12 Best Restaurants in Huntsville, Alabama

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Huntsville, Alabama is fast becoming known as a top foodie destination in the South. With its blossoming tech and aerospace industries bringing new residents from around the country, Huntsville’s dining scene is exploding with new and innovative restaurants. From tasty barbecue joints to fine dining establishments, Huntsville has something to satisfy every palate.

No.Restaurant NameCuisineHighlights
1Commerce KitchenNew AmericanSeasonal cuisine, buttermilk fried chicken
2The BottleGastropubCraft beers, upscale pub grub
3Phat Sammy’sVietnamese/Sushi/RamenEclectic menu, quirky decor
4PurveyorFarm-to-tableLocally sourced ingredients, cozy atmosphere
51892 EastSouthern Seafood/OystersFresh seafood, historic home setting
6The EavesLow Country BoilSeafood shack, Low Country boils
7Grille 29Modern SteakhousePremium cuts of Angus beef, sophisticated classics
8Constitution VillageSouthern Comfort with International FlairInternational cuisine, Swiss twists on Dixie favorites
9Cotton RowFarm-to-Table SouthernSophisticated Southern cuisine, seasonal menus
10The Camp House at MidCitySeasonal New American Small PlatesMarket-driven small plates, intimate dining
11Shaggy’s Burgers & TacosBurgers and TacosGourmet fast food, located in food truck park

In this article, we have compiled a list of the 12 best restaurants that should not be missed when visiting Huntsville. For each restaurant, we provide a brief description of the cuisine, what makes them stand out, and some signature dishes you won’t want to leave without trying. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, use this list to plan an epic food tour of Huntsville’s tastiest restaurants.

Commerce Kitchen

Name and Location: Commerce Kitchen occupies a 19th century warehouse turned loft space spanning over 6,000 square feet at 301 Commerce Street in downtown Huntsville.

History and Significance: Opened in 2018 by chef James Boyce in a former cotton warehouse, Commerce Kitchen transformed raw industrial space into a contemporary open dining concept celebrating Southern cuisine and Alabama ingredients.

What to Expect: Exposed beams, brick and concrete marry with warm lighting, greenery and accents highlighting locally crafted elements. Menus emphasize seasonal Gulf to table heirloom produce, artisanal cheeses and date-sweetened desserts paired with craft cocktails.

Visitor Information: Serving weekday lunch and dinner plus weekend brunches. Closed Sundays. Make reservations online or by phone. Valet parking available.

Cuisine: New American

Situated downtown, Commerce Kitchen offers seasonal New American cuisine in a gorgeous old brick and beam building that was once a mercantile shop. The exposed ductwork and Edison bulbs create a hip, laid-back vibe for creative takes on classic comfort food. Chef James Boyce draws inspiration from across the South, resulting in dishes like the award-winning buttermilk fried chicken served with honey hot sauce and blue cheese.

Don’t miss the duck confit tacos with pepper jelly or the shrimp and grits with Andouille sausage. For dessert, the salted caramel bread pudding is a must-try. With its scratch-made cooking and funky atmosphere, Commerce Kitchen is one of Huntsville’s most popular date night spots.

The Bottle

Name and Location: The Bottle bar and taproom occupies 116 Lowe Ave NE just outside downtown Huntsville blocks from Campus No. 805 tech and entertainment district.

History and Significance: The intimate 1920s bungalow turned pub opened in 2018 to showcase North Alabama’s emerging craft beer scene. Its cozy living room feel encourages lingering over rare local drafts.

What to Expect: With 20+ ever-changing taps spotlighting brewers within 100 miles, you’re sure to discover new bold flavors profiled by knowledgeable staff. Relax in quaint quarters or the lush garden to sample flights, pints and small plates.

Visitor Information: Open Tuesday through Sunday with limited winter hours. Kitchen closes before last call. well-behaved dogs allowed in garden. Street parking available. Cash or credit cards accepted.

Cuisine: Gastropub

For craft beers and upscale pub grub, check out The Bottle in downtown Huntsville. Located in a former 1970s era liquor store, the gastro pub dishes out hearty fare like house-ground burgers with pimento cheese, chicken & waffles with honey hot sauce, and shrimp po boys on crispy baguettes.

With 48 rotating taps of domestic and local brews, The Bottle is beer-lovers paradise with brews like Straight to Ale Monkeynaut IPA and Yellowhammer Belgian White. The laid-back, vintage vibe makes it a great place to sip a pint after work or on the weekend. Be sure to ask about the “secret” menu with mash-up items like the PBBJ burger topped with bacon jam and peanut butter sauce.

