The G3 Guide to Visiting Birmingham

Don't miss the Gusty Gulas Group curated guide to all things to do in the Magic City - check our list of top attractions, activities, restaurants, bars and breweries in Birmingham, Alabama!

Birmingham, Alabama’s Absolute Must-Dos:

No. 1 

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding of the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham. 

This historic museum traces the journey of the civil rights advocates of the 1950s and 60s, who changed the course of American history. The struggle for equality for Black Americans is chronicled here, from the Jim Crow laws in the 1800s to the freedom rides, sit-ins, and demonstrations of the 1960s.

No. 2 

Vulcan Park & Museum 

The largest cast-iron statue in the world was created for the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair and placed on top of Red Mountain with a beautiful view of downtown Birmingham. Also, inside Vulcan Center, is an interactive museum that contains the historical timeline of the city of Birmingham.

No. 3 

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

Sloss Furnaces was once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world. It stands today just as it did in the late 19th century — a monument to the Industrial Revolution. With its web of pipes and towering stoves, this unique National Historic Landmark provides visitors a glimpse into Birmingham’s rich industrial heritage. It stands with pride and is a symbol of where the “Magic” began for Birmingham.

Sloss Furnaces operated from 1882 to1970 making it the longest continually running blast furnace in Birmingham’s history. Visit Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark and learn about the materials, the products, and the people who ran the furnaces and built the city. Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark began as a museum in 1983 providing visitors with a unique experience and valuable insight into Birmingham’s industrial past. 

No. 4

McWane Science Center

Fun and learning never end at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum and IMAX(R) Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder - from an amazing collection of dinosaurs to innovative environmental showcases, imaginative early childhood playgrounds, and an awe-inspiring aquarium. The energy and excitement of discovery spring to life through an extensive lineup of science demonstrations performed daily by talented educators. The adventure intensifies in the IMAX(R) Dome Theater, where wide-eyed visitors experience the sights and sounds of breathtaking films on a 5-story-tall screen surrounded by 3 tons of high-intensity speakers. 

No. 5

Birmingham Museum of Art

The Birmingham Museum of Art is one of the finest regional museums in the United States. This three-story museum houses an eclectic selection of art, including houses a diverse collection of more than 27,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative arts dating from ancient to modern times. The collection presents a rich panorama of cultures, featuring the Museum’s extensive holdings of Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American art.

No. 6

Negro Southern League Museum 

The Negro Southern League Museum (NSLM) tells the story of African-American baseball in America through the eyes of Birmingham, Alabama. The museum features the largest collection of original Negro League baseball artifacts in the country. NSLM also features an on-site research center that is supported by a research team made up of seven of the top researchers in Negro League and Southern League baseball history. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience please make plans to visit the Negro Southern League Museum. Whether you are a baseball enthusiast or a novice, the Negro Southern League Museum has something for you.

No. 7

Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

A motorcyclist's dream, this museum has 750 vintage and modern motorcycles displayed on walls, two-tiered platforms and just about everywhere you look. The bikes are displayed randomly, rather than by date and year, adding an element of unpredictability to the viewer's experience.

No. 8

The Birmingham Zoo

One of the state’s most popular attractions, the Birmingham Zoo, is an ever-evolving adventure. Guests come from around the Southeast to see animals such as red pandas, lions, giraffes, orangutans, rhinos, bears, elephants, sea lions, zebras, a jaguar, a hippo, and many more. From Trails of Africa to the Children’s Zoo and everything in-between, the Birmingham Zoo features animals from all over the world, with signage highlighting the Zoo’s amazing animal care, conservation initiatives, and Species Survival Plans. With approximately 550 animals of 180 species and endangered species from 6 continents, the Birmingham Zoo’s 122-acre site is the perfect place to visit any time of the year.

No. 9

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Alabama's largest living museum with more than 12,000 different plants in its living collections. The Gardens' 67.5 acres contains 25+ unique gardens, 30+ works of original outdoor sculpture, and miles of serene paths. The Gardens features the largest public horticulture library in the U.S., conservatories, a wildflower garden, two rose gardens, the Southern Living garden, and Japanese Gardens with a traditionally crafted tea house. Education programs run year-round and over 10,000 school children enjoy free science-curriculum-based field trips annually.

No. 10

Arlington Historic Home & Gardens

Located in the Jefferson County community of Elyton, Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens is a historic house and grounds that are open to the public. The house, an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture, is the only antebellum mansion in the city and displays items relating to nineteenth-century life. The house serves as a decorative arts museum, featuring a collection of 19th-century furniture, textiles, silver, and paintings. The garden features a restored garden room that is used for special events. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on December 2, 1970. The surrounding neighborhood Arlington Park District was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 17, 1995.

No. 11

Southern Museum of Flight Museum

The Southern Museum of Flight Is one of the largest aviation museums in the Southeast and is dedicated to presenting civilian, military, and experimental aircraft and memorabilia from the earliest history of powered flight. The 75,000 square foot facility houses over 100 aircraft, as well as engines, models, artifacts, photographs, and paintings. In addition, the Southern Museum of Flight is home to the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame with over 70 biographical plaques presenting Alabama aviation history through collective biography.

No. 12

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame & Museum

The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum is located in the Uptown District of Birmingham and is attached to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. The three-story 33,000-square-foot museum was opened in 1992 and is home to over 6,000 pieces of sports memorabilia. The ASHOF Museum is one of the largest sports halls of fame in the nation with memorabilia from each inductee, dating back to the first induction class in 1969, displayed throughout the facility.

No. 13 

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

Alabama has produced some of the most notable jazz musicians in the country such as Nat King Cole from Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa’s Dinah Washington just to name a few. The first piano blues solo ever recorded was played by Birmingham-born Clarence “Pinetop” Smith. Sun Ra, whose innovative work remains celebrated worldwide, was born and raised in Birmingham, and native Erskine Hawkins set the standard with his signature tune about Ensley, “Tuxedo Junction.” The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame honors these luminaries and more with exhibits that showcase their accomplishments. Visitors take a journey through jazz history, from its humble beginnings in secular, folk traditions through its many contemporary incarnations. Honoring the sacred rituals that gave birth to the genre and the visionaries who kept it alive, the museum attracts not only jazz enthusiasts, but civil rights historians, students, and tour groups. 

Download Our Birmingham Guide: G3s Guide to Visiting Birmingham.pdf

Birmingham, Alabama’s Absolute Must-Sees:

No. 1

Alabama Theatre

The Alabama Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Birmingham Alabama on 3rd Avenue North. Since 1927 the Alabama Theatre has been the home to shows and performances ranging from movies, concerts, beauty pageants, silent films, and even the Mickey Mouse Club! This beautiful theatre is an amazing piece of history that defies the imagination and must be experienced to be truly appreciated.

No. 2

The Lyric Theatre

Built in 1914 for B.F. Keith’s Vaudeville circuit, the Lyric is one of few theatres still existing today that was specifically designed to maximize the acoustics and close seating needed for vaudeville shows. Major stars such as the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Sophie Tucker, Will Rogers, and Milton Berle played the Lyric. Berle said it was “as fine a theatre as any in New York.” During the 1920s, it was the custom to attend shows at the Lyric Theatre on Monday nights—if you could get a reservation. Tickets cost from 25 to 75 cents. In the summertime, air was fanned over two tons of ice a day to keep guests cool. Though seating was segregated, the Lyric was one of the first venues in the South where blacks and whites could watch the same show at the same time for the same price.

