Being on the outside isn’t always such a terrible thing, especially in a beautiful city like Tuscaloosa or Northport. If you’re searching for places to eat or drink outside in Tuscaloosa, you’ve come to the right spot! When you’re spending time with loved ones, eating your favorite snacks, and grabbing a drink or two as you enjoy the wonderful weather, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Check out this list of some favorite patios to immerse yourself in the outdoors with food and drink close at hand.
Loosa Brews – Loosa’s porch game has been stepped up since they opened. It has tons of table and bar style seating. It’s partly shaded, but fully equipped to be your next favorite hangout joint! With 63 beers on tap there’s a beer and a chair for everyone there!
Taco Mama – Taco Mama’s outdoor seating faces out onto University drive so whether you’re there to sunset watch or people watch, there’s a sitting activity for every personality! Not only that, but they serve beer and margaritas. So if you’re not huge on the beer scene, you’ve still got a place on their porch!
R & R Cigars – This particular porch is highly slept on because not many people take advantage of this incredible honey hole! R & R is a remodeled Victorian home with a huge front porch and plenty of comfortable seating to drink a beer, smoke a cigar, and watch your favorite game on tv.
Billy’s Sports Grill Northport – Located in the heart of historic downtown Northport, Billy’s offers great wings, their famous chicken sandwich, burgers, salads, and more! You can enjoy a comfortable and family-friendly atmosphere with the ultimate viewing of your favorite sports. The patio seating is excellent.
Innisfree – Innisfree’s porch is another phenomenal place to kick back and drink a cold one. They have plenty of seating and a whole slew of TVs. With a wide selection of drinks, they have a little something for the whole crew!
And just a few more – because you can’t ever have too many options! Check out Alcove International Tavern, The Houndstooth, Glory Bound Gyro Co., Heat Pizza, Mellow Mushroom, and the many bars and restaurants located within Temerson Square such as Sage Juice Bar & Speakeasy or Avenue Pub.
While Easter might look and feel slightly different this year, you can still celebrate in a big way! Nothing says an Easter Sunday with your families like beautiful spring weather, classic Easter traditions, and great food. Whether you were thinking about cooking at home or hitting the town, we have some great locations to keep in mind for this Sunday and many Sundays to come. Bring a full heart and an empty stomach!
Located on the historic University of Alabama campus, Legends Bistro provides a pristine setting for your Easter Sunday brunch! This year’s meal will be hosted Sunday, April 4th from 11 pm to 2 pm. A little sneak peek of the delicious menu includes a carving station featuring ham, rosemary lamb, and bronzed salmon. Side dishes range from au gratin potatoes, green bean almondine, homemade squash casserole, and more! Don’t worry if you’re looking to stay on the greener side of things, Legends Bistro has an assortment of different salad options. To make this deal even sweeter, adults can eat for $23.95 per person, and children under the age of 10 will be $14.95 per person. Don’t hesitate to make your reservation today- Call 205-343-1125 to claim your family’s spot now!
Side by Side
Side by Side offers a contemporary take on classic southern comfort food, and that goes the same for this Easter’s menu. This Easter Sunday, Side by Side is offering a unique brunch menu to get you in the spring of things! Featuring items such as delectable french toast, chicken and waffles, smoked salmon, and biscuits and gravy, you simply can’t go wrong with this scene! Doors are open from 10 am to 3 pm for Side by Side’s brunch menu but don’t worry if you can’t make it- Side by Side is offering an Easter special for dinner as well! Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 205-561-5500 or clicking here to visit their online reservation portal.
Brick and Spoon
Nothing screams comfort food like Brick and Spoon! Similar to our friends at Side by Side, Brick and Spoon showcase its tasty flair on southern, cajun cuisines that never disappoints. From Build Your Own Bloody Mary’s to Bayou Benedict, you and your family will be able to find comfort in this menu for sure! Grab your seat this Easter Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm to enjoy this amazing brunch experience!
A long-time fan favorite in Tuscaloosa is Avenue Pub. Its brunch menu has claimed the hearts of many over the years and the same can be predicted for this year’s Easter brunch with your family! Its menu boasts several kinds of delicious hand-held options as well as your favorite breakfast items. Did we also forget to mention Avenue Pub has a menu of brunch cocktails? You definitely want to keep this place in mind when preparing for this Easter Sunday! Brunch is served from 11 am to 3 pm.
Growing up, we all ordered chicken fingers off the kid’s menu- this is probably where our adult obsession with the meal still resides. Fear not, there’s nothing to be ashamed of! Fried chicken fingers are more than a childhood staple, they are a pick-me-up food, a “remind me of home” food, and of course a good option for some after drinks food with your buddies! Have you ever wondered about which chicken fingers in Tuscaloosa hold the ultra-exclusive title of being the best? Well look no further my friends, we have three options here that will make you wonder: Which is worth it?