Phat Sammy’s

Name and Location: Phat Sammy’s original outpost occupies a former 1928 service station at 210 Holmes Avenue Northwest just outside downtown Huntsville blocks from Big Spring Park.

History and Significance: Chef Sammy Stone opened the first location of this Huntsville staple in 2009, gaining notoriety for gourmet takes on bar grub favorites alongside craft beer served in a landmark buildings with vintage character and outdoor space.

What to Expect: Sink into leather couches on the enclosed patio or belly up to the marble-topped bar to fill up on elevated pub fare like duck nachos, burgers and Asian entrees washed down by one of almost 50 international and local beer options.

Visitor Information: Open daily serving lunch and dinner. Additional locations around Huntsville. Mostly counter service style ordering. Card or cash payments accepted.

Cuisine: Vietnamese/Sushi/Ramen

Phat Sammy’s quirky pan-Asian diner is a Huntsville institution, blending Vietnamese, Japanese and Chinese cuisine on an eclectic menu. Located in a former Taco Bell, Phat Sammy’s interior is full of crazy decor like old license plates, graffiti wall art and loud Asian pop music.

Menu standouts include the Viet po’ boy with roast pork, pickled carrots, cucumber and jalapeño aioli on a French baguette. Don’t miss the chicken karaage Japanese-style fried chicken with spicy mayo for dipping.

Also popular is the tonkotsu ramen loaded with pork belly, a marinated soft boiled egg, mushrooms and scallions. Open late with a funky, artsy interiors, Phat Sammy’s is where the cool kids hang out over steaming bowls of noodle soups.

Purveyor

Name and Location: Purveyor is located on the second floor of the historical Times building spanning three 19th century storefronts at 200 Holmes Ave NE blocks from Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville.

History and Significance: After restoring the 1900s property in 2017, owner Russ White transformed the upper floor into a chic cocktail lounge focused on pairing high quality vintage spirits and small production wines with upscale farm-to-table fare under warm modern lighting.

What to Expect: Cozy into velvet lounge chairs or dine at intimate tables sampling rare liquors and Old World varietals alongside inventive plates showcasing boutique market ingredients sourced from local producers.

Visitor Information: Serving elegant late night small plates Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9pm to midnight. Closed other nights. Reservations recommended. Valet parking next door.

Cuisine: Farm-to-table

For locally sourced New American fare, check out intimate Purveyor in downtown Huntsville. The cozy, upscale setting emphasizes clean lines with shades of white and wood accents, letting the artfully plated food take center stage.

The menu showcases seasonal ingredients from North Alabama farms in dishes like butternut squash risotto with brown butter and parmesan. Standouts include the seared sea scallops with mushroom ragu and parmesan chive grits.

Save room for delectable desserts like the brown sugar custard with salted caramel and puff pastry. Friendly knowledgeable service and an extensive wine list perfectly complement Purveyor’s rustic, farm-fresh fare.

1892 East

Name and Location: 1892 East Restaurant occupies a restored 19th century Queen Anne Victorian mansion at 721 Clinton Ave E a mile northeast of downtown Huntsville, Alabama.

History and Significance: Meticiously restored by owners to preserve the period character of the dwelling first built in 1892, the romantic space hosts special events and upscale farm-to-table regional cuisine from executive chef Sarah Worsham Dawson.

What to Expect: Dine fireside under crystal chandeliers on entrees blending southern foodways with global techniques focusing on responsibly sourced ingredients. Enjoy craft beverages inside or outdoors on the vine-covered patio.

Visitor Information: Open for dinner Tues-Sat evenings plus Sunday brunch. Reservations recommended. Closed Mondays. Full bar available. Valet parking offered.

Cuisine: Southern Seafood/Oysters

For the freshest seafood in town, locals flock to 1892 East just outside downtown Huntsville. Set in a charming historic home, the restaurant takes its name from the year the house was built. Diners can choose from two dining areas – a fine dining side with tablecloths or a more laid-back oyster bar area with reclaimed wood furnishings.

Start your meal with a sunny half dozen oysters like the briny Blue Points, then move on to entrees highlighting seasonal catches like seared diver scallops with cheesy grits or mussels steamed in coconut milk and green curry. With an emphasis on local and sustainable seafood and produce, 1892 East brings oceanic flair to the heart of Northern Alabama.

The Eaves

Name and Location: The Eaves fine dining establishment occupies a downtown corner on the top floor of the AC Hotel Huntsville by Marriott at 107 South Side Square.

History and Significance: Opened in 2021 by the AC Hotel culinary team under acclaimed chef David Seymour, the menu celebrates regional flavors and local purveyors through seasonal offerings and craft beverages served alongside striking city views from an urban rooftop perch.

