Will’s Guidebook

William

Will’s Guidebook

City/town information
With a metropolitan population of nearly a million people, Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. No need to pigeonhole Birmingham as serving only fried pies and barbecue. The city is home to “the Oscars of dining,” with James Beard Foundation award winners and nominees. Birmingham is a national leader in urban green spaces. Thousands of wooded acres for biking and hiking are within minutes of downtown in area parks.The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s UAB Hospital is an international leader in health care and one of the top transplant centers in the world. Though iron and steel production gave rise to the city of Birmingham, the area’s largest employer is now the health care industry. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has the largest collection of vintage and contemporary motorcycles in the world. Adjacent is Barber Motorsports Park, one of the finest racing facilities in the world and beautifully landscaped in the rolling hills just outside the city. Barber Motorsports Park hosts the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, making Birmingham the only Deep South city on the North American Indy circuit. USA TODAY calls Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Festival one of “Ten Great Places for a Fabulous Film Festival.” Since its debut in 1999, the festival has attracted filmmakers from around the world to screen their work for fans of independent cinema. The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the global Catholic Television giant, is headquartered and broadcasts from its studios in Birmingham to millions of viewers around the world. In 1995, Mercedes Benz chose a site just west of Birmingham to build its first assembly plant outside Germany. Their visitors center indoctrinates guests on the automaker’s history. Tours of the plant are available by appointment. Birmingham’s role in America’s Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s placed the city at the center of the most significant domestic drama of the 20th century. The city’s Civil Rights District is now designated a National Monument. Birmingham is known as the founding city for the recognition of Veterans Day and hosts the nation’s oldest and largest Veterans Day celebration. Birmingham is the only place in the world where all the ingredients for making iron are present—coal, iron ore and limestone, all within a ten-mile radius. Vulcan, the mythical god of metalworking, is the largest cast iron statue in the world and is second in size only to the Statue of Liberty. The statue sits high atop Red Mountain as a symbol of Birmingham’s birth in the iron and steel industry. Vulcan’s bare buttocks, facing the suburb of Homewood, measure as wide as a Greyhound bus. The Club’s multi-colored dance floor was the inspiration for a key icon in the 1970s movie Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. The Birmingham Museum of Art houses 10,000 pieces of Wedgwood, the largest museum collection outside England. With the opening of Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the state became the “Godfather of Great Golf.” Two of the RTJ courses are in Birmingham. Birmingham is home to the nation’s oldest baseball park, Rickwood Field, which opened in 1910 and hosted baseball greats such as Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Lorenzo “Piper” Davis, Willie Mays and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Tours are available weekdays. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Kirklin Clinic was designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei. Sloss Furnaces produced iron for nearly 90 years during the early days of the city’s emerging as an industrial giant. Today it is a city-operated museum and recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the only facility of its kind being preserved anywhere in the world. Country singing legend and Alabama native Hank Williams spent the last night of his life at Birmingham’s Redmont Hotel before leaving for a New Year’s Day performance January 1, 1953, in Canton, Ohio. Somewhere along the way, Williams’s friend and driver found him dead in the back of the famous blue Cadillac. The Alabama Theatre is one of only a handful of 1920’s movie palaces still in operation. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” pipe organ still rises from beneath the theater floor for live accompaniment to silent movie screenings and other events. The Irondale Café is a home-style cafeteria with strong Hollywood ties. The café was the inspiration for author and actress Fannie Flagg’s successful novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and hit movie of half that name.
