Welcome to Birmingham, Southern Baptists! One of the best things about going to a new city is trying the local food, and experiencing the uniqueness of that place. Below is a helpful guide to Birmingham, Places to eat, things to do, and where to get that much needed coffee.
The Magic City is one of the greatest places for food in the South and the list could be a much larger. Birmingham is a great place to get away for a few days with much to see and do. I have tried to provide some brief descriptions and helpful links. A quick google search should give you a plethora of more information on the below attractions and locations. I hope this guide will help you as you plan to come the annual meeting and experience Birmingham.
Make sure to check out www.5920bridge.com to stay up to date with traffic for the Convention. The main interstate that goes through the heart of Birmingham is being replaced, and that is right near the convention hall. Birmingham traffic is pretty rough as it is, this hasn’t’ helped. You can also see this post for information about parking (it won’t be easy if you get there late).
Best Places to Eat in Birmingham:
(1) Highlands Bar and Grill (2011 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205)
Menu (changes daily)
Highlands was named the Most Outstanding Restaurant in America in 2018. This is a great place to eat if you are taking your spouse to the annual meeting and have some coin to spend. You’ll need to make your reservation about a month out via their website.
(2) Saw’s Soul Kitchen (215 41st St S Birmingham, AL 35222)
If you are looking for some down-home cooking, Saw’s is the place. The have wings, pork, greens, fried green tomatoes, and so much more. Saw’s is an absolute must on a trip to Birmingham. Please note there are multiple locations around Birmingham, but the address above is my recommendation.
(3) Melt (4105 4th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222)
Melt offers tons of different sandwiches in a cool atmosphere in Avondale. Pro tip: order the mac and cheese egg rolls. There is usually a wait for good reason, the sandwiches are rich with flavor.
(4) Full Moon BBQ (525 25th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233)
I would argue that Full Moon is the best BBQ in Birmingham. My favorite is the “Big Baker.” A jumbo baked potato stuffed with pork, cheese, sour cream, scallions, butter, and bbq sauce. The sweet tea and chocolate pie are a must too.
(5) Jim ‘N Nicks (1908 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205)
This is a more sit down bbq restaurant with waiters. They are known for their cheddar biscuits which they serve complimentary. They have a large menu with all kinds of “fixins’” for you to enjoy.
(6) Slice Pizza (725 29th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233)
Slice is one of the best pizza joints, if not the best, in all of Birmingham. It was started by three brothers who love to put an interesting twist on pizza.
(7) Niki’s West (233 Finley Ave W, Birmingham, AL 35204)
This is a very famous meat and three in Birmingham. Niki’s has been around since 1957, and there is always a line. Can’t go wrong here.
(8) Chez Fonfon (2007 11th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205)
Another nice sit-down restaurant, reservation would be wise. Consistently voted as one of the top restaurants in Birmingham.
(9) Mugshots (2311 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N #100, Birmingham, AL 35203)
This is a burger joint that is right outside the BJCC in Uptown. Lots of great options here and priced well for a sit-down restaurant. The peanut butter burger is delicious, justtry it!
(10) Babalu Tapas and Tacos (2808 7th Ave S #117, Birmingham, AL 35233)
Tacos, does it get any better? Babalu is one of the best atmospheres and restaurants in Birmingham. Of course they have so much more than Tacos. Make sure to get the homemade guac, you won’t be disappointed.
(11) El Barrio (2211 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203)
Great location near the Alabama theater. Modern Mexican cuisine in an urban setting. Been here a couple of times and have yet to leave unsatisfied or hungry.
(12) Dreamland (14th Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35205)
This is an iconic BBQ restaurant known for their sweet tea and ribs. Honestly, not my favorite BBQ but the ribs are good. Every table gets a complimentary loaf of bread and BBQ sauce as an appetizer.
(13) Big Bad Breakfast (5361 US-280, Birmingham, AL 35242)
Hands down the best breakfast in Birmingham. This is a must while you are here. The cheese grits are the best you will ever have, and the everything on the menu is worth ordering. I usually get a biscuit, crispy hash cakes, grits, and coffee. But seriously, everything is delicious.
