Visit some of the eateries that made Birmingham, AL, one of the Tastiest Towns in the South

Frank Stitt (center) and his Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega, and pitch-perfect bistro Chez Fonfon (shown here) elevated Southern cuisine and the chefs who passed through his kitchen.
Robbie Caponetto

Start with a cappuccino, made with Primavera coffee and Wright Dairy milk, and a cherry-and-rosemary scone at Trattoria Centrale (, a bustling Italian bistro tearing up the downtown scene with a local focus—eggplant and tomatoes are harvested from a rooftop garden. Owner Geoff Lockert and chef Brian Somershield also just opened El Barrio (, a modern Mexican joint.

For lunch, get messy with a tangy pulled-pork sandwich or smoked chicken with white barbecue sauce from Saw's BBQ (

Later, order a Vieux Carré and a dozen briny raw oysters at Highlands Bar and Grill ( with a chaser of the famous silky, buttery stone-ground baked grits with mushrooms and salty ham.