Golden Temple, Otey’s, Slutty Vegan, Pizza Grace earn earn 95+ food service scores in September

Golden Temple
Golden Temple, Birmingham’s first exclusive vegetarian restaurant. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Several Birmingham-area restaurants—including Golden Temple in 5 Points South,  Mountain Brook’s Otey’s Tavern, Slutty Vegan in Woodlawn and Pizza Grace on Morris Avenue, received 95 and above on their food service scores this past September.

The pizza pies at Pizza Grace are drool-worthy. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Since 2018, Bham Now has reported the Jefferson County Department of Health restaurant food service scores each month. Over 100 local establishments that handle and serve food are inspected by the health department, including: 

  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Nursing homes,
  • Daycare centers
  • Hospitals
  • Grocery stores
  • Concession stands

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 20% of the restaurant inspections score 95 or above, while most local school cafeterias, for example, tend to score 95 or above.

Featured Restaurants

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

Who made the local restaurant honor roll in September? Here are some notable local establishments:

95+ scores

Golden Temple Natural Grocery and Cafe – 98 

Potato and leek soup from Golden Temple
Potato and leek soup that is completely vegetarian. (Golden Temple/Instagram)

Birmingham’s first exclusive vegetarian restaurant turns 50 next year. More than a restaurant, the grocery and retail space offers vitamins, herbs and a wide range of clothes from all over the world.

Sammy’s Sandwich Shop – 98

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

Founded in 1962, this is another Birmingham Original. Earlier this year – Only in Your State – named Sammy’s burger the best in Alabama. Bham Now’s Nathan Watson filed a report on  their burgers back in March. The verdict:  “It was dang tasty.” 

Otey’s Tavern – 98

Crestline Village
Otey’s in Crestline Village. (Pat Byington/ Bham Now)

Home to one of the best Wednesday Trivia Nights in Birmingham, Otey’s Tavern has been a Mountain Brook Crestline Village mainstay since 1989. Earlier this year, the popular restaurant and bar announced it is establishing a second location in Homewood’s Edgewood Neighborhood.

Rest of the Honor Roll

Heritage Coffee in Ensley
Inside look at Heritage Coffee in Ensley. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)
IMG 0988 Golden Temple, Otey’s, Slutty Vegan, Pizza Grace earn earn 95+ food service scores in September
Customers at Gatos and Beans, Alabama’s first cat cafe. ( Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Learn More

Visit Jefferson County Department of Health’s Food Service website for the latest scores. Food service inspections help keep us all safe. Bookmark the page and stay tuned for our monthly 95+ stories.

Check out our local business directory featuring over 700 restaurants, bars and businesses offering deals, curbside delivery and more.

Pat Byington
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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