Guthrie’s – $5.76
Alabama loves Guthrie’s. Like, I mean LOVES Guthrie’s to an unhealthy obsession. Fast-food chicken fingers can be iffy, but Guthrie’s does it right every single time and for only around $5. The golden fried chicken fingers are incredibly tender and have the perfect amount of fried crispiness on the outside. Plus, they have their “secret sauce” which sounds mysterious as always but is sheer perfection. It is not too sweet or too salty and tastes like a mixture of mayo, ketchup, and garlic- which initially doesn’t sound prize-winning, but obviously, they are doing something right if people rant and rave about it! Being around for over 50 years has gained Guthrie’s a notable presence in the whole state of Alabama. Pro tip: The workers in the back make sure you are getting the fried tenders straight out of the fryer, so be extremely careful before biting into one of these, or else you might accidentally hurt yourself. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Hoos Q – $7
Yes, Hoos Q is known for its barbeque but they also have some seriously delicious chicken fingers! The Chicken Finger Plate is served with five hand-breaded tenders and served with their version of a “special sauce”. With 5 large chicken tenders, you will probably have enough to take home! The breaded tenders are juicy and perfectly cooked with a soft, easily tearable inside. Not too greasy, not too dry and the sauce is the perfect additive. This option is slightly more than Guthries, but you do get five big and flakey tenders. Any place with a “special sauce” seems to be a breadwinner so it’s no question why Hoos Q is a contender!
Southern Ale House – $8
Weighing in only slightly more than the other two is Southern Ale House’s chicken tenders. Of course, we are keeping up the theme with hand-breaded yumminess in our blog but there is a twist on these. Southern Ale House buttermilk brines their tenders before frying to add that extra punch of tenderness to the average chicken tender. Can you guess what else these are served with? If you thought of a special sauce, you’re a winner! The “Slap ‘Yo Mamma” sauce is a light tangy take on the average condiment choices. These tenders are perfectly fried, but definitely not dry. If you’re looking for a good crunch to chicken ratio, Southern Ale House might be in your cards!
Quite honestly, we all love chicken and would probably eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it were socially acceptable! All of these restaurants are well known for their takes on classic chicken tenders. Guthrie’s is a long-time classic in the state of Alabama and has a history of serving up good meals and deals. Hoos Q shows us that it’s not all about barbeque and that they can serve up a mean chicken tender basket. Southern Ale House serves up a marinated, crunchy chicken tender that seems to be a fan favorite as well. We know there cannot simply be one “best” of anything in this town, but we are thankful to have so many options within our community!
Agree with any of our three? Let us know! Have a rebuttal? Share with us your top chicken tender spot in Tuscaloosa!
Worth It: Tuscaloosa Edition
Have you ever heard the saying “we go together like burgers and fries”? The two are a match made in heaven, but a dilemma remains; which burger is the absolute best in town? Welcome to a new little segment we like to call “Worth It: Tuscaloosa Edition”! Today, we will be diving into different price points and qualities of local hamburgers to determine the best bang for your buck. Life is too short to eat a salad, treat yourself to an incredible burger!
Hooligans Burger – $5.23
First up to bat is a cult favorite from the renowned Hooligans. This classic hamburger comes dressed with all of the necessary basics- mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and pickle all perfectly placed inside a sesame seed bun. Weighing in at only a whopping $5.23, this is a great deal for a pretty dang good mouthwatering burger. I can’t forget to mention that the $5.23 includes a drink AND fries! If you’re looking for an unbelievable price and an iconic flavor, Hooligans is right up your alley. You can never go wrong with a juicy, classic burger!
Local Roots Burger – $9
Next up, we have the Local Roots Burger from a hidden gem in town, Local Roots. You might have seen the food truck driving around Tuscaloosa, but a brick-and-mortar restaurant has also opened on McFarland! Local Roots means business when it comes to their southern-inspired creations and their burger is no exception. For $9 you can enjoy a tender ground brisket and chuck burger dressed in cheese, bacon jam, pickles, lettuce, and “special sauce”. Fear not, the special sauce will never disappoint. The brioche bun on this burger brilliantly enhances the flavor of that special sauce. For a full-flavored burger that won’t break the bank, Local Roots is a hot contender!
Avenue Pub Burger – $14
Avenue Pub has made quite the impression on the locals here, thanks to its Bacon Burger. Let’s be real, if you add bacon to just about anything, it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser! For $14 you get a hand-pattied fresh ground beef topped with provolone, mayo, and bacon and a choice of greens, onion, and pickles on the side. Now, this burger can get pretty large and you will need both hands on deck for this one! Avenue Pub’s burger is a juicy, flavor-packed take on the traditional hamburger that puts both Mcdonalds and Burger King to shame. One bite of this bad boy and you’ll understand the hype!
