There’s no doubt: Birmingham’s becoming more of a food city every day. The South’s well-known for staple dishes, from grits to fried chicken to bar-b-que. But in Birmingham, international cuisine shares the spotlight. So grab your keys and start exploring the food scene with these five hotspots.

Chez Lulu

1911 Cahaba Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223

Chez Lulu is the closest thing to having a brunch date in France without booking a plane ticket. French cuisine incorporates the freshest ingredients into a dish that might be difficult to pronounce, but so easy to devour.

Chez Lulu offers soups and pastries made daily, along with pizzas and sandwiches. They also take pride in introducing other cultural delights to their customers, like opera or belly dancing.

Ghion Cultural Hall

Pizitz Food Hall, 1821 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

At the Pizitz Food Hall, Ghion Cultural Hall serves Ethiopian staples with a modern twist. If you aren’t on already sold by the idea of spicy, savory dishes, then the restaurant’s atmosphere will do the trick. The dining room is decked out with authentic Ethiopian furniture. So patrons experience dinner in Africa without the plane fare. It’s no shock, then, that Birmingham’s first Ethiopian restaurant has been greatly accepted.

 

Glory Bound Gyro Company

101 20th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233

Greek dishes bring a rich history and rich ingredients to the plate. Luckily, at Glory Bound Gyro Company, Birmingham residents can enjoy a wealth of Greek dishes without breaking the bank. Glory Bound’s specialty? The gyro, featuring meat, tzatziki sauce and veggies wrapped in a pillowy flatbread. Of course, Glory Bound boasts traditional lamb and veal gyros. But they also have chicken and shrimp gyros on their menu for a twist on the usual dish. Opa!

Ono Poke

Pizitz Food Hall, 1821 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203

Located in the Pizitz Food Hall, Ono Poke serves up the best in Hawaiian cuisine. Their speciality? Poke, a flavorful blend of raw fish and other seafood. Inspired by fresh, local ingredients, poke’s a delicious taste of the islands. Plus, there are several different add-ins available, depending on preference.

Poke’s also a tasty alternative to sushi. And, as an added bonus, it’s a low-calorie dish, too!

Trattoria Centrale

207 20th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203

Italian food lovers, rejoice! Your choices in Birmingham aren’t limited to Olive Garden or homemade spaghetti. Trendy Trattoria Centrale sells everything from Roman pizza al taglio to penne all’arrabbiata. Don’t worry — there are plenty of delicious desserts, too. Trattoria serves Italy’s best for breakfast, lunch and brunch.They only serve dinner on Fridays, so there’s plenty of time for you to plan your 5-course meal.

 

Text by Jazelyn Little