Your Thursday

While most of the dinner establishments in this foodie experience require a reservation, Bottega Café doesn’t accept them. But don’t let that bother you because the atmosphere is casual, the cocktails are delicious and everything the menu is well worth a little wait.


Your Friday

Get the day started at The Essential, a refined neighborhood cafe and bar located on the historic cobblestone of Morris Avenue. The all day cafe serves seasonal, New American fare focused on the beautiful produce of southern soil.

Then take the short trip over to the Birmingham Museum of Art and browse the impressive collection of paintings, sculptures, photos, drawings and more. And there’s always an exhibition or two to check out as well.

When lunch rolls around, drop by Johnny’s Restaurant in Homewood. Often referred to as a “Greek and Three,” Johnny’s features true southern staples with a heavy Greek influence served in the style of a traditional meat and three.

A short ways away is Red Mountain Park, named for the color of the iron ore that fueled Birmingham’s economy through the early-20th Century. Converted to a park in 2007, Red Mountain is full of remnants and artifacts from its mining history. The trails at Red Mountain vary from flat to calf-burning. Plan a hike to Grace’s Gap for a scenic overlook or head to one of the old mine entrances for a glimpse into history or take a ride on the zip line or rope swing if you're an adventure seeker.

Then stroll the streets of nearby Mountain Brook Village where you can browse the shops and boutiques or grab some coffee or an ice cream.

Give yourself enough time to get showered and changed before your reservation at Galley and Garden. This modern American-French inspired cuisine with southern influences is located in the Merritt House – an historic Birmingham home dating back to 1908.


Your Saturday

Start the weekend with a considerably less formal – but no less impressive – breakfast with a decadent donut indulgence. At both Heavenly Donuts and Hero Donuts, you’ll find an amazing assortment of unique donut offerings from custard- and crème filled to beignets, cinnamon rolls and apple fritters.

Later in the morning, a visit to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a must. It tells the story of the struggle for civil rights and the prominent role our city played in it. The experience extends across the street in Kelly Ingram Park as well as the 16th Street Baptist Church, the site of the 1963 bombing that killed four little girls and injured 22 others – an act marked a turning point in the country and helped contribute to support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Just across town in the neighborhood of Avondale, you’ll find any number of hot new lunch spots, but do yourself a favor and give Saw’s Soul Kitchen a try. It’s a truly authentic southern BBQ place where everything on the menu could be considered soul food. Starting with the pork and greens with cheese grits.

Spend the afternoon perusing the multitude of shops at The Summit, the 1 million square foot upscale lifestyle center conveniently located at the intersection of Highway 280 and Interstate 459.

And no trip to Birmingham would be complete without making a reservation at the award-winning Highland’s Bar & Grill on the historic Southside. Highlands Bar and Grill was named the most outstanding restaurant in America at the 2018 James Beard Awards. Highland’s has long been a mandatory destination for foodies from around the world and one taste from anything on the menu will show you why.


Your Sunday

To wind up your weekend of culinary discovery, make a reservation for brunch at the Fig Tree Café. Using the freshest local food, this is southern-inspired cuisine at its best. Your biggest issue will be deciding what to order. The saving grace is that it doesn’t matter – everything on the menu is pure perfection.

Your Takeaway

Birmingham is fast becoming the go-to food destination in the southeast. Established, award-winning chefs, coupled with a new crop of up-and-coming stars, this experience is one you – and your taste buds – won’t soon forget.