All of these hamburgers earn strong remarks in the flavor, value, and satisfaction categories. Let’s review, shall we? Local Roots serves up a super-flavorful take on the hamburger with its deliciously unique sauce. Hooligans is a local staple with their bacon cheeseburgers as the claim to fame. Avenue Pub is the master of the perfect meat to toppings ratio. Now we want to hear from your point of view. What is your favorite burger in Tuscaloosa? Share with us your favorite hamburger hideaways here in Tuscaloosa! And remember, the only bad burger is the one you didn’t eat!
|Thanksgiving||Christmas Eve||Christmas Day|
|Another Broken Egg||Closed||Open||Closed|
|Archibald & Woodrow’s||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Babe’s Doughnut||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Baumhowers Restaurant||Closed||11 – 4||Closed|
|Brick & Spoon||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Broadway Pizzeria||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Buffalo Phil’s Wings||Closed||TBA||TBA|
|Chuck’s Fish||Carry Out Only||Closed||Closed|
|Depalma’s Italian Cafe||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Dreamland BBQ – Northport||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Dreamland BBQ – Tuscaloosa||Closed||til 3 pm||Closed|
|Druid City Social||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Evangeline’s||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Flavaz Seafood & Soulfood||Closed||Closes at 5 pm||Closed|
|Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers||Closed||Close at 4 pm||Closed|
|Full Moon BBQ||Closed||10 – 3||Closed|
|Half Shell Oyster House||Closed||11 – 8||Closed|
|Heat Pizza Bar||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Heritage House||Closed||Check Social Media||Closed|
|Hokkaido||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Hoo’s Q and Brew||Closed||Check Social Media||Closed|
|Hoo’s Q||Closed||Check Social Media||Closed|
|Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill||Closed||Open Lunch||Closed|
|Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ||Closed||till 3 pm||Closed|
|Just Love Coffee||Closed||Shortened Hours||Closed|
|Legends Bistro||Open||Check back later||Check back later|
|Lookout Rooftop Bar||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Metro Diner||9 – 2||9 – 2||Closed|
|Moe’s Original BBQ||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Monarch Espresso||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Mugshots Grill and Bar||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Peach Pit Bar & Grill||Closed||Check Social Media||Closed|
|Pyro’s Fire Fresh Pizza||Closed||til 2 pm||Closed|
|R Davidson Chophouse||11 – 8||Closed||Closed|
|Raised on Country||Closed||til 4 pm||Closed|
|Rama Jama’s||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Rock N Roll Sushi||Check Website||Check Website||Check Website|
|Ruan Thai Exotic Thai Cuisine Rest.||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Sage Juice Bar||Closed||Open||Closed|
|Sharks Fish and Chicken||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Shoals Bar and Kitchen||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Side-by-Side||Check Website||Check Website||Check Website|
|Southern Ale House||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Surin of Thailand||Closed||Check back later||Closed|
|Sweet Home Food Bar||Closed||Check back later||Check back later|
|Swen Chinese Restaurant||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Taco Mama||Closed||til 4 pm||Closed|
|The Juicy Crab||11 am – 4 pm||Open||11 am – 4 pm|
|The Waysider||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Turbo Coffee||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Twelve25||Check back later||Check back later||Check back later|
|Urban Cookhouse||Closed||Check back later||Closed|
|Veracruz Mexican Grill||Closed||Check back later||Closed|
|VooDoo Wing Company||Closed||Closed||Closed|
|Wing Stop||5 pm – 12 am||Closed||Closed|
|World Of Beer||Closed||Check back later||Check back later|
|Zoe’s Kitchen (all locations)||Check Website||Check Website||Check Website|
The best time of year is steadily approaching and it seems that the gift list is growing longer by the second. That’s where we come in to save the day. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some stellar local shops that will make this year’s Christmas shopping a breeze. Not only will this guide save you loads of time, but it’s also a way to show your love and support for the many phenomenal local businesses in Tuscaloosa! Want your favorite shop featured? Send us a direct message and let us know!
For your Brewery Buds…
There is always one kind of gift that gets put to good use with just about every recipient: alcohol. Whether you’re searching for your favorite IPA or a unique kind of wine, we have what you’re looking for in Tuscaloosa! Loosa is a spectacular local bar that offers 63-Taps that you can drink on-premise, or fill up in a growler and take home. They always keep 30 of the freshest draft beers from Alabama breweries plus rare beers from all over on tap. If alcohol isn’t the direction you were thinking, check out their T-shirts, hats, and glassware! Whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor a souvenir is always a great little reminder of your experience here in T-Town.
For the Evermoving Explorers…
Although the temperatures are getting lower and lower, it is still important to stay active outside whether it is to exercise or for other sporting purposes! Staying outside and distanced is a safe and healthy way to enjoy activities with friends and family, so for all those outdoorsy companions, check out Woods and Water or Wagner’s. Woods and Water is a store that fills every outdoorsy person’s fantasies, whether for hunting, fishing, or other assorted outdoor activities! A local shoe store, Wagner’s, has another seasonal gift guide for everyone to put a holiday spring in their loved ones’ step this season! Browse through the wide selection of shoes and active outerwear divided into for him, for her, for girls, or for boys sections.