No. 3

16th Street Baptist Church

Organized in 1873 as the First Colored Baptist Church of Birmingham, Alabama. Sixteenth Street was the first black church in Birmingham. Initially, the congregation worshiped in a small building on the corner of 12th Street North and 4th Avenue and later moved to 3rd Avenue North between 19th and 20th Streets. In 1880 the congregation moved to its present location at 16th Street and 6th Avenue North. A modern brick building was erected in 1884 that established precedence for church building in the city.

On Sunday, September 15, 1963, at 10:22 a.m., the church became known around the world when a bomb exploded, killing four young girls attending Sunday School and injuring more than 20 other members of the congregation. Later that same evening, in different parts of town, a black youth was killed by police, and one was murdered by a mob of white men. It was a shocking, terrifying day in the history of Birmingham and a day that forced white leaders to further come to grips with the city’s bitter racist reputation.

No. 4

Kelly Ingram Park

Birmingham’s historic Kelly Ingram Park, the site of civil rights rallies, demonstrations, and confrontations in the 1960s, now offers visitors a guided audio tour through their mobile phones. In the early 1960s, Kelly Ingram Park became the epicenter of the nation’s Civil Rights Movement. America’s second revolution was a struggle for human rights and simple decency for African-American citizens. The park became the international focus of civil disobedience for blacks demanding equality. Historic footage of police attack dogs and high-powered fire hoses remain indelibly imprinted on the memories of those who saw the images on televisions and in newspapers around the world in the 1960s. But it was those very images that created the turning point in the struggle for desegregation.

Thousands of visitors come from around the world each year to learn about Birmingham’s painful and pivotal role in a nationwide call for civil rights. Sculptures throughout the park are vivid depictions of police dogs and fire hose assaults on demonstrators, many of them children. The mobile phone tour guides visitors through the historical significance of each sculpture, using brief but powerful descriptions at each stop. The audio tour was developed by the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau and was funded by a grant from the Alabama Tourism Department. The tour is free and available to anyone with a mobile phone. The dial-in number is (205) 307-5455.

No. 5

Birmingham Civil Rights District

The neighborhood that was the center of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement is now a historic district with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute at its center. The national monument encompasses historic sites downtown that was significant to the revolution that took place in the streets of Birmingham in the 1960s. One of those sites is the city’s most famous civil rights landmark, the 16th Street Baptist Church.

Included in the national monument district is Birmingham’s Bethel Baptist Church, credited with shaping the Civil Rights Movement here. Civil rights legend, the Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth, was pastor of Bethel Baptist from 1953 through 1961. The church often served as a gathering place for discussions of civil rights among blacks, gatherings that angered white supremacists. In 1958, Bethel Baptist was bombed, though the church was empty at the time. The bombing cemented Shuttlesworth’s fiery determination to bring Birmingham to the center of the Civil Rights Movement.

The national monument includes Kelly Ingram Park. The park served as a congregating area for demonstrations in the early 1960s, including the ones in which police dogs and fire hoses were turned on marchers by Birmingham police. Images of those attacks haunted Birmingham in the decades that followed, but they were the same images that were instrumental in overturning legal segregation.

No. 6

Railroad Park

Railroad Park is a 19-acre green space in downtown Birmingham that celebrates the industrial and artistic heritage of our great city. Situated along 1st Avenue South, between 14th and 18th Streets, the park is a joint effort between the City of Birmingham and the Railroad Park Foundation. Hailed as "Birmingham's Living Room," Railroad Park provides a historically rich venue for local recreation, family activities, concerts, and cultural events while connecting Birmingham's downtown area with Southside and UAB's campus.

No. 7

Red Mountain Park

Red Mountain Park understands the value of this land as the pivotal resource for Birmingham’s beginning, and—until now—an untapped resource for our modern city. This land marks the spot where Birmingham began, where all men—no matter their race—worked side by side toward one common goal. This is the land where a common purpose was shared, where miners worked hard to take care of their families, help the men working at their sides, and contribute to our growing city. On this mountain, men mined for more than iron ore. They mined for equality. And they found a connection in the mountain’s red dirt: their common ground. For more than 50 years, though, Red Mountain has divided the communities of Birmingham—black and white, poor and wealthy.

No. 8

Ruffner Mountain

Ruffner Mountain is a 1,038-acre urban nature preserve in the heart of Birmingham, Alabama providing science and nature education programming, 14 miles of trails, and a protected area for thousands of species of native flora and fauna. It is a site for Citizen Science programs and an array of scientist conducted research projects, including native bat and amphibian surveys, research into the causes of American Chestnut Blight, and groves of new-growth longleaf pine. Each year, through nature education and EcoArts programming, it impacts the lives of countless students and scores of schools and universities across the state.

No. 9

Rotary Trail

Birmingham's much anticipated Rotary Trail opened in April 2016. At its entrance, the trail features a 46-foot-tall sign which reads: "Rotary Trail in the Magic City." It is modeled after the historical "Birmingham the Magic City" sign. Although only a half-mile, the trail, stretching from 20th Street to 24th Street, links two of the city's unique attractions. Near its western end, the 19-acre Railroad Park offers a rail trail, skate park, playground, and overlooks for trainspotting and viewing the city's skyline. Near the east end of the Rotary Trail is a National Historic Landmark, the Sloss Furnaces, which serviced the city's iron-producing industry for nearly a century.

At 25th street, one block from the trail's eastern terminus, travelers can pick up the Jones Valley Trail, which continues along 1st Avenue to 32nd Street. Both trails are part of the growing Red Rock Trail System that connects important destinations throughout the region such as Red Mountain Park, which—at 1,500 acres—is one of the largest urban parks in the country. The trail’s name comes from the city’s Rotary Club, one of the largest such clubs in the world, which spearheaded the project as part of its 100th-anniversary celebration in 2013. The rail trail is also known as the “1st Avenue Cut” due to its placement along a former railroad trench 14 feet below street level. This was once part of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL), which provided freight and passenger service to Birmingham beginning in 1904.

No. 10

Five Points South

Birmingham’s Premier Neighborhood & Culinary Destination! Five Points South is a neighborhood in Birmingham, in zip code 35205 and about 5 minutes from downtown. This National Register of Historic Places neighborhood is one of Birmingham’s first street-car-lined suburbs and was founded as the Town of Highland in 1887. Today with over 40 culinary destinations and 30 retailers, the area has been labeled “a town within a city “and a true “walkup neighborhood”.

No. 11

The Heaviest Corner on Earth

The Heaviest Corner on Earth is a promotional name given to the corner of 20th Street and 1st Avenue North in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, in the early 20th century. The name reflected the nearly simultaneous appearance of four of the tallest buildings in the South, the 10-story Woodward Building (1902), 16-story Brown Marx Building (1906), 16-story Empire Building (1909), and the 21-story American Trust and Savings Bank Building (1912). 

The announcement of the last building was made in the Jemison Magazine in a January 1911 article titled "Birmingham to Have the Heaviest Corner in the South". Over the years, that claim was inflated to the improbable "Heaviest Corner on Earth", which remains a popular name for the grouping. A marker was erected on May 23, 1985, by the Birmingham Historical Society, with cooperation from Operation New Birmingham, stands on the sidewalk outside the Empire Building describing the group. The buildings have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places: three were listed individually in 1982 and 1983, and the group of four was listed as a historic district on July 11, 1985.