What to Expect: Upscale yet approachable plates like buttermilk fried quail, shrimp and grits or tomato pie join signature cocktails highlighting area distillers. Sleek modern decor indoors adjoins an outdoor lounge with fire pits.

Visitor Information: Serving weekday happy hours and dinner plus weekend brunch. Closed Sundays. Reservations recommended. Smart casual dress requested. Valet offered.

Cuisine: Low Country Boil

Bring your appetite when dining at super casual, crazy popular seafood shack The Eaves just outside downtown Huntsville. Voted Best Seafood Restaurant by AL.com, the joint is constantly bustling with folks who come for Low Country boils loaded with shrimp, crawfish, clams, sausage and corn on the cob perfectly seasoned with Old Bay spices.

Other menu favorites include the fried catfish po’ boy dressed with pickle, onion and tomato and the Pimento BLT with crunchy pimento cheese. With picnic tables and complimentary rolls of paper towels for wiping your hands, The Eaves dishes out Southern hospitality alongside mountains of steaming seafood.

Grille 29

Name and Location: Grille 29 is the signature farm-to-table restaurant located inside the Artisan hotel at 300 North Side Square in the heart of downtown Huntsville.

History and Significance: Opened in 2021 overseen by executive chef Joel Sims, Grille 29 sources ingredients from neighboring producers to supply healthful seasonal dishes and handcrafted drinks meant to nourish patrons and support conscientious regional agriculture.

What to Expect: Savor butter-poached lobster, cast iron seared steaks, Hokkaido scallops or vegetarian cassoulet in the chic and cozy dining room accented by a two-story wine tower housing 8,000 bottles nearby the marble bar.

Visitor Information: Serving daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Reservations recommended. Valet parking offered. Cocktail lounge and room service also on-site.

Cuisine: Modern Steakhouse

When only a thick, juicy steak will do, Huntsville’s top choice is sleek modern steakhouse Grille 29. The talented kitchen crew ages its premium cuts of Angus beef in-house, resulting in sophisticated versions of steakhouse classics.

Notable dishes include the 14-ounce ribeye with roasted garlic butter alongside loaded baked potato, creamed spinach and crispy fried onions. For lighter fare, opt for grilled chicken topped with shrimp and crabmeat in a smoked gouda cream sauce served over buttermilk mashed potatoes.

Extensive wine and cocktail offerings in several cozy dining rooms make Grille 29 the perfect place for celebrating special occasions or closing business deals.

Constitution Village

Name and Location: Constitution Village is a multi-restaurant food hall, bar and event venue located just outside Big Spring Park in downtown Huntsville at 125 North Side Square Street.

History and Significance: Developed within the historic Cabaniss Building built in 1856, Constitution Hall opened in 2020 housing five eateries under one roof as part of City Centre, a mixed-use retail, office and dining complex spanning almost an entire block.

What to Expect: The central bar pours Alabama spirits and brews alongside coffee and pastries. Dining stalls plate up tacos, ramen, Mediterranean shareables, wood-fired pizza and Southern specialties. Community events also held on site.

Visitor Information: Hours vary by vendor. Free garage parking on nights and weekends. The coffee shop opens earliest while restaurants close around 10 pm. Well behaved leashed dogs permitted.

Cuisine: Southern Comfort
Food with International Flair

Tucked away on the sprawling Constitution Village campus, the restaurant of the same name dishes out international cuisine with Southern flair. The charming eatery situated in a historic home puts Swiss twists on Dixie favorites where everything is made from scratch.

Start your meal with the popular fried green tomato bruschetta topped with goat cheese crumbles, basil oil and aged balsamic. Not to be missed is the chicken frikassée featuring Amish chicken stewed with onions, mushrooms and white wine in a rich herb velouté sauce ladled over buttery spaetzle “knepfla” noodles. For dessert, the decadent bittersweet chocolate silk pie with freshly whipped cream makes a sublime ending to any meal.

Cotton Row

Name and Location: Cotton Row Restaurant is located on the lobby level of Cotton Row hotel at 100 Northside Square in the heart of downtown Huntsville overlooking Big Spring Park.

History and Significance: As the signature restaurant of the boutique hotel set inside a historic former cotton exchange, Cotton Row eatery opened in 2014 helmed by chef Daniel Schaffner to bring elevated Southern cuisine emphasizing fresh regional ingredients to an upscale yet laidback venue.

What to Expect: Under lofty ceilings, diners can enjoy New American dishes aligned with the seasons like buttermilk fried chicken or tomato pie complemented by cocktails highlighting local spirits against a stylish urban backdrop.

