Niki’s West, Ocean, Miss Myra’s BBQ Achieve Over 95 Food Service Scores This Spring

Far & Wide named the BBQ Chicken Sandwich with White Sauce from Miss Myra’s Bar-BQ as “Top Pick”. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Several Birmingham-area restaurants, including Niki’s West on Finley Avenue, Ocean in Five Points South and Miss Myra’s Pit BBQ in Cahaba Heights received 95 and above on their food service ratings this spring.

Since 2018, Bham Now has reported restaurant food service scores from the Jefferson County Health Department. Each month, more than 100 local establishments that handle and serve food are inspected by the Department of Health, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Schools
  • Retirement homes,
  • Daycare centers
  • Hospitals
  • grocery stores
  • Concession stands.

Food service inspection scores are updated regularly on the Jefferson County Health Department website.

The database is easy to access and dates back several years. We estimate that about 20% of restaurant inspections score 