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

Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega, and Chez Fonfon
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.
| Credit: 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.