Visitor Information: Serving daily breakfast through late night small plates plus weekend brunch. Reservations recommended. Valet parking offered for hotel guests and patrons. Casual upscale attire welcomed.

Cuisine: Farm-to-Table Southern

Located at the trendy new Curio hotel by Hilton, sleek modern eatery Cotton Row puts a sophisticated spin on humble Southern cuisine. The talented culinary team works closely with North Alabama farmers to source ingredients that inform frequently changing menus focused on what’s fresh that season.

Recent standout dishes include the cast iron seared Gulf shrimp with local grits, Nueske’s bacon, sweet corn broth and Benny’s mushrooms. For heartier fare, opt for the dry aged bone-in ribeye with potato pave, haricots verts and truffle jus.

Don’t miss craft cocktails like the Tyneside with gin, St. Germain, grapefruit and lemon at the swanky bar. With its chic ambiance and hyper local ethos, Cotton Row is quickly becoming Huntsville’s destination restaurant.

The Camp House at MidCity

Name and Location: The Camp House cafe, bar and entertainment space is located within MidCity Huntsville, an expanding mixed-use district spanning over 125 acres off University Drive near the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

History and Significance: Opened in 2019 by owners of The Camp bow ties and lapel pins, The Camp House was the first business in an ambitious new “Live-Work-Play” community combining retail, offices, dining and greenways designed for gathering and creativity.

What to Expect: Inside a modern metal building with garage doors, enjoy pour over coffees, craft beers and wines alongside scratch-made sandwiches, shareables and desserts. Multiple rooms allow productivity or entertainment via shows and events.

Visitor Information: Hours vary but typically open daily 7am-9pm. Later hours on event nights. Dog-friendly heated patio available. Easy parking in adjacent lots. Credit cards accepted.

Cuisine: Seasonal New American Small Plates

Tucked into trendy new development MidCity, The Camp House delivers an intimate dining experience celebrating the seasons through their market-driven small plates menus. Settle into the sleek, modern dining room and start your meal with the popular smoked trout dip with everything crackers, dill and fennel.

Other menu highlights include the sweetcorn hushpuppies with red pepper jelly and pimento cheese fondue and the diver scallop crudo with watermelon radish, compressed apple and jalapeño lime vinaigrette.

Not to be missed are the constantly changing meat and cheese boards featuring artisanal selections like truffle tremor goat cheese paired with prosciutto. With friendly service and cozy environs, The Camp House is the ultimate spot for grazing amongst Huntsville’s glitterati.

Shaggy’s Burgers & Tacos

Name and Location: Shaggy’s Burgers & Tacos is located at Campus No. 805 tech and entertainment district spanning multiple restored industrial buildings at 2620 Clinton Ave W just west of downtown Huntsville.

History and Significance: Opened in 2021 by local restauranteur Keith Oglesby, Shaggy’s brings fast casual Mexican fusion fare to what’s been dubbed “Huntsville’s Live-Work-Play Creative Campus” occupied by breweries, axe throwing, comedy club, distillery and creative offices.

What to Expect: Order innovative tacos, loaded tater tots, quesadillas, nachos and specialty burgers with sweet potato fries to enjoy on the covered patio Outpost Bar bonded by fun community events almost nightly across the entire walkable district.

Visitor Information: Typically open daily for lunch and dinner. Hours vary. Dog friendly. Easy parking across campus. Order ahead online for pickup. Cash/cards accepted.

Cuisine: Burgers and Tacos

When craving hearty fare on the cheap, Huntsville has a new favorite stop for burgers and tacos in Shaggy’s Burgers & Tacos food truck. Conveniently located in MidCity’s outdoor food truck park Camp, Shaggy’s slings juicy burgers like the classic Shaggy Burger with griddled onions, pickles and melty American cheese.

For a little South of the border flare, try tacos like the signature Korean beef taco featuring sweet and spicy marinated steak, Kimchi slaw, Cotija cheese and lime crema.

Other customer faves include the fried avocado burger with bacon, melty pepper jack cheese, spicy mayo and tomato and Shaggy’s crispy fried chicken sandwich topped with local Green Fork Farms lettuce and comeback sauce. Open for lunch and dinner with both indoor and patio seating available, Shaggy’s does gourmet fast food with signature SoCal style.

Conclusion


From creative New American fare to international flavors, Huntsville’s dining scene has something for every taste. Barbecue joints, bistros, food trucks and fine dining rooms are all raising the culinary bar in this Northern Alabama town. Use our guide to discover your new favorite spot and eat your way through the Rocket City’s tastiest restaurants. Bon appetit!

Leave a Comment