9 recommendations for where locals eat + drink in Birmingham

The Garage sandwich
Want to know where locals eat in Birmingham? (The Garage / Facebook)

Looking for a restaurant to check out in Birmingham that locals love? Whether you want to impress out-of-towners or finally feel like a local yourself, here are the top recommendations for where locals eat + drink in Birmingham. Check it out, then let us know what we’re missing.

We asked, you answered ⚡

We asked where locals eat in Birmingham - Facebook post

We love to hear what our audience thinks—whether we’re learning about your thoughts on downtown Birmingham or finding out what chains you wish Birmingham had. We received over 315 comments on Facebook—keep reading to see nine suggestions that reappeared.

9 recommendations for where locals eat + drink in Birmingham 👏

1. The Garage

The Garage 9 recommendations for where locals eat + drink in Birmingham
Never a bad time for a sandwich. (Bham Now)

The most popular response was by far The Garage. Located in Southside, this bar and restaurant features a beautiful outdoor patio with tons of statues and antiquities. Bring cash (or use their ATM), then grab a beer and a sandwich.

PS—The Garage is Birmingham’s best-kept secret according to Nowies voters.

2. Lou’s Pub & Package Store

Lou's Pub - where locals eat in Birmingham
What’ll it be? (Lou’s Pub / Instagram)

Beyond being a top recommendation for locals, Lou’s Pub & Package Store is the only liquor store with a bar in Birmingham. Along with serving top-notch cocktails, the bartenders at Lou’s Pub will also create a drink based on your personal tastes if you’re not quite sure what to order.

3. The Bright Star

The Bright Star in Bessemer
A must-visit restaurant in Bessemer. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

The Bright Star in Bessemer is the oldest family-owned restaurant in the U.S. The James Beard Award-Winning restaurant opened in 1907 and is known for its menu of classics with options like seafood gumbo, fried green tomatoes, Greek-style chicken, catfish filet and more. While you’re enjoying your meal, be sure to stop by the Nick Saban booth, the coach’s favorite place to sit when he visits the restaurant.

4. Green Acres

Green Acres Cafe, where locals eat in Birmingham
One of five Green Acres locations. (Bham Now)

Looking for fried chicken, fried fish or fried green tomatoes? You’ve come to the right place at Green Acres, a popular locally-owned franchise with five locations across the Greater Birmingham area. The first Green Acres was established in 1958, and since then, they’ve opened new locations, all known for their chicken wings.

5. Niki’s West

niki's west
The meat and three setup of dreams. (Niki’s West / Facebook)

Whether you’re looking for a recommendation for where locals eat or delicious meat and threes, Niki’s West will be on both lists. Niki’s West is a must-try for anyone who wants a true taste of Birmingham, and with a history of over six decades, you know they’ve perfected their menu.

6. Marty’s PM + Marty’s GM

Some of the selection over at Marty’s PM. (Marty’s PM / Facebook)

Okay, okay, we may be cheating with this one by giving you two suggestions, but Marty’s PM and Marty’s GM are two hot spots where locals eat in Birmingham that we had to mention. Brought to you by the same owners, Marty’s PM is located in Five Points and offers late-night bar food, drinks, live music and billiards. Marty’s GM opened in 2018 and prides itself on being Irondale’s sports bar.

7. Giuseppe’s

Giuseppe Cafe Birmingham
Giuseppe’s Cafe. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

If you’re craving pasta, you don’t want to miss any menu item from Giuseppe’s Cafe, located near UAB. This family-owned restaurant serves Italian dishes in a casual environment. Spaghetti and meatballs, anyone?

8. Ranelli’s

Ranelli's Deli Cafe
The famous Richman Po’Boy at Ranelli’s. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

When we wanted to know our audience’s favorite sandwiches in Birmingham, the Richman Po-Boy at Ranelli’s was a top recommendation. It’s no wonder it’s a top recommendation for where locals eat—it was named the best deli in Alabama by Food Network.

9. The Paw Paw Patch

A meal from Paw Paw Patch on Green Springs Highway
A delish meal. (Cheyenne Trujillo / Bham Now)

Located on Green Springs Highway, Paw Paw Patch is a locally-owned, country-style restaurant with a menu that changes daily. Their menu includes options like fried pork chop, fried chicken, country fried steak, turkey and dressing and more.

Did we miss YOUR favorite recommendation for where locals eat in Birmingham? Tag us @BhamNow and let us know!

Cecilia Wood
Cecilia Wood
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