17 Must-Try Alabama Food: Dishes Alabama Is Known For

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The state of Alabama is famous for its unique Southern cuisine and Alabama food showcases the region’s culinary history in all its glory! From fried okra to pulled pork BBQ, the culinary delights and food in Alabama will tinkle your taste buds.

Here are some of the dishes, ingredients, and food Alabama is known for, and what makes the cuisine truly special.

Most Famous Alamaba Food

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes are a classic Alabama food that has been enjoyed for generations. This dish dates back to the 1800s, when Alabama farmers would fry up any unripe tomatoes they had on hand in order to preserve them.

This savory snack is made from unripe, tart green tomatoes that are coated in a cornmeal batter and then fried in oil until crispy and golden brown.

The result is a sweet and tangy treat Alabama natives know and love. It goes well with dips or condiments like ranch dressing, horseradish sauce, mayonnaise, or even honey.

These tasty treats can be served as an appetizer or side dish to any meal. They’re also great for snacking on their own! 

Although fried green tomatoes have become popular all over the US, Alabama stands out as the original creator of this delicious dish. It’s definitely one of the foods Alabama is known for! 

Popular Foods Alamaba Is Known For


Fried Chicken

Fried chicken has a special place in Alabama’s culinary history and is a staple of Southern comfort food. 

Many Alabama residents have fond memories of enjoying fried chicken at family gatherings, church events, and other special occasions.

This dish is made by marinating pieces of chicken in spices, coating them in a flour-based batter, and then deep-frying them until crispy and golden brown. 

The result is juicy, flavorful chicken that goes perfectly with sides like mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese.

Although fried chicken can be enjoyed on any occasion, it is often served up at get-togethers or as part of holiday meals such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. 

The state is also has several well-known fried chicken restaurants, some of which have been serving up delicious fried chicken for generations.

These restaurants have helped to establish Alabama as a hub for good Southern-style fried chicken, and many locals and visitors alike flock to these establishments to enjoy the dish.

Classic Southern Smothered Pork Chops

Alabama is known for its comfort food, and smothered pork chops are a delicious example.

The dish is typically made by browning pork chops in a pan, then slowly simmered in a flavorful gravy made with ingredients like onions, garlic, butter and seasonings.

The result is juicy pork chops that are incredibly tender and flavorful! The slow-cooking of smothered pork chops really allows the flavors to meld together and the meat to become juicy.

Smothered pork chops have been enjoyed by Alabama residents for generations; it’s still one of the state’s most popular dishes. 

It pairs perfectly with classic Southern sides like mashed potatoes, green beans, or macaroni and cheese, green beans creating a filling and satisfying meal.


Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish is a staple in Alabama food culture. Catfish are a type of freshwater fish that are found in rivers and lakes in the Southern United States.

This Southern classic consists of catfish fillet that has been lightly floured, coated in seasoned cornmeal mix, and fried to golden perfection.

It is usually served as a traditional main dish, often accompanied by hush puppies, coleslaw, and other sides. But you can totally have it as an appetizer as well.

Alabama’s mild climate makes it the perfect place for catching fresh catfish from lakes and rivers, which are then used to make this delicious dish! 

Fried Catfish is a much-loved food in Alabama and the Southern United States. Its simple and fulfilling flavor profile is a representation of the region’s rich cultural heritage and delicious seafood traditions.


Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie is a traditional dish that Alabama takes very seriously. It’s similar to pizza but with an Alabama twist – think of it as the Alabama version of a quiche, without any eggs!

This is a savory pie made with a crust filled with sliced tomatoes, cheese, and herbs, typically basil and thyme. The pie is often baked until the cheese is melted and the tomatoes are tender.

The savory pie is made by layering tomatoes, cheese, herbs like basil and thyme, and other ingredients in a pastry crust. The pie is often baked until golden brown, where the cheese is melted and the tomatoes are tender.

It can be served as an appetizer or side dish for any meal and is often enjoyed at potlucks, picnics, and special events. 

Tomato Pie really is Alabama’s own unique culinary creation; celebrated for its simple, fresh ingredients and its ability to highlight the flavors of summer.

