When you think of Huntsville, Alabama, do upscale eats and creative restaurants come to mind? I was not prepared to be blown away by the culinary scene on my visits, but boy, was I ever. There are so many delicious best restaurants in Huntsville, AL, that you will have difficulty choosing where to go and what to order, so I’ll lend you a helping hand. Here are 16 of the best restaurants in Huntsville, AL you’ll find and suggestions for what to try at each.
(UPDATED APRIL 2022)
When you are looking for a mouth-watering spread of comfort food dishes and exotic combinations, look no further than Melt Huntsville, a laid-back eatery with a casual patio and welcoming atmosphere.
Get the party started with Mac ‘n Egg Roll, clever bites of macaroni and cheese inside an egg roll wrapper. They are even better dipped in the sweet & spicy chili glaze.
For your Melt main course, the Honey Baked Goat Cheese appetizer can suffice as a main, and you’ll probably have some to take home for later. This sinfully good dish, guaranteed to make your taste buds take notice, is a spread with cranberries, toasted pecans, green onions, and a drizzle of honey. Perfectly-toasted sourdough slices are for spreading.
Or, you could choose a Strawberry Fields Salad, a Classic Melt Grilled Cheese (3 cheeses), or a Ragin’ Cajun grilled chicken sandwich with spicy cheese and jalapeño slaw.
Pro Tip: A bowl of Tomato Basil Soup is perfect for dunking your grilled sandwich in.
2. The Revivalist
The 106 Jefferson is Huntsville’s newest luxury boutique property in the heart of downtown. It has two exceptional restaurants with a drool-worthy menu and decor.
The Revivalist, looking like a chic magazine ad for an old-time parlor, is where I love to go for a healthy breakfast. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a three-hour closure between lunch and dinner.
Pictured below is The Revivalist’s Avocado Toast with avocado mash and sprouts over a sturdy slice of toasted sourdough. Two eggs of your choice top the toast and a side salad accompanies the main dish. Hooray for sliced radishes.
A second yummy breakfast dish is the French Toast with cream Anglaise and berries.
3. Rosie’s Mexican Cantina
There’s a reason Rosie’s Mexican Cantina is always one of the top-rated and reviewed restaurants in Huntsville, Alabama, and one of the local favorites. Perhaps it’s the fun vibe, the colorful lights, and clever murals, or is it the fantastic Mexican dishes that roll out of the kitchen like an assembly line? All of the above.
Rosie’s Mexican Cantina has all your classic favorites, but also a few bonus dishes, like Spinach Enchiladas, Raspberry Salmon, and Bar-B-Q Chicken Nachos. I had the Pollo Loco, char-grilled chicken breakfast over a bed of rice with queso drizzled across. It’s so tasty and filling.
Rosie’s has cute t-shirts, too, if you like picking up souvenirs when you travel.
Pro Tip: Rosie’s is always crowded, but you may be able to land a seat at the bar for quicker and great service.
4. Edgar’s Bakery
Please your sweet tooth with the fabulous sweet treats from Edgar’s Bakery, a Huntsville institution in multiple locations. Bundt cakes, cinnamon rolls, pie, petit fours, and a wide array of cookies, plus breakfast and lunch items are on the menu.
How does quiche of the day sound, or a chopped Greek salad?
5. Po Boy Factory
Huntsville’s Po Boy Factory is where you’ll find all your Louisiana favorites, even down to the Gambino bread. The festive eatery serves po’boys, red beans and rice, gumbo, and muffuletta, just to name a few.
Start your dining experience with the Fried Pickles basket, and don’t miss the spicy sauce, which is super zesty, and with a bit of kick.
I had a Shrimp Po’Boy for dinner with all the traditional fixings, plus slaw as my side dish. I think the freaking delicious secret ingredient in the slaw was horseradish. I’m still dreaming about those pickles.
6. Big Spring Cafe
Huntsville’s oldest restaurant, Big Spring Cafe, also dubbed the home of the Greasy Burger, is a must for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I had to try both a cheeseburger and chili dog, which was fine because the price for both was only a little over $5. They were both outstanding, and you can watch the cook hand-patty out every burger on the grill.
My daughter, Taylor, had Chicken Tenders and fries, which were really good and came with a little boat of ketchup or dipping sauce. It also came with a side salad, just lettuce and super fresh tomatoes, which hit the spot.
Our service was perfection.
7. Phil Sandoval’s Mexican Restaurant
After reading the Mexican restaurant menus for Huntsville, we chose to eat at Phil Sandoval’s Mexican Restaurant, known for sharing the family recipes. From the minute we walked in the door, we were made to feel special and appreciated.
Dinner started with Queso Blanco, a must when eating at a Mexican restaurant.
Taylor and I had a Chicken Quesadilla and Pollo Con Rajas, a specialty dish that was an excellent choice for dinner. My pan-fried chicken breast was topped with a three-pepper cream sauce and melted Chihuahua cheese. Yummy!
Let me mention that Sandoval takes the COVID safety measures to the max. The restaurant surpassed all others that I visited in Huntsville for cleanliness, temp checks, and social distancing, even when customers had to wait a few minutes for a table. Impressive.
8. Sam and Greg’s Galeteria and Pizzeria
Whimsical, kitschy, and fun is the best ways to describe Sam and Greg’s in an 1896 historic building on downtown’s Southside Square. You can choose from deluxe pizzas (gluten-free crust available), sandwiches, and local brews, plus the gelato selection will curl your toes.
Even a basic cheese-only pizza from Sam and Greg’s is memorable, which is what we ordered.
Upstairs is an alien-themed space, while downstairs (first floor) is dedicated to art and whimsy. The outdoor patio is darling.
