During Prohibition, “New Merkle,” now known as Cahaba Heights, was a rowdy hotbed for moonshine production and bootlegging. Today, Cahaba Heights is enjoying some time in the sun as a bustling retail and dining destination. Whether you’re looking for an upscale night out, a leisurely family outing, or an afternoon of some serious shopping, you’ll find it there. These are a few of our favorite spots — keep this list handy for exploring one of Vestavia Hills’ most charming neighborhoods!
WHERE TO EAT IN CAHABA HEIGHTS
If you’re looking for upscale flavor in a laid-back atmosphere, this is your place. FoodBar is a cozy restaurant located inside The Heights Village Shopping Center. The menu nods to Executive Chef George McMillian’s farm and food-centric upbringing, rooted deep in Alabama soil. Every dish is packed with flavor and authenticity, from blistered shishitos to crispy fried catfish. George credits the many local farmers who supply his ingredients. Take your sweetheart to this beloved spot on Wednesdays when they have half-off select bottles of wine. End your night on the shortbread crumb and toasted meringue.
Old World flavors marry with modern sensibilities at Satterfield’s. Located in the heart of Cahaba Heights, this elegant space opened its doors in 2005 and has attracted locals looking for a fine-dining experience ever since. Satterfield’s is the ideal setting for first dates and celebratory anniversaries, with seating in the main dining room, the chef’s counter, a full-service bar, and an outdoor patio. Make sure to ask the knowledgeable staff for a drink recommendation. They won’t steer you wrong!
The Olive Branch
If you want to go where the locals hang out, take your date to The Olive Branch. The family-owned restaurant is bursting with charm and rarely empty. You can thank Rana Shunnarah and her family for the restaurant’s authentic Mediterranean menu, which features all the cultural classics like gyros, stuffed grape leaves, and authentic hummus.
Naimeh’s grandson, Alex Shunnarah, says being in Cahaba Heights has only strengthened the restaurant’s authentic feel. “Most of the menu is family recipes,” he offers. Arrive early and settle in for a leisurely dining experience, and don’t forget to order the sampler platter, which you can enjoy on the patio if the weather permits.
Craving a sweet or savory biscuit? Biscuit Love has you covered. Enjoy a delicious and unique menu of biscuit dishes, donuts, a to-die-for biscuit cinnamon roll, and more breakfast favorites like tart cherry oatmeal, the roasted veggie bowl, and shrimp and grits.
The Fig Tree
Specializing in some of the best Southern cuisine around, the Fig Tree is a foodie haven. A small café with subtle Cajun flair, the Fig Tree is the perfect place for impressing the meat-lover in your life. Chef Jon Holland specializes in game meats, Southern soul food, and fresh Gulf seafood. The restaurant’s ambiance provides the romance factor, and the menu delivers the taste. From Creole favorites like shrimp po’boys to shrimp and grits, this hidden gem is a Cahaba Heights favorite.
If you’re in the mood for pizza, look no further than Troup’s. Chef Terrill Brazelton is a pizza master with the accolades to prove it, including being named one of the Best Chefs in Birmingham (right behind Frank Stitt and Chris Hastings!) in 2017. Troup’s creative menu includes pies you won’t find elsewhere, like the ‘Blazer,’ which features hot chicken, blue cheese, smoked tomatoes, shaved red onions, jalapeño cheddar, fresh jalapeño, and house-made ranch.
Comfort food that tastes just like mama made it — and maybe even a little bit better — is what Ashley Mac’s specializes in. Now with five locations open in Birmingham, the Cahaba Heights store offers a go-to for local families looking for good, home-style food on the go. Ashley and Andy McMakin started the restaurant as a catering service out of their Homewood home. From there, business skyrocketed as the demand for Ashley’s nostalgic dishes — like chicken salad sandwiches and strawberry cake — couldn’t be met fast enough. Dine in or grab a family meal to bring home from Ashley’s Gourmet To-Go options.
Stop by Local Roots for a tasty bite fit for the whole family. The menu is filled with classic salads and delicious sandwiches, including the BLT and Yardbird, featuring chopped roasted chicken, pimento cheese, white BBQ sauce, and house pickles on Texas toast. You can also indulge in chicken finger baskets or a selection of Piadines, which are yummy Italian flatbread sandwiches.
Miss Myra’s Pit Bar-B-Q
Myra Grissom Harper rarely sees an unfamiliar face walk through the doors of her restaurant, which has been a Cahaba Heights staple since it opened in 1985. Miss Myra’s menu is uncomplicated — just like a good barbecue pit’s menu should be. Focusing on quality meat and tasty sides, this is the ideal spot to satisfy your meat-and-three craving. Myra’s favorite meal is pork with a side of chess pie. She has a strong love for chocolate, and she won’t deny her visitors of a large serving of the sweet stuff!
No place satisfies a sweet tooth quite like Cookie Fix. This beloved coffee shop opened its second location in Cahaba Heights after notable success in Homewood. It features a rotating seasonal menu of cookies baked fresh daily, all day long. They also offer take-home dough to enjoy when the craving hits. We highly recommend the Healthy Peanut Butter cookie!
