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Must-Try Alabama Food | 25 Best Alabama Dishes

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College football, barbecue, and head cheese might all come to mind when thinking about Alabama, but there’s more to the taste of this southern state than those things.

Alabama has a deep and rich culinary scene that is worth exploring. I highly recommend visiting if for no other reason just to try Alabama food!

Feasts are a semi-sacred part of life in a state known for its rich farmland and game hunting, as well as its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico.

Alabama’s culinary scene is diverse, offering options for every budget and taste, from fine dining to food trucks, popsicle stands, and neighborhood pubs. 

If you’re looking for traditional southern dishes like chicken and waffles, barbecue drenched in the state’s famed white sauce, childhood favorites like corn dogs and ice pops, Vietnamese pho or other global flavors – Alabama has it all.

Not only will you eat your way through a whole range of delicious dishes, but you will also learn a whole lot of history along the way. 

So if you decide to visit, here are a few… Scratch that, make that ten dishes to try there.

Must-Try Alabama Food

Corn Dog

If you’re like me, your mind went straight to carnivals and fairs when you saw the title. Nobody can argue that a hot dog, stuck on a stick, batter-coated and fried to perfection isn’t genuinely delicious.

The Alabama hot dog is a classic menu item. One bite and you’ll discover why the traditional, deep-fried corn dog has been a beloved summertime treat in America for generations: crisp and juicy on the outside, hot and juicy on the inside, meat hot dogs wrapped in homemade beer batter, served with sides of freshly made yellow mustard and spicy chipotle ketchup. 

Now, that’s a corn dog.

Alabama Food: Corn Dog

It’s even better after several beers, when the promise of that long-awaited trip to the county fair gets all your taste buds jumping around!

Alabama Barbecue

Alabama has some of the country’s tastiest barbecue, simmering in a sauce that will make your mouth water. 

In Alabama, you can find all sorts of BBQ dishes. There are plenty of great BBQ restaurants for those who want a convenient meal, but you can even find BBQ fast-food restaurants for those who fancy a late-night snack or a light lunch.

But we can’t talk about Alabama barbeque without mentioning the barbeque sauce! For most folks, barbecue sauce is an essential part of the meal. And no state is more synonymous with sauce than Alabama. 

Alabama Food: Alabama Barbecue

Alabama barbecue sauces are practically a food group all by themselves. From white sauce to mustard-based sauces, Alabama rouses itself from slumber at mealtime, so everyone can get a spoonful of sweet, tangy flavors destined to put a smile on your face and leave it there for hours after you’re done with your meal.

Warm your soul with some of the best barbeques in the south when visiting this state!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes may not be the first thing you think of when you think of Alabama food and cuisine, but they should be. They are the perfect southern delicacy. They’re crunchy, salty, slightly tart, and all-around good. 

They were made famous in the Oscar-nominated film Fried Green Tomatoes and prepared in pubs and family dinner tables across Alabama. These juicy morsels of vegetable goodness can be served as a meal or an appetizer.

Alabama Food: Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes, at their most classic, are simply sliced tomatoes dredged in cornmeal, egg, and buttermilk, then fried in a skillet in bacon grease. Once fried in the hot oil, they are drained on a brown paper bag before being sprinkled with salt or topped with mayonnaise. The result is a dish that is crisp on the outside but juicy and just slightly tart when you bite into it.

I had my first taste of fried green tomatoes, and the experience was equally thrilling and terrifying. Thrilling because fried green tomatoes are especially good. Terrifying because I didn’t think they could ever make anything so delicious!

Tomato Pie

Tomato pie is a food of the south, and it is a delightful blend of flavors. It can be found in restaurants and small diners throughout the state.

The heart of this dish consists of tomatoes, bacon, and basil, but the sauce on top makes it unique. Just before the pie goes into the oven, the mixture of salt, pepper, green onions, mayonnaise, and cheese is added. I can understand why it tastes so good.

Alabama Food: Tomato Pie

The dish is humble, and it consists mainly of what can be found in your garden or pantry. The simplicity is one of the draws of the dish. The tangy sauce and melted cheese made my taste buds dance with joy. There is nothing quite like it. 

Goat Cheese

It’s only been a few years since Alabama became home to a goat cheese creamery, but the fresh label has already made quite an impact on the state. If you are looking for the highest quality goat milk cheese, Belle Chevre is the only name you need to know!

Alabama Food: Goat Cheese

If you’ve never tasted goat cheese, you’re in for a flavor treat. Goat cheese producer Belle Chevre in Elkmont takes special care in crafting their cheeses. 

This creamy, soft cheese is high in protein and slightly tangier than cheese made from cow’s milk, which has made it popular among local chefs. Additionally to plain cheese, the creamery also makes spreadable cheese, cheesecakes, and body products.

