A Weekend in Birmingham, Alabama – What To See and Do
As Birmingham locals, the editors at Southern Living all have their favorite spots around town. From places to eat amazing cuisine, bars to grab a great drink, and shops filled with unique finds, Birmingham has a lot to keep you entertained. We polled the editors and came up with a list of can't-miss spots throughout the city that you can pick and choose from for the ultimate Birmingham weekend.
Browse Crestline Village's new, well-curated store where you can find everything from one-of-a-kind hostess gifts to adorable children's clothing.
205-332-1302, 17 Dexter Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35213
The Atomic Bar & Lounge
Lava lamps adorn the tables in the intimate, foliage-filled "jungle room," and whimsical cocktails are served in glass soda bottles or with custom temporary tattoos clipped to the rims.
theatomiclounge.com, 205-983-7887, 2113 1st Ave North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Automatic Seafood and Oysters
Birmingham's newest hit eatery is a sleek seafood spot that offers a killer selection of oysters and other coastal classics, all with a distinctly Americana spirit.
automaticseafood.com, 205-580-1600, 2824 5th Avenue South,Birmingham, AL 35233
Back Forty Beer Company
You'll feel like a local in no time at this beer joint by the tracks. There's plenty of room to roam and a big menu to pair with local brews.
backfortybeer.com, 205-407-8025, 3201 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35222
Pop into one of the city's most Instagrammable spots for a croissant so deliciously flaky that you'll be tempted to sweep up afterward. Linger over the best latte you'll taste this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.
banditbham.com, 205-460-1069, 2821 Central Ave. Unit 105, Homewood, AL 35209
Big Spoon Creamery
Goat Cheese Fig and Cinnamon Toast Crunch are two of the flavors you might find at Big Spoon, an artisanal ice-cream shop where the ingredients are locally sourced and the mix-ins are homemade.
bigspooncreamery.com, 205-703-4712, 4000 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222
A Louisiana-born fashion designer, Billy Reid has long been established in Florence, Alabama, but now has opened a stylish Birmingham shop with clothing and accessories for men and women.
billyreid.com, 205-588-4533, 2807 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233
On Saturday mornings, you'll have to arrive at this unassuming gem of a bakery bright and early to have your pick of pastries (the chocolate croissants sometimes sell out by 11 a.m.). Trust us: The pepper-Parmesan loaf is worth setting your alarm.
birminghambreadworks.com, 205-933 7517, 2408 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233
Brät Brot Gartenbar
The entrance looks like a Renaissance tavern, but it swiftly opens into a sleek "gartenbar"—a beer garden where you can sit outside or grab a table in a greenhouse.
bratbrot.com, 205-440-2910, 2910 Sixth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
Stop by the city's first refill store to stock up on eco-friendly home-cleaning goods.
5529 1st Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35212
Cayo Coco Rum Bar & Restaurant
Named for an island off central Cuba, Cayo Coco brings a little 1940s Latin flair to downtown Birmingham. The menu includes everything from Mofongo Balls and Tostones to drinks like the Royal Hawaiian and Sandpiper Punch.
cayococorumbar.com, 205-290-5115, 2015 1st Avenue North Unit-A, Birmingham, AL 35203
Executive chef Frank Stitt's laid-back French bistro serves up a can't-miss burger and a tempting selection of house cocktails, plus the pièce de résistance: a legendary coconut cake by 2018 James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dolester Miles.
fonfonbham.com, 205-939-3221, 2007 Eleventh Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205
Church Street Coffee & Books
Crestline's neighborhood coffee shop doubles as an independent bookstore. The well-chosen selection of hardbacks lining the shelves is (almost) as enticing
as the sweets in the display case. Don't skip the legendary Breakup Cookies.
churchstreetshop.com, 205-870-1117, 81 Church Street, Mountain Brook, AL 35213
Discover the ultimate in urban style at this specialty boutique with lots of personality.
clubduquette.co, 205-201-5477, 17 55th Place South, Birmingham, AL 35212
Domestique Coffee Cafe
This funky coffee shop located in the music venue Saturn has bright orange tables and intergalactic decor. It's a haven for gamers of all sorts, with crates of board games and nooks furnished with screens, controllers, and consoles.
