5 locally-owned restaurants in Tuscaloosa + their most popular menu items

The Iconic Facade Of Rama Jama'S.
The iconic facade of Rama Jama’s. Photo by Libby Foster for The Bama Buzz.

Whether you’re visiting Tuscaloosa or a local who’s tired of eating at chain restaurants, we’ve put together a list of five of our favorite locally owned restaurants in Tuscaloosa for you to check out. Plus, we’ve included some of their most popular menu items so you can eat like a local. Let the food coma commence!

1. Nick’s in the sticks

Locally Owned Nick'S In The Sticks
Nick’s in the Sticks is truly an iconic spot in Tuscaloosa. (Cooper Stanley / Bama Buzz)

Nick’s Filet House, more commonly known as ‘Nick’s in the stick’s,’ is a hidden gem in Tuscaloosa that everyone should experience at least once. Although it’s a little off the beaten path, this locally-owned restaurant is worth the trip!

Their most popular menu item, the bacon wrapped filet, is guaranteed to leave you wanting more. Leave your mark by signing a dollar bill to add to their collection, and make sure to order the infamous Nicodemus to sip on while you wait for your table.

2. Sweet Home Food Bar

Sweet Alabama, Food, Tuscaloosa, University Of Alabama
Brunch Time. (Cooper Stanley / Bama Buzz)

Sweet Home Food Bar is a locally-owned restaurant known for their incredible brunch menu. Whether you order the breakfast tacos or the french toast, you can’t go wrong. Sweet Home Food Bar is described as “New York flair meets southern charm,” and their ever developing menu creates just that! As for their most popular menu items, the American and the Bacon Egg and Cheese Sandwich are fan favorites. Plus, what brunch is complete without mimosas?

3. Dreamland BBQ

Dreamland Alabama, Food, Tuscaloosa, University Of Alabama
Ain’t nothin like ’em nowhere! (Cooper Stanley / Bama Buzz)

Although you might have eaten at Dreamland in multiple locations across the southeast, the original Dreamland was opened by John “Big Daddy” Bishop in Tuscaloosa in 1958. The restaurant originally served everything from burgers to BBQ, but locals and visitors quickly took a liking to Mr. Bishop’s hickory fired ribs. Now, the original Dreamland’s menu consists solely of ribs, fixins’ and desserts, and as they say, “Ain’t nothin like ’em nowhere.”

4. Rama Jama’s

The Iconic Facade Of Rama Jama'S.
The iconic facade of Rama Jama’s. (Libby Foster / Bama Buzz)

It’s no secret that Rama Jama’s is one of everyone’s favorite locally-owned restaurants. From its gameday atmosphere to its unbeatable drink specials, Rama Jama’s is truly one-of-a-kind. Rama’s is known for their incredible sandwiches, and if you’re feeling bold, take a shot at the National Champion BLT—16 strips of bacon, 3 slices of Texas Toast, double lettuce, double tomato and an onion ring. Make sure to stop by on a Saturday and enjoy 2-for-1 bottles of champagne all day!

5. Southern Ale House

Southern Alabama, Food, Tuscaloosa, University Of Alabama
Southern Ale House in Tuscaloosa. (Cooper Stanley / Bama Buzz)

Southern Ale House is a locally-owned restaurant with a menu featuring “unique, classic and contemporary interpretations of southern cuisine.” Southern Ale House also offers 18 rotating taps featuring local and craft beers. You can’t visit without trying their most popular menu item, the Bama Chicken. Stop by on Thursdays to enjoy live music and $5 long island ice teas.

What’s your favorite Tuscaloosa restaurant? Tag @Thebamabuzz and let us know!

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Cooper Stanley
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