If you want to spice up your night out on the town, head to El ZunZún for traditional Latin cuisine. This laidback restaurant boasts a friendly neighborhood vibe and serves up authentic dishes full of flavor and variety. From small plates and tacos to delicious desserts, you will surely find your new favorite meal at this Cahaba Heights gem.
Mudtown Eat & Drink
This restaurant has Cahaba Heights’ earliest settlers — the Creek Indians — to thank for its distinctive name. Characterized by its swampy, muddy conditions due to heavy rains, the Creeks first dubbed this patch of land “Mudtown.” The moniker proved to be a good marketing ploy for what would become Mudtown Eat & Drink — a casual restaurant known for its inviting atmosphere and flavorful food. This is the perfect spot to stop after a long day of family fun. There’s something for everyone, from burgers and fish tacos to the Conecuh dog.
Doodle’s Homemade Sorbets and Ices
When the Alabama heat becomes too much to bear, Cahaba Heights locals flock to Doodle’s. Named for its founder Paul Champion, who loves to doodle, Doodle’s has become a mainstay for residents looking for a cold treat. Specializing in sorbets and Italian ices, Doodle’s offers a large selection of flavors to satisfy the whole family. Shake things up and order two flavors, like watermelon and lemon, and then give them a swirl. Mr. Doodle would approve!
Alabama Biscuit Company
Alabama Biscuit Company was built on the simple mission of making a darn good biscuit with the best ingredients. Offering heaps of both savory and sweet options, Alabama Biscuit Company has something on the menu for everyone. Entice your kiddos with the pecan butter and honey biscuit — made with house-milled organic pecan butter and drizzled with local honey. It’s so good, mom or dad might have to sneak a bite when no one is looking!
Magic Muffins Bakery
Before embarking on your Cahaba Heights adventure, swing by Magic Muffins Bakery. Offering assorted low-fat muffins, biscuits, and breakfast pastries, Magic Muffins is a must for families looking to carb up for a big day of adventure. Get an assortment of tasty baked treats that we promise will both satiate and satisfy!
Martin’s BBQ Joint
This open-air space is a no-frills, family-friendly restaurant that offers Tennessee-style smoked meats over coal and hickory wood. You can also snag incredible sides made from family recipes, and don’t skip the yummy desserts! From briskets and smoked wings to the eatery’s famed redneck tacos, there is something for everyone. Add Martin’s to your Cahaba Heights to-do list.
Bendy’s Cookies & Cream
After getting your grub on at Martin’s, head next door to satisfy your sweet tooth at Bendy’s. With a winning combination of delicious cookies and yummy ice cream, Bendy’s has become a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Starting with a dream and a food truck, Bendy’s moved into its first brick-and-mortar location in early 2019 — and it’s still serving up some of the best cookies and ice cream to the Cahaba Heights community.
WHERE TO SHOP IN CAHABA HEIGHTS
Named after Manhattan Beach, CA, this chic boutique is carefree yet carefully curated to offer a mix of chic elegance alongside hip, laid-back looks. Owner Lesley Vedel thoughtfully plans each season’s collection with on-trend style and versatility in mind. With new merchandise arriving daily, Manhattan South stays on the cutting edge. Stop by with a group of girlfriends, and stock up on the latest fashion. You’ll be the best dressed at your next dinner party or night out.
Cahaba Heights’s newest addition, B. Happy, offers unique, beautiful gifts, houseware, jewelry, and more. Owned by Beth Dorsett and Krista Dickinson, B. Happy came to life over tacos and margaritas at Taco Mama. You’ll find one-of-a-kind gift sets, candles, books, accessories, and so much more.
Shopping for teenagers can be challenging. But thanks to GiGi’s Tween, you can find fashion-forward clothing that works for any occasion. Known for its variety and a long list of sought-after brands, Gigi’s is the one-stop shop for teens and tweens wanting to look — and feel — their best. Stop by and peruse the selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories.
Serendipity Boutique has everything you need for upcoming celebrations and the change of season. The on-trend selection of women’s clothing offers something for everyone, from breezy sundresses and skirts to tops, jeans, and accessories.
Second Hand Rose
Want the designer look without the designer price tag? Head to Second Hand Rose, Cahaba Heights’s go-to spot for the best consignment finds. As Birmingham’s longest-running consignment shop, Second Hand Rose is the place to find a great deal on a great piece of clothing. Stocked with some of the latest trends and popular designers, you should allow ample time to sift through the impressive selection of clothing and accessories.
The Blue Willow
Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift or something special for yourself, The Blue Willow has it. Known for its wide selection of tasteful home decor, monogrammed items, baby and graduate gifts, and other adorable finds, this sweet boutique won’t let you leave empty-handed. From cookbooks to candles and totes, this store is a one-stop shop.
Clover + Bee
Clothing, gifts, and home goods abound at Clover + Bee. Started by three sisters who are also moms, Clover + Bee was created to offer expecting, new, and seasoned moms a place to shop for clothing that fits and flatters their ever-changing bodies. They also offer gifts and accessories to make your shopping experience even more fun and fulfilling. Peruse the shoes, gorgeous clothing, and unique decor for a fun-filled day of shopping with your girlfriends.
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