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Birmingham
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With a metropolitan population of nearly a million people, Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama. No need to pigeonhole Birmingham as serving only fried pies and barbecue. The city is home to “the Oscars of dining,” with James Beard Foundation award winners and nominees. Birmingham is a national leader in urban green spaces. Thousands of wooded acres for biking and hiking are within minutes of downtown in area parks.The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s UAB Hospital is an international leader in health care and one of the top transplant centers in the world. Though iron and steel production gave rise to the city of Birmingham, the area’s largest employer is now the health care industry. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum has the largest collection of vintage and contemporary motorcycles in the world. Adjacent is Barber Motorsports Park, one of the finest racing facilities in the world and beautifully landscaped in the rolling hills just outside the city. Barber Motorsports Park hosts the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, making Birmingham the only Deep South city on the North American Indy circuit. USA TODAY calls Birmingham’s Sidewalk Film Festival one of “Ten Great Places for a Fabulous Film Festival.” Since its debut in 1999, the festival has attracted filmmakers from around the world to screen their work for fans of independent cinema. The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), the global Catholic Television giant, is headquartered and broadcasts from its studios in Birmingham to millions of viewers around the world. In 1995, Mercedes Benz chose a site just west of Birmingham to build its first assembly plant outside Germany. Their visitors center indoctrinates guests on the automaker’s history. Tours of the plant are available by appointment. Birmingham’s role in America’s Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s placed the city at the center of the most significant domestic drama of the 20th century. The city’s Civil Rights District is now designated a National Monument. Birmingham is known as the founding city for the recognition of Veterans Day and hosts the nation’s oldest and largest Veterans Day celebration. Birmingham is the only place in the world where all the ingredients for making iron are present—coal, iron ore and limestone, all within a ten-mile radius. Vulcan, the mythical god of metalworking, is the largest cast iron statue in the world and is second in size only to the Statue of Liberty. The statue sits high atop Red Mountain as a symbol of Birmingham’s birth in the iron and steel industry. Vulcan’s bare buttocks, facing the suburb of Homewood, measure as wide as a Greyhound bus. The Club’s multi-colored dance floor was the inspiration for a key icon in the 1970s movie Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta. The Birmingham Museum of Art houses 10,000 pieces of Wedgwood, the largest museum collection outside England. With the opening of Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the state became the “Godfather of Great Golf.” Two of the RTJ courses are in Birmingham. Birmingham is home to the nation’s oldest baseball park, Rickwood Field, which opened in 1910 and hosted baseball greats such as Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Lorenzo “Piper” Davis, Willie Mays and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Tours are available weekdays. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Kirklin Clinic was designed by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei. Sloss Furnaces produced iron for nearly 90 years during the early days of the city’s emerging as an industrial giant. Today it is a city-operated museum and recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the only facility of its kind being preserved anywhere in the world. Country singing legend and Alabama native Hank Williams spent the last night of his life at Birmingham’s Redmont Hotel before leaving for a New Year’s Day performance January 1, 1953, in Canton, Ohio. Somewhere along the way, Williams’s friend and driver found him dead in the back of the famous blue Cadillac. The Alabama Theatre is one of only a handful of 1920’s movie palaces still in operation. The “Mighty Wurlitzer” pipe organ still rises from beneath the theater floor for live accompaniment to silent movie screenings and other events. The Irondale Café is a home-style cafeteria with strong Hollywood ties. The café was the inspiration for author and actress Fannie Flagg’s successful novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café and hit movie of half that name.
Food scene
If you feel like staying in using the kitchen, Publix Midtown is less than a mile from Mercantile on Morris.
Publix Super Market at 20 Midtown
230 20th St S
If you feel like staying in using the kitchen, Publix Midtown is less than a mile from Mercantile on Morris.
Upon walking up to Automatic Seafood and Oysters, you might think you’ve been transported to a lazy beach town. Automatic, the work of Alabama chef Adam Evans, was the most anticipated restaurant opening of 2019—luckily, it more than lived up to the hype. Like a yacht club without the stuffiness, the restaurant is classic and elegant—two adjectives that also can be used to describe its food. What Evans does best is elevate familiar dishes with techniques and flavors that impress even the most critical of diners. What to Order: Octopus a la Plancha, Duck Fat Poached Fish Hot Tip: Automatic occasionally features a lobster roll—one of the few you can find in Birmingham.
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Automatic Seafood and Oysters
2824 5th Ave S
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Upon walking up to Automatic Seafood and Oysters, you might think you’ve been transported to a lazy beach town. Automatic, the work of Alabama chef Adam Evans, was the most anticipated restaurant opening of 2019—luckily, it more than lived up to the hype. Like a yacht club without the stuffiness, the restaurant is classic and elegant—two adjectives that also can be used to describe its food. What Evans does best is elevate familiar dishes with techniques and flavors that impress even the most critical of diners. What to Order: Octopus a la Plancha, Duck Fat Poached Fish Hot Tip: Automatic occasionally features a lobster roll—one of the few you can find in Birmingham.
If you think the best pasta you’ll ever eat has to come from a fine-dining restaurant, think again. Opened in 2009, Trattoria Zaza (formerly Trattoria Centrale) has been a downtown breakfast and lunch staple for more than a decade. Trattoria slings slices of al taglio pizza and piles plates high with pasta. Daily special pastas keep things interesting. What to Order: Fettuccine with Garlic-Pecorino Cream, Porkalicious Pizza (Fridays), Tiramisu Hot Tip: Zaza does a daily pizza happy hour from 5 p.m.–6 p.m. that includes two slices, a salad, and a bottle or can of beer, all for $10.
