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100 Best Dishes in Alabama

Here's a list that was published in the Huntsville Times last month. I've lived in AL for 13 years, and of the ones I've tried, they're all winners! Alabama has more to offer than football and BBQ.

You can get a nice printed brochure of the list by calling The Bureau of Tourism & Travel at 800-ALABAMA.

Grilled chicken pizza at The Lumpkin House
White chicken chili at Jessie's Cafe

Blackened catfish at Cecil's Public House

"Purple Cow" and "Strawberried Alive" premium ice cream at Wright's Dairy

Fried rabbit at the Plantation House

Barbecue at Goal Post Bar-B-Q
Cajun penne pasta at The Victoria Inn
"Shrimp & Grits" at Classic on Noble

Pot roast at 3 Guys Grill

"Melvine's Chicken Salad" at High Points Coffee & Books

Strawberry Napoleon at the Ashville House Victorian Tea Room

Crawfish andouille cornbread-stuffed pork chops at McElhaney's

Catfish and hush puppies at Greenbrier Bar-B-Que

Crab cake and avocado sandwich at the Amsterdam Cafe
Fresh lemonade at Toomer's Drugs
Fried green tomato & shrimp appetizer at Hamilton's
"Momma's Love" sandwhich at Momma Goldberg's
"Tiger Melt" & bagel chips at Big Blue Bagel

Broiled seafood platter & Greek cuisine at Bright Star
BBQ at Bob Sykes BarB-Q

Buttermilk fried chicken with lemon basil sauce at Cafe Dupont
Cheese biscuits at Jim 'n Nick's Bar-B-Q
Club sandwhich at Augie's
Gourmet pizza at Cosmo's
"Half Moon Cookies" & marinated cole slaw at Full Moon Bar-B-Que
Hamburger and sweet tea at Milo's
Highlands baked grits at Highlands Bar & Grill
"Honey's Pies" at Johnny Ray's
Hot dog at Pete's Famous Hot Dogs
Lobster Pot Pie at Ocean
Onion rings at Lloyd's
Parmesan souffle at Bottega
Pastries at Chez Fonfon
She-crab soup & crab cakes at Cobb Lane
"Sweet Potato Hash" at Standard Bistro
Tomato salad & pickled okra at Hot and Hot Fish Club
Vegetable buffet at Niki's West
Vine-ripe tomatoes with Parmesan flan at Fire

BBQ with tomato sauce at Top Hat

Jambalaya at Station House Grille
Chicken salad at Mill Street Deli

Black Bottom pie at the GainesRidge Dinner Club

BBQ & "Three-n-One" sauce from Bishop's Barbecue

Fudge at DeSoto Caverns

Peach ice cream at Durbin Farms Market
Peach pie at Peach Park
Pecan pie at Heaton Farms

Soft-shell crab po-boy at Mary's Place

Hot orange rolls at All Steak

"Castle Club" sandwich at the Castle Cafe

Roasted pork chop with garlic grits & green tomato chutney at Camellia Cafe

BBQ chicken with white sauce at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q
Seafood-filled mushroom caps at Simp McGhee's
Taco and broccoli salad at Curry's on Johnston Street
Toffee at the Morgan Price Candy Company

Soul food at Kora's Place

BBQ with vinegar/tomato sauce at the Green Top Cafe

Doughnuts at Loyless Donuts
Fried cornbread at Kathy's Kountry Kitchen
Grouper fingers at the Old Mill Restaurant
Homemade soups at Basketcase Cafe
Sun-dried tomato bread & tomato soup at River Nile

Cheese from Sweet Home Farm
Seafood platter & gumbo at Wolf Bay Lodge

Chili dog at Cutt's
Grouper with pecan sauce at The Rawls
"Molasses Crinkles" cookies at Carlisle's

Bacon, egg & cheese sandwich at Bread Basket

Drop biscuits & apple jelly at Cotton Patch
"Pecan Praline French Toast" at Oakmont Bed & Breakfast

