10Best Birmingham, AL Restaurants
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For many, eating out in Deep South destinations like Birmingham centers on "wholesome," belly-warming standards. We're talking about old-fashioned country cooking the kind they serve at the legendary Irondale Cafe. Vittles like buttered cornbread, greens, and whatever's been battered-n-fried that day. Catfish, chicken, okra, green tomatoes: it really doesn't matter, and it's always good. Sure the threat of overdoing calories and cholesterol is high, but some things must be sacrificed in the quest for good food. And yet, today's Birmingham isn't dedicated exclusively to sweet tea and grits. Over the years, in fact, residents have seen quite the moveable feast materialize. In Five Points South, intertwined with fashionable bars and cafes, are spots that certainly add their own dashes of spice to the scene. Surin West, a sleek Thai and sushi bar, is one such place; Bottega, with its Mediterranean décor and cuisine, is another. Downtown, locally grown ingredients figure prominently into Chef Chris Dupont's inventive New American dishes, and the same is true at Daniel George's charming Mountain Brook Village eatery. Fresh Gulf fish and seafood is a local perk as well, and few places do it quite as well as Ocean on 20th Street or downtown's aptly-named Fish Market, a grocery-restaurant treasured for its Greek specialties. Whatever your cup (or glass) of tea, the Birmingham restaurant scene's certain to leave you feeling well indulged.
- Birmingham Expert Joseph K. Hall Jr.