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Throughout the year, accolades rolled in praising food, golf, and travel here.
The year began on a high note when Conde Nast Traveler named Birmingham one of its top 50 places to visit. The article read, in part, “We aren’t looking at Alabama’s biggest city through rose-colored glasses. Birmingham has arrived. Again. It’s a destination—for historic architecture, old theaters, James Beard award-winning Southern food.”
With guidance from a 20-year tourism master plan and focus groups, the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau recently adopted the branding phrase “Dinner Table of the South” for the greater Birmingham area.
Canadian Traveler called Birmingham one of the top American trips for 2019, citing the robust food scene and acknowledging that the city is, indeed, the “Dinner Table of the South.” Writer Doug O’Neill made his way around the area, sampling everything from fried green tomatoes at the Irondale Cafe to stone ground baked grits at Highlands Bar & Grill, named the most outstanding restaurant in America at the 2018 James Beard culinary awards.
Renowned café, Post Office Pies, in the popular Avondale entertainment district was named by USA Today as one of the top 30 pizzerias in the country.
Birmingham is among the top 50 best foodie towns in the U.S., according to The Daily Meal, the influential website covering food and drink topics. The list included such giants in the culinary world as New York City and San Francisco. The post read in part, “Birmingham has the nickname ‘The Magic City,’ and we’re pretty sure we know why: the food.” Deciding factors for the 50 top cities were the variety of restaurants, diversity of dining experiences, and the quality of chefs and their work.
When Esquire magazine announced its annual list of “Best New Restaurants in America,” Birmingham’s Automatic Seafood and Oysters was among the 22 dining rooms chosen. Esquire’s food and drink editor, Jeff Gordinier, wrote, in part, “Chef Adam Evans…is paying homage to a specifically southern tradition of seafood cookery, and he’s doing it in a spacious, wide-windowed room that feels like a boat club where nobody’s a snob. It’s worth the trip. I should know.”
Food accolades continued with Miss Myra’s BBQ named the best sandwich in Alabama by the popular digital publication, Far & Wide. Meanwhile, Forbes selected TrimTab Brewing Company as one of the 10 best breweries in the country. In their comments, Forbes wrote, “Their flagship TrimTab IPA is complex and balanced and helps define what ‘southern beer’ looks like.”
MSN writer Ella Buchan put the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on her “Ultimate U.S. Bucket List.” The museum and educational center shared the list with the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, and the White House. Budget Travel also took note of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, calling it the best museum in Alabama.
Greater Birmingham area accommodations received high praise as well. Golf Magazine ranked Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa among the top 100 resorts in the country and in the top 25 “buddy trips” in North America.
“We’re pleased that so much national attention and publicity has come our way during this year,” J. John Oros, Jr., Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO, said. “The CVB has a travel media director who’s active and involved in international media associations and works diligently to bring journalists and other correspondents here for the Birmingham experience. It’s obvious her work is paying off bountifully.”