No. 12

Alabama Veterans Memorial Park

From Kelly Ingram, the first Alabamian to be killed in World War I to Julius Ellsberry, a graduate of Parker High School, who was the first Alabamian to be killed in World War II to the 437,000 veterans currently living in the State, Alabamians have shown true valor for their country and strong compassion for their compatriots.  The Alabama Veterans Memorial Foundation was created to help remember them and to help educate young people about war, peace, and civic responsibility.

No. 13

Rainbow Tunnel

There’s always a rainbow in downtown Birmingham – four of them, in fact, inside the city’s historic viaducts at 14th, 18th, 19th, and 20th Streets in downtown Birmingham. And who doesn’t like a rainbow? Birmingham Lights, more commonly referred to as the rainbow tunnels, or color tunnels, is the name of the colorful, permanent LED lighting installations that can’t help but bring a smile to your face as you drive, walk or ride your bike through them. Artist Bill FitzGibbons created the funky, bright rainbows, which he called “LightRails,” in 2013.

No. 14

4th Avenue Business District

In 1980, Urban Impact Inc., a grassroots organization was founded in Birmingham’s Historic 4th Avenue Business District with a mission based on the preservation, redevelopment, and economic development of the district. The goal was to save and restore the remaining buildings, the memories of treasured places, and preserve one of the only surviving Black Business Districts in the Southeast before it was gone. That same year, the group worked successfully to have the Fourth Avenue Business District nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. 

In May, the Urban Impact team made a presentation on behalf of the district. After the application and interviews were scored, the Main Street Alabama Board consented to the selection of the Historic 4th Avenue Business District, and the formal announcement was made on June 3, 2019.

Download Our Birmingham Guide: G3s Guide to Visiting Birmingham.pdf

Birmingham, Alabama’s Absolute Must-Eats:

No. 1

Chez Fonfon

Chez Fonfon is a casual, bustling bistro in the heart of Five Points South transporting you to Paris, Lyon, or Nice. Since opening in 2000, this homage to comforting French fare, including steak frites, sautéed trout with brown butter, and escargots, has garnered local and national acclaim. Belle Époque café tables and a 100-year-old etched glass door from Lyon lend authenticity amid cozy, inviting surroundings. Bistro traditions are celebrated every day, along with wines from the Loire, Rhône, and Languedoc.

No. 2


After opening its doors in February 2003, Gianmarco's quickly grew to be a local favorite in the Birmingham community and the close-knit Homewood neighborhood it calls home. If what you crave is an authentic Italian meal, or a selection of several hand-crafted daily specials ranging from grass-fed prime cut ribeyes to fresh grouper with andouille gumbo, to braised veal ossobuco, your senses will thank you after dinner with Gianmarco's.

Gianmarco's is proud to be family-owned and operated by Giovanni, Giani & Marco Respinto. This team of father and sons has been dedicated to the culinary arts for decades, with a passion that has spanned generations. Gianmarco's was opened with humble expectations and has become one of the most popular restaurants in Birmingham and even the state.

No. 3

El Barrio

El Barrio has become one of the most popular restaurants in Birmingham history, serving tens of thousands of tacos and margaritas unrivaled anywhere else in the Magic City. Alongside standards such as chicken enchiladas and chile relleno, the menu features inventive delights like chorizo meatloaf and plantain nachos. The multi-regional Mexican-inspired cuisine is prepared with locally sourced seasonal produce and natural farm-raised meats.

No. 4

Saw's BBQ

Founded by Mike Wilson, a North Carolina-born, Johnson & Wales trained chef who staffed the test kitchen for Cooking Light magazine. He began smoking meat and crafting sauces as a hobby and opened Saw’s (an acronym for “Sorry Ass Wilson”) in the former Broadway BBQ location in May 2009. The menu features Carolina-style smoked pulled pork, chicken, and ribs, served with one of three styles of sauce. Sides include baked potatoes, beans, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and banana pudding. In 2012, Wilson partnered with Brandon Cain to open a second location of Saw’s, called SAW’s Soul Kitchen, opened in the former Quick & Split Cafe at 215 41st Street South in Avondale. Later that same year, Wilson and Doug Smith partnered with Taylor Hicks to open a third location, known as Saw's Juke Joint, in Crestline Park. In 2018, Saw’s BBQ Corporate began franchising the award-winning concept. Shortly thereafter, SAW’s BBQSouthside opened at the former home of Fat Sam’s Sub Station. In 2021, Saw’s BBQ- Leeds opened at The Backyard at Grand River Outlet Mall. In 2022 Saw’s opened the Hoover, AL location at Riverchase Village, near the corner of 150 and Lorna Road. 

No. 5

John's City Diner

By blending a bit of the old with the new, owner and self-taught chef Shannon Gober has transformed this Downtown Birmingham landmark into John's City Diner. While the restaurant still maintains much of the charm from the past, the decor and menu have undergone a face-lift. The menu at John's City Diner features a wide range of flavors from Southern comfort food to Gastro Pub-inspired dishes. We use only locally grown or organic produce. Every meat that we use is hormone, GMO, and antibiotic-free including Heritage Pork, Springer Mountain Farms Chicken, and Creekstone All Natural Beef. Our bar features local craft beers on draft, 15 wines by the glass, and hand-crafted cocktails using the most honest ingredients available. As they like to say at John's, "Get Some".

No. 6

Trattoria ZaZa

With a love of nearly all things Roman, and a training rich in Southern and French food culture, the owners of Trattoria ZaZa opened their doors in the summer of 2009. Almost overnight, ZaZa gained popularity for its pizza al taglio, a light, flavorful, rectangular-shaped pizza originated and sold by the slice throughout Rome. Those not in the mood for pizza (who’s not in the mood for pizza?) will find seasonally-inspired salads, specials, soups, as well as traditional Roman pastas like penne all’arrabbiata and cacio e pepe to satisfy their hunger.

A daily breakfast menu highlighted with locally sourced eggs, bread, grits, coffee, and milk gives diners a taste of what has become Trattoria ZaZa’s most popular event: Weekend brunch. A pizza place that does Weekend brunch? Yup. The almost famous brunch menu seamlessly weaves Italian ingredients and Southern know-how with their mascarpone stuffed french toast, breakfast pizza topped with local farm eggs, seasonal frittatas, biscuits ‘n gravy, and more. For over 8 years, large crowds gather each weekend for the one-of-a-kind experience that has become the Trattoria ZaZa brunch.

No. 7

Automatic Seafood and Oysters

Automatic Seafood & Oysters opened its doors to Birmingham in April 2019.  A dream collaboration between Chef Adam Evans and Designer Suzanne Humphries Evans, ASO aims to blend fine dining with a friendly atmosphere where everyone is welcome, always.  Our menu offers a variety of seafood dishes, featuring fish primarily sourced from the Gulf of Mexico, oysters from waters along the Southern and Eastern coastlines, as well as a selection of land-based produce and proteins. 

Comfortable, elegant, and classic, the space at Automatic is an ode to Americana and lends itself to a coastal setting — not speaking directly to one specific body of water or region, but drawing inspiration from all shorelines across the country.  Located in the up-and-coming Lakeview neighborhood, the restaurant is named for the building’s past life as the Automatic Sprinkler Corporation manufacturing facility. 

No. 8

Eugene's Hot Chicken

Eugene’s Hot Chicken food truck turns out some of the spiciest birds in Birmingham, thanks to owner and Nashville native Zebbie Carney. He grew up eating the original hot chicken at the legendary Prince’s in Nashville and wanted to bring the dish to The Magic City. After winning a local business-pitch competition, Carney got his truck on the road. The chicken comes in four levels of heat that vary from the spiceless Southern to the self-explanatory Stupid Hot, all of which deliver when it comes to depth of flavor. Even the most-incendiary blend balances the sweat-inducing spice with a sweet-and-savory breading that gives way to the juicy meat inside.

