The pace in Montgomery, Alabama seems to move a little slower. It’s a friendly town, filled with Southern hospitality. Like any true Southern town, you’ll find a focus on food. From mouthwatering fresh seafood to classic Southern cuisine to casual comfort food, Montgomery has options the entire family will enjoy. Pull up a chair and sit a spell. Our family friendly dining guide to Montgomery, Alabama, leave your mouth watering and your taste buds tempted.
Montgomery, Alabama Family-Friendly Dining Guide
1. Capitol Oyster Bar Known as the “best-kept secret in Montgomery,” Capitol Oyster Bar is an unassuming restaurant that sits off the beaten path. You might be tempted to turn back when you see the outside of the restaurant, but don’t! Once inside asked to be seated on the deck where you can see relaxing views of the Alabama River, mix with locals and if you stop by on Sunday nights, enjoy music from some of the Best Live Blues acts in town. Open for lunch and dinner, the pace is relaxed, the atmosphere is casual (What else can you say about a place that closes at 8ish?) and the food is amazing.
You’ll find classic seafood dishes here- fresh fried oysters, batter fried shrimp, even gator tail and frog legs for the more adventurous eaters in your party. All dinners are served with their classic cole slaw and another side of your choice. I recommend starting your meal with a basket of hushpuppies or the fried crab claws. I had the Fresh Fried Oysters-so fresh they were being shucked before my meal was prepared. The portions are large and you won’t leave hungry! I could have easily made my portion into two meals so if you are a light eater you might want to share a dish. Capitol Oyster Bar is open Wednesday through Sunday.
2. Cahawba House With a slogan like “Bama Bona-Fide Cuisine,” you know you’ll be getting Southern style cooking the minute you walk through the door. Open for Breakfast and Lunch Monday through Friday and for brunch on Sundays, plan to come hungry. We were served a Classic Southern Breakfast, Biscuits, Sausage Gravy, Conecuh Sausage, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Fried Green Tomatoes and some of the best beignets I’ve ever put in my mouth. Seriously, our entire group spent the next two days inventing ways to return for beignets before we left town. They were crisp on the outside with a smooth chocolate filling and sprinkled with the perfect amount of powdered sugar.
The owners believe in the Farm to Table movement and serve local products as much as possible. You’ll find local jams, jellies, and honey available to top your biscuits. If you find a flavor you fancy, the products are available for sale. The biscuit bar is served daily from 6:30-10:30, except on Sundays when it is available from 6:30 AM until 2:30 PM.
3. Chris’ Hot Dogs An unassuming little restaurant located on Dexter Avenue, Chris’ Hot Dogs has the distinction of being Montgomery’s Oldest Family Run Restaurant. In fact, they had just received a historical marker in front of their shop in April to celebrate their 100th birthday. Founded by Chris Katechis, a Greek Immigrant, in 1917, he believed in good food, reasonable prices and service for everyone. Everyone, from former presidents and Civil Rights Leaders to regular Joes, is treated with friendly service and tasty food.
What makes Chris’ memorable? Their secret recipe chili sauce (known to only two or three people in the world). Each hot dog includes onions, mustard, kraut, and Chris’ famous chili sauce, but they can be prepared to order. The menu is limited; think hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fingers and chicken salad with a few side items and the venue is small, but you’ll find they are packed with fans, many who have visited for years. Chris’ Hot Dogs is open Monday through Saturday.
4. The House & The Exchange at The Renaissance Looking for a place to dine without leaving the comfort of your hotel? You can be in the center of the action at both The Exchange and The House. The Exchange is a casual affair, dedicated to lighter fare like salads, sandwiches, and appetizers. Stop by during Happy Hour, held daily from 5:00 PM-7:00 PM for live music and drink specials. I recommend the Tallapoosa Punch, a smooth concoction of Smirnoff Raspberry, Peach Schnapps, pineapple, and grenadine. It’s like summer in a glass.
The House restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you want to get a start on your day, choose the breakfast buffet, available in two options. The Continental Buffet, a choice for the light eater, and The Full Buffet, which includes coffee or juice. The full buffet has everything from the continental buffet, along with traditional breakfast dishes and made to order omelets. Lunch is the time for Southern Cuisine. They’ve got $11 lunch specials daily Monday through Friday with choices like Southern Fried Chicken, Red Beans and Rice with Andouille, and Fried Catfish. The Exchange and The House are open every day.
5. E.A.T South Urban Farm While not a restaurant, this is a fun place to visit. E.A.T. South (whose initials stand for Educate, Act, and Transform) is an urban farm located in the heart of downtown Montgomery. They work closely with the Montgomery School System to educate children on how to grow their own food and they “promote access to healthy, fresh food and the benefits of a local sustainable food system.” While the location is small, the grounds, located beside the Alabama River, are lovely. Looking for fresh veggies? Each Saturday, during the months of March through November, they sell fresh produce at the Curb Farmer’s Market on Madison Street.