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Trattoria Zaza
207 20th Street North
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If you think the best pasta you’ll ever eat has to come from a fine-dining restaurant, think again. Opened in 2009, Trattoria Zaza (formerly Trattoria Centrale) has been a downtown breakfast and lunch staple for more than a decade. Trattoria slings slices of al taglio pizza and piles plates high with pasta. Daily special pastas keep things interesting. What to Order: Fettuccine with Garlic-Pecorino Cream, Porkalicious Pizza (Fridays), Tiramisu Hot Tip: Zaza does a daily pizza happy hour from 5 p.m.–6 p.m. that includes two slices, a salad, and a bottle or can of beer, all for $10.
Sometimes called a meat-and-three, other times a Greek-and-three, the brainchild of Southern-Greek chef Tim Hontzas wears both titles well. And on the subject of titles, we’d be remiss not to mention Hontzas’ distinction as a three-time James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef South. At Johnny’s, Hontzas does things a bit differently while staying true to the time-honored traditions of the Southern meat-and-three. With classic Southern dishes elevated via a chef’s touch, this is the place that will finally prove the irreplicable value of Southern cuisine to your snooty out-of-town relative. What to Order: Keftedes, Chicken Pot Pie, Spinach with Chickpeas, Cornbread Hot Tip: Everything on the menu (minus the sliced bread) is made from scratch.
Johnny's Restaurant
2902 18th St S
Sometimes called a meat-and-three, other times a Greek-and-three, the brainchild of Southern-Greek chef Tim Hontzas wears both titles well. And on the subject of titles, we’d be remiss not to mention Hontzas’ distinction as a three-time James Beard semi-finalist for Best Chef South. At Johnny’s, Hontzas does things a bit differently while staying true to the time-honored traditions of the Southern meat-and-three. With classic Southern dishes elevated via a chef’s touch, this is the place that will finally prove the irreplicable value of Southern cuisine to your snooty out-of-town relative. What to Order: Keftedes, Chicken Pot Pie, Spinach with Chickpeas, Cornbread Hot Tip: Everything on the menu (minus the sliced bread) is made from scratch.
When OvenBird first came on the scene, people were fixated on one item: the Beef Fat Candle. But if it’s the candle that brought them in, it’s chef Chris Hastings’ other dishes that kept bringing them back. Hastings’ Spanish and South American-inspired restaurant cooks only over live fire, which means there are plenty of charred, grilled, toasted, and roasted items on the menu. But OvenBird is to be credited with one other especially important feat: successfully helping Birmingham embrace a small-plates restaurant. What to Order: Beef Fat Candle, Bone Marrow, Deviled Eggs Hot Tip: OvenBird does brunch during the Pepper Place outdoor market season.
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OvenBird
2810 3rd Ave S
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When OvenBird first came on the scene, people were fixated on one item: the Beef Fat Candle. But if it’s the candle that brought them in, it’s chef Chris Hastings’ other dishes that kept bringing them back. Hastings’ Spanish and South American-inspired restaurant cooks only over live fire, which means there are plenty of charred, grilled, toasted, and roasted items on the menu. But OvenBird is to be credited with one other especially important feat: successfully helping Birmingham embrace a small-plates restaurant. What to Order: Beef Fat Candle, Bone Marrow, Deviled Eggs Hot Tip: OvenBird does brunch during the Pepper Place outdoor market season.
If there’s one person paving the way for female chefs and restaurateurs in Birmingham, it’s Kristen Farmer Hall. Owner and pastry chef at The Essential and the newly opened Bandit Patisserie, Hall has made a name for herself through her perfect pastries and thoughtful cuisine conceptualized with chef and business partner Victor King. The cafe is open for all three meals each day (except Sundays, which are brunch only), offering a breakfast menu in the mornings and a combined lunch and dinner menu from 11 a.m. onwards. With European cafe vibes, The Essential is not a large restaurant, yet it finds room for a banquette running the length of the dining room, several tables, a full-service bar/coffee bar, and an open window to the kitchen. What to Order: Housemade pastas, Half Chicken Piri Piri, croissant Hot Tip: Hall makes homemade brioche buns for the sandwiches on the menu.
