If the name "Jersey Girl" wasn't enough of a giveaway for you, I'm here to confirm that I was not raised in these neck of the woods. Hailing all the way from the great state of New Jersey, I came to Tuscaloosa to attend the University of Alabama and have now been living here for about four years. While going to class and making good grades were definitely big priorities of mine, my biggest goal while living in Tuscaloosa has been to find the best places to eat here in the 205. I find that most, if not all, areas around the country simply do not compare when it comes to finding delicious, crave-worthy eats in the Northeast - but Tuscaloosa has proved me wrong. T-Town has proved to provide locals and out-of-state visitors alike with a variety of restaurants that boast delectable, incredible food. Whether you're looking to eat some mouth-watering ribs, a top-rated burger, or just something good to eat at 3 a.m. after a night out at the bar, Tuscaloosa's got it all. If you need a place to start your food tour, here are my top 5 favorite places to eat in Tuscaloosa:

 

1. Avenue Pub: For starters, Avenue Pub's burger was rated by Delish.com as the #1 burger in the ENTIRE state of Alabama. If that's not enough to make you run over to Avenue right now, they also have a Fried Chicken Club (my personal favorite), as well as great salads, appetizers (I highly suggest ordering the Jalepeño Cheese Dip) and cocktails.

The Avenue Pub

2. Ajian: This is not your typical sushi place, and I mean that in the absolute best way. Think of Ajian as Chipotle - but for sushi. From the moment you walk into this god-sent establishment, you have the reins to create virtually any sushi roll you can dream of. Add as little or as many ingredients as you'd like - from salmon to tuna to STEAK, you can have it all in your create-your-own sushi roll at Ajian. Personally, I'm here 3 days a week (at minimum).

Ajian Sushi via Facebook

3. Jim 'N Nicks: If you're looking for some stellar BBQ paired with a series of insanely delicious trimmings, I highly suggest checking this place out. Jim 'N Nicks offers several types of meats (my go-to is their brisket) that are, simply put, smoked to perfection. Besides their meats, their trimmings and sides are some of the best ever - from their creamy mac n cheese to their loaded baked potato - you just can't go wrong eating here.

Photo by Ben George

4. Archibald & Woodrow's: A Tuscaloosa BBQ staple - and some of my favorite BBQ period. While I was visiting the University of Alabama campus back in 2015, my mom and I had been looking for "the best BBQ in Tuscaloosa". After a quick Google search, we ended up here. I'll never forget how wide our eyes got after diving into our first bites of Archibald's ribs - we were instantly hooked. It's been nearly five years since then and I still crave and eat Archibald's religiously. Besides their 11/10 ribs, I highly suggest ordering their pulled pork.

Skip Baumhower Photography

5. Cookout: Ah, the infamous Cookout. I cannot think of a better place to pull up to in the early hours of the morning, famished and ready to dive into a $4 "tray" of chicken tenders, fries, a corn dog AND a beef quesadilla...oh and a milkshake. Cookout is quite possibly the best fast food restaurant in the country, boasting a lengthy menu of great food/drink options to choose from - even at 3 a.m. Cookout has been there for me on countless occasions when nobody else was, and for that I will forever be grateful.

Cookout via Facebook
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