Hops to get you rocking, music to keep you rolling.
DISCLAIMER: It’s important to note that this experience is centered, in part, around alcoholic beverages. Please use the information simply as a guide to the things that can be found here, rather than a checklist of specific beers, cocktails, or quantities that should be consumed. In short, please exercise moderation, and be sure to appoint a designated driver or utilize our taxis or ride share services as you move about the city.
TGIFIB. Which could mean, Thank Goodness It’s Friday In Birmingham, or it could mean, Thank Goodness It’s Friday Iwanna Beer. Let’s just say, hypothetically, it’s both. Which means it’s your first night at the Dinner Table of the South, and you’re probably road-weary and hungry. So let’s keep this as uncomplicated as a well-constructed martini.
A great place to start is Birmingham’s historic loft district. Here, you have lots of choices and you can walk to all of them. Start at Queen's Park. This classic cocktail bar takes its name from the Queens Park Hotel which, up until 1996 graced the town of Port of Spain in Trinidad. The proprietors of this elegant little joint are students of the art of mixology and will know just he perfect concoction to get your evening started. It’s the perfect place to find your post-travel second wind.
Hungry? You’re a short walk from some excellent options. El Barrio offers truly fine multi-regional Mexican cuisine. And if that’s not to your liking, you might be more tempted by a little Asian fusion action at Bamboo. Both are just down the street from Queens Park.
Saturday morning can only mean one thing: brunch. There are lots of choices, which you can read about here. But, for this journey, we recommend Five. Located over in the Lakeview district, Five completes the perfect brunch location with a Bloody Mary bar that’s ideal if a little hair of the dog is in order.
From here, we suggest you head over to Topgolf for some fun and games. If you’re not experienced with golf, all the better, given that Topgolf is more akin to playing a massive arcade game than actually playing golf. And if whacking golf balls from a tower towards colorful targets doesn’t sound like your cup of tee… er… tea, there’s always shopping.
Once you’ve worked up a proper thirst, wander over to Back Forty Beer Company. Here, you’ll find the beer cold, the food hot, and the environment comfortable. Enjoy a spirited round of cornhole on the patio or chill out in the yeastiness of the taproom.
Across the street you’ll find Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark. Once the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world, it now stands – just as it did in the late 1800s – a monument to the industry that launched Birmingham.
A few blocks away, you’ll find Trimtab Brewing Company. It’s like a brewery where a contemporary art gallery suddenly occurred. Here, expressive IPAs, experimental stouts, and popular fruited sours are the order of the day. If you’re craving stronger beverages, you’re just a couple blocks from the 7th Avenue part of Lakeview where you’ll find a number of bars and restaurants. For a real treat, we recommend starting the evening at the Garage Café. Built into a complex of turn-of-the-last-century garages, the Garage Cafe is a feast for the eyes with architectural elements scattered throughout the open flagstone courtyard, and massive wisteria vines that, if you happen to catch them in bloom, are truly a remarkable sight. If you’re peckish, you can’t go wrong with a sandwich piled high. Chips and a cold beer or cocktail complete the experience. Bring cash, though. Last time we were there, they weren’t doing the credit card thing.
As night settles in, consider Zydeco in Birmingham’s historic Southside. This, the second oldest bar and live music venue in Birmingham, sports a surprising offering of emerging and established national music acts as well as a full bar.
If you’re looking for a truly unique late-night experience, head on over to the Nick. Lovingly referred to as “Birmingham’s dirty little secret,” the Nick has been a local staple for more than 30 years, hosting the likes of The Black Keys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, My Morning Jacket, and many more.
Rise and shine, it’s breakfast time. Once again, there are a number of brunch options. We recommend Rojo. After a night of carousing, their huevos con chorizo, served up with tater tots, corn tortillas, and drizzled with queso is just the ticket.
Get yourself centered with a morning hike at either Ruffner Mountain or Red Mountain Park. Both offer peaceful walks and a taste of Birmingham’s mining heritage.
From here, depending on what you’re thirsting for, you could venture over to Avondale or Cahaba Brewing for a beer, or to Paper Doll for something strong, delicious, and amiably mixed. All are worthwhile options. Meanwhile, you’ll be thinking about food. Try Slice Pizza in Lakeview or Post Office Pies in Avondale. Both are exceptional brick-oven pizzerias.
Head west from there and drop into Good People Brewing, one of Birmingham’s first craft breweries. Have a beer or take a walk in Railroad Park just across the street.
Just because it’s Sunday, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun day. On this, your last night in town, you’ll want to check out the calendars of Iron City, Saturn, or WorkPlay- each exceptional music venues that attract nationally recognized musicians. There’s no better way to wind up your visit.
Craft beer, crafted cocktails, and live music are things that just go together. They also happen to be things we do well. When taken together in moderation in a vibrant, contemporary, city on the move, they give you the opportunity to see, hear, and taste what Birmingham is all about.
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