A Biased Guide to Birmingham’s Food Scene
With Thanksgiving around the corner food is on the brain and it’s no secret that Birmingham has become quite the culinary destination. Just last year our beloved city was named one of Zagat’s hottest food cities and Thrillist’s 7 most underrated American Food cities. Twelve restaurants later, we’re always thrilled to be able to contribute to Birmingham’s revival and love to see it get the recognition it deserves.
However, there’s more to a restaurant than just food. Studies show that ambiance doesn’t only impact profitability but also affects how long a customer stays and what they say about their experience when they leave. Color scheme, lighting, spacing and décor all play a major role in customer experience and Appleseed doesn’t take that lightly. Each space is meticulously designed to be unique, welcoming and leave a lasting impression. So where you should you be eating in this foodie town? We’ve put together a (slightly biased) list of the most delicious spots in Bham!
1. El Barrio
The first stop on our Birmingham food tour is crowd favorite, El Barrio. Swing by this 2nd Avenue North hot spot for some of the best Mexican food around.
What we recommend: Seasonal guacamole, Gulf shrimp quesadillas and a seasonal margarita
Behind the Build: We collaborated with KDag Designs to create a space made of reclaimed heart-pine booths and flooring. The steel tables and drink rests were handcrafted by Appleseed and the unique folk art mural and custom bar stools were created by a local artisan.
2. Bamboo on 2nd
Hop across the street to Bamboo on 2nd and enjoy this delicious Asian fusion and sushi menu!
What we recommend: Sit at the sushi bar and watch them roll your selection in the mirrors overhead.
Behind the Build:
Combining existing historical elements of the building with an Asian inspired atmosphere proved to be a great creative opportunity for the team. Hand painted Burlap ceiling panels, custom made chairs and plenty of plyboo were all implemented to create the desired look.
The owners of El Barrio teamed up with Appleseed in hopes of creating a one-of-a-kind “barcade.” We like to think of it as your neighborhood Cheers with a twist, featuring vintage arcade games and a bar made of old tire rims.
What we recommend: Grab a craft beer and a hot dog and head to the skee ball machine for some good old-fashioned fun.
Behind the Build:
The team integrated a few “uniquely Appleseed” elements including wheel tunnels, repurposed tire rims, medusa-like drop down lighting and custom made furniture.
4. Brick & Tin
There’s nothing better than having a bakery, restaurant and bar all in one spot! Brick & Tin is all about supporting local farmers and you can be sure each dish was crafted without hormones, chemicals or other additives.
What we recommend: You can’t go wrong with the homemade soup and salad combo that changes daily!
Behind the build: Appleseed teamed up with KDag Designs to create a unique space for Brick & Tin’s Mountain Brook location. Brick & Tin puts an emphasis on carefully selecting their ingredients so Appleseed did the same when selecting materials. White red oak, hexagon tile, custom mirrors and pressed tin were used to create a vintage, rustic feel.
If you’re looking for good coffee, Revelator offers some of Birmingham’s finest. Originally founded in New Orleans, Revelator recently relocated their headquarters to Birmingham. You can see that build out here. Stop by their downtown or Mountain Brook locations for your next coffee fix.
What we recommend: Give their seasonal drink creation a try or enjoy a cup of their seasonal blend.
Behind the Build:
Appleseed partnered with Fisher Architecture to renovate this abandoned space into something out of the ordinary. The shop is flooded with natural light and clean modern styling to reflect the mood of a Southern Zen garden. Reclaimed details include an original column, the west-side wall of brick and plaster and the large community table built from a former ceiling beam.
6. Edgewood Creamery
Nestled in the heart of Homewood’s Edgewood district, this fun ice cream shop always has a steady crowd.
What we recommend: Their adorable ice cream cakes and pies are always a hit.
Behind the Build: Edgewood was Appleseed’s first commercial project and the team wanted to leave a lasting impression. This 1,000 square foot hair salon was transformed into an ice cream parlor using 1200 spruce 2×4’s. A mint green ribbon runs along the floor and ceiling to give it an edgy, modern look that won’t soon be forgotten.
Don’t have time to cook? Head over to dinner. in Crestline Village for healthy meals made from scratch that taste even better than they look. Dinner. aims to bring back family time around table by providing fresh food ready to pick up anytime, so all that’s left to do is gather and eat!
What we recommend: Panko parmesan chicken with a lemon caper sauce that is to die for.
Behind the build:
Dinner. wanted customers to be able to feel the culture of community in Crestline so we implemented a contemporary take on an old world butcher shop and bakery using modern applications and classic motifs. A stamped tin patterned floor stencil, gold fixtures and white subway tile invite customers in for a delightful to-go experience.
8. Cashio’s Meatball Market
Tucked away in the bustling Lakeview district, you’ll find an Italian restaurant with a playful spirit. Food inspired by the family’s Sicilian roots is paired with an eccentric atmosphere. A write-in menu allows guests to mix and match pasta sauce and noodles.
What we recommend: The meatball flight appetizer gives you a chance to try all 5 types of meatballs so you’ll know exactly which to order for your meal!
Behind the Build:
Alabama White marble slabs line the space and work in contrast with the pops of red and gold, exuding old world charm. Every detail was carefully thought out from the custom-made tables to the handcrafted walnut bar, bold art and mirrored walls with hidden TVs.
9. Ironstone Pizzaworks
Appleseed had the opportunity to build Ironstone just outside of downtown in Vestavia Hills. Ironstone provides a selection of fresh toppings to curate the pizza of your dreams.
10. Pizitz Food Hall
The historic Pizitz building will soon be home to a food mecca. Appleseed has the opportunity to design and build 13 food stalls with a wide variety of food options.
Follow us on Instagram (@appleseedworkshop) for updates on the build!
11. Shu Shop
Appleseed purchased what was once known as the Lichter building and is in the process of renovating each floor. Shu Shop will be one of many tenants and will be the ramen stop Birmingham has been so desperately craving.
12. Roots & Revelry
One of Birmingham’s favorite restaurateur’s, Brandon Cain, will be opening another food hot spot in the Thomas Jefferson building. Cain is also the owner of Post Office Pies and part owner of Saw’s Soul Kitchen. He’s described Roots + Revelry as a place to get great craft cocktails and elevated comfort food. Check back for updates on the build!