Crab cakes at Fairhope Inn & Restaurant
Gumbo at Gumbo Shack
"Pier Grits" at Bay Breeze Guest House
Pork & beans at Julwin's
Seared tuna panini & key lime aioli at Panini Pete's

Crawfish pie at Ca-John's Fayette
Strawberry almond waffles at Columbus Street Inn

Bread with herbs & olive oil at Ricatoni's
Orange-pineapple ice cream at Trowbridge's
"Squash Blossoms" at 360 Grille
Steak & Dale's seasoning at Dale's

Apple cheese casserole at The Gift Horse
Key lime milkshake at the Stacey Old Tyme Soda Fountain
"Throwed Rolls" at Lambert's Cafe

Pecan Fruit Cake & pralines at Priester's Pecans

"JoJo" potatoes at the Bar-B-Q Place

Buffet & BBQ at Barry's Backyard Barbecue

Catfish and greens at Top O the River
"Sweet Potato Fluff" at Pruett's Bar-B-Q

Hickory-smoked turkey sandwich at Bates House of Turkey

Cheesecake at Hope's Cheesecake
"L.A. (Lower Alabama) Caviar" of black-eyed peas & "Cheeseburger in Paradise" at Lulu's
Oysters at the Original Oyster House
Royal Red Shrimp at King Neptune's

Crawfish at Crawmamma's
Seafood Campoli at Martinville Grille
Spinach salad at La Strada

Chicken fingers & sauce at Guthrie's

Wines from Morgan Creek Vineyards

"Mercedes Special" skillet at Las Vias

Sweet shrimp at Bayboy Farms

Peanut butter pie at the Porch House

Butterscotch shakes at Pop's Charburgers

Baby blue salad at Franklin's Homewood Gourmet
"Camel Rider" sandwich & moussaka at Nabeel's
Lasagna at GianMarco's
Pimiento cheese on tomato bread at Savage's

Deep-dish stuffed pizza at Tortugas
Hamburgers at Harry's Place

"Big Daddy" chicken plate at Tenders!
Deviled eggs at Mullins Drive In
Fettuccine at 801 Franklin
Florentine cookies at Jazz Factory
"German Brown Farmer's Bread" at Ol Heidelberg
Hot wings & habanero sauce at Beauregard's
Lamb at the Chef's Table
Meatloaf at G's Country Kitchen
Steak at Pauli's Bar & Grill
Tea & "sugar water" pitcher at Humphrey's Bar & Grill
Tex-Mex cuisine at Rosie's Cantina

BBQ & baked beans at Golden Rule Bar-B-Q
Fried green tomatoes at the Irondale Cafe

Ribs at Cooter Brown's

Smokehouse ham, sausage, bacon & cathead biscuits at Uncle Mort's

Catfish & cole slaw at Ezell's Fish Camp

Catfish at Red's

Whiskey steak at Jesse's

Hamburgers at J&R's

Black-eyed pea cake and trout at the Mentone Springs Hotel
Chicken & dressing at Dessie's Kountry Chef
Chili Corn Pone at the Log Cabin Restaurant and Deli
"Decadent French Toast" at Mountain Laurel Inn

BBQ at the Smoke House

Butterbean cake at The Pillars
Bread pudding & whiskey sauce at Captain's Table
Candied pecans at Tanner Pecans & Candies
Chicken & dumplings at Dick Russell's
Chocolates at Three George's
Coconut cream pie at the Tiny Diny
Fudge brownies at Pollman's Bakery
Hot dog at Dew Drop Inn
Oysters "fried, stewed or nude" at Wintzell's
"Pecan Praline French Toast" at Kate Shepard House Bed & Breakfast
Ribs at Saucy Q Bar B Q
Seafood dressing at J.P.'s Southern Heritage
Smoked BBQ at The Brick Pit
Strawberry tea at Spot of Tea
Weiner schnitzel at Osman's

