15 European-inspired restaurants, bakeries and buildings in Birmingham

la fresca2 15 European-inspired restaurants, bakeries and buildings in Birmingham
Time to take a trip to Europe. (Beth Cunningham / Bham Now)

Have you ever dreamed of living in Europe? Maybe along the Italian canals or French cobblestone streets. Alas, not everyone can drop what they’re doing and travel across the pond. The good news? Birmingham has tons of European-inspired restaurants, bars, bakers and buildings so you feel like you’re abroad without spending hours on a plane to get there. Keep reading to discover The Magic City in a new (European) way. 

Restaurants + bars

Looking for that Italian restaurant that serves authentic, fresh-from-Italy pasta and pizza? Or maybe you crave French cuisine or wish you were at a pub in Birmingham, UK. Here are eight restaurants and bars that will make you feel like you’re in Europe:

1. Bar La Fête

Bar La Fête. (Olivia Moses / Bham Now)

Bar La Fête was named one of the most beautiful restaurants in the US and we totally agree. Visitors say it’s like eating in Paris.

2. Chez Lulu

Chez Lulu
I know where I’m going to dinner this weekend. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Chez Lulu is the sister restaurant to Continental Bakery and gives the same chic European vibes. You can find me sitting outside enjoying a panini when the temperatures start to rise.

3. The Anvil Pub & Grill

pub food in Birmingham
Their delicious Lamb Pe is sure to be one of your new favorites. (Anvil Pub and Grill / Facebook)

Good news—you don’t have to travel to the other Birmingham in England for authentic British cuisine. Instead, take a trip to The Anvil where you’ll find delicious plates such as Scottish Eggs, Rabbit Pot Pie and Fish and Chips.

4. Chez FonFon

ChezFonfon 20221021 111555 15 European-inspired restaurants, bakeries and buildings in Birmingham
Frank’s Pinot Noir and Coconut Cake at Chez Fonfon. (Bham Now)

Chez FonFon, owned by Frank Stitt, is a bustling French bistro in Five Points South with award-winning dishes and famous coconut cake. Top it off with its romantic, gently-lit patio and be transported to Nice, France.

5. Le Fresca

la fresca 15 European-inspired restaurants, bakeries and buildings in Birmingham
The beautiful pizza oven. (Beth Cunningham / Bham Now)

One of our Bham Nowers raves about Le Fresca and its European-inspired Italian cuisine. The chef, Marco, is from Northern Italy and is passionate about the authenticity of his food, from the pizza dough to the handmade pasta and sauce. Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter to translate the menu—it’s written in Italian.

6. Capella Pizzeria

capella pizzeria
Have you tried Capella’s yet? (Capella Pizzeria / Instagram)

When you eat at Capella Pizzeria, you’re eating pizza made from ingredients straight from Italy. The sausage, for example, is made by an Italian family who lives north of Milan. You can’t get more authentic than that!

7. Bottega

Bottega 4 1 15 European-inspired restaurants, bakeries and buildings in Birmingham
I will be making reservations, now! (Bottega)

Bottega, owned by award-winning Frank Stitt, was just announced as a James Beard semifinalist in the Outstanding Hospitality category, and if you’ve ever dined here, you’ll understand why. Their Tortelloni en Brodo paired with the restaurant’s beautiful, newly-renovated dining room and friendly staff, this is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in town.

8. Bistro Two Eighteen

AroundBlachs 210512 151345 15 European-inspired restaurants, bakeries and buildings in Birmingham
French bistro of your dreams. (Bham Now)

I haven’t been to France, but dining at Bistro Two Eighteen makes me want to go ASAP. According to local recommendations, the Gulf Red Snapper Provencal will make you feel like you’re eating along the Mediterranean Sea. 


Want a croissant that makes you feel like you’ve teleported to France? We’ve got you covered, check out these bakeries (plus a gelato place!) that are oh-so good.

9. Continental Bakery

Fresh bread anyone? (Emma Johnston / Bham Now)

Nestled in English Village, Continental Bakery is an artisan French bakery known for its baguettes and pastries. With its tranquil outdoor seating, welcoming staff and beautiful display of baked goods, you can catch me living out my Emily in Paris dreams.

10. Bandit Pâtisserie

Bandit Patisserie
So many options. (Cecilia Wood / Bham Now)

Whether you get a quick coffee to go or a fun pastry, Bandit Pâtisserie resembles a cute little cafe you’d find on any Paris street. Their croissants (I highly recommend the almond) are flaky and fresh. Now we just need the Effiel Tower to make this experience even better.

11. Last Call Baking

Lat call baking Co
I’ll take all three, please. (Last Call Baking / Instagram)

Last Call Baking is one of Birmingham’s newest bakeries and is highly inspired by French baked goods. The bakery’s owner, Channah, strives to make authentic and unique pastries and cakes for the people of Birmingham to enjoy.

12. Cannella Gelato

Cannella Gelato 20 15 European-inspired restaurants, bakeries and buildings in Birmingham
I can’t wait to see what their next round of seasonal flavors will be. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Cannella Gelato has a space in Mercantile on Morris and serves the best gelato in town. Gelato is an Italian ice cream that is lower in fat and richer in taste than normal ice cream. As someone who has been to Italy and loves ice cream, Cannella is definitely at the top of my list.


You may not see the Rome’s Colosseum when strolling Downtown Birmingham, but you can find many historic buildings and streets that make you second guess if you’re in Italy or Bham.

13. Cathedral of Saint Paul

Truly beautiful to look at. (Emma Johnston / Bham Now)

This gorgeous gothic-style is hard to miss on 3rd Avenue North. The beautiful stained glass and and tall towers make you feel like you’ve gone back in time to England in the 1800s.

14. Florentine Building

Florentine Building
Florentine Building. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

This is probably my favorite building in Birmingham. The Florentine is a full-service event venue in Downtown Birmingham and the inside is just as majestic as the outside. Built in the mid-1920s, The Florentine brings an Italian flair with its exterior displays of terra-cotta ornaments, marble columns and short red-tile roof.

15. Morris Avenue

The best road in Downtown Bham. (Emma Johnston / Bham Now)

The Bham Now team may be biased since our office sits on this road, but Morris Avenue is the most beautiful road in Downtown Birmingham. The cobblestone streets, beautiful buildings and delicious restaurants are just a few reasons to rave about it. When walking down the cobblestone path, I instantly feel I’m in another country.

For the latest, buzziest news, sign up for our FREE newsletter and follow us on Instagram + Facebook.

Emma Johnston
Emma Johnston
Articles: 132