Birmingham, Alabama food and shopping ideas
January 18, 2010 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Birmingham (Ala.) bound, and need your travel help for food and fun.

The lovely Mrs. Writer and I are heading to Birmingham, Ala., in early March for a They Might Be Giants concert (hooray!). We've got the hotel and tickets set, but we still need your help.

The concert and hotel are on/near the University of Alabama Birmingham area, to the East of Five Points South. Within that area, we need help with food and fun.

Food: what's in that area that isn't a national chain? Looking for supper and breakfast grub. Maybe even lunch if you can twist my arm to stick around the area. Something that you can only get here to nosh on. Could be no-frills like BBQ (we're from Mississippi, so we'd love to compare) or high-class. And even in between.

Fun: in this case, shopping for the missus. I know there are two malls, but are there any for-kids/toddler stores or boutiques to bring back home something for Toddler Writer?
posted by fijiwriter to Travel & Transportation around Birmingham, AL (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Will you have a car, or do you need only walking distance?
Only have time now to suggest two dinner restaurants, but am happy to mefi mail more later. Surin West. is within walking distance up in Five Points. Silvertron Cafe. is a bit further down, off University on Clairmont.
posted by quodlibet at 2:20 PM on January 18, 2010

I recently had an amazing pulled pork sandwich at Saw's, which is pretty close to where you'll be staying.
posted by saladin at 2:25 PM on January 18, 2010

I had a most awesome sandwich at Dave's in Homewood. I've managed to miss Dreamland for BBQ on my last visits there, but I won't pass them up on my next trip.
posted by jquinby at 2:44 PM on January 18, 2010

Response by poster: To help, we'll be in a car but apt to walk if near the hotel.
posted by fijiwriter at 4:15 PM on January 18, 2010

I don't know if it's close, but please go see Jim Reed Books. It sounds like the kind of bookstore I would spend all my savings in. I've considered making the trip from Toronto down to AL just to see it.
posted by scruss at 5:00 PM on January 18, 2010

Best answer: my mom lives in this area & raves about the original pancake house for breakfast. the garage cafe might interest you if you stay for lunch - it has a really cool atmosphere & eclectic antiques that are fun to look at, if nothing else. as for bbq, jim n nicks is next door to the aforementioned surin west. it's no dreamland, but it's still very good.

i saw TMBG at workplay in birmingham the last time they came through & it was a great venue. really intimate & perfect for the high-energy show they put on. have a great trip!
posted by thisiswater at 9:00 PM on January 18, 2010

Roadfood is your friend.

What I liked best on my visit there several years ago were the civil rights places and the botanical garden.
posted by brujita at 10:29 PM on January 18, 2010

Response by poster: We didn't have as much free time as I wanted, but we did make it to the Hoover location of Jim N Nicks, per thisiswater. Circle gets the square! Great BBQ and a mean IPA (beer) we can't get here in Mississippi.

Oh, the concert for They Might Be Giants was pure awesome, and even had MeFi favorite Jonathan Coulton as the opening act. Nerd-gasm!
posted by fijiwriter at 9:20 AM on March 8, 2010

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