For your Foodie Friends…
Wheww… Where do we even start? To gift a delightful dining experience and incredible Italian cuisine check out the local favorite Depalmas! If a brunch date is more your style, gift your friend with mimosas and a view at River, or with a Southern-styled breakfast at The Waysider. For that unpredictable foodie friend, a Cravings gift card can go a long way. The city’s one-stop-shop for specialty candy, craft beer, wine, dessert, and so much more is located downtown for your convenience.
For the Auspicious Artists…
Bring the artistic wonder of Kentuck Arts Center to family and friends with the power of the Kentuck Festival of the Arts 2020 Virtual Marketplace. This virtual dream come true is available now until December 31st to safely celebrate local artists. With a wide variety of pieces and creations, the Virtual Marketplace is a fabulous way to browse and discover new tastes and trends within the art community all from the safety of your home. Not only is this a safe way to shop, but it also an incredible way to support local artists from around Tuscaloosa and all of West Alabama.
All Fired Up Ceramic Studio offers gift cards for visitors to purchase for their friends and family this upcoming holiday season or year-round for other celebrations! Gifts can come in the shape of gift cards for use at the All Fired Up studio or even take-home kits to move the ceramic fun to enjoy in the safety of your own home! All Fired Up is a delightful spot where you, along with friends or family, can stop by to create and paint your very own pottery creations together. This activity is a relaxing way to both blow off steam and express creativity through shape, color, and design! Visit All Fired Up’s website to learn more about the store and their different gift offerings.
For the Reserved Relaxers…
In the chaos that has been 2020, many people are looking for ways to healthily unwind and enjoy time to themselves or just time in peace and quiet. Tuscaloosa is home to several spots where you can find the gift of “solace” to give to one of your closest companions. Ernest and Hadley offers gift cards, branded gifts, and even store memberships as part of their gift gallery and is sure to provide a thoughtful and easy gift to give a book lover or someone looking to read more heading into the new year. Monarch Espresso Bar is another way to give the gift of peace and quiet by offering gift cards to give to friends and family this holiday season.
Arts and Entertainment
Thursday Concerts on the Rooftop is featuring One Horrible Family this week! Originally a larger band formed two years ago, this group preferred a more intimate trio. All music students at the University of Alabama (one a former student), the group is capable of really any genre but performs mostly R&B, 80s music, and jazz. With most of their experience being in larger bars in Tuscaloosa, they are excited to relax at the Lookout for a night of rhythm and soul. The fun starts at 6 pm, and you do not want to miss this!
Jump into the holiday spirit with the arts at the exclusive Christmas Open House at Kentuck’s Gallery Shop! Enjoy 10% OFF IN-STORE AND ONLINE! Join the holiday fun at Kentuck’s Christmas Kickoff Open House from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, November 7, and from 12 to 4 pm on Sunday, November 8. Support local artists this holiday season and find unique gifts for all of your loved ones! Use code CHRISTMASOPEN2020 for 10% off our online shop!
Fun for the Youngsters
On Friday Para will be hosting Kids Night Out at 5:30 pm at the McDonald Hughes Community Center! The Kids Night Out event will keep the kiddos busy for 3 hours of educational and recreational fun! Pizza, juice, and dessert will be available for all participants to enjoy throughout the event. There will be swimming so make sure to pack swimwear, dry clothes, and a towel. Life jackets will be provided when needed. Registration for this fall fling is available here.
The Children’s Hands-On Museum of Tuscaloosa is hosting Sweater Weather on Saturday from 9:30 am- 4 pm. CHOM is a beloved local gem where children explore, create, and discover every time they visit. When they say “hands-on” they really mean it! Learning through play is what our exhibits are all about. This special seasonal extravaganza will include autumn weather science, leaf color experiments, and fantastic fall wreaths! All of these engaging activities are included in admission.
At 7 am this Saturday the farmers market will be open and ready to safely serve you! Handmade treasures galore awaits at the Rivermarket until 12 pm. From scented bath bombs to handmade woodwork you are bound to find something that piques your interest at the farmers market. Face coverings are required for all who wish to go inside and shop and social distancing will be in effect.
Also available on Saturday is an Intro to Vinyasa Workshop at the Yoga Bliss Studio. Vinyasa is a form of active yoga that involves different postures in consecutive succession to offer a more balanced bodily effect. Yoga is an activity that is diverse in its styles and Vinyasa yoga is considered to be one of the most dynamic styles you can enjoy! Yoga Bliss is located on Queen City Avenue and hosts several classes a week, including many similar introduction classes for all yoga beginners! For more information about the Vinyasa Workshop, visit the Yoga Bliss Facebook event page.
The House Plant Collective bus will be making a special appearance at Druid City Brewing on Sunday from 2- 5 pm. At House Plant Collective the mission is to create Birmingham’s first mobile plant store while providing the community education needed for the plants to thrive. Shop plants, grab a beer, and enjoy your serene Sunday supporting local!