Catfish & cheese grits at David's Catfish House

Blackened elk with blackberry port sauce at Vintage Year
Cornbread dressing at the Davis Cafe
Fresca salad with house dressing at Sinclair's
Fried chicken at Martin's
Fried green tomato sandwich at La Jolla
Hot dog & sauce at Chris
Lemon catfish & collards at Isaiah's
Oyster salad at City Grill
"Peta's Painfully Sweet Potato Pie" at PJR's Fish & BBQ
Pizza at Tony's
Sauteed crab claws at Jubilee Seafood
Spring roll with peanut sauce at Lek's Taste of Thailand
Vegetabales at Martha's Place
Veggies on the hout bar at Derk's Filet & Vine
"Wild Rice Waffles" at Red Bluff Inn

Chocolate lava cake at daniel george
Fresh-squeezed limeade at Gilchrist Drug

Fried green tomatoes at Campbell's

Barbecued ribs at Archibald's
"Meat & three" at City Cafe
Thai emerald curry with tiger shrimp at The Globe

Barbecue pork sandwich at Chuck's
Crab & Corn Bisque at Warehouse Bistro
Gumbo at Christopher

Pecan snapper at Voyagers - Perdido Beach Resort

"Rose Cou Rouge" (redneck rose) wine at Perdido Vineyards

Pork chop sandwich with mustard sauce at 13th Street Barbecue

Apple cheese casserole at Red's Little Schoolhouse

Crabmeat omelet at the Grand Hotel
Divinity & pecan butter crunch at Punta Clara Kitchen
Key lime bread pudding at The Wash House
Royal red shrimp at Pelican Point Grill

Squash croquettes at the Guest House

Shrimp & catfish at The Ark

Caramel cake at Daily Bread

Catfish at Mud Creek Fishing Camp
Hot dog & red slaw at Payne's
Shrimp & grits at The Docks at Goose Pond Colony
"TLuv's Sweet Tomato Pie" at Blue Willow Bistro
Tomato pie at Carlile's

Marinated chicken breast sandwich at Major Grumbles
New York strip at the Tally-Ho
Pecan cobbler at Downtowner
Tomato pie at Our House

Hush puppies at Back Forty

Cornbread & fried green tomatoes at Zack's

Crab soup at Felix's Fish Camp
Stuffed flounder & original Greek salad at Roussos
"Yo Mama's Platter" at Ed's Seafood Shed

Catfish at Sate Coach Cafe

Spinach mushroom quesadilla at Marble City Grill

Grilled catfish at Fincher's
Muscadine wine at Bryant Vineyards

Buffet at Hotel Talisi

"Grits & Grillades" & pepper jelly a Mama Nem's

White cream corn at Caddo Cafeteria

Banana pudding at Sisters
Beans & cornbread at Mossy Grove Schoolhouse
Chicken fingers & dipping sauce at Crowe's

Crab cakes at Evangeline's
"Hoppin' John" at Cypress Inn
Ribs & white bread at Dreamland
Roasted red pepper soup & lasagna at Cafe Venice
Stuffed mushrooms at Kazy's
Wings at Bob Baumhower's Wings Sports Grille

"Mean Greens" & fried chicken at Taliaferro's

"Harvey" milkshake at The Palace

"Anthony's Salad" at L (local)
Black Forest Cake at Klingler's
White Chocolate Bread Pudding at Nonnas

Honeysuckle, lavendar honey & pomegranate ice cream at Yellow Hammer

Crab cakes & dill sauce at Our Place Cafe

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  1. Very interesting list. Unfortunately, it's been too long, since I dined across AL, and most of the spots, that I enjoyed are probably long gone.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. If we are able to do the Robert T Jones Golf Trail, this will come in handy.


    1. I've only sampled 14 out of the 100, but the listmaker is dead on for those 14. Hmmmmmm, sounds like a chowtour needs to be arranged just to verify . . .