Make sure to get a taste of the best goat cheese when visiting Alabama!

Chicken and White Sauce

As I said, in Alabama, barbecue is a religion. And that religion’s best expression – the holy grail, if you will – is actually in white barbecue sauce.

Serving white sauce on chicken is a signature of Alabama food, and any restaurant expecting to make a living catering to the state’s residents will keep a bottle or two on hand at all times.

Alabama Food: Chicken and White Sauce

White sauce is a favorite in the state, and it goes by a couple of names. In the northern part of the state, it’s called mayonnaise sauce, but it’s most commonly referred to as barbecue sauce to everyone from Birmingham down to Mobile.

It’s served almost always over chicken, but may also be used as a dipping sauce or spread for white bread. For a good white sauce, unsalted butter is essential, as is fresh lemon juice.

Even though it is most commonly served with smoked chicken, it also goes well with ribs or pork chops. This mayonnaise-based white sauce is a unique innovation from Alabama!

Beef Fat Candle

One of Birmingham’s most dramatic and talked about dishes is the beef fat “candle.”  

The candle is made from slivered tallow and comes fully lit and infused with sofrito, a mixture of onions, saffron, bell peppers, and cooked tomatoes. Melt the candle and combine with the sofrito. Spread on slices of crisp grilled bread and enjoy all the flavor.

This is an item you will definitely want to experience at least once, so if you’re going to try something different, go ahead and order it!

Fried Pork Skins

Whether you’re a native or a travel-hungry foodie, you’ll want to sample the richly seasoned pork skins. All over the world, it’s common to find different dishes made of pork skins. But in the south, they do pork skin differently. The south has perfected pork skin, forming it into light, crispy, almost fluffy nuggets of amazingness. 

Alabama Food: Fried Pork Skins

An Alabama classic, pork skins are crisp, fried to perfection, and loaded with salt. A bar snack that everyone enjoys can be ordered as a side or enjoyed with a dram of the finest whiskey you can find. They are great for dipping into salsa or guacamole.

These fried and tasty bits of fat and salt can be found at any dinner table in Alabama. 

Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is a classic southern dish that originated in Alabama. The slow-cooked meat is marinated in flavorful spices and then smoked over low heat for hours. 

This method of cooking gives the pork an incredibly tender texture and rich flavor, making it the perfect centerpiece for any meal. 

Cooking pulled pork in Alabama is especially special because it utilizes an abundance of locally sourced ingredients, like hickory wood chips, which adds a smoky depth to the dish.

Pulled Pork

Additionally, the region’s love of herbs and spices makes pulled pork an ideal option to showcase its unique flavors. 

The end result is truly something special; a savory blend of juicy meat, sweet and tangy sauce, and warm spice notes that will have your mouth watering for more! It’s easy to see why this is one of the most loved Alabama foods. 

Tomato and Mayo Sandwiches

Tomato and Mayo Sandwiches are a classic yet simple dish that originated in southern Alabama. It is considered one of the most favorite snacks in the area, with countless variations being shared amongst families. 

The traditional version of this sandwich consists of two slices of white bread, mayonnaise, tomatoes, and sometimes lettuce or cheese. 

Tomato and Mayo Sandwiches

This delectable dish has been around for many years, and its popularity is still growing. Its wonderful flavors make it an ideal snack for any occasion, from picnics to family gatherings.

With only four ingredients needed to make this delightful sandwich, it’s easy to whip up something delicious in no time for your friends and family to enjoy. Plus, it’s an affordable meal option that won’t break the bank either; what more could you ask for?

Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish is a delicious Southern specialty that’s sure to please the palate. This crispy, golden-brown dish can be found in abundance throughout Alabama, where it’s been a staple of family dinners and backyard barbecues for generations. 

Whether served with creamy coleslaw and hush puppies or tucked inside a warm cornbread muffin, fried catfish is an iconic part of Alabama state cuisine. 

Fried Catfish

For those who are unfamiliar with this delectable dish, fried catfish consists of battered fish fillets that have been deep-fried until perfectly crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. 

The secret to making this classic recipe truly special lies in the seasoning; chefs often use flavorful blends of herbs and spices to give their fried catfish an unforgettable flavor.

Chicken Stew

Are you looking for a delicious and comforting meal? Look no further than Alabama’s famous chicken stew! This mouthwatering dish is the perfect way to warm up on chilly days. 

The classic recipe dates back generations, but each family has their own unique spin. It typically includes succulent pieces of chicken simmered in a flavorful broth made with herbs and vegetables. The stew can be served over rice or mashed potatoes, but it’s just as satisfying when eaten on its own. 

Whether you’re from Alabama or not, this savory dish is sure to become a favorite in your household! Enjoy the warmth of this delicious stew any time of year – it’s guaranteed to please everyone at the table.