Will Baggett & Jamie Hoven
Fall has arrived, and with it came that familiar crisp autumn air, which means the outdoors are calling our names! See for yourself Tuscaloosa’s breathtaking back yard…and it doesn’t stop there, either. This city’s stunning landscape paired with phenomenal local businesses elevates an already beautiful destination into a MUST-DO Road Trip. Whether you are looking to wind down with an outdoor picnic, take an adventure hiking through the fall foliage, or shop like there’s no tomorrow, let these 10 reasons why Tuscaloosa should be your next weekend getaway guide your planning process. After all, you don’t want the legendary Tuscaloosa Experience to pass you by!
A recent addition to the city’s outstanding coffee shop scene is about to open and we couldn’t be more excited! Just Love Coffee prioritizes that sense of community as a business. The laid-back & relaxed atmosphere that makes Just Love Coffee Cafe so special was created to be different than the stuffy reputation of most specialty coffee shops. Downtown Tuscaloosa is a prime place to shop until you drop. Whether you are looking for your next gameday attire at The Pants Store, or searching for an antique accessory at Twice as Nice, this area is ideal for shopping at a vast variety of places that are all conveniently located!
Offering a serene view of the Black Warrior River, the Riverwalk is also the place to hammock, picnic, or relax! There are numerous picnic tables, benches, and gazebos to provide a comfortable environment, allowing you to get the most out of your experience with the great outdoors of T-Town. Let your mind take a rest from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you are looking to work up a sweat and take advantage of the cooler temperatures, there is also a running path along the Riverwalk to enjoy in the morning or throughout the day. In addition to these activities, the Riverwalk is located close to a number of restaurants to enjoy either at the start or at the end of a delightful Autumn day, like Market House Boutique, Another Broken Egg, and River. Be sure to carry a mask with you for safety if you intend to visit any of the restaurants or businesses on the Riverwalk!
3. Lake Harris
Lake Harris is one of the many nearby lakes that offers an incredible setting for a number of different outdoor activities. There are plenty of picnic areas and a beach, where one might spread out a blanket to enjoy their lunch or simply take in the scene. In addition to these spots, there are a number of trees gathered close by the bank, perfect for setting up a cozy hammock! For those who are looking to stay active, there is a 1.76-mile hike around the lake through the trees. As the weather cools down, this area will become a peaceful gathering place for all who wish to experience some of Tuscaloosa’s many hidden gems.
4. Farmer’s Market
The Tuscaloosa Farmers Market is a spectacular shopping spot where you can find anything from a hand-cut Maple & Walnut Cutting Board to a hand-poured Yellowhammer candle scented Alabama Shores, all within walking distance. Each Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. local vendors of all specialties gather at the Tuscaloosa River Market to show off their wares to the community. If you plan on discovering the market’s incredible vendors this Saturday, wear a mask and be prepared to follow all social distancing guidelines!
5. Children’s Hands-on Museum
CHOM is a wonderful place in town where children explore, create, and discover something new every time they visit. When we say “hands-on” we really mean it! Learning through play is what CHOM’S exhibits are all about, where kids are encouraged to touch, feel, and play in fantastic exhibits. Three floors of fun await with 24 exhibits, offering newborns and 13 year-olds alike an opportunity to completely immerse yourself in fun learning processes.
6. Kentuck Art Center
This local favorite offers a unique view into the minds of the endlessly talented local artists all around Tuscaloosa. From handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry to kitchen pitchers, this gold mine is ideal for a one-stop-shop for all of your holiday gifts. The Kentuck Gallery Shop offers an incredible shopping experience unlike any other online and/or in-person! Also, the 49th Kentuck Festival of the Arts is open NOW until December 31, 2020. With over 180 artist shops specializing in categories like clay, glass, jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, and wood you are bound to find the perfect Christmas present for everyone on your list!
7. Bower’s Park
Bower’s Park is a nearby public park that offers quite a few activity opportunities, like a disc golf course or several fields for rent. Not much different from regular golf, disc golf is an active way to stay busy on a delightful weekend outside! Those looking to get into this sport need to be sure and purchase discs ahead of time, however. As far as a field for rent, Bower’s Park has a number of different fields, baseball/softball or multipurpose, that can be rented out for a small gathering of friends to safely play a pickup game of baseball, softball, and more! Before visiting Bower’s Park, be sure to bring along a mask in case of other visitors.
8. Civil Rights Trail
As temperatures slowly start to drop, it is prime time to spend the day walking around outside and exploring new places. Among the many adventures that await you in town is the Civil Rights Trail, where anyone has the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of history and learn about how the Civil Rights Movement shaped the City of Tuscaloosa. Located primarily in Downtown Tuscaloosa, this trail is perfect for staying active and demonstrates a profound learning opportunity for those who are not aware of the history of Tuscaloosa. Thanks to its proximity to Downtown Tuscaloosa, the Civil Rights Trail is also a good opportunity to discover local dining options, such as Reggae Flava and Brummi’s Yummies. For more T-Town treasures along the trail check out the official guide here.
