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100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Follow me on my  “Tasty Tuesday” post as I wander around Alabama tasting the best that this beautiful state has to offer. 

 Scroll down to view my blogs by the listed city.   At the bottom of this page, I have also provided a running list of any updates and closures that I find.   

ABOUT:  *100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” is a compilation of food to chow down on “Bama style.”  Thanks to Tourism Alabama, my Alabama bucket list just became a little easier. I am going to have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.   From the little old diner to the white cloth setting, this journey is an opportunity for me to explore my new state and experience pride in food from restaurateurs who are dedicated to local food, with some Alabama style. From the local BBQ smoker to James Beard recipients, you too will take a culinary trip across scenic and historic Alabama.  From this list, I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order (but I do already have a few favorites.)  Perhaps when I finish this list, I will have fun ranking them? You too may pick up the brochure at Alabama Tourism stops or download the alphabetical brochure that begins in Abbeville and ends in York.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry.  I am not a paid food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in Alabama.   This has happened to me a few times and is a difficult write.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Alabama Foods/Tourism, of local food and/OR truly highlights Alabama Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.

Alexander City

  1.  Carlisle Drug Soda Fountain Chicken salad and a limeade at Carlisle Drug.
  2. Kowaliga Restaurant The fried shrimp platter.
  3. Spring House S’mores.


  1. Lawler’s Barbecue Stuffed pork, ham or turkey baked potato.


  1. KJ’s Fish Camp and Oyster Bar-Closed.
  2. Amsterdam Cafe Crab cake & Avocado sandwich. MEGapick
  3. Toomer’s Drug Fresh lemonade.
  4. Ariccia Trattoria is no longer serving Cedar-plank salmon.
  5. Ariccia Trattoria –   for the Lasagnette.
  6. Price’s Barbecue House for The Pork Plate. The Pork Plate at Price’s  ******Closed 2016


  1. The Bright Star Broiled Seafood Platter.


  1. Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Que Cheese Biscuits.
  2. Cosmo’s Pizza (Closed 2016) Gourmet Pizza ****Cosmo’s Pizza has closed (2016) **
  3. Full Moon Bar-B-Que Marinated Coleslaw.
  4. Full Moon Bar-B-Que Half-Moon cookies
  5. Milo’s Sweet Tea.
  6. Milo’s hamburgers. See link above.
  7. Bettola Neapolitan Pizza   Read 14 Facts That Rocked My Neapolitan World
  8. Urban Cookhouse-Chipotle Braised Pork Sandwich
  9. Urban Cookhouse Half-baked Cookie
  10. Baked Grits at Highland’s Bar and Grill  *****MEGapick for Alabama Best Restaurant And for Best Grits. Best restaurant that I have ever visited.
  11. SAW’S Soul Kitchen  (Avondale) Slow-smoked tender pork, sweet vinegar-based BBQ sauce, served over creamy grits, and tangy greens, topped off with killer crispy onion rings.  Near Avondale Brewery, this is a fun dish to get your soul food fix!
  12. The Fish Market Restaurant Athenian Grouper
  13. Mr. P’s Butcher Shop & Deli  Sandwiches on a wheat roll with BBQ sauce (VESTAVIA) 
  14. 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die-Limeade at Gilchrist Drug Fresh-squeezed Limeade (MOUNTAIN BROOK) 
  15. Desserts at Chez Fonfon  MEGapick 5 *****
  16. A Golden Rule And A Bar-B-Que 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die  BBQ
  17. Seduction in Mountainbrook Alabama 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die.  Lava Cake 4 *
  18. It’s Complicated – 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die  Alabama Shrimp and Clams at Ovenbird MEGapick 5 *****
  19. I like Big Butts of Steak 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You DieSteer Butt Steak at Michael’s
  20. Parmesan Souffle at Bottega 100 of 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die The Best of the Best at Bottega  **My 100th Dish** MEGapick Do not miss Bottega 5 MEGastars


  1. Durbin Farms Market Peach ice cream.
  2. Heaton Farm Pecan pie. MEGapick
  3. Peach Park Peach pie. MEGapick


  1. The All Steak Hot orange rolls.
  2. Johnny’s Bar-B-Q *New to list in 2016 MEGapick for BBQ and right off I-65


  1. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q BBQ chicken with white sauce.
  2. Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q Pies.
  3. Morgan Price Candy  Toffee.
  4. Fried Green Tomato BLT 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die   
  5. 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die Spring Roll SaladSpring Roll Salad at Curry’s


  1. I like Pig Butts And I Can Not Lie-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die Pulled Pork.


  1. Panini Pete’s  Panini Pete’s Famous Muffuletta Panino
  2. Sandra’s Place Triple Chocolate Cake


  1. Trowbridge’s Orange-pineapple ice cream.


  1. Key-Lime Milkshake at Stacey’s Drug and Old Tyme Soda fountain MEGapick
  2. Lambert’s Cafe’ Nice Buns in Alabama, I’m On A Roll-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die

Fort Deposit

  1. Priester’s Pecans Pecan fruitcake.  This was my biggest shocker on the list. I loved it!
  2. Priester’s Pecans Pralines.


