Welcome to my culinary journey through Florence, Alabama!
This charming Southern city is a jewel box overflowing with hidden gastronomic treasures.
The vibrant food scene here is a reflection of the city's rich history, diverse culture, and the warmth of its people.
Join me as we explore some of the best restaurants in Florence, Alabama.
While this list showcases some remarkable restaurants, it's important to note there are many other exceptional dining establishments in Florence that are not featured here. Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself.
I had heard a lot of good things about the Rawhide Cafe, and boy, was I not disappointed.
I decided to try it out for the first time last weekend, and I was blown away.
The food arrived promptly, piping hot and full of enticing aromas.
I ordered the hamburger steak with a side of baked potato, and the portion size was generous, to say the least.
The steak was perfectly seasoned, juicy, and packed with flavor.
My partner opted for the smoked chicken and couldn’t stop raving about it.
It was seasoned just the right amount, allowing the natural flavor to shine through, and the moistness was on point.
Our baked potato was fresh out of the oven and deliciously hot.
The sweet tea was the perfect accompaniment to the tantalizing meal.
The fact that my glass never went below half full, with the tea remaining ice cold and fresh, is a testament to the excellent service.
We ended the meal on a sweet note with a cranberry bar for dessert, and it was simply delightful.
The prices were surprisingly reasonable considering the quality and quantity of the food we received.
Jack's Place Bistro
Well, let me tell you about my experience at Jack's Place Bistro.
This gem has become my go-to spot for anything from brunch to dinner.
I remember the first time I walked in, the place had a great atmosphere.
We were seated quickly, and the drinks arrived just as fast.
I decided to go with a buffalo chicken salad.
The romaine was freshly chopped, and the cherry tomatoes were bursting with flavor.
The chicken, grilled and tossed in Buffalo sauce, was a hit.
Additionally, the salad portion was full size and quite filling.
What sets Jack's Place Bistro apart is the variety on their menu.
I've been slowly making my way through it, and I've yet to be disappointed.
The spaghetti and meatballs dish is a classic comfort food.
The brisket nachos are a unique and flavorful choice, while their flatbreads are simply divine.
I've tried the Lady in Red, and it was fantastic.
Southern Farm Table Restaurant & Bakery
The Southern Farm Table Restaurant & Bakery site is a destination that you shouldn't miss.
To get there, you'll have to venture a little bit out of the city but trust me, the drive is more than worth it.
It's about 12 minutes outside of Florence, nestled in charming rural surroundings that only add to the overall experience.
Walking into the restaurant feels like stepping back in time.
It's got an old-timey vibe that makes you feel right at home.
Let's talk about the food.
Oh, the food!
The menu is full of true southern-style home cooking.
On my last visit, I indulged in fried chicken, fried catfish, chicken and dumplings, and steak and gravy with all the fixings.
But the desserts, oh, the desserts!
It was impossible to choose between peach cobbler, coconut chess pie, and banana pudding.
So, in true Southern style, I indulged in all three.
You'll also have to fix your own drinks, which adds to the charm.
You can choose between a jar mug or a to-go cup, depending on your preference.
Despite the high-quality food and unique dining experience, the prices are surprisingly reasonable, especially for a buffet.
YUMM THAI: SUSHI AND BEYOND
I love the diverse culinary options in our city, but whenever I want to indulge in Thai and Japanese cuisine, my first choice is always YUMM THAI: SUSHI AND BEYOND.
Nestled in the historic Rogers Department Store, the restaurant not only satisfies your palate but also brings a sense of nostalgia.
The first time I stepped into this bistro, I was blown away by the charming ambiance and beautifully designed interior.
They are quick to refill drinks without needing a prompt, give sufficient time to peruse the menu, and the best part is that they don't hover.
Their menu boasts a variety of dishes, but my personal favorite is the Thai Shrimp and Grits.
The grits, creamy and perfect, are an absolute must-try.
They're cooked in a coconut cream base that adds a grounding note to the dynamic flavors of sweet and spicy Thai curry.