9. Government Plaza
If you are looking for a versatile area that offers wide-open spaces to safely enjoy this city, then the Government Plaza is the spot for you. Located in the heart of downtown, this 5-acre park makes social distancing a breeze. Soak in all of the cozy fall vibes while diving into a good book from Ernest and Hadley, grubbing on delicious Heat pizza, sipping on some Monarch coffee, or maybe even unwinding with your favorite yoga flow. After months on end of being trapped inside now is the time to relax and appreciate nature in all its wonder. If you want your furry friend to tag along, the sidewalks surrounding the park makes for the perfect path for walking with your furry friend.
10. Lake Tuscaloosa
This local hangout has everything you need for an unforgettable lake day with friends and family. Lake Tuscaloosa has earned its reputation as the perfect fishing spot with bass, sunfish, crappie, and more. If fishing isn’t for you, stand on the shore, hike the lake’s cliffs, or simply take in the captivating views! Only a short drive from the city, this lake makes pairing a morning out in nature and Rama Jama’s iconic Southern breakfast unbelievably easy as well. You are bound to have a blast at this local treasure, especially in this beautiful fall weather.
When you’re ready to plan your next road trip to T-Town check out all of the exceptional hotels this city has to offer!
Written by: Jamie Hoven
1. If savory Lamb Chops topped with Blackberry Reduction and a side of Garlic Mashed Potatoes and sautéed Kale sounds like your dream dinner, then you should definitely include Evangeline’s in your T-Town itinerary. As one of the area’s premier restaurants, this divine treasure provides exceptional service for private intimate dinners, social events, and corporate parties. From a small rehearsal dinner to a lavish party for friends and family, Evangeline’s has the atmosphere to create the ideal experience.
2. Do you consider seafood, steak, & sushi three of your main food groups? If so, then Chuck’s is most definitely calling you. Offering a diverse menu in trendy surrounds with a loft & full bar, this local favorite has a well-earned reputation as a T-Town staple. It is also perfect for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. Crowd favorites include the crab cakes, sushi, scallops, and pizza. With attentive service and an unforgettable dining experience, you’ll always leave this happy and stuffed – and ready to come back again.
3. It would be a disservice to Tuscaloosa cuisine to discuss our incredible local dining without including Central Mesa. Established in 2017 by owner Craig Williams, this local treasure offers a Southern twist on traditional Latin-American dishes. The story of the restaurant is built upon a passion for providing fresh, great-tasting food and cocktails. Every dish is prepared in-house from scratch to ensure quality taste. The heart of the restaurant beats to provide a relaxed atmosphere and sense of community, where people can come and enjoy exceptional food and drink.
4. Ignite the creative in you and experience the Dinah Cultural Arts Center’s current exhibit, Stephanie Kirkland: “Windswept: Abstract Landscapes”. This moving collection of acrylic paintings was inspired during a road trip out West, which included hiking through Glacier, Zion, and Grand Canyon national parks. This week’s gallery hours of 1:00 p.m.to 3:00 p.m. offers the last chance to witness this captivating creation firsthand. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it!
5. Kentuck Art Center offers a unique view into the minds of the endlessly talented local artists all around Tuscaloosa. From handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry to kitchen pitchers, this gold mine is ideal for a one-stop-shop for holiday gifts. The Kentuck Gallery Shop offers an incredible shopping experience either online or in-person!
6. Fall foliage peak is on the horizon and one of the best places to take in the changing season is the Riverwalk. This first-rate paved trail sits along the southern bank of the Black Warrior River near downtown Tuscaloosa and is suited for both walkers and bikers. Along the 4.5-mile trail, there are a variety of (dog-friendly) park areas, benches, gazebos, and trees for hammocks and picnics. The pathway also provides a playground near the Public Library and a splash pad at the Bama Bell dock for the kids. For nighttime walkers, it is well-lit with street lamps along the way.
7. Get a taste of the (tamer) Tide. Take in the jaw-dropping beauty of UA’s campus in its most unique form: somewhat still and tranquil. Casually absorb the captivating architecture and elaborate landscaping that is so easy to take for granted during the football fan frenzy that accompanies one of the greatest dynasties in college football history. It offers another great place to enjoy the fall colors while viewing landmarks such as the President’s Mansion, Denny Chimes, Bryant-Denny Stadium, and historic Foster Auditorium – where Malone-Hood Plaza and the Autherine Lucy Clock Tower celebrate the spot where the University of Alabama was first integrated.
It is International Coffee Day and there is only one way to celebrate. Treat yourself to the must-needed companion, Coffee, as the work and school year are in full swing. With the temperature slowly dropping like an autumn leaf, what better time than now to discover a new coffee shop where you can enjoy specially-curated coffee brews and specialty coffee drinks? The City of Tuscaloosa is home to a variety of eclectic local cafes and shops to satisfy your coffee, so you’re in luck! Below is a list of locations around town where you can discover your new favorite cup of joe and celebrate International Coffee Day accordingly!
