Birmingham. The Magic City. We like you. You’re only a short hour and a half drive from Huntsville. And you have a Trader Joe’s. Seriously, when is Huntsville getting a Trader Joe’s? We ARE getting a Food Hall like The Pizitz in downtown Birmingham (more on that later) and that is something to get excited about! In the meantime, I’m still waiting on that TJ Cookie Butter…sigh.
We take the phrase “but first, coffee” very serious around here. Last time we visited Birmingham we discovered Feast and Forest and fell in love. We really wanted to try a new coffee spot this time around and ended up deciding on Woodlawn Cycle Cafe, which we had been waiting for the opportunity to visit. There’s no denying this coffee shop caters to cyclists with the hanging bike racks, air pumps, and a variety of cyclist gear, but anyone is welcome here. We both ordered regular lattes, which is typically our go-to drink for the best comparison when trying a new coffee shop. This latte checked all the boxes. We were determined to get a great coffee shot because of the minimalist, bright, and simple aesthetic the cafe embodies, but all we got was an out of focus, half-decent picture since we spilled coffee all over ourselves. Yep, that happened.
Around the corner from Woodlawn Cycle we stumbled upon Club Duquette. Owned and operated by local musician Duquette and his wife Morgan, the store has a carefully curated selection of clothing and accessories that are a breath of fresh air compared to most larger retail experiences in Alabama. The focus is on quality over quantity, and each item in the store has been selected due to being personal favorites of the shop owners. If you’re curious about what sets the items in the store apart from what you could buy elsewhere in Birmingham, Duquette can give details such as the type of denim used in the Taylor Stitch jeans to the ingredients in the ZENBUNNI chocolates they carry. In addition to stocking goods from other makers, Club Duquette also sells its own line of shirts including the classic Woodlawn High tee we picked up. If supporting a local business while taking in the cool vibes and gear is your thing, you will definitely want to stop in when around the Woodlawn area.
We knew earlier in the week Feast and Forest was where we wanted to eat lunch. Every Friday they have Pasta Friday where you can find them serving up homemade pasta with other various ingredients, and we’ve been dying to try it since our first visit last summer. This week the special was Spaghetti Primavera with homemade spaghetti, English peas, prosciutto, and gremolata. There’s just something so special about homemade pasta, especially when it comes from the most charming local coffee shop/cafe. The combination of fresh ingredients and attention to detail makes this a feel good meal without the guilt and leaves you anticipating what the next Pasta Friday dish will be. Get there early though; they tend to sell out quickly!
After lunch we explored downtown and made our way to The Pizitz Food Hall to see what it has to offer. Since we already had lunch, we didn’t eat here but enjoyed walking around and seeing the wide range of quick-service dining options. We’re fans of these types of dining concepts and are anxiously awaiting the similar food hall that will be coming to downtown Huntsville. In addition to enjoying the sights and getting some exercise, walking throughout the city helped us spot some restaurants to add to our list for the next time we’re in town.
Three words. Saw’s Soul Kitchen. We had heard great things about Saw’s, but I had no idea it would be THIS great. This joint takes their pulled pork to the next level (and then some) by adding it atop a bed of cheese grits and to die for turnip greens and then topping that with onion straws and BBQ sauce. I can confidently say the turnips were hands down the best I’ve ever had, and this meal makes its way to my list of best foods I’ve eaten!
There’s so much more to Birmingham that we would love to explore, and we already have a list of places to try next time. You guys suggested some amazing places to us on Instagram like Roots and Revelry, which popped up multiple times. If there are any must-see places, restaurants, or things to do in Birmingham, let us know in the comments!