2020 has been a difficult year for restaurants, but that hasn’t stopped several new ones from opening up in the Magic City. Here are 10 new restaurants and eateries to try that have opened in Birmingham this year, from fine dining to casual burger joints to global cuisine. Most are offering takeout, curbside delivery, and in-person socially distant dining.
10 New Restaurants in Birmingham
Helen opened on Second Avenue North in downtown at the end of August and is one of the best new restaurants in Birmingham. The brainchild of chef Rob McDaniel (previously of SpringHouse at Lake Martin), Helen offers a modern take on Southern classics cooked on a wood-fired grill. The restaurant is named after McDaniel’s grandmother and honors her legacy with a unique veggie-forward menu and a prime selection of grilled proteins. Pro tip: start your meal with the angel biscuits served with cane sugar butter.
This Indian restaurant took the time they were closed in the beginning of the pandemic to undergo a total revamp and rebrand. After hiring a professional chef from New York who has worked in both India and Switzerland, Bay Leaf came up with an entirely new menu that highlights the best of Indian cuisine combined with gastronomic techniques. Try Street Dosa, Octopus Tandoori, and a selection of favorite and unique curries at the 5 Points South or Highway 280 location.
The Anvil takes British food to a different level at this new restaurant in the Lee Branch shopping center. Using locally sourced ingredients, The Anvil puts a global spin on seasonal cuisine. You’ll find British favorites like Fish & Chips and Steak & Guinness Pie, as well as fusion items like Fried Okra with a curry dipping sauce.
The newest addition to Crestline Village, Porch offers a menu that hits on plenty of Southern and international favorites. Start with The Oko, a Japanese savory cabbage pancake that has become a signature of Porch. For the main meal, you’ll find items like a Cuban Sandwich, Chicken Bahn Mi, and a Truffled Farro Bowl.
Avondale Brewery has long been a favorite hangout of Birminghamians, and now it has a permanent food truck dishing out burgers in the backyard — because nothing goes better together than burgers and beer! You’ll find classic burger options, as well as items like a Spicy Korean Burger, a Mushroom Swiss burger, and more. Get a side of Sweet Heat Tater Tots or Zesty Fries with your burger.
This fine-dining Italian restaurant on Second Avenue North is from the owner of Bistro 218. The menu is divided into Antipasti (appetizers), Primi (pasta), and Secondi (large plates). The Braised Beef Short Rib with polenta has quickly become a favorite option for diners. You can also never go wrong with a classic pasta dish like Bucatini Pomodoro.
Located in Cahaba Heights, this new pizza joint is from chef Terrill Brazelton, who was previously the chef of Slice Pizza. Troup’s is a casual counter-service restaurant offering specialty pizzas, sandwiches, and salads. You’ll find everything from meatball pizza to spicy hot chicken pizza to veggie pesto pizza.
Bell Peppers was created to offer delicious food for the carb-conscious. They’ve mastered the art of making low-carb dishes taste just like their high-carb counterparts. You can indulge in comfort food like burgers, pizza, waffles, bacon, and grits without feeling guilty at this Hueytown restaurant.
You’ve most likely seen Little London Kitchen’s red double decker bus turned food truck rolling around town. Now, the owners have found a permanent location to offer their classic British comfort food. The Little London pub in Homewood serves up dishes such as Cottage Pie, Bangers & Mash, and Fish & Chips. When the bus isn’t roaming, it’s parked at the pub for diners to sit inside.
Though technically not a restaurant, Rendezvous Kitchen is worth noting for its vegan food. This food truck, owned and operated by women, has expanded Birmingham’s vegan options. Vegan food doesn’t have to be boring, as Rendezvous proves with menu items like corndogs, burgers, seitan wings, and loaded fries. Try something new and feel good about it!
Julia Sayers Gokhale is a writer and editor who has been working in the lifestyle journalism industry since 2012. She was Editor in Chief of Birmingham Magazine for five years and is now leading Yellowhammer News’ lifestyle content. Find her on Instagram at @juliasayers or email her at email@example.com.