Coffee with Breakfast
You simply cannot go wrong with a hot (or iced) cup of coffee paired with a tasty treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. What are you waiting for? Start your week off with a little pick-me-up! On the corner of Greensboro and University Blvd sits Babe’s Donuts, this local favorite has earned quite a reputation around town with exceptional service and plenty of delicious treats to choose from. Their donuts can be topped with anything from fruity pebbles to Reese’s and Heath Bars, so be sure to scope out the many options before choosing wisely. Start your week off with this little pick-me-up! They are only open for take-out, so finding a good view of Downtown T-town to enjoy your killer combo is a must.
Breakfast with Coffee
If you are looking for a spot to grab a bigger meal and still celebrate today’s holiday, check out Another Broken Egg or Five Bar! Both of these restaurants offer a delicious variety for breakfast, brunch, and lunch (as well as dinner for Five). There is indoor seating available for those that want to get out of the house, but don’t forget to bring your mask! Five Bar also has a dedicated coffee shop that is open every day from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm! Visit either of these T-Town stops to pair an incredible meal with a delightful cup of joe.
Traveling all around the city of Tuscaloosa is the Joyful Java food truck! This one-of-a-kind coffee stop is considered a must-try by hundreds of UA students. Each cup is filled with a full-bodied flavor, from beans that are daily roasted and brewed fresh. If that isn’t quite your style, no problem! Joyful Java has a nice variety to choose from, including nitro brew, Greek frappe, espresso, and even caramel apple cider. There are no wrong choices here. Find Joyful Java in Tuscaloosa, or have ’em out to cater to your next event!
Tuscaloosa is home to several unique coffee houses that all bring something special and different to this town’s cafe scene. Turbo Coffee, for example, offers cold-pressed juices, açai bowls, and superfood smoothies in addition to their coffee selection. If you are looking for to-go options, Monarch Espresso Bar currently offers wonderful window service and outdoor seating so visitors can continue to visit the shop and socialize safely while enjoying a cup of coffee!
A classy coffee cafe, Just Love Coffee, is joining Tuscaloosa in a few weeks and we can hardly wait. Run by a mission to spread joy and kindness communities, this new local shop is sure to bring something unique to T-Town. Former alumni of The University of Alabama and two brothers are more than determined to spread the mission of Just Love Coffee to the Tuscaloosa area. In addition to the specially-curated coffee, Just Love also offers a menu of delectable goodies ranging from chicken and waffles to salads! Be sure to join us in giving this local business a warm welcome when they open!
After months of anticipation, the first game day of the 2020 Alabama Crimson Tide football season is approaching! Although the weekend will look a bit different this year, there are so many ways to experience the city of Tuscaloosa. Below we have put together the Ultimate 2020 T-Town Tour Guide, full of local dining, enticing entertainment, and spectacular shopping. Be sure to stay safe and wear a mask while you explore the town. Enjoy your weekend adventures and let the good times (and the Crimson Tide) roll!
9:00 am – 9:45 am:
The first stop on our itinerary is Babe’s Donuts, located on Greensboro Avenue in the heart of Downtown Tuscaloosa. Known for its sweet treats and delicious coffee, this on-the-go option is currently open for to-go orders, making it convenient to start your day off on a good note! As you embark on your weekend journey stop by Babe’s for a classic donut – or mix it up with a Fruity Pebbles donut – and some cold brew coffee. Before you know it this local gem just might become your new T-Town favorite!
10:00 am – 11:30 am:
Located just down the street at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center is the Sarah Garden Armstrong Exhibit: Threads and Layers. Sarah Garden Armstrong is an Alabama native and alumna of the University of Alabama, returning to Tuscaloosa to share her captivating work through different types of media, from paintings and sculptures to handmade artist books! This Friday is your last chance to visit her incredible exhibit, so be sure to visit the Event page for more information.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm:
Your next stop along the T-Town Tour is Heat Pizza, located on Government Plaza. Choose wisely their wide selection of pizzas, including vegetarian and gluten-free options! Enjoy your lunch safely outside on the patio, with plenty of space for social distancing. As a matter of fact, Heat’s variety of beer, wine, and cocktails pairs perfectly with this perfect fall weather! With 5 years of experience serving pizzas, salads, drinks, and good times to Tuscaloosa, Heat will make your time here unforgettable.
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm:
The Paul R. Jones Museum has reopened its doors just in time for Bama’s season kickoff! Come experience the eclectic art of T-Town and explore their newest exhibit, “When They See Us, What Do They See?: Perspectives on Black Art”, curated by Barbara-Shae Jackson. The purpose of this exhibit is to ask visitors the question: What does the aesthetic experience of a person perceiving a work of art look like when it does not reflect their culture or personal life experience? Jackson, currently a doctoral student in cognitive psychology at The University of Alabama, is curating this collection to identify the responses of different visitors when they view art created by black and white artists. This weekend is your last chance to visit this thought-provoking exhibit, so be sure to visit the event page for more information.
