La Fête is a French-inspired wine bar serving adventurous pours along with gourmet snacks and mains from stylish, Euro-chic digs. Expect a robust wine list – boasting 130 bottles no less – and a short, ever-changing menu of seasonal plates complemented by a vibey ambiance.
721 Broadway St | White tablecloths and romantic lighting highlight the fine Italian cuisine at this incredibly popular dinner destination. Come for a lengthy wine list, pasta, and refined meat-forward Italian indulgences like paccheri bolognese and braised veal ossobuco, plus fresh Gulf Coast seafood prepared in an authentic Mediterranean style.
65 Church St | @slimspizzeria | A neighborhood pizzeria and bar with an understated yet elegant old New York ambiance serving elevated classic Italian small plates and pizzas complimented by a list of wine, beer, and upscale cocktails. The only way to end you dinner here is with a Frannie Slim – you’ll thank us later!
CELEBRATIONS & SPECIAL OCCASIONS
2312 2nd Ave N | @boccabirmingham | The contemporary, brick-lined dining room at Bocca sets the stage for a decadent yet delicate presentation of authentic Northern Italian cuisine. In addition to an impressive wine list – because no Italian meal is complete without it – the menu highlights handmade pastas, risottos, antipastis, elegant entrees, and gourmet Italian pastries (the canoli is a must) for a sweet finish.
2240 Highland Ave | @bottegabham | Bottega is an intimate restaurant offering a refined food and beverage program carefully crafted by linking signature Southern ingredients with artisanal offerings from producers in the Italian countryside. Set in the historic Beaux-Arts building, the dining room and picturesque patio lend a sophisticated atmosphere for your memorable meal.
2013 2nd Ave N | @helenbham | Five-time James Beard Foundation Best Chef: South semifinalist, Chef Rob McDaniel, helms this elegant grill offering a refreshed take on upscale dining and Southern cuisine driven by seasonality and the products of local purveyors. For those imbibing, don’t forget to explore the superb cocktail program!
2901 2nd Avenue South | @hotandhotfishclub | A James Beard Award-Winning restaurant, this farm-to-table gem is known for its top-notch fine dining experience that approaches Southern, French, and California style cuisine with modern flair and an emphasis on fresh Gulf Coast seafood.
4000 3rd Ave S | @bigspooncreamery | This contemporary counter serve creamery is scooping up and small-batch artisanal ice cream that highlights the the very best seasonal ingredients. While you’ll find classics taken to the next level like cookies and cream and fresh mint chip, you’ll also discover incredible creations like key lime yuzu pie and goat cheese strawberry hibiscus.
3152 Heights Village & 2854 18th St South | @cookie_fix | You won’t find your grandma’s cookies at Cookie Fix – that is unless they’re ultra-thick, crisp on the outside, gooey on the inside, and absolutely loaded with gourmet ingredients. With a rotating menu of over 80 flavors, you can satisfy your cookie cravings with classics including chocolate chip and peanut butter or creative flavors like key lime pie and cookie butter crunch.
2812 Cahaba Rd | @daughtersbaking | This boutique cake business is known for their signature “naked” cakes boasting delicious fillings and creative flavors that often hit on nostalgic and utterly dreamy. Not ready to commit to an entire cake? Opt for a mini cake sampler box!
Browse our Insider Guides for more local favorites.