domestiquecoffee.com, 205-202 5278, 3017 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222
There's a reason this is one of the first restaurants where people will take you when you move here. Hint: It starts with the perfectly chunky, citrusy guacamole and a drool-inducing beef barbacoa quesadilla and ends with the best spicy margarita in town.
elbarriobirmingham.com, 205-868-3737, 2211 2nd Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203
A boutique property in the heart of the financial district, the Elyton has a rooftop bar called Moon Shine with amazing views of the city.
elytonhotel.com, 205-731-3600, 1928 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Set off the cobblestones of historic Morris Avenue, this dreamy cafe is a pasta haven with house-made noodles and sauces. The intimate restaurant makes you feel at home.
essentialbham.com, 205-703-3012, 2018 Morris Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35203
Freddy's Wine Bar
This is the kind of place where you'll want to become a regular, gathering your girlfriends to split a bottle of wine and a hefty but affordable charcuterie board.
freddyswinebar.com, 205-521-7230, 2251 Highland Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35205
This cash-only favorite on the Southside serves some of the best sandwiches in town. Order The Fritz, which comes fully loaded with "everything but the kitchen sink or marbles." Grab a local craft beer and a seat in the courtyard.
205-322-3220, 2304 10th Terrace South, Birmingham, AL 35205
Authentic Italian cuisine meets Southern charm at Gianmarco's. Here, the relaxed atmosphere is second only to the impeccable food. The Fiocchi is a must—unless one of the numerous daily specials manages to tempt you away. Be sure to check out the Wine Bar out back.
gianmarcosbhm.com, 205-871-9622, 721 Broadway Street, Birmingham, AL 35209
Golden Age Wine
Have a glass or peruse the shelves at the city's hot
new wineshop and bar. The minimalist design brings the selection to the forefront, and that goes beyond the tasting room's assortment of sustainable wines. The charcuterie menu is an unexpected treat.
goldenagewine.com, 205-848-8877, 2828 Culver Road, Mountain Brook, AL 35223
Great Bear Wax Co.
Sniff fragrant candles—Rose, Forest, Whiskey Lemon—or take a candle-making workshop.
burnbear.com, 5529 1st Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35212
Greenhouse isn't just the best spot in town to construct your perfect super fresh salad. It's also Homewood's go-to for the decadent Ridiculous Cookie, specialty soups, tasty sandwiches, and summer slushies.
greenhousebham.com, 205-326-7727, 1017 Oxmoor Road, Suite 111, Homewood, AL 35209
Come here for brioche-style doughnuts in delicious seasonal flavors along with homemade custards and a full menu for breakfast and lunch.
herodoughnuts.com, 205-623-1017, 3027 Central Avenue, Homewood, AL 35209
Highlands Bar & Grill
Frank Stitt's original restaurant on Birmingham's Southside never stops earning its stellar reputation.
highlandsbarandgrill.com, 205-939-1400, 2011 11th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205
Hot and Hot Fish Club
You hear about the stacked tomato salad before you see it or taste it. Executive chef Chris Hastings' Birmingham stalwart, long a fixture on Southside, relocated to a gorgeous space at Pepper Place earlier this year.
hotandhotfishclub.com, 205-933-5474, 2901 2nd Avenue South, Suite 110, Birmingham, AL 35233
This meat 'n' three run by Timothy Hontzas is home to some of the best, most creative cooking you'll find in Birmingham. Where else can you get Southern staples like fried catfish or the best-ever squash casserole as well as Greek favorites like the fork-tender keftedes (meatballs)?
johnnyshomewood.com, 205-802-2711, 2902 18th Street South, Suite 200, Homewood, AL 35209
Leaf & Petal
Drawing in green thumbs and decor shoppers alike,
this local garden shop is filled with plants, containers, art, and more. Established in 1974, Leaf & Petal has expanded to four locations, including an outpost at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
leafnpetal.com, 205-871-3832, 2817 Cahaba Road #2322, Mountain Brook, AL 35223
Lenell's Beverage Boutique
LeNell Camacho Santa Ana, this unassuming stop in a small cinder block building has all sorts of surprises: bottles of gin in a claw-foot bathtub, rare bourbon tucked inside an old wooden cabinet, and a quite…er…unique fountain that you'll just have to see for yourself.
