2012 1st Ave N.
Birmingham, Al 35203

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Bham Eats: Foodie Fun at Fancy's on Fifth


If you created a restaurant with the guiding principle — in both food and style — of “because it’s fun,” we’re pretty sure you’d end up with Fancy’s on Fifth. A special that involves funyuns? Check. A Magic 8 Ball on the table? Check. A mother-lovin’ ice cream sundae for dessert? Also check. Add in an impressive beverage list, and you’ve basically sold every foodie with an inner five-year-old. Which is to say, everyone.

If an original Big Mac and fries was re-made with real food, it would be the Fancy’s Blue Collar Burger, and we say that with nothing but love. In fact, it’s currently on our short list of best burgers in Birmingham. You know how we said Avondale was a combination of picnic fun and working class nostalgia? This burger is the neighborhood on a plate.

But Fancy’s has run with the burger as a concept, and not just a literal sandwich. With the theme of boneless meat that will fit between a bun, toppings, and sauces, they’ve also created seared tuna and turkey variations we’re itching to try. There are even vegetarian and vegan substitutions.

You need not be an oyster aficionado to appreciate them at Fancy’s. (Though if you are, you’ll certainly enjoy the rotation of offerings from different coastal waters.) If raw oysters aren’t your thing, Fancy’s has you covered with the perfect middle ground option.

Their epically brilliant solution is the partially cooked oyster. It’s the same principle as parboiling haricot vert to soften them slightly without totally sacrificing texture. Their par-baked/fried varieties take the edge off for fair-weather oyster lovers without losing the creamy briny-ness that makes them interesting in the first place.

Like most good Avondale eats, the place is small and thoroughly democratic. General admission, rather than reserved seating. And if you’re very good and bring enough friends, you just might score the “mafia booth,” also known as the best booth ever. Besides, the cocktail list and glasses of bubbly should more than sooth your wait.