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!

Business Thanksgiving Christmas Eve Christmas Day
Ajian Sushi Closed Closed Closed
Another Broken Egg Closed Open Closed
Archibald & Woodrow’s Closed Closed Closed
Avenue Pub Closed Closed Closed
Babe’s Doughnut Closed Closed Closed
Baumhowers Restaurant Closed 11 – 4 Closed
Black Warrior Brewing Company Open Open until 9 Closed
Brick & Spoon Closed Open Closed
Buffalo Phil’s Wings Closed Closed Closed
Catfish Heaven Closed Closed Closed
Central Mesa Closed Closed Closed
Chuck’s Fish Carry Out Only Closed Closed
Cracker Barrel Open Open – 2 PM Closed
Cravings Closed Closed Closed
Depalma’s Italian Cafe Closed Closed Closed
Don Tono’s 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 Closed Closed Closed
Five Closed Closed Closed
Five Java Closed Closed Closed
Flavaz Seafood & Soulfood Closed Closes at 5PM Closed
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers Closed Close at 4PM Closed
Frutta Bowls Closed Closed Closed
Full Moon BBQ Closed 10 – 3 Closed
Glory Bound Closed Closed Closed
Gourmade Kitchen Closed Closed Closed
Half Shell Oyster House Closed 11 am – 8 pm Closed
Heat Pizza Bar Closed Closed Closed
Heritage House Closed Closed Closed
Hokkaido Closed 11 am – 2 pm Closed
Hoo’s Q and Brew Closed 11 am – 2 pm Closed
Hoo’s Q Closed 11 am – 2 pm Closed
Hooligans Closed Closed Closed
Innisfree Open Closed Closed
Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill Closed Open Lunch Close Dinner Closed
Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ Closed Closed at 3 pm Closed
Juice Bar Closed Closed Closed
Just Love Coffee Closed Shortened Hours Closed
Kobe Closed Open Closed
Legends Bistro Open Closed Closed
Local Roots Closed Closed Closed
Lookout Rooftop Bar Open Closed Closed
Los Tarascos Closed Closed Closed
Mellow Mushroom Closed Closed Closed
Metro Diner 9 – 2 9 – 2 Closed
Moe’s Original BBQ Closed Closed Closed
Monarch Espresso Closed Closed Closed
Mr. Chen’s Closed Open Closed
Mugshots Grill and Bar Closed Closed Closed
Peach Pit Bar & Grill Closed Open until 6 pm Closed
Pyro’s Fire Fresh Pizza closed Open until  2 pm Closed
R Davidson Chophouse 11 – 8 Closed Closed
Raised on Country Closed til 4 pm Closed
Rama Jama’s Closed Closed Closed
Reggae Flava Closed Closed Closed
River Closed Closed Closed
Rock N Roll Sushi Closed Closed Closed
Ruan Thai Exotic Thai Cuisine Rest. Closed Closed Closed
Sage Juice Bar Closed Open Closed
Shoals Bar and Kitchen Breakfast Only Closed Closed
Side-by-Side Open Open Open
Southern Ale House Closed Closed Closed
Surin of Thailand Closed Closed Closed
Sweet Home Food Bar Closed Closed Closed
Swen Chinese Restaurant Closed Closed Closed
Taco Casa Closed Open until 5 pm Closed
Taco Mama Closed Open until 4 pm Closed
Taziki’s Cafe Closed Open Closed
The Juicy Crab 11 am – 4 pm Open 11 am – 4 pm
The Waysider Closed Closed Closed
Turbo Coffee Closed Closed Closed
UPerk Closed Closed Closed
Urban Cookhouse Closed Closed Closed
Veracruz Mexican Grill Closed Closed Closed
VooDoo Wing Company Closed Closed Closed
Wilhagan’s Closed Closed Closed
Wing Stop 5 pm – 12 am Closed Closed
World Of Beer Closed Closed Closed
Zoe’s Kitchen (all locations) Check Website Open until 3 pm Closed

 

