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Jun 18, 2007 09:38 AM

Hounds visiting Birmingham need recs

We'll be downtown at the Sheraton for about a week, without a car. We love everything local and ethnic, from the most humble to the most elegant, as long as the food is awesome.

What recommendations do you locals have for us? And thank you!

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  1. Icon at the Tutwiler Hotel (very near to you) is very new, but is operated by a long-standing local restauranteur that's known for their fine dining. Here's the link to their menu: It's quite expensive, but I've heard great things about it. It's only been open about a month, so I haven't made it there myself. Plan to soon.

    Cafe Dupont on 20th street north & 1st Ave is wonderful. I highly recommend it. Check here for their profile and menu:
    If you like Thai, I would suggest Surin West (on the Southside). As you can see, the Southside area has alot of great dining choices.

    Unfortunately, there are limited dining choices close to the Sheraton. Icon (as mentioned before) is probably the closest. There are a number of lunch choices, but few dinner ones. Downtown seems to shut down at night. For lunch, I would recommend Zoe's @ 5th avenue north & 18th street. It's a local greek place that's franchised around the city (and beyond a bit). Great grilled chicken greek salads!
    John's City Diner is good. It's more casual but not in a diner kind of way. It's a more upscale diner, if you will. It's open for unch and dinner.

    Anyway, I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any specific questions about any of these. Or if you see something else that tickles your fancy on any of the sites.
    In Southside there are a number of great choices. The southside area is not too far from the Sheraton. You could easily take a 5 minute cab ride. There are a couple of Frank Stitt restaurants in town that are not to be missed. He is the top chef in the area. Highland's Bar & Grille (continental/American), Chez Fonfon (french bistro), and Bottega/Bottega Cafe (Italian, the cafe has a more casual menu). Hot & Hot Fish Club is excellent as well. I've dined at all of the above mentioned restaurants and have no complaints with any of them (except parking, and you won't have that problem). Most are what I would consider fine dining with the exception of 26, Bottega Cafe, Chez Fonfon. You can check out most of the restaurants menus at

    4 Replies
    1. re: sheilal

      Thank you Sheila - and keep those recommendations coming! Looks like we've almost got enough to eat well for the whole week we'll be there!

      1. re: sheilal

        Sheila - I cannot thank you enough for your recommendations! We missed Hot and Hot Fish Club, but got to Highlands Grill and Chez Fon Fon, John's Diner, Icon, 26, Taj India, Jim and Nick's, Tracey's Cafeteria and Surin West. Each was a winner, though we had service issues at Surin West.

        I would like to share our photos from Icon, which I recommend you try, but it doens't look like there is a way to post them here at this time. For my complete photoreport on the trip, please see

        1. re: NancyH

          Photo upload is temporarily (I hope) disabled. I am glad you had a great time here. The pictures are amazing and I cannot wait to try the places you visited that I have not tried yet.

          1. re: NancyH

            Great narrative and pics! I'm so glad you guys enjoyed our fair city. I think that we have it pretty good here in the ole 'Ham. I haven't tried many of the items you talked about. Now I have to go back and give them a go.