(14) Gianmarco’s Restaurant (721 Broadway St, Birmingham, AL 35209)
If you are craving authentic Italian then this is the place. Great menu options, and other great place to relax after the meeting or take your spouse for a nice meal.
(15) Hot and Hot Fish Club (2180 11th Ct S, Birmingham, AL 35205)
The chef won the award for the most outstanding chef in the South in 2012 and also appeared “Iron Chef America.” This is a Birmingham must if you have the cash and time to go.
Best Dessert in Birmingham:
(1) Big Spoon (4000 3rd Ave S #104, Birmingham, AL 35222)
This is a really cool creamery in Birmingham that is always changing up their menu. From Fruity Pebble Ice Cream Sandwiches to a wide variety of flavors. You will love it.
(2) Insomnia Cookies ( 1919 11th Ave S #200, Birmingham, AL 35205)
Hot cookies, delicious cookies. What could be better?
(3) Cookie Dough Magic ( 400 41st St S Suite 102, Birmingham, AL 35222)
This place serves cookie dough (don’t worry, it’s safe) is a variety of flavors. It’s very sweet, and very good.
(4) Steel City Pops (various locations)
Gourmet popsicles are a great thing on a home summer day in Birmingham.
(5) Edgewood Creamery ( 936 Oxmoor Rd, Birmingham, AL 35209)
Another great local creamery.
Best Coffee in Birmingham:
(1) Seeds (2808 7th Ave S #105, Birmingham, AL 35233)
(2) The Red Cat Coffeehouse (2901 2nd Ave S #120, Birmingham, AL 35233)
(3) Octane (2221 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N, Birmingham, AL 35203)
(4) Revelator (1826 3rd Ave N Unit 101, Birmingham, AL 35203)
(5) Church Street Coffee (81 Church St, Mountain Brook, AL 35213)
(6) O’Henry’s (1901 6th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203)
(7) Bullet Coffee Company ( 5299 US-280, Birmingham, AL 35242)
For the Kids:
(1) McWane Center
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
(2) Birmingham Zoo
122-acre zoo is home to almost 800 animals representing over 200 species, including many endangered species from six continents.
(3) Birmingham Art Museum
(4) Birmingham Barons (Minor League Baseball)
The Barons will be in town Wednesday night versus the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Yep, that’s a thing).
(5) Alabama Splash Adventure
Water park just outside Birmingham in Bessemer. This is a great option, and priced well, if you have kids and want to cool off one day.
(1) Vulcan Park (1701 Valley View Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209)
Great spot to get a scenic view of Birmingham. Park is free, but if you want to go into Vulcan (the largest cast iron stature in the world) there is a small fee.
(2) Railroad park (1600 1st Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233)
19 acre park in the heart of Birmingham, right next to Regions Field (home of the Barons). The trains that run through Birmingham come right by the park. Great spot to hangout and enjoy the day.
(3) Birmingham Botanical Gardens (2612 Lane Park Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223)
67-acre botanical garden at the foot of Red Mountain.
(4) Ruffner Mountain Nature Center (1214 81st St S, Birmingham, AL 35206)
1,000+ acre nature preserve where you can meet some of the animals that call Alabama home.
(5) Red Mountain Park (2011 Frankfurt Dr, Birmingham, AL 35211)
1,500+ acre park with over 4.5 miles of trails over Red Mountain. Much to see here including some closed mines.
(6) Top Golf (1111 24th St N, Birmingham, AL 35234)
Right by the Convention Hall and a whole lot of fun.
(1) Civil Rights Institute (520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203)
(2) Southern Museum of Flight ( 4343 73rd St N, Birmingham, AL 35206)
(3) Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum ( 6030 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, Leeds, AL 35094)
(4) Rickwood Field (1137 2nd Ave W, Birmingham, AL 35204)
Oldest professional ballpark in the United States.