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Happy Thursday! I am excited to continue on my Bite Size Birmingham series and share my favorite spots to grab a drink in Bham. The first time Jake told me he wanted to do his anesthesia training in Birmingham, Alabama, my first reaction was, “Alabama? What’s in Alabama?” Before he made his rank list, we decided I needed to visit Birmingham as well to make sure I liked the city. Having grown up in the much larger city of Dallas, I was surprised by all of the fun and unique night life spots in Bham. Birmingham has everything from cute craft cocktail bars to wine bars to amazing local breweries. I actually didn’t like craft beer before living in Birmingham, but it has really grown on me. The spots I included are in no particular order.
- The Roof at The Redmont Hotel: This is probably my favorite rooftop bar because of the fun atmosphere and the amazing view of the downtown cityscape. They offer live music on Thursday.
- Habitat Feed & Social at The Grand Bohemian Hotel: The Grand Bohemian is such a neat hotel with a very whimsical style. Their rooftop bar gives me total Alice in Wonderland vibes.
- Moon Shine at The Elyton Hotel: I also love The Elyton Hotel, which is housed in a historic downtown building and also has a gorgeous view of downtown Birmingham.
- The Woolworth: The Woolworth is such a neat spot where you can spend your whole evening. They have food, bowling, games and a rooftop bar. Such a fun concept!
- Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar: The Pilcrow is literally a hidden gem near the historic Morris Avenue in downtown. Jake and I accidentally discovered it a couple weeks ago, and it has a unique atmosphere kind of like a speakeasy. They specialize in craft cocktails.
- The Marble Ring: This is another hidden gem in the Avondale district. It is located inside Hot Diggity Dog Restaurant. You go to a red phone booth inside the restaurant and call to be let in. Once they let you in, a hidden room appears that is decorated like a 1920’s speakeasy. It is such a fun atmosphere and they also have a patio.
- The Thirsty Donkey: Originally started in St. John’s in the U.S. Virgin Islands, The Thirsty Donkey was devastated by the effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017. The couple who owns it decided to relocate back to Birmingham, and eventually regrouped to open a location in Avondale. They have incredible food and also great tropical drinks.
- The Louis at Pizitz Food Hall: Pizitz Food Hall is a staple in Birmingham, and The Louis Bar is a great spot to grab a drink. I love their Moscow mules.
- Queen’s Park: During Christmas, Queen’s Park decks the building out in festival décor and serves Christmas-themed cocktails. I haven’t been back since Christmas, but this is a great spot to grab a drink.
- Cayo Coco Rum Bar: This spot just opened up, and they feature amazing daiquiris and tropical drinks. I know they will do very well.
- Saturn: This is another bar located in Avondale and is Jake’s favorite. They have vintage video game consoles set up, and they also have a concert hall. Technically the music venue is called Saturn and the bar is called Satellite, but everybody just calls the whole place Saturn. The whole venue is space themed and so unique.They have a huge model rocket hanging from the ceiling and computer chips all over the walls.
- Paper Doll: This spot is so elegant and reminds me of a spot you would find in New York City. They specialize in fancy cocktails.
- The Atomic Lounge: This is probably the most unique bar in Birmingham in my opinion. They specialize in extremely unique craft cocktails. In fact, their menu is so unique that they actually were one of the very few finalists for the James Beard award a couple years back for outstanding bar program in the whole country. Visiting The Atomic Lounge is an experience that I highly recommend. I can’t really think of how to describe the décor, but it’s very eclectic and makes it a must-visit. They also have costumes that you can borrow, including things like pigs and sharks.
- Carrigan’s: Located near Morris Avenue, Carrigan’s is a staple in Birmingham. They are known for their amazing food (you must try the Hipster Corndog) and their bar that is made from the front of an old bus. They also have incredible Moscow mules.
- Collins Bar: Collins Bar is also located downtown and is another place with an eclectic vibe. They have an Alabama-themed periodic table mounted at the front of the bar where each element’s symbol is changed to represent an aspect of Alabama, like Ru is Ruben Studdard (winner of the 2nd season of American Idol who is from Bham).
- Brat Brot: This is a German-themed restaurant and biergarten. This is a great spot for a large group, since they have long tables and a huge outdoor area. Their food, beer, and overall drink selection is excellent.
- Parkside: Parkside is an indoor/outdoor bar located in Avondale that has their own resident cat, Brandon. We are huge cat lovers, and the first time we saw Brandon outside of Parkside, we were amazed by how friendly this stray cat was. We kept hearing people say “hey Brandon” and quickly discovered that Brandon in fact is a well-known resident of Parkside. I love to visit Parkside because of Brandon. Brandon is very friendly and has his own Instagram page too. Parkside also has a food truck outside called Hot Box that I am dying to try.
- Avondale Common House: Their Blue Indian is one of my favorite drinks in town. Although this is more of a restaurant, it’s a must-visit spot. They also have amazing happy hour specials.
- Freddy’s Wine Bar: This is located in Five Points and has excellent wine and food menus.
- Gianmarco’s Wine Bar: If you ask anyone in Birmingham what their favorite restaurant is, there’s a good chance they’ll say Gianmarco’s. The regular restaurant is almost impossible to get a reservation unless you plan very far ahead, but their wine bar takes walk-ins only. They have a huge selection of wines from all over. I can’t rave enough about their wines and food.
My Favorite Breweries:
- Avondale Brewery: Avondale Brewery is located in the heart of Avondale. They are known for being a fun outdoor concert venue with a huge lawn and stage. We saw Sublime there, in addition to a few other shows. I love that you can bring your own food there and their spiked seltzers are excellent.
- Good People Brewery: Based on beer, this is probably my favorite brewery in Birmingham. Their Muchacho beer is sooo good. This is also a great spot to meet a large group. I love their outdoor seating with string lights. Good People is located just outside of the baseball stadium, so you will find it packed on game day.
- Back40 Brewery: Back40 is a spot we just recently tried for the first time. Their burger and pimento cheese might be the best in town. Their beer is also good, but I am dying to go back for their food.
- Cahaba Brewery: This is located just outside of the Avondale area, and I love their Cahaba Blonde beer. They have a lot of fun events with food trucks.
- TrimTab Brewery: This is located outside of downtown and they’re known for having food trucks.
- The Wine Loft
- Ghost Train Brewery
Birmingham really does have quite the night life scene. Did I miss any unique spots?