There’s so much to love about Birmingham, but one of our favorite parts of the city is its ever-evolving food scene. Birmingham has been described as a foodie haven, full of spots with unique, scrumptious options for everything from specialty ice cream to five-course meals. But the food isn’t the only thing unique about the restaurants here — they also have fun and creative interiors!

Here, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite dining spots featuring decor that is just as delectable as the food. Enjoy a peek into these restaurants and bars made special by Magic City’s most creative restaurateurs and designers.

Creative Restaurant & Bar Interiors

The Atomic Lounge

2113 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 983-7887
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday & Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday & Monday, closed

Crazy costumes, board games, and great music are a few of the things we love about The Atomic, and it’s overall experience is certainly enhanced by the restaurant’s unique atmosphere. Retro art dons the walls, which are covered in either unique wallpaper or throwback wood paneling. The end result? A fantastic space to gather with friends and let loose. SB TIP: Try their homemade popcorn! Delicious.

Learn more about The Atomic and its owners here.

creative bars and restaurants

The Atomic is known for its rad retro decor. Image: Charity Ponter

creative bars and interiors

“The Sgt. Pepper idea has been in my head for about three years. It took us a year to curate it, and then about two months to build it,” says Feizal Valli, part owner of The Atomic. “We tried to give it as much depth and texture as we could.” Image: Charity Ponter

Carrigan’s Public House

2430 Morris Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 440-2430
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, closed

Whether you’re in the mood for a craft cocktail or a signature jumbo corndog, Carrigan’s is sure to satisfy your craving. Marianne Strong of Marianne Strong Interiors and David Carrigan hit it out of the park in their design — the warm-industrial decor juxtaposes the exposed brick and glossy concrete floors. Behind the bar, you’ll see a vintage Land Rover shell that houses the pub’s tapped beers. And if you’re in the mood for an al fresco gathering, head outside to the patio or rooftop, which are just as stunning as the interior and feature string lights, large stone slabs for seating, and modern furniture. Check out more of Marianne Strong’s work here.

Creative Bars and Restaurants

Choose your favorite on-tap option from Carrigan’s creative bar. Image: Beth Hontzas

The Collins Bar

2125 2nd Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 323-7995
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday & Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m. to midnight

The Collins Bar is famous for its tailor-made cocktails — tell the bartenders what you usually like, and they’ll whip up a made-to-order, custom concoction. While you sip on your new favorite drink, you’ll see paper airplanes hanging from the ceiling and depicted in artwork on the walls behind circular leather booths. And the focal point, an oversized periodic table print, makes you feel as though you’re in an adult-friendly chemistry class.

Learn more about The Collins here.

Creative Bars and Restaurants

An oversized periodic table acts as the bar’s backdrop.

Creative Bars and Restaurants

Paper airplanes are hung from The Collins’ ceiling. Image: Macey Young

The Lumbar

212 29th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35233
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, closed

Continuing the science-themed decor is The Lumbar, which recently opened in Pepper Place Entertainment District. Civil and structural engineer Tim Hightower and his daughter, Rylie, a neuroscience doctoral candidate at UAB, wanted to create an open, inviting space that allowed for conversation and creativity. Features such as a 16-foot chalkboard, garage doors, and “The Spinal Taps” set this establishment apart. Bright, bold accents accompany these unique features, making The Lumbar the perfect place for customers to inspire and create.

Learn more about The Lumbar here.

Creative Bars and Restaurants

We’ll take a cocktail with a side of science, please! Image: Tyler Ferguson

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Eat, drink and “science” over at The Lumbar. Image: Tyler Ferguson

The Marble Ring

430 41st Street South, Birmingham, AL 35222
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to midnight; Friday & Saturday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday & Monday, closed

The Marble Ring, one of Birmingham’s best-kept secrets, is a speakeasy located atop Fancy’s on 5th. To enter, walk upstairs to Hot Diggity Dogs and look for the blue “Police Phone Call Box.” There, someone will let you know if there is enough room for you and your party to enter The Marble Ring.

The setting is an intimate room with luxury finishes, chandeliers, and beautiful decor that draws its inspiration from the Zelda Fitzgerald’s quote, “I hope you die in the marble ring,” so it is only fitting that this spot would be a place the Fitzgeralds would enjoy. As soon as you step into The Marble Ring, you’ll be transported through time, back to a roaring ’20s speakeasy (with appropriately attired servers.) Be sure to step out onto the rooftop patio, Zelda’s Lounge, for a fun and funky al fresco libation.

Learn more about The Marble Ring here.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

A police phone call box inside Hot Diggity Dogs acts as your entrance into The Marble Ring. Image: Sarah Cook

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Zelda’s Lounge offers a roaring twenties rooftop celebration. Image: Sarah Cook

Mom’s Basement

4411 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35222 • (205) 774-6667
Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Thursday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

It’s amazing how well the decor of Mom’s Basement matches its theme, but it really couldn’t be more perfect. There’s wood paneling on the walls, a large red oriental rug, mismatched furniture, foosball and Pac-Man machines, refrigerators covered in wallet-sized photos and magnets, and shelves lined with trophies and knickknacks. You’ll feel like you’re back at your mother’s house once again — except, this time, you won’t have to hide the beer!

To learn more about Mom’s Basement, check out this article.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Channeling an era of simpler times, Mom’s isn’t trying to be anything but a relaxed space where people can kick back. Image: Wes Frazer

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Immediately upon entering Mom’s Basement, patrons are greeted by a wall of portraits that give reverence to the bar’s namesake. Image: Wes Frazer

Moon Shine at The Elyton Hotel

1928 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 731-3600
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Sunday, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Situated on the rooftop of The Elyton Hotel, Moon Shine is an indoor-outdoor restaurant and lounge that will make you feel like you’re in New York City. Lounge in the sleek, yet comfortable, seating areas as you overlook the beautiful city lights below and take in the best view in the city.