The addition of asparagus, which is surprisingly crisp and tender, helps round off this flavor bomb on a fresh note.
This dish is part of their brunch menu, and it's worth asking for.
My partner swears by their spicy noodles, loves the seasoning, and approves of their generous portions of beef flank and vegetables.
Whenever I'm in need of a culinary lift, I find myself drawn to the rustic charm of Odette.
It's my go-to bistro in Florence, offering eclectic New American fare with a Southern flair and global influences thrown into the mix.
From the warm and welcoming decor to the impressively stocked bar, it's a place that's always brimming with character and creativity.
I'll often start off my meal with their signature white cheddar pimento cheese, which is so good that my friends and I usually end up asking for extras to take home.
The asparagus grilled cheese is another favorite of mine, a rich and heavy delicacy that's so filling I usually need a box to take half of it home.
I love how they've managed to sneak in those veggies, creating a balanced and flavorful dish.
I must also give them credit for their homemade ketchup.
It's slightly sweet and not as gloopy as the regular stuff, which honestly enhances the taste of their perfectly cooked fries.
And the desserts!
Do save room for their cheesecake and creme brulee.
The cheesecake with cookie crumbles and citrus slices is incredibly balanced and one of the best desserts I've ever had.
The menu is thoughtfully designed, and everything that comes out of their kitchen is simply phenomenal.
The quality of food is something you'd expect in far more affluent cities.
Mr. Hui's Peacock Express
If you're someone that appreciates the art of Chinese cuisine, you might find yourself at Mr. Hui's Peacock Express one day.
I've been going to Mr. Hui's for a while now and have tried a fair share of their offerings.
Their fried rice remained as savory as ever.
On a different occasion, my spouse and I decided to try the orange chicken upon a friend's recommendation.
And let me tell you, it was one of the most delicious orange chickens I’ve ever had.
It was this perfect balance of tangy but not too tangy, simply delectable.
We ordered two - one with lo mein and one with fried rice.
These days, I appreciate their online ordering service for curbside pick-up.
Perfect for a quick lunch break.
El Pollito Loco
I have dined at El Pollito Loco on countless occasions, and it never fails to impress me.
Whether I'm craving a hearty meal or just want to satisfy my taste buds with something rich and flavorful, it's my go-to place.
When it comes to food, they serve some of the best Mexican cuisine in the city.
Their burrito loco and carnitas tacos are simply mouth-watering.
The portions are generous, and the quality of the food is top-notch.
The salsa and chips here always begin my meals on a high note.
I've also had the pleasure of trying their lunch menu, and the dishes were equally impressive.
The restaurant's atmosphere is soothing and welcoming - a perfect place to unwind after a long day or to enjoy a lively outing with friends.
Sweet Basil Alabama
It's hard to resist the charm of Sweet Basil, Alabama.
Being an ardent food lover, this delightful little spot has become my go-to for lunch.
I remember my first visit like it was yesterday.
I ordered the sampler plate - Tomato Basil Soup, a crisp salad, and half a Turkey and Cheese on Wheat.
The flavors were spot-on, and it left me longing for more.
Over the years, I've had the pleasure of trying almost everything on their menu.
It's the variety they offer that keeps me coming back.
On my most recent visit, I indulged in the Tomato Pie and their signature Red, White, and Blue Salad - a burst of flavors that was nothing less than extraordinary.
They have something for every palate, ensuring you'll never leave dissatisfied.
But it isn't just the food that's worth mentioning.
The people at Sweet Basil Alabama bring warmth to the place.
Last time, I tried the Blue Cheese Reuben with an RWB salad while my friend savored the ham and cheese croissant.
The blue cheese on the Reuben was an unexpected delight that truly jazzed up the sandwich.
I have had numerous visits to the 360 Grille.
The moment you walk in, you're greeted with an upscale atmosphere offering magnificent views over the Tennessee River.
The menu caters to diverse tastes.