9. Ale’s Kitchen
Straight to Ale’s restaurant endeavor, Ale’s Kitchen takes bar food to another level. Choose between burgers, salads, pizza, and hearty appetizers as you enjoy the Campus No. 805 space to its fullest.
The Montreal Poutine is yummy, with big fat hand-cut fries, Wisconsin cheese curds, brown gravy, and scallions.
I had the Jerk Chicken Tacos with spicy slaw, avocado sauce, and crumbled tortilla strips for my main course the first time I visited. The side dish is your choice. Ale’s Kitchen burgers are served on a Fredbread bun, a local favorite.
I can’t imagine you could go wrong with anything on the tempting menu.
Don’t miss Straight to Ale’s Third Circle Cellars, just a few steps away from the main restaurant, serving excellent wines and a bounty of appetizers. The Cheese Board for a Crowd is a wise choice.
10. Phat Sammy’s
Oh my, where to start with Phat Sammy’s. This basement tiki-themed popular spot is bold, bright, and so much fun. You’ll be transported to the tropics, even more when you order a fun drink, alcoholic or not, that comes in cutesy mugs, glasses, and crazy stirrers and straws.
Then, the Phat Sammy’s food is top-notch.
One of the most popular menu items is the Phat Fries, drenched in fried chicken, cheese curds, sweet Chinese sausage gravy, and kimchi sauce. The drool-worthy dish is topped with a perfectly fried egg.
Phat Sammy’s Spam Fried Rice bowl is exceptional as a main course, with chunks of griddled Spam, English peas, teriyaki sauce, baby corn, and topped with a one-hour egg. This dish gets an A for originality and a thumbs up for deliciousness.
11. Honest Coffee Roasters
I loved Honest Coffee Roasters so much that I visited three times in my four days in town. First of all, they have an exceptional cold brew—full-bodied and rich in flavor. Second, they have bangin’ breakfast sandwiches. I swear by the sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit.
It takes a few minutes to make, but I promise it is worth your wait. I found Honest Coffee Roasters to have a friendly staff, competitive prices, and some of the best coffee around.
Do your travels ever take you to Orange Beach or Gulf Shores? We have excellent restaurants to suggest there, too.
12. Another Broken Egg Cafe
The only chain I visited in Huntsville is famous around the south and has an incredible menu. Another Broken Egg Cafe is located in the Twickenham Square neighborhood and offers street parking. The bright and cheery restaurant serves a wide array of breakfast and lunch dishes.
I had the three Pancake Trio Flight and picked Lemon Blueberry Goat Cheese, Bananas Foster, and Ipanema Estate pancakes from six choices. My favorite was the Ipanema coffee-infused one, with sliced strawberries, caramel sauce, and Irish whipped cream—mmm, mmm, good.
The Pancake Trio also came with two eggs served how you like and breakfast meat.
13. Pane E Vino Pizzeria
One of Chef James Boyce’s four Huntsville restaurants is Pane E Vino, located on the side of the Huntsville Museum of Art. It is literally one of the best places you can eat in town, and with reasonable prices.
First, place your order at the counter; then, a server helps with the rest. There is indoor and outdoor seating, both in a covered patio space and on the sidewalk.
The downtown restaurant serves pizza, calzones, pasta creations, and a handful of appetizers. I enjoyed the Chicken Carbonara, which had baked cheese over the pasta, peppers, spinach, and red onion, with a garlic Alfredo sauce. It tasted terrific and was filling, but not overly filling. The pasta came with a breadstick, too.
14. Blue Plate Cafe
A beloved institution in Huntsville is the Blue Plate Cafe. Friends and followers from around the country told me I had to go there for breakfast, so I did. The popular restaurant is clean and sparkly and has a sense of place that makes everyone feel welcome.
After realizing I loved everything on the menu, I settled for poached eggs, chicken sausage (that was unexpected), a homemade biscuit, and sausage gravy: nom, nom. It was a perfect plate with perfectly cooked eggs, too.
Blue Plate Cafe serves Cheesy Browns, a unique breakfast potato dish that is pretty terrific. If you are a potato fan, don’t miss it. Blue Plate Cafe serves lunch and dinner, as well.
15. Piper and Leaf
Piper and Leaf is an artisan tea company in Huntsville, Alabama, with four locations. I visited the Constitution Park location, with free Wifi, indoor and outdoor seating, and many scratch-made pastries to choose from.
There are dozens of tea choices, and they are exceptional in every way.
While I typically do not order something I’m familiar with, Piper and Leaf’s staff carefully talked me through several options and explained the ingredients. I had the Briar Patch brew, iced and slightly sweetened, and it was fantastic! I also took a cheese and herb scone with me for later.
16. La Finka Mexican Restaurant & Grill
One of Huntsville’s newest Mexican eateries, La Finka, offers a beautiful setting, tasty food, and attentive service. I can’t say enough about how good the service was everywhere I ate in Huntsville.
Start your meal with warm and crispy tortilla chips served with tasty tomato salsa. Queso Dip is the perfect accompaniment to everybody’s favorite snack, and I never miss ordering it.
I tried the fajita chicken taco salad for lunch, which was stuffed full of peppers, onions, flavorful chicken, and a dollop of sour cream, pico de Gallo, and guacamole. The shell was puffy and tasted much better than a typical fried corn shell. I rate everything at La Finka delicious.
Restaurants for my next Huntsville visit include Cotton Row (fine-dining with fresh ingredients), Poppy & Parliament (British faves), and Ol’ Heidelberg (which almost always requires a reservation—learned the hard way twice from trying).