With summer fast approaching and Tuscaloosa’s businesses returning to a sense of normalcy (but safely, of course!), we are thrilled to get out and about with our friends and family. It feels like it’s been a long time coming. And, it just so happens that yesterday was National Wine Day, so what other way to celebrate than wining and dining at some of the eclectic places we have around town. Below we have compiled a list of a few places to wine and dine the best way we know how in Tuscaloosa.
The Wine Market
This place provides a variety of offerings by the glass including red, white, sparkling, and rosé, which can all be enjoyed on-premise. The owner believes that this business is an opportunity to bring new and exciting possibilities for the wine market family to further the way they serve the community of Tuscaloosa.
Druid City Social
This local favorite has great food and awesome drinks (yes, including wine) that make for a good time! This Gastropub is located in downtown Tuscaloosa and has a beautiful Beer Garden as well as additional outdoor seating. Their food is fresh, the burgers and steaks are Certified Angus Beef, and all of the soups, sauces, and dressings are made in-house!
All of the featured fish at this gem comes from their own wholesale market at Harbor Docks. In addition to Gulf seafood, they offer aged, naturally-raised beef – cut in-house, and an award-winning sushi bar, created and managed by renowned chef Yoshie Eddings. If you’re looking for a top-notch dining experience with wonderful food, stellar service, a great atmosphere, and a nice selection of wine, look no further than Chuck’s Fish.
This one-of-a-kind bar focuses on pre-Prohibition and modern classic cocktails in a non-smoking environment. The atmosphere is very relaxing with delightful service. Don’t underestimate these mixologists; they can make the drink of your dreams in just minutes. The entire staff makes for a spectacular experience no matter what time it is. And don’t worry, if you aren’t feeling adventurous the good ole glass of wine never fails.
Being on the outside isn’t always such a terrible thing. Especially in a beautiful city like Tuscaloosa. 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. Sometimes just being outside can make a bad day better, so we have decided to make you all a list of some favorite porches 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.
Honorable mention – Druid City Social – This new gem in town is the perfect spot to have a nice romantic meal. With plenty of outdoor seating and elegant lights, you will have no problem finding a comfortable spot outside to sit down and relax.
Honorable Mention – 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!
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.
1. The River Walk
Disguised behind all of the commotions of Tuscaloosa lies the scenic River Walk. The 4.5 miles of path that runs directly next to the Black Warrior River serves as an ideal spot for picnics, dog walks, or leisurely strolls. Get out of the house, grab a friend, and go enjoy the view!
2. Dreamland BBQ
If you are from Tuscaloosa, or just Alabama itself, you know about this famous spot. Founded in 1958 by “Big Daddy” John Bishop, Dreamland has been a staple in Tuscaloosa’s food scene, serving communities across the state and even the country. You can still visit the original Dreamland location at 5525 15th Avenue East in Tuscaloosa. Pro Tip: Get the banana pudding.
3. Civil Rights Trail
To understand the rich history of Tuscaloosa’s civil rights history, it is crucial to examine the Civil Rights Trail. Many Alabamians are aware of the civil rights history that surrounds our state, but many might not be aware of the important events that took place in Tuscaloosa. The trail has 18 stops that tell of the extraordinary action that shaped this town forever. Visit https://civilrightstuscaloosa.org/trail/ to print your trail brochure.
Downtown Tuscaloosa has maintained its southern charm over the many years of change. Find a stylish outfit at The Pants Store, indulge in a nice dinner at Depalma’s, or sip on a craft cocktail at Sessions Bar. With dozens of businesses, new and old, its streets offer exciting experiences for everyone!
5. Lake Tuscaloosa
Right smack in the middle of Tuscaloosa you can fish, boat, or lie out with your friends at gorgeous Lake Tuscaloosa. This is the perfect spot for a quick, relaxing day trip with your friends or family. With 117 miles of shoreline, you sure won’t run out of room to play!
6. Crimson Tide Football
Alabama football fans have the honor of being some of the loudest, rowdiest fans in all of college football. To be honest, it’s hard to bite your tongue when your team has won 18 National Championships AND you have a larger stadium than Auburn.
7. The Strip
The Strip. Home to Quick Grill, the Yellow Hammer, and of course, Rounders. College kids love it, locals- well, probably don’t hate it too much. This is truly the place to go if you want that thrilling nightlife experience with a hint of college kid energy. Experience the electric energy on the strip that adds such an exciting element to Tuscaloosa!
8. Nicks in the Sticks
Nothing beats family-owned cooking- especially family-owned SOUTHERN cooking. Nicks in the Sticks has been serving the Tuscaloosa community since 1953 and has gone down in history ever since. Even though the venue is quite small, they dish up big flavors. If you have the chance to go, don’t forget to put a dollar bill on the ceiling!
