The official guide to meat and threes in Birmingham

Read Time 6 Minutes

niki's west
Comfort food at its finest. Photo via Niki’s West Facebook

One meat and three sides makes for an iconic Southern meal. Whether you go with creamy Mac and Cheese, collard greens or fried okra, you know you’ll be eating good when you step into a meat and three restaurant. If you’re craving that classic combo, we’ve got you covered with an official guide to all of the meat and threes in Birmingham.

1. Ted’s Restaurant

ted's restaurant
Warning: Drooling may occur. Photo via Ted’s Restaurant on Facebook

Serving fresh veggies and meats to the Birmingham area since 1973, Ted’s combines Greek hospitality with hearty Southern dishes to create an experience full of great people and amazing food. 

  • Location: 328 12th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30AM-2PM I Saturday 8AM-2PM
  • Website I Facebook

2. Fife’s Restaurant

fife's meat and threes
Cool mural to spot outside Fife’s, one of our fave meat and threes in Birmingham. Photo via Chaise Sanders for Bham Now

You’ll know you’re at Fife’s when you spot this colorful mural gracing the side of the restaurant building. The pop on the outside is a great prep for the big Southern flavors you’ll be met with when you step inside the door.

  • Location: 2321 4th Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 6AM-6:30PM | Saturday 6AM-6:30PM
  • Website I Facebook

3. Irondale Café

meat and threes - Irondale Cafe
Delicious looking sides at Irondale Cafe. Photo via Irondale Cafe’s Facebook

Irondale Cafe is famous for being the real-life inspiration behind the Whistlestop Cafe in Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes. This is one of the meat and threes in Birmingham that has been around for ages, and anyone who’s been there will tell you the food doesn’t disappoint.

Try their fried catfish, fried okra and Mac and Cheese combo next time you’re there.

  • Location: 1906 1st Ave N, Irondale, AL 35210
  • Hours: Tuesday-Friday + Sunday 11AM-2:30PM
  • Website I Facebook

4. Niki’s West

Birmingham, Alabama, Meat and Three Guide
It’s time for dessert at this meat and three in Birmingham. Photo via Niki’s West

Niki’s West is another one of The Magic City’s classic meat and threes having served the area since the 50s. Check their website to view their daily menu that’s filled with items like lemon pepper catfish and Greek chicken.

  • Location: 233 Finley Ave W, Birmingham, AL 35204
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30AM-5PM
  • Website I Facebook

5. Bogue’s

Birmingham, Bogue's Restaurant , food, pancakes, brunch, breakfast
More than breakfast at Bogue’s. Photo via Bogue’s Restaurant’s Facebook

Bogue’s has been dishing out Southern hospitality and comfort food since 1938. Although they get attention nationwide for their breakfast, we’re here to remind you about the delicious meat and threes served at lunch. They’re a must.

  • Location: 3028 Clairmont Ave, Birmingham, AL 35205
  • Hours: Sun. 7AM-1PM | Monday-Friday 6AM-2PM, 5-9PM | Saturday 6AM-Noon
  • Website I Facebook

6. Johnny’s Restaurant

Birmingham, Alabama, Homewood, Johnny's Restaurant
Find Johnny’s on 18th Street South smack dab in the middle of downtown Homewood. Photo via Johnny’s Instagram

Chef Timothy Hontzas keeps it local, fresh and seasonal at Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood. Opened in 2012, Johnny’s continues a family legacy of meat and threes that originally began with Hontzas’ grandfather (that’s Johnny!) and pays homage to his Greek heritage.

Order Southern faves alongside spanakopita and keftedes (meatballs).

  • Location: 2902 18th St S, Homewood, AL 35209
  • Hours: Sunday-Friday 11AM-2:30PM
  • Website I Facebook

7. Fried Green Tomato’s

meat and threes
Give us a taste of this meat and threes plate pronto. Photo via Fried Green Tomato’s

Opened in Hoover in 2015, Fried Green Tomato’s is the spinoff of the famed Irondale Cafe. With the same owners and equally yummy menus, how do you choose between the two? I suggest visiting your closest location.

  • Location: 1615 Montgomery Hwy #132, Hoover, AL 35216
  • Time: Sunday-Friday 11AM-7PM
  • Website I Facebook

8. The Bright Star

The Bright Star
The Bright Star. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

The Bright Star opened its doors in 1907, which makes it one of Birmingham’s oldest meat and threes. Go taste the dishes that have kept this restaurant a staple for over a century.

  • Address: 304 19th St N, Bessemer, AL 35020
  • Hours: Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday 11AM-3PM, 4:30-8PM I Friday-Saturday 11AM-3PM I 4:30-9PM
  • Website

9. Carlile’s BBQ

meat and threes
Some mouth-watering BBQ. Photo via Carlile’s BBQ Facebook

The Carlisle brothers opened this popular spot in Birmingham in 1945 after returning home from serving in World War II. Why the spelling? They got the idea from the Armed Forces’ misspelling of the family name in one of their records.

