While summer in Birmingham can mean more than a few record-breakingly hot days, it also means fresh, delicious seafood to put you in a vacation state of mind, any day of the week. Among many of Birmingham’s most loved dishes is one you can’t miss: oysters. From Cajun oyster po’ boys to baked oysters with a Greek spin, here are six restaurants offering up must-try menu items in the Magic City.
6 Birmingham Spots for Delicious Oysters
Automatic Seafood and Oysters
2824 5th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233 • (205) 580-1600
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Weekend brunch, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Since opening in Birmingham in 2019, Automatic Seafood and Oysters has quickly become a neighborhood favorite and highly recognized eatery. Chef Adam Evans and his wife and designer Suzanne Humphries Evans wanted to blend fine dining with a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. The food is fresh and delicious, and the interior is elegant and classic. Chef Evans won a James Beard award as Best Chef of the South earlier this summer, so you should check out his offerings.
The menu is updated daily, with oysters sourced from the Southern and Eastern coastlines. However, grilled oysters are also offered and come with bacon, garlic, herbs, and parmesan cheese.
Half Shell Oyster House
616 29th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233 • (205) 882-8080
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Half Shell Oyster House in the Lakeview District brings Southern cuisine with a New Orleans flair to Birmingham. The award-winning restaurant opened its Lakeview location in 2020 and quickly became a local favorite. With 15 other locations in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, Half Shell Oyster House may be new to Birmingham, but they are certainly not new to oysters.
They do oysters by the dozen or half dozen and come in all kinds of flavors with the freshest quality. Their award-winning oysters Orleans come charbroiled with a New Orleans-style smoky Cajun sauce, topped with parmesan cheese. They also offer a sampler with three charbroiled oysters, three oysters Rockefeller, three oysters Bienville (topped with herb, mushroom, crab, gulf shrimp, bacon, and Italian bread crumbs), and three oysters Orleans. From savory and cheesy to fresh and herby, Half Shell Oyster House has an oyster flavor for everyone.
1218 20th St S, Birmingham, AL 35205 • (205) 933-0999
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Sunday through Tuesday
Some of the best seafood in Birmingham comes straight from the kitchen at Ocean in Five Points. From being voted Best Restaurant to being the recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award for 13 consecutive years, Ocean has racked up several awards for its fresh and famous seafood. Not to mention its famous and talented chef, George Reis.
Ocean offers traditional Oysters Rockefeller with spinach, bacon, and manchego cheese, or the Oysters Bienville with Atlantic coast shrimp, blue crab, green onions, and mornay sauce. Or, you can opt for the famous seafood tower with 18 oysters, a dozen French-style mussels, spicy Bon Secour shrimp, and chilled Maine lobster. You can’t go wrong with any oysters or seafood on this menu.
The Fish Market
612 22nd St S, Birmingham, AL 35233 • (205) 322-3330
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Closed Sunday
If you’re craving something Greek, head to The Fish Market, where your taste buds will be pleased. Greek-born owner and chef George Sarris is passionate about fine foods, and you can expect ever-changing offerings at his restaurant. His Southern seafood with a Greek twist is a Birmingham staple.
Be sure to try the Baked Oysters Dino (named after Sarris’ son, for an authentic Greek-style oyster). These come baked on a half shell and topped with garlic, roasted red pepper, parmesan cheese, herbed panko breadcrumbs, and extra virgin olive oil. A Greek twist on oysters is a delicious call.
817 39th St S, Birmingham, AL 35222 • (205) 518-6677
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Closed Sunday
Situated in Forest Park, The Rougaroux has quickly become the Magic City’s go-to Creole and Cajun restaurant. Owners Ed Stacey and Ryan Champion have a soft spot for New Orleans and brought the NOLA culture and delicious food to Birmingham in 2017.
Their specialty is po’boys, and the Oysters Rockefeller po’boy comes on eight-inch Leidenheimer Baking Company bread, with fried Bon Secour oysters, bacon, spinach, Parmigiano Reggiano, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. These unique flavors will have you coming back for more.
Snapper Grabbers Land & Sea
521 Montgomery Hwy Suite 101, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 • (205) 824-9799
Cafe Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday
8021 Liberty Pkwy, Vestavia Hills, AL 35242 • (205) 593-4748
Grille Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Sunday
If you’re hungry for delicious fried oysters, head to Snapper Grabbers on Highway 31 or Liberty Park. This family-run cafe and seafood market has some of the freshest seafood available. The fried oyster basket comes with eight to 10 gulf oysters, lightly battered and fried, while the oyster po’boy comes with fried gulf oysters, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sauce. Talk about some fried deliciousness!
5 Point Public House Oyster Bar
1210 20th St S, Birmingham, AL 35205 • (205) 918-0726
Hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Sunday through Tuesday
Combine a classic pub and an upscale oyster bar, and you have 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar. Located in the heart of Five Points, it is perfect for relaxing, gathering, drinking, and eating oysters. Magic city chef George Reis, the award-winning Birmingham restaurant Ocean owner, opened 5 Point Public House Oyster Bar in 2015. The ever-changing oyster selection has plenty of options with different flavors, notes, and oysters from many regions. The Sweet Jesus oysters from Maryland are sweet, creamy, and meaty, the James River oysters from Virginia are light and crisp, and the famous Murder Point oysters from Coden, AL, are creamy, plump, crisp, and as they claim, “worth killing for.” The menu frequently changes, so stay updated through their website.
Bon appétit, Birmingham!
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