War Damn Eagle and Good Damn Food – you’ll find both in Auburn, Alabama. As the home of the Auburn Tigers, the town at the Alabama-Georgia border has always had a vibrant community dating back to the city’s founding in the early 19th century. Now, Auburn is a modern college town with historic accents, like the inimitable Toomer’s Pharmacy and the various halls dotting the campus. As a modern college town, you would expect that Auburn has great food options from all around the world, and you wouldn’t be disappointed. Between elevated, contemporary American restaurants, classic BBQ, mouthwatering Mexican, incredible Italian, great sushi, pho, and more, college students and the community at large have incredible meals to choose from.
We’re covering a few of our favorites below, which are great things to get before the big tailgate, after a game, cramming for a test, or for when the whole family’s in town. Check out our other great SEC college town dining guides, including Athens, Gainesville, and more.
210 E Glenn Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
Acre is a big city metropolitan restaurant hiding in plain sight in Auburn. With a focus on local ingredients and food served with produce grown in the restaurants gardens and orchards, a dinner at Acre is truly a five star dining experience. The menu also has a distinctly Southern bent, with dishes like the Redfish on the Halfshell with Okra and Brabant potatoes, house made Pimento cheese, Cornbread and more.
410 S Gay St, Auburn, AL 36830
Amsterdam Cafe is perhaps the most inventive restaurant in Auburn. They have Southern favorites like a house pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes, but also play around with other flavors from around the world, like in their house made Hummus with Za’atar and Korean Short Rib. With well designed, sleek decor, dinner at Amsterdam Cafe also feels both elevated and comfortable.
174 E Magnolia Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
Just a block from Toomer’s Corner, Hamilton’s on Magnolia is a chef driven restaurant in a wood paneled bar like atmosphere. There’s a big emphasis on proteins and seafood in the menu, with a delicious Catfish and Crawfish plate, Shrimp and Grits, and Filet Mignon. Don’t sleep on dessert, either – they’ve got the best creme brulee in the county.
201 N College St, Auburn, AL 36830
One of the more modern menus and restaurants in the area, LiveOaks was once an Amoco service station that was converted into an elegant dining experience. When it comes to the menu, the starters are very creative – they’ve got an avocado crostini, mini crab cakes, panko mac and cheese bites, steak egg rolls, bbq pork nachos and more. When it comes to mains, they’re a little more straightforward with short rib, pork chop, and shrimp and grits on the menu, except for the one exception – a Pad Thai which is surprisingly excellent.
2300 Moores Mill Rd, Auburn, AL 36830
Lucy’s is the most beautiful looking of the new modern restaurants in Auburn, and the menu matches the decor. With a focus on seafood, they ship in great oysters, tuna and other fish daily, so it’s as fresh as possible. They also have some non seafood options that are perfectly sized, lighter fare like the Lemon Basil Rigatoni and Lucy’s Salad.
124 Mitcham Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
Another elevated restaurant focused on seafood, The Depot brings oysters in daily from all over the country – from British Columbia to Alabama. They’ve got hearty seafood mains and a delicious Wagyu burger, but our favorite item on the menu might have been the Spicy Blue Crab dip which adds in Mexican chorizo sausage to the traditional cheese and crab dip.
124 Tichenor Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
The Hound describes itself as a Bacon and Bourbon restaurant, and they aren’t kidding. The Hound loves smoky flavors – everything from their Bacon Flight to the Burnt Ends Baked Beans to the Bacon Braised Collards. That’s why they might be the best places to get a steak in the county – between the prime ribeye, prime skirt steak, whiskey ribs and pork chop, there’s a protein for every possible mood.
1977 E Samford Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
Owner and Chef David Bancroft was born in Alabama and raised in South Texas. He’s brings the best of the South from both of those locations at Bow and Arrow. In fact, Bow and Arrow is more than your meat and sides BBQ spot – they use their expertise in slow cooked proteins to make mouthwatering sandwiches, tacos, fajitas and enchiladas, too. That’s probably why Chef Bancroft – an Auburn alum – has been nominated for multiple Beard Awards.
436 Opelika Rd, Auburn, AL 36830
A classic Auburn landmark since 1989, Byron’s Smokehouse serves the traditional BBQ so many Southerners love. Swing by to see one of your favorite football players or come for breakfast, where they make a mean biscuit with gravy.
125 E Magnolia Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
Moe’s Original BBQ began in Tuscaloosa but we won’t hold that against them. They’re old pros at smoking delicious brisket, chicken and pork, along with nearly a dozen side dishes and desserts daily. Friendly staff, smoked wings and great tap options – what’s not to love about Moe’s?
241 S College St, Auburn, AL 36830
Auburn is known as “the loveliest village on the plains”, but one of the best Italian spots in the area is inspired by the rolling hills of Tuscany. Ariccia Cucina imports delicious Italian meats and cheeses, makes their own focaccia and pizza using a wood-fired onion. For the closest thing you can get to a Neapolitan pie in Auburn, you can’t beat Ariccia.
154 N College St, Auburn, AL 36830
Esposito’s Italian Bistro serves up the Italian food that Americans know and love – Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Spinach Raviloi and Meatball Subs, for starters. For those students who are missing their mom’s lasagna or for the professor carbo loading before grading a stack of papers, Esposito’s delivers.
129 E Magnolia Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
You can’t have a college town without at least one decent pizza by the slice spot, and Little Italy has been that place for Auburn students for years. For the late night munchies, you can’t do better, but head in for their lunch specials to try the subs and salads, too.