  • Address: 3511 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35222
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 10:30AM-3PM
  • Website I Facebook

10. Eagle’s Restaurant

meat and threes
Eagle’s Restaurant, one block from ACIPCO. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

If food guru Andrew Zimmern visits a restaurant twice, it’s got to be good. That’s Eagle’s. Zimmern first featured Eagle’s on his show Bizarre Foods America in 2013, and he returned for a second helping this June.

Only a mile from the Jefferson County Farmers Market (in the same neck of the woods as Niki’s West), the vegetables are always fresh.

Alongside your fave meat and three fare, Eagle’s serves soul food dishes that other establishments tend to shy away from—oxtails, chitterlings and pig feet, ears and neck bones. And they do it so well.

  • Address: 2610 16th Street North, Birmingham, Alabama 35204
  • Hours: Sunday-Friday 10:30AM-3:30PM
  • Website I Facebook

11. The Paw Paw Patch

A meal from Paw Paw Patch on Green Springs Highway
This photo screams Southern. Photo via Cheyenne Trujillo for Bham Now

Pop quiz! Paw Paw is (1) the tasty fruit of a Native American tree, (2) your grandfather’s nickname, or (3) part of the name of a must-try meat and three serving country cooking on Greensprings Highway? 

Answer: 1, 2 and 3.

  • Address: 410 Greensprings Highway, Homewood, Alabama 35209
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 11AM-8PM
  • Website I Facebook

12. Magnolia Cafe

meat and threes
Meat and threes are our fave. Photo via Magnolia Cafe

Magnolia Cafe has all the fixings worthy of an amazing meat and three operation, but my favorite menu item has to be the banana pudding. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.

  • Location: 4704 Cahaba River Rd E, Birmingham, AL 35243
  • Hours: Wednesday-Friday & Sunday 11AM-2:30PM I Monday-Tuesday 11:30AM-2:30PM
  • Website I Facebook

13. Sarris Restaurant

meat and threes
A good-looking plate at one of our meat and threes. Photo via Sarris Restaurant

Sarris Restaurant is another spot dishing out Southern home-cooked classics with a Greek background. You’ll be welcomed into a family atmosphere with incredible food.

  • Location: 600 31st St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 7AM-2:30PM
  • Facebook

14. Bluff Park Diner

meat and threes
Delicious dishes at these meat and threes. Photo via Bluff Park Diner

Bluff Park Diner in Hoover will leave you feeling stuffed and satisfied with hearty menu items like chicken and dumplings and sweet potato casserole.

  • Location: 591 Shades Crest Rd, Hoover, AL 35226
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 11AM-7:30PM
  • Website I Facebook

15. Sherry’s Cafe

Birmingham, Trussville, Sherry's Cafe, food, restaurants, southern food
Southern cooking at Sherry’s Cafe in Trussville. Photo via Bham Now

Sherry’s Cafe is all the rave in Trussville with amazing Southern eats like chicken fried steak and peach cobbler. If you’re not from the area, this one’s worth the drive for cooking that could definitely pass for grandma’s—or maybe even better. Shh! You may want to keep that part hush hush.

  • Location: 5800 Valley Rd Suite 110, Trussville, AL 35173
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 11AM-7PM I Saturday 11AM-2PM I Sunday 10:30AM-2:30PM
  • Website I Facebook

16. The Back Porch

The back porch
A plate full of some good eats. Photo via Chef Ron’s Facebook

This spot in Bessemer is home to some serious cooking courtesy of Chef Ron. Black-eyed peas, baked chicken and creamy chicken and dumplings are just a few of the dishes it offers. They also have a food truck you can spot around Bessemer.

  • Location: 1924 1st Ave N, Bessemer, AL 35020
  • Hours: Monday-Friday + Sunday 11AM-4PM
  • Facebook

17. Green Acres Cafe

Green Acres Cafe
Crispy and fried to perfection. Photo via Green Acres Facebook

Green Acres has all the convenience of a quick-serve restaurant with all the flavor and love for food you’d find in a hometown diner. There are four locations around the Birmingham area, including Centerpoint, Irondale, Eastlake and Hueytown. Check their website for various store hours, locations and menus.

18. Ashley Mac’s

Ashley Mac's Holiday Bundle
Spruce up your holidays with a meat and sides from Ashley Mac’s. Photo via Hannah Chambley for Bham Now

Ashley Mac’s is another spot to grab delicious meats and Southern sides at their various café locations around Birmingham. Don’t feel like cooking for your next big event? Many of Ashley Mac’s signature dishes can be found on their catering menu.

Tip: Their strawberry cake is to die for.

Check out their website for various store locations and hours and to see the café and catering menu.

19. Makarios Ranch House

Makarios
Just look that delish meat and three plate. Photo via Makarios Ranch House

Makarios Ranch House is a mix of Southern home-cooking and Mediterranean fare you can find in Vestavia Hills. They have specialty Meditterranean items like grape leaves and shawarma as well as a meat and three lunch.

  • Location: 2931 Columbiana Rd #3505, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
  • Hours: Daily, 6AM-9PM
  • Website I Facebook

Did we miss any of your fave meat and threes in Birmingham? Let us know by tagging us @bhamnow!

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Miranda Shaffer
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