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SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar - Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar - Birmingham

3.3
3.3
178 Reviews
$31 to $50
Southern
SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar at the Pizitz Food Hall in Downtown Birmingham! SOCU, where our focus is seafood and elevated southern food with a feel of old meets new. Come for a taste as we reinvent classic southern traditions.

We allow a maximum of (3) credit cards to split the total bill at SOCU.

We get it, stuff happens. We offer a grace period of 15 minutes. If you arrive after the 15-minute grace period, even with a phone call, you may be placed on the waitlist, to be fair to all guests.

Parties 6+ we will automatically add an 18% gratuity to your bill.
For parties larger than 5+ , catering and a chefs table experience, please give us a call at 205-961-4458
A non-refundable deposit will be required for large parties to secure your reservation. This deposit applies to the total of your bill.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 20 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Southern, Seafood, Comfort Food

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat 11:00 am–3:00 pm Sun 11:00 am–4:00 pm Dinner Mon, Wed–Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (205) 961-4458

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Owned/operated by

    Black/African American, LGBTQ+, Women

  • Executive chef

    Erica Barrett

  • Neighborhood

    Birmingham

  • Cross street

    18th and 2nd Ave North

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 178 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

3.3
3.3 based on recent ratings
  • 3.5Food
  • 3.5Service
  • 3.7Ambience
  • 3.2Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Alabama

    Hot spot

  • Birmingham

    Great for brunch

  • Birmingham

    Hot spot

  • Birmingham

    Romantic

Sort by

Filters

  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Mississippi

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    They will take your reservation through open table but don’t honor it once you arrive. Terrible way to try and get customers.
  2. EW

    EricaW

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall2food2service4ambience4
    Oysters were burnt not chargrilled. Toast was burnt.I was disappointed in my experience, since I was so excited to finally try this restaurant.
  3. RB

    RoseB

    Birmingham

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall3food5service3ambience4
    The food was great but it took a long time to be served.
  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 24, 2023

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    One of the worst experiences we’ve had in a long time avoid this place at all cost
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Tallahassee

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 22, 2023

    overall5food5service3ambience2
    Food was outstanding. Service was much better than it has been previously. I understand it takes a while to prepare such amazing food. In past visits, staff has hung around talking among themselves. This visit was much better and staff checked on us more often while we waited for our meal. Music choice was great but too loud for us to have easy conversation. I’d reduce volume just a little. Cocktails / mimosas were delicious. During a previous visit, I ordered a white wine and it was served in a champagne glass - felt a little cheated.
  6. TB

    TriceeeeeB

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Great food but the meal price point needs to match the experience.
  7. EW

    EvangelineW

    Birmingham

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 21, 2023

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food and service was excellent! My hubby and I did our usual date night and this was our first visit to this restaurant. They did not disappoint! Our server Meagan was superb! We definitely will be back! Evangeline and Henry
  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    7 reviews

    1.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 7, 2023

    overall1food1service1ambience2
    Reserved a table on Open Table app for 1:30pm. We arrived at 1:25. No one asked to seat us. After about 10-15 minutes someone came over and seated us. No one came over to take our order. We sat and sat. We then overheard a waitress tell another table that they stop (serving?) at 2 or 2:30. Well we still sat because we were not sure due to the app showing open reservations after our 1:30 reservation. We finally left after no one addressed us. Never again!
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 6, 2023

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    The meal and service was great.
  10. C

    Chelle

    Birmingham

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    SOCU was a great place to eat. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was nice and pleasant. We had the Oysters Rockefeller and deviled eggs for an appetizer and both were delicious. Our dinner was also great. The fried chicken was so moist and flavorful. I recommend this place for everyone who wants to enjoy delicious food, a great atmosphere at a great price,
  11. L

    Lilly

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on January 1, 2023

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Made a reservation, didn’t get seated for a while, one poor server for New Years Eve that couldn’t get to us, understandably, drenched in sweat. Seated RIGHT next to a DJ speaker that was so loud I couldn’t think. Prices were unthinkable for the atmosphere. We didn’t stay past water being served. I asked to be seated away from the speaker, i have sensory sensitivity issues, they were unable to accommodate. Personally, for somewhere that I needed a reservation for, they could not have let me down anymore.
  12. AJ

    AvariaJ

    Birmingham

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 31, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience4
    There was only 1 server for the entire brunch hours. Service was AWFUL. My lobster and Waffle was salty and the Waffle was cold.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Orlando

    3 reviews

    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 30, 2022

    overall1food1service5ambience3
    Waitress waited until she brought the food to the table to tell me they were out of snapper. My party ate their food and I had nothing.
  14. j

    jasminep

    E. Tennessee

    7 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience5
    A friend and I went for happy hour. It was very laid back and the drinks & appetizers were tasty. The service overall could use major improvement but our server personally was very attentive and knew the menu very well.
  15. MJ

