Food lovers around the country know Alabama for its diverse types of barbecue, great Gulf seafood, and sweet Chilton County peaches. Now it’s time to add breakfast to that menu.
“The homey restaurant shifts to cafeteria service for lunch, but scrambles eggs and flips pancakes to order,” Hanna Raskin writes about the 64-year-old institution. “Devotees are divided on sides: Some favor thick-skinned smoked sausage, while others are partial to sweet country ham.”
But Fife’s is far from the only Alabama breakfast joint gaining attention from regional and national media.
Food and Wine magazine even name-checked a few state eateries in its 2022 roundup of best breakfasts in every state. Conecuh sausage from Evergreen was the link for mentions including Davis Café in Montgomery and Barb’s Country Kitchen in Eufaula.
Here are seven other restaurants, one for each morning of the week, that are catching the eye of food writers everywhere:
Blue Plate Café (Huntsville)
Breakfast starts: 6 a.m. Mon.-Sat.
“Classic Southern dishes do not get much better” says Best Things Alabama. “Their menu sports a variety of delicious breakfast plates, but their biscuits and gravy are simply to die for.”
The café also made the Food Network’s list of “The Best Pancakes in Every State,” with a tip: “ If you’re visiting at the right time, you just might score a taste of their summer specialty: The Very Berry Pancakes, two fluffy buttermilk ’cakes loaded to the max with raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, are available only when the berries are in season.” The year-round flapjacks aren’t shabby, either, FN says.
The Historic Waysider Restaurant (Tuscaloosa)
Breakfast starts: 5:30 a.m. Tue-Sat; 6:30 Sun
In 2022, Southern Living profiled this legendary breakfast and lunch spot that’s chockablock with Bama football memorabilia. Singling out the small, buttery biscuits, Mary Shannon Wells writes, “The Waysider’s breakfast is simple and delicious. And don’t be surprised to receive pancakes in the form of the University of Alabama’s mascot, Big Al, especially if you’re wearing the visiting team’s colors on a game weekend.”
The Alabama Biscuit Company (Cahaba Heights)
Breakfast starts: 7 a.m. Mon-Sat; 8 a.m. Sun
“What exactly makes The Alabama Biscuit Company’s biscuits stand out from the biscuits we’re used to?” Jennifer Young writes in a 2020 profile in the online publication, Only in Your State. It starts with hand-milled flour from sprouted and regular spelt, a type of wheat that has been cultivated for some 5,000 years. Fats from pasture-raised animals—local when possible—bind the biscuits.
In 2013, “Cooking with Paula Deen” put ABC on its list, “Top 10 Biscuits Across the U.S.” The restaurant in Vestavia Hills’ Cahaba Heights community also made Southern Living’s lineup of the “South’s Best Breakfast Spots” in 2017.
D’Road Café (Montgomery)
Breakfast starts: 8:30 a.m. Tue-Fri, 8 a.m. Sat
Its menu puts a Venezuelan accent on breakfast and brunch food, like Cachapa, a sweet cornmeal flatcake topped with meat, two eggs and cheese. D’Road also serves Southern breakfast standards.
The multi-media franchise, “Eat This, Not That,” recently named it the best breakfast in Alabama: “Who knew that a health-conscious Latin American restaurant would serve up such a killer breakfast?” writes Rebecca Strong. “If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of the Venezuelan-inspired dishes such as arepas, which consist of eggs, cheese and ham served in a cornmeal crust and are served with garlic aioli.”
Spot of Tea (Mobile)
Breakfast starts: 8 a.m. Mon-Sun
The breakfast menu includes a section for “Boom Batter” (waffles and pancakes). Eight omelet choices include the decadent Cajun Seafood Omelet. Eggs Benedict and Blackened Shrimp and Cheese Grits headline the breakfast sandwiches and brunch. “For an extra special treat, try their perfectly made Monte Cristo sandwich,” Sarah Baumann writes in Best Things Alabama for her list of “The 9 Best Breakfast Spots in Alabama!”
Hazel’s Nook (Gulf Shores)
Breakfast starts: 6:30 a.m. Mon-Sun
In a 2022 piece for the online publication, Only in Your State, Matthew Caracciollo hits the breakfast highlights at this 66-year-old throwback with period touches like red-checked tablecloths. Describing the loaded breakfast buffet with fruit bar, he adds: “Save room in your breakfast bonanza for the omelet bar! If you’re just interested in a build-your-own omelet, you can order it off the menu rather than opting for the entire buffet. If you’re not hungry enough for a buffet, order off the menu. Affordable prices for pancakes, eggs benedict, and the ‘Old Tyme’ Country Breakfast ensure that nobody leaves hungry.”
Cahawba House (Montgomery)
Breakfast starts: 10 a.m. Mon-Fri; 7:30 a.m. Sat-Sun
USA Today loves Cahawba House. In a 2017 slideshow showcasing fall food and drink, it gave a shoutout to the restaurant’s seasonal Pumpkin Butter Biscuit with cinnamon and maple syrup.
Flash forward a couple years, when USA Today listed Cahawba House among its “Best Breakfast Spots in Every State,” singling out the Chicken and the Egg Biscuit with goat cheese. “This Montgomery mainstay offers a build-your-own selection of breakfast sandwich ingredients to be enclosed in a biscuit, a bagel, or a couple of pieces of toast,” the article says.
The New York Times also name-checked Cahawba House in a 2018 guide to Montgomery.