Decatur, Alabama is a picturesque city with a close-knit small town feel nestled on the Tennessee River. It is home to a charming community of restaurants that offer hungry diners everything from modern American cuisine, classic Italian plates, specialty hot dogs and Creole seafood. Read on for our guide to 10 of Decatur’s best dining destinations.
Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q
A Decatur dining mainstay since its humble beginnings as a backyard barbecue pit established by its namesake back in 1925, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q today comprises of two Decatur branches and a further restaurant in North Carolina. All the usual barbecue fare you would expect is available, like pulled pork, beef brisket and smoked ribs alongside specialty dishes like the hickory-smoked Bar-B-Q chicken served with the restaurant’s signature tangy, peppery white sauce and homemade pies in flavours like coconut cream or pecan. Guests looking to replicate the Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q experience at home can also purchase a range of sauces, rubs and cookbooks.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Casual American dining at its finest, Downtown Dawg boasts the honor of being the city’s only hot dog joint, and serves a range of specialty, traditional and build-your-own hot dogs. Diners start by choosing their dog, available in beef, turkey, Polish sausage or even a soy option for vegetarians, and bun (plain, wheat or poppy seed). Next, they choose from options such as the shroom n’ Swiss dawg topped with mayonnaise, sautéed mushrooms and Swiss cheese or the New York dawg with sauerkraut, onions and Dijon mustard, or customise their own with toppings that include sweet relish, mozzarella and habanero ketchup.
Simp McGhee’s, nestled on historic Bank Street with its boutiques, galleries and antique stores, is just a short walk from the scenic Tennessee River and pays tribute to its namesake and local legend, a gallivanting riverboat captain. Located in a historic building full of old-fashioned charm, Simp McGhee’s fist opened in 1986 and over its years in operation has gained a reputation as a must try Decatur dining destination for its Cajun and Creole-style seafood, steaks and chops. Try a starter of Cajun seafood gumbo followed by fresh fish from Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain topped with bay shrimp, crab, mushrooms and green onions on brown rice, or for a meaty entrée opt for the Bourbon Street pork chop.
The Brick Deli And Tavern
Child friendly during the day and an energetic live music spot at night, The Brick Deli & Tavern is a laidback and locally owned restaurant that specialises in casual American-style fare accompanied by an extensive list of craft draft beers and unusual bottled beer. Its welcoming pub-style interior makes an ideal space in which to feast on its menu of hearty sandwiches, salads and hot dogs, like the Smokey Joe sandwich (sourdough bread stuffed with smoked turkey, bacon, smoked cheddar and Swiss cheese, salad and thousand island dressing). Older guests can stay late and relax to the sounds of local bands with a beer or two.
Open until 2:30 pm from Tuesday to Friday, Timbuck2 Deli is a charming little eatery, conveniently based in downtown Decatur, ideal for a spot of light lunch. Its vibrant, cosy interior with street-facing windows make it the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee or tea or refreshing beer while its extensive menu of hot and cold sandwiches, wraps and salads include varieties like the Timbuck2 Sloppy Q – pulled pork simmered in the deli’s signature BBQ sauce topped with creamy coleslaw in a white or wheat hoagie bun – and dessert options include ice cream float or white chocolate bread pudding.
Las Vias Mexican Grill
Voted the Best Mexican Restaurant by readers of the Decatur Daily newspaper, Las Vias Mexican Grill is definitely worth a visit for any diner who likes fiery flavor and south of the border-style. The restaurant includes a vibrant interior full of warm colours and a charming covered patio illuminated by strings of paper lanterns, and boasts a menu featuring the finest Mexican cuisine in northern Alabama. Try one of Las Vias’ most popular dishes, shrimp fajitas, for lunch or go for its dinner menu with an entrée of meat lover’s favourite carne asada, steak served with rice, beans, tomatoes, onions and sliced avocado.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.