When I first decided to kick off my tour in Birmingham, Alabama, everyone asked me why Birmingham?  There are so many reasons why I have become intrigued by this city’s incredible culinary scene.  And overall Birmingham is a really cool place to visit. Below are some fun facts about Birmingham, Alabama.

  1. In a recent interview in the New York Times, NYC mega restaurateur, Danny Meyer, was asked about up and coming food cities.  His response: “There are so many! Both Portland cities —Maine and Oregon— are obsessed with good food.  So are Seattle, Boston, and Birmingham.”
  2. Birmingham offers several local breweries such as Good People, Avondale, Cahaba, and Trim Tab Brewing Companies.  But their wine enthusiasts often are surprised to find vineyards and wineries in the greater Birmingham area.  Birmingham has a wine trail for fellow wine lovers.
  3. Birmingham is home to James Beard Foundation Award winners and nominees.  People come from around the southeast to dine at chef-owned restaurants across the city.  Several people fly into Atlanta and make the two-hour drive to Birmingham to dine at amazing restaurants.
  4. Southern Living, one of my favorite magazines, is the nation’s most successful regional magazine, and it’s published in Birmingham.
  5. The greater Birmingham area was the birthplace of Charles Barkley, Carl Lewis, Emmylou Harris, Courtney Cox, rapper, Gucci Mane, authors, Fannie Flagg and John Green, who lived there as kids, and Condolezza Rice.
  6. The oldest and largest Veteran’s Day celebration is in Birmingham because the city is the holiday’s founding city.
  7. The city was named after Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
  8. The oldest baseball stadium in the country, Rickwood Field, is located in Birmingham. Rickwood hosted some of the greats of baseball such as Babe Ruth, Dizzy Dean, and Willie Mays.
  9. U.S. college football coaching legend, Paul “Bear” Bryant, was frequently seen wearing a houndstooth or checkered patterned hat and houndstooth is frequently seen worn around the University of Alabama, where he coached, as a symbol of school pride.
  10.  Birmingham is the only place in the world where all three raw ingredients for steel — coal, limestone, and iron ore — occur naturally within a ten-mile radius.
  11. Bon Appétit Magazine named Birmingham’s Hot & Hot Fish Club among the “Great Neighborhood Restaurants in the South.” 
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