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.
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.
If you're looking for a taste of Japan in Homewood, look no further than Okinawa Sushi & Hibachi Steak House. The trendy, modern interiors (complete with waterfall) will make you feel like you're dining in somewhere like Las Vegas or Los Angeles. In addition to a huge selection of delectable sushi, sashimi and hand rolls. they also feature a selection of noodles and lunch specials. If you're looking for something a little meatier, try one of their hibachi plates.
Urban Cookhouse blends the nostalgia of Southern comfort fare with a contemporary farm-to-table concept to create dishes that honor local ingredients and time-honored flavors. Dine on fresh salads, hearty esandwiches, healthy wraps and delectable desserts at this family-friendly eatery. Dishes to try here include the wood-fire shrimp kabob, chipotle braised pork sandwich, and the Down Home entree. A good selection of local craft beer, sodas and shakes are the ideal accompaniment to your meal. The ambiance is welcoming and lively, making it the perfect place for a relaxed evening out with friends or family.
Located on 18th Street in Downtown Homewood, De Vinci's offers an array of pizza and pasta dishes. The décor is a step up from the typical pizzeria, featuring Italian art and photographs on the walls, and looks more like a formal Italian restaurant, with tables and booths in two dining rooms. The menu lists calzones, sandwiches, appetizers, desserts and 27 different pasta dishes, but pizza is the specialty. Many believe that De Vinci's serves the best pizza in town--the crowds seem to support this contention.
Whether you're looking for a place to dine at lunch or a meal to satisfy a 3 a.m. craving on a Wednesday night, head to Al's Deli and Grill. Located near the UAB campus and medical centers, Al's serves American and Mediterranean food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The portions are hearty and the service is quick. When the weather is warm, sit on the patio and enjoy the people-watching opportunities.