Tuscaloosa and Birmingham have a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. Sometimes you need help choosing a place to eat. The first thing I do when I am not sure of where to eat is look to Food Network to help narrow my choices down. If it’s featured on Food Network, it must be good. Here are some Food Network Features around the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham area. 


1. Dreamland BBQ

Dreamland Barbecue has been around since 1958, and it has always been a local favorite. Food Network recommends trying the ribs, which are seasoned with a dry rub and covered in Dreamland’s famous sauce. After you finish the ribs, I recommend using the white bread served on the side to sop up any remaining sauce. This might sound a little weird, but I assure you it is delicious. Dreamland started out with only serving ribs and white bread, but now they have a variety of dishes that are equally as good. My personal favorite is definitely the ribs, but if you’re not a rib fan, no worries. Some of Dreamland's other dishes include sausage, chicken and much more.

2. City Cafe

City Cafe is my favorite lunch spot in town, and it’s perfect for college students on a budget. Each day of the week has a different menu, so you have plenty of options to choose from. Food Network suggests getting the "meat-and-three" dish with the fried chicken or meatloaf. I recommend the fried chicken breast fillet, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and fried green tomatoes. The meat-and-three and a drink cost around $8 total, and trust me, that $8 covers a lot of food. You will leave with a full and happy stomach.

Featured in Birmingham:

3. Saw's Soul Kitchen

This restaurant has been serving up soul food since 2012 and has been featured in multiple publications as one of the best places to eat in Alabama. This restaurant has three locations around the Birmingham area. According to Food Network, the dishes to eat are the pork and greens on grits and the sweet tea fried chicken. Pork and greens dish begins with a bottom layer of cheesy grits, covered with greens, topped with pork shoulder and to top it off, covered in a pile of crispy onion rings. If you love sweet tea, the sweet tea fried chicken might be the dish for you. This dish includes juicy chicken marinated in sweet tea, fried to a golden crisp on a hamburger bun.

4. Highlands Bar & Grill

This restaurant combines southern and French cooking techniques. It has been a James Beard Foundation finalist eight times. Food Network recommends the baked grits. This dish is an appetizer and consists of stone-ground baked grits that have a soufflé-like texture. This dish is served with prosciutto, mushrooms and thyme.

5. Irondale Cafe

Irondale Cafe has been around since 1928. The menu consists of classic southern dishes such as buttermilk fried chicken and fried catfish. However, according to Food Network, Irondale Cafe is the most famous for its fried green tomatoes. The restaurant makes around 600-800 fried green tomatoes a week. These are featured as a side dish on the menu, but according to Food Network, you have the option of eating them as your meal as well.

As you can see, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham have many options to offer. Next time you find yourself in one of these areas, check out some of the featured restaurants and try out one of these mouthwatering dishes.