No. 9

Café Dupont

In Birmingham, Café Dupont is an old-school fine-dining institution. For more than two decades and in two different locations, Chef Chris Dupont has crafted dishes driven by local ingredients. That longtime dedication to quality is particularly evident in the fried chicken, a menu staple that has garnered praise from the press and locals alike. Served with a lemon butter sauce over a mound of creamy mashed potatoes, it’s easy to see why the dish has remained a city favorite.

No. 10


The idea for OvenBird was sparked by the combination of James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Hastings’ memories of family camping trips and his reflections upon Birmingham’s deep ties to the steel and iron industries. The menu is composed entirely of small plates, many of which are cooked in cast-iron pans (one of the various tie-ins to the city’s industrial past) over the kitchen’s open fire. Dishes from an array of world food traditions are represented, enabling diners to create a multicultural smorgasbord to share. Try the stew-like beef candle, the empanadas, or the chicken piri piri. Pair the plates with one of OvenBird’s finely crafted cocktails. And save room for dessert: The seasonal crostata is superb.

No. 11


Housed in a converted Airstream parked right in front of Good People Brewing at the heart of Birmingham’s Parkside District, this stationary food truck serves an abbreviated menu of fusion cuisine. Most of Hot Box’s dishes rotate regularly, with an ever-changing litany of proteins and vegetables on the list. The Lemongrass Fried Chicken proved to be so popular, though, that it has remained a regular item. Tender morsels of chicken are marinated in lemongrass and coconut, then fried until crisp. They’re thoroughly coated in spices, then finished with a flurry of fresh cilantro and a generous squirt of coconut-and-jalapeno aioli for a bit of bite.

No. 12

Magic City Grill

Soul food in Birmingham is a contentious issue. However, many a local insists that Magic City Grille is one of the best places to sample comforting classics, if not the superlative. Even denizens from the surrounding areas have deemed the substantial breakfasts and satiating lunches worth the drive to Birmingham. During the week or after church, diners crowd in to chow down on a selection of satisfying Southern standards that include mashed potatoes, meaty collards, creamy mac and cheese, and perfectly cooked cornbread. Though filling by themselves, these sides can also be ordered to round out a chicken, beef or fish plate. With combo prices topping out at $10.99, a feast can be had on a budget. Whether you share it or not is up to you.

No. 13


A romantic evening out at an Italian restaurant may be a cliche, but in this case, it works. Soft globes of light cast a warming glow on this intimate space that combines metal and wood to create a chic dining area with an open kitchen and bar. One stunning design element is the large glass window that offers a view of the curing chamber used to store the restaurant’s meat, which is locally sourced and butchered on-site. Try the charcuterie board, with the artichoke puree if it’s available. Move on to a main course of gnocchi with seasonal vegetables and protein, or try one of the Neapolitan-style pizzas. Chef James Lewis imported a wood-fired oven just for the purpose of making these impeccable pies, and the resulting crust is unlike any other in the city.

No. 14

Johnny's Restaurant

It’s 11:00 on a Thursday morning, and on 18th Street in Homewood, there’s a line snaking from a second-story tenant down a set of stairs, spilling onto the sidewalk below. Moms with their toddlers, retired couples, and groups of co-workers all have come for Johnny’s. Sometimes called a meat-and-three, other times a Greek-and-three, the brainchild of Southern-Greek chef Tim Hontzas wears both titles well. And on the subject of titles, we’d be remiss not to mention Hontzas’ distinction as a three-time James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef South. 

At Johnny’s, Hontzas does things a bit differently while staying true to the time-honored traditions of the Southern meat-and-three. For example, there’s no steam table line for guests to walk through; instead a chalkboard wall lists the day’s specials, where Southern dishes like fried catfish and hamburger steak peacefully coexist with Greek specialties like keftedes (Greek meatballs) and souvlaki. There’s even a nod to Hontzas’ Mississippi delta and creole background in dishes like grilled Conecuh sausage with red beans and rice and fried chicken livers. The same is true for the “three” side of the menu, where perfectly crisped fried green tomatoes and creamy macaroni and cheese play nicely with a slow-braised spinach and chickpea blend. With classic Southern dishes elevated via a chef’s touch, this is the place that will finally prove the irreplicable value of Southern cuisine to your snooty out-of-town relative.

No. 15

Roots & Revelry

A fun, energetic tribute to American Southern cuisine. Roots & Revelry’s dining room is bustling with high energy just like the Magic City. Their menus focus on local distilleries and local farms throughout Alabama; the menu is ever-changing with only the freshest products on hand. Their dishes are whimsical yet elegant with a feeling of comfort to them. Roots & Revelry departs from the norm by modernizing fine dining. It’s Haute with casual undertones, and southern with international influences.

No. 16

Highlands Bar & Grill

Ask any local where you absolutely must eat in Birmingham, and nine times out of 10, their list will begin with Highlands Bar & Grill. There’s a reason the restaurant was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s coveted Best Restaurant award for 10 years straight, finally taking home the big win at the 2018 ceremony. And that reason has a lot to do with Highlands’ decorated chef/owner and Alabama prodigal son Frank Stitt, who’s aptly nicknamed the Father of Southern Gourmet.

No. 17

The Pizitz Food Hall

At The Pizitz Food Hall, you'll only have to walk a few steps to travel the world. Guests will find food stalls and restaurants offering cuisine from Vietnam to Ethiopia, Mexico to Nepal, as well as all-American favorites such as burgers, biscuits, and waffles. Not only are there many places to eat or even have a drink at the bar located in the center of the food hall, but it also houses a few retail shops and an independent movie theater. You can never go wrong at The Pizitz.

No. 18

Shu Shop

Few indulgences are as divinely satisfying as slurping up a steaming bowl of ramen at midnight. But we’re not talking about tiny flavor packets in your pajamas at home…though previously your kitchen might have been your only option given the early-to-bed nature of Birmingham's dining scene. Lucky for us, Shu Shop arrived on the scene in 2017—the savior we never knew we needed in the form of a late-night izakaya and ramen-ya.

No. 19

The Rougaroux

The Rougaroux is the Magic City’s go-to destination for authentic Creole/Cajun food. Located in the historic Forest Park neighborhood in a historic pink house, with indoor and covered outdoor seating. Serving authentic po’boys, gumbo, housemade boudin, and more. Their kitschy location, lively bar, and fun staff make for a wonderful experience every time you walk in.

No. 20

Bistro 218

Nestled in the heart of Downtown Birmingham’s Financial and Theater District, Bistro 218 features side by side dining concepts. Enjoy your bistro favorites-from quiche to duck confit. Bistro 218 honors the traditions of French bistros with minimalist decor in a historical setting. Dark Brazilian mahogany, high ceilings and exposed brick adorned with local art emanate a comforting yet elegant atmosphere that is perfect for a romantic dinner, a pre-theater meal or a relaxing night out.

No. 21


The concept behind Melt is simple: a modern twist on classic comfort food. The menu is approachable and the food is scrumptious. There is something about going back to basics that just makes sense. Grilled cheese sandwiches put smiles on faces. Whether it's a plain grilled cheese, a Burger with Matilda sauce, or a spicy Buffalo Chicken sandwich, the Melt menu has something for everyone. Melt loves to keep vegetarians and vegans happy with an assortment of vegan cheeses, fresh vegetables, and gluten-free bread.

