Valentine’s Day in the Magic City

Ok lovebirds, Valentine’s Day is only two weeks away! Have you decided on your special date night and solidified a reservation? Maybe not, but you’ve come to the right place. Birmingham is filled with spots, perfect for the occasion.

I’ve always secretly liked Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I’m pretty okay with any ‘holiday’ that provides an excuse to do something special and out of the norm – especially when a night out is in the picture.

Whether you’re celebrating with your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse, or maybe looking to share a meal with some girlfriends, Valentine’s Day is about love, and happiness, and anything else that brings you joy! So, let’s celebrate.

I’ve put together a few of my favorite places around town, based on price point, that I feel would provide a fun, delicious and memorable environment for a special day. There’s so many to choose from, so don’t feel like you have to stick to these suggestions! I’ve included a few that have Valentine’s Day specials, so act fast to get access to these special menus (and prices).

For the High Rollers – ($$$$$)

  1. Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille – What better way to celebrate than with a steak? Perry’s is one of my absolute favorites. Their steaks are tender and flavorful, and they have some of the best, crispy Brussels sprouts I’ve ever tasted. If you book your reservation for before 5:30pm, you’re looking at $59.95 per person, and if you’re hoping for a later dinner (after 7pm) it will run at $74.95 per person. It might cost you a pretty penny, but the food is out of this world!

    Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 9.36.57 PM
    photo: style advertising
  2. Vino – Vino is such a gem. It’s attached to an art gallery, located in English Village, which is very unique and adds some flare for sure. Their food has an Italian-Mediterranean flare and is exquisite. They’re offering a four-course prix fixe menu ($75/person) for Valentine’s Day, in addition to their regular menu.

  3. Chez FonFon – This Birmingham hotspot is located in the heart of Five Points. They’re known for their burger (which I still haven’t tried in my 6 years of living here!) and cozy French bistro feel. It’s dark and moody in there, perfect for a night with that special someone.

    photo: livability
  4. Bottega Cafe – Another Birmingham go-to, Bottega Cafe, is located atop Red Mountain Expressway, near the package store. Chef and owner, Frank Stitt, showcases Italian cuisine, in an authentic cafe setting. The right side (cafe side) is my favorite. I personally, feel like the food and ambiance is better. But, if you’re looking for a slightly more upscale feel, head to the left side, their food is equally as satisfying.

    photo: bottega instagram

For the Semi-Frugal Foodies – ($$$$) 

  1. Root to Tail – Ok, definitely one of my favorites right now. I went for the first time with Philip, my boyfriend, then went exactly one week later with my best friend, Abby. It’s just truly the coziest setting, there’s a fire roaring, dim light and the sound of neighborhood folks running into one another. It’s charming, simply put, and the food is incredible as well. Ask for Brett, he’s my favorite waiter there, he’s a great time and recommends dishes, wine pairings and even shows to watch on Netflix!

    photo: me
  2. Oven Bird – A Chris Hastings favorite, Oven Bird is the perfect depiction of southern meets slightly ethnic. His cuisine showcases flavors from Argentina, Spain, Portugal and Uruguay, mixed with southern flare. It’s tapas style, so plan to taste and share lots of small plates! They have a preset Valentine’s Day menu that runs $60 a person.

    photo: vogue
  3. The Yard – A new kid on the block, the restaurant in the bottom of the Elyton Hotel, in downtown Birmingham, blew my socks off when I tried it. The Pork Chop is out of this world (hello, hungry and picky boys!). After dinner, take the elevator up to the roof and enjoy a cocktail atop the city.
photo: styleblueprint

For the Folks in the Middle ($$$)

  1. Abhi – Located right in the Summit, (great for you folks that live down 280), Abhi has sushi, ramen and more. Personally, I love to start with the fried green beans as an appetizer, then I like the ramen bowl for my main course. They also have a delicious wine and cocktail selection.

    photo: me
  2. Bettola – Pepper Place definitely has a few treasures tucked within. My personal favorite, aside from Oven Bird, is Bettola. Truth be told, you walk in the doors and feel like you’ve instantly traveled to a hip and bustling NYC restaurant. They’re known for their pizzas, pastas and salads.

  3. Five Points Public House & Oyster Bar – Honestly, I’m not sure how I even found this place, but it’s so much fun and so unique to Birmingham. It feels like you just walked off the beach, cleaned up and went to dinner, right here in Five Points. They have great, seasonal cocktails and a delicious assortment of oysters, all at a very affordable price!

    photo: their website

For those Ballin’ on a Budget – ($$)

  1. Bar Taco – This isn’t necessarily a Birmingham native, but boy is it fun and delicious. Do you like a bit of spice? Their food tends to pack a punch. A tapas style taco joint with freshly squeeze margaritas, Bar Taco is fun, upbeat, unique and trendy. They have a delicious churro dessert too, I highly recommend finishing the night with those bad boys. They’re served crisp to perfection, with a side of spiced chocolate dipping sauce.

  2. Post Office Pies – A definite favorite of mine. Are you a pizza fan? Add them to your list immediately. They’re Avondale’s go-to pizza joint.

    photo: me
  3. Real and Rosemary – This is a tasty go-to for the health-nut couple. The whole concept was derived from “grandma’s garden”. Everything is fresh, healthy and truly delicious. One of my favorites is the white chicken chili and a side of Brussels sprout slaw.

    photo: me

For those Really into the Dive Thing (absolutely no shame) – ($)

  1. The Rougaroux – I just did a write up on these guys. The environment is so unique, and the food is out of this world. Take a walk down bourbon street with your honey and share a Po’Boy and cup of gumbo. You won’t regret it!

    photo: me
  2. Mexico Lindo – If you know me, you know I frequent this place all too regularly. The service is wonderful, the food is quick and delicious, and the eclectic decor is inviting and cozy and fosters great conversation.

  3. Jack Brown’s – Burger fan? Me too. Jack Brown’s is a neighborhood burger joint, located in Lakeview, that takes unique and bold flavors and throws them on a burger. They also have your regular cheeseburger with bacon if you’re more of a traditional burger lover. Check out their craft beer selection while you’re there. They have over 100 kinds!


Dessert, Anyone?

  1. Lucky Cat Rolled Ice Cream – The new kid to the Homewood neighborhood specializes in rolled ice cream. The Asian theme is unique and inviting, and one that I hope will stick around!

    photo: me
  2. Big Spoon Creamery – This artisan creamery combines local and seasonal flavors to create some of the most delicious ice cream concoctions I’ve ever seen! They also serve a variety of cooke sandwiches – ice cream between two freshly baked cookies.

    photo: me
  3. The Continental Bakery – Fresh baked pastries and an espresso for a nightcap sounds pretty good to me!

  4. Doodle’s – Flavored ice always good after a big, flavorful meal.

    photo: pinterest
  5. Saw’s – I’d eat their Banana Pudding everyday of the week if I could.

    photo: dixie dining

Be sure to tag me in your Valentine’s Day photos (@shelby_doodle and #eatbhamblog) so I can see where everyone went.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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