Where to eat in Montgomery Alabama?
I'll be in Montgomery for a few days in early November? What are the best places to eat? I'm looking for the best food overall and other interesting places for lunch and dinner. I'm staying at the Marriott and will have a car.
Here is a map with tons of places in the area
Urban spoon has more recent reviews and I've added favorites...
I'd have to say Arrirang is the best in town thanks to the Hundai plant. Having a full korean meal and bbqing on the table is great. Fine dining? Garretts, Next door at City Grill, Chop House at Vintage Year, Number 16.. in for a nice country drive? I would check out SpringHouse Restaurant at Russell Crossroads or if they are closed try Christopher both on Lake Martin. For lunch I would hit up Island Delight for a roti or meat patti on coco bread. You could go to Green Papaya for Lao dishes like green papaya salad, chopped beef salad, or wide noodle with asian broccoli, all ordered lao style instead of thai style.. For dinner I would check out East China for whole fish, ho fun noodle, braised asian eggplant, and long bean. India Palace makes a great dinner, but I would skip the buffet at lunch and try a kabob roll instead. Michael's Table for mediteranian brunch with booze. Taqueria La Hacienda just a minute away in Prattville takes the cake for authentic mexican, then the mexican bakery on the southern boulevard closer into town for street tacos and menudo on the weekends- close second in Montgomery is Esperanza. Gulf fish sandwich lunch at Destin Connection is good. If you are up for an Oyster beach house vibe try Aw Shucks, or not as good but more central is Capitol Oyster. The Shack(love shack) bar/diner on the atlanta highway for late night country dining and good people. Goat hill tavern for high gravity beer, live music thurdays, and a great bartender in a quiet setting. Breakfast/lunch buffet in Capitol Inn upstairs should be skipped for a nice drive to Wetumpka to Chicken Shack for the best fried chicken soul food lunch in your car you will ever have. IF you can't make the drive try Davis Cafe for a great meat and three place in downtown montgomery. Bud's for smokey sportsbar and kobe burgers/free range chicken sandwich.
Or maybe you'd want to get a little more specific about what you are looking for? There's lots of places that serve other things like a pizza joint that everyone likes, or an upscale country cooking place that is popular. People eat lots of bbq here, but I have not been impressed. I've noticed the highest recommendations usually go to chains. Popularity in this town doesn't really mean that it would stand up to the standards of other places like New York or California.
Just wanted to say that Goat Hill Tavern has closed and will be missed. I also wanted to add Mrs B's home cooking
Mrs B's Home Cooking
17 Cullman St, Montgomery, AL
It's a great little steam table chat and chew southern place by the base- It's a little more of a home feel than Davis I think- although I still love Davis and they have it down- the food at Mrs. B's is a refreshing change.
Sa za's Serious Italian is a chain, but it's the closest thing we've had to real italian here ever as far as I know. I wish I could support a local option but they are all abysmal. If you need an italian fix, Sa za's is the way to go- Here's the menu:
Finally an italian place with espresso! Great service- the owner/chef was there. Let's see what the place does once he hops town. Great service and presentation- okay pastas and specials- pizza dough out of a bag from new jersey, zambuca on the menu but not in the restaurant. Amazing compared to Casa Napoli, Mister G's, Corsinos, Olive Garden (yes even the one in prattville).
Thanks for the advice and links.
We got some good food, although there wasn't much time to travel or drive around. Had a great lunch at Green Papaya and good pulled pork at Dreamland. The grilled oysters at the oyster house near the Marriott Renaissance were great. Ate at the fancy restaurant at the Renaissance. The service was terrible, but the food was surprisingly good - especially the foie gras and the kobe steak.
The fancy restaurant at the Renaissance is called "The House" and although the food there is passable, coming to a chain hotel restaurant to get a taste of local flavors isn't recommended. There are plenty of other high-end restaurants that offer better renditions of similar fare, with more of a local flare and local ownership- such as Garrett's, La Jolla, City Grill, Nobles, Chop House at Vintage Year, just to name a handfull. The chain oyster place you visited is called Wintzell's, and after the multiple chances I've given them, I can say they serve up by far the most abysmal seafood in Montgomery, and possibly the world. Aw Shucks, Young Barn, Capitol City Oyster, or heck even Jubilee would have been better locally owned options. The BBQ place, Dreamland, is also a chain. I would rank it at the absolute bottom of the list of the different locations of Dreamland I have been to, and is also one of the worst in Montgomery out of all of the available places. The best I've had would be ribs or butt from Smokin' S BBQ in Wetumpka, Varsity BBQ for something in Montgomery, or for the real local stuff the Alabama White BBQ sauce at Love Shack, or the Black BBQ sauce at Chris's in Prattville. Please come back, and the next time you are in town check out what Montgomery has to offer! It doesn't sound like you had a very chowhound experience in Montgomery with all of those chains, but I'm here to say it's possible!
I'm not from Montgomery, but have been coming here one weekend a month with the Air National Guard since about 2000. One of my favorite places to eat (I really do eat there every time I'm in Montgomery) is Saigon Deli. It's on East Boulevard (known as East Bypass to the locals) just a couple of miles south from I-85 Exit 6. They are a small but clean restaurant in a strip mall and family run (pictures of their daughter are on the walls).
My favorite dish is the house special beef noodle soup. The owner, David, tells me his Vietnamese mother cooks the beef broth over a span of two days in the traditional style. It is by far the best Vietnamese beef noodle soup I've ever had! They also have excellent fresh spring rolls and lemon grass chicken. Give them a try!
2323 Eastern Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36117
I've never had a good meal here. I wonder if sometimes different people cook here, because I will occasionally see a great review of this place. The times I've been there has been no tripe or tendon in the pho- and got some cocky racist response when I asked for them, herbs and greens were wilted, or not available- the stock itself didn't taste of star anise or have any fish sauce- dipping sauces were sugary and not quite in the norm with what I would think of accompanying Vietnamese food in a Vietnamese restaurant- saw that tell-tale thai peanut corn syrup dip on one occasion- but I swore it off over a year ago and haven't been back. I'm open to it improving but I still hear it's the same. They have no competition but that's no excuse. Green Papaya, East China, and Arrirang don't have competition really- and they are typically outstanding. I hear people say well, it may not be authentic, but it tastes good to me! That's great- but don't think of it as a vietnamese restaurant. Think of it as some southern fusion place. Actually fusion would imply that they come up with new recipes. From what I've seen they just take existing recipes and cut corners by leaving out ingredients they say white people don't like. That's not fusion to me, that's cutting corners.