No. 22

Post Office Pies

Few restaurants hold a place in the fabric of its community like Post Office Pies, and that attitude has helped the Brooklyn-inspired pizzeria gain a foothold in Birmingham's burgeoning culinary scene. Post Office Pies is a neighborhood pizzeria that uses fresh ingredients all locally sourced, house-made dough, and serves local beer and liquor. The pizza made at Post Office Pies is simple, yet complex, incorporating traditional styles with innovative flavors, made possible by the owner, John Hall, and his support of local farmers.

No. 23

Yo' Mama's

On any given weekday, it’s not unusual to see a line of customers stretched from the counter to the front door. Fans are there for the shrimp and grits, bacon-wrapped meatloaf, fried pork chops, greens, macaroni and cheese, red Tropical Splash punch, and more. But the most in-demand dish is their chicken and waffles, which features homemade syrup, powdered sugar, and guilty pleasure topping options such as peach cobbler or fresh fruit paired with homemade whipped cream. (They serve 50 to 60 chicken and waffle combos on a weekday and about 90 on the Saturdays they serve brunch.)

No. 24


An Asian fusion restaurant with a menu featuring such dishes as Chinese duck nachos and Korean fried cauliflower has opened in the bustling Second Avenue North entertainment district in downtown Birmingham.  In addition to entrees and small plates, the menu also features rice bowls (served with duck, orange beef, or teriyaki chicken) and steamed buns (with soft-shell crab, smoked pork belly, or Korean beef). Sandwiches include a hot chicken sandwich with garlic aioli and a Kobe beef hamburger with pickled shiitake mushrooms. The name reflects the restaurant's fusion of Eastern cuisine from Asia and Western dishes from America.

No. 25

Hot and Hot Fish Club

The Hot and Hot Fish Club, located in Birmingham’s creative district at Pepper Place, takes a modern approach to blending Southern, French, and California styles of cooking. The light-filled space is highlighted by a chef’s counter and open kitchen, large windows, and exposed brick. The Hot and Hot Fish Club James Beard award-winning restaurant is a neighborhood favorite offering the best ingredients and gracious service.

No. 26

Little London

Little London brings the international flavors of London to Birmingham as well as a slice of British culture, the iconic red double-decker bus known as The Dutchess. Great Britain – three very different countries, England, Scotland, and Wales, each with a rich and varied history and culture. Perhaps this explains the diversity of its culinary traditions. So what is British cuisine? Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, Steak and Kidney Pie, Trifle – these are the dishes that everyone associates with Britain. But like the country of Britain which is constantly changing and evolving, so is British food, and whilst today these dishes are ‘traditionally British’, in the future perhaps dishes such as the British Curry will join them!

No. 27

Rodney Scott's BBQ

There are no strangers at Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ. Everyone has a seat at their table.
Their customers are family. Their crew is family. Rodney says "We are all family, spreading food,
spreading love, and having fun. The glass is always half full here".

No. 28

Luna Latin Cuisine

The cultures of Venezuela are diverse and complex, influenced by the many different people who have made Venezuela their home. Venezuela has distinctive and original art, literature and music.

Venezuelan cuisine is influenced by its European (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French), West African and Native American traditions. Venezuelan cuisine varies greatly from one region to another. Food staples include corn, rice, plantain, yams, beans, and several meats. Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, squashes, spinach, and zucchini are also common sides in the Venezuelan diet.

No. 29

Wasabi Juan's

Wasabi Juan’s offers sushi ingredients rolled “burrito-style” in soy wraps and nori, as well as crunchy tacos stuffed with spicy tuna, shrimp ceviche & more. Juan’s also features Mexican Cokes, coconut rice “fruishi rolls” with whipped cream, citrus salt edamame, and even Hawaiian ahi poke’ with macadamia nuts. Fresh, delicious, and perfect for lunch or dinner.

No. 30

Slice Pizza & Brew

Started by brothers, Jeff, Jason, and Chris, Slice Pizza & Brew is as local as you can get, from the ingredients that go into every pizza to the beer on tap. We started Slice because we wanted a place not just to eat, but to hang out. We think no matter who you are or where you’re from, you’ll love our food and atmosphere.

No. 31

Lé Fresca

Lé Fresca brings the taste and excitement of Northern Italy to 2nd Ave North Birmingham, AL. Where they offer a wide variety of Italian cuisine, imported pizza oven, full bar & wine.

No. 32

Brick & Tin

Brick & Tin is a charming Birmingham eatery that serves up drool-worthy sandwiches made from organic and local ingredients. Their sandwich menu is full of great creations, but you can’t go wrong with the braised beef brisket, caramelized onions & white bbq on pain de mie flatbread.

No. 33

Dreamland BBQ

It all started with a Dream…and it was in that dream that God visited John “Big Daddy” Bishop and told him to open a restaurant. Mr. Bishop obliged and opened the original Dreamland in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1958. In the early years, the restaurant sold everything from burgers to postage stamps. It was their hickory-fired ribs, however, that quickly became the local favorite. 

No. 34

The Filling Station

Located in the vibrant Crestwood neighborhood of Birmingham, The Filling Station has become a local favorite. Grab some friends, and come go check them out. They have some of the best pizze you’ll ever eat in the south. Arrive on empty, leave on full!

No. 35

Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine & Bar

A first in Alabama, Bay Leaf Modern Indian Cuisine & Bar offers modern Indian delicacies and signature drinks. Under new ownership of local investors, Bay Leaf is announcing a brand new team, look and menu from Executive Chef Pritam Zarapkar.

No. 36

Jack Brown's Beer & Burger Joint

Jack Brown’s is a bar that happens to sell a really fantastic burger. The menu is purposely simple, and they don’t try to please all tastes. Jack Brown’s focuses on doing one thing and doing it really well. their burgers are unique and crave-able, and they always stock an exciting variety of all styles of craft beer, ranging from local darlings to rare beers from around the world.

No. 37


Located in Birmingham, Alabama's Highland Park area, Rojo serves Latin and American food in a casual atmosphere. Owners Laney DeJonge and Clark Lopez would like to welcome you to Rojo, a casual neighborhood restaurant on Highland Avenue in Birmingham, Alabama. Featuring both Latin and American cuisine, Rojo is the perfect place to unwind with friends for lunch, dinner, or late-night drinks.

No. 38

Gus's Hotdogs

Downtown Birmingham's longest surviving Greek-owned hot dog stand".  Established in 1947, Gus's Hot Dogs proudly serves the Birmingham community with quality, affordable food.  

No. 39

Giuseppe's Cafe

Giuseppe's Cafe is a family restaurant where you can enjoy great food in a family environment. Taking into account the classic green, white and red signage and old school brick exterior, it's not surprising that this Gable Square establishment has been on the scene for quite a while. 

Homemade sauces, pizzas, calzones, and pasta dishes dominate the menu, and all of them are fairly priced. If you come in with a group, go for the 16-inch Greek Delight (a pie topped with fresh feta, garlic, black olives, tomatoes, onions and oregano), or you can even build your own pizza.

No. 40

Niki's West

Niki’s West has been serving the greater Birmingham, Alabama area since 1957. It’s truly Birmingham’s unique restaurant, serving high-quality meals with great service. Enjoy a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Socialize with friends and meet new acquaintances, all while enjoying delicious, old-fashioned southern food at affordable prices. Be sure to stop by and visit Niki’s for a home-cooked meal!

