We hope you’ve packed your appetite. This month, we’re finishing our Hit the Road series with a foodie foray into Birmingham, AL. Whether you’re interested in taking a tour of Good People Brewing Co., putting your cooking skills to the test at a Mountain Brook class, or trying the award-winning oysters at Automatic Seafood, this driving-distance destination is every foodie’s dream.
Before you start packing your bags, here’s everything you need to know about the area + our insider recommendations.
Drive time: ~2.5 hours from downtown
Est. population: 210,928
Avg. high in August: 91º
🎟️ Things to do
- Good People Brewing Co. | Book a tour to get a behind the scenes look of the longest operating brewery in Birmingham. Sip on the No. 1 best rated IPA in Alabama, the Hitchhiker IPA, or the Funk Farm barrel aged sour beer options.
- Pizitz Food Hall | Make a stop and try out food from the 12 food stalls where start-ups prove their concepts before opening brick + mortars. Bonus: stop by The Birmingham Candy Co. for handmade candies if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- MGB Culture & Community Festival | Attend this local festival on Sat., Aug. 27 featuring Black vendors, live music, classic cars, and great food + drinks. Proceeds benefit the Modern Green Book Foundation Black Business Grant Program.
- Classes by Kessler |Head over to the Mountain Brook suburb to take a cooking class. Learn to make handmade pasta, tapas, and hors d’oeuvres, among other recipes.
- Birmingham Picnic Co. | Book a luxury, pop-up picnic experience — set-up, takedown, and decor is included. Ask for local food recommendations to add on to your experience.
- The Market at Pepper Place | Support local farmers + vendors at this Alabama-certified farmers market that takes place every Saturday.
- Sloss Furnaces Nat’l Historic Landmark | Take a self-guided tour through the nation’s only blast furnace site currently being preserved + interpreted as an industrial museum.
- Hero Doughnuts & Buns | Grab yourself a donut or a burger at this spot located within walking distance to Railroad Park – a 19-acre park dedicated to the city’s industrial + artistic heritage.
- Grand River Drive-In | See a movie under the stars right outside of the city while enjoying snacks + drinks from The Snack Shack.
🍲 Memorable eats
- Automatic Seafood and Oysters | Enjoy seafood cuisine crafted by one of the 2022 James Beard Foundation Award Best Chef: South winners, Chef Adam Evans.
- EastWest | This restaurant and bar is where Western + Eastern cultures meet to create amazing and unique food options. Try out dishes like the Chinese duck nachos and Mongolian Ribeye.
- Chez Fonfon | Chef Frank Stitts — whose accolades include James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast + Outstanding Chef — heads this bistro that pays homage to comforting French fare. If you’re ready to finally try escargot, this is a great spot to do it.
- Bottega Café | This spot is where the American South meets the Italian countryside. Get your handmade pasta + pizza fix with an impressive wine selection to pair with your meal.
- T-Bones Authentic Philly Style Cheesesteaks and Hoagies | Enjoy authentic Philly Cheesesteaks served on Amoroso rolls straight from Philadelphia.
- SAW’s Juke Joint | Brings backyard barbecue to Birmingham with notable accolade’s of some of the best barbecue in the nation.
- ShuShop | Located in the hearth of Birmingham’s Theatre District, enjoy ramen + small plates at this relaxed outpost.
- Niki’s West | This steak + seafood restaurant has been deemed one Birmingham’s finest restaurants since 1957.
- Johnny’s Restaurant | Located in Homewood, this spot has had multiple James Beard Semifinalist nominations over the past decade. This year, the popular eatery made the Semifinalist list in two categories: Chef and owner Timothy Hontzas as Best Chef in the South + Outstanding Hospitality.
- Golden Age Wine | Located in Mountain Brook + was named one of the best wine programs in the nation by the James Beard Foundation in this year’s awards. Shop their new arrivals or have a glass of their classic wine selections.
🏨 Accommodations with award-winning cuisine
- Elyton Hotel | 1928 1st Ave. N | This four diamond hotel sits right in the heart of Birmingham in the former Empire Building. Dine in at The Yard or grab a cocktail at Moonshine, the highest rooftop bar in the city.
- The Westin Birmingham | 2221 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. | This modern hotel is in the entertainment district of downtown Birmingham. Experience a fresh take on classic pub favorites from award-winning chef Todd English.
- Redmont Hotel Birmingham | 2101 5th Ave. N. | The oldest-running hotel in Birmingham, this spot has 1920’s charm and a great cocktail and drinks selection at it’s rooftop bar, The Roof.
- Grand Bohemian | 2655 Lane Park Rd. | Stay in the Mountain Brook Suburb and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine from Habitat Feed & Social, the hotel’s rooftop eatery + bar.