Business
2020
Thanksgiving Christmas Eve Christmas Day
Ajian Sushi Closed Closed Closed
Another Broken Egg Closed Open Closed
Archibald & Woodrow’s Closed Closed Closed
Avenue Pub Closed Closed Closed
Babe’s Doughnut Check back later Check back later Check back later
Baumhowers Restaurant Closed 11 – 4 Closed
Blaze Pizza Closed Open??? 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
Catfish Heaven Closed Closed Closed
Central Mesa Closed Closed Closed
Chuck’s Fish Carry Out Only Closed Closed
Cravings Closed Closed Closed
Depalma’s Italian Cafe Closed Closed Closed
Don Tono’s 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
Five Java Closed Closed Closed
Flavaz Seafood & Soulfood Closed Closes at 5 pm Closed
Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers Closed Close at 4 pm Closed
Frutta Bowls Closed Closed Closed
Full Moon BBQ Closed 10 – 3 Closed
Glory Bound Closed Closed Closed
Gourmade Kitchen Closed Closed 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
Hooligans Closed Closed Closed
Innisfree Open Closed Closed
Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill Closed Open Lunch Closed
Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ Closed till 3 pm Closed
Juice Bar Closed Closed Closed
Just Love Coffee Closed Shortened Hours Closed
Kobe Closed Open Closed
Legends Bistro Open Check back later Check back later
Local Roots Closed Closed Closed
Lookout Rooftop Bar Check back later Check back later Check back later
Los Tarascos Closed Closed Closed
Mellow Mushroom Closed Closed Closed
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
Mr. Chen’s Closed Open Open
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
Reggae Flava Closed Closed Closed
River Closed Closed Closed
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 Casa Open Open Closed
Taco Mama Closed til 4 pm Closed
Taziki’s Cafe Closed Open 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
UPerk Closed Closed Closed
Urban Cookhouse Closed Check back later Closed
Veracruz Mexican Grill Closed Check back later Closed
VooDoo Wing Company Closed Closed Closed
Wilhagan’s 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.

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!

1.jDowntown Tuscaloosa:

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!

2. Riverwalk

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

PETrifying Places

Lake Tuscaloosa has everything you need for an unforgettable lake day with friends, family, and fluffy companions. This local hangout has certainly earned its reputation as a fantastic 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 with your pet by your side! Everyone is bound to have a blast in this comfortable cozy weather. Only a short drive from the city, this lake makes pairing a morning out in nature with Rama Jama’s iconic Southern breakfast unbelievably easy. This sport-centric bar & grill serves a variety of American eats, including all-day breakfast, sandwiches & shakes!

 

Across the river and north of downtown Northport, you’ll find one of PARA’s many phenomenal developments: The Van De Graff Arboretum. This 33-acre beauty has it all, from freshwater ponds and protected swamplands to porch-style swings and a historic bridge over a peaceful creek. This park splendidly showcases the natural southern beauty Tuscaloosians (and their furry friends) admire and cherish. The hidden gem within the park is the reused 1882 King Bowstring Bridge mentioned previously. Once used to cross the Black Warrior, it closed in 1896, slowly becoming forgotten until the park reclaimed it. With surreal views and unforgettable places to explore Van de Graff makes for a picturesque place for your next fall picnic!

 

Spooky Shopping Spaces

Immerse yourself into your character this weekend by stepping into the past and finding your one-of-a-kind halloweekend costume at some of our incredible, local antique stores! Druid City Vintage opened at the end of last year and already has the potential for an instant T-Town “must-do”. Whether it’s a Jimi Hendrix tee or a Vintage Handheld (and still working) Basketball Game that will put the perfect finishing touch on your Halloween costume, you’re bound to leave this gold mine smiling.

 

Twice as Nice is another local thrift/consignment shop that blesses this community. This gem has been in business for 20 years in its current location with over 16,000 clients. Specializing in high-end designer clothing, furniture, and antiques this spot is another go-to for finding a creative and unique last-minute costume!

 

Formidable Football and more Frightening Fall Functions

Para is hosting BOO! in the park this Friday, which is a two-part spooky extravaganza including Trick or Treat Trails and a Halloween Double Feature! Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and round up the whole family for this night of fun! Hotel Transylvania will begin at 6:30 pm and Hocus Pocus will begin at 8:30 pm. Social distancing will be enforced, please wear your mask. Enter through the Sokol Park entrance off of Ol’ Colony Road. Gates open at 5:30. Food trucks and concessions available.

