GianMarco is a collaborative effort between brothers Giani and Marco Respinto. With immense respect for their Italian heritage, their namesake restaurant is an ode to northern Italian gastronomy. Delectable classics including homemade pasta and regional specialties are served in a charming atmosphere that is reminiscent of a quintessential trattoria. They pride themselves on a thoughtful selection of over 300 wines that are sourced from vineyards across Italy. Take in the aromas of the cuisine that promises a whiff of tradition.
Right in the heart of Birmingham's downtown lies this bright, festive restaurant. With polished wood and a giant, colorful mural adorning the wall, the atmosphere is comfortable and friendly. The menu features dishes inspired from all over Mexico, from of course tacos to dishes like short rib quesadillas, grilled chorizo meatloaf or enchiladas. At the bar, fill up on something from their impressive wine list, one of their four different margaritas or another one of their unique, signature cocktails.
Bottega offers an eclectic menu of Italian-inspired dishes in a very stylish setting. The building resembles a Roman civic structure, with faux archways and a decorative concrete facade. The decor is Art Deco in style, and the furnishings are elegant and tasteful. The menu features a wide array of appetizers and entrees that change daily. Though many of the dishes are Italian-inspired, they also make good use of local ingredients. The dessert menu and the wine lists are extensive to suit all palates.
Niki's West has been a Birmingham institution since 1957, and little has changed since then. Diners can opt for quicker cafeteria service of the classic southern "meat and three", or table service, where you can order more extensive steak and seafood dishes. Get the full range of southern specialties at Niki's West, from country fried steak, fried catfish and crab legs to sides like collared greens, sweet potatoes, lima beans and fried okra.
Located on 11th Court near Five Points South, Hot and Hot Fish Club offers an ever-changing menu of items made from local, organic produce and farm-raised meats. The menu changes daily, but the approach to cooking is consistent in its focus on freshness and variety. The award-winning wine list offers a complement to each dish. With the exposed brick walls decorated with modern art, this is an excellent spot for meetings and intimate gatherings.
Located downtown near the University of Alabama-Birmingham and its medical center, the Fish Market is the cheapest and possibly the best seafood restaurant in Birmingham. The owners are from Greece, so the self-service dining area is decorated with Greek photos and artwork. There is a small grocery area and of course, a fish market. The food is fresh, and the portions large. Be prepared for a crowd at any given time; this place is an unbeatable value and that's a well-known fact.
Since being opened in 2009, Saw's BBQ has skyrocketed to the top of the list of best BBQ joints, not just in the area, but in the country. Get BBQ classics like racks of ribs, pulled pork and chicken either on a platter or sandwich all come covered in Saw's famous sauce, but that's not all. Make sure to try the incredible pork stuffed tater, a baked potato crammed full of juicy pulled pork. All the classic sides are available too.
Dreamcakes Bakery is Homewood's go-to bakery for gourmet cupcakes and bespoke wedding cakes. Innovative flavor combinations and beautiful presentation ensure these delectable cakes appeal to both eyes and palate. Every week the bakery reveals a mystery flavor, so there is always something new to try. Favorites on the menu include the caramel sea salt mocha, s'mores, key lime pie, maple bacon and Curious George. The quaint shop features exposed brick walls, wrought iron accents and row upon row of glass cases filled with the most delicious desserts; you'll be hard-pressed to pick just one!
Located on Oxmoor Road in Homewood, New York Pizza offers many kinds of pizzas and sandwiches in a cozy and laid-back atmosphere. This is a typical pizzeria: long tables with checkered tablecloths, neon advertising, and plenty of televisions tuned to sports events. The menu, of course, focuses mainly on pizzas named after New York landmarks, but there are also salads, sandwiches and desserts. The prices are reasonable, and the food is quite good.
Located on Valley Avenue east of Green Springs Highway, Great Wall serves a huge array of Mandarin Chinese entrees and appetizers. The décor is rather formal with oriental artwork, hanging paper lamps and a large aquarium. It is not easy to choose from more than 100 entrees. If you have trouble settling on just one, ask your friendly waiter to suggest something.
Located on Oxmoor Road in Homewood, Nabeel's offers a full range of Greek repasts along with an adjoining store stocked with Mediterranean groceries. The décor is very cozy and very Greek, furnished with antique-looking Mediterranean furniture and decorative ceramics. The tables are candlelit, and the lighting is soft. The interesting menu tapers upward from a massive array of salads, soups, and Greek appetizers, to a much smaller selection of main-course meat dishes including John's Steak, Shrimp Aegean and Chicken Skewers.