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Jun 14, 2010 07:10 AM

Need Good Southern Eats in Birmingham, AL

I will be in Birmingham, AL next week for work and I have one night free to explore the local cuisine. I'm coming from Washington, DC so I would love to find some good Alabama food...something Southern or BBQ....basically something that is hard to get in DC.

I am staying in the Five Points area of town. I would love to find something in that area since there is a likely chance that I will be a female dining alone, so I'm not sure if I want to trace all over town. But if there is a spectacular spot a short cab ride away, let me know about it.

It should be affordable (not super over the top price-wise) and delicious.

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  1. Over the top pricewise and nearby would be Highlands Bar and Grill (Beard nominated), Hot and Hot (Beard nominated) and Veranda.
    More in line with what you seek (and next to Highlands) is a sister restaurant owned by renowned chef Frank Stitt, Chez Fon Fon.
    Also good in the 5 Points area are sister seafood-oriented restaurants Ocean and 26.
    In that area is the barbecue restaurant Jim N Nick's (ask 10 people for barbecue reccs and you'll get 12 opinions; you might want to check a Birmingham barbecue thread). Finally for decent upscale Thai and sushi in 5 Points, there's Surin West.
    If you're into beer, there's a great beer bar at the edge of 5 points, called The J.Clyde.
    You picked a good place to stay for what you're seeking.

    Surin West
    1918 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205

    1 Reply
    1. re: Big Daddy

      Someone recommended Dreamland BBQ. Thoughts?

    2. Ok I did a little more research----thoughts on Sweet Bones, Dreamland BBQ, and Jim and Nick's?

      Since I'm staying in Five Points, are any of these close by?

      And finally---any place where I can get good fried chicken or fried cat fish, mac and cheese, greens---the works? Might have a lunch available before I leave :)

      5 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa

        As for the BBQ joints you mentioned I'de stick to JIm and Nicks, they serve some pretty damn good BBQ not to mention the cheesy cornbread. Dreamland may be an institution in Al but I've had much better.

        1. re: stvtunlvzn

          I'd second Jim & Nicks out of those choices. Pretty good and right in 5 points.

          1. re: bluemoon4515

            Jim & Nicks for BBQ-
            how about Niki's West for a lunch with veggies

            1. re: hlsess

              Jim N Nicks is in the area where you're staying, which I believe is what you're seeking.

              1. re: hlsess

                Niki's West: Think cafeteria food with a southern accent.

        2. At least one day, rent a car. you are staying in an area of Birmingham that is a lot like much of the DC area. By all means splurge at the Highland Grill, which is outstading, and eat at Chez Fon Fon, too. But also drive to Bessemer and go to Bob Sykes' for barbecue and the Bright Star for dinner. In Birmingham, try Full Moon BBQ and the original Golden Rule in Irondale . (Dreamland is running on empty, but any barbecue in Birmingham will be better than any barbecue in the DC metro area for the simple reason that they cook over open pits in Birmingham, which is illegal in the DC area due to pollution rules) Have a chili dog at Pete's Famous Hot Dogs. Go to Nikki's and the Farmer's Market for a vegetable plate lunch.
          As to chicken -- find out a place where they pan fry it, and go there.
          Birmingham is a very good city for pie.

          Bright Star Restaurant
          304 19th St N, Bessemer, AL 35020

          Pete's Famous Hot Dogs
          19252N Avenue N, Birmingham, AL 35204

          Farmer's Market
          6581 U S Highway 49, Hattiesburg, MS 39401

          Golden Rule
          81 Church St, Birmingham, AL 35213

          3 Replies
          1. re: dcbbq

            I like Seafood and Chicken box for fried chicken.......

              1. re: Littleman

                I really like Eagle's - I'm usually there once every couple of weeks (I like to carry out there as the tv is usually at least 40 decibels higher than it really needs to be). Their chicken & dressing is hard to beat but some of the food is just grease overload. I wouldn't suggest it to someone staying in Five Points and looking for something even a short cab ride away, as Eagle's is over by ACIPCO. It's good food but not something you are going to talk about when you return home to Washington DC.

                If you were looking for a real cab ride, I'd second Hlsess and Curej's suggestions of going to Niki's on Finley. That is some good eating. If you could, make a friend during your visit and (I'm nodding at dcbbq's suggestion) go over to Bessemer for Bright Star. Oh yes.

                Curej also has it right with Seafood and Chicken box with their fried chicken but alas they are all the way out in Trussville.

                I think from the original posting, Elyssa should be back home in DC already; I'd like to hear what she tried and her findings.

                Bright Star Restaurant
                304 19th St N, Bessemer, AL 35020