Eat the Ham – Birmingham Restaurant Guide

Birmingham Restaurants Recommendations 

Here is an (incomplete) list of restaurants I recommend for those visiting from out of town. Let me know what you think if you visit one of these places!


Any bar-b-q place you go to around here will be good.

Top Favorite

Saw’s Juke Joint – BBQ and Soul-food – Get the pork-n-greens (I substitute chicken). Everything is great, the potatoes, the burger, the wings. Just all around good.

Rodney Scott’s Bar-B-Que – Homewood.

Saw’s BBQ – Homewood location of Saw’s. Much smaller hole in the wall feel. I like their brisket when it’s available.

Martin’s BBQ – In Cahaba Heights. Our go to BBQ place these days. Large seating area for groups inside and out. Get the Brisket Burger.

Chicken plate at Martin’s.

Jim-n-Nicks BBQ – Locations around town. Good for groups. Made from scratch ingredients. Cheddar biscuits are a must. Piggie in the garden healthy option. Potatoes are good. Great pies. Is now a large chain.


Troup’s – In Cahaba Heights. Our most frequented pizza place. Brick oven pizza. Great original flavors. Get the Blazer. Lots of drink options with a fridge full of unique choices (including Barq’s root beer in the bottle) and regular fountain drinks. Delicious salads. Great for groups. After dinner walk next door for Starbucks or Cookie Fix.

Blazer and Pepperoni Pizza at Troup’s.

Davenport’s – Legendary local pizza place in Mountain Brook. Generous topping on thin (but not crunchy) crust cut in squares. It’s a throwback to the 70’s and 80’s with old arcade games and carpet just as old. Not the best for large groups, but small groups may enjoy the nostalgia and delicious pizza and a fair price. We like to go here and then walk to Mountain Brook Creamery. They have another location in Vestavia.

Slice – Pizza with a twist created with local ingredients. We like the Vestavia location near Grandview. Great for groups. Their tater tots are on of the best apps in Birmingham. This place is #1 or #2 on most lists for area pizza places.

Post Office Pies – Wood fired brick oven pizza. Avondale location is in an old post office. Rated the 30 best pizza’s in Alabama. Also have a location in Mountain Brook near Jeni’s ice cream.

Slim’s – Fancy pizza place. Think date night pizza. Get the Hot Honey. You’re welcome.

Pizza GM – This could also qualify as a date night pizza place but more casual than Slim’s. Pizza place by what I think is one of the best Italian restaurants, Gianmarcos. Great apps and main courses.

Vecchia Pizza – In beautiful Moss Rock Preserve. You feel transported to Italy eating these old world style pizzas. Great for large groups.

I really can’t believe I have so many pizza places on this list. I guess I like pizza, but surprisingly, there have been many pizza places that are highly rated that I have yet to try!

Healthy / Fresh Options

Season’s 52 – Sit down restaurant with a menu that changes with the seasons. A nice date night place. The Summit.

Real and Rosemary – Locations in Homewood, the Summit, and Mountain Brook. I used to love it, but don’t go as much anymore. Vegan and Vegetarian Options.

Ashley Mac’s – Local chain that seems like it is for the ladies but has great options for guys as well. I like the poppyseed chicken and the BLT salad. Everything is great on the menu including the desserts. Locations throughout the city.

Ono Poke – We go to the summit location. So good! Surprisingly amazing French fries.

Chicken Bowl at Ono Poke.

Chop N Fresh – In Mountain Brook. Where we like to go for chopped salad. Not great for large groups, but in an area with lots of food options.

Urban Cookhouse – Great healthy meals made with local ingredients. Salads, sandwiches, but also fork and knife plates that will fill you up. The cookie dessert is amazing. Comes half cook in a tiny frying pan with ice cream and should be shared. The Summit and Homewood.

Quick and Easy

Shake Shack – legendary burger chain from NYC. The Summit.

Taco Mama – affordable and fresh ingredients. Very popular around here, but a little on the bland side for me. The Summit and just about everywhere else.


Gianmarco’s- Best Pricy Italian –

North Italia (chain) but amazing. At the Summit.


Chuck’s Seafood on 280.

Bamboo on 2nd  – downtown

Abhi – Mountain Brook Village

Blue Sushi Saki Grill – The Summit


Eugene’s Hot Chicken – My favorite hot chicken place. Wings are the size of chicken thighs. Very hole-in-the-wall and be prepared to wait. Uptown area.

Hattie B’s – legendary Nashville hot chicken.

Guthrie’s – on 280. Identical to Raising Cane’s (just about). Some say this is where Cane’s got their concept from!

