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Aug 30, 2010 02:04 PM

Good Lunch in Birmingham?

I have to visit Birmingham for business on Thursday. Going there on my own and was wondering where a good place for lunch might be? I prefer great Southern food but am open to any and all suggestions! I am going to be near the airport area but can drive wherever there is great food (within reason).


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  1. When you leave the airport go E on Georgia Road 2 miles to Irondale. You will run into 2nd Ave. Take the first right on 19th St. then your second left on 1st Ave. Go to Irondale Cafe for outstanding southern food for lunch or dinner. If you prefer to be closer to the city go 6 miles W on I 59 to Exit 123 and go N on Highway 4. Turn right on Finley and go to 2nd Place W. Go to Nikki's Cafe for good southern food for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    Irondale Cafe @ 1906 1st Ave. N., Irondale, AL 205 - 956 - 5258.
    Niki's West @ 233 Finley Ave. W, Birmingham, AL 205 - 252 - 5751.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Littleman

      Gotta disagree here.

      I'd not send a visitor to Irondale Cafe, and that's from a true meat-and-three lover (me). They're famous for their fried green tomatoes thanks in great part to Fannie Flagg and her Whistlestop Cafe book and later movie, but they have to be my least favorite in town as they have a terribly thick tempura-like batter that so often comes out to be grease-overload.

      I know this because I desperately wanted the place to actually, really have great FGTs. Over and over again. Alas, they do not.

      And they can be skimpy on portions which goes against any good meat & three yardstick.

      Bdevido, if you're interested in meat & three, by all means, go to Niki's West off Finley. They have every single vegetable you can think of. The rutabagas are not to be missed! I can go on & on about Nikis. Collards, anyone?

      If you're in the mood for a more 'upscale' lunch and you'd like to try one of Frank Stitt's (James Beard Award winner) restaurants, go to Bottega (think Italian but not heavy) or Chez Fon Fon (think French, but not haughty), which is my absolute favorite place for lunch in town.

      Ah, what else...there are so many different places you might like depending on your tastes. If you're interested in being a little more specific about what you're in the mood for, this board can help you out further so you leave happy. Enjoy Birmingham!

      1. re: deepfriedkudzu

        I have to disagree with Irondale cafe also. The food is just not that great IMO. But near the airport, directly behind it is VJs on the runway. They are a meat and three kind of place but they have a grill type menu as well. To get there from the airport, jut hop on I-59S toward BHM. Take the first exit and go right off ramp. Take first right on East Lake Blvd. It's about a mile up on the left, directly across from the airport's BIRMINGHAM sign and overlooking the runway.