There is every kind of food imaginable in Birmingham. If you're in the mood for home-style Southern cuisine, then there are plenty of family-owned restaurants and barbeque places to try out. If you're interested in sampling some international cuisine, then there are places to satisfy those tastes, as well. There are places in all price ranges, so you can find somewhere to go for any kind of occasion. Immediately outside the campus there are not very many places to choose from, although some students swear by the two closest restaurants: Hong Kong Seafood and Charlie's Café. Just a short drive from campus is Five Points, or Southside, where you can find everything from Thai food to Southern favorites. The best way to sample the food choices in Birmingham is to try new places whenever you go out, because in the four years most students attend, you still will not have exhausted all the options.
The only drawback to the dining choices off campus is the fact that students can't use their meal plan at any of the restaurants. The meal card is restricted to use at the campus cafeteria or the Cellar. However, there are a few places that are cheap enough to fit into every college kid's budget. Some places like Los Compadres in Homewood give a student discount. If you've got the cash to spend, it's worth your while to try all that Birmingham has to offer.