From the Magic City to the Marble City, join us on our first Southern Road Trip winding through the Smoky Mountain foothills in search of the best eats along the way.
Where to Eat
We Have Doughnuts: This downtown doughnut stand, dreamed up by old-fashioned doughnut champion Phil and Sara Amthor and friends, is constantly inventing delicious seasonal flavors, but you can always count on four classics: buttermilk, chocolate, double chocolate, and brown butter.
Brick & Tin: This local hotspot takes the ingredients of fine dining and serves them in a more accessible way—on a sandwich made with their fresh-baked bread. The Mountain Brook location’s menu has expanded to include salads and entrees for lunch and dinner, and folks fill up the tables whenever the doors are open.
Ted’s Restaurant: Ted’s Restaurant is the perfect spot to experience the rich Greek heritage in Birmingham’s food scene. Owners Tasos and Beba Touloupis originally bought the meat-and-three from “Mister Ted” Sarris, and they have maintained the deliciously fresh menu and added many of their own from-scratch recipes. You can’t go wrong with their fried chicken, and be sure to get the stewed okra and tomatoes—the recipe is straight from Tasos’ mother.
Ovenbird: The newest offering from chef Chris Hastings, this restaurant offers inventive small plates that incorporate local, seasonal ingredients exemplifying the tastes of the region. We recommend the crème brûlée, brûléed in a miniature cast-iron skillet at the table with the kitchen fire poker—a happy accident turned tradition that came about when the chef realized his blow torch was out of fuel.
Saw’s Soul Kitchen: The word “dive” might be the first that comes to mind when entering this Avondale neighborhood staple, but the second is “mmmm,” because you’re three bites into your plate of pork and greens over cheese grits.
Where to Stay: Grand Bohemian Hotel Mountain Brook: Part of the luxury Kessler Collection, the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook is close to downtown, shops, and restaurants, and features water-themed décor, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, and its own art gallery. Take time for a wine blending class or a course at the cooking school.