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The Essential
2018 Morris Ave
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If there’s one person paving the way for female chefs and restaurateurs in Birmingham, it’s Kristen Farmer Hall. Owner and pastry chef at The Essential and the newly opened Bandit Patisserie, Hall has made a name for herself through her perfect pastries and thoughtful cuisine conceptualized with chef and business partner Victor King. The cafe is open for all three meals each day (except Sundays, which are brunch only), offering a breakfast menu in the mornings and a combined lunch and dinner menu from 11 a.m. onwards. With European cafe vibes, The Essential is not a large restaurant, yet it finds room for a banquette running the length of the dining room, several tables, a full-service bar/coffee bar, and an open window to the kitchen. What to Order: Housemade pastas, Half Chicken Piri Piri, croissant Hot Tip: Hall makes homemade brioche buns for the sandwiches on the menu.
Ask any local where you absolutely must eat in Birmingham, and nine times out of 10, their list will begin with Highlands Bar & Grill. There’s a reason the restaurant was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s coveted Best Restaurant award for 10 years straight, finally taking home the big win at the 2018 ceremony. And that reason has a lot to do with Highlands’ decorated chef/owner and Alabama prodigal son Frank Stitt, who’s aptly nicknamed the Father of Southern Gourmet. With a background highly influenced by eating off his mother’s family farm in Cullman, and now his own farm called Paradise Farm, Chef Stitt’s menu works from the ground up—meaning ingredients come first, then Stitt creates a menu based off what the produce inspires. What to Order: Stone Ground Baked Grits, Coconut-Pecan Cake Hot Tip: The restaurant features an extensive wine menu of far-flung bottles hand-picked by Stitt. Let the highly knowledgeable servers recommend something based on your food selections.
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Highlands Bar & Grill
2011 11th Avenue South
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Ask any local where you absolutely must eat in Birmingham, and nine times out of 10, their list will begin with Highlands Bar & Grill. There’s a reason the restaurant was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s coveted Best Restaurant award for 10 years straight, finally taking home the big win at the 2018 ceremony. And that reason has a lot to do with Highlands’ decorated chef/owner and Alabama prodigal son Frank Stitt, who’s aptly nicknamed the Father of Southern Gourmet. With a background highly influenced by eating off his mother’s family farm in Cullman, and now his own farm called Paradise Farm, Chef Stitt’s menu works from the ground up—meaning ingredients come first, then Stitt creates a menu based off what the produce inspires. What to Order: Stone Ground Baked Grits, Coconut-Pecan Cake Hot Tip: The restaurant features an extensive wine menu of far-flung bottles hand-picked by Stitt. Let the highly knowledgeable servers recommend something based on your food selections.
The entirety of the restaurant consists of just six tables, an ordering counter, and a tiny kitchen. SAW’s is best known for its pulled pork and smoked chicken (with Alabama white sauce) that you can get as a plate, on a sandwich, or stuffed into a giant potato. Helmed by chef Brandon Cain, Soul Kitchen puts a subtle chef’s touch on a downhome barbecue restaurant. Although it doesn’t look like much—and you’ll be eating off Styrofoam plates and using blue industrial paper towels as napkins—SAW’s is evidence that there is no correlation between good food and a fancy atmosphere. What to Order: Pork and Greens, Chicken with White Sauce Hot Tip: “The Colonel” is a recurring special that adds pimento cheese and white sauce to the Sweet Tea Fried Chicken Sandwich.
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SAW’s Soul Kitchen
215 41st Street South
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The entirety of the restaurant consists of just six tables, an ordering counter, and a tiny kitchen. SAW’s is best known for its pulled pork and smoked chicken (with Alabama white sauce) that you can get as a plate, on a sandwich, or stuffed into a giant potato. Helmed by chef Brandon Cain, Soul Kitchen puts a subtle chef’s touch on a downhome barbecue restaurant. Although it doesn’t look like much—and you’ll be eating off Styrofoam plates and using blue industrial paper towels as napkins—SAW’s is evidence that there is no correlation between good food and a fancy atmosphere. What to Order: Pork and Greens, Chicken with White Sauce Hot Tip: “The Colonel” is a recurring special that adds pimento cheese and white sauce to the Sweet Tea Fried Chicken Sandwich.
In the summer of 2015, our editor published an article titled “I ate Thai food from a gas station in Hoover and lived to tell the tale.” Almost five years later, that gas station is no longer a gas station (sometime during Blue Pacific’s record-breaking rise from obscurity to fame, owner Sam Aroon decided to gut the Hoover Food Mart convenience store to make room for more tables). What was once a quick-rising cult classic is now one of the city’s most respected restaurants for authentic Thai cuisine. Though technically you can no longer say you’re eating the best Thai food in town out of a gas station, vestiges of Blue Pacific’s humble roots, including the still-stocked glass door beverage coolers and the unchanged Hoover Food Mart signage, remind diners that when it comes to Birmingham’s food scene, it’s best not to judge a book by its cover. What to Order: Chicken Wings, Pad Thai, Pad Ka Tem-Prik Thai (sauteed meat with garlic sauce) Hot Tip: Blue Pacific offers a different special each day of the week. We recommend Tuesday or Thursday for the beef or pork noodle soup, respectively.
