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

SOCU Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar - Birmingham

3.9
3.9
82 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 16 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Southern, Seafood, Comfort Food

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon, Wed–Sat 11:00 am–2:00 pm Brunch 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 82 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

3.9
3.9 based on recent ratings
  • 4.1Food
  • 4Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 3.6Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Alabama

    Hot Spot

  • Alabama

    Vibrant Bar Scene

  • Birmingham

    Great for Lunch

  • Birmingham

    Vibrant Bar Scene

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Filters

  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Went on a Monday night to celebrate #42 with my husband. Alexis was such a great bartender, and then once we were sat, Jenna was a fantastic server. This restaurant was amazing- we got socu oysters and chargrilled oysters- both were amazing. You MUST get the seafood dressing- it’s small but the BEST thing I’ve ever tasted. Go AS SOON AS YOU CAN
  2. DW

    DWedd

    Birmingham

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    First time visiting this establishment. It did not disappoint. Great food, good vibes and great service!
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Super friendly staff…food and drinks were AMAZING
  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We went for Our Birthday. The food and service was great.
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall1food5service3ambience1
    Had to leave food took to long I waited an hour for appetizer I do think anyone before me got food until and hour and a half
  6. b

    bevrockin

    Birmingham

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4
    We came out to SOCU for their Birmingham Restaurant Week offerings. It was a great deal, and it even included a drink from the bar. Both drinks were fantastic, as were the lobster deviled eggs and the oxtail entree. However the fried chicken was fried in bad oil and had to be sent back. We waited a very long time for the chicken, and we also had to wait a long time to even get the entrees. I would recommend going on a week night because it's a busy spot.
  7. SJ

    SamuelJ

    Birmingham

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    My wife and I enjoyed dinner last night. The food was great and our server Ty, was very helpful with selecting items from the menu. We will be back!!
  8. PJ

    PinkieJ

    Birmingham

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurant. The ox tails, fried lobster deviled eggs, yams, collards, and Pink Lady cocktail was 10/10! I definitely recommend this spot.
  9. DH

    DenaH

    Birmingham

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience2
    The evening that I dined was a Friday and the restaurant was very busy. I figured that it would take a little longer to be served because of this, however I never expected that I would wait 2 hours and end up leaving before I was ever served my entree. We had a 6:45 reservation, were seated promptly and the waitress arrived and gave us water and took our drink orders. She came back with our drinks rather quickly and then took orders for appetizers. She left and a little later someone brought out our appetizers. I will say that both the drinks and appetizers were delicious. Quite a bit of time passed and she finally came back to take our entree orders. I remember her saying “oh I thought I had already taken your entree order”. Approximately 35 minutes later, another person came to our table asking if we needed anything and specifically said, I just checked and I see that it’s been 35 minutes but your order should be out shortly. My friend and I looked at each other after she left and commented, 35 minutes!! More time passed and a different waitress came to tell us that one of the items we ordered was now sold out and gave options for substitution and offered us a complimentary appetizer which we declined thinking our food would arrive momentarily. And at that point it was 8:20 and we realized that we had been there almost 2 hours which I commented to the waitress and she acted like that was normal. My friend and I then decided to cancel our order and leave since it seemed like we would never get our food anyway. Finally we saw our original waitress and told her to cancel our order. She looked perturbed and after about 10 minutes or more, she came back with our checks. What bothers me is that no one offered apologies or anything. No one offered to make our experience right! We paid our check and left, super disappointed because the restaurant came highly recommended and we had driven over 30 minutes there for dinner only to leave hungry and appalled.
  10. AB

    AshnBham

    Birmingham

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience2
    This was the worst dining experience I’ve had in Birmingham. We had a reservation and our food had still not arrived to our table 2 1/2 hours after the reservation time. We left without eating and our bill was still over $100 for drinks and appetizer that did arrive. Very frustrating.
  11. d

    drdray2007

    Birmingham

    9 reviews

    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on July 29, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    First time at SOCU. Food was great! Drinks were great! Slightly higher prices than I expected but portion size and quality was very good.
  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    4 reviews