 

BeWEAR of the $100 Surprise Giveaway we’ve been cooking up. Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports has teamed up with FIVE bar to raise Mask Awearness AND make your Friday even better! Our red SUV (with our logo on it, you can’t miss it) will be parked in front of this local favorite at 5:30 pm tomorrow wearing, you guessed it, a face mask! Follow the instructions displayed on the windshield for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to FIVE! You can go ahead and solidify the plans you made to kick off the weekend early with drinks and grub right after work. Enjoy fine dining and shoot your shot for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to an iconic Tuscaloosa restaurant!

 

Don’t stop the fun after FIVE because Twelve25 will be hosting a Fright Night Halloween Costume Competition this Friday! Wear your iconic costume for a chance to win $50, $100, or $200 AND VIP access for 8! This is an adult Halloween celebration you definitely don’t want to miss, starting at 8 pm. World of Beer is also having several specials starting TONIGHT exclusively for this Halloweekend.

 

Here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…Get your Terrifying Tide Pride on for Saturday night at 6 pm as the Crimson Tide faces the Bulldogs! Hoop, holler and have a full-out hoot cheering on the Bama Family this weekend. For everyone’s safety, many updates have been made for the 2020 season. Head to The University of Alabama’s 2020 Gameday Information Page for all the details. If you are looking for more updates regarding the Alabama Crimson Tide Game Day Experience read the article here!

This Halloweekend be smart, wear a mask, and enjoy Rolling with the Tide!

 

**Masks and social distancing required for ALL events.

 

Written by: Jamie Hoven

Summer is winding down and so are the temperatures, which means the outdoors are calling our names! Getting outdoors is important as we navigate our increasingly-virtual lifestyles thanks to COVID-19, so we figured we would compile a list of outdoor adventures for you to discover around Tuscaloosa. This city is a beautiful landscape that only gets better as Autumn starts to sweep across the country, elevating already beautiful outdoor destinations into breathtaking views! Whether you are looking to wind down with an outdoor picnic or take an adventure hiking through the fall foliage, check out this list of outdoor adventures around Tuscaloosa!

 

  1. 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. 

 

     2. 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. 

 

    3. Riverwalk

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!

 

    4. Civil Rights Trail

As Summer draws to a close and temperatures start to drop, it is prime time to spend the day outside walking around and exploring new places. Among the many adventures that await in Tuscaloosa 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.

 

     5. Government Plaza

If you are looking for a versatile area that offers safe ways to 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. Enjoy the crisp Autumn air 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 dog-walking. 

 

    6. 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, take in the captivating views, or dip into the refreshing water! You are bound to have a blast in this comfortable weather. 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.

 

Written By: Will Baggett

Edited By: Jamie Hoven

As the school year starts back up in Tuscaloosa, we are excited to be welcoming students back to town! A few things have changed around town since school last left off, so we wanted to share a list of must-visit food stops and businesses around town. There are dozens of local businesses and restaurants around Tuscaloosa just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed, and there’s no better time like the present to be adventurous and experience new offerings! The following list of experiences ranges from familiar favorites in new locations, new spots to check out, and a variety of places that are perfect to enjoy on a daily basis!

 

Local Roots 

The ever-popular Local Roots food truck has transitioned into its own brick and mortar restaurant location on North McFarland Boulevard and is prepared to deliver the same mouth-watering dishes that students have come to expect from the food truck window, plus more! If you have not yet eaten at Local Roots, be sure to swing by to discover the many decadent menu items offered, featuring a variety of burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and salads.

 

Sage Bar

Sage Bar is the perfect spot to relax or share a meal and drinks with some friends while taking time off from your daily routine! This bar doubles as both a juice bar and a speakeasy to keep you calm, focused, and relaxed all the way through your day. Whether it is early-morning brain food, brunch and lunch bites, or an evening cocktail, Sage Bar has the answer. Sage Bar is located on 4th Street in Downtown Tuscaloosa.

 

Reggae Flava

Another popular food truck has also found its way into its own restaurant: Reggae Flava! Reggae Flava is a veteran-owned business that offers traditional Jamaican dishes that are sure to make your taste buds dance with delight. The Reggae Flava menu is filled with Caribbean dishes that are both delicious and can satisfy anyone’s comfort food needs. Now that Reggae Flava has moved into its own location in Timmerson Square, this spot is a great place for people to be adventurous with their food choices and experience the many flavors of Jamaican cuisine!

