Restaurant Listings: Casual
Hint: To see restaurants in this section in a particular area of town, click on the category name indicating "Hoover," "Downtown," "South," etc., below each listing.
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1210 20th St. South (Southside/Five Points South)
Lunch and dinner, full bar, no reservations accepted. From the same people who brought Birmingham the popular Ocean restaurant next door. Vey cool, industrial-chic decor, bistro dining feel. An eclectic menu features Asian, Mediterranean, Southwestern and other flavors, which enhance high-quality ingredients artfully prepared.
Click here for Bhamdining.com review
611 Doug Baker Blvd. (The Village at Lee Branch, off Hwy. 280, near Greystone)
A 2007 City Scene review calls it "a fresh, comfortable place to dine on tasty food," family-friendly, with chicken salad "arguably the best in town." Extensive lunch menu, big on salads, plus sandwiches, thick milkshakes. Evening menu includes crab cakes, crepes, and northern Italian dishes. Pear salad, mozzarella caprese, Lobster ravioli got high marks. Beer and wine available; breakfast on weekends.
521 Montgomery Highway
Breakfast and lunch Tues.-Fri., dinner Thurs.-Sat., brunch Sat. and Sun. In the same location as the former City Hall Diner, Bistro V features some of the same faces, as the new owners worked for City Hall DIner Jennifer Dunn Claborn for nearly three years before she died last August. The dinner menu is similar, with favorites such as shrimp and grits and crab cakes, as well as panko chicken, pork medallions and a New York strip. Lunch menu highlights include fried okra salad, po'boys, and a veggie plate with choices that change daily. Breakfast includes steak and eggs, fish and grits, omelets, and more.
3411 Colonnade Parkway, Suite 800 (Hwy. 280 area)
Casual Southern-style bar/restaurant with indoor and outdoor patio dining. In a June 2009 City Scene review, Tom Gaskin gave high marks to Greek egg rolls, hummus dip, Dixie Poboy, sweet potato fries. For Sunday brunch, crab cakes Benedict and shrimp and grits were winners. However, indoors there's loud music -- it is a bar, after all.
3151 Green Valley Road (Corner of Green Valley and Crosshaven Roads)
Cahaba Heights area of Vestavia
Blackwell's Pub located in Cahaba Heights is a family friendly neighborhood pub and offers gourmet pub style food. Wings, nachos, Cajun-style potato skins, gator bites, salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, chicken, chops. Kid's menu available.
3028 Clairmont Ave. (Southside/Forest Park/Lakeview area), 254-9780
162 Oxmoor Road, Homewood, 941-9994
Darryl Whitfield, who took over the original Bogue's on Clairmont Ave. in 2006, owned Southside Cafe for 14 years before closing it to take over Bogue's. The restaurant still bears the name of the Birmingham family that founded it in 1938. Known for years for its homestyle breakfast, especially its blueberry pancakes, this diner-style restaurant also serves a meat-and-three lunch. Featured for "best breakfast" in "Where the Locals Eat." A January 2008 review in City Scene of the new Homewood location praised the homemade, fluffy biscuits, "perfectly fried" bacon, crispy hash brown potatoes, and the Yankee omelet for breakfast, but said the side serving of gravy was too small for the price. The steam-table-style lunch got high marks for country fried steak, boneless grilled chicken breast and carrot cake.
3719 3rd Avenue South, downtown
Live music venue and bar as well as a cafe, with a funky and eclectic ambience. Serving soup, sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, tacos, desserts, heavy on vegetarian fare. Its vegetarian chili won the Birmingham News' 2007 chili competition. A City Scene review in January 2007 praised the "wonderfully inventive menu," including the Bread & Spread Plate with a walnut-green apple pesto, butternut squash dip and hummus; blue cheese slaw; grilled tofu Caesar wrap with pesto; green apple and havarti quesadilla; salads with locally grown organic greens; grilled pimiento cheese sandwich; dark chocolate tofu pie; and the award-winning vegan chili. However, there were service mix-ups.
1931 Third Ave. North (Downtown)
A sandwich twist on traditional English, Irish and Scottish dishes, with fun names such as the Crabby O'Patty (crab cakes with bell pepper and onion on an English muffin), Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pie (minced beef and onion with black pepper in a pastry crust), the Scarlett O'Hara (shredded chicken topped with shredded celery on an Irish roll) and the Kill Kenny (shredded pork topped with a mustard-based coleslaw on an Irish roll). Plus there's more traditional choices like a chicken salad, pimento cheese or Reuben sandwich. The menu board changes daily.
1911 Cahaba Road, Mountain Brook (English Village)
Funky European-meets-Southern-style cafe featuring the artisan breads and desserts of neighboring Continental Bakery. Crepes, soups, salads, savory tarts, sandwiches, pizza, gourmet cheeses; lots of vegetarian choices. Serves lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch; live entertainment some evenings. Continental Bakery offers baked goods, coffee and cold drinks for breakfast; sandwiches, soups and tarts for lunch, including classic box lunches.
2721 18th St. South, Homewood (at Little Professor bookstore)
Sandwiches, soups, salads for lunch; also specials served with two sides, such as meatloaf, shrimp jambalaya, apple-smoked pork loin or grilled fish. Breakfast includes traditional fare as well as items like a garden strata, chipped beef on toast, white cheddar grits, sweet potato cake, croissants, plus Sunday brunch with goodies such as French toast, frittatas, smoked trout. Dinner offers more substantial versions of lunch offerings. Wine and beer offered. A post on Chowhound.com (August 2007) praised the brunch, especially "the Duck Trap smoked trout with two poached eggs, sliced tomatoes, wheat toast, creme friache and wasabi. It comes with their sweet potato casserole, which is worth a trip in itself."