    2.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 28, 2022

    overall2food3service4ambience2
    Terribly understaffed. We were seated timely; however, we were told upon sitting that tge kitchen was behind and the current wait for food preparation was 45 mins. 2 hours later our food was served. Several items were no longer available that were a part of the special Restaurant Week promotion; the lobster deviled eggs, the peach cobbler. The charbroiled oysters were overcooked and dry. Our server went over and above, she even went to the kitchen and prepared the salad herself. The ribeye steak is horrible overpriced for the cut and size. The pork chop was delicious, well cooked and moist. It was the highlight of the meal. The praline cheesecake was frozen. The place needs better overall management.
  13. RB

    RoseB

    Birmingham

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and wonderful experience. I will definitely return.
  14. RC

    RyanC

    Northern Territory

    5 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    They were a little short staffed because of the pandemic but once we weee seated our server Kai was amazing and attentive! The food was Incredible and worth the wait !
  15. RD

    RodD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very nice waitress and food was awesome. The music was wonderful. I will recommend this spot to everyone.
  16. MG

    MichelleG

    Birmingham

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Perfect spot for a delicious dinner with good vibes.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely amazing! The food, the ambiance and the service was great! The DJ selection of music was the perfect touch me and my girls had a blast!
  18. y

    yonce

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall2food2service5ambience2
    waited 3 hours after we sat & they werent that crowded.. food was okay but if i pay 50 for a meal i expect better food/ seating arrangements. mac n cheese 13 dollars and was greasy af. overall 2/5. GO TO PERRYS if you are going to spend this type of money the food and environment is 10 x better!
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience5
    The food was amazing! Everyone was very kind and the service was
  20. SS

    SamanthaS

    Savannah

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were so impressed with the food! The Shrimp and grits were fabulous and my Husbands Fried Chicken was so tasty and the portions were very large! The oysters did not disappoint, We wish we ordered an extra dozen! The service was fantastic, if you are in the Birmingham area, I highly recommend dining at SOCU!
  21. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 10, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    I loved the environment, the food was tasty however the small plates seemed overpriced
  22. A

    Andricka

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    First time there was Sunday. I LOVED everything. The food was hot and the wait wasn’t long. Our waiter was everything. It’s such a vibe, definitely going back for dinner or lunch.
  23. CH

    CaraH

    Birmingham

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great customer service & the food was amazing. I will definitely return.
  24. J

    Jess

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 7, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was absolutely amazing! The cocktails were superb! The food was plentiful & I was so full I had to request a to go box! Highly recommended!
  25. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Minneapolis

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 7, 2022

    overall2food2service4ambience4
    Overpriced, not good oysters. Drinks were expensive and not good.
  26. D

    Daerimin

    Birmingham

    26 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on July 3, 2022

    overall3food5service3ambience3
    Good food, but less-than-stellar service, and wildly overpriced. Shrimp and grits for almost $40? That’s not reasonable. Our visit was ok, but we won’t be returning.
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Charleston

    2 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 2, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience1
    Don’t go here. We ignored the poor service reviews of late and chalked it up to COVID and understand a lot of places are short staffed-this wasn’t the case. We were excited about going here, the menu and the location looked good. The experience is characterized be poor execution and lack of attention to detail/generally at this price point. My husband and I are very comfortable spending a couple hundred dollars on date night-we left after appetizers after spending 90$. 1. We ordered the lobster deviled eggs. They are priced at $28, so we are expecting these to be bomb. The eggs were over cooked and peeling at the whites. The yolks were largely unblended and chunky. The lobster was indistinguishable in terms of taste and the Luke warm fish could be any white fish meat. The honey at the bottom of the dish felt unintentional almost and didn’t amplify the bite. 2. We got the charbroiled oysters. They were fine and reasonably priced. BUT!!! oysters were what brought us in. Most places at the higher price point have a list of oysters with descriptions and where they are from. We asked what raw oysters they had (not on the menu) and our waiter said we could get them but she doesn’t know what they are and if it’s good. WHY have oysters all over the wall paper with their location, descriptions, and all that if they aren’t going to be featured in any way when ordering. Maybe this is a picky criticism but SOCU advertises themselves in this way and set the expectation with their branding inside the venue that that will be case. 3. I ordered a $16 smoke bourbon drink, it was okay. It came about 10 min after I ordered. My husbands drink came 35 min after, it was putrid.. tasted like watery lemon and eggs whites 4. The restaurant was about 1/4 full. 2 bartenders/all servers joking around at the bar. Probably contributed to the poor, inattentive service. Fast food cups all at the pay station. Our waiter asked us to leave a review after we asked for our check early :’(
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Birmingham

