The summer edition of Birmingham Restaurant Week returns with an extended-play 10-day event offering opportunities to try a variety of Magic City restaurants, cafes, and food trucks for a nominal price.
In its 14th year, the current session of the showcase for Birmingham’s diverse culinary scene is set for Thursday, July 20, through Saturday, July 29. Preview and postlude events are scheduled, along with a food truck pop-up event.
Restaurant week follows a formula familiar to veterans of the food fest: Participants create special multi-course menus for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Prices range from $5 to $50 per person.
Some restaurants also offer multiple specials or drink options with the food. Menus for each eatery and bar will be posted online in a searchable database by July 15.
Restaurant Week is a chance try high-end restaurants like OvenBird, Michael’s steakhouse, The Fig, and Roots & Revelry. International opportunities include longtime favorite Taj India, Sabor Latino’s Peruvian and South American cuisine, and the pan-Asian restaurants Umami and Nori Thai and Sushi.
Pizza is a popular choice, including the new 2 Dough Girlz in Birmingham’s Woodlawn neighborhood. Enjoy barbecue from Dreamland, Rusty’s in Leeds, SMOKE Bistro in the Pizitz Food Hall, or the Fat Charles food truck.
Originally designed to promote the city’s bounty of dining options, Birmingham Restaurant Week also evolved to help support these locally-owned businesses amid pandemic closures and post-pandemic business pressures.
“Birmingham’s culinary and beverage industry has been through a rough couple of years of heartbreak with nationwide labor shortages, product shortages and inflation,” says Bill Stoeffhaas, co-founder of BRW and owner of Style Advertising, which organizes the event.
“Summer Edition has a goal to promote locally owned restaurants and provide assistance to them where we are able to. Without our restaurants, the vibrancy of our culinary community will diminish.”
Restaurant Week also supports a food-based non-profit each session, donating more than $100,000 since its founding in 2010. The summer edition benefits Community Kitchens Birmingham, which prepares more than 44,000 meals annually at sites in Woodlawn and the Southside neighborhood.
The beneficiary of the winter edition of restaurant week, held in late January and early February, was Magic City Harvest. It received $2,500 toward its ongoing effort to lower food waste and hunger.
The preview party on Tuesday, July 18, will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Sloss Furnaces Visitor Center. Ten restaurants – including Michael’s, Nori Thai and Sushi, Roots & Revelry, Sabor Latino, Slice Pizza & Brew House, and Taj India – will serve samples from their BRW menus. Tickets are $30; $35 at the gate.
Set for Thursday, July 20, through Saturday, July 22, the Food Truck Pop-Up Park will be located at 32nd Steet South and 6th Avenue. Nearly a dozen mobile kitchens, including bon temps rollers Gumbo to Geaux and Nawlins Style Po Boys and dessert specialists Adored Sweets, Pandy’s SnoBiz, and Pasteles La MoreliAna, are participating in restaurant week.
The summer session wraps up with Wineology, set for Tuesday, August 1. To be held at Urban Parc, a new event venue in Five Points South, wine flights will be paired with food prepared by Paire Cobb, Urban Parc’s executive chef, and Lindsey Noto King, culinary specialist for the food-supply wholesaler Sysco.
Tickets for Wineology are $30 in advance; any remaining tickets will be $35 at the door. It is set for 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
Spire, the gas utility, is the primary sponsor among the private and public supporters for Birmingham Restaurant Week.
“At Spire, we know just how important restaurants and other businesses in the food and beverage industry are in this community,” says Spire’s president, Joe Hampton. “We couldn’t be happier to continue our partnership with Birmingham Restaurant Week, support our local restaurants, and provide the community with a way to connect through enjoying great food and drink.”