Must-Try Eats for Your Lookout Mountain Adventures
Must-try Eats for your Lookout Mountain Adventures
As you traverse the exquisite beauty of Lookout Mountain in Alabama—whether on foot hiking the trails, with rappelling rope down the mountainside, or by kayak cutting through the sparkling river—you’re certain to work up an appetite. Here are a few of our picks perfect for fueling up for your next Lookout Mountain adventure:
Located in Fort Payne, this 30-year-old barbecue staple offers down-home comforts in the form of pit-smoked pig, hand-battered fried chicken, and homemade slaw. And while the barbecue is certainly lip-smackin’ good, it’s the JoJo potatoes that draw folks from near and far. Carb load with the practically famous deep-fried potatoes (complete with JoJo sauce, of course) and see exactly why these bad boys are a mainstay on the Top 100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die.
Vintage 1889 is more than just a dining experience—it’s savoring a slice of Northeast Alabama history. Situated in the Big Mill (formerly the Davis Hosiery Mill), here you’ll find handcrafted cocktails, a quaint open-air courtyard perfect for starry autumn nights, and belly-warming roasted red pepper and gouda soup. Other must-try treats at Vintage 1889 include the Na-Na’s roast beef and creamy “Vintage-Style” shrimp and grits complete with Conecuh sausage gravy.
The Strand is as local as it comes (in fact, the owner is the grandmother of the folks who own The Bar-B-Q Place!). With a 1950s diner vibe including a still-operational original soda fountain, charming-as-can-be Southern hospitality, and crisply golden homemade onion rings, a visit to The Strand is like taking a little trip back in time. Be sure to order the all-time classic Bonanza Burger—a charbroiled patty smothered in special Bonanza sauce on a pillowy soft bun. Check out the kitschy décor, sink your teeth into a juicy burger, and ask whoever’s waiting on you to tell you a few stories about the area (believe us, they’ve got ‘em!).
This sweet little café is nestled in the lushly woods of Mentone and is as much an eclectic gallery as it is a cozy place to dine. Guests are greeted by a carved bear, kudzu winding its way up an antique bell, and a plant-covered porch that practically beckons, “Come on in, y’all,” in a honeyed Southern accent. Start with the kettle-cooked nachos, but be absolutely sure to save room for the Tomato Pie Entrée—a decadent, Deep South classic featuring grilled chicken breast, diced tomato, Parmesan, and feta atop angel hair pasta and smothered in a velvety garlic-Parmesan cream sauce so good you’ll find yourself using the side of your fork to scrape up every last bit. On certain evenings, the Wildflower Café hosts live music, but you can always find locally-made home décor like meticulously crafted pottery and folk art once inside. These treasures and almost too-good-to-be-true food are the real reasons Wildflower Café has become a staple in our corner of the Yellowhammer State.
In the heart of Mentone, you’ll find the newest addition to Lookout Mountain’s incredible dining: The Plowshares Bistro. Open every day but Wednesday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this farm-to-table eatery boasts locally sourced ingredients and pays homage to the farming industry itself by displaying all sorts of agricultural details as part of their down-home décor. Their menu offers up creative takes on food favorite like Caramel Apple Pork Rib Eye on a bed of Maple Butternut Squash and Lump Blue Crab Cakes on Citrus Spinach. The selections change to suit the crops that are in season, but one thing’s perpetual at Plowshares: the delicious apps and entrees are served up with a rich sense of community found only on the likes of Lookout Mountain in Alabama.