      1. GUNTERSVILLE-Updates and corrections

        Crawfish at Crawmamma's Anything there is good!

        Seafood Campoli at Martin(i)ville Grille (also known as Bistro la Luna, located at Covenant Cove Resort)

        Spinach salad at La Strada-no longer in business but one of the original chefs from La Strada stayed on with the new owners at the same location downtown. It is now known as the Glover Restaurant and has been getting excellent reviews.

        2 Replies
        1. re: dcshields

          GUNTERSVILLE-Update Re: The Glover

          LOVED the place when it was La Strada--went back there earlier this year (2009) as The Glover...and it was downright AWFUL. We'll never go back after that overpriced, pathetic disappointment. Honestly, I've had bar food that was better.

          1. re: ciaohaus

            I'll have to agree that the place went downhill in a huge way after the departure of Chef Sebastien in early 2009. They hung on for a few months cranking out obnoxious food and finally closed in July of the same year. The building still sits empty and For Sale.

        2. It's been a few years but I've had 7 of the 100 and eaten at 10 of the places listed. I'd agree with them all. A couple of my favorites that were left off.

          BBQ Sandwich at Price's BBQ House in Auburn
          Chicken Finger Plate at Guthries (several locations but Auburn is the best)
          Biscuits/Breakfast at the Waysider in Tuscaloosa
          Dinner Buffet at the James Brown Family Restaurant in Opelika (may not be there anymore)
          PBJ and Hi-C Orange at my Grandmother's after mom and dad went to bed (40 years ago)

          1. I would like to add;

            Grouper Po Boy ~ Pelican Pub, Dauphin Island (if it's still there)
            Bucket o' reds and jug o' beer ~ Gulf Shores Steamers, Gulf Shores

            I've only had the ribs and white bread at Dreamland in Huntsville but they're my standard by which all other ribs are judged.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Davwud

              I found out just recently that the Pelican Pub is still there and the food is still good.


            2. It is a great marketing concept and I thoroughly enjoy the idea. We use the list when we are in/around 'bama. I have found a couple of duds--the turkey sandwich at Bates House of Turkey was dry, tasteless--unless you like card board, and over-priced--especially for the quality--but the place was full on a rainy Monday after noon. To be fair they do list them as "100 places to eat...." there is no guarantee that they are good.

              The problem I have w/ the brochure is that there is no map included at all so it is not very conducive to just driving through 'bama and planning to stop at one of the places listed. Unless you are very familiar w/ 'bama geography or are going to one of the specific places listed then you can get very frustrated trying to find a place to eat just by using the list.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Lan4Dawg

                This list sounds a little suspicious to me. I have lived here all my life. In Montgomery, some of those items are legit; some are not. Catfish and collards at Isaiah's?? I think not, unless you're into overpriced, frozen food.

                Some of them are classics and good every time, but I smell a marketer.

                1. re: Greta

                  I smell a pr blitz and some Inaccuracy seeing that Pelican Point Grill in Point Clear has been closed at least since Hurricane Ivan in 2004. However, it is a great way to promote (mostly) independently-owned restaurants to tourists.

                2. re: Lan4Dawg

                  Go across the Interstate overpass from Bates in Greenville, look toward the Shell gas station on the right. See the tiny block building with a smoker on the highway end? Get your smoked turkey, BBQ, and camp stew there. Oh - and leave room for a brownie.
                  Moist. Great flavor. Good prices. No dining room, but the picnic table works just fine.

                3. Went to Julwin's this weekend in Fairhope. The food there has gotten really bad.

                  1. Had the chicken and white sauce at BBG's in Decatur a couple days ago. Fantastic. As usual.


                    1. I'll be in Troy, Alabama for three nights in early June. I see three places on this list:
                      Banana pudding at Sisters
                      Beans & cornbread at Mossy Grove Schoolhouse
                      Chicken fingers & dipping sauce at Crowe's

                      First, think they're still around? And any one in particular you'd recommend for a quick dinner? (One Yelp reviewer seemed happy with Crowe's.)

