Birmingham is one of the largest cities in Alabama. The city has been an industrial hub in the south, primarily due to the steel industry. Indeed, on Red Mountain, near downtown Birmingham, Vulcan Park, which celebrates Birmingham’s industrial past, features the world’s largest cast-iron statue, depicting Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, at his forge.
Additionally, Birmingham is home to multiple cultural festivals showcasing music, movies, and regional heritage. The Birmingham Zoo and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens are two notable points of interest for those visiting the city. Birmingham also has a growing brewery scene in the South Side of the city.
Interestingly, the culinary scene in Birmingham is expanding to include a diverse collection of eateries. With nearly a quarter of a million people living in the city, finding a restaurant during any time of day is essential. We have visited several cafes and restaurants to find Birmingham’s best brunch restaurants.
Best Brunch in Birmingham
- Roots & Revelry
- El Barrio
- The Essential
- Avondale Common House
- Ruby Sunshine
- Trattoria Zaza
- Yo’ Mama’s
- Chez Lulu
- Big Bad Breakfast
- Hero Doughnuts & Buns
- First Watch
- Over Easy
- FIVE Birmingham
Roots & Revelry
1623 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Roots & Revelry is a restaurant that specializes in international cuisine with local ingredients. The restaurant is situated in a renovated 19-story tower in the city’s South Side by Railroad Park and Regions Field.
The restaurant is open for brunch on the weekends and offers a large outdoor dining space. It is a great place to visit with friends or family.
When I visited Roots & Revelry for brunch, I enjoyed the Chicken and Waffles with Buttermilk Breaded Chicken and a Ginger and Lemongrass Syrup. I recommend the Banana Pecan Beignets, the Gulf Omelet, and the Duck Hash. Try Mama’s Sweet Tea with Rum, Fresh Brewed Tea, Pomegranate, and Mint.
2018 Morris Ave, Birmingham, AL 35203
The Essential is a contemporary American cafe that offers lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. The interior has a patterned tile floor and beautiful floral wallpaper.
The Essential cleverly calls its brunch the “brunch-a-thon,” which is served from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.
The brunch menu is filled with savory options like the cheeseburger with a fried egg, American cheese, Russian dressing, and mustard, or the salmon benedict with an English muffin, smoked salmon, and a poached egg. Some sweet options include the granola parfait with honey or the brioche french toast with an almond pastry cream, blueberry compote, and ricotta.
2921 Highland Ave, Birmingham, AL 35205
Rojo is located in Highland Park. It is a restaurant that serves Latin and American dishes. The establishment offers a quirky yet engaging vibe and an exciting dining experience.
Owners Laney DeJonge and Clark Lopez have created a neighborhood gem. Rojo is open for brunch on weekends.
Try the Breakfast Burrito with eggs, rice, black beans, jalapeño sausage, queso, and pico de gallo. I also recommend ordering the Brunch Sandwich or the Scrambled Eggs with bacon and tater tots. If dining with a group, be sure to try the pitcher of sangria! Margaritas, Mimosas, and Bloody Mary’s are available, too.
Avondale Common House
4100 3rd Ave S, Birmingham, AL 35222
Avondale Common House is near Avondale Park on Third Avenue. It is a neighborhood bar and restaurant that serves interesting spirits and local brews.
Often the restaurant offers live music. The eatery is casual and comfortable and is a favorite spot for college students.
For Sunday Brunch, try the Biscuits and Gravy with two biscuits and smoked sausage gravy. Other popular brunch menu items include the sausage cheese balls, the Brunch Burger with Conecuh Sausage, and the Chimichurri Steak Breakfast Burrito. Try the Vulcan’s Crush brunch cocktail with vodka, cava, and white cranberry juice.
1017 Oxmoor Rd Suite 101, Birmingham, AL 35209
Ruby Sunshine is an offshoot of the famous Ruby Slipper cafe located in New Orleans. The regional chain has locations in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
In Birmingham, the restaurant is open in the Homewood neighborhood, near Homewood Central Park. It’s brunch all the time at Ruby Sunshine!
I enjoyed the BBQ Shrimp and Grits with a rosemary butter reduction when I visited the cafe. I also recommend the Corned Beef Benedict, the Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes, and the Burger with added bacon and a fried egg. Grab an espresso or hot tea with your meal, or if you are interested in another beverage, try the Nola-Style Iced Coffee.
207A 20th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Located in the Frank Nelson Building in Downtown Birmingham, Trattoria Zaza is a popular cafe that serves pizzas with creative toppings and Italian cuisine. Be sure to follow the eatery on social media for the most up-to-date menu additions or cocktail creations. Weekend brunch is offered from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
I love a bagel, and the Smoked Salmon and Caper Cream Cheese bagel was perfect! Try the Breakfast Pasta with ham, mushroom, sweet pepper, garlic cream, and a fried egg, or the Breakfast Pizza with bacon, sausage, hash browns, scallions, and a fried egg.
The Cherry Rosemary scone is a tasty baked bite, and the oat latte is delicious!
2328 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Yo’ Mama’s is a counter-serve restaurant specializing in chicken and waffles and other traditional Southern dishes for breakfast and lunch.
The restaurant is near Downtown Birmingham and won a 2016 Best of Birmingham Award for the tasty dishes on its lunch menu.
