Since Scout was founded in 2006, we’ve called Birmingham, Alabama home. Over the years, Birmingham has continued to grow and transform into a city that is full of opportunities, culture, and not to mention a lot of amazing local restaurants and businesses. The Scout office is located in the heart of downtown, making it easy to get out and enjoy the city during lunch or when the clock hits 5:30 on a Friday evening.
Here at Scout, we love our city and everything that it has to offer. After a long week of hard work building brands and websites, we always want to get out and do something fun on a Saturday. If you’re new to the area or maybe a long-time Birmingham resident just wanting to find some new places to visit, we’ve compiled a list of places we’d suggest checking out if you have a Saturday free to spend in the Magic City.
Start The Day Right
If you’re the type of person that starts every day with a cup of coffee, we know just the place for you. Red Cat Coffee House is right around the block from our office and we Scouters are frequent customers. Pick up some coffee and a pastry and grab a table in the cafe for a sweet start to your morning. If the weather is nice, you can walk across the street and soak up some sunshine at Railroad Park while you caffeinate for the day ahead.
If you’re more of a big breakfast kind of person, we’d suggest heading over to Big Bad Breakfast in Homewood. They’re known for their fresh, homemade biscuits and delicious take on Southern favorites. Make sure to get there early or be willing to wait in line for a table, because this is one of the most popular breakfast spots in Birmingham. (We promise the wait is worth it though)
One of the best parts about Birmingham is all of the local shops you can visit and support. Whether you are a music lover, bookworm, or antique shopper, you can find the perfect place for you. While you’re in Birmingham, you have to check out What’s on 2nd. Located in 5 Points, this eclectic shop is full of unique antiques and collectibles that you could spend hours sorting through. Make sure to find their collection of postcards to see the ones of Birmingham or your hometown.
While you’re downtown, you should head over to Jim Reed Books on 3rd Avenue North. You’ll feel welcomed from the moment you arrive as Mr. Reed greets you at the door. His shop is packed full of books from every genre you could imagine. We suggest spending some time sorting through the shelves to see what unique books and collectibles you can find.
If you’ve been trying to get your hands on that one vinyl for a while or just enjoy flipping through stacks of records, we suggest heading over to Seasick Records in Avondale. With a fun atmosphere and friendly staff, this Birmingham favorite is the perfect place to hear or purchase some new music.
Every Saturday, Pepper Place in downtown has a farmers market where you can support local farmers and businesses. The Market at Pepper Place is a fun spot to find fresh fruits and vegetables and hand-made items from Birmingham locals. On warm, sunny Saturday mornings, the market is full of people, good food, and live music.
Birmingham is full of beautiful hiking trails, parks, walking paths, and outdoor spaces. The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place to take a walk, have a picnic, or snap some photos of all the beautiful greenery. Admission to the gardens is free, and it’s open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. While you’re there, make sure to check out the greenhouse and Japanese garden.
If you’re looking for an adventure, you could head to Red Mountain State Park. The park features over 15 miles of hiking trails, three treehouses, two city overlooks, and a dog park. Not only is Red Mountain a great place to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, but it’s also an educational experience. While you’re there, you can learn about the park’s industrial history and see old iron mines and artifacts.
However, maybe it’s a rainy day and you aren’t able to get outside. If so, we suggest heading over to the Birmingham Museum of Art. Admission to the museum is free, and it is the perfect place to spend a quiet Saturday afternoon looking through their beautiful exhibits and collections.
After you’ve checked out some local shops or seen the city on foot, you’ll probably be getting hungry. If you’re still in the downtown area and in the mood for some Italian food, you should try Trattoria Zaza. You’ll love their authentic Italian pizzas, delicious pasta dishes, and fresh salads. For all of the brunch lovers out there, they also serve brunch on the weekends until 2 p.m.
If Italian isn’t really your thing, you could always head over to Avondale and check out Tropicaleo. This spot serves up Puerto Rican dishes and mixed drinks. They have two menus – one that’s plant-based and one that’s meat-based. So if you’re vegan or have a vegan in the group, this is the perfect place for everyone to have a great meal. Grab a pina colada and some tacos and head out on the patio to enjoy the cool atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a place to have a nice dinner out, Bamboo on 2nd in downtown serves Pan-Asian cuisine. Their menu includes sushi and noodle bowls as well as small plates and salads. It is a great spot for date night, special occasions, or just for when you want some tasty Asian food.
Sweet Treats and Specialty Drinks
What could be better than ending the day with a special dessert or drink? If you’re looking for something to satisfy a sugar craving, we’d suggest heading over to Big Spoon Creamery. This artisan ice cream company uses locally sourced ingredients to develop innovative, seriously delicious flavors. They focus on seasonal flavors, so there’s always something new to try.
If ice cream isn’t quite what you’re craving, you should check out Hero Doughnuts. These handcrafted doughnuts come in both classic and unique flavors. So whether you are looking for something familiar or wanting to try something new, Hero Doughnuts has you covered. If you’re searching for a full meal, they also serve breakfast and lunch items.
Birmingham has a plethora of breweries and bars throughout the city. With a wide variety of offerings and atmospheres, you can find the perfect place to spend a Saturday night. It’s hard to pick a favorite with so many amazing places, but if you’re looking for a brewery with great handcrafted beers, we’d suggest checking out Ghost Train Brewing Company. This craft brewery and distillery has a large selection of beers and even offers mixed drinks and other alcoholic beverages if beer isn’t really your thing. Ghost Train features a unique atmosphere and a large outdoor seating area making it a great place to have a laid back, fun evening out.
If you’re a cocktail kind of person, there is a long list of local bars that you should try. To start, you should check out The Collins Bar. This paper airplane themed bar offers custom made cocktails. Just tell them the flavors and type of liquor you prefer, and they’ll make a unique drink just for you. If you’re celebrating something special or just want to feel a little fancy, we’d suggest checking out The Roof at The Redmont. This rooftop bar is located at the top of the Redmont hotel and overlooks downtown Birmingham.
From Our Team
And lastly, we couldn’t complete this blog post without some of our Scouter’s personal favorites. Check out some of their go-to hotspots:
JJ – Diplomat Deli in Vestavia Hills, Thank You Books in Avondale, Golden Age Wine Bar in Mountain Brook
Amber – Alabama Peanut Company on Morris Avenue, Brunch at Soho Social in Homewood, Topgolf
Marnie – Birmingham Museum of Art and Back Forty Beer Company
Jessica – Remy’s Dog Park at Red Mountain Park, Outdoor lunch at the Garage, Antique shopping at Urban Suburban
Betsy – Ashley Mac’s in Homewood, Biking down Lakeshore Trail, Red Pearl
Josh – Vulcan Trail, Railroad Park, Good People Brewing
Emily – Local 39 in Homewood and Ruffner Mountain
Paul – Birmingham Museum of Art and Barber Motorsports Museum
Whether you spend the day checking out all the local shops, finding your new favorite restaurant, or taking a hike, we believe that a Saturday in Birmingham is a Saturday well spent. At Scout, we are proud to have called Birmingham our home for the past 15 years and look forward to continuing to grow alongside it in the years to come.