Comfort food and Southern cuisine are practically synonymous, and if you’re headed to Montgomery, Alabama, get ready to tuck into some truly phenomenal dishes. First-timers to Montgomery can certainly look forward to fried green tomatoes and dill pickles, award-winning barbecue, succotash and seafood, and some of the best biscuits in the south (the city’s Minor League Baseball team is the Montgomery Biscuits after all).
But diners might be surprised to learn Montgomery actually has a wealth of culinary cuisine, including some truly phenomenal Mexican food, American-Southern fusion, Cajun and Creole, and artisan pizzas. You might just discover that your time in Montgomery ends up being one of the tastiest tours in your military career.
Dreamland BBQ (Lunch, Dinner)
Dreamland is Southern barbecue at its best. John “Big Daddy” Bishop opened Dreamland in 1958—literally by hand. He built the café himself, as well as created all of the from-scratch recipes. Dreamland firmly lives up to the promise to offer mouthwatering ribs, and is resolutely correct in bragging there, “Ain’t nothin’ like ‘em nowhere.” There aren’t.
Make a day of it and also catch a Montgomery Biscuits baseball game across the street. After you buy some souvenir Dreamland barbecue sauce and spice rubs, of course.
Farmers Market Café (Breakfast, Lunch)
Starting as a farmer’s market stall in 1959, Farmers has stayed true to their hometown roots. Leaning on local ingredients and from-scratch cooking, the restaurant serves up an equally delicious breakfast or lunch. All of the Southern classics are on the menu, including biscuits and gravy, and daily lunch specials with classic sides (the purple hull peas take me back to shelling on my grandmother’s front porch).
Farmers Market is also a great spot for coffee and dessert, offering traditional pies, cobblers, and bread pudding. An added bonus, if you find yourself just craving a fresh salad bar, you’ll love the all-you-can-eat soup and salad option here.
Central (Lunch, Dinner, but closed Sundays)
If you’re looking to splurge on evening of fine dining, Central is the place to go. Although not the cheapest in town, Central offers a delicious fusion twist on classic Southern dishes. Paired with the delightful ambiance of a warm, exposed, red-brick converted warehouse complete with flickering gas lanterns, it’s easy to understand why Central is a “worth-the-splurge” town favorite.
The Wharf Casual Seafood (Quick-lunch, Dinner)
Seafood doesn’t have to be fancy to be good as The Wharf knows. Offering generous portions, and just really good food—including shrimp and grits, tuna poke tacos, oysters, crab cakes—Wharf Seafood is one of the best (if not THE best) place to get good seafood in a casual atmosphere.
Uncle Mick’s Cajun Market & Café (Lunch, Dinner)
For some of the best bayou eatin’ outside of Louisiana, Uncle Mick’s is worth the short, 20-minute drive up the road to Prattville. While not in Montgomery proper, with Cajun and Creole dishes like crawfish Étouffée, seafood gumbo, red beans, and rice, and Boudin sausage—Uncle Mick’s is a must. The restaurant also offers private dining in their air-conditioned sunroom, perfect for large class dinners, or outings.
Pies and Pints (Lunch, Happy-hour, Dinner)
Sometimes you just crave a great pizza alongside an ice-cold beer, and Pies and Pints hits the mark. Artisan pizzas range from classic to creative, and truly offer an option for every palate. There are over 30 beers on tap and dozens of bottles/cans to choose from, as well as several wines and ciders.
Little Donkey Mexican Restaurant (Lunch, Happy-hour, Dinner)
Funny name, but some seriously good Mexican food. Specializing in vibrant, Mexican cuisine with a mash-up of Southern, diners can select from street tacos to burrito bowls, classic enchiladas, and tamales, or delicious daily specials. Paired with fresh-made, in-house tortillas, and craft cocktails—Little Donkey is your go-to restaurant for Mexican food.
Martin’s Restaurant (Lunch, early Dinner, Sunday Lunch)
Opening its doors in 1930, Martin’s is a Montgomery icon. Specializing in “tried and true” Southern classics, you’ll find all the hometown favorites, both savory and sweet, on the menu. Fried catfish and chicken are the headliners, as well as salmon croquettes, beef tips on rice, baked pork chops, and more. The sides are equally mouthwatering, with black-eyed peas, mac n’ cheese, cheese grits, homemade dressing, greens, and potato salad, just to name a few. You can certainly have (early) dinner at Martin’s – but the “Meat and Three Sides” lunch plate weekly specials is a hometown favorite.
Montgomery, Alabama is a city that takes many by surprise—particularly by the wealth of restaurants available. Each of the eateries listed is a true gem, but we know this isn’t the whole list. Have a favorite that’s not on the list? Let us know which one and why in the comments.
Written by: Kristi Adams