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 2, 2022

    overall2food2service5ambience3
    This was my second time visiting. The service and the drinks were great. My food wasn’t. The salmon on the dish was good but the mashed potatoes were awful. They had a taste of sour cream and buttermilk. They didn’t taste like potatoes.
  29. PP

    PeteP

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 26, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience2
    Dining experience was ok, but the fact that it took over and hour just to receive our meals was absolutely terrible. We only had a party of two. So I will not return for this reason.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Phoenix

    24 reviews

    2.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on June 25, 2022

    overall2food3service1ambience3
    From the description, this looked like a great place to go. Very disappointed with the wait for food. Waited over 45 minutes for starters and over an hour for entrees. The wait was so long we left without getting our entrees. It would have taken at least another 30-45 minutes for our entrees. The staff was very nice and accommodating. Unfortunately we never had the opportunity to eat dinner.
  31. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 22, 2022

    overall1food1service2ambience2
    We went there for our anniversary assuming that it would be good experience; suffice to say that we were disappointed. The server in the oyster bar didn’t know what oysters they serve. The raw oysters were horrible and super large. They didn’t have the entre we chose Cz they were out of the sauce at 6 pm! They didn’t have the cocktail my partner chose Cz they didn’t have basil. Then when we got the other cocktails we chose they were horrible. The place was so loud Cz the roof is open to the food hall. The place is super pricy for what it is and the servers need a ton of training. All in all really bad experience
  32. LR

    LexR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Oysters Rockefeller…GET THEM! Food & drinks were amazing! I definitely recommend!
  33. M

    Marvin

    Birmingham

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Can’t order from the regular menu at brunch. Limited brunch menu.
  34. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Northern Territory

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Father’s Day
  35. JB

    JessiecaB

    Exclusive

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    From the time I walked in, to the time I walked out was amazing. The oxtails were a 10/10
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Atlanta

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 8, 2022

    overall2food5service1ambience4
    Waitress fired in the middle of our meal. She was high.
  37. a

    anitac

    Birmingham

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall1food1service4ambience1
    The food was horrible, it was cafeteria food at best. The sauce on the Cajun Lobster Pasta was canned and spiced up with Paprika, they were out of lobster so it was a 38 dollar plate of shrimp pasta, I have literally had a better pasta off a food truck, the collard greens had a bottle of garlic powder on it and still were bland, the fish and grits basic, drinks over priced watered down served in a water glass. For a fine dining experience the service is O’charley’s but our server was very nice, the floor is beat up and ugly, over all the experience was disappointing and the food was trash. Absolutely nothing about this location would qualify as upscale and should not be marketed as such. We paid 128 dollars for a 30 dollar meal.
  38. LD

    LouiseD

    Birmingham

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience4
    My daughter (8 years old) and I was excited about our mother daughter date night but did not know we would have to wait for hours just to get our meal that went to another table. So sad. I’ve had the food before at the Mobile location and it was awesome but the Birmingham location is terrible the bar and kitchen service needs help. Everything was slow. They ask us to wait so they can prepare us a replacement meal and I was like are you serious to expect us to wait another hour or so. We arrive at 7:15 pm and left at 9:00 pm. I will never return!!!!!
  39. DG

    DavidG

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall3food5service1ambience4
    The food was great but the service was extremely SLOOW but the restaurant was only half full. Maybe just an off night
  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Pittsburgh

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service was excellent as well as the food. It did take a while to get the food, but it was worth the wait.

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 3.9 stars by 82 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 16 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

    Lunch Mon, Wed–Sat 11:00 am–2:00 pm Brunch 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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