Chicken Basket at Guthrie’s.


Big Bad Breakfast – Overall one of the best restaurants in Birmingham. Best breakfast. In Homewood and on 280.

Biscuit Love – Cahaba Heights. A Nashville spot now in Birmingham.

Crestline Bagel – location in Crestline Village and Cahaba Heights.

Fine Dining

Our favorite fine dining is Hot and Hot Fish Club. Lots of Louisiana flavors and despite the name is not a seafood restaurant.

Most people in Bham would send you to Highlands Bar and Grill and it is the same level as Hot and Hot.

Bottega is also super fancy (where Micheal Jordan would go out to eat when he played for the Birmingham Barons). There are all in the same area and will let you see a cool part of the city.

A great Italian fine dining restaurant is Gianmarco’s. It is one of my all-time favorite places.  

Helen is a newer place a lot of people recommend for fine dining, but I’ve never been!

Flemings is always good!


Brick Tops – also has great sushi

Local Greek and Mediterranean Chains

Fast Casual: Tazikis, 

Sit down Greek: Tasty Town

Eli’s Jerusalem grill: Slightly different take on Mediterranean. Gyro, Sharma, humus and delicious rice.

Sweet Treats

Cookie Fix in Homewood  also in Cahaba Heights now (closer to Grandview) – the best cookie in the world. They always have a couple healthy options. Imagine a cookie that is about two inches thick in the middle that’s slides down to edge about four inches out to make an okey gooey mound of sweet deliciousness.

Jeni’s ice cream is downtown and in Mountain Brook, Lane Parke.

Bendy’s Ice Cream (next door to Martin’s Bbq). 

Sons donuts – little donuts made right in front of you. Avondale and Lane Parke.

Son’s donuts.

Hero Donuts – Homewood 

Hero Donuts.

Heavenly Donuts in Vestavia near Grandview campus.


O’Henry’s is my favorite. Lots of flavors. Revelator is going to be for the purest who wants their pour over beans to be  ground right before serving with no syrup.

Frothy Monkey is now here downtown.

June is good. Downtown.

Caramel Latte at June.

Cala is probably the most popular place right now in Cahaba Heights.


Taco Mama is good cheap quick Mexican,

Urban Cookhouse

Ashley Mac’s – chicken salad, etc

Near the ARC Office

Little Donkey – good Mexican with a southern twist. Everything is made from scratch. Famous for the fried chicken. Get their potatoes as a side and street corn (i always like it off the cob). I also like their brisket tamales.

Big Bad Breakfast – just the best breakfast. Known for their skillets and biscuits, but i like the regular breakfast.

Eli’s Jerusalem Grill – gyro, shawarma, amazing rice, and amazing hummus.

Areas with Good Food

Avondale (Saw’s Soulfood Kitchen, Post Office Pies, Melt, Etc.) If you go to Avondale make sure to go to Big Spoon Creamery, locally source gourmet ice cream.

Mountain Brook has different villages with local spots.

Lane Parke – Newest area with several good places and shopping near the Grand Bohemian, Botanical Gardens, and the Zoo. Melt, Chop N Fresh, Lady Bird Taco, Sons Donuts, Starbucks, Jeni’s Ice Cream, Post Office Pies, and more.

Crestline Village – Great area to walk around and shop. Some local candy stores, boutiques, shops, and restaurants.

Homewood SOHO (South Homewood) – Lots new places added recently. Rodney Scott BBQ, Ashley mac’s, Little Donkey, Big Bad Breakfast, O’Henry’s Coffee, Urban Cookhouse and more that are all great. Also local shops and boutiques. Might be the best area as one stop area to park and shop and eat local.

Uptown – great options in one central location downtown near top golf and the  

Pizitz Food Hall – Downtown. Please everyone by going to the pizitz which has been planned to include food genre’s from around the world from New Orleans to Pho.

Things to do in Birmingham

If you are in Homewood you can go to Vulcan Park (Free) and overlook the entire city.

 If you are in Mountain Brook you can go to the Birmingham Botanical Garden (free). See the Japanese gardens. 

If you are downtown visit railroad park (Free). 

Visit boutiques in Homewood, Mountain Brook, or Cahaba Heights. 

Shop at the Summit.

Pizitz Food Hall

Downtown. Please everyone by going to the pizitz which has been planned to include food genre’s from around the world from New Orleans to Pho.

Published by

Josh Roberie

Josh Roberie is a ministry leader, communicator, and creative that wants to inspire people to believe again though a message of hope in Christ.

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