Birmingham, Alabama, has a complex history, rich culture, and a dining scene to match. And with so many intriguing bars, it can be tough to decide where to go.
That’s why I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best bars in The Ham. From cozy neighborhood joints to lively downtown hot spots, there’s a bar for everyone in Birmingham.
So whether you’re visiting the Civil Rights District, the 16th Street Baptist Church, or the Birmingham Zoo, be sure to swing by one of the best bars in Birmingham, Alabama.
2125 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
If you’re looking for a place to go out, the Collins Bar in Central City is known for its custom cocktail creations and equally creative bar fare.
It has a quirky vibe that I love, as it feels welcoming and cheery, and if I’m not in the mood for a classic cocktail, I appreciate just asking the bartender to feel inspired.
Regardless of my drink choice, I make sure to get the house hummus on the side.
2430 Morris Ave, Birmingham, AL 35203
Cardigan’s Public House is another Central City spot and is one of the best bars in Birmingham, Alabama, in the summer due to its comfortable patio and rooftop seating areas. They serve classic cocktails, craft beer, and elevated pub fares like loaded fries and duck tacos.
200 20th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203
Paramount Bar is between Central City and Fountain Heights, near the Birmingham Museum of Arts. I love heading to this popular bar on a night out to enjoy its industrial-chic design and lively game-filled atmosphere. I usually start with an IPA here, but their Ginger Avenger cocktail is excellent as well.
Since it’s also a grill, you can expect excellent food menu items too, such as the Backyard Tacos with crispy pork, El Capitan burger with bacon and jalapeños, and Creamy Olive Dip with chives and garlic.
For an extra good time, try “The Fun Guy” burger with balsamic mushrooms and arugula.
112 24th St N #102, Birmingham, AL 35203
Queen’s Park, in the heart of Central City near the popular Yo’ Mama’s restaurant, is a highly eclectic cocktail bar with strings of bright, colorful lights hanging from the ceiling in an otherwise dark and hip room.
They go especially intense with their decorations around Christmas, so it’s one of those fun places to get drinks during the season.
It’s the perfect place to grab holiday hot chocolate and get in the season’s spirit.
14 12th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
If you’re looking for a classic, inviting brewpub where to get a drink, look no further than Monday Night Brewing Co. near the Railroad Park Foundation. I’m a lover of IPAs, and I believe this bar has some of the best options in town.
Plus, they serve delicious street tacos, including but not limited to grilled steak tacos with tomato-avocado salsa, grilled chicken tacos with Cotilla cheese, fried Mahi Mahi tacos with comeback sauce, and shrimp tacos with cilantro-lime vinaigrette
Plus, they offer fried cauliflower and black bean tacos for vegetarians (or people trying to eat less meat).
212 29th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
The Lumbar is a casual, unfussy bar that maintains a skillful craft in its cocktail creations and has a southwestern-inspired menu.
Located in the Lakeview District, this bar has various food and drink offerings that comfort food lovers enjoy. I tend to order their whiskey sour and pair it with their delicious green chile cheeseburger.
728 29th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
The Refinery is a bar and restaurant between Lakeview and Southtown with a sleek style yet an easygoing atmosphere.
The Refinery is one of my favorite bars in Birmingham for brunch because their bloody marys are incredible. However, I recommend going any time of the day and choosing for their extensive wine, beer, and cocktail lists.
2015 1st Ave N #1e, Birmingham, AL 35203
I love the red lighting at Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar, which gives it a speakeasy feel even though it’s located in an unassuming basement off of 1st Ave North, near the McWane Science Center.
Pilcrow is one of the best places in Birmingham, Alabama, to try a classic cocktail. I recommend the Spice Oddity if you like spicy and smoky drinks or Cascadia Sazerac if you like pairing apples and whiskey.
300 12th Ave W, Birmingham, AL 35204
Trackside Lounge is a hip, friendly bar in the College Hills area — near E Thomas Park — with a friendly crowd.
If you’re looking for a bar with an older crowd, Trackside Lounge is one of my top choices. They have great classic drinks and play even better music!
This lounge is also a more local spot, so it’s excellent for people-watching and seeing some of the best that Birmingham has to offer if you’re looking to move there — all while enjoying a solid happy hour.
2320 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203
As you might now know from this list, Central City is home to many of Birmingham’s best bars, and PAPER DOLL is one of them.
I love going to PAPER DOLL when I’m feeling a bit adventurous because their cocktails are some of the most inventive in town.
For this level of craft cocktail, you might expect super high prices, but that isn’t the case here. Plus, the upscale atmosphere is excellent for pre-and-post-dinner drinks on date night, and the bartenders are always friendly and inviting.
449 Valley Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209
The Upper Deck is a bar and grill near El Sol Nightclub. It has a fun and easygoing atmosphere and never attracts people who want to start drama.
If you’re in the mood for karaoke sing-a-longs, watching sports, or playing pool, The Upper Deck is one of the fun places to go out and enjoy yourself.
For drinks, I tend to get their amaretto sours, and for food, I can’t resist their broccoli cheese bites.
Birmingham, Alabama, is a city with a lot to offer. And with so many excellent bars in The Ham, it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring galleries, museums, gardens, and parks.
So next time you visit, be sure to swing by one of the best bars in Birmingham, Alabama.
Which ones did I miss? Spread the word in the comments below!
Best Bars in Birmingham
- The Collins Bar
- Carrigan’s Public House
- Paramount Bar
- Queen’s Park
- Monday Night Brewing Co.
- The Lumbar
- The Refinery
- Pilcrow Cocktail Cellar
- Trackside Lounge
- PAPER DOLL
- The Upper Deck