Bham Now’s guide to 2nd Avenue North in Birmingham [Video]

2nd Avenue
2nd Avenue North is known for its beautiful gingko trees, which line the street. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Located near the center of downtown, 2nd Avenue North is full of award-winning restaurants, hip bars, retail shops and much more. Keep reading to learn all about the fun things you can try on this street in downtown Birmingham!

Join us as we tour 2nd Avenue North 🤩

2400 Block

2nd Avenue Guide
Space One Eleven’s storefront on 2nd Avenue North. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Founded in 1986, Space One Eleven is a visual arts organization and studio space located on the 2400 Block of 2nd Avenue North. At Space One Eleven, you’ll find exhibits that promote social justice through visual arts.

2300 Block

If you’re looking for a bite to eat, the 2300 block of 2nd Avenue North is a great place to start:

  • Yo’ Mama’s is a fan-favorite for home-cooked Southern eats like chicken & waffles, cheese grits and fried apple pie.
  • Bocca Ristorante is the Italian sister restaurant of the beloved French restaurant Bistro 218. When it comes to fine dining, it’s hard to beat Bocca Ristorante—just remember that reservations are required, so call ahead!
  • As the name suggests, EastWest is a restaurant serving up delicious fusion places, like their mouthwatering Mongolian Ribeye and Chinese duck nachos.

When it comes to nightlife, this block is home to Neon Moon, one of the newest and hottest bars in Birmingham. This country/western-themed bar has one of the only illuminated dance floors in town, so bring your dancing shoes!

And that’s not all. Nashville-based coffeehouse Frothy Monkey will soon be opening in the former Urban Standard space. Although we don’t have an official opening date yet, we’re excited to see this popular coffee shop open in Birmingham.

2200 Block

Grab your foodie friends and head to the 2200 Block of 2nd Avenue North for a fine wining and dining experience that can’t be beat.

  • LĂ© Fresca brings an authentic taste of Northern Italy to Birmingham through pasta, pizza, prosciutto, Prosecco and more.
  • Bamboo on 2nd is your go-to Asian-inspired bar & restaurant with sushi, noodle bowls, small plates and—of course—sakĂ©.
  • El Barrio is the home to the best nachos in Alabama! This popular multi-regional Mexican cuisine restaurant offers fantastic margaritas, enchiladas, tacos, tostadas and a legendary chorizo meatloaf.
  • AvinĂ© is the perfect spot to wind down with friends over a glass of wine—don’t forget to try their small bites and appetizers!

While you’re on the 2200 Block, don’t forget to visit these shops!

  • Honeycreeper Chocolate is the perfect place to get that special someone a delectable bean-to-bar chocolate!
  • basic., the female clothing store located next to Honeycreeper, specializes in ethically-made clothing from local designers.
  • At A. Rene’ Nail Spa your nails are in good hands—owner Alethia Hall has been a licensed nail technician for over 20 years.
  • Need to tidy up your appearance? Visit Trim Grooming Lounge, a modern salon & grooming lounge, to consult with their expert stylists.
  • Emmanuel’s Barbering Salon, located next door, is your spot for cuts, styling, perms and more.
  • Did you know that Three15 Studio has a location downtown? Three15 combines 15 minutes of cycling, 15 minutes of barre and 15 minutes of strength training into one complete workout experience.

And who can forget Canary Gallery? Owner & curator Libby Pantazis operates Canary Gallery by a simple motto: good art for good people.

2100 Block

2nd Avenue Guide
Need a post-work drink? Head to The Collins Bar for fun with friends. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The 2100 Block is home to some of the most beautiful buildings in downtown Birmingham—and that’s not all.

  • Founded in 1922, Levy’s Fine Jewelry specializes in a wide selection of vintage, antique and one-of-a-kind modern jewelry, including engagement rings.
  • The Collins Bar is an iconic mainstay in Birmingham’s cocktail bar scene. Interestingly, the bar does not have a menu—instead, bartenders craft drinks for each patron’s unique tastes.
  • Set in one of Birmingham’s most beautiful historic buildings, The Florentine is an event venue & cafĂ©, ideal location for any type of gathering.

2000 Block

2nd Avenue Guide
Helen is one of the newest restaurants on the block. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Although the 2000 Block of 2nd Avenue North is only home to one restaurant, you couldn’t ask for anything better than Helen. Named one of America’s best new restaurants by Esquire, Helen is a contemporary Southern grill led by Chef Rob McDaniel and his wife, Emily. Whether you’re grabbing lunch or taking that special someone out to dinner, Helen is always a great choice.

1900 Block

2nd Avenue North’s 1900 Block is home to the Paramount Bar, an industrial-themed bar & pub with a unique twist—after you finish your meal, you can pop into the adjoining room to play on their collection of vintage arcade games.

If you have a sweet tooth, visit ChocolatĂ  Artisanal Chocolatier to satisfy your craving. While you’re there, buy an extra single origin chocolate bar to share with friends!

Need to hit the gym after indulging at Paramount or ChocolatĂ ? You’re in luck—Sculpt B’Ham is conveniently located nearby, and their fitness facility is open 24/7 with general memberships and personal training memberships available.

1800 Block

In the 20th century, the 1800 Block of 2nd Avenue North was home to two beloved department store chains: Pizitz and Loveman’s. Although these stores are no longer around, the buildings have been repurposed into two of the most popular businesses in Birmingham:

  • Located on the main floor of The Pizitz building, The Pizitz Food Hall contains restaurants, a full bar and even a Warby Parker. Plus, the building is also home to the Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema.
  • The former Loveman’s building is now the McWane Science Center, a favorite of children (and science-loving adults) in Birmingham. Learn all about how the natural world works through their ever-changing exhibits!

1600 Block

Thomas Jefferson Tower
The Thomas Jefferson Tower is located along 2nd Avenue North. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Did you know that the Thomas Jefferson Tower has hosted famous guest like legendary Alabama football coach Paul Bear Bryant, musician Jerry Lee Lewis and U.S. Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover? Now, the Thomas Jefferson Tower is home to Roots & Revelry, a fine dining experience with an incredible patio view of The Magic City.

1300 Block

The old ACME building is home to Studio 104 and Redemptive Cycles. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
  • Studio 104 is a one-stop-shop for photographers, videographers and other creatives in need of a proper studio. With lights, cameras and other equipment available, Studio 104 has everything you need in order to say, “Action!”
  • Founded by local artist Marcus Fetch, Redemptive Cycles is a non-profit organization that services bicycles, offers classes, organize group rides and sells low-cost equipment to those looking to join Birmingham’s cycling scene.

1200 Block

  • Faith Skate Supply is Birmingham’s one and only skate shop, helping support the local skateboarding scene since 1995. With a brand-new skate park coming to CityWalk BHAM, there’s never been a better time to start skating in Birmingham.
  • Spiffy Staging & Design is a local staging services, helping Birminghamians stage their homes in a fun & creative way to catch the eye of prospective home-buyers.

What is your favorite thing to do on 2nd Avenue North?

Do you love 2nd Avenue North as much as we do? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know your favorite way to spend time in Birmingham!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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