After five years in the heart of downtown Birmingham, Pizitz Food Hall has become a mainstay among the weekday lunch crowd, as well as weekenders enjoying a day of activity in the Magic City. The bustling building hosts an array of businesses, ranging from the state’s only Warby Parker outpost to a full bar and an independent movie theater. With 12 food stalls, a full-service restaurant, and another on the way, there’s always something different to taste at Pizitz. Here’s what’s new and coming soon to one of Birmingham’s favorite gathering spots.
(The Spun Cow/Facebook)
The departure of founding Pizitz foodstall Lichita’s left an ice cream-sized hole in the heart of dessert loving Birminghamians. But earlier this month, Nashville-based dessert shop The Spun Cow filled that by opening their first Alabama location in the Pizitz. The stall specializes in artisan ice cream, hand-blended old-fashioned milkshakes, floats, and the big kicker—seasonally changing fresh-spun cotton candy. Choose from 15 flavors of ice cream including classics like mint chocolate chip, milk chocolate, and strawberry, plus more unusual options like mango, cheesecake, banana pudding, and, fittingly, cotton candy.
(Courtesy of Tina’s and Gina’s)
Tina & Gina’s
The food hall’s newest resident brings a taste of the Big Apple to Birmingham by way of local Christina Harrison. In mid-April, Harrison opened New York style deli I Love Tina & Gina’s in the former Mo:Mo space. The restaurant honors her mother Gina and grandmother Tina, both of whom were raised in Long Island, New York. Authentic sandwich specials include the Boogie Down Bronx Chopped Cheese featuring ground chuck, caramelized onions, American cheese, and garlic aioli on a King’s Hawaiian roll, as well as the Tommy Pastrami packed full of top-round pastrami, melted Swiss cheese, housemade slaw, and creamy Russian dressing on rye bread. All sandwiches feature Boar’s Head meat and cheeses.
For years, Birmingham bubble tea lovers have been making the trek down Highway 280 for their fill of the highly popular Taiwanese drink. At the beginning of this year, ThirsTea owners Hugo and Delanie Anguiano answered the longtime request of many locals by opening a second location in Pizitz. Now bubble tea enthusiasts can get their delicious milk teas, fruit teas, smoothies, and slushes in the heart of downtown Birmingham. Since February, the second location has been serving up favorites like the taro smoothie with classic boba, as well as creative monthly specials like April’s strawberry lemon mint fruit tea, roasted oolong milk tea, and cucumber lemon mint fruit tea.
(SOCU Southern Kitchen + Oyster Bar/Facebook)
In addition to its 12 food stalls, Pizitz is also home to two full-service restaurant spaces. One is occupied by local favorite café Ashely Mac’s, and the other will soon be upscale Southern restaurant SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar location. Helmed International Culinary Center graduate Erica Barrett, the talented chef has taken her food concepts to the national stage with appearances on Shark Tank and The Profit and has even published a cookbook of her Southern favorite dishes. Now Barrett is bringing her talents to the Magic City with a second SOCU location that features her elevated versions of Southern classic dishes like Chicken and Waffles, Shrimp and Grits, and Braised Beef Oxtails. For a full potluck experience, order a few Southern sides like Braised Collards, Bourbon Fired Candied Yams, Dirty Rice, and Charred Jalapeño Creamed Corn for the table. The new restaurant is set to open later this year.