Blue Pacific at Hoover Food Mart
3219 Lorna Rd
In the summer of 2015, our editor published an article titled “I ate Thai food from a gas station in Hoover and lived to tell the tale.” Almost five years later, that gas station is no longer a gas station (sometime during Blue Pacific’s record-breaking rise from obscurity to fame, owner Sam Aroon decided to gut the Hoover Food Mart convenience store to make room for more tables). What was once a quick-rising cult classic is now one of the city’s most respected restaurants for authentic Thai cuisine. Though technically you can no longer say you’re eating the best Thai food in town out of a gas station, vestiges of Blue Pacific’s humble roots, including the still-stocked glass door beverage coolers and the unchanged Hoover Food Mart signage, remind diners that when it comes to Birmingham’s food scene, it’s best not to judge a book by its cover. What to Order: Chicken Wings, Pad Thai, Pad Ka Tem-Prik Thai (sauteed meat with garlic sauce) Hot Tip: Blue Pacific offers a different special each day of the week. We recommend Tuesday or Thursday for the beef or pork noodle soup, respectively.
Cayo Coco may be the newest branch on the Birmingham restaurant family tree, but what it lacks in age and experience, it more than makes up for in character and flavor. The restaurant and rum bar aims to introduce guests to the fantastical era of 1940s Cuba, often considered the pinnacle of Cuban culture for art, food, and drink. What Chef Haller Magee does with a small menu of Latin-inspired, Southern-infused eats contributes to the “best meal in Birmingham” distinction. What to Order: Grilled Octopus, Mofongo Balls, Lamb Shank Hot Tip: If you’ve got a group (or an unusually healthy appetite), inquire about the Tomahawk Steak special—a 3-pound monstrosity that some are calling the best steak in town.
Cayo Coco Rum Bar & Restaurante
2015 1st Ave N
Cayo Coco may be the newest branch on the Birmingham restaurant family tree, but what it lacks in age and experience, it more than makes up for in character and flavor. The restaurant and rum bar aims to introduce guests to the fantastical era of 1940s Cuba, often considered the pinnacle of Cuban culture for art, food, and drink. What Chef Haller Magee does with a small menu of Latin-inspired, Southern-infused eats contributes to the “best meal in Birmingham” distinction. What to Order: Grilled Octopus, Mofongo Balls, Lamb Shank Hot Tip: If you’ve got a group (or an unusually healthy appetite), inquire about the Tomahawk Steak special—a 3-pound monstrosity that some are calling the best steak in town.
Shu Shop arrived on the scene in 2017—the savior we never knew we needed in the form of a late-night izakaya and ramen-ya. The concept for the hip Theatre District spot is simple and born out of necessity. In Shu Shop’s case, its philosophy is also the moral of the story: You just can’t mess with perfection. Or as we say down South, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. What to Order: Tonkotsu Ramen, Spicy Miso Ramen Hot Tip: If you’re a heat seeker, order a spice bomb to add to your ramen. But word to the wise: Add the bomb sparingly. The blend of Thai, American, and Mexican chilis contributed to the dish being named one of our 8 spiciest dishes in Birmingham in August 2018.
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Shu Shop
1820 3rd Ave N
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Shu Shop arrived on the scene in 2017—the savior we never knew we needed in the form of a late-night izakaya and ramen-ya. The concept for the hip Theatre District spot is simple and born out of necessity. In Shu Shop’s case, its philosophy is also the moral of the story: You just can’t mess with perfection. Or as we say down South, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. What to Order: Tonkotsu Ramen, Spicy Miso Ramen Hot Tip: If you’re a heat seeker, order a spice bomb to add to your ramen. But word to the wise: Add the bomb sparingly. The blend of Thai, American, and Mexican chilis contributed to the dish being named one of our 8 spiciest dishes in Birmingham in August 2018.
Enduring eatery, made famous by the film 'Fried Green Tomatoes,' serving traditional Southern fare.
Irondale Cafe
1906 1st Ave N
Enduring eatery, made famous by the film 'Fried Green Tomatoes,' serving traditional Southern fare.
Try the signature Moscow Mule at this classic city pub in the blossoming Avondale neighborhood.
