Best pie shop and dive bar in Alabama? JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies and The Nick

Photo from JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies Facebook page. JaWanda Jackson on the far right with WBRC’s Mickey Ferguson

Tis’ the season for “Best in Alabama” lists.

Always around this time of the year, national digital publications love to release lists describing things like the “Best Burger in Alabama” or the “Best 24/7 restaurant” in the state.  For example, recently, we  told you about Five Bar earning the distinction as the “Best Brunch in Alabama,” by Far and Wide.

This week, we discovered two additional local Birmingham businesses that notched top honors in the state for being the “Best Pie Shop in Alabama” and the “Best Dive Bar in Alabama.”

And the winners are…..

Best Pie Shop in Alabama – JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pie Shop

Before they established their pie shop on 5291 Valleydale Road in 2015, many folks in Birmingham were first introduced to JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies at the Market at Pepper Place. It was a Saturday morning tradition. The freshly made pies were simply “heavenly.”

That is why it was no surprise earlier this week when –  USA Today’s Road trip guide: The best pie shop in every state named JaWanda’s the best in Alabama.

Talk about choices!  JaWanda’s offers 15 different kinds of sweet potato pies from pecan to S’mores (our favorite!).  Can’t make it out to Valleydale? JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies are sold at the local Piggly Wiggly and Cowboy’s 280.

Check out owner JaWanda Jackson’s story, and plan to visit the best pie shop in Alabama over the holidays.

Best Dive Bar in Alabama – The Nick

The Nick Rock via- tripadvisor.com

Located in the shadow of St.Vincent’s Hospital and the Elton B. Stephens Expressway, The Nick, which first opened in 1982, is one of Birmingham’s longest running Dive Bar/Music Venues.

Named by the digital publication The Daily Meal as the “Best Dive Bar” in Alabama, the bands at The Nick notoriously begin after 10:00 in the evening and play deep into the morning hours. Over the years, The Nick has become a destination for visiting celebrities and has hosted many national acts on their way up, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Black Flag, Jane’s Addiction, the Black Crowes, Widespread Panic and many others according to the Bham Wiki.

To give you a feel about the legendary place, here is a video of Jasper Coal & String Theory performing at The Nick a few years ago.

Truly a Birmingham original, check out The Nick.  You may never leave this iconic dive bar.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.