5 historic restaurants in Alabama you need to visit

Dew Drop Inn Historic Restaurants In Alabama
From world-famous hot dogs in Mobile to greasy burgers in Huntsville, this list has it all. (Elizabeth Winsor / The Bama Buzz)

We’re all about what’s new and exciting in Alabama, but sometimes we want to take a step back in time. What better way to do that than with food? These five historic restaurants in Alabama will have you feeling nostalgic and craving classic Southern cooking.

1. Dew Drop Inn—Mobile

Dew Drop Inn
The Dew Drop Inn has “World Famous Hot Dogs.” (Elizabeth Winsor / The Bama Buzz)

If you know Mobile, you know Dew Drop Inn. Next year, this restaurant will celebrate 100 years in business—and 100 years of serving up the same “World Famous Hot Dogs.” If you haven’t tried their bright-red hot dogs, write this one on your Alabama bucket list. According to Southern Living, legend has it that “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” the famous song by the late Jimmy Buffett, was inspired by the Dew Drop Inn. No matter if it’s true or not, we think the Dew Drop Inn is fit to inspire anybody who walks through the doors.

2. The Bright Star

Even older than the Dew Drop Inn is The Bright Star, which has been serving up Greek-style cuisine since 1907. What started out as a 25-seat cafe is now a large restaurant that can seat hundreds—and it regularly does so. Locals and visitors alike flock to The Bright Star to get a taste of their famous cornmeal-fried oysters, seafood gumbo, Greek-style snapper and more.

3. Rama Jama’s—Tuscaloosa

Rama Jama'S
Rama Jama’s in Tuscaloosa hasn’t gone anywhere since the era of The Bear. (Grace Brindley / The Bama Buzz)

If you’re a Crimson Tide fan, you know Rama Jama’s. While this one isn’t quite as old as the others, starting out in 1996, it’s just as nostalgic. Both the exterior and interior are flooded with University of Alabama memorabilia, and the retro diner-like atmosphere is unmistakable. While enjoying your burger, milkshake or other classic favorite, you’ll get to see the names of famous people who sat in that very spot.

4. Irondale Cafe

Irondale Cafe started out as a hot dog stand in 1928, and has flourished into a spot where generations have enjoyed the home-style cooking. Though the restaurant has changed ownership several times over its near-100-year existence, “The Original Whistlestop Cafe” still does things the same way as they did in the early days—fresh, local meats and produce made into classics like fried green tomatoes, country fried steak and much more.

5. Big Spring Cafe

Big Spring Cafe Huntsville
Big Spring Cafe is a huge name in Huntsville. (Maddi Miller / The Bama Buzz)

As a Huntsville native, I can attest to how big of a deal Big Spring Cafe is in the Rocket City. It’s the home of the “Greasy Burger,” which made its debut over a century ago in 1922. Originally opening its doors on Jefferson Street in downtown Huntsville, Big Spring Cafe has moved around a few times before landing at its current location. On one side of Governors Drive, you have Stovehouse, one of the newest and hottest places to visit in Huntsville. But, on the other side of the street, you’ve got the oldest restaurant in Huntsville. It’s a remarkable juncture of the new and the old in Huntsville.

BONUS: Want to see more historic restaurants in Alabama? Here are six more in Huntsville.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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