This spring, explore the vibrant restaurant scene in Auburn-Opelika and discover Southern charm, culinary richness, and local flavors. This perfectly curated list includes must-try restaurants, featuring authentic local flavors and diverse creations of chefs who take their food seriously.


The Waverly Local is an ideal spot for couples looking for a memorable dining experience during the spring season. Enjoy a cocktail at the patio bar before a delicious dinner. Consider one of their tasty seafood dishes, the blue crab cakes plated with seasonal vegetables and carmelized emulsion sauce, or their must-try roasted heirloom pork served with butterbean dumplings and stewed greens. 



Featuring gulf-coastal cuisine, The Depot serves Alabama's freshest seafood and Southern-inspired dishes in a modern, Victorian-inspired space. Pair delicious oysters with sparkling wine for the perfect start to a lovely date night on the outdoor patio. "Where the hook meets the line," The Depot plates up the finest and freshest seafood in the area, serving cuisine that is cooked simply and spectacularly and pays homage to our Southern heritage. 





Three blocks from Toomer’s Corner lies Acre, a restaurant that celebrates Southern hospitality and the fresh harvest grown by the local community. Dishing up seasonal vegetables and meats for every plate, chef David Bancroft collaborates with the Auburn University Meat Lab and local ranchers to serve responsibly farm-raised meat. He also partners with Randall Family Farms, to provide fresh vegetables and meats for their kitchens. 



To offer a truly Southern experience Opelika's Botanic features the work of local farmers, vendors, and artists who enrich the community and operate sustainably. Savor a home-grown meal on the covered outdoor dining porch at The Grille, their fine dining restaurant. Arrive early and enjoy libations at The Patio Bar, located under an oak tree, unique to the tradition of Auburn. The bar puts out its welcome mat early each spring to serve guests throughout the temperate seasons, making it perfect for a date night. At Botanic’s Market, visitors will find farmer’s market produce, vegetables, and preserves from the season including fruits, jams, and pickles.




Hamilton’s on Magnolia offers an intimate and casual atmosphere located in historic downtown Auburn, making it the perfect date spot with a patio that gives a front-row seat to the bustling downtown. Try appetizer favorites like the spinach and artichoke dip, fried green tomatoes, or humus and flatbread in addition to the delicious entrees including an array of diverse contemporary American selections from salads and sandwiches to steaks and seafood. 



At Zazu Gastropub in Downtown Historic Opelika, visitors will be greeted by a stunning five-level restaurant characterized by sandy, old bricks, wide-plank flooring, flickering gas lanterns, and repurposed wooden beams from the Old Mill in Opelika. The gastropub focuses on incorporating fresh, local ingredients to create fine dining cuisine within a laid-back, pub-like atmosphere, perfect for after-work drinks or weekend nights out with friends. They pride themselves on making everything from scratch and prioritize the use of local ingredients whenever possible. With over 20 craft beers on tap and an extensive wine list, Zazu offers a diverse selection to ensure every visitor finds something they love.




Spend a spring Saturday or Sunday at Lucy’s to enjoy a delicious brunch in this modern, American neighborhood eatery. From fan favorites like their brioche french toast topped with grand Marnier Devonshire cream to other tasty brunch options like the chicken and waffle bennie dish, you’ll leave Lucy’s feeling completely satisfied.




At Amsterdam Café, visitors will find a relaxed and stylish atmosphere filled with conversation, music, and attentive servers. Discover their take on the "Auburn Experience," redefining southern hospitality with a focus on farm-to-table principles, live music, patio dining, and a full bar. Don’t forget to try the crab cake and avocado sandwich, a long-time champion of the 100 Dishes list. Just like the downtown original, Amsterdam’s two quick service locations in Aubur each offer spacious patio dining where diners can enjoy the beautiful spring weather while savoring delicious meals.




Experience breathtaking rooftop views at weekly events hosted at Walt's on the Roof. Enjoy Sunday Harvest Hour and join their chefs on the grill for complementary fresh bites from their rooftop garden. On Tuesdays, experience culinary flair with Agave & Apertivos, an all-evening event featuring cocktails and guacamole. Celebrate Thursdays with champagne to toast special moments like date nights, anniversaries, or pre-dinner drinks from late afternoon until sunset.




Venture to 1856 - Culinary Residence for a roof-to-table experience, where the menu is shaped by the produce grown on the rooftop garden of the Rane Culinary Science Center. Visitors are invited to 1856 to witness an unparalleled dining experience where they can observe the culinary process in the open kitchen with skilled chefs preparing each dish. Their private dining room is adorned with a two-story wine room featuring bottles from around the world, and the price-fixed menu is set by the Chef in Residence and executed by the culinary team and students.




For all wine enthusiasts, be sure to spend an evening at Cerulean Wine Bar. Founded on inspiration from international adventures and enriched by experiences in California, the visionaries behind Cerulean wanted to introduce something unique to The Plains. Cerulean is known for its global wine selection, local artisanal craftsmanship, and serene ambiance. The tasting room and wine shop offer wine by the glass, bottle, or flight. If you can't decide, try the "I can't decide" flight and let the experienced bartenders choose for you!



Visit Auburn’s tucked-away jazz club, Piccolo 241 Jazz and Cocktails. Established in 2009, Piccolo is a haven for cocktails and live jazz just inside The Hotel at Auburn University. This club-style lounge includes a variety of specialty cocktails along with craft beers, an extensive wine list, and a small plate menu from the adjoining Ariccia Cucina Italiana. This spring, Piccolo is ideal for a girl’s night, date night, or even a lively place to hang out and enjoy jazz music.


Hotel Auburn


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