The college town atmosphere of Auburn, Alabama is so attractive that the loveliest village on the plains is now one of the fastest growing areas in Alabama. While there is some contention about whether it should be called The Plain or The Plains, there is no contention about the food scene in Alabama, which is a burgeoning treat for the locals these days.
Many current Alabama chefs have made names for themselves through participation in the Oscars of Food, officially the James Beard award, including Auburn’s own David Bancroft of the Acre restaurant. There are plenty of fantastic restaurant experiences that you can expect here, ranging from Southern to Italian and even flavors from across the Pacific. Here is a look at four of the best restaurants in Auburn, Al, where the food, ambience and service are all exceptional.
David Bancroft’s Acre
This restaurant is an award-winning recent addition to the Alabama food scene, and was the 2016 Diners’ Choice winner chosen by Open Table users. Acre brings a finely crafted approach to traditional Southern cuisine. Chef David Bancroft was a semi finalist at the James Beard Awards. At the restaurant, he focuses on home grown food. All the ingredients that go into the menu that is a “new take on Alabama cuisine” are sourced from the restaurant’s kitchen gardens as well as farms and orchards from the surrounding Blackbelt Region.
The “Solid Oak” sampler features local cheese and charcuterie from locally and humanely raised animals. The eclectic menu includes items like the to die for chicken and waffles, blackened salmon, fried green tomato appetizers and some of the finest brisket burgers in town. The extensive wine list and craft beer selection make a perfect gourmet dining accompaniment at this farm to table restaurant. The menu at Acre is not very large unlike most other traditional restaurants, but each item on it is finely crafted. As expected from an eatery bringing fresh produce to the table, the menu changes with the change of seasons.
The interiors complement the dining experience at Acre. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the designing of the high-ceilinged and airy dining area. As you enter the restaurant parking lot, you are greeted by neat rows of vegetable patches. A small board tells you all the produce that is being grown at the on-site urban farm at the moment. Overall, Acre is more a fine-dining experience than just a fresh gourmet meal. The restaurant also donates some of its earnings to charity.
Address: 210 East Glenn Ave., Auburn, AL 36830
For reservations, call: 334.246.3763
Hamilton’s on Magnolia
Highly deserving of a place among the best Alabama Restaurants, Hamilton’s is known for its fantastic service. Not only is the wait staff excellent in this small, intimate and elegant restaurant, but the ambiance is lively yet quiet enough that diners can hear each other speak.
The friendly horseshoe bar is the centerpiece of the restaurant. A neighbor at the bar is close enough that you can strike up a conversation with them. Overall, the casual ambiance at Hamilton’s leaves nothing to be desired. You can also seat yourself at the patio on a fine evening or enjoy live music on Mondays.
The creative menu does not do the ambiance any injustice. The menu includes contemporary American selections of pork, beef, chicken and fish. Sandwiches, salads and appetizers are available all through the day. Specialty drinks, fantastic fried crab claws, delectable shrimp and grits, a fine spinach salad and classic fried green tomatoes are highly recommended. The much lauded Hamilton’s staff is professional and friendly, and caters to everyone. Hamilton’s is located one block from Toomer’s Corner in downtown Auburn.
Address: 174 East Magnolia, Auburn, AL 36830
For reservations, call: 334.887.2677
Moe’s Original Bar B Que
Moe’s Original BBQ is a Southern soul food revival that has its presence all over the country, in the southern states and all the way west to California and coming soon in Wyoming. Downtown Auburn also has its own Moe’s, located right next to Toomer’s Corner. This home-grown restaurant was founded by three Alabama boys with a love for southern style BBQ, football and whiskey. The restaurant reflects these shared passions in its daily fresh smoked meats, the 45 feet premium bar and the eleven high definition TVs. The ambiance of the restaurant is friendly, casual and relaxed, unless there is a game on.
The menu at Moe’s is far more extensive than most other BBQ places. In addition to items like pulled pork sandwiches, smoked chicken wings, fried catfish and ribs, you will find other southern specialties and classics like southern banana pudding, marinated slaw, potato salad and other special sides of the day. Moe’s also offers kids meals, drinks like southern sweet tea and lemonade, and meat, side and cornbread packs that you can haul home. The restaurant also offers catering for picnics and events and professional bartending.
Address: 125 E. Magnolia Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
Byron’s Smokehouse wraps up this list of some of the best restaurants in Auburn, Al. If you are looking for a friendly local restaurant with hearty southern BBQ, some of the best breakfast in town, and fantastic cornbread, this is the place to go. Byron’s country breakfasts are well-known to locals, with its excellent pan-fried potatoes, eggs and biscuits.
The cornbread at Byron’s has also received rave reviews, as have the classic Southern BBQ items on the menu paired with sides like fried okra, turnip greens and washed down with sweet tea. The Brunswick stew, smoked chicken and ribs that taste like bacon have all been lauded by regulars and new customers. Byron’s pleasant and quick service also deserves mention.
Address: 436 Opelika Road, Auburn, AL 36830
As it appears, Auburn is home to a number of southern style soul food restaurants, both casual and gourmet. Whether you are hungry for Grandma’s cooking or are looking for a more eclectic, creative take on Southern food, Auburn has something to tickle your tastebuds. With a number of new restaurants coming up as well, you will be spoiled for choice on your lunches and dinners out in the Plains.
Auburn’s Best Restaurants