Pulled Pork BBQ

Pulled Pork BBQ is Alabama’s favorite barbeque dish. This classic combination of succulent pork shoulder, aromatic spices, and dry rub is slow-cooked until it achieves a smoky, tender texture.  

The cooked pork is then “pulled” or shredded into smaller pieces, which are often served with additional white sauce.

The pulled pork can then be served as an entrée or used as a topping for burgers, tacos, salads, and more! Alabama’s Pulled Pork BBQ has become famous around the world thanks to its unique flavor profile – sweet and savory with just the right amount of kick! 

Alabama is known for its barbecue culture, and pulled pork is a staple of many restaurants and food trucks. This delicious Alabama food has everyone coming back for more.  

White Barbecue Sauce

Unlike traditional barbecue sauces, which are typically made with a tomato base, White Barbecue Sauce is Alabama’s own unique take on a classic. 

This mayonnaise-based condiment has become one of the most popular sauces in Alabama and beyond! 

The White BBQ Sauce was created by Alabama-native Big Bob Gibson back in 1925, combining ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt, and spices for an incredible flavor profile. 

It is traditionally served with pork barbecue dishes but can also be used as a dipping sauce for veggies or as a topping for burgers and fries. 

This Alabama classic has become internationally renowned for its unique flavor – it’s sweet, tangy, smoky, and slightly spicy all at once!


Snack Food Alamaba Is Known For

Fried Okra

Fried Okra is a great side dish for vegetarians. This Southern-style recipe consists of freshly sliced okra that is lightly battered and fried until it’s golden and crisp. 

It can be served as an appetizer or side dish at any meal and is often enjoyed with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and other spices. Therefore, you can often see it alongside classics such as fried chicken, barbecue, and grits.

Fried Okra has become a staple on Alabama tables and is the perfect way to enjoy this versatile vegetable! The state is known for its warm climate and fertile soil, which make it an ideal place to grow fresh okra, a key ingredient in the dish.

Alabama food culture combines classic Southern dishes with unique Alabama twists, creating a culinary experience unlike any other.


Gulf Shrimp

One Alabama food that can’t be overlooked is Gulf Shrimp. Alabama sits on the Gulf of Mexico, making it a top destination for seafood lovers. 

Gulf shrimp are caught wild in Alabama’s waters and served up fresh to locals and visitors alike! This Alabama delicacy is known for its light delicate flavor and firm texture.

The shrimp can be cooked in a variety of ways – fried, grilled, steamed, boiled – or simply enjoyed raw as an appetizer with some cocktail sauce. They are a popular ingredient in many seafood dishes.

No matter how you choose to enjoy this Alabama classic, you won’t be disappointed! The sweet taste of Gulf Shrimp will have your taste buds singing.  


Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are Alabama’s favorite snack and a beloved summertime staple. 

These peanuts are made by simmering raw peanuts in salt water until they become soft and sweet. 

This creates a salty, crunchy snack that is both savory and satisfying. Alabama residents often purchase boiled peanuts at roadside stands or farmers’ markets during the summer months when they’re most plentiful. 

These boiled peanuts can also be found in stores year-round, making them widely available for snacking any time of year!

Boiled peanuts have become an important part of Alabama’s food and culture – locals even say “you ain’t from Alabama if you don’t love boiled peanuts!”

Fried Pork Skins

Fried Pork Skins, also called Cracklins or Chicharrones, is a traditional food Alabama is known for. 

These crunchy snacks are made by deep-frying pork rinds until they become golden and crispy – resulting in an incredibly flavorful snack! 

The fried pork skins can be salted or seasoned with various spices, depending on personal preference. They can also be served with a variety of dips or sauces like ranch dressing or honey mustard. 

Fried pork skins are popular at picnics and barbecues, making for the perfect snack to enjoy while socializing. It is not uncommon to see them as a topping for salads, soups, and other dishes either.

You can also find prepackaged versions in convenience stores and supermarkets. 