 

Ingram Farms

For fans of farmer’s markets and those who do their best to use locally-grown produce, Ingram Farms is a delightful place to visit and look around. Doubling as an ice cream shop selling Blue Bell Ice Cream and locally-flavored ice cream, Ingram Farms is a wonderful place for students to support a local business of the Tuscaloosa area! Ingram Farms is a family-owned and operated business in Northport and has been selling produce and ice cream to the local residents of Tuscaloosa and Northport for years.

 

Jackie of All Trades

Jackie of All Trades is a Furniture and Design Store located in a new spot on Rice Mine Road, where a person can come to find the experts at furnishing a new apartment, a new home, or a reimagining of either! The owner, Jackie, and her team of designers love to work with clients to bring to life new ideas and designs for home customization. If you are in need of a big redesign or looking to shake things up, visit the Jackie of All Trades showroom to dive into the full design experience!

 

Foosackly’s

Foosackly’s a new fast food addition to the City of Tuscaloosa, located on 15th Street. This chicken-centric restaurant is a staple throughout the state of Alabama and has caused quite a craze since opening its new location in Tuscaloosa over the summer. Fans of fresh chicken tenders, house-made sauces, and freshly brewed sweet tea must swing by Foosackly’s to get to know one of the newest fast-food spots in town!

 

Shindig

Shindig is the go-to all-in-one party spot, with its offering of bowling, arcade games, laser tag, blacklight mini-golf, and a restaurant/lounge. If you are in need of blowing off steam with your friends, Shindig is the place to be for any and all the above reasons! Weekly and Seasonal specials are offered as well, including Night Owl Bowling (late night bowling), multi-game offerings of laser tag, and even 3-D mini golf. Be sure to check the Shindig website for hours of operation and enjoy an exciting evening of fun!

 

Las Piñas 

Looking for a homemade ice cream shop with an exciting and surprising twist? Las Piñas is a family-owned ice cream shop located off McFarland Boulevard, specializing in a unique twist of traditional American and Mexican flavors in its ice cream. Everything made in this shop from the ice cream to the special frozen treats is 100% homemade and 100% delicious! Las Piñas offers a refreshing change of taste with the care of a homemade treat for everyone to enjoy!

 

Mi Casita Bakery

Mi Casita Bakery is a local bakery that bakes delicious treats that will be sure to satisfy any sweet tooth’s sugar craving! Whether it is mouth-watering cheesecake, fresh bread, or even authentic Italian tiramisu, Mi Casita Bakery is a great way to celebrate all different occasions or to simply provide a much-needed cheat day for anyone looking for sweet comfort food. Mi Casita bakery is located off McFarland Road on Hargrove Road.

 

The Biscuit Shop Co.

The Biscuit Shop Co. isn’t just your everyday breakfast spot. This breakfast spot is a locally-owned and operated spot that offers a delectable variety of both sweet and savory biscuits and treats to start the day off right! At The Biscuit Shop Co., you can expect coffee and other drinks, a daily menu full of all your favorites, specialty biscuits that change twice a month, breakfast sandwiches to eat on the go! The Biscuit Shop Co. is located in Northport and is a must-visit spot for anyone looking to mix up their breakfast routine or looking for a spot to relax and start off the day with a calm bite to eat.

 

Coming Soon

As the semester keeps rolling, more and more businesses will begin to either reopen or open their doors for the first time ever. We have pulled together a list of a few spots to look out for around town so you can be one of the first back or the first to try them out! This list includes a relaxing spot to enjoy a cup of coffee, a hearty barbeque joint, and exciting new places to unwind and enjoy a drink with friends.

 

 

 

Written by: Will Baggett

Black Belt Adventures recently created a weekend tour of Alabama’s Black Belt, showcasing the region’s best eateries, pit stops, and local goods. The Flavors of the Black Belt Adventure of course passes through Tuscaloosa, stopping by some of the city’s best restaurants and unique locations along the way. To see what made the cut and to take your own adventure through Tuscaloosa, follow along with us!

