Gadsden, Alabama is located between the populated cities of Birmingham and Chattanooga, offering ample natural beauty alongside the Coosa River. Nearby Noccalula Falls Park is a sought after destination for many visitors, open for camping and exploration. Here are our top ten suggestions for dining out in Gadsden.
Pad Thai Courtesy of WikiCommons
Restaurant, Thai, $$$
Kati Thai Cuisine | Courtesy of Chensiyuan
Kati Thai is what some would describe as a ‘hole in the wall’, offering minimal decor and a small parking lot but don’t let that deter a Thai food craving. The intimate restaurant offers a wonderful array of authentic Thai dishes prepared with the utmost care and fresh ingredients. From the menu start with the basil rolls and potstickers, then move to the drunken chicken with rice and blackberry roti for dessert.
Top O’ The River offers grain-fed, farm-raised catfish prepared daily by secret recipes. This family owned and operated establishment has been a labor of love for over 25 years. Thanks to its lake views, many patrons will see ducks, cranes, turtles and fish while dining. Top O’ The River has the capacity to host large parties and events as well. From the menu start with the fried pickles or hushpuppies, then move to the catfish and fried gulf shrimp, followed by the apple pie.
Tre Ragazzi's Italian Cafe Gadsden | Courtesy of jeffreyw
With a convenient location in downtown Gadsden, Tre Ragazzi’s Italian Café doesn’t disappoint those in search of homemade Italian comfort food. This quaint place is often packed, which is always a good sign. Weekend nights will be more crowded than weekdays. From the menu say yes to the large portions of breadsticks, pizza, chicken parmigiana, calzone with Philly steak and mozzarella cheese, baked lasagna and chicken alfredo pasta.
Prat’s BBQ is a down-home joint that lives up to the reputation of succulent, homestyle Southern BBQ. Be prepared to immerse yourself in an atmosphere akin to something from the Dukes of Hazard. It’s the real deal, including plaid shirts and waitresses that call their guests ‘honey’ and ‘sugar’. From the menu try the BBQ salads, pulled pork sandwich, turkey sandwich, brunswick stew, sweet potato fries, and fried chicken. Don’t forget to leave room for pie.
Located in the Center for Cultural Arts and a restored 1940s building, Courtyard Café has been dubbed ‘the best of the best Southern food’ restaurant by visitors and locals alike. Offering a lunch and dinner menu, with lunch being geared more for families and dinner for romance. Peruse the art collections then enjoy a meal. From the menu say yes to the fried green tomatoes in wasabi sauce, garlic roasted prime rib, seared lamb chops and the NOLA shrimp and grits plate.
The Fish Market is one of the local must-see restaurants, offering al fresco dining by the Coosa River with live music offered daily, and a raw oyster bar called Good Time Charlie’s that is like a local watering hole. Fresh seafood is brought in daily, as well as locally sourced vegetables. Besides the restaurant, The Fish Market also sells its fresh catch by the box or by the pound. From the menu try the alligator, oyster rockefeller, snapper creole, and stuffed rainbow trout.
Velocity City & Spirits is one of the newer restaurants in Gadsden, offering airplane and military memorabilia for atmosphere and home-cooked food for meals. The portions are large and the service is not fast-food style, so be patient after ordering. Chef Vicki and her staff take care of their guests and any questions will be answered by her directly. From the menu try the crispy pork belly plate, hamburger with blue cheese, macaroni and cheese.
Located on Interstate 59, Old Mexico Cantina & Grille is a great place to dine for both those staying in Gadsden, and for those merely driving through to reach their final destination. With the feel of Mexico in the formative years, patrons can count on the the food’s taste to be as good as the decor’s looks. From the menu try the la vega lunch special, which includes a choice of beans or rice with a chicken chimichanga and a sweet tea. The beef burritos and tacos are also recommended.
Jefferson’s Restaurant has a downtown central location serving down home food in a sports bar atmosphere. Interested in watching your favorite sports team while eating? This is the place for you. The owner opened the restaurant in 1991 after graduating from college, gathering loan money from his parents and selling his treasured baseball cards. Now Jefferson’s is known to be a local hangout offering fried pickles, hot wings and juicy hamburgers. From the menu try the wings, which come in an assortment of flavors, from buffalo chicken to lemon peppered.
With a slogan like ‘put a little south in your mouth’, patrons might have a hint as to what they’re getting themselves into. Make sure to have a trusty GPS to find Beans and Greens because it’s in the middle of nowhere, next to cotton fields and Hokes Bluff. This buffet style restaurant serves everything from the country menu. Must tries from the lunch buffet are BBQ pork chops, chicken strips, hush puppies, and fried catfish. From the breakfast buffet try the homemade cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy, blueberry muffins, pancakes and cheese biscuits. Please note this restaurant is in the South and all tea is served extremely sweet unless otherwise specified.