Learn more about Moon Shine and The Elyton here.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Moon Shine atop The Elyton Hotel offers the best views of the city. Image: Moon Shine

RELATED: Automatic Seafood & Oysters: Adam Evans’ New Birmingham Eatery 

Paper Doll

2320 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 283-6391
Hours: Monday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Sunday, closed

It’s only been a few months since doors opened to the luxurious, vintage bar, Paper Doll. The space was once home to Tavern on 1st, which Andrew Brown Interiors transformed into something new and different. Now, tasteful wallpaper lines the walls; velvet drapery separates seating areas for added privacy; and dramatic mood lighting makes it the perfect setting for a date night or girls’ night.

Additionally, a partnership with the team behind the nonprofit Kulture City has made Paper Doll the first sensory inclusive bar in the nation. Sensory bags containing noise reducing headphones, fidget toys, and a feelings thermometer are now available to patrons who may be prone to sensory overload.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Velvet drapery separates seating areas for added privacy at Paper Doll. Image: Paper Doll

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Romantic lighting and unique wall decor make Paper Doll a perfect date night.

Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar

2015 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 502-7600
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday & Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday & Monday, closed

What do you get when you pair a gorgeous, 150-year-old brick building with the movie Blade Runner? A very handsome pub! Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar‘s modern, futuristic aesthetic creates just enough excitement to interest you without taking away from the building’s original features. The forward-thinking design-build firm Creature knocked it out of the park designing this one.

Learn more about Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar here.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

The staircase leading down to Pilcrow instantly sets the mood — letting visitors know they’re about to enter one of the Magic City’s hippest venues. Image: Joe Phelps

Creative Restaurants and Bars

When outfitting Pilcrow, Joe wanted to retain some of the space’s existing character, allowing the structure to speak for itself. Image: Joe Phelps

Queen’s Park

112 24th Street North, Birmingham, AL 35203
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Friday & Saturday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. to midnight; Monday, closed

Owner Laura Newman drew inspiration from British Colonial and French Creole interior design when creating the tropical environment at Queen’s Park. Rattan furniture, plenty of green plants, and palm print upholstery give off island vibes while the white marble countertops, gold accents, and grand crystal chandeliers add a luxurious touch. Custom wood shelving holds the bar’s curated selection of vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and whiskey.

Get to know the female force behind the bar here.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

A fun and feminine neon sign lights up Queen’s Park. Image: Eric & Jamie Photography

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Laura Newman, the leading lady of Queen’s Park, poses in front of their gorgeous gallery wall. Image: Eric & Jamie Photography

Saturn

200 41st Street South, Birmingham, AL 35222 • (205) 703-9545
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight; Friday & Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Monday, closed

If you haven’t been to Saturn yet, you are missing out. It’s part coffee shop, part bar, part concert venue, and part vintage arcade — pleasing almost anyone who walks in. Featuring furnishings that look like they could be straight out of “The Jetsons,” a professional concert stage, a rocket ship, and funky vintage art, you’ll feel free to let loose and enjoy yourself in this fun, eclectic space.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

“I do think having a space that is a creative hub for the arts helps provide yet another anchor for the neighborhood, and, I hope, keeps Avondale interesting, cutting-edge and community-conscious,” says Saturn owner Brian Teasley.

The Garage Cafe

2304 10th Terrace South, Birmingham, AL 35205 • (205) 322-3220
Hours: Monday, 3 p.m. to midnight; Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m to 11 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m. to midnight

Nestled in historic Highland Park, The Garage is a unique sandwich shop/dive bar. The interior features is a hodgepodge of items repurposed as decor, including motorcycles that hang from the ceiling, a trombone, and a tree made out of glass beer bottles. Step outside and enter a gorgeous space covered in greenery and trees that’s peppered with vintage and antique lawn decor. Charming and relaxed, this hidden gem will beguile you with its charms.

The courtyard at The Garage

The courtyard at The Garage

Intriguing antiques and vintage finds are part of The Garage experience.

Intriguing antiques and vintage finds are part of The Garage experience.

Habitat Feed & Social at The Grand Bohemian Hotel

2655 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, AL 35223 • (205) 203-4745
Hours: Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Within the beautiful Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook Village is a true masterpiece of a restaurant: Habitat Feed & Social. The hotel’s signature purple is showcased all over the indoor dining room, including the carpet and the chairs. Unique, wooden antler chandeliers hang above, setting the perfect mood for this upscale dining experience. After dinner, head into the billiards room to enjoy a warm fire in the grand fireplace and play a game of pool with friends. Lastly, be sure to hit the outdoor rooftop patio — the faux grass, purple captain’s chairs and settees, and large art deco potted plants will make you feel like your a cast member of Alice In Wonderland.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Habitat Feed & Social offers major Alice in Wonderland vibes. Image: Macey Young

Pablo’s Deck at Pablo’s Restaurante & Cantina

611 Doug Baker Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35242 • (205) 991-1311
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. & 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Do you love the outdoors, Mexican food, and bright, bold colors? Pablo’s Restaurante & Cantina combines all three while featuring a towering oak tree that grows through the center of its second-story patio and provides shade for outdoor diners. You’ll feel like you are in a treehouse — albeit one with incredible [email protected] Bright chairs, tables, and umbrellas only add to the fun.

Creative Restaurants and Bars

Grab yourself a cocktail on Pablo’s gorgeous deck. Image: Pablo’s Restaurante and Cantina

Get out there and enjoy Magic City’s creative eateries! Cheers!

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