Archibald and Woodrow’s BBQ

Archibald and Woodrow’s BBQ began serving the Tuscaloosa community from a small cinderblock building in 1962. Three generations later, the restaurant is known across the country for serving some of the best barbecue and ribs that the South has to offer. Archibald and Woodrow’s barbecued ribs, pork, and chicken are known for their trademark hickory-smoked flavor, and their house-made sides and sauces complement each item perfectly. If you’re looking for authentic Southern barbecue in Tuscaloosa, give Archibald and Woodrow’s a try!

Avenue Pub

Avenue Pub has been serving refined pub classics and a variety of craft beers to the Tuscaloosa community since 2014. Dishes like fish and chips and fried green tomato BLTs are made in-house with locally sourced ingredients, creating simple but memorable dishes. Make sure you try one of their local beer options while you’re there! The restaurant’s laid-back atmosphere creates a sense of community with every guest, making Avenue Pub the perfect place to visit for a casual and welcoming dining experience.

Central Mesa

In 2017, Central Mesa began serving authentic Latin American food with a Southern twist in downtown Tuscaloosa. From hot chicken tacos inspired by the classic Nashville dish to beer-battered cod tacos that are straight from the Atlantic Ocean, Central Mesa offers one of the city’s most unique menus. The restaurant prides itself on serving fresh and delicious dishes alongside clean cocktails in a laid back atmosphere. If you’re looking for a unique fusion dining experience, Central Mesa is the place to be!

Chuck’s Fish

Chuck’s Fish opened in downtown Tuscaloosa in 2006 with the intention of showing off the best seafood that the Gulf of Mexico has to offer. The restaurant is named in honor of UA graduate Chuck Morgan, a civil rights attorney who fought against racial inequality during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement. Along with freshly harvested seafood, Chuck’s Fish also offers naturally-raised beef and an award-winning sushi bar. If you’re looking for a high-quality dining experience with a great atmosphere, look no further than Chuck’s Fish!

Depalma’s 

Depalma’s is Tuscaloosa’s premier destination for Italian cuisine that is both authentic and delicious. Since 1995, Depalma’s has been serving pastas, pizzas, calzones, and other entrees to locals and visitors alike. They also offer a wide drink selection as well as desserts, including Depalma’s famous white chocolate bread pudding. The restaurant’s cozy atmosphere coupled with its prime location in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa makes it a must-try during your next visit!

Dreamland BBQ

Since 1958, Dreamland BBQ has been serving hickory-fired ribs and other barbecued favorites to the Tuscaloosa area. Over the years, Dreamland has become one of the most celebrated barbeque restaurants in the South. While they’re known for their iconic ribs, white bread, and sauce combination, Dreamland also serves barbeque sandwiches, smoked sausages, half chickens, and more! Check their online menu for availability at each location, and keep Dreamland in mind the next time you’re craving barbeque!

River

Located on the banks of the Black Warrior River, River is Tuscaloosa’s top destination for urban dining with beautiful views. Since 2016, River has been serving tender steaks, savory flatbreads, specialty oysters, and more to the Tuscaloosa community. River prides itself on its great food and personal service, and its spacious dining terrace makes the perfect backdrop for a refined dining experience. If you’re looking for fine dining with beautiful riverfront views, choose River!

Along the Way

Besides some of the best dining in the South, Tuscaloosa also has some great sights and spots to visit! The Alabama Museum of Natural History has been celebrating the state’s natural history through exhibits, teaching programs, and service for over 150 years. While on The University of Alabama’s campus, stop by the Paul W. “Bear” Bryant Museum to learn more about the campus’s famous football history. See some of the program’s most memorable moments displayed through state-of-the-art exhibits. To satisfy your artsy side, visit the Kentuck Art Center to learn more about the creativity of the Tuscaloosa community or enjoy one of their year-round programs. Round off your tour around Tuscaloosa with a drink at Black Warrior Brewing Company, which offers a large variety of craft beers and wines that are made in-house.

 

Black Belt Adventures’ many trails focus on the food, drinks, stays, and sights you’ll encounter on your trip, and shopping lists tell what local goodies you’ll want to pick up along the way. While on your adventure, make sure to enter Black Belt Adventures’ Feed Your Adventure Photo Contest! Simply snap a photo along one of their trails and upload your photo to their website. More information can be found on their website’s Flavors Photo Contest page. View the full brochure here and happy trails!

