March 5, 2022

Black-owned restaurants to support in Central Alabama

4.3 min read

Eating at Black-owned restaurants shouldn’t be limited to Black History Month. Great food and drink deserve to be enjoyed year-round.

Here are some places to try in the central part of the state, with barbecue, soul food, seafood, museum-quality food, as well as a place to get coffee.

Be sure to call ahead. COVID-related issues have been wreaking havoc on both operating hours and whether restaurants and shops even can stay open. Their status can change from day to day.

Find our stories on Black-owned restaurants in Birmingham, North Alabama, and South Alabama here.

(Archibald & Woodrow’s BBQ/Facebook)

Archibald’s and Archibald and Woodrow’s (Northport and Tuscaloosa)

In the beginning there was Archibald’s BBQ in Northport, the modest yet deeply revered home of legendary ribs and sliced pit-cooked pork that George and Betty Archibald opened in 1962. Their grandson, Woodrow Washington III, opened his own barbecue restaurant, Archibald and Woodrow’s in Tuscaloosa in 2002, following the family recipes and techniques. Washington now owns both, and they continue to be family-run. Food writers from Southern Living to the New York Times say Archibald’s sets the gold standard for Alabama barbecue.

(Big John’s Diner/Facebook)

Big John’s Diner (Montgomery)

Seafood, hand-formed burgers, and gourmet fries are the order of the day at Big John’s, which opened in 2018. If you love fried foods this is your place—from gizzards and corn nuggets to wings and fries. Sandwiches include pork chop and fried bologna. The seafood menu features shrimp, whiting, catfish, and tilapia. There are several options for loaded fries, including bacon, cheese, and ranch sauce, and the Big John Fries with shrimp, crumbled burger, cheese, bacon bits, and sauce. Big John’s boasts $7 deals “All Day Long” on Monday’s Burger Day and Wing Out Wednesday. Look for lunchtime specials as well.

(J.W. Beverette’s Soul Food/Facebook)

JW Beverette’s Soul Food (Montgomery)

Teresa Jackson owns JW Beverette’s Soul Food, and its fried chicken and black-eyed peas made from her family’s recipes are on the Alabama Tourism Department’s list of “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama. “If you love Soul Food run to this restaurant NOW,” writes one Yelp reviewer. “Do not walk, do not pass go, run. It is that good.” Fish Friday features catfish nuggets, “old school” whole catfish, and tilapia filets. Meat includes oxtails, chicken or pork chops fried or smothered. “And threes” showcase sides like mac and cheese, okra, collards, cabbage, green beans, black-eyed peas, candied yams, and baked beans. Sandwiches and baskets are available. Finish with Pearl’s Pound Cake, pecan pie or sweet potato pie.

(Krab Kingz Prattville/Facebook)

Krab Kingz Seafood (Prattville)

A franchise owned and operated by Kieran and Candi Cole, Krab Kingz Seafood specializes in spicy seafood boils built around shrimp or snow crab legs, with sausage, corn, egg, and potatoes. Other seafood options include fried shrimp, oysters, or fish filets. The platters at Krab Kingz are huge—the Super Loaded Platter is nearly four pounds of snow crab legs, 50 shrimp, and accompaniments for right at $200. The turkey necks are a top-seller.

(Lannie’s Bar-B-Q Spot/Facebook)

Lannie’s Bar-B-Q Spot (Selma)

The barbecue, enhanced with fried pork skins and the owners’ secret vinegary red sauce, will put you in hog heaven. Lannie and Will Travis started out in 1944, making barbecue in a pit next to their home. Today, family members still keep customers satisfied. Lannie’s is a national draw, counting the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis and television personality David Letterman among its fans. Currently open for take-out only, Lannie’s two locations serve pork, ribs, burgers, turkey, fish, and chicken—in a sandwich, by the pound, or by the plate. You’ll find all the classic Southern sides, with pie or cake to finish.

(The Coffee House – Adams Avenue/Facebook)

The Coffee House (Montgomery)

Tolesha and Skye Hardmon, a mother-daughter duo, opened The Coffee House in May 2021, following the slogan, “Nice, cozy and always smelling like good coffee.” The cash-only downtown shop offers regular, decaf, and CBD-infused coffees, along with bottles of herbal wellness teas such as “Instant Cold/Fly Remedy Tea.” Settle in with a cup and pastry, and browse the books on the shelves at Montgomery’s first black-owned coffee house.

(Cafe Verde/Facebook)

Verde (Montgomery)

Enjoy high-end food at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, with a view of the Newell Lake and Blount Cultural Park. Owners Nick and Davena Jernigan also are the minds behind the food pick-up, heat, and eat business Montgomery Super Suppers and the On a Roll food truck. Davena is the culinary genius, and her pimento cheese has been named one of the best in the South. Verde’s menu includes flatbreads, salads (including a sampler that includes the pimento cheese), burgers and bowls. Recently the café hosted a special ticketed African Diaspora-Inspired Dinner.

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