$ = price point of restaurants   

By: Evy Gallagher  


Living in the south with certain dietary needs or health goals can be difficult. Tuscaloosa, located in the heart of the deep south, has its fair share of comfort food. It, however, also has many great options for those with food allergies and health nuts. According to Hudson Allergy, restaurants across the globe have acknowledged the importance of food allergies and preferences as more and more people live with food allergies. If you’re in search of the perfect list of food-conscious restaurants and cafes, look no further.  



Sage Juice Bar and Speakeasy $– This juice bar, lunch spot, cocktail bar crossover seems to be a hot spot taken out of Los Angeles and placed right off of Greensboro Ave. This little café’s mantra, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” sums up what they are all about: fresh, whole foods that fuel your body and support your immune system. Ranging from the Cold Kicker juices in the morning, The Harvest power bowl for lunch and ‘healthy happy hour’ featuring their top-shelf margarita, Sage Juice Bar and Speakeasy is a health nut’s dream. GF, VG, V options  


Another Broken Egg Café $$ Another Broken Egg Cafe is the perfect place for those who feel like they are missing that classic southern breakfast, but have a tough time finding something they can eat. Sitting right on the Black Warrior River, Another Broken Egg has separate gluten-free and vegetarian menus, along with a nutrition guide that holds allergen information for each menu item. GF, VG options 


Juice Bar $$ – Juice Bar is a chain café that runs all along the southeastern part of the country. Specializing in smoothies, juices and bowls, Juice Bar uses real, whole ingredients to create its delicious and nourishing menu. Located in the Shoppes at Legacy Park, Juice Bar is a perfect place to grab a quick bite for breakfast or a midday pick me up. GF, VG, V options  



Taco Mama $ – Taco Mama is a Tuscaloosa fan favorite. A place where locals never fail to create a line out the door on weekends. While this restaurant might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a balanced meal, Taco Mama happens to have some great options on its menu. The restaurant’s intention of fresh, quality ingredients allows customers to build their own meal or add any of their fresh toppings to their meal for free. Customers can usually get a filling meal and a side of chips for an average of nine dollars. GF, VG, V options  


Zoë’s Kitchen $$ – The Mediterranean diet is filled with colorful vegetables and lean protein, all of which you can find at Zoë’s Kitchen. Bowls, salads and plates are all affordable options that can double as a dinner for students. One of the best things about Zoë’s is the ability to tailor almost any menu item to fit certain dietary needs. GF, VG, V options  


Manna Grocery and Deli $$ – A hidden gem found right next to Plato’s Closet, Manna Grocery and Deli is Tuscaloosa’s very own version of Whole Foods. While mainly a grocer, Manna has a deli and café located inside their store. The shop serves sandwiches on Dave’s Killer Bread– from Tuscaloosa’s very own Dave’s Killer Bread factory– burgers on sprouted whole wheat buns and many more items. Manna is the place to go for those who need a great sandwich, just maybe on some gluten-free bread. GF, VG, V options  



Ajian $ – Ajian is known for its build-your-own sushi rolls and its fast-casual dining experience. The restaurant offers the choice to order off their sushi menu or create your own roll. Their goal is to use fresh ingredients to create a healthy alternative and achieve an experience of beauty. Ajian is a perfect spot to grab dinner for students, as the restaurant takes dining dollars all year long. GF, VG, V options  


Central Mesa $$ – Right in downtown Tuscaloosa, Central Mesa is bustling almost every night of the week. This classy Mexican cuisine experience makes it possible for anyone with allergies or dietary restrictions to dine at the restaurant. From the street corn to the gulf shrimp, the menu is packed with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan items. GF, VG, V options  


Half Shell Oyster House $$$– This renowned oyster house in downtown Tuscaloosa is a bit on the pricey side for college students but well worth it. Their oysters come straight from Biloxi, Mississippi’s oyster industry, just off of Deer Island.  Half Shell is known for their seafood, although they offer a selection of pasta, sandwiches and salads as well. The restaurant even has its very own gluten-free menu. GF, VG, V options