No. 41


Helen’s philosophy of respecting the land and using it as inspiration is showcased through Chef McDaniel’s dedication to simple recipes. Driven by seasonality and produce from local purveyors, their menu offers a large selection of vegetables alongside prime meats, seafood, and non-traditional sides, as well as traditional cocktails and a wine list, focused on classic appellation varietals.

Helen’s interior reflects their love of the outdoors and its Alabama roots, as well as nods to the history of Birmingham’s celebrated downtown. 

No. 42

Al's Deli & Grill

Welcome to Al's Deli and Grill, one of Birmingham’s greatest staples. Where the service is fast, and the portions are large! If you’re in Birmingham, you have to visit Al’s. Locals flock to eat at Al’s during all hours of the day. Pig out and enjoy their Mediterranean dishes, burgers, chicken tenders, loaded baked potatoes and more!

No. 43

Little Donkey

For a decade, Little Donkey has been the gathering spot in Homewood, Alabama. Familiar faces on a breezy patio dine at tables full of fresh made tortillas, salsas, vegetables, seafood and meats that are grilled, smoked and stewed using traditional techniques and recipes from Mexico as well as the American South.

No. 44

Red Sea Ethiopian

Quench your curiosity about well-known and original Ethiopian dishes at the “Red Sea”. Red Sea brings you an extensive menu of authentic Ethiopian dishes with a taste of various Mediterranean cuisine. To give you a better taste of the Ethiopian culture, they also have special Ethiopian coffee ceremonies on Fridays and Saturday.

No. 45

Red Pearl Restaurant

Located in the biggest oriental market in Birmingham, the Super Oriental Market. The food is authentic Chinese, as opposed to the more familiar Chinese-American. Their market is open daily and have the best selection of Asian groceries in Metro Birmingham, Period.

No. 46


Welcome to Fife's. They have been serving the community of Birmingham since 1959. People love their food not only because it tastes good but because they take care of our customers. Located on 4th Avenue across 24th Street N from the downtown post office, their menu has all of the Southern home-style favorites you’ve either heard about or you've grown to love living in Alabama. 

No. 47

The Bright Star

Since 1907, The Bright Star restaurant has been serving generations of customers its specialty Greek- style snapper and steak, signature seafood gumbo, luncheon specials, and famous pies. Located in Bessemer, Alabama, the restaurant has a regional following and draws patrons from throughout the Southeast as well as nearby Birmingham. The Bright Star has experienced remarkable growth, expanding from a 25-seat cafe to a 330 seat restaurant, all without sacrificing quality. 

Over the past ten years, the Bright Star has consistently been rated among the top three restaurants in Birmingham by Birmingham News readers. In addition the Restaurant was recognized in the United States Congressional Record in 1996 by Senator Howell Heflin for its status as an Alabama landmark and its service to the community. 

No. 48

Ted's Restaurant

What do people love more about Ted’s, the food or the people? Yes! They’ve been serving fresh vegetables and meats since 1973. Looking for the perfect morning kick-start? Try Jerry’s legendary grits with one of our Three-Egg Omelets. In a rush? Set-up an online ordering account, and get lunch to go. Breakfast or lunch, for homestyle Southern cooking seasoned with old-style Greek hospitality, come see Tasos & Beba Touloupis — and enjoy a genuine Birmingham experience. 

No. 49

Bob Sykes BBQ

Craving BBQ? Bob Sykes has kept the firepit burning since 1957, serving up legendary BBQ on a seasoned pit. Bob Sykes was voted number one BBQ Sauce in Alabama. They’re known for their authentic Southern BBQ – it’s a well known fact among the community. 

Come hungry and enjoy an unforgettable finger-licking time when you visit the legendary pitmaster and restaurateur Van Sykes as he explains the history of Bob Sykes and creating Southern BBQ.

No. 50


Bogue's Restaurant is a diner-style restaurant located in the former Birmingham Fire Station No. 22 at the corner of Clairmont Avenue and 32nd Street South in Lakeview. The restaurant was founded in 1938 by Pat and Mildred Bogue. They grew it into a formidable businessman's destination, best known for its breakfast with sweet rolls and its vegetable plates at lunch.

Download Our Birmingham Guide: G3s Guide to Visiting Birmingham.pdf

Birmingham, Alabama’s Best Bars:

No. 1

Mom's Basement 

Mom’s Basement is a retro-themed dive bar based in Birmingham, Alabama. Fully equipt with alcohol, vintage pinball machines, pool, darts, and a wall covered in cuss words. Bring a picture of your mom to hang on display or just admire the ones already there. Go hang out at Mom's!

No. 2


The Satellite is a spacious neighborhood bar with an extremely knowledgeable staff. Our bar serves drinks to visitors looking to enjoy local pale ales and stouts as well as creative spins on classic cocktails. Satellite includes a large number of taps featuring Alabama craft beers as well as ales from other emerging breweries throughout the US. The bartenders also understand how to pair ingredients in order to make the perfect drink. From house-made sodas on draft to bottled cocktails and frozen delights, the Satellite offers visitors unique new surprises with each visit. The Saturn venue also contains a large, separate full-service bar open during shows and events.

No. 3

Red Lion Lounge

Probably most notably the best-kept secret; the Red Lion Lounge has been a hideaway since 1962. There's something attractive about small, intimate drinking establishments tucked away in the hidden corners of big cities. Especially if they are friendly and comfortable, these bars seem to offer a refuge from a cruel, busy world. The Red Lion, an old-school cocktail lounge in downtown Homewood, is one of those places.

No. 4

Neon Moon

Neon Moon is a neighborhood cocktail bar specializing in approachable, easy-to-enjoy original cocktails, including the “It Takes Two”, with tequila, cantaloupe, mango, orange, and jalapeño, and the “John Deere Green” with rum, coconut, pineapple, and pandan.

No. 5

Queen's Park

What’s in a name? The bar was named after the Queen’s Park Swizzle, a cocktail created at the Queen’s Park Hotel, located in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The hotel enjoyed moderate success until 1920 when the purchase and consumption of alcohol in the United States were made more or less illegal by the 18th Amendment. Overnight, Americans who had the means to travel began to leave the country on weekend trips to the Caribbean, where they could drink legally. Hotel management hired now-unemployable bartenders from major US cities, who brought with them scores of regulars as well as decades of cocktail expertise. Tasked with coming up with a signature drink for the hotel, these bartenders took the wildly popular Daiquiri - made with rum, sugar, and lime - and put it on crushed ice, dressing up the drink with the addition of mint and a float of locally made Angostura bitters. A star was born - the drink was a sensation that endured throughout the years, with Trader Vic proclaiming it “the most delightful form of anesthesia given out today” in 1946.

While the original Queen’s Park Hotel closed in 1996, its bar carries on the spirit of its namesake with incredible hospitality, lesser-known classic cocktails made with exacting precision and consistency, and décor that harkens to that grand hotel.

No. 6

Paper Doll

Paper Doll is a chic, upscale craft cocktail bar in Birmingham’s Loft Entertainment District specializing in top-notch service with a wide variety of classic & innovative cocktails, plus whiskey flights. Inside, you’ll find a cozy inviting lounge with chandeliers, plush velvet curtains, art, and vintage furniture. The bar features an outdoor patio and frequent live music. Food options include light fares such as cheese flights, charcuterie, and even artisanal chocolate from Chocolata.