Chicken Stew

Fried Okra

Fried Okra, a classic southern dish originating in Alabama, is a crunchy and delicious treat everyone should try at least once! 

This simple side dish combines the freshness of okra with the saltiness of a crispy coating. This classic Alabama food is sure to please even the pickiest eaters, whether lightly fried or deep fried until golden brown.

Fried Okra

Not only is Fried Okra tasty, but it’s also incredibly easy to prepare. All you need are some fresh okra, your favorite batter mix or cornmeal for breading, and some hot oil for frying. The result? 

A warm and crispy snack that will have your mouth watering! You can enjoy Fried Okra as an appetizer on its own or serve it as an accompaniment to any meal for an extra special touch.

Seafood Gumbo

As the sun rises in Alabama, Seafood Gumbo is a dish that locals and tourists alike can’t get enough of. This unique Alabama state food combines succulent seafood with flavorful spices to create an unforgettable taste. 

Seafood Gumbo is a traditional southern meal in the heart of Alabama. It has been served for generations as an easy yet flavorful way to enjoy some of the state’s freshest seafood. The shrimp, crab, and other ingredients come together beautifully with a tomato-based sauce that packs just the right amount of heat. 

Seafood Gumbo

Not only will you find amazing flavors in this delicious dish, but it also serves up several health benefits as well. Seafood gumbo is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fats, making it a great choice for those looking for nutritious meals without sacrificing flavor.

Conecuh Sausage

Conecuh Sausage is an iconic symbol of Alabama food that has been a mainstay in the state’s culture for generations. Originating in rural Conecuh County, this smoked sausage is known for its unique flavor and texture and can be found in grocery stores all across the state. 

Over the years, Conecuh Sausage has become a staple of Southern cuisine and is often used as a key ingredient in dishes like gumbo or jambalaya. Its signature smoky flavor complements traditional recipes without overpowering them, creating a delicious balance of familiar tastes. 

Conecuh Sausage

Today, Conecuh Sausage is still made using the same recipes handed down from generation to generation since it first appeared on store shelves more than 70 years ago.

Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a Southern classic, and nowhere do they taste better than in Alabama! Whether you’re from the area or a visitor passing through, boiled peanuts make for an unforgettable snack. 

One of the most well-known Alabama food and snacks, boiled peanuts are made by simmering raw green peanuts in salty water for several hours until they become soft and tender. Not only is this type of peanut incredibly delicious, but it also provides important health benefits.

Boiled Peanuts

The boiled nuts offer high levels of healthy fats, protein, vitamins B3, B6, and E, and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. This means that the snack is very tasty and helps reduce cholesterol levels while providing energy and nutrition to keep you going throughout the day.

Sweet Potato Fluff

The Alabama Sweet Potato Fluff is an iconic recipe with a southern touch. This last holiday dish combines the best parts of sweet potatoes with creamy fluff for a lighter, but still rich holiday treat.

The sweet potato is not only a staple of soul food; it’s also popular around the world as a healthy alternative to the white potato, and I’m all for eating good, healthy food.

Alabama Food: Sweet Potato Fluff

Alabama sweet potato fluff is a casserole-like side dish that combines whipped sweet potatoes, marshmallows, and nuts into a fluffy concoction.

The sweet potato fluff is absolutely delicious. A root vegetable is the center, but there’s some creaminess, some crunchiness, and some brown sugar. That’s pretty much all you need to make something soulful.

Orange Pineapple Ice Cream

Looking for something sweet? As the heat of summer settles in, what better way to cool off than with ice cream? 

Ice cream is serious business in Alabama. So if you’re hungry for this unique Alabama food, then go ahead and order one of Florence’s most popular scoops, orange-pineapple ice cream.

Alabama Food: Orange Pineapple Ice Cream

They know how to make homemade ice cream with a distinct taste all their own. A creamy orange pop with small chunks of pineapple added for texture. The recipe for this unique ice cream has been attracting new customers for almost a century, so make sure you try it!

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie has long been known as a favorite sweet treat in Alabama. This classic dessert, which is traditionally made with butter, sugar, syrup, and, of course, pecans, brings joy to the table at family dinners, holiday parties, and any other special occasion.

With its combination of crunchy texture and sweet flavor, it’s no surprise that this delicious pie has been a beloved Alabama food for generations.

Pecan Pie

At its core, Pecan Pie is fairly simple to make. Most recipes require just seven ingredients, including eggs and flour, for the crust. 

But what makes it unique are the slight variations that can be added, like cinnamon or other spices, for an extra layer of flavor – something Alabamans have perfected over time!

