Cantina Tortilla Grill 2901 2nd Ave S 205-323-6980 BIRMINGHAM

The late Guillermo Castro, Sol y Luna founder and Birmingham culinary hero, introduced this popular tortilla grill offering less expensive fare like Cuban sandwiches and fish and steak tacos. Enjoy a killer margarita or a refreshing cold beer on their large patio. Great place to sit outside for lunch. AMAZING fish tacos and great guacamole and cheese dip. Meredith J.

Carlile s Barbeque 3511 6th Ave S 205-254-9266 BIRMINGHAM

Local barbeque experts swear by this place. Loved for an unbeatable hamburger steak and vinegar-based barbeque sauce, Carlile s has been serving family recipes for over 60 years on Birmingham s Southside. Unpretentious, homey, friendly service, good food, great fries. Carlile s just feels like Birming- ham. Richard B.

Carrigan s Public House 2430 Morris Ave 205-440-2430 BIRMINGHAM

With a list of craft brews, a full liquor shelf and a fresh spin on traditional pub fare with locally sourced ingredients, Carrigan s could draw a crowd in the middle of nowhere. But, thankfully, this new pub offers a beautiful locale on the corner of historic Morris Avenue, featuring plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. This is the kind of place Birming- ham needed. Awesome food, really cool location. A nice addition to the Downtown revival. Gwen H.

Chez Fonfon 2007 11th Ave S 205-939-3221 BIRMINGHAM

An upscale and friendly French bistro, and the youngest of Frank Stitt s restaurants, Chez Fonfon offers impeccable service, an extensive wine list and savory menu selections that change with the season. Authentic yet modern, rustic yet artful, this is one of the very best deals in town. Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday Friday. Open at 5 on Saturday for dinner.

The food, the decor, the lack of pretense, the presence of excel- lence. We take all our out-of-town guests here. M. C. D.

Chez Lulu 1911 Cahaba Rd 205-870-7011 MOUNTAIN BROOK

A warm and cozy neighborhood bistro with a Bohemian style and atmosphere. Presenting artisan breads created next door at their Continental Bakery and a menu of cheeses, soups, salads, sandwiches, pizza and the tarte of the day with their handmade butter crust. Live entertainment most weekends includes belly dancing and Sun- day night Accordian Fury. Intimate, cozy atmosphere that is unique to any other restaurant in Birmingham. Also, the food is wonderfully French! Gloria B.

Chicago Mike s Hot Dogs 2701 18th St S 205-868-4728 HOMEWOOD

Don t be fooled by appearances, because this Homewood hot dog shack is home to some of the best burgers and dogs around. When Mike starts working his artistry, you won t be disappointed. It s quick and

INSIDER TIP If you re feeling competitive at Chez Fonfon, enjoy your cocktail in the back courtyard and play a game of boules.

Chez Lulu is a neighborhood bistro featuring fresh-baked breads from their Continental Bakery next door.