41st Street Pub & Aircraft Sales
130 41st St S
Try the signature Moscow Mule at this classic city pub in the blossoming Avondale neighborhood.
A sprawling backyard and live music stage set this brewery apart from the rest. Choose from one of six flagship beers or seasonal offerings.
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Avondale Brewing Company
201 41st Street South
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A sprawling backyard and live music stage set this brewery apart from the rest. Choose from one of six flagship beers or seasonal offerings.
A gregarious crowd fills the outdoor patio and rooftop bar of this sprawling industrial space. The inventive cocktails incorporate curious ingredients—TY KU Coconut Sake, Icebox cold-brewed coffee, flamed orange (thankfully not all in one drink). Insider Tip: Carrigan’s elevated pub fare is deliciously capricious. Opt for the gussied-up corn dog topped with guajillo ketchup, Cotija cheese, and cilantro.
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Carrigan's Public House
2430 Morris Avenue
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A gregarious crowd fills the outdoor patio and rooftop bar of this sprawling industrial space. The inventive cocktails incorporate curious ingredients—TY KU Coconut Sake, Icebox cold-brewed coffee, flamed orange (thankfully not all in one drink). Insider Tip: Carrigan’s elevated pub fare is deliciously capricious. Opt for the gussied-up corn dog topped with guajillo ketchup, Cotija cheese, and cilantro.
Located near Railroad Park in a former beer distribution warehouse and across from the minor league baseball stadium. Cornhole and other games in the industrial outdoor seating area.
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Good People Brewing Company
114 14th Street South
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Located near Railroad Park in a former beer distribution warehouse and across from the minor league baseball stadium. Cornhole and other games in the industrial outdoor seating area.
A liquor store and a classic bar that’s just the right kind of gritty, this watering hole was named one of the best bars by Esquire. Twice a week, barkeep Angel Negrín holds Church Night, and a group of bartenders gather to shake things up with creative cocktails. For a real Sazerac (or a twist on one), this is the place to go.
Lou's Pub & Package Store
726 29th St S
A liquor store and a classic bar that’s just the right kind of gritty, this watering hole was named one of the best bars by Esquire. Twice a week, barkeep Angel Negrín holds Church Night, and a group of bartenders gather to shake things up with creative cocktails. For a real Sazerac (or a twist on one), this is the place to go.
With an old-school arcade in the back, this kid-friendly bar serves up playful cocktails (Pabst Cup: Pimm’s, simple syrup, lemon, and PBR), flights that pair drinks with arcade games, and 20 beers on tap.
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Paramount Bar
200 20th St N
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With an old-school arcade in the back, this kid-friendly bar serves up playful cocktails (Pabst Cup: Pimm’s, simple syrup, lemon, and PBR), flights that pair drinks with arcade games, and 20 beers on tap.
There’s no drink menu at this craft-cocktail emporium. Name your favorite liquor and flavors, and the bartenders will mix an uncannily nuanced custom drink. The setting is cool but not too cool. Our favorite touch is the Birmingham-themed periodic table on the wall. Insider Tip: Request something tropical and your drink may come served in a fresh, bona fide pineapple, which they hollow out and stash in the freezer.
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The Collins Bar
2125 2nd Avenue North
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There’s no drink menu at this craft-cocktail emporium. Name your favorite liquor and flavors, and the bartenders will mix an uncannily nuanced custom drink. The setting is cool but not too cool. Our favorite touch is the Birmingham-themed periodic table on the wall. Insider Tip: Request something tropical and your drink may come served in a fresh, bona fide pineapple, which they hollow out and stash in the freezer.
Sightseeing
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a large interpretive museum and research center in Birmingham, Alabama that depicts the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
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Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
520 16th Street North
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Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a large interpretive museum and research center in Birmingham, Alabama that depicts the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama, today has one of the finest collections in the Southeastern United States, with more than 24,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative arts representing a numerous diverse cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American. Among other highlights, the Museum’s collection of Asian art is considered the finest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, and its Vietnamese ceramics one of the finest in the U.S. The Museum also is home to a remarkable Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to c.1750, and the 18th-century European decorative arts include superior examples of English ceramics and French furniture.
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Birmingham Museum of Art
2000 Reverend Abraham Woods Junior Boulevard
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Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art in Birmingham, Alabama, today has one of the finest collections in the Southeastern United States, with more than 24,000 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative arts representing a numerous diverse cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American. Among other highlights, the Museum’s collection of Asian art is considered the finest and most comprehensive in the Southeast, and its Vietnamese ceramics one of the finest in the U.S. The Museum also is home to a remarkable Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to c.1750, and the 18th-century European decorative arts include superior examples of English ceramics and French furniture.
The Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and is the city symbol of Birmingham, Alabama, reflecting its roots in the iron and steel industry. The 56-foot tall statue depicts the Roman god Vulcan, god of the fire and forge with ironworker equipments.
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Vulcan Park and Museum
1701 Valley View Drive
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The Vulcan statue is the largest cast iron statue in the world, and is the city symbol of Birmingham, Alabama, reflecting its roots in the iron and steel industry. The 56-foot tall statue depicts the Roman god Vulcan, god of the fire and forge with ironworker equipments.
The McWane Science Center is a science museum and research archive located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The state-of-the-art science center, aquarium, and 280-seat IMAX Dome Theater is housed in the historic and refurbished Loveman's department store building. It opened to the public on July 11, 1998.
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McWane Science Center
200 19th Street North
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The McWane Science Center is a science museum and research archive located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The state-of-the-art science center, aquarium, and 280-seat IMAX Dome Theater is housed in the historic and refurbished Loveman's department store building. It opened to the public on July 11, 1998.
Contemporary, glass-enclosed setup for 1,200+ motorcycles & race cars with an adjacent road course.
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Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
6030 Barber Motorsports Parkway
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Contemporary, glass-enclosed setup for 1,200+ motorcycles & race cars with an adjacent road course.
The Southern Museum of Flight is a civilian aviation museum Birmingham, Alabama USA. The facility features nearly 100 aircraft, as well as engines, models, artifacts, photographs, and paintings.
Southern Museum of Flight
4343 73rd St N
The Southern Museum of Flight is a civilian aviation museum Birmingham, Alabama USA. The facility features nearly 100 aircraft, as well as engines, models, artifacts, photographs, and paintings.
The Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama, also known as the Tannehill Museum, is an industrial museum that demonstrates iron production in the nineteenth-century Alabama located at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park in McCalla, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Opened in 1981, it covers 13,000 square feet.
Alabama Iron and Steel Museum
12632 Confederate Parkway
The Iron & Steel Museum of Alabama, also known as the Tannehill Museum, is an industrial museum that demonstrates iron production in the nineteenth-century Alabama located at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park in McCalla, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Opened in 1981, it covers 13,000 square feet.
The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is a state museum located in Birmingham, Alabama, dedicated to communicating the state’s athletic history.
Alabama Sports Hall of Fame
2150 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N
The Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is a state museum located in Birmingham, Alabama, dedicated to communicating the state’s athletic history.
Sloss Furnaces is a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States. It operated as a pig iron-producing blast furnace from 1882 to 1971. After closing, it became one of the first industrial sites in the U.S. to be preserved and restored for public use.
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Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark
20 32nd St N
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Sloss Furnaces is a National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States. It operated as a pig iron-producing blast furnace from 1882 to 1971. After closing, it became one of the first industrial sites in the U.S. to be preserved and restored for public use.
The Club is among the most unique private clubs in the region and country. At this mod architectural jewel atop Red Mountain, you’re met with an extended hand and elite hospitality. Some might call this connection southern hospitality, but at The Club we call it family.
The Club, Inc
1 Robert S Smith Drive
The Club is among the most unique private clubs in the region and country. At this mod architectural jewel atop Red Mountain, you’re met with an extended hand and elite hospitality. Some might call this connection southern hospitality, but at The Club we call it family.
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International is a Mercedes-Benz automobile manufacturing plant near Vance, Alabama. It is located about 34 miles west of Birmingham and about 19 miles east of downtown Tuscaloosa. The factory was announced in 1993 and produced its first vehicle, an ML320, in February 1997.
Mercedes Benz US International Inc
1 Mercedes Drive
Mercedes-Benz U.S. International is a Mercedes-Benz automobile manufacturing plant near Vance, Alabama. It is located about 34 miles west of Birmingham and about 19 miles east of downtown Tuscaloosa. The factory was announced in 1993 and produced its first vehicle, an ML320, in February 1997.
Beautifully carved into the rolling terrain of Shannon Valley, Ross Bridge will challenge even the best golfers. The course meanders through indigenous landscape and around the 259-room Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa. Ross Bridge is one of the longest courses in the world but offers multiple tees for golfers of all levels. The beauty and challenge of each hole leads many to believe there is not one signature hole but possibly eighteen.
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Ross Bridge
4000 Grand Ave
Beautifully carved into the rolling terrain of Shannon Valley, Ross Bridge will challenge even the best golfers. The course meanders through indigenous landscape and around the 259-room Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa. Ross Bridge is one of the longest courses in the world but offers multiple tees for golfers of all levels. The beauty and challenge of each hole leads many to believe there is not one signature hole but possibly eighteen.
