A Guide to a Summer Day of Eating and Drinking in the Magic City

A Guide to a Summer Day of Eating and Drinking in the Magic City

If you think back to the best days you’ve had, chances are that food was involved in some way. At Dine Bham, our mission is to showcase Birmingham’s best venues to grab a bite, an icy beverage, or a summer treat. We want to share our passion for Birmingham’s variety of food and drink venues with our readers so that they too know what they’re getting into when they visit a local watering hole. We truly believe this will ensure that our followers and readers have the best experience possible in the Magic City. In this light, we want to walk you through a day in the life of a Dine Bham team member; we want you to see what we see and taste food and drink like we do. This is Dine Bham’s official guide to a day of eating and drinking in the Magic City, and we’ve recommended nothing short of the best. 

Breakfast: Woodlawn Cycle Café

Our Dine Bham team suggests that you begin your day in Birmingham with a visit to the up-and-coming neighborhood of Woodlawn with breakfast at the Woodlawn Cycle Café. This made-from-scratch café is truly sparking business growth with a unique experience. Everything from their breakfast, coffee, and even their choice of brews on tap, is phenomenal. The atmosphere of this small café is quite intimate and is somewhat of a well-kept secret of the Birmingham metro area.

Recommendation: Toastie, which is one of our team’s favorite breakfast sandwiches in Birmingham.

Lunch: Birmingham Breadworks

For lunch, we suggest moving toward downtown to a local and inviting sandwich, pizza, and bakery: Birmingham Breadworks. This place only serves lunch, but the options for a meal are numerous despite the restaurants tight dining room. They offer two daily pizzas, as well as a selection of sandwiches - all served on their homemade breads. The atmosphere within Birmingham Breadworks is of a classic Birmingham restaurant style: open with many tables, and exposed stone walls that show the true maturity of the building. There’s no doubt that everyone can find something on the menu at Birmingham Breadworks to fall in love with and return time and time again – we never tire of this place, and neither will you!

Recommendation: The Alabama Bird: a classic at Breadworks.

Dinner: El Barrio

Dinner with the Dine Bham crew continues into the heart of downtown Birmingham with El Barrio. Make no mistake: this is not your classic Mexican restaurant. In fact, the cozy dining space with community seating, large mural and mirror walls, and the best margaritas in Birmingham will have you claiming El Barrio as your newest favorite eatery in the city. They serve everything from classic Mexican dishes, such as tacos and enchiladas, to their locally famous grilled chorizo meatloaf. The wait staff is incredibly friendly, and is more than eager to keep your margarita glass full the entire night if desired. Be sure to arrive on the early side of dinnertime to avoid a wait if dining on a weekend. However, if you end up with a wait, be sure to either grab a marg at the bar, wander downtown to nearby shops that often stay open late, or venture to one of the several bars close by that offer premium cocktails. There is no way to leave El Barrio disappointed, especially if you make sure to ask your server for menu recommendations.

Recommendation: Grilled Chorizo Meatloaf; it’s okay to be nervous about ordering meatloaf, but you won’t regret it.

Grab a Drink: Good People Brewing Company (21+)

If after dinner you find yourself eager to continue the adventure, and to learn more about what Birmingham has to offer, we suggest visiting any of the four local breweries that call Birmingham home. Each brewery strikes its own trail in one-way or another. For instance, if you were looking to stick downtown and bask in the glory of Regions Field, perhaps visiting Good People Brewing Company would be the best option. If you were more into having a brew in a smaller, hip venue, you might want to visit Trim Tab Brewing, whose walls are covered with local art. If you’re ready to try your hand at skee ball or hang out in a large warehouse that still finds a way to be intimate - look no further than Cahaba Brewing Company! However, if you want to continue the night with a few more brews, you should check out Avondale Brewing Company. Additionally, Avondale has a great backyard area with picnic tables and a show stage – perfect for a cool summer night. No matter who you are, you can find a brewery that matches your style and beer preferences.

Recommendation: Avondale’s Spring Street Saison; Trimtab’s Raspberry Berliner Weisse; Good People’s Urban Farmer; Cahaba’s Single Hop

At Dine Bham, we continuously strive to find new places that show us the beauty of this great city in hopes that we can share it with others. Have somewhere that you love in the Magic City? Let us know in the comment section below!

More About Dine Bham:

Dine Bham is a student-run startup created at Samford University. Dine Bham strives to promote the best eats in Birmingham, Alabama. You can find them on Instagram @dinebham.


This post is a part of the #BSSummerSeries.

This summer, we have asked other college students to share summer moments and memories with us using the hashtag #BSSummer on social media for a chance to be featured. On our site, we are also starting a BS Summer Series composed of content using that same idea. Read other pieces in the series here.

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