Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is not just the home of The University of Alabama; it’s also the home of a growing culinary scene. While the city is famous for serving delicious Alabama BBQ, Tuscaloosa restaurants feature diverse offerings. Options like a vegan market, fresh seafood joint, and more are available in the city known as Title Town.
Between catching a Crimson Tide game and exploring the city’s attractions, consider trying one of the restaurants below. These tasty options range from cozy and laidback to fine dining establishments for special occasions. Besides the restaurants noted below, Avenue Pub and Heat Pizza Bar are great options for a Tuscaloosa, AL, visit.
We’ve tried some of the best restaurants in Tuscaloosa (noted below), while others are on our must-try list. Without further ado, let’s get into these tasty eats!
7 Best Tuscaloosa Restaurants!
Buffalo Phil’s Pub and Cafe
You’ll find this restaurant near the famous Bryant Denny Stadium. Buffalo Phil’s Pub and Cafe prides itself on “the art of wing,” aka making some of the best wings around. ESPN has even mentioned this eatery as one of the best restaurants in the city. You’ll enjoy a relaxed atmosphere at Buffalo Phil’s as you munch on wings, sip beer, and catch a game. Their homemade peanut butter pie and key lime pie are also a must-tries. If you enjoy the dessert, you can pick up an entire pie to take back with you.
Archibald & Woodrow’s BBQ
This BBQ restaurant has been open since the early 1960’s, offering Alabama hospitality and delicious BBQ foods. This family-run restaurant focuses on providing BBQ items smoked with hickory wood, providing a deliciously savory, smoky taste. Every dish comes with a side of coleslaw or fried green tomatoes (great with their catfish!). Depending on your hunger level, you can also order baked beans and potato salad on the side.
Urban Bar and Kitchen
Urban Bar and Kitchen describes its decor as “minimalist boho meets industrial,” and there’s no better way to put it! This Tuscaloosa, AL restaurant has a great atmosphere, with fun 80s music and delicious food. Expect unique, bold flavors and creative dishes, like bacon bombs and crab claws. This restaurant has several vegetarian dishes on its menu, including buffalo cauliflower wings and a black bean burger. Don’t miss out on their white chocolate bread pudding!
You’ll want to head to City Cafe if you’re on a tight budget. This restaurant has been serving locals since 1931. It’s known for offering hearty meals at budget-friendly prices. While college kids typically frequent it, this restaurant is a must-visit eatery in Tuscaloosa. Every day of the week, the restaurant serves dishes from a different section of the menu, so you can enjoy a different meal no matter how many times you stop by. They’re open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. Expect Southern comfort dishes like fried green tomatoes and biscuits and gravy.
DePalma’s Italian Cafe
DePalma’s Italian Cafe features fresh food, delicious Italian dishes, and great customer service. This restaurant offers dishes ranging from salads to pizza, pasta, and more. The veal marsala and tomato-basil salmon are delicious if you’re unsure what to try while here. They also have a great selection of wine and beer. Since they don’t accept reservations, there is typically a long wait time. So, head to this restaurant early to grab a table before you get too hungry. This is one of the best places to eat in Tuscaloosa.
Half Shell Oyster House of Tuscaloosa
This restaurant chain has 15 locations between Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. It’s famous for offering Southern-style eats with a New Orleans twist. Half Shell Oyster House has an upscale menu with a more casual ambiance. Menu items include fresh oysters on the half shell, crab cakes, voodoo wings, po boys, and gumbo. Whether you prefer seafood, steak, or chicken, you’ll find plenty of options at this restaurant. If you want to try their cocktails at a budget-friendly price, visit the restaurant during happy hour (3-6 pm daily).
This fine dining restaurant offers stunning views of the Black Warrior River. Dillard’s Chophouse specializes in seafood and steak, making it a top choice for a special occasion. They have tasty options like filet mignon, pan-seared duck breast, and fried calamari. On the menu, you’ll also find elevated options like A5 Kobe Miyazaki Japanese Wagyu. Don’t forget to check out the impressive wine list while at this eatery.
The Veganish Market
You’ll find this newer restaurant (opened in 2022) in downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While it mentions vegan in the name, the menu has options for a wide range of eaters, including pescatarians and flexitarians. This restaurant features a fun atmosphere and friendly staff. It was inspired by visits to Miami, as evidenced by the tropical theme, bright colors, and palm leaf patterns. Expect vegan and non-vegan dishes on the healthier side when visiting this spot. You can even bring your dog and eat with them outside on the patio.
This trendy restaurant features impeccable service, diverse food offerings, and fun cocktails. The first location (Tuscaloosa) opened in 2006, with additional locations opening in Birmingham, Mobile, Tallahassee, and Montgomery between 2009 and 2022. This eatery aims to serve the best seafood the Gulf of Mexico has to offer. Chuck’s Fish is another seafood restaurant great for date nights or special occasions. You’ll find everything on the menu, from fresh seafood to pizza, sushi, and hickory-grilled steaks in one of the best places to eat in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Historic Waysider Restaurant
This cozy, casual eater is tucked away in a bright red house in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It features a Crimson Tide theme, as it was the favorite eatery of Paul “Bear” Bryant, the beloved former head coach of the Alabama football team. You’ll see a cardboard cutout of the current coach and memorabilia from the team throughout the restaurant. The Historic Waysider Restaurant is a fun breakfast spot, even if you’re not a football enthusiast. Try their soft breakfast biscuits topped with red eye or tomato gravy.