When John Denver said, “Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes,
What’d life be without homegrown tomatoes?” I felt that. Birmingham is home to many famous Southern dishes, including the tart and battered slices that are fried green tomatoes.
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The origin story
Little factoid of the day—fried green tomatoes are actually linked to Jewish roots. Yep, according to the Smithsonian Robert F. Moss, a food historian in South Carolina, discovered fried green tomato recipes in several Jewish and Midwestern cookbooks, dating back to the late 19th and early-20th centuries.
So you may be thinking, ok so the Midwest had fried green tomatoes too, but so did we and ours are better. While that might be true today (have you ever had a fried green tomato in the North? Not good.), it wasn’t at that time. Robert couldn’t find any Southern cookbooks containing a recipe for the fried veggie before 1970.
The rise of fried green tomatoes
You can actually thank the movie, “Fried Green Tomatoes” for welcoming this southern staple into our lives. According to USA Today, The Irondale Cafe a.k.a the Whistle Stop Cafe in the movie, did a complete re-do on their recipe once the movie premiered to meet heavy demand. Life really does imitate art, huh?
1. Green Acres Cafe
If you need another excuse to visit Green Acres, in addition to delicious eats, the team is focused on sustainability and sources its ingredients from local farms.
- Address: 2724 29th Ave N Birmingham, AL 35207
- Open Status: Open for delivery and curbside pickup Tuesday-Saturday 11AM-8PM
- (205) 203-4864 | Order online
2. Irondale Cafe
- Address: 1906 1st Ave N, Irondale, AL 35210
- Open Status: Currently, their dining room is open as well as extra patio seating Sun-Fri 11AM-2:30PM. Their curbside service is also still available—order online here.
- 205.956.5258 | Menu | Website | Facebook
3. Saw’s Soul Kitchen
- Address: See locations
- Open Status: Opened their alley for outdoor seating and will continue to offer to-go and call-ins from the pickup window Monday through Saturday 11AM-8PM
- (205) 591-1409 | Menu | Website | Facebook
4. Fried Green Tomatoes
- Address: 1615 Montgomery Hwy #132, Hoover, AL 35216
- Open Status: The dining room is open with limited seating and will continue to offer to-go orders Monday-Friday 11AM-7PM
- (205) 824-5000 | Menu | Website| Facebook
5. Niki’s West Steak & Seafood Restaurant
- Address: 233 Finley Ave W, Birmingham, AL 35204
- Open Status: Limited dining inside restaurant, call-ins and curbside pick-up still available Monday-Friday 10:30AM-5PM
- (205) 252-5751 | Menu | Website | Facebook
6. Blueprint on 3rd
- Address: 3000 3rd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35233
- Open Status: Open for inside, curbside and patio service as well as curbside pickup Monday-Thursday 5-9PM, Saturday-Sunday 5-10PM
- (205) 479-3000 | Menu | Website | Facebook
7. Johnny’s Restaurant
- Address: 2902 18th St S, Homewood, AL 35209
- Open Status: Open for dine-in and curbside pickup Sunday-Friday 11:30AM-2PM
- (205) 802-2711 | Menu (may vary as they re-open) | Website| Facebook
8. The Southern Kitchen & Bar
- Address: 2301 Richard Arrington Jr Blvd N #300, Birmingham, AL 35203
- Open Status: Indoor spacial and rooftop seating Sunday-Thursday 11AM-9PM, Friday and Saturday 11AM-10PM
- (205) 278-7270 | Menu | Website | Facebook
9. Jakes Soulfood Cafe and Bar
- Address: 3075 John Hawkins Pkwy Hoover, AL 35244
- Open Status: Order online, call-in or place your order at the counter or door Tuesday-Saturday 11AM-8PM, Sunday 11AM-6PM
- (205) 438-6340 | Menu | Website| Facebook
- Address: 830 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203-3008
- Open Status: Tuesday-Saturday 10:30AM-7PM
- (205) 328-7427 | Menu | Website| Facebook
11. Red Sea Ethiopian & Mediterranean Restaurant
- Address: 22 Green Springs Highway Homewood, Alabama, AL 35209
- Open Status: Dine-in, carry out, curbside pickup and delivery Tuesday-Sunday 11AM-2PM
- (205) 848-5154 | Menu | Website | Facebook