Top Restaurants In Montgomery, Alabama

G2YDM4 Montgomery, Alabama, USA downtown skyline at night.
G2YDM4 Montgomery, Alabama, USA downtown skyline at night.
Helen Armitage

Historic Montgomery, Alabama has an impressive dining scene showcasing some of the best American and Southern cuisine alongside more international-flavored fare. Here’s our guide to Montgomery’s best restaurants.

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Café M

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A perfect location if you like to combine eating with cultural pursuits, Café M is located within the grounds of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and is ideal for post-museum snacks and refreshments, its terrace location offering guests stunning views over the nearby lake and surrounding park. Since 2004, Café M has been operated by Montgomery-based caterer Jennie Weller who creates a range of American dishes with international flavours with options that include the bruleed salmon served on a bed of rice pilaf with sweet peas, golden raisins and pistachios, while the café’s Saturday brunch menu features fare such as crab cake benedict with lemon wilted spinach, tomato, hollandaise sauce and Oakview Farms cheese grits.

Central

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Nestled in the heart of Montgomery’s downtown district, Central is one of the most exciting restaurants in the city, and is situated within a beautifully renovated former warehouse built in the 1890s. Boasting an interior full of exposed brick, gently flickering gas lanterns, a central bar made from reclaimed wood and a busy open kitchen the restaurant is all about class, while head chef Leonardo Maurelli, a native of Panama and winner of the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance’s 2011 Chef of the Year Award, creates seasonal menus based around traditional and contemporary American cuisine with a distinct Southern twist. Menu highlights include dishes such as the wood-roasted oyster appetiser and hickory-crisped duck quarters entrée.

Derk’s Filet and Vine

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Derk’s Filet and Vine is an award-winning restaurant, deli and bottle shop located in central Montgomery that has won various titles including Alabama Magazine’s Best Butcher Shop of 2012 and the Montgomery Advertiser’s Readers Choice 2010 award for Best Place to get Home-Style Cooking. While Derk’s deli serves a range of prime cuts of beef including porterhouse and chateaubriand, the restaurant offers reasonably priced dishes such as meatloaf, fried pork chop and chicken casserole available with two sides including options like tomatoes and okra, black eye peas and wild rice. After eating stop by Derk’s bottle shops which stocks over 12,000 varieties of wine as well as a number of beers.

Dreamland BBQ

A fixture on Alabama’s dining scene for over 50 years, Dreamland BBQ first opened its doors in 1958 in the neighboring city of Tuscaloosa and has since grown to two locations in Georgia and six branches in Alabama, including its Montgomery branch on Tallapoosa Street. Located in a picturesque brick building in downtown Montgomery, the restaurant features a casual and welcoming interior and a lovely sidewalk patio perfect for dining out on during the summer months. A must-try when visiting Dreamland BBQ are its legendary much-loved ribs, though a number of other barbecued items are also available including BBQ chicken and the smoked sausage.

India Palace

For guests who like their food fiery and exotic, India Palace is a perfect restaurant to try when dining out in Montgomery. A relatively new addition to the city’s restaurant community, India Palace only opened its doors in January of 2014 but has already become a firm favourite with locals who love its spicy, tasty fare and voted it as the city’s Best Indian Restaurant in the 2014 Montgomery Advertiser’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Featuring a stylish and simple interior, the restaurant serves authentic Indian dishes that include the chicken tandoori appetiser cooked in a clay oven and the Goan shrimp curry entrée in a mild coconut and curry leaf-based sauce.

SaZa

SaZa serves up authentic Italian cuisine in hip and contemporary surroundings full of warm, bold colours complemented by exposed brick walls, sleek hardwood floors, striking modern artworks and an open kitchen that allows guests to see the restaurant’s talented chefs at work. Fusing traditional Italian dishes with a contemporary twist, chef Joe DiMaggio’s menu features dishes inspired by recipes from his Italian grandmother with options such as Prince Edward Island mussels with garlic, flat leaf parsley, lemon and crusty ciabatta or the pasta fagioli with Tuscan beans, prosciutto, garlic, escarole and extra virgin olive oil – all complemented by an extensive martini and cocktail list.

The House

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Based within Montgomery’s classy Renaissance Hotel, The House is an elegant and stylish restaurant serving contemporary Southern cuisine cooked up by executive chef John Melton – an Alabama native with several years of culinary experience whose love of Southern food infused with Cajun and Creole flavours came about during a childhood trip to New Orleans. While The House’s menu changes regularly, guests can choose from appetisers like tender barbecued baby back ribs with a creamy coleslaw and entrees such as pan seared salmon fillet with caramelised fennel, asparagus and a balsamic glaze. The restaurant also includes an adjoining bar lounge, The Exchange, perfect for relaxing in with a post-dinner drink.

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