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Alabama is known as the “Heart of Dixie,” but it is not considered the heart of fine food dining. Though, it does have five Michelin Star restaurants in Birmingham alone. At the other end of the spectrum is gas station food. Anyone who travels by car has had their share of this type of dining experience, so none of us are above doing so. (When Cheetos and a Diet Coke just won’t cut it, you’ve got to try some gas station food.) knows what its readers like, and apparently, they like gas station food. So, it made the decision to rate gas station food to see which one had the best. Then it scored them and came up with the top five best in the state. 

Can “gas station food” really be good?

rural gas station in the dark
Rural gas station | PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty

All of these gas stations are in and around Birmingham. In certain cases, AI describes some examples as “simply delectable.” The best appear to be those where the food is made in-house. Plus, adding an eating section to the gas station to sit down and enjoy your gas station food also adds points to the score. 

We thought we would pass along’s findings as a public service and encourage other cities and states to do a similar search. Especially in California, with its many cars, but even in places like Nevada and Wyoming, where things are spread out, you need something in the tummy to last for a while. After all, driving cars and eating are the pillars of America. 

Mac’s One Stop

Mac's One Stop at Chevron gas station with customer
Mac’s One Stop at Chevron gas station | Mac’s via Yelp

This Southside stop is in the Chevron gas station. The brick building behind the gas pumps is where you’ll find it. It’s a family-owned business that serves “satisfying” breakfast sandwiches, biscuits, burgers, patty melts, grilled cheese, chili, chicken fingers, and more. Everything is “made fresh to order.” Get there before 2 p.m. as that’s when it closes, though there are still some homemade sandwiches and other items for sale in the refrigerator. 

J&J Grocery and Deli

J&J Grocery and Deli gas station entrance
J&J Grocery and Deli gas station | J&J via Yelp

If you saw the movie “The Rivals of Amziah King” this past summer, then you’ve seen J&J. The country store and gas station were in several scenes. According to one cook, their hamburgers have no magic. “All we do is salt and pepper ‘em and put ‘em on the grill,” said Sherry Harding. “That’s it. That grill has been here for umpteen years, and it’s just seasoned.” There is also hamburger steak, fried bologna, chili dogs, chicken wings, and more.

Blue Pacific at Hoover Food Mart

Blue Pacific at Hoover building
Blue Pacific at Hoover | Blue Pacific via Yelp

The Hoover Food Mart is a former gas station, and the Blue Pacific Thai restaurant is located there. Take your pick from coconut soup, fiery curries, Pad Ka Tem-Prik Thai (stir-fried meat with garlic, topped with a fried egg), and Pad Thai. Celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern says the food at Blue Pacific is “incredible.” It’s open Wednesday through Saturday.

Bayou Fresh Seafood and Deli

Bayou Fresh building
Bayou Fresh Seafood | BFS via Yelp

When you think of Alabama and food, you think of barbeque. But it has plenty of bayous, too. So Louisiana-style cooking goes hand-in-hand. Though Jasper is in the northern part of Alabama, Bayou Fresh Seafood and Deli is known for its fabulous sushi. Yeah, we know it sounds weird. Part of a Marathon gas station, there are plenty of other delicacies like grilled, fried, and blackened fish. It fits the model of a gas station stop with paper plates and plastic utensils. It’s open Tuesdays through Saturdays. 


Buc-ee’s front
Buc-ee’s convenience store | Buck-ees via Yelp

This Texas chain has four locations in Alabama and has all sorts of diversions, including food. The one in Birmingham takes up 35,000 feet and features 120 gas pumps. It offers a variety of foods, including sandwiches, salads, burritos, hot dogs, cheese fries, wraps, kolaches, muffins, cookies, hot apple pies, cinnamon rolls, and more. Yes, it sounds like your typical gas station fare, but says they’re better than you can imagine. It recommends trying the brisket but chopped rather than sliced. Bon appetite. 


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