Cheese Biscuits

Cheese Biscuits are Alabama’s own unique take on a classic biscuit. These fluffy, flaky creations are made of simple ingredients such as flour, buttermilk, and sharp tasting grated cheese – making them irresistible!

These Alabama snacks are perfect for breakfast or brunch but can also be served as an appetizer or side dish. 

Cheese Biscuits are popular throughout Alabama and the South, where they have become a beloved part of many people’s food culture. 

Some people even incorporate their personal twist on the classic cheese biscuit recipe, whether it be adding herbs, spices, or different types of cheese, making them unique.


Grits are a Southern classic and food Alabama is known for. This dish consists of ground cornmeal that is boiled until it forms a creamy, porridge-like consistency. 

This Alabama staple has become popular around the world for its versatility. They can be flavored in a variety of ways, from savory grits with cheese, herbs, and spices, to sweet grits with sugar and butter. This makes them a popular food that can be enjoyed in many different ways

In addition, grits are also incredibly filling, making them an ideal breakfast option. 

Desserts and Sweet Alabama Food


Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie is a classic Southern dessert that is especially popular in Alabama. This sweet, nutty, gooey pie is made with a filling of pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, and other ingredients, all baked inside a flaky pastry crust, and finished with a pinch of cinnamon.

It is a delectable treat Alabama natives know and love! Pecan pie is served hot or cold and goes great with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

What makes Pecan Pie special in Alabama is the state’s long history of pecan cultivation and the high quality of its pecans. 

Alabama is known for producing some of the best pecans in the world from its many pecan orchards. These are often used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes, including Pecan Pie.

Pecan pie is commonly served as a staple dessert around Thanksgiving and Christmas when the flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg are most popular. 

This delicious dessert is one of Alabama’s most beloved dishes and shows just how much the state loves its sweet treats.


Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding is Alabama’s favorite dessert. This classic dish combines vanilla pudding, wafers, cream cheese, and bananas to create a sweet and creamy treat.

It starts with a layer of buttery graham cracker crumbs at the bottom of the dish then adds a layer of thick banana slices. 

The layers are topped with vanilla pudding and finished off with dollops of whipped cream or meringue. for an added flavor boost. 

This Alabama-style Banana Pudding has been enjoyed for years in households across Alabama and its popularity continues to grow! 

It serves as the perfect ending to any meal or can be enjoyed anytime you need a sweet treat. 


Moon Pies

Moon Pies have been enjoyed by many since their invention in 1917. These round graham cracker treats are made of two graham cookies sandwiched with a layer of marshmallow and chocolate or other flavored coating – making them a real treat!

As it evolved, Moon Pies come in a range of flavors, including classic chocolate, strawberry, and banana, as well as seasonal flavors. 

Additionally, they are available in a variety of sizes, from the classic 4-inch size to the jumbo 12-inch size, making them perfect for sharing with friends and family.

Moon Pies have become popular all over Alabama and the United States. They are beloved for their nostalgic flavor and texture, as well as the fact that they’re pre-packaged and easy to eat on the go.


Sweet Tea

No Alabama food list would be complete without sweet tea! This Southern-style iced tea is made with loose, brewed black tea and lots of sugar.

Sweet Tea has become deeply rooted in Alabama culture and is often served as the default beverage at restaurants and family gatherings. 

Some like to add citrus fruit such as orange or lemon to create an enhanced flavor profile.

It’s a great way to beat the heat on a hot Alabama day! The sweetness of this delicious drink allows it to pair perfectly with all kinds of Alabama food favorites such as fried chicken, barbecue, or even Moon Pies.

Sweet Tea is also known for its calming properties – so pour yourself a glass and enjoy the Alabama sunshine! Nothing better than a cold sweet tea on beautiful Alabama beaches.

Discovering Delicious Alabama Food

These are just a few of the dishes and ingredients that make Alabama food special. The state is rich in culinary heritage and boasts a wide range of delicious and unique dishes that are sure to please even the most discerning palates.

The state’s cuisine has evolved over time, shaped by its diverse population. While you are exploring all the famous landmarks in Alabama, don’t forget to also take a deep dive into all the traditional food Alabama is known for.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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