    MzJones

    Birmingham

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 29, 2022

    overall2food1service5ambience3
    Wayyyy overpriced…Waitress was great but food was lacking terribly. Too salty, too much breading on soft crabs. Gumbo was a salty mess!!!
  16. H

    Hashim

    Chicago

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 27, 2022

    overall1food3service1ambience2
    TERRIBLE SERVICE. The service barely exists! And prices are very high. We were pleasantly surprised to find an available reservation for this restaurant on December 26. After we arrived and sat down, we waited 20+ minutes before anyone came to our table. There was only 1 server, who seemed to actually be the bartender. We ordered after she eventually came. After another 20+ minutes, we had not received the cocktail that I ordered. I went to the bar to inquire about it. It came out about 10 minutes later. Sometime during this time, a waitress arrived at the restaurant and seemed to begin working. She brought most of our food, except that I ordered chicken and waffles which was brought out without any waffles. (!!!) After that she sat down, looked on her phone, then went outside and did not come back. We eventually managed to pay our bill with the bartender/waitress and gladly left. With all the huge, obvious service problems, nothing was comped nor was even a small "sorry for the inconvenience" said. We were, however, charged for a drink we did not order. We paid it just so it wouldn't take more time & we could get out of there. We were the last people in the restaurant and we still had to wait quite a while to pay. No one said "thank you." The restaurant's prices are very high, for anywhere not just Birmingham. The food was good but as a business this place seems to be a disaster...
  17. A

    Ambie

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 23, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Loved the music and vibe. Our waitress Marie G. was very friendly and attentive. Will definitely be back!
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    vip
    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 23, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience3
    The waitress was very nice . The food lacked flavor and the sides were cold. Food was not worth the price and I will not return for the food but it’s possible I will grab a drink from their bar.
  19. JK

    JasmineK

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 22, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience3
    We had to wait a very long time for everything we ordered. Everything was super cold, sweet tea wasn’t sweet, and coke was completely flat. We ordered crawfish bread and it was literally ice cold. The restaurant is beautiful and food selections were great but overall I will give it 4/10.
  20. N

    Niki

    Atlanta

    3 reviews

    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 21, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    My mother decided to try this place for her birthday based on a recommendation from a friend. I’d heard the service was poor and to avoid it. Well, it’s fair to say they have horrible service because we were never served! We arrived and awaited to be greeted and seated at the time of reservation. The staff (one male, one female) completely ignored us as if we were not there. We attempted to get the female’s attention at first to no avail. The place was not crowded either….one table of two and two tables of 5-6 and one appears to be finished. I highly recommend that NO ONE waste their time or money! It’s staff like this that make it hard to support black owned businesses.
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Tallahassee

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 11, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Some of the worst food I’ve ever had. Took forever to get food. Food we ordered were missing. Take a second to smell the silverware… disgusting. Oysters were made of rubber. Stay away from this place. The deviled eggs were good but a 12 year old could make those.
  22. F

    Foodie87

    Birmingham

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 11, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience3
    Food and service were good but seemed quite overpriced.
  23. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 10, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    We arrived at 7:00, it took 20 minutes to get our drinks, our appetizer came out in 1 hour and 15 minutes. The waitress didn’t check on us to refill waters or ask if we wanted another drink except when she brought our appetizer and dinner. The dinner arrived 2 hours after we arrived. We will never go back!
  24. m

    mattm

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 9, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience2
    It took almost 40 minutes after order placed for appetizer to arrive, unfortunately it arrived at the same time as our meal. We had a dozen raw oysters, quality of oysters was good, but their shucking skills where sadly lacking as we had to cut each one out of the shell. Once order was placed was ignored by our waitress, ended up going back to the wait station to refill our drinks and another time to get more cocktail sauce. Had ordered a draft beer which was good but was never asked if I would like a second to go with our oysters. I ordered the pork chops with gravely, dirty rice and garlic green beans. The greens beans where amazing , unfortunately the dirty rice was more of a stuffing and with little to no actual rice and mostly a bread substance. Pork chops were ok, about on par with Waffle House though. Overly breaded and over cooked. The gravy was good but only had one small rammikin of it that made it for one of them. Could never get the waitress back to ask for more so ended up not eating the second as the gravy was the only redeeming factor
  25. LL

    LaLa

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on December 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    This spot was perfect for me and my three best friends to celebrate our 45th birthdays!! The food was delicious and our waitress Dina was such a delight from the time we walked in until we left!
  26. BH

    BHAM

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 20, 2022

    overall1food1service2ambience1
    Reserved a table for 4 around 6:15; Ended up having 5 and restaurant was unable to accommodate at that time. That was fine. Rebooked for 8:00 and arrived back with no table available or service for 20 mins, finally a kind bartender helped and seated us. Ended up waiting 2 hours to not even get our appetizers or meals. Was recommended to leave after telling us that our food would “slowly but surely come” to “not even started.” Manager did not once come and talk to us. My party understands short staffing but don’t wait until 2 hours to let us know our food wasn’t coming. Few staff members were kind but establishment needs some MAJOR help if they want to keep business because they were disorganized and chaotic. At the end of the day they still got our money from drinks. Kudos to SOCU Bham. Better off with the one location in Mobile.
  27. TT

