From the I-65 exit to the Highway 31 intersection, driving down Lorna Road feels like entering the promised land for foodies. A hungry stomach transforms from an unpleasant rumbling to an empty pallet ready to be filled with amazing flavors. New clusters of remarkable restaurants greet the eye every hundred or so yards, seeming to wave with anticipation at having the pleasure of fulfilling your every food desire. The beauty of Lorna Road, much like Green Springs, is the amount of diverse options that represent different countries and cultures that take our stomachs on a trip around the world within a few miles stretch. Here are some of our favorite food destinations on this busy street.
Pa’que Ronald Food Truck
One of the first sights to greet those making the trek from the 65 exit is the Pa’Que Ronald Food Truck, which is located in the O’Reilly Auto Parts parking lot between Lorna and Montgomery Highway. One of the very few places in Birmingham that provides genuine Venezuelan food, Pa’Que Ronald is operated by some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Arepon, empanadas, hamburguesas, tequeños, and more all compete to show Birminghamians the importance of supporting this delicious food truck treasure.
Los Primos Taqueria
Just a short drive down from Pa’que Ronald lies Los Primos Taqueria. Located in an unassuming shopping center, this restaurant can be easy to miss but provides some of the most flavor-packed meals in large quantities that you will find around Birmingham. Amongst their most popular dishes is the alambre plate, which contains mushrooms, pineapple, melted cheese, and your choice of steak, chicken, shrimp, or a medley of all the above. The parrillada para dos dish is a massive masterpiece meant for two, so feel free to take a date or a bestie along. A wide variety of hamburgers, traditional Mexican dishes, and seafood options round out the menu, with their delicious menudo soup being offered daily.
Blue Pacific at Hoover Food Mart
The Hoover Food Mart sign may look like any other gas station to the innocent eye, but Magic City foodies know that some of the city’s finest flavors are on the other side of those doors. Blue Pacific provides authentic Thai food at a great price, with pad thai, spicy basil, and namtok being amongst the most popular dishes. The inside of the store features a cozy setting for munching, complete with a small convenience store vibe. While the restaurant is currently take-out only due to the pandemic, the astounding tastes alone warrant a visit to this Lorna fixture.
La Sabrosita Ice Cream Shop
If you are looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, there is no better place than La Sabrosita in River Oaks Village. Delicious ice cream flavors that can’t be found anywhere else include tres leches cake ice cream - which this writer recommends to anyone and everyone who will listen. I’ve missed out on key information in important conversations due to daydreaming about this wonder that only La Sabrosita can provide - but it’s far from the only scrumptious sweet they serve. Mangonadas, bubble teas, dorilocos, rolled ice cream tres marias, spicy desserts, banana splits, and more guarantee you’ll leave satisfied.
Jake’s Soul Food Cafe
While Lorna Road technically changes its name after crossing Highway 31, Jake’s Soul Food Cafe right on the other side of the road must be mentioned on this favorites list. Catfish bites, stewed oxtails, coco bread in pina colada sauce, jerk wings, cajun shrimp, and more are provided in a to-go setting for the residents of the greater Birmingham metro to enjoy. The wonderful staff matches the greatness that is the food, making for one memorable experience.
Take a drive
If these five options made your stomach speak up for attention, we’d recommend taking a cruise yourself to see the many options that make Lorna Road a food hub. We need to cherish and support the entrepreneurs that work tirelessly each day to provide this variety of meals that wouldn’t exist in the city without them. Keep supporting local and stay full, Birmingham!