Congrats to all of The University of Alabama’s 2020 graduates! You deserve to relax, relish, and reminisce in one of the most remarkable college football towns in the nation. You might think it stops there, but Tuscaloosa goes far beyond football. Thanks to excellent lodging, exceptional eats, and endless local gems, T-Town offers unforgettable experiences whether you roll with or away from the tide. Read on for tips to get the most out of your weekend getaway in the Druid City.

Whether you are attempting a last-minute road trip or scheming a self-indulging staycation in the near future, you’re in luck. Some of our city’s incredible hotels have availability for the next few days! For a traditionally southern experience, check out Bama Bed & Breakfast, located a mere two blocks from Bryant-Denny Stadium. Providing five gorgeous rooms to choose from, hot tub access, and complimentary breakfast + basket of snacks, this place goes above and beyond to accommodate for their guests!  If Tuscaloosa’s fantastic local shopping and dining is calling your name, check out Embassy SuitesHome2 Suites, or Hotel Indigo. All of these highly-rated hotels are a short walk to the heart of downtown T-Town, home to many iconic places that give this city personality. Haven’t quite found what you’re looking for? There are more amazing local hotels with availability for this weekend!

Gather with family, friends, and fellow graduates to celebrate this chapter in life with some spectacular dining options, all fresh and all local! Enjoy a graduation sushi platter special at Chuck’s Fish, or venture down the street for a taste of Gulf Coast seafood with a New Orleans flare at Half Shell Oyster House. Another elegant option that encompasses the vibrant life of this city is River. Have your cake and eat it too at this restaurant with dinner and a view of the Black Warrior River. And of course, one can never go wrong with a dinner at DePalma’s to enjoy some delicious homemade bread and pasta made fresh to order.

What is a weekend getaway without souvenirs? For those die-hard Bama fans, you can stock up on some of the coolest Alabama gear at local stores like Bama Stuff and JCG Apparel. Be sure to look out for brand new alumni clothing! Not a Bama fan? Not a problem. Tuscaloosa is home to a variety of local favorites that are sure to impress guests and locals alike. If you enjoy shopping at unique boutiques you are in the right place. Effie’s Inc. is nestled in the historic district downtown and is known for its outstanding customer service. Whether you are perfecting a special occasion outfit or just enhancing your wardrobe, Effie’s carries the latest trends for a variety of lifestyles and ages. It also doesn’t hurt that the entire website is 50% off (excluding new arrivals). Another hidden treasure in town is Pause Boutique. Enjoy endless jewelry, clothing, shoes, accessories, and more at this special local shop! For men’s clothing, swing by University Blvd. and check out Pants Store and The Locker Room! Both stores provide stellar customer service and a vast selection of fashionable products that can appeal to everyone.

What is a quick weekend trip for some is a spectacular staycation for others. Regardless, Tuscaloosa can’t wait to welcome you all with open arms (abiding by social distancing guidelines, of course). We hope this helps enhance your experience in our beloved city!

Evangeline’s hit the local restaurant scene by storm, and for good reason! The restaurant is considered to be one of the city’s premier fine dining establishments. Best of all, Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports is giving a $50 Evangeline’s gift card to one lucky winner next week on Instagram or Facebook! Join us as we show you everything that Evangeline’s has to offer.

Evangeline’s has a wide selection of dinner options that are sure to satisfy any visitor. The restaurant offers one of the best filet mignons in Tuscaloosa. Served with a garlic-infused potato puree, sautéed broccolini, and jumbo lump crab mornay sauce, the dish is both sophisticated and delicious. If you’re in the mood for lighter fare, try the summer peach salad. A bed of romaine and organic mixed greens is topped with peaches, strawberries, blueberries, candied pecans, goat cheese, and a house-made peach and poppy seed dressing to create this delightful and summery salad. Craving seafood? Evangeline’s has that too! Their phenomenal crab cakes are a must, so much so that al.com included them in 100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die. If you’re looking for a nice dinner in Tuscaloosa, Evangeline’s is one of the perfect places in town!

Evangeline’s also serves dessert to ensure that you finish your meal on a sweet note. There are a few classic options on the menu, including chocolate cake and peanut butter pie, but Evangeline’s offers so much more than classic treats! Lemon sorbet is the perfect option for those looking for something to complement the Tuscaloosa summer heat. There are even a couple of cheesecake options! Try blueberry cheesecake to get that summer feeling that accompanies fresh berries, or choose the praline pecan cheesecake for an irresistibly sweet crunch. No matter what you choose, rest easy knowing that each option is fresh and delicious.