2575 Hilton Garden Dr, Auburn, AL 36830
While Auburn attracts students from the Southeast, folks from all over the country come to Auburn for a world class education. If you’re from the Northeast, Venditori’s will feel like home to you. A family oriented feeling thanks to the owners the Sellers (which, translated to Italian is, Venditori), they’ve got classic Italian dishes like Veal Parmigiana, Lasagna and Manicotti.
1409 S College St, Auburn, AL 36832
There’s nothing better than a sizzling fajita Tex Mex spot and Acapulco’s might be the best place to get fajitas in the county. They make a great crunchy corn taco “Americano” style, and the refried beans are excelente. It’s pretty hard not to have fun at a place that serves giant blue margaritas.
138 N College St, Auburn, AL 36830
Tacos have taken over the country by storm over the last 20 years and chefs have gotten creative in all kinds of ways with the perfect food delivery system – korean tacos, fried chicken tacos and more. Tacorita is on top of that trend, with tacos that are inspired by everything from a philly cheesesteak to buffalo chicken to a BLT. They also make a pretty good Cuban and Nashville hot chicken sandwich that are worth giving a try.
435 N Dean Rd # J, Auburn, AL 36830
Taqueria y Carniceria Durango is the most authentic Mexican restaurant in the Auburn area. They make the hard to find Mexican entrees like Menudo (beef stomach soup), Tortas (Mexican sandwiches), Sopes (thick tortilla pockets) and use rarer cuts like Lengua (tongue) Tripa (intestines) and al Pastor (Shawarma style) in addition to the standards. It’s all excellent and on par with what you’d find in Atlanta, Birmingham and other big city areas.
1499 S College St e, Auburn, AL 36832
There’s nothing more fun with friends than a night out getting sushi and Fuji Sushi Bar and Japanese cuisine delivers. They have great sushi options – everything from crunchy shrimp to California rolls. But they also do something that you don’t find on many Japanese menus – a katsu, or fried breaded pork. Try it over rice with a fried egg.
756 E Glenn Ave, Auburn, AL 36830
Pho Lee is another restaurant that focuses on Vietnamese with other Asian influences. Open in Auburn since 2013, they’ve been making Banh Mi’s that students line up for. For those feeling adventurous, dig in to the House Specials, or skip the steak house and order the filet mignon with fried rice.
1888 Ogletree Rd #170, Auburn, AL 36830
A humble sushi shop that is more than the decor, Sushi Bistro plays with texture better than any other sushi restaurant in the area. They make great bento boxes for lunch but don’t be afraid to visit and go omakase style, or chef’s choice.
2319 Bent Creek Rd Ste 300, Auburn, AL 36830
One of the sexier sushi spots in the Auburn area, Sushiya is a good go to for date night. Split some of the large variety of house rolls with your date or dig in to Tempura or a Teriyaki dinner.
2319 Bent Creek Rd Ste 400, Auburn, AL 36830
They say that there’s 5 distinct tastes – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and Umami. A Japanese word for savoriness, it captures the whole rainbow of savory dishes you can get from Asia – and Umami the restaurant does that too, with it’s pan asian focused menu. They’ve got great ramen bowls and pad thai, Indian style butter chicken and Indonesian style spicy chicken, Korean chicken wings and crunchy Vietnamese spring rolls. Umami is all of Asia in one restaurant.
100 N College St, Auburn, AL 36830
Toomer’s Drugs is famous for its proximity to Toomer’s Corner and the (no longer allowed to be) toilet papered tree. But Toomer’s Drugs is more than a landmark – they’ve got the best lemonade in the state! It’s also a great spot to get a quick cone of ice cream while taking a walk downtown. They’ve got some savory stuff on the menu too, like chicken salad, but dessert wins at Toomer’s.
1151 Opelika Rd, Auburn, AL 36830
Niffer’s Place has been serving the best burgers in the Auburn area for over 30 years! Started by Auburn alum Keely Beasecker, the focus at Niffer’s is great food at great prices. They’ve got 20 burgers on the menu for whatever flavor you want – anything from The Hawaiian with pineapple, mozzarella and teriyaki, to the The Sullivan, with homemade chili and white cheese dip. They also do a great job on the fryer, with delicious flautas, corn nuggets and fried pickles.
2328 S College St UNIT 6, Auburn, AL 36832
If you grew up in the South, then you know the value of a good meat and three. Pannie-George’s Kitchen keeps the tradition alive with classic dishes like Meatloaf, collard greens, mac and cheese, cornbread and more.
232 N Dean Rd, Auburn, AL 36830
We all know and love the big chicken chain that’s never closed on Sundays, but Tenda Chick is putting up a good fight. They focus simply on making a mouthwatering chicken tender, then pair that on a bunch of different plates, including chicken salad, a sandwich with chicken tenders and BBQ sauce, or a wrap with melted cheese, tomatoes and ranch.
1409 S College St, Auburn, AL 36832
An Indian restaurant that lives up to its name, Karma makes incredible, crispy samosas along with a build your own bowl entree you can build with one protein, a sauce (Tikka Masala, curry and other options), a base (rice, Naan or fries), and spice level. We suggest getting a side of Naan instead of making it your base to dip and mix with whatever sauce your heart desires.
To learn more about the delicious food spots at other SEC schools, check out our Best Restaurants in the SEC guide, which includes all 14 college towns and their amazing eateries.