At the center of new age Southern hospitality and the great food renaissance, Alabama has opened its doors to new experiences. Craft beer and breweries, distilleries and wineries offer a wide-welcoming and vibrant social scene. Our craft beer is rooted in Southern appreciation, but folks from around the country who visit here fall in love with the scene and the frothy flavors of our brews. Swing by Straight to Ale in Huntsville or Cahaba Brewing Company in Birmingham. For a unique small batch distillery experience the John Emerald Distilling Company in Opelika offers a refreshing Gin from Alabama juniper berries and a corn based vodka. Beautiful family-owned vineyards and state-of-the-art wineries are also spread across the state. From Morgan Creek Vineyards in Harpersville, to Perdido Vineyards near the Gulf Coast, we invite you to try the rich flavors of Alabama wines.
If you're looking for the best meal of your life, it's almost certainly waiting for you in Alabama. In recent years, Alabama's food scene has flourished, earning national accolades and global exposure for the chefs who call the state home.
If you're in Birmingham, it would be practically criminal not to drop by Chef Frank Stitt's Highlands Bar and Grill or Chef Chris Hastings' Hot and Hot Fish Club. They are annually ranked by the James Beard Foundation as two of the top restaurants in the nation. Best of all, they're just two of many gourmet restaurants that can be found throughout the city.
In Huntsville, don't miss a chance to experience the warmth and elegance of Cotton Row, housed in a cotton exchange building that dates back to 1821. And for a truly unique North Alabama eating experience, trek to downtown Decatur to try the incredible steaks and seafood of Simp McGhee's, named for a legendary riverboat captain who lost his license for recklessly braving rapids on the Tennessee River.
Alabama is known for its award-winning BBQ and soul food that give you that old Southern flavor - the kind of authenticity that melts in your mouth. Anywhere you go, you will find pork and chicken cooked to perfection and served with sauces that you'll want to bottle by the gallon, as well as fried chicken and wholesome casseroles that warm your soul. In North Alabama, award-winning Big Bob Gibson's is always worth a stop, as well as Saw’s Soul Kitchen in Birmingham, for its renowned Southern soul food. In Central Alabama, great barbecue choices abound, but be sure to stop by the famous is always worth a stop. In Central Alabama, great barbecue choices abound, but be sure to stop by the famous Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Tuscaloosa, or one of its locations in Birmingham, Mobile or Northport.
The best fish is a fresh fish, and it doesn't get any fresher than at Alabama's Gulf Coast. Our neighboring beach communities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are both packed to the gills with amazing seafood restaurants such as LuLu's that bring you the catch of the day and the best of the bay. When you're in Alabama, you can never go wrong with crab, oysters, shrimp and fresh fish. Each is caught locally and prepared and cooked faster than you could fillet a flounder. The Fish Market in Birmingham is known for its international take on seafood, while the locals sing praises for their grain-fed catfish.
Fresh eggs, vibrant greens, plump peaches — you’ll find all these and more at Alabama’s bustling farmers markets. With nearly 130 markets across 67 counties, it’s easy to get your hands on local produce and artisan goods no matter where you are in the state. Stop by Pepper Place Market in Birmingham on a Saturday morning and take-in live music, cooking demonstrations and all the local products and produce you need. Mobile’s popular Market on the Square draws music lovers and square dance enthusiasts in addition to shoppers looking for local goods. Folks in North Alabama can spend Saturdays between April and November at the Madison City Farmers Market, where producers sell natural and organic fruit, vegetables and dairy products, handmade crafts, soaps, candles and more.
Bring the taste of Alabama home. Taste the refreshing fizz of Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale. Spice up your parties with Hot Damn Pepper Jelly paired with Belle Chevre goat cheese. Take a bite of G Momma Cookies, just like “gammy” used to make. Feel like you’re back at the beach with the briny taste of Murder Point Oysters. Alabama makers are redefining the rules of Southern products and bringing it to food lovers everywhere.