There’s a lot that goes into making Evangeline’s the pinnacle of high class, including its atmosphere and high-quality ingredients. White tablecloths paired with a black ceiling emanate big-city sophistication, while the shot glass votives that sit on each table bring back the warmth that’s expected in southern towns like Tuscaloosa. Make sure you dress up to match that comfortable classiness, whether that means your Sunday best or your finest eveningwear. Keeping with the high-quality vibe, Evangeline’s also uses local produce in all of their dishes. Their fresh fruits and veggies are sourced from Katie Farms in Coker, Alabama. The atmosphere and high-quality dishes at Evangeline’s combine to make something totally unique, making the restaurant a must-visit!

 

Out and About

Grand Slam Baseball Tournament: If you’re in the mood to enjoy America’s favorite pastime, look no further than the 2020 Grand Slam Baseball Tournament being held right here in Tuscaloosa! The 7U & 8U division is Saturday only, while the 9U to 12U division is a two-day tournament. Masks must be worn at the tournament, and social distancing rules will be enforced.

Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society Virtual Tours: If you aren’t comfortable leaving the house, there are plenty of entertaining things to do virtually from the comfort of your home! Tuscaloosa has quite a few historic buildings, and it’s easy to see them all with the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society’s virtual tours! See the Battle-Friedman House, the Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion, or The Old Tavern from the comfort of your home this weekend.

Cardinal Park: Cardinal Park is located a short drive from the heart of Tuscaloosa along Airport Road. The park offers grills and a playground for the kids to enjoy, and if you’re lucky, you may see planes or helicopters take off from the local airport! Visitors report that the park is clean and safe, so stop by this weekend and enjoy everything that Cardinal Park has to offer!

Eat and Enjoy                                                    

Thomas Rib Shack: Thomas Rib Shack is known for serving some of the best soul food in Tuscaloosa! The restaurant serves hearty and healthy southern dishes, including Southern favorites like fried chicken, barbeque pork, and ribs. Thomas Rib Shack is known for its reasonable prices, phenomenal service, and delicious food. Stop in and grab a plate, or order take out if you’re looking to stay in this weekend!

The Brown Bag: If you’re looking for home-style cooking, The Brown Bag is the place to be! With catfish, barbeque, a variety of vegetable side dishes, and an assortment of desserts on the menu, you’re sure to find something to enjoy. Customers have sung their praises for The Brown Bag online, so be sure to stop in or place a to-go order this weekend to see what all the fuss is about!

Broadway Pizzeria: One of Tuscaloosa’s most iconic local pizza spots is Broadway Pizzeria. The restaurant was started by two best friends and has been serving wood-fired pizzas, hoagies, calzones, wings, and pasta to the Tuscaloosa community since 2002. Broadway Pizzeria is open for both dine-in and takeout, so place an order this weekend and enjoy your pizza wherever you’d like!

Sweet Treats

Mary’s Cakes and Pastries: Mary’s Cakes and Pastries is a specialty bakery that bakes unique cakes for weddings, birthdays, showers, and other celebrations. Mary’s Cakes also offers cookies, pastries, beverages, and a daily $5 lunch special. Most of their cakes are made to order, but there are some available for last-minute celebrations or when you just want cake. Order curbside pickup from Mary’s Cakes and Pastries in downtown Northport this weekend!

Steel City Pops: There’s nothing better than cooling off with a popsicle on a hot summer day! Steel City Pops specializes in making gourmet popsicles out of high-quality ingredients. Their small-batch recipes include three different kinds of pops: cookie, creamy, and fruity. Stop by the shop located on University Boulevard in downtown Tuscaloosa this weekend and pick up a gourmet treat!

Insomnia Cookies: Insomnia Cookies is a favorite of college students and local sweet friends alike. They specialize in delivering warm, delicious cookies right to the doors of individuals and companies alike. Their offerings include chocolate chunk, double chocolate mint, snickerdoodle, and so much more. And don’t worry, they’re open until 3 a.m. in case that late-night craving strikes! Insomnia Cookies is located on The Strip, but delivery is also available.