What’s a good ole southern town without a good taproom? Tuscaloosa is home to 3 craft breweries: Loosa Brews, Druid City Brewing Company, and Black Warrior Brewing Company. New to the Tuscaloosa beer scene is The Grocery Brewpub that is set to open in the next few months!
10. The Immense History
While this one post could be a novel, T-Town has been a historical hotspot for centuries! Once the state capital in 1825, Tuscaloosa has been the home to the Creek Indian tribe and the site of a Civil War standoff. Grab a friend and discover the antiquity of Tuscaloosa throughout the many museums and tours offered throughout the town.
11. Kentuck Art Festival
Nothing screams fall in Tuscaloosa like changing leaves, football, and seasonal festivals. For 49 years, the Kentuck Art Center has been the epicenter of creativity for this community. The Kentuck Festival is filled with great music and art pieces from over 270 inspired creatives. While 2020 put a damper on the previous year’s fun, we are hopeful for the new year and the continuation of the spirit of Kentuck!
12. Tuscaloosa Farmers Market
Shop local, eat local, enjoy local. Supporting the Tuscaloosa community has never been easier thanks to the farmers market’s weekly Saturday appearance! Get your weekend fix of artisan bread, farm-fresh vegetables, and fabulous finds from your local small business owners at the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market- but remember to wear your mask!
13. The People
A deadly virus and a couple of tornados. It will take more than that to rock this town to its core! This community has endured so many hardships throughout the years. Yet still, we emerge stronger than ever and proud of the community we have built together! I could think of 1,000,000 reasons why I love Tuscaloosa, but 15 will have to do justice for now!
The weekend is just around the corner and we cannot wait to dive into some of the events that will be happening this week. Your weekend in Tuscaloosa can be jam-packed with fun festivities for all, leaving anyone who participates bound to have a blast. Let’s ditch the week-day blues and put on our optimistic shades for the weekend. Below are some exciting events that will create incredible memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
Laughs at Loosa
This Friday Stand Up Tuscaloosa invites you to Loosa Brews for some comedy on the patio with our Headliner Dan Alten from Louisville, KY, and featuring comics Paige McBride from Birmingham, Zach Bragg from Columbus, MS, and New Yorker Bobby Lockwood. This show is packed with goodness. So come grab a drink, find a seat, and get ready for a fun time with the coolest tribe around. The seating is available starting at 7:30 p.m. and the showtime is at 8 p.m.
Live Music on the Rooftop
We love live music at the Lookout Rooftop Bar and this week’s performer is going to slay! Enjoy a beautiful view of downtown Tuscaloosa as you treat yourself to their great variety of food and beverages. Friday Night on the Rooftop with Brian Rhea will begin at 7 p.m. Let the music take you away as you kick off your weekend with a tremendous start!
The Tuscaloosa Half Marathon is this Saturday at Government Plaza and Downtown Tuscaloosa! The start time for the race is 7 a.m. Ideally located, runners get a sampling of the rolling hills along the Black Warrior River, the jaw-dropping Tuscaloosa River Walk, portions of the University of Alabama campus, and some quaint downtown neighborhoods. The participants will have plenty of room to spread out and fully enjoy the event!
From 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday Children’s Hands-on Museum will be hosting an Easter extravaganza like no other! Get egg-cited and hop on down to CHOM for extraordinary egg science experiments and other cool crafts!
While the beginning of the week was dreary and wet, this weekend calls for dry grounds and a surprise appearance from the sun! This week in events is all about the spring season, art, and live music! See what’s going on in T-Town:
We can’t forget about Kentuck Art Center’s newest exhibition! Kentuck’s premiere 2021 exhibition, aptly titled “Good Trouble”, spans the Museum, Teer, and SoNo Galleries and features the work of at least seven Alabama Black artists. It is the hope of Kentuck Art Center that “Good Trouble” achieves several goals: to highlight Black voices, to provide a space for these artists’ works to continue the conversation about the Civil Rights Movement past and present, and to inspire empathy and the desire for change through the visual storytelling of these Black artists. “Good Trouble” will be available on March 16-26th. Go and check it out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed! Visit Kentuck’s website for hours and details.
We love Live Music Thursday’s at the Lookout Rooftop Bar and this week’s performer plays all of your favorite hits! Check out Chase Evan kick it off this Thursday, March 18th, and get a head start on your weekend happy hour! Just remember, the Lookout Rooftop is smoke-free and pet friendly, and practicing all social distancing protocols to offer you a night of great food and good fun! For more information, visit the Lookout’s website!