Oxmoor Valley is a 54-hole facility in Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama, built on former mining land owned by U.S. Steel. Sculpted from the peaks and valleys of the Appalachians, the courses offer scenic forests, numerous creeks and challenging elevation changes.
RTJ at Oxmoor Valley
100 Sunbelt Pkwy
Oxmoor Valley is a 54-hole facility in Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama, built on former mining land owned by U.S. Steel. Sculpted from the peaks and valleys of the Appalachians, the courses offer scenic forests, numerous creeks and challenging elevation changes.
The Alabama Theatre is a movie palace in Birmingham, Alabama. It was built in 1927 by Paramount's Publix Theatre chain as its flagship theater for the southeastern region of the United States. Seating 2,500 people at the time, it was the largest in the Birmingham Theatre district.
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Alabama Theatre
1817 3rd Ave N
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The Alabama Theatre is a movie palace in Birmingham, Alabama. It was built in 1927 by Paramount's Publix Theatre chain as its flagship theater for the southeastern region of the United States. Seating 2,500 people at the time, it was the largest in the Birmingham Theatre district.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is 67.5-acre of botanical gardens located adjacent to Lane Park at the southern foot of Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama.
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Birmingham Botanical Gardens
2612 Lane Park Road
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The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is 67.5-acre of botanical gardens located adjacent to Lane Park at the southern foot of Red Mountain in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Birmingham Zoo is a zoological park that opened in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama. The Birmingham Zoo is an independent, not for profit, 501 organization and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, participating in AZA Species Survival Plans.
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Birmingham Zoo
2630 Cahaba Road
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The Birmingham Zoo is a zoological park that opened in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama. The Birmingham Zoo is an independent, not for profit, 501 organization and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, participating in AZA Species Survival Plans.
Railroad Park is a 19-acre park in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, that opened in the fall of 2010. It was designed by landscape architect Tom Leader and built by Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie. The park lies immediately south of the Norfolk Southern and CSX rail lines through downtown Birmingham.
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Railroad Park Foundation
1600 1st Avenue South
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Railroad Park is a 19-acre park in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, that opened in the fall of 2010. It was designed by landscape architect Tom Leader and built by Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie. The park lies immediately south of the Norfolk Southern and CSX rail lines through downtown Birmingham.
Kelly Ingram Park, formerly West Park, is a 4 acres park located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is bounded by 16th and 17th Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues North in the Birmingham Civil Rights District.
Kelly Ingram Park
5th Avenue N & 16th Street
Kelly Ingram Park, formerly West Park, is a 4 acres park located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is bounded by 16th and 17th Streets and 5th and 6th Avenues North in the Birmingham Civil Rights District.
Red Mountain Park is a 1,500-acre public urban park that encloses a 4.5-mile-long section of Red Mountain, a prominent ridge that passes through Birmingham, Alabama. The woodland park contains closed mines and other artifacts of the city's industrial history.
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Red Mountain Park
2011 Frankfurt Drive
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Red Mountain Park is a 1,500-acre public urban park that encloses a 4.5-mile-long section of Red Mountain, a prominent ridge that passes through Birmingham, Alabama. The woodland park contains closed mines and other artifacts of the city's industrial history.
Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is a 1,038 acre nature preserve located in the eastern portion of Jefferson County, Alabama in the City of Birmingham's historic South East Lake neighborhood. The preserve includes a visitor center containing native Alabama animals including raptors, snakes, turtles, and owls.
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Ruffner Mountain
1214 81st Street South
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Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve is a 1,038 acre nature preserve located in the eastern portion of Jefferson County, Alabama in the City of Birmingham's historic South East Lake neighborhood. The preserve includes a visitor center containing native Alabama animals including raptors, snakes, turtles, and owls.
Rotary Trail is a half-mile linear park in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The trail was predominantly funded by the Birmingham Rotary Club in honor of their centennial anniversary.
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Rotary Trail Birmingham
2098 1st Ave S
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Rotary Trail is a half-mile linear park in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The trail was predominantly funded by the Birmingham Rotary Club in honor of their centennial anniversary.
The Summit, which opened in October 1997, is a 1 million square foot upscale lifestyle center located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 280 and Interstate 459 in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.
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The Summit Birmingham
214 Summit Boulevard
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The Summit, which opened in October 1997, is a 1 million square foot upscale lifestyle center located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 280 and Interstate 459 in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.