Phenix City is a proudly American town on the edge of Alabama. Located just minutes from Columbus, Georgia, the region draws in many tourists visiting the Chattahoochee River. Sample one of Phenix City’s many barbecue joints or try another Southern specialty at these 10 restaurants.
Giovanna’s Courtesy of Giovanna's Pizzaria
Pizzeria, Restaurant, Italian, American, $$$
Giovanna’s New York-style pizza is the most raved about Italian fare in Phenix City. The huge slices of authentic thin-crust pizza are made with hand-tossed dough and can be topped with fresh veggies, meats, and cheeses. The menu covers pizzas, calzones, and Stromboli, along with Greek-inspired gyros and salads and German schnitzels and side dishes. The proud local restaurant has exposed brick walls inside that give the restaurant a cozy atmosphere.
Get your fill of down-home, Southern cooking at Ed’s Bar-B-Que. The restaurant opened in 1999 as a bar and grill focused on families. The slow-cooked meats are grilled to juicy perfection. Fresh, house made salads are arranged with locally grown vegetables, smoked turkey and pork. Generous portions of Ed’s pit-smoked ribs and chicken are marinated in a special sauce to give them their signature taste. Daily specials and desserts are offered like sweet potato pie and peach cobbler. Dine in guilt-free as Ed’s has won awards for its charitable work and community involvement.
Established in 1985, Mike & Ed’s formed when two colleagues working in the insurance industry got an opportunity to buy an established barbecue restaurant in Phenix City. Since then, the restaurant has grown to five franchises across two states and a catering business. The award winning, delicious barbecue and Southern hospitality will make you feel at home. You can’t go wrong with an order of tender barbecue ribs, smoked slow over a hickory fire and served with a touch of Mike & Ed’s special seasoning.
Grab a quick breakfast or lunch at this Southern diner. Serving all of the home-cooked classics, Café 431 is great quality for value. Try a lunch of fried catfish or some country fried chicken. For breakfast, order the steak and eggs for something savory or the classic pancakes for the sweet tooth. Café 431 is family owned and loved by the local community. Although its looks are unassuming, the classic diner fare is spot-on.
This BBQ joint won favorite restaurant in the Chattahoochee Valley in the local newspaper’s readers’ choice poll. The menu is simple with selections of different sizes of barbecue plates or sandwiches served with cole slaw, pickles, and bread. Enjoy your savory, flavorful meats with a choice of home-cooked side dishes like Brunswick stew, baked beans, potato salad, and fruit salad. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can buy a whole slab for $20.
Another favorite barbecue spot, 13th Street Barbecue provides great food at a great value. The modest location shouldn’t turn you away from testing out the juicy, fresh cooked meats served in a mustard-based BBQ sauce. You’ll feel instant comfort from the friendly and knowledgable service, and even when the lunchtime rush comes in, the orders are prepared quickly and accurately. Enjoy generous portions of your favorite barbecue dishes, the pork chops shouldn’t be missed. It’s clear that every customer matters at 13th Street.
At Hog Rock, the barbecue is tender and juicy, and the price is right. Try the coarse-chopped BBQ sandwich with your choice of sauce or a fresh salad filled with sliced up ham and turkey. The specialty scrambled dog tends to be a hit or miss with most people. Prepared on top of a hot dog bun, two dogs are cut up, smothered in chili and topped with onion, pickle, mustard, and oyster crackers. If you can manage to eat a few more bites, Hog Rock has a selection of decadent desserts like a creamy banana pudding.
Visit the StompinGrounds to find the best of the area’s food truck scene. The first of its kind in Chattahoochee Valley, the StompinGrounds organizes local street food vendors to participate in the Monday to Saturday event by the 14th Street Pedestrian Bridge and the Phenix City Riverwalk. Regular vendors sell multi-ethnic foods like Southern barbecue, German sausages, Caribbean cuisine, Creole and Cajun po’ boys, and Puerto Rican feasts. Check the schedule to find out who’s around on which days. The food truck park is great for grabbing a quick bite on the run or for hosting a family picnic.
Hop over the state line to dine at an eclectic four diamond-rated restaurant on the banks of the Georgia side of the Chattahoochee River. The warm and comfortable atmosphere at Epic is accented with featured artwork by local artist Teil Duncan. Chef and owner Jamie Keating has been cooking all his life and has won awards and recognition around the world for his cooking. Melissa Keating, Jamie’s wife, helps to co-run the restaurant. Although the menu changes with the season, Epic offers distinctive recipes like pumpkin seed-crusted elk loin and twists on classic meals like fried green tomato salad. Reserve the unique private dining room called The Library for your special events.
Le Mo’s Grill specializes in authentic Chicago cuisine and the menu is anything but limited. With a list containing pizzas, hot dogs, burgers, ribs, wings, and more, there is a great option for everyone. The hot dog recipes come from all over, but the best is the Chicago-style Vienna beef hot dog. The classic dish is made up of a Vienna beef sausage served on a poppy seed bun topped with with tomato, onion, peppers, relish, cucumbers, mustard, and celery salt. Le Mo’s is a good spot for a casual lunch or dinner.