Peach Ice Cream

Nothing says summer quite like Georgia peaches and Alabama’s creamy homemade peach ice cream. For more than 45 years, locals and visitors alike have been enjoying the sweet taste of this classic Southern treat. 

The wonderful combination of Georgia peaches blended with creamy vanilla ice cream has made this iconic dish a beloved food tradition of the state of Alabama.

Peach Ice Cream

You can find this delicious recipe all over the Yellowhammer State, from family-owned ice cream parlors to roadside stands. Every scoop is made with farm-fresh ingredients for an authentically refreshing experience. 

Whether it’s served in a cone or a dish topped with whipped cream, nothing beats the icy cold sweetness of Peach Ice Cream from Alabama!

Blackberry Desserts

Alabama food is known for its vast array of sweet treats and desserts, but one that stands out from the rest is blackberry desserts. From cobbler to ice cream, Alabama has a variety of recipes that incorporate juicy and flavorful blackberries into their ingredients. 

Whether you’re in the mood for something cool like a Blackberry Peach Cobbler Ice Cream or something warm like a delicious Blackberry Streusel Cake, there’s sure to be something to satisfy your taste buds! 

Blackberry Desserts

These delicious treats are not only perfect for special occasions but also great for everyday snacking. The best part? All these recipes can be easily made right at home using fresh ingredients! 

If you’re looking for a delicious dessert that will have everyone licking their lips, try whipping up some of these amazing blackberry-infused Alabama foods.

Lane Cake

Lane Cake is a delicious dessert originating in the state of Alabama. It is often referred to as “The Queen of Cakes” and has been a staple for special occasions for generations. This classic cake is made with layers of white or yellow cake, filled with a custard-like filling and icing that’s typically made from ingredients like butter, sugar, and eggs.

Emma Rylander Lane originally created Lane Cake in her 1898 cookbook “Some Good Things to Eat.” Since then, it has become an iconic symbol of southern hospitality and a favorite among Alabama residents. 

The traditional recipe calls for raisins soaked in whiskey or brandy to be added to the filling mix. Still, several variations are available, including chocolate chip Lane Cake and coconut-based recipes.

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding is a delectable Southern treat that has been loved for generations. It’s a simple comfort Alabama food that is easy to make and can be served on just about any occasion. 

This classic dessert has roots in the South, and Alabamans have perfected this recipe over time with their unique twist.

Banana Pudding

The traditional banana pudding recipe consists of sweet vanilla-flavored custard layered with sliced bananas and Nilla Wafers and topped off with whipped cream or meringue. But don’t let the simplicity of this dish fool you! 

Banana pudding from Alabama comes with the added flavor of southern hospitality: creamy and indulgent yet comforting all at once. Whether it’s served warm or cold, this dessert never fails to leave an impression on your taste buds.

Moon Pies

Moon Pies have become a favorite snack around the country, but they are something special in Alabama.

For Alabamans, Moon Pies are a staple of Southern culture that bring back memories of childhood days spent fishing and camping. 

They’re often served alongside ice-cold glasses of sweet tea at summer barbecues or as an afternoon snack with friends.

Moon Pies

Made from two round graham cracker cookies filled with marshmallow cream and dipped in chocolate, it’s no wonder why Moon Pies have been a favorite for over 100 years. 

Originating in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1917 by the Chattanooga Bakery, this classic treat has become an important part of Alabama food and culture. 

Today you can find them in convenience stores across the state and even pick up special editions like Banana Cream or Root Beer Float flavored Moons pies.

Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is the favorite summertime beverage of Alabama. With its mild flavor and refreshing taste, it is no wonder why this traditional Southern drink remains a fan favorite across the state. 

For many Alabamans, nothing says summer like a tall glass of sweet tea. This classic beverage has been an essential part of meals for generations, from family dinners to church potlucks. It’s also popularly served with Southern specialties such as fried chicken or pulled pork barbecue. 

Sweet Tea

No matter how it’s served, sweet tea is sure to delight the taste buds and bring back memories of summer days in Alabama. From barbecues at the beach to picnics in the park, there’s something special about sipping on a cold glass of sweet tea that just can’t be beat.

Summary Of The 10 Best Alabama Foods

Alabama is at the heart of some of the best food in the USA – it’s an excellent place for a foodie road trip, or to stop and eat on your way when passing by. 

It can be hard to travel through Alabama without munching out on some of its classic southern recipes.

Alabama food is as diverse as its landscape. So if you’re coming to visit this America’s Deep South state, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to food and drink – and there’s plenty of history and culture to absorb, as well.

Hopefully, you will enjoy my pick of some of the classic Alabama foods you should try while you’re here!

Visiting other destinations in Alabama? Check out our other guides:

Now that you’ve learned about the food of Alabama let us know which dish you most want to try! Drop a line in the comments section below!

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