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm:
Return to Downtown Tuscaloosa for a nice sit-down dinner at Chuck’s Fish where you can enjoy delicious appetizers and savory seafood dishes. This restaurant is a wonderful way to kick-off the weekend and celebrate the beginning of Alabama Football Season with family or friends! With a menu complete with classic cocktails and incredible entrees, Chuck’s is sure to be a crowd-pleaser no matter who is in your entourage.
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm:
Friday night LIVE MUSIC is returning to T-Town! Live from the Bama will begin at 7:30 pm, with limited in-person seating to ensure social distancing. Tickets are available to purchase for $10 here. If you are unable to attend the concert, join in on the fun virtually via the live stream on our Facebook page! Featuring local bands GrAystone and Casie & the NoJoes, this show will be sure to kick off your weekend the right way. Not to mention, all proceeds go directly to the Bama Theatre during this difficult time. To show your support for the irreplaceable Bama Theatre you can donate at your convenience here.
9:00 am – 10:30 am:
Start off your Saturday with a traditional T-Town breakfast at The Waysider, Tuscaloosa’s oldest restaurant in town! Once a regular stop for the great Bear Bryant, this classic local joint is located on Greensboro Avenue. Experience a bit of T-Town’s southern-style cooking with homemade biscuits, complimentary beignets (per request), or ham cooked to perfection. Not much of a breakfast person? No worries, The Waysider has delicious lunch items on the menu as well! Keep in mind that seating is limited, so be sure to budget for time as you may have to wait for a table!
11:00 am – 12:30 pm:
If you need a place to entertain your kids, look no further than the Children’s Hands-On Museum. This educational oasis is a delightful spot where your kids can learn about exciting subjects, like friction and temperature, all while having a blast! CHOM has set several guidelines in place to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors, like temperature screening at the entrance and controlled capacity inside. Ahead of your visit to the museum, check online for more information about exploring this interactive museum safely! If you aren’t comfortable taking your kids to CHOM, you can take CHOM to your kids with CHOM at home! Encouraging interactive learning is now easier than ever before with this resource up your sleeve.
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm:
Now it’s time to walk on over to Avenue Pub for a bit of local flavor to celebrate a football-filled afternoon! This treasure is a wonderful spot for spending quality time with loved ones and indulging in comfort food galore. With tasty sandwiches, fresh salads, and banging burgers, Avenue pub has what it takes to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. If you just so happen to find yourself needing a spot to watch the Crimson Tide, there is a special offer of local beer for $4/pint during the game.
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm:
Between lunch and the start of the night football games, you can take a stroll around Downtown Tuscaloosa and do some necessary game day shopping. Whether you are looking to spruce up the Tide Pride in your repertoire or hoping to find the perfect crimson outfit, there are plenty of local shops to discover. For men, The Locker Room is a great spot for gameday polos and outerwear for later in the season. For women, whatever your style may be, Vintage Cotton Boutique offers a wide selection of unique pieces to help you put together the ideal football season wardrobe for any occasion!
6:00 pm: Alabama Crimson Tide at Missouri Tigers
ROOOLLLLLL TIDE ROLL into the return of college football! Wear your lucky socks and put your game face on because the highly-anticipated time is officially here. Whether you are at the game or cheering on the tide elsewhere, enjoy Tuscaloosa’s inexplicable, electrifying game-day atmosphere. Bama fans and locals alike know exactly what that feels like. Now is the perfect time to experience T-Town’s Bama fan phenomenon with the rare game-day hotel availability and local businesses eager to share their products/services with you.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm:
Start Sunday morning off the right way at Rama Jama’s with a hearty breakfast at this University of Alabama-themed grill on Bryant Drive. Admire Bryant-Denny Stadium in all its glory as you enjoy more incredible local food. With classic options like fresh biscuits, crispy bacon, and unbelievable ham, it’s no surprise this hometown hit has hundreds of rave reviews. After a long, exciting Saturday of exploring Tuscaloosa and cheering on the Crimson Tide, a southern-styled breakfast at the one and only Rama Jama’s is just what the doctor ordered.
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm:
The Paul W. Bryant Museum is back open for this year’s football season! They are so excited to welcome visitors to town and share the gilded history of Bear Bryant and the Alabama Crimson Tide! After enjoying a Saturday full of football, the Bryant Museum is the perfect place to spend your Sunday afternoon, watching and learning about the history of Alabama Athletics. Walk in the footsteps of Alabama greats with the exhaustive collection of items and memorabilia of past sports history at The University of Alabama. Be sure to visit Bryant Museum’s website ahead of time to purchase admission and check hours of operation.
2:30 pm – 5:00 pm:
Downtown Tuscaloosa is a great place to shop around and discover local businesses that offer clothes, accessories, furniture, and more. Olive Tree Antiques and Twice as Nice are delightful examples of antique shops in Downtown T-Town. Places like these have something for just about everyone with eclectic inventory that is constantly changing. Whether it be kitchenware, jewelry, an antique, or interior decorations you are bound to discover some T-Town treasures that would make the perfect souvenirs.