Meat lovers, vegans, and vegetarians will all find something delicious to indulge in.
The bread here is delightful, and the Brazilian roasted Cauliflower is worth a mention.
The Freshly Caught Salmon is also an inviting dish, tender and bursting with flavors.
Being located at a hotel, one might underestimate the quality of food, but let me tell you, they have some tasty options to offer.
Sure, there were times when the meals were slightly overcooked.
But the overall experience, with the rotating restaurant feature taking center stage, more than makes up for it.
It takes an hour for a full rotation, offering a panoramic view of the beautiful surroundings while you enjoy your meal.
On my last visit, I tried the vegetarian plate with a side of fries.
The fries are a must-try, crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
I also asked the bartender to make a special cocktail with Catbead vodka, and it turned out to be fantastic.
The Pie Factory of Florence
I've been to The Pie Factory of Florence a couple of times now, and I must say it’s a great addition to our local dining scene.
The building itself is a cozy old structure near the main square, which adds to its distinctive charm.
The atmosphere inside is always warm and friendly, and the customer service is on point.
They offer a wide selection of specialty pizzas, all of which are moderately priced.
The chicken, bacon, and ranch pizza are among my favorites, but I've also had the pleasure of trying the peach pizza, which was a delightful surprise.
If you're feeling adventurous, their 'Ol familiar' pizza is a great way to sample an array of their offerings.
Aside from pizzas, they also serve a variety of other dishes.
On one occasion, I decided to try the Roma calzone.
It was well-prepared, with savory innards and well-balanced flavors.
The marinara sauce wasn't too sweet, and the cheese was just heavenly.
Adding to the overall dining experience is their impressive selection of craft beers.
The Rising Crust Pizza and Hops
If you're looking for a lively local spot in the city, The Rising Crust Pizza and Hops is definitely a place to consider.
This place is always bustling with activity and always seems to be the hub for the local crowd.
You can expect to see a familiar face or two whenever you stop by.
They manage to keep up their smiling facade, which is quite impressive considering the consistent crowd they have to handle.
The menu is quite extensive, offering a wide range of choices for anyone's palate.
They serve some amazing dishes like their meat lovers calzone and hot Italian sub.
These dishes are infused with great flavors and are presented immaculately.
One of the unique things about The Rising Crust is their daily entertainment; from live music to Bingo nights, there's always something going on to keep you entertained.
And, if you have special requests, like a layer of cheese baked on top of your pasta for baked spaghetti, they are more than happy to accommodate.
The prices are quite decent, considering the quality of the food and the ambiance.
I am never disappointed whenever I go to Pop's Barbeque.
It's always a treat, and I find myself going back time and time again.
On my first visit, I was floored not just by the welcoming atmosphere but also by the remarkable food.
The fried okra immediately climbed to the top of my favorite foods list, and it remains there to this day.
Their homemade desserts are a delight.
I remember squirming in my seat, trying to make room for the tempting treat even after feasting on their sumptuous meal.
I eventually ended up taking it home because I was so full.
Now, the tradition continues as I always ensure to save room for dessert or take it to go.
Homeside Restaurant - Huntsville Rd.
My Saturdays usually kick off with a hearty breakfast at Homeside Restaurant located on Huntsville Road.
The charm of this small family-style restaurant is undeniable.
One of my favorite things about Homeside is their Western omelet and the two eggs with bacon plate.
I also always make sure to get the biscuits - they're enormous and remind me of the ones my grandmother used to make.
I often pair my meals with their perfectly brewed tea.
They do get quite busy, especially around breakfast time, so there might be a bit of a wait, but the food is always worth it.
This place isn't just about food, though.
One time, I took my mom there, and she's not stopped raving about what a treat it was.
The first thing you notice about Newbern's Restaurant is the sign that proudly declares it as the 'Home of Famous Catfish'.
It's been a fixture in the community for years, a testament to its staying power and consistent quality.
The dining experience is simple and straightforward, focusing mostly on good, fresh, and mostly fried foods.
