In Montgomery, you will find restaurants serving good old-fashioned southern food as well as upscale and nouveau creations. This is my shortlist of where to dine in Alabama’s capitol city. There are so many great places for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a snack!
The city of Montgomery is the second-largest city in the state of Alabama and hosts thousands of visitors annually thanks to its world-class museums and the fact that it is the capital of Alabama. It’s easy to work up an appetite after exploring the city. I hope this list gives you some ideas on what place to try first! Bon appetit!
1. Cahawba House
For what has to be the best breakfast in Montgomery, head to Cahawba House which is within walking distance of the state capitol.
Cahawba House is a very popular, low-key restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. People line up to place orders for Southern favorites like biscuits, Conecuh sausage, and beignets.
Menu items include locally sourced honey, organic maple syrup, fried chicken, breakfast gravy, fried green tomatoes, meatloaf sandwiches, pimento grilled cheese, chicken salad, and burgers. You can also get a meat and three for only $10.
Don’t get discouraged by the long line- they know what they are doing and it doesn’t take long to get served.
Cahawba House is located at 31 South Court Street and opens at 6:30 Monday through Friday and at 9:00 am on Sunday. They are open only until 2:00 pm and are closed on Saturdays.
2. Vintage Cafe
If you are craving something lighter and desire a breakfast that is plant-based, then venture out of the downtown area and head to Vintage Cafe. Located in a former bank, this light and airy restaurant opens at 7:00 am and serves healthy options such as breakfast salads, fresh juices, and smoothies.
If you don’t have time to sit and eat, they have some grab-and-go items as well as a drive-thru.
Vintage Cafe is located at 416 Cloverdale Road and is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm.
For your morning cup o’ joe or kombucha on tap, head to Prevail which is located just down the street from the steps of the capitol building.
Prevail serves the best-rated coffee in Alabama in a building that has been renovated and has a modern-industrial vibe and is surrounded by Alabama history.
Prevail’s address is 39 Dexter Avenue #102 and it is open Monday – Saturday 7:00 am – 8:00 pm and on Sunday from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.
4. Filet & Vine
If you are in the Cloverdale area, say to visit the F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald home or to explore the fascinating architecture of the early 20th century, then head to Derk’s where you can build your own salad at their bar or select some soul-satisfying items from their hot bar. Derk’s is located inside Filet & Vine, a market, deli, and bottle shop.
Filet & Vine is located at 431 Cloverdale Road and is open Monday-Friday: 10:00 – 7:00 and Saturday: 7:00-5:00.
5. Dreamland BBQ
BBQ lovers will find that the Montgomery location of Dreamland hits the spot. The environment is fun and lively and the menu is quite expansive compared to the original Dreamland.
The original menu items are available, such as slabs of ribs and white bread, but additional items like their fried okra starter, stadium nachos, BBQ sandwiches, wraps, salads, potato salad, mac n cheese, and even banana pudding are available as well.
Dreamland is located at 12 West Jefferson Street and is open Monday-Thursday 10 am-9 pm Friday & Saturday 10 am-10 pm Sunday 11 am-9 pm.
6. Vintage Year
For dinner, you can’t go wrong dining at Vintage Year.
You don’t have to be on a date to enjoy the ambiance at Vintage Year, even though it has been named one of OpenTable’s 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America as well as Montgomery Advertiser’s Best of the Best Romantic Restaurant.
The food is delicious and the presentation and service are exemplary. It is no wonder that it has been mentioned in the New York Times, Forbes, and USA Today.
On the menu, you will find items such as Sautéed Gulf Prawns, Oysters on the Half Shell, Heirloom Tomatoes, Black Angus Filet, and Lamb T-Bone. Vintage Year also has a Sunday Brunch menu and Tuesdays are Burger Nights.
Vintage Year is located at 405 Cloverdale Road and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 pm -10:00 pm and for Sunday Brunch from 10:30 am-2:30 pm. Reservations can be made through Open Table.
After exploring Montgomery’s fabulous museums, a dinner at Central will be the pièce de résistance. It’s located steps away from The Legacy Museum and the Hank Williams Museum.
It has a cozy dining room, but the outdoor patio gets my recommendation as a great place for enjoying your meal, people-watching, and listening to the occasional live music that is played in the alley.
The menu offers innovative creations such as the Seafood Corn Dogs (pictured above), Fett Sow Fries, Pressed Beets (salad), Scallops Ala Planche, Peach BBQ Glazed Pork Chop, and Bricken Chicken.
And if you are still hungry after your main course, you can indulge in one of their fabulous desserts like Jake’s Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie or Strawberry Peach Cobbler made with sugar cookie dough and vanilla chantilly cream.
Central is located at 129 Coosa Street and is open Monday – Friday from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm and then at 4:00 the bar opens. Dinner begins at 5:30 pm. On Saturdays, they are open for dinner beginning at 5:30 pm. Central is closed on Sundays.
8. Chris’ Hot Dogs
While a hot dog joint is not what we look for when we go out to eat, a trip to Montgomery calls for a trip to Chris’ Hot Dogs. Chris’ has been in business since 1917 and is the oldest family-owned restaurant in the city.
I’d be lying if I said that they serve gourmet or upscale cuisine. What they do serve are hot dogs with their special sauce served in warm, soft buns.
They also have fries and onion rings, along with a few more items on the menu.
Stepping into the dining area is like stepping into the past. Speaking of the past, previous clientele includes four presidents, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Elvis Presley, and Hank Williams.
Chris’ Hot Dogs is located at 138 Dexter Avenue and is open from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm Monday – Saturday. (It is open until 8:00 pm on Fridays.)
Other Places to Eat in Montgomery
Montgomery is less than 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico which means seafood lovers have a few options for fresh seafood dishes in the capital city. Among them is Wintzell’s Oyster House which is ranked #1 on TripAdvisor. Wintzell’s got its start in Mobile, where fresh seafood is in abundance, more than 75 years ago. Its Montgomery location is on Commerce Street at the Renaissance Hotel.
Number 2 on the TripAdvisor list of best seafood restaurants is Capitol Oyster Bar. The restaurant is a popular restaurant with plenty of outdoor seating overlooking the Alabama River. If you like listening to music while you dine, be sure to check their calendar to see who will be playing live music and when.
I was a guest of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. All thoughts, opinions, and grammatical errors are my own. I ate all of the dishes pictured above (with the exception of the salmon salad – that was Jennifer’s) and give them all two thumbs up.
For more ideas of what you can do in Montgomery, check out the tours available at Viator.com.