Mason Horne and Druid City Social
Did you catch that groove bug and can’t get enough live music? Keep the party going this Friday, March 19th, at Druid City Social! Straight out of the Carolina pines, the singer-songwriter from Jefferson, SC, Mason Horne brings a youthful, but timeless voice to country music. Grab your friends and head to Druid City Social to catch the performance! Don’t forget to check out some of their fresh starters, salads, or bowls when you need to reenergize.
Spring at CHOM
Spring has sprung and this Children’s Hands-on Museum is kicking into full gear with its festivities! March into Spring at CHOM this Saturday, March 20th, from 9:30 – 4 pm. Learn about the Water Cycle, help a butterfly fly using static electricity, and make a flower! All activities are included in admission. Wear your best spring outfit and mask!
The weekend is steadily approaching and we cannot wait to see what is in store! Tuscaloosa is far from lacking in fun festivities for the weekend and those that participate are bound to have a blast. Let’s ditch the week-day blues and put on our party hats! Here are some exciting events that will create incredible memories to last a lifetime.
Live Music Thursdays
Picture this: the sun is out, temperatures are warm and you have a cocktail in your hand. Oh, AND there is music playing! Live Music Thursday’s at The Lookout Rooftop Bar are kicking right into gear and just got better thanks to the spring season! Check out Soapy & Andrew hit it off this Thursday, March 11th, and take advantage of The Lookout’s happy hour cocktail and food deals! Just remember, the Lookout Rooftop is smoke-free and pet friendly, and practicing all social distancing protocols to offer you a fun night out!
Warmer weather and blue skies call for a fun outdoor event! Catch the Crimson Tide challenge Stetson this Friday, March 12th, at Sewell Thomas Stadium. Grab yourself and your buddies a ticket and head over to campus for the 6 pm game. Can’t attend in person? You can watch the Tide roll from home by watching SEC Network +.
St. Patrick’s Day is approaching and the Children’s Hands-On Museum is making sure you and your little ones have the best time yet! Shamrock Saturday at CHOM is this Saturday, March 13th. Make a shamrock guitar, rock out to Irish folk music, and hunt for shamrocks! All activities are included with admission and guests must wear a mask. Don’t forget to wear green!
In need of a good laugh? Nocturnal is back with another installment of one of the best stand-up acts in the region! The show is Saturday, March 13th, with headliner Scott Eason, a featured comedian on Comedy Centrals’ Roast Battle at Stand-Up Live in Huntsville and Sirius XM! Admission is $10 and doors at 7:00 pm for the 8 pm show. For more information click here!
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!
Wondering what’s happening down here this weekend in the City of Champions? Don’t worry, we got you covered! With all of the snow and ice behind us – hopefully – we are eager to get out of the house and shake the dust off! Let’s take a closer look at what’s hip-happening in Ttown this weekend!
Ah yes, this city sure does love its music! With live music happening most Thursdays at the Lookout Rooftop Bar, you simply can’t go wrong! Grab some buddies or your furry friend and head to the Lookout for a night filled with funky jams and fun drinks. Live music is performed every Thursday night from 6 pm to 9 pm. Want to see the lineup? Click here to check it out! Remember, the Lookout Rooftop is smoke-free and pet friendly, and practicing all social distancing protocols to offer you a fun night out!
Druid City Music Hall is newly renovated and welcoming artists back onto its stage! Rumours: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac is coming to town this Friday, Feb. 26th. Rumours is the country’s premier Fleetwood Mac tribute band. Based in Atlanta, GA, Rumours captures the energy of Fleetwood Mac at the height of their career by blending perfect harmonies, precise instrumentation, and a visually engaging stage show. Sounds like something you would enjoy? You can visit Druid City Music Hall’s website to purchase tickets! And as always, remember your mask ladies and gents.
For the Children
Another week, another family fun event at the Children’s Hands-On Museum! Come help The Lorax, Cat in the Hat, and Hortoncelebrate (early) Dr. Seuss’s 117th birthday! A photo booth, crafts, and games will all be included in admission. This is a safe, socially distant celebration so bring your snazziest mask and a great attitude!
As we all can agree, our city is full of rich, engaging history. The Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum is proudly hosting “Stitching Together Tuscaloosa’s History” for the dates of February 16 – March 27. This University of Alabama student-curated exhibition was created as a celebration of Tuscaloosa’s ever-changing and diversifying communities. This exhibition takes a new look at the Tuscaloosa Bicentennial Quilt through the lens of Black History and the rich stories spun by African American quilters. This free admission event is a perfect way to educate yourself and others about our community while also observing the amazing craftsmanship of the Bicentennial Quilt!
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!