When I visited Yo’ Mama’s I enjoyed the Chicken and Waffles, a Belgian waffle with homemade syrup and blueberries topped with fried chicken wings. Other menu items include Shrimp and Grits, Shrimp Tacos, and the BBQ Cheeseburger. Most menu items are also offered gluten-free. Be sure to try some of the Homemade POE, “Put On Everything,” Sauce!
1911 Cahaba Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223
Chez Lulu is in the English Village in Birmingham and is a quaint cafe and bakery with a welcoming wood interior.
The eatery also has semi-covered outdoor seating for guests on nice days. Owner and Baker Carole Griffin has been serving traditional French pastries to the area for more than twenty years.
Try one of the savory croissants with ham and gruyere cheese or turkey and Emmenthaler cheese. The Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls are also delicious. I recommend ordering an Everything or Salt Bagal and topping it with the Cream Cheese and Olive Spread. Finally, to satisfy your sweet tooth, try the Pear and Almond Tart.
Big Bad Breakfast
5361 US-280, Birmingham, AL 35242
Chef John Currence first opened Big Bad Breakfast, or BBB, in Oxford, Mississippi. Due to its huge success, the chef and owner decided to expand to Birmingham, as well as other cities in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Florida. Chef Currence won a James Beard Award for Best Chef South in 2009.
Everything on the menu is incredible. My favorite breakfast is the Flapjacks–a stack of three vanilla pancakes with housemade syrup served with bacon. Also, try the Steak and Eggs or the Creole Omelet. The Low Country Skillet with shrimp, andouille, and cheddar cheese is another favorite. Try some of the cold brews for a caffeine kick or a mimosa for a sip of relaxation.
Hero Doughnuts & Buns
1701 1st Ave S Suite 135, Birmingham, AL 35233
Hero Doughnuts & Buns is near the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Wil Drake is the owner and baker at Hero Doughnuts & Buns.
Wil is from Birmingham but traveled worldwide to learn about innovative culinary techniques before coming home to open a shop.
The Vanilla Glazed “OG” Doughnut is simply delicious. I also recommend trying the Maple Sea Salt Doughnut, the Pistachio Doughnut, and the Cereal Milk Doughnut! For a savory meal, try the Loaded Hash Browns with a fried egg, onions, jalapeños, cheese sauce, pepper jam, cracked sauce, and bacon. The Vanilla Latte and the Nitro Cold Brew are both delicious coffee beverages.
First Watch is a chain breakfast restaurant offering fresh classics in a comfortable setting. The eatery has three locations in the Birmingham area: Vestavia Hills, Hoover, and Briarwood.
The restaurant is named after a nautical term that indicates the day’s first shift and denotes that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
I enjoyed the Avocado Toast, the Classic Eggs Benedict, and the Elevated Egg Sandwich when I visited First Watch. I would also recommend ordering the Ham and Gruyere Omelet or the Smoked Salmon and Roasted Vegetable Frittata. The cold brew coffee and the Fresh Brewed Iced Tea are both tasty beverages.
3120 Clairmont Ave, Birmingham, AL 35205
Bogue’s first opened in 1938 and remains a classic Southern diner. It is open in the Lakeview District, near the Highland Park Golf Course.
The straightforward diner is a casual place to find traditional Southern fare in Birmingham. Bogue’s is a great place for families with children or for the casual weekend breakfast.
The omelet menu is extensive, with an option to create your own version with add-ins like bacon, onions, ham, and peppers. Try the Country Scramble or the Fat Stack of Pancakes. On the weekends, Bogue’s serves their breakfast menu until at least noon!
358 Hollywood Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35209
Over Easy is near the Birmingham Zoo by Interstate 280. The restaurant’s owner was inspired after visiting Oxford, Mississippi’s hometown favorite, Big Bad Breakfast, discussed above, so Steven Jackson set out to create a chill breakfast spot to recreate his memorable meal.
Try the Classic Steak ‘n’ Eggs or the Biscuits and Gravy. My favorite breakfast item is the Italian Eggs Benedict with poached eggs, crispy prosciutto, housemade basil pesto, and a polenta cake. An Over Easy signature dish is the Morty O’Reilly, a blend of diced red potatoes, corned beef, onions, two eggs over easy, and a fluffy biscuit.
744 29th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
FIVE Birmingham is a homey restaurant and bar known for simple five-item menus that use local and seasonal ingredients.
The restaurant is premised on offering a simplified dining experience so that guests enjoy the company of others and the dining experience itself. It is a fun place to visit for a date or with friends.
I enjoyed the Shrimp and Grits with Gulf shrimp, Conecuh Sausage, and gouda-goat cheese grits when I visited. The other brunch items included a cheeseburger, chicken and waffles, a breakfast burrito, and a spinach bowl with bacon crumbles. To drink, the restaurant offers draft beer and wine and exactly five signature cocktails.
Birmingham is an exciting place to visit. With the vibe of a college town and a generous outpouring of Southern hospitality, the city is an exciting place to live or to visit. The culinary scene has expanded over the last decade, so brunch restaurants are popping up around Birmingham.
If you are looking for more Birmingham restaurant suggestions, check out this list of our favorite places to eat overall!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list about the best brunch spots in Birmingham? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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