Sammy’s Sandwich Shop in Woodlawn named Alabama’s Best Burger. We decided to try it out.

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Sammy’s Sandwich Shop in Woodlawn is said to serve up the best burger in Alabama—what do you think? (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Earlier this month, Only In Your State named Sammy’s Sandwich Shop the home of Alabama’s Best Burger. As a lifelong burger enthusiast, I knew I had to try it—keep reading to learn more about Sammy’s Sandwich Shop!

Serving Woodlawn since 1962

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Sidney Bajjalieh of Sammy’s Sandwich Shop in Woodlawn. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Located in Woodlawn along Messer Airport Highway, Sammy’s Sandwich Shop has been a beloved, family-owned & run restaurant for six decades. Founded in 1962 by the Bajjalieh family, Sammy’s Sandwich Shop is currently run by Sidney Bajjalieh and his parents, Johnny and Susan. Sidney has been with Sammy’s for 24 years, while Johnny and Susan have been behind the counter for 56 years—making delicious meals is truly in their DNA!

“It’s such a blessing to be able to work with my mom and dad every day here at Sammy’s, because I know they worked hard to give my sister and I the opportunities we have. We work hard every day, but we have such a loyal customer base—probably hundreds of thousands of people have come through these doors over the years. It doesn’t matter if we haven’t seen you for five days, five months or five years; we’ll remember you and you’ll remember the food to be just as tasty now as it was the last time you were here.”

Sidney Bajjalieh
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(Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Hung up on the walls of Sammy’s Sandwich Shop are plenty of awards, accolades and other recognitions from entities both local and national. However, being named “Best Burger” isn’t the goal.

“Sammy’s has been a finalist in The Birmingham News’ Best Burger Award twice, and we’ve had other write-ups and plaques. But to me, it’s never been about getting awards. It’s about this customer or that customer that’s been coming to Sammy’s for years; I know him and he knows me and I know his normal order by heart. I want accolades from him. I want our customers to appreciate us more than anything.”

Sidney Bajjalieh

Alabama’s Best Burger

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My one-of-a-kind burger at Sammy’s Sandwich Shop. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

So, what did I think of the burger? It was dang tasty. Rather than order a plain cheeseburger, I asked Sidney to make my burger the way they recommend—and boy, I’m glad I did.

At the core of each Sammy’s burger is a fresh, hand-packed patty of beef. Mine came loaded with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion, bell peppers, two different types of American cheese and center-cut bacon, all placed between two fresh buns. To top it off, I had fresh crinkle-cut fries and homemade ranch for dipping—yum!

Of course, Sammy’s doesn’t only serve burgers—you’ll need to visit to check out their full menu, but I hear the Hamburger Steak, Beef Rider Sandwich and Chicken Rider are all crowd favorites.

What is your favorite dish to order at Sammy’s Sandwich Shop? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer with Bham Now | Originally from Tennessee, Nathan moved to The Magic City after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College. Nathan is passionate about recognizing Birmingham's history and is thrilled to learn more about the big things planned for The Magic City's future.

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