BOCCA, Uptown Cantina, Yo Chef Surf + Turf earn 95+ food service scores

Uptown Cantina
Uptown Cantina in the Uptown Entertainment District. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Several Birmingham area restaurants, including BOCCA Ristorante on 2nd Avenue Downtown, Uptown Cantina in the Uptown Entertainment District and Yo Chef Surf and Turf Smokehouse off Findley Boulevard received 95 and above on their food service scores in September to mid-October 2021.

Food Service Scores

As a public service, since 2018, Bham Now has reported monthly Jefferson County Department of Health restaurant scores. In September and October, over 100 local establishments that handle and serve food were inspected by the health department. These places include: restaurants, schools, nursing homes, daycare centers, hospitals, grocery stores and concession stands.

Birmingham, Jefferson County Department of Health
Jefferson County Department of Health. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Food service inspection scores are updated regularly on the Jefferson County Department of Health website. The database is easy to access and it goes back several years. We estimate approximately 10-15% of the restaurant inspections score 95 or above, while most local school cafeterias, for example, tend to score 95 or above.

Who made the local restaurant honor roll this month? Here are some notable local establishments: 

BOCCA Ristorante – 98

BOCCA
BOCCA on 2nd Avenue North. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Many have claimed BOCCA as one the best fine dining restaurants in Bham. Personally, I love the Scallop Risotto. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong. Here is their menu —reservations required.

Uptown Cantina – 96

Opened almost simultaneously with the new Protective Stadium, this new Fresh-Mex restaurant is a great addition to the Uptown Entertainment District. You’ll love the food — and the atmosphere, especially the rooftop bar.

Yo Chef Surf and Turf Smokehouse – 96

Yo Chef
Yo Chef Surf and Turf Smokehouse on Findley Blvd. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Located right off Findley Boulevard near the Alabama’s Farmers Market, Yo Chef has perhaps one of the most diverse menus in the Magic City. Check it out! They have got tacos and tamales — plus high end entrees such as Lamb Chops and ribeye steak and salmon. Check out the menu – HERE.

Additional 95 and above scores:

B&W Philly
Philly Steaks on 7th Ave. South in Birmingham. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Basil Thai Kitchen – 96

Oh Yes Wings! – 99

Sugar Daddy’s BBQ – 98

Tasty J’s Food Truck – 97

B&W Philly Steaks – 95

Learn More

Visit Jefferson County Department of Health’s Food Service website for the latest scores. These food service inspections are invaluable and help keep us all safe. It is our right to know.Check out our local business directory featuring over 700 restaurants, bars and businesses offering deals, curbside delivery and more.

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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.
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