Now, the catfish fillet is the star of the show at Newbern's.
The fish is always crispy and delicious, a delight for any catfish lover.
Just another day in Florence, and I found myself craving some comfort food.
The first place that came to mind?
Wildwood Tavern, of course!
This trendy spot is my refuge whenever I need to unwind from the rough edges of life.
I decided to try their Philly sandwich for lunch, and let me tell you - it was nothing short of delicious.
My partner, on the other hand, devoured the Korean BBQ sandwich with a huge smile.
What I love about Wildwood Tavern is its quirky vibe.
The place is alive with an eclectic mix of artwork on the walls, giving it a cool, funky atmosphere.
It's the kind of place that makes you feel at ease the moment you step inside.
But what makes Wildwood Tavern a real gem in the heart of Florence is its game room.
And it's not just any game room - it's free and unmatched by anything else in the city!
It's a great spot to have fun and make memories with friends.
On typical weekdays, the hustle and bustle of life find me grabbing lunch at the Rice Box, a storefront cafe nestled right in our city.
The mixed menu of Chinese & Japanese classics, not to mention the sushi & hibachi-grilled fare, is a delicious escape from the ordinary.
The food at the Rice Box is amazing, always fresh and flavorful.
It's hard not to fall for their sushi and hibachi-grilled dishes - they're simply outstanding.
But one thing that sets it apart is the copious amounts of food they serve.
You're guaranteed to leave with a satisfied belly!
But what really keeps me coming back is the service.
They'll make you feel at home from the moment you step in until you leave, satiated and content.
I decided to visit Lil Capones for the first time, and I was not disappointed.
The food and service at Lil Capones are truly remarkable.
Yes, the prices might be a bit steep, but it's totally worth it.
It's the perfect place to go for a treat.
I had the chance to try the Cajun pasta and the meatballs.
Let me tell you, they were amazing.
The food here never fails to impress.
Ricatoni's Italian Grill
Every now and then, my friends and I tend to shake up our usual hangout spots.
This time around, we were craving Italian, and Ricatoni's Italian Grill was on top of the list.
Housed in a vintage storefront, the brick-lined walls of this joint serve up a warm, rustic charm that's hard to find elsewhere.
Our visit was in the middle of the day, right around lunchtime.
I could tell you that the eggplant parmigiana and lasagna are a must-try, but that would hardly do justice to the full burst of flavors delivered by the dishes.
The chicken Alfredo I ordered was no ordinary dish.
The chicken tasted smoked and added a unique twist to the creamy pasta.
Paired with their hot, freshly baked bread straight from the oven, it was a culinary delight.
The bread comes in a brown bag with a spice mix and olive oil for dipping.
Simple, yet delicious.
Rosie's Mexican Cantina
Ever since I stepped foot into Rosie's Mexican Cantina, I knew I had found my go-to spot for authentic Mexican cuisine in the city.
The vibrant restaurant, adorned with colorful lights, gives off a lively, upbeat, and absolutely fun vibe.
Families with kids, couples, and groups of friends all seem to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
It might get a little loud at times, but that’s what a true cantina feels like, right?
The decorations are impressive.
They make you feel transported into a different realm, with each corner telling its own story.
Now let's talk about what matters the most - the food.
The menu here is full of Mexican staples, each more tempting than the last.
The chips served with salsa and guacamole are an absolute delight, the perfect appetizer to kick-start a flavorful meal.
I've tried their burritos and quesadillas, and they were savory and well-prepared.
And their Chicken Tortilla Soup?
Undeniably one of the best in the city.
The culinary scene in Florence, Alabama, is truly unparalleled.
I can personally attest to the authenticity of the flavors at YUMM THAI, and the Southern comfort food at Southern Farm Table Restaurant & Bakery is nothing short of a heartwarming experience.
In short, the diversity and richness of Florence's gastronomic offerings never fail to amaze.
Whether you're a fan of traditional Southern cuisine or looking for international flavors, there's something here for every palate.