    TamTerrell

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    The food was absolutely delicious. I had the Ocean 11 (I think that the name) it was great even when I finished it the next day. We will definitely be back.
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Absolutely terrible. Waited 1.5 hours for food and it never came. Had multiple people walk out without receiving food before we decided to leave. The oyster we did get served were room temp. Ordered two drinks and neither tasted the same.
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall1food2service2ambience1
    Overpriced. Communal cafeteria feel dining in a hall connected to food court. Reservation at 6p. Left at 7:45 because we had to make an 8:00 show. Never got our dinner. Paid for 2 apps and 2 drinks each party of 4, $179. Never got our entrees, sketchy service at best.
  30. R

    Reggiek

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience4
    I was really surprised at how bad it was on November 18 2022. 1hr 45min wait on food that was not hot nor accurate. Tried to make up for the inconvenience with a dessert. Won't be returning to this establishment. Waitress was nice but everything else was below standard.
  31. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall1food2service2ambience2
    I was looking forward to bringing my family. We were solely disappointed. My fish and grits were subpar. The fish was on top of a bowl. Underneath, the grits were unseasoned, chunky and without gravy. My husband was frustrated that his food was not substantial. My daughter’s chicken and waffles were good. My son’s Shrimp platter was not substantial. We found it all overpriced. There was a party with loud folks and music that was not the radio edit version and we had our kids. We won’t be back. The waitresses seemed tired and draggy. We considered leaving before the food arrived; especially since we had to wait over an hour before eating.
  32. TS

    TamaraS

    Birmingham

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Server was super nice and efficient! The lamb chops and caramel cheesecake were impeccable! We had an awesome date night!
  33. JR

    JamesR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were in town celebrating my birthday and we visited Socu! Our server Tina was wonderful and the food was amazing! I would highly recommend SOCU to everyone!
  34. DR

    DorothyR

    Birmingham

    32 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    32 reviews

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience3
    Our reservations were for 7 pm and we were on time. They did not immediately seat us. They appeared confused or disorganized. They sat us in a booth which was preferred. Then a woman came to our table and asked if we had reservations! That was odd. It took 15 minutes before a server came to our table. We ordered drinks, appetizer & entrees at 7:15. Our drinks arrived at 7:35 - a 20 minute wait and we didn't even like them. The deviled eggs with lobster were good but needed a little more flavor. The 1/2 dozen grilled oysters arrived with our entrees at 8 pm (a full hour after we were seated) & there were 5 oysters, not 6! They were good though but not outstanding. My entree was catfish & grits. I did enjoy it and it was plentiful. My husband got the fried shrimp & catfish platter with a side of vegetable medley & yams. He said his shrimp was hard & over cooked, his vegetables & yams were cold. They must have been short on staff as the food took forever. Our server poured water, took orders, delivered the food & drinks, took care of the check & cleared the table. This took away from being more attentive to the tables she was serving. We will not be back!
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    3 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 9, 2022

    overall2food1service2ambience2
    Their fish and shrimp was absolutely terrible 😞 !!! I
  36. KB

    KBT3

    Birmingham

    17 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Cannot say enough about the friendly service and the food: chargrilled oysters, oysters Rockefeller and SOCU’s oyster specialty with crab, shrimp and crawfish!!! Wow!!!
  37. T

    Tiny

    Charleston

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great staff wonderful menu will be back again
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience2
    Average food. Poor service and poor management.
  39. LS

    LarryS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Too much noise to talk comfortably with my guests at the table.
  40. RD

    ReginaD

    Atlanta

    25 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    25 reviews

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great food and great service! Our server, Dina, was so sweet and helpful! I think she may have been our best server ever! The presentation of the sides - collards and seafood dressing - was SOOOO CUTE in the mini cast iron skillets. And the food was delicious. Wonderful dinner!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
  • Physical distancing

    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff temperature check required

FAQs

SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar - Birmingham offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (205) 961-4458.

SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar - Birmingham is rated 3.3 stars by 178 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 20 times today
Google Map for SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar - Birmingham

1821 2nd Ave North, #176, Birmingham, AL 35203

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street

    18th and 2nd Ave North

  • Neighborhood

    Birmingham

  • Hours of operation

    Brunch Sat 11:00 am–3:00 pm Sun 11:00 am–4:00 pm Dinner Mon, Wed–Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Southern, Seafood, Comfort Food

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Owned/operated by

    Black/African American, LGBTQ+, Women

  • Executive chef

    Erica Barrett

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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