Below is a roundup of some great restaurants, bars, breweries, and venues in Tuscaloosa. We hope you enjoy your gameday weekend!
It all starts with BBQ
Dreamland: This is one of Tuscaloosa’s original claims to fame. It’s now a major regional chain, but the original is in Tuscaloosa and serves some incredible Carolina bbq ribs (might not be true Carolina, but it’s the closest comparison). Someone may want you to go to the Northport’s location, but that would be a crime considering the original is right across town. You can get a slab of ribs, white bread, and a sweet tea here, and it will be the best day you’ve had all week.
Archibald’s: The thing that makes Dreamland so special is their sauce. Some locals will tell you that Archibald’s has the actual best ribs in town, but both restaurants are incredible and unique. Their original location on MLK Blvd. in Northport smokes their ribs to perfection and their sauce is nearly as good as Dreamland’s. Their mix plate with pulled pork and ribs is my go-to when I can’t decide what to eat. You won’t be disappointed!
Hooligans Restaurant: This is a Mediterranean restaurant but is also always in the conversation for the best cheeseburger in town. They are also known for their unique mint sweet tea.
Rama Jama’s: Literally in the shadow of Bryant-Denny Stadium, Rama Jama’s is home to the National Championship BLT and the National Championship Burger. Seemingly changing yearly, the BLT has 17 strips of bacon stacked and the burger is 17 oz. the walls are filled (and I mean FILLED) with Alabama memorabilia. They also make great milkshakes!
Avenue Pub: According to Yelp, Avenue Pub has the best burger in Alabama. I tell people that you can throw a dart at the menu and be happy with your meal. I personally believe that their bacon burger is the best cheeseburger in the southeast. This place is known for incredible food, a great atmosphere, and a good selection of local craft beer and mixed drinks. Avenue Pub. Try going there on Friday or Saturday night and getting the burger special. It’s a strawberry sriracha goat cheese burger. I promise you’ve never had anything like it.
River: This could almost fit in the fine dining category for Tuscaloosa, but you will see a mix of well-dressed and casual-dressed patrons. They serve pretty standard items (salad, steak, salmon, chicken, etc.), but they do it extremely well. It’s located right on the river with a great patio overlooking the Riverwalk.
Depalma’s Italian Café: This is our best Italian restaurant with great pasta, pizza, and calzones. For an underrated steak try the Gorganzola Filet.
Heat Pizza Bar: Heat serves individual pizzas and is extremely popular for their good pizza, great drink specials, and awesome patio overlooking government plaza in Downtown Tuscaloosa.
FIVE Bar: This place is unique because it only serves five of each thing: five entrees, five appetizers, five red wines, etc. They always have a great crowd and Nick Saban has mentioned that this is a favorite place of his to eat in town. You will also catch Kirk Herbstreit and the Gameday crew in here when they come to town.
Nick’s Filet House (Nick’s in the Sticks): Fancy steakhouses are nice, but Nick’s is known for their bacon wrapped filet that hits the spot. It’s cheap and delicious and you can wash it down with their signature drink: the Nicodemus.
Fine Dining (not necessarily five stars, but definitely a pricier selection)
Chuck’s Fish: Chuck has his own fleet of fishing boats in the gulf and has his fish freshly shipped to the restaurant daily. They not only have incredible fish, but they serve the best sushi in town and also have some incredible pizza
R. Davidson Chophouse: This spot is more casual for lunch, but for dinner, it is a white tablecloth establishment with the best steaks in town (people also say this about Chuck’s Fish). They serve a standard menu that you can find at many other steakhouses.
Evangeline’s: This place is tucked away in the Tuscaloosa Galleria and has a great atmosphere. Their duck is the best I’ve had in years, but they also have fine dining standard meals cooked to perfection. A girl from the gym named Elo works there most nights and I recommend asking for her as your server!
Meat & 3 (Soul food)
City Café: Located in Downtown Northport, this is a staple of the Tuscaloosa community. Known for cheap food, quick service, and their unique seating process. You can dine at their long bar or you can get in line for a table in one of their three dining rooms (the line goes quicker than it looks). They also have a great breakfast!
The Brown Bag: this restaurant is over in Northport pretty far off the beaten path. It’s a family-oriented restaurant that is high on quality and high on ratings. BBQ, Catfish, & variety of Vegetables.
Innisfree Irish Pub: I just got their meat and 3 yesterday. This is a popular bar with UA Students by night but serves a solid meat and 3 for lunch.
Wings (Smoked and Buffalo)
Archibald & Woodrow’s: Archibald partnered up with his son-in-law to create Archibald & Woodrow’s. The only reason they’re on the list with the original Archibald’s is that they serve up some incredible wings. They’re tangy and not quite bbq wings, but they’re a must try.
Moe’s Original Bar B Que: Their BBQ is pretty good, but not worth putting them in the same category as Dreamland or Archibald’s. Their smoked wings, on the other hand, are something to behold. (the best-smoked wings I have ever had in my life came from Saws Soul Kitchen in Birmingham, AL)
Baumhowers: This is a great sports bar that serves some incredible wings as well as everything else a sports bar should serve. Tons of TVs and beers on tap.
Breweries & Brewpubs
Located on University Blvd. in downtown Ttown, Black Warrior Brewing will make you feel right at home. They always have a small batch, so you can try something different, or keep it traditional with their Apricot Wheat. Signature beer: Crimson Ale
The one that started it all in Tuscaloosa. Druid City Brewing blazed the beer trail in Tuscaloosa and remains a great spot to relax, grab a beer, and throw on an old vinyl record. Signature beer: Downtown Northporter
Band of Brothers was started by three friends after they got out of the military, and have been making great beer together ever since. They always have great live music and a great space to hang out with friends. Signature beer: Monk on the Radio
Loosa Brews has a wide selection of craft beer, ping pong table, arcade games, pinball, and an outdoor patio. Head here if you want a variety of Alabama beer and other southern favorites.
Gameday bars on the Strip
Gallettes for a Yellowhammer is a tradition for a lot of Tide fans. It is always packed with students on gameday so get here early and prepare to pay a cover.
The Houndstooth is also on the Strip near the stadium and has a big patio and a lot of TV’s inside.
Rounders is where the party will be after the game. They have a rooftop area and the “Boom-Boom Room” which is as fun as it sounds.
Catch 22 has a ton of great infused liquor such as the Peach Bourbon. Try the Coffee Drink for something sweeter.
Copper Top anchors an area of bars downtown that is popular for students and Tuscaloosa residents alike. will have live music going
Green Bar is a great live music venue that gets a lot of great regional acts. Bands like the Alabama Shakes and St. Paul and the Broken bones have played here before they became larger national acts.
For gameday parking, there is a parking deck downtown that the police patrol during the game. They do shuttle rides for either $1 or $2 that drop you off right by the stadium near Rama Jama’s. It is a short walk to the Quad or Bryant Museum or bars on the Strip after that. You can shuttle ride back, but it’s not a bad walk down to those same bars after the game and then back down to the parking deck. https://www.tuscaloosa.com/live-play/parking-and-transportation
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