lenells.com, 205-536-3557, 1208 32nd Street North, Birmingham, AL 35234
The Market at Pepper Place
This incredibly popular outdoor event takes place every Saturday morning from mid-April to mid-December, rain or shine. Locals turn out in droves as The Market at Pepper Place hosts farmers and makers from within a 200-mile radius.
pepperplacemarket.com, 2829 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35205
Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint
Pat Martin shows off his trusty Tennessee style of all-wood, whole-hog cooking at this Vestavia Hills location. Place your order, grab a beer, and take a seat on the patio.
martinsbbqjoint.com, 205-715-8999, 3029 Pump House Road, Vestavia Hills, AL 35243
From the wood-paneled walls to the portraits of mothers displayed there, this Avondale throwback conjures images of 8-tracks.
momsbham.com, 205-774-6667, 4411 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222
Paper Doll in the Loft Entertainment District is the swankiest cocktail lounge in town. With sophisticated Art Deco accents and a litany of craft beverages, this bar is an ideal post-dinner spot.
paperdollbar.com, 205-283-6391, 2320 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203
You'd never guess this arcade/dive-bar hybrid has one of Birmingham's best burgers, served with jumbo onion rings.
paramountbirmingham.com, 205-320-2824, 200 20th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Post Office Pies
Chef John Hall serves hand-tossed, wood-fired brick-oven pizzas topped with locally sourced ingredients.
postofficepies.com, 205-0599-9900, 209 41st Street South, Birmingham, AL 35222
The Redmont Hotel
If you're on the hunt for big-city lights, take the elevator up to the penthouse floor of the historic Redmont Hotel. The Roof, a classy cocktail bar, provides a sweeping, unobstructed view of Birmingham's skyline.
redmontbirmingham.com, 205-957-6828, 2101 Fifth Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Rodney Scott's Whole Hog BBQ
No one does slow-smoked, whole-hog barbecue like Charleston, South Carolina-based pitmaster Rodney Scott, who opened an Avondale spot in 2019. The exceptional pulled pork is not to be missed, of course, but don't sleep on the sides, which are also fantastic.
rodneyscottsbbq.com, 205-506-2711, 3719 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222
The edgy concert venue also hosts Substrate Bingo and the "Romantically Challenged Dating Game Show."
saturnbirmingham.com, 205-703-9545, 200 41st Street South, Birmingham, AL 35222
The beloved barbecue spot's four locations are as singular as the neighborhoods they call home, from the original Saw's in Homewood to Saw's Juke Joint in Crestline, Saw's Soul Kitchen in Avondale, and,
most recently, Saw's BBQ—Southside.
sawsbbq.com, 205-879-1937, 1008 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, AL 35209
Old is new again in the aisles of vinyl at Seasick Records, where an hour can easily turn into an afternoon. Shiny new albums may be in stock, but the real treasure hunt takes place in the vintage stacks.
seasickbham.com, 5508 Crestwood Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35222
Curbside charm makes this botanical boutique nearly impossible to pass by. You'll find something to call your own before you've made it up the front steps–green thumb or not.
shoppebham.com, 205-224-4450, 3815 Clairmont Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35222
An "izakaya" is a casual, social Japanese bar with drinks and budget-friendly food. Meet Birmingham's own, specializing in ramen and small plates.
shushopbham.com, 205-291-6660, 1830 3rd Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Thank You Books
Head to this brand-new independent bookstore—helmed by Laura Cotten, Kristen Iskandrian, and Elizabeth Goodrich—and you'll find an excellent selection of new releases plus a calendar of can't-miss literary events.
thankyoubookshop.com, 205-202-3021, 5502 Crestwood Boulevard, Unit B, Birmingham, AL 35212
The hip Italian bistro has a line running down the block for weekend brunch, but ZaZa has also gained a lunchtime following for by-the-slice, square-cut pizza.
zazabham.com, 205-202-6207, 207 20th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Woodlawn Cycle Cafe
There's no such thing as grabbing a quick bite here. Settle into Saturday with their Toastie Special (sweet-potato biscuit sandwich) or a veggie plate finished with almonds and house-made ricotta.
woodlawncyclecafe.com, 205-224-4011, 5530 1st Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35212