                      1. I always wonder how they get this list.


                        Hot dog at Dew Drop Inn - WHAT A JOKE!!

                        Ribs at Saucy Q Bar B Q - Worst BBQ Ever!!

                        Dew Drop Inn
                        212 S Lynch, Plain Dealing, LA 71064

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dabaxter

                          You and me both.
                          I had Saucy Q when I first moved here: Worst experience of my life. All I can gather is that people who like it don't understand what good BBQ is or should taste like.

                        2. Unfortunately, The Station House Grille in Boaz is now closed; they were only open on the weekends, but were VERY good. Unfortunately, Boaz just isn't a great area for restaurants that don't have a buffet line or a drive-thru window.

                          That being said, the chicken salad @ Mill Street Deli is indeed very good. I recommend getting their 1/2 sandwich + soup combo.

                          Mill Street Deli
                          104 S McCleskey St Ste 613, Boaz, AL 35957

                          1. I don't have an extensive eating record in Alabama, but Cypress Inn is where I would consume my last meal on earth. (And be prepared; I would gorge myself):

                            Cypress Inn Must-Haves

                            Crab claws
                            Smoked chicken w/white bbq sauce
                            Catfish w/in house tartar sauce
                            Prime Rib
                            Mashed Potatoes
                            Country Club Squash
                            Damn...even their salads are awesome.

                            1. Meatloaf at G's Country Kitchen ~ Ate at G's over Christmas and was impressed. Unfortunately wasn't able to try the meatloaf but the catfish was the best I've ever had. As was the mac and cheese.

                              Tex-Mex cuisine at Rosie's Cantina ~ been here many times and don't see how it made the list. It's a good spot but not a great one.


                              G's Country Kitchen
                              2501 Oakwood Ave NW Ste 5, Huntsville, AL 35810

                              1. I cannot believe that Bucks in Fairhope, AL isn't on your list.

                                Their pork chops are incredible and then there is the red potato sour cream salad and their green beans.

                                Finish it off with a piece of their coconut cake and a fresh cup of coffee, mmmmmmmmm.

                                1. I've had 19 of the 100. Great list and great concept. I would definitely have to add El Palacio in Huntsville's chile relleno, and terra nova in Huntsville's italian fare.

                                  El Palacio
                                  314 S Martin St, Warren, AR 71671

                                  1. The wings at Beauregards and fantastic. Slightly small for a true "Buffalo wing" but the sauce is spot on.

                                    I've not been to Rosie's Cantina (not Little Rosie's) and thought it was quite good.

                                    I'll also offer up a slawdog, tater melt and cheese burger from Taters n' Dawgs in Meridianville. Absolutely the best burger I've had in the area.



                                    1. Update on Huntsville: Sadly, 801 Franklin, Jazz Factory, and Chef's Table are gone now. Pauli's Bar and Grille has become The Bottle, and looks promising. For memorable dining, I'd go to Mezzaluna, Cotton Row, or Commerce Kitchen. The best pizza in town is at Pane e Vino, beneath the Art Museum at Big Spring Park.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: nashnative

                                        I had a good experience at Cotton Row in May.

                                      2. GUNTERSVILLE-Updates and corrections (again)

                                        Crawfish at Crawmamma's - Yes! Everything is good!.
                                        Seafood Campoli at Martiniville Grille - Closed for 5+ years
                                        Spinach salad at La Strada - Closed for 6+ years

                                        La Strada became The Glover and continued the Spinach Salad but sadly The Glover closed in July 2009. This makes you wonder how many more of these places are closed. Looks like this list is sadly out of date and in need of some work.

                                        1. Update on Anniston: Goal Post closed last year, which is a real shame.