Get a true taste of Decatur with its plentiful culinary options
Words by Paige Townley
Decatur-Morgan County may be a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts, but it should also rank high on the list of destinations to draw foodies. The north Alabama city and its surrounding communities take the cake for their culinary offerings. While boasting some of the best barbecue in the South, the establishments in Decatur-Morgan County actually offer so much more. From traditional southern favorites to Cajun creations and Mediterranean cuisine, here are 10 Decatur-Morgan County establishments that are sure to leave you hungry for more.
Big Bob Gibson BBQ
Big Bob Gibson BBQ has been drawing hungry visitors since it opened up nearly 100 years ago. The establishment practically put Decatur on the map for barbecue, and it’s widely known as one of the oldest and most prestigious barbecue joints in the country. In fact, the restaurant has won 15 World BBQ Championships and five Memphis in May World BBQ Grand Championships.
Big Bob founded the restaurant back in 1925 after working as an L&N railroad worker and honing his culinary skills on the weekends. Five generations later, and Big Bob Gibson BBQ is still serving up its delicious offering of smoked meats. The restaurant is especially famous for its Original BBQ White Sauce, which it still serves today and many restaurants continue to try to replicate.
Dinnertime will be the highlight of any day if it’s at Simp McGhee’s. This Decatur institution is the epitome of fine dining thanks to its old-fashioned charm and incredible Cajun-inspired menu.
Simp McGhee’s is actually named after a local infamous river boat captain who became a legend on the Tennessee River. Situated on the corner of historic Bank Street near the Tennessee River, Simp McGhee’s has since made its own name as a culinary delight that can please any palate.
Francesco’s Italian Restaurant
Decatur-Morgan County is in the heart of the South, but it’s most popular Italian restaurant can transport your tastebuds to Italy. Francesco’s Italian Restaurant features homemade Italian cuisine that’s only cooked to order. The menu features exquisite homemade pasta, traditional Italian favorites, and showstopping desserts.
Southern comfort meets trendy craft cocktails at the RailYard. This sought-after downtown Decatur establishment has become a local hotspot thanks to its farm-to-fork menu that effortlessly pairs with its craft beer and cocktails.
If there was an award for most magical setting, Hard Dock would win it. Nestled along the Tennessee River, Hard Dock offers one-of-a-kind river views along with its mouthwatering menu that highlights local seafood and true comfort food.
Mealtime is always a party at The Brick. The Decatur establishment features some of the most delicious and unique sandwiches you’ll ever put on your plate, and each and every one can be enjoyed with one of its 25-plus beers on tap. Most nights of the week there is also a live band.
Mediterranean cuisine meets Southern hospitality at Josie’s. The downtown restaurant even features a tapas menu and is the place to be for Sunday brunch.
The Southern comfort food you’d expect to find is on the menu at Cahoots. The restaurant has been serving up local favorites like chicken salad and the fried green tomato BLT for over 20 years.
B.B. Perrin’s is Decatur’s first local sports bar, having been established in 1988. The sports bar offers a wide variety on its menu, but it’s well-known and loved for its mouthwatering ribs.
The Freight House
History is served right along with a deliciously southern spread at the Freight House. Located in a historic freight terminal, the restaurant offers a distinctly unique ambiance and a menu that features a variety of Southern favorites.
Support and funding provided by the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area.