As if barbecue and fine dining were not enough to peak Alabama's food reputation, a new phenomenon to be savored has struck Alabama: craft beer. In the blink of an eye, new breweries find a home in Alabama with a wide-welcoming and vibrant social scene. Although each has its own colorful characteristics in both look and feel, many share the love and entertainment of local food trucks and live music. 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 Good People Brewing Company or Cahaba Brewing Company downtown or the notable Mr. Jim's Cannon Brewpub for some craft beer.
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. Both 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, which has become a dream destination for foodies who like their meals fresh, inventive and exquisitely prepared.
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 if you're looking 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 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 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.