No. 7

The Collins Bar 

The suave downtown space looks like a retro prep school with the charisma of a neighborhood dive bar. Besides paper airplane installations, functional vintage typewriters, and a periodic table of Birmingham-themed elements (baseball team and neighborhood callouts are favorites), the cocktails and cool vibe will school even the bar's brightest patron. Want to Instagram your cocktail, but your phone's dead? Not a problem, thanks to ample chargers and hookups throughout the bar.

No. 8

Our Place

Our Place is a fun, atmospheric LGTBQIA bar in the city’s southside area, close to the city’s nightlife. Our Place features televisions playing videos throughout, alongside a small dance floor. Here you can enjoy tasty drinks at a reasonable price and mingle with the locals in a relaxed setting.

No. 9

Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar

Hidden beneath Founder’s Station is a clandestine bar serving a full craft cocktail menu specializing in agave spirits. The entrance is not visible from 1st Ave N. Our door is located in a small alley between Founder’s Station and The Essential underneath the large outdoor steps of Founder’s Station. Look for the neon ¶ sign.

No. 10


Paramount opened in December 2013 and is located on the corner of 2nd Avenue North and 20th Street. Since then, It has become a staple of Downtown Birmingham.  Serving up its take on Bar Grub, and an Arcade of more than 20 classic and modern games. Paramount's interior, designed by Appleseed Workshop, blends the American Garage with those nostalgic memories from the past. Classic neon signs, butcher block, a vintage mural, shop lights, and a wall of car rims help create that garage meets arcade atmosphere.

No. 11

The Marble Ring

The Marble Ring; got its name from a story once told about one of Alabama’s most famous natives, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. She was an American socialite, novelist, painter, model, and dancer. A woman very much of her era. Quintessentially liberated, who would be remembered as the original flapper. It was in Paris, France, at a café, where Zelda whispered, “I hope you die in the marble ring”. 

It’s unknown what she meant by this but she may have been referring to the marble rotunda of the Alabama State Capitol building in Montgomery, where she spent time as a child. With the name, The Marble Ring, they honor the life and legacy of a cultural icon during the throws of Avondale’s own cultural renaissance. The Marble Ring is a speakeasy bar in Avondale, near downtown Birmingham, Alabama. If you don't know where it is – you'll just have to ask a friend or a local. 

No. 12

Cayo Coco Rum Bar

1940s Cuba was a time of political unrest. the people wanted more, so they made more. Art, food, and drink flourished at the pinnacle of Cuban culture. Grand hotels and restaurants showcased brass and golden doors, merchants sold woven wooden baskets, elegant chandeliers, and sconces lined the streets. Vendors peddled watermelon ice, green plantains fried and dusted with sugar, and a myriad of pork and chicken snacks slow-cooked and served on delicious breads. Inspired by this period of Cuban culture, Cayo Coco is a tropical vacation waiting in the heart of Birmingham. a space made for rest, comfort, and escape. Enjoy food and drinks from menus inspired by many classic Cuban and Latin favorites, with just a touch of the south. Find yourself in paradise, at Cayo Coco.

No. 13


In Lakeview, a neighborhood located in the heart of downtown is a cyberpunk-themed bar named, Electra. Housed in a historic chapel, the bar features a groovy, handmade epoxy bar and several murals and art pieces from local artists. Oh, and did we mention it’s a space for everyone? 

No. 14

Dread River Distilling Co

Dread River distill spirits for those inspired by challenge, who value progress over comfort, who seek out boundaries and push beyond them. At Dread River, every bottle is a story, every glass is an opportunity; to listen, to confide, to connect. A spirit isn’t simply a product to us, it is what makes us who we are; smooth, bold, complex, cordial, elegant, approachable, distinct, and memorable.

No. 15

The Garage

Located a couple of blocks off Highland Avenue, stands Birmingham’s original beer garden – The Garage. A local favorite of Birmingham natives, The Garage has some of the best sandwiches in town and cold beer, with a beautiful, eclectic courtyard in the back. Sit back, relax, and take a deep breath because somehow The Garage feels like the backyard patio you’ve always dreamed of. 

No. 16

The Nick

Birmingham’s “dirty little secret”, no joke, it's filthy but that's all a part of the appeal. Known as The Nick; serving up live music and cold ones, in Birmingham’s “staple” music scene for over 30 years. The music heard almost every night of the week includes local, regional, and national acts. The diverse range of acts adds to the appeal of an evening at the Nick. One can hear blues, rock, punk, emo, hip-hop, rap, pop, country, metal, bluegrass, rock-a-billy, roots rock, or whatever your genre of choice may be, The Nick has it all.

No. 17

Al's on 7th

Birmingham’s most loved little darling and some say the #1 LGBTQIA Venue. It’s a blast, you can’t not have a good time here. A Showplace with Space! Drag, dancing, karaoke, & great drinks are their specialties. If you’re looking for an exceptionally fun time, Al’s on 7th never disappoints.

No. 18

Black Market Bar & Grill

Original and awesome since 2009 the Black Market Bar & Grill started out off the beaten path of 280 and never looked back. Proudly backing our motto of "Fantastic Food, Cold Drinks & Evil Bartenders" their selections for dinner, lunch, and brunch on Sunday are nothing short of amazing. All set in their eclectic atmosphere of comic books, b-movies, and punk rock decor. When people tell them there's nowhere else like Black Market in Alabama, they quickly correct them, because there's nowhere else like them anywhere.

No. 19

Marty's PM

Located in the historic Five Points District of Birmingham, AL, Marty’s PM is a local favorite meeting place for cold drinks, late-night food, and live music. The bar is open from 8 PM to 6 AM every night and the kitchen is open from 11 PM to 5 AM on weekdays and opens at 8 PM on weekend nights. If you’ve stayed out late in Birmingham, chances are that you’ve been to Marty’s during your travels. If that visit happened in 2013 or earlier, you might have met Marty himself, Marty Eagle. If you’re out and about on a late Birmingham night and looking for a place where you can have a cold beer and a burger with friends, Marty’s is your bar!

No. 20

Gables Square Saloon & Games

Stop by Gable Square Saloon and Games in Birmingham today and have a fun-filled experience with the whole entire family. Guests can migrate to the bar section to catch the game on the TV. Don't stay cooped up on a beautiful summer day! At Gable Square Saloon and Games, you can dine outdoors on their lovely patio. Browse our well-crafted drink menu and indulge in a tasty alcoholic beverage. Gable Square Saloon and Games' patrons can find places to park in the area. So as you can see, Gable Square Saloon and Games is the place to be this weekend.

No. 21


Located in the former Little Savannah location in the historic Forest Park District, Juniper’s brings all the charm to the Birmingham Forest Park neighborhood. Inside the bar, you’ll find pink couches, plenty of greenery, and gorgeous floral details. It’s basically the Instagrammable spot of selfie dreams. 

Of course, a cocktail bar is only as good as its cocktails, and the drinks at Juniper have me ready to make every hour a happy one. The drink menu is heavily focused on gin and botanicals. Their current food menu of new American cuisine includes small plates and dinner items. Their chef, Thyme Randall, is vegan and has a wide range of experience at favorite Birmingham restaurants like Ollie Irene and Bettola.

No. 22

Dave's Pub

Dave’s Pub is a staple. Located in Birmingham's Five Points District, think of Dave’s as an English pub. The staff is welcoming, the environment is relaxed and to the point. Dave’s boasts an excellent selection of draught beer, including local brews, and of course cocktails by the dozens. There is also outside seating to enjoy the beautiful historic Five Points neighborhood and architecture. It’s the perfect place to watch the world go by for a few hours or spend quality time with locals and friends.