  1. Bates House of Turkey Hickory-smoked turkey sandwich
  2. Emily’s Cafe’  CLOSED

Gulf Shores

  1. Lulu’s L.A. (Lower Alabama) caviar.
  2. Lulu’s-Cheeseburger in Paradise. see above link.
  3. Tacky Jack’s – Farmer’s Omelet.  Great view and a really good breakfast at the beach.
  4. King Neptune’s  Royal Red Shrimp Platter-  my #70th taste. Royal Red Shrimp is to die for!
  5. The Oyster House Peanut Butter Pie.  The yummy recipe is on this blog.
  6. Big Bama Burger at The Hangout.  Bring the kids.


  1. Nabeel’s  Moussaka.
  2. Nabeel’s Camel Rider Sandwich  Nabeel’s Camel Rider sandwich.
  3. Jinsei Kadoma Tuna Roll.  MEGapaick
  4. Lasagna Tuscan Style Bolognese
  5. SAW’s Pork-Stuffed Tater Pork-Stuffed Tater BBQ Lovers, check this out!


  1. Tortuga’s Deep-dish stuffed pizza.  MEGapick


  1. Wintzell’s Oysters  served “fried, stewed, or nude”


  1. Chris’ Hotdogs Hotdog with Chris’ sauce.
  2. Lek’s Taste of Thailand Spring roll with peanut sauce.
  3. Chophouse Vintage Year-* CLOSED-
  4. La Jolla Ahi tuna spring roll with soy-lime dipping sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi. *Note, this dish is served only on Wednesday’s.  La Jolla is not open for lunch. This is thus far in my top two dishes. MEGapick
  5. Garrett’s (CLOSED) Conecuh sausage flatbread pizza.* (ClOSED in 2015)
  6. Sinclair’s Fresca salad with house dressing.
  7. Martin’s Fried chicken.
  8. Tomatino’s Mediterranean pizza.
  9. City Grill Tuna Napolean   MEGapick!
  10. Derk’s Filet & Vine Veggies on the hot bar.
  11. Isaiah’s  Restaurant on Mildred St. ****CLOSED The restaurant was reopened on Chantilly Parkway off of Pike Road and this has also ****CLOSED.
  12. El Rey Burrito Lounge Love this place but get a burrito folks!
  13. Reuben-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die  Reuben’s at Chappy’s Deli.
  14. Vintage Year 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die  Cast Iron Blackened Catfish.


  1. 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die – Chili Dog at Mrs. Story’sChili Dog at Mrs. Story’s
  2. Milkshake at Mrs. Story’s 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You DieMilkshake at Mrs. Story’s

Orange Beach

  1. Doc’s Seafood And Oyster Bar See blog for the recipe link.
  2. Orange Beach Grilled Grouper Pontchartrain (yes this is their spelling) MEGapick! 
  3. Tacky Jack’s Mexican Garbage Nachos  #68th dish or #33 counting down
  4. Cosmo’s Restaurant & Bar Sea Bass wrapped in Banana Leaves.  My 69th dish MEGapick!
  5. Ginny Lane Bar and Grill Shrimp and Grits. YUM!


  1. I Heard It Through The Grapevine-100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die  Rose’ Cou Rouge a.k.a. “Redneck Wine” made from Muscadine Grapes.


  1. Jim’s Restaurant Home-style cooking.


  1. Derailed Diner Pecan Pie Cheesecake in a unique setting.


  1. Tally-Ho no longer serving New York Strip (visited January of 2016)
  2. Downtowner  Lemon pie.
  3. BBQ Plate at Hancock’s Country Bar-B-Que  MEGapick * for Alabama BBQ


  1. George’s Ribeye. MEGapick!


  1. Sister’s Banana Pudding


  1. Baumhower’s Hot Bama Brown.
  2. Dreamland Ribs & white bread.
  3. Bob’s Victory Grille Pizza
  4. 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die Smoky and Saucy, Just The Way I Love My Chicken.  Smoked Chicken 5 *****


  1. Rattlesnake Saloon Duke Rustler Burger with applewood bacon and fried snake eyes. MEGapick for one of the most unique settings that I have ever dined in. MEGasetting.
  2. Claunch’s Cafe  Pecan chicken salad plate. MEGapick wonderful food, wonderfully creative and talented people.


  1. Dorothy’s Place at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center *note this dish is being served on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s.  MEGapick for visiting an important and historical campus setting.


  1. Our Place Cafe Crab cakes & dill sauce.
  2. Put Some South In Your Mouth -100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die  Champ Stew. (Twn of Wallsboro)

Closures and Updates to 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die/Year of Alabama Food listed below by the city.  If you have any updates, I would love to know! 

  1. Auburn-KJ’s Fish Camp and Oyster Bar-Closed.
  2. Auburn-Prices Bar-B-Que Permanently closed 5/2016
  3. Birmingham-Cosmo’s Pizza-Closed February 2016.
  4. Greenville-Emily’s Cafe-ClOSED-unknown.
  5. Montgomery-Chophouse Vintage Year is closed 2014
  6. Montgomery-Garrett’s-Closed. 2015
  7. Montgomery-La Jolla as moved to a new location. The magnificent Ahi Tuna Spring roll is served on Wednesdays.  As of this write 1/2016, they are not open for lunch hours.
  8. Montgomery-Isaiah’s on Mildred Street CLOSED Re-opened 2015 on Chantilly Parkway off of Pike Road and has since CLOSED-2016
  9. Selma-Tally-Ho is no longer serving New York Strip. 2016
  10. Fox Valley Restaurant Birmingham/Maylene CLOSED 2017
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