No. 23

Mayawell Bar 

At Mayawell Bar they celebrate the diversity and richness of tequila and mezcal. Mayawell seeks to explore the history and traditions of the various expressions of the agave spirits. They share drinks and stories together in the warm ambiance of their little corner bar home here in the Magic City. 

No. 24

The Lumbar

A community craft beer and cocktail bar founded by a UAB PhD Candidate. No matter whether you’re brainstorming, collaborating, celebrating, or whining over your latest experimental mishap, remember that The Lumbar has your back.

No. 25

The Louis

Located inside the Pizitz, front & center, you’ll find The Louis, where classic and craft cocktails for any occasion. Featuring wine and beer as well. And did we mention bar bites served all day? They are. Plus the atmosphere of being inside the Pizitz can’t be beaten.

No. 26

41st Street Pub

Located in the heart of Avondale in Birmingham, 41st Street Pub has been serving up a mix of quality drinks since 2012. 41st Street offers some of the best service in the city, in a relaxed indoor space where everyone is welcome. They offer 37 draft choices in beer, wine, and cider plus a selection of over 100 bottles of liquor. Try a signature Moscow Mule, draft beer or any one of our featured cocktails. Popcorn is always fresh and free!

No. 27

The Roof

Sip cocktails amongst the clouds at The Roof, the tallest rooftop bar in Alabama. Without a doubt, nothing beats an amazing view! Alabama is filled with many types of places that offer amazing views, one of those being The Roof which is located atop the historic Redmont Hotel in downtown Birmingham. The Roof is the perfect spot to grab a refreshing drink with friends and/or colleagues, whether it be after work or on a weekend night out.

No. 28

Lou's Pub

Both a package store and a bar, this neighborhood watering hole is like no other place in Birmingham. Lou’s Pub & Tavern is located in a 1,000-square-foot storefront at 726 29th Street South in Lakeview. It was founded in 1987 by Lou Zaden and is one of three package stores with bar service.

No. 29


Unplugged is an unapologetically 90s-obsessed bar in Five Points South, located down Five Points Lane behind McFly's Bird Shoppe. From the jams to the toons on the tele, you'll be feeling nostalgic from the moment you step up to the bar. We theme our specially crafted cocktails to bring back those 90s vibes, like the Fresh Prince of BHM, Gangsta's Paradise, and The Santana. If you’re looking for a fun city bar with an intimate outdoor space, hit us up at Bar Unplugged.

No. 30

The Margaret

The atmosphere is warm and the furnishings are cozy at The Margaret, an eclectic, comfortable, “cushy” feel bar in downtown Birmingham. Chandeliers gleam brightly in the front room and colorful artwork catches the eye from any direction. 

The Margaret has three rooms for its clientele. The front room is adorned with chandeliers. The middle room has a New Orleans/Voodoo theme, with faux hanging moss, red curtains, and paintings of tarot cards. The backroom? Think tassels and velvet couches.

Download Our Birmingham Guide: G3s Guide to Visiting Birmingham.pdf


Birmingham, Alabama’s Best Breweries:

No. 1

Good People Brewing Company

A great brewery/taproom with an awesome selection of great beer on tap and for taking home. One of the “bigger” local breweries in Birmingham that brews great beer. The taproom is roomy with a long bar with plenty of seating; and when the weather is warmer outdoor seating. Food is not sold, but you can bring in your own or there is a food truck that sets up outside. In addition to the great beer and atmosphere, you can further enjoy it with your four-legged friends as doggos are allowed inside. Located in the industrial area of Birmingham, Good People’s Brewery is located next to Region Baseball Stadium (home base for the Chicago White Sox’s AA Minor League Team Birmingham Barons). A great taproom for a great Birmingham beer – Good People’s Brewery is a good place to relax and enjoy a nice cold beer of your choice.

No. 2

Avondale Brewing Company

Housed in a historic building that was once a pharmacy, saloon, and brothel, Avondale Brewing is bridging the past and present together. Avondale Brewery crafts its brews with the same unique character and style as the stories that have inspired them. Avondale is a locally owned and operated brewery that is dedicated to revitalizing the Avondale community and reviving the legacy of Avondale, Alabama.

No. 3

Cahaba Brewing Company

Cahaba is currently located in a 51,000-square-foot building in the Historical Continental Gin Complex. Their spacious Taproom has quickly become one of Birmingham’s favorite spots. With over 26 taps, Cahaba’s Taproom has awesome Cahaba staples like Blonde, Oka Uba, Pale Ale, and Lager, while also sporting Pilot Batch and Taproom-only offerings.

No. 4

Ghost Train Brewing Co.

Ghost Train has left the station! The Birmingham Brewing Company is at a new location 

in downtown Birmingham. The spacious taproom is set to open to the public Friday at noon at 3501 1st Ave. South. The new brewery houses ninety taps, a cocktail bar, and an event space large enough to accommodate nearly a thousand people. Each of their recipes are artfully and mindfully created and pilot brewed on the back porch of our home in Birmingham, Alabama.

No. 5

TrimTab Brewing 

A small, gritty brewery founded in 2013 and located in Birmingham, Alabama that focuses on expressive IPAs, experimental stouts, and fruited sours, its name, TrimTab. TrimTab Brewing began with an idea. They are inspired by the possibility that we all have the capacity to change the world with the things we can affect; that you can “Create A World You Love!” They believe that the small things matter and that they are responsible for the big impacts we want to see in our lives. That is their message, and craft beer is our bullhorn.

No. 6

Back Forty Beer Company

Back Forty Beer Company joined Birmingham's thriving craft beer scene with the opening of a new microbrewery at Sloss Docks. Back Forty–Birmingham chose this location due to the dramatic views of Sloss Furnaces and the nearby active railway. The venue is the perfect spot for customers to drink a beer or two in the taproom or vast outdoor garden, do a little train watching, and enjoy the occasional live band.

No. 7

Birmingham District Brewing Company

Birmingham was famously nicknamed the “Magic City” for its swift growth in the early 1900s, but what was even more magical was the presence of all of these mineral resources within the nearby vicinity of present day Birmingham. In fact, the Birmingham area is the only location in the world that contains all the minerals required to make iron and steel within a 50-mile radius. To celebrate the quiet beginnings of Birmingham and the geology that led to the development of the “Magic City”, our brewery is named “Birmingham District Brewing Company”. Well that, and because geologists know good beer...

No. 8

Monday Night Brewing

Monday Night Social Club serves over 25 brews on tap, including house-made beers, small batch IPAs from the Hop Hut, barrel-aged and sour beers from the Garage, and guest taps from local breweries—as well as a full bar with wine and cocktails.

No. 9

Ferus on 41st

Avondale, the home for Ferus on 41st. Ferus on 41st definitely has the fun, neighborly bar and restaurant feel with exclusive amenities that include: beer garden, outdoor space, live music, unique food, and exclusive Ferus craft beers.

No. 10

True Story Brewing Co.

Craig Shaw, the original brewmaster at Avondale Brewing Company, set up his own microbrewery in 2018. This guy knows his beer, and it shows. Which brings us to True Story. Named with a nod to the fact that when you sidle up to the bar, everything you say from that point forward may or may not actually be a true story. True Story brews some tasty beers and a porter float! Don’t think of this as just a place to stop by after work for a beer. They’ve got regular fun food offerings for the lunch and dinner crowd, plus the occasional brunch. It’s a sweet little neighborhood place where you can spend some time with your friends, make some new friends, and pay a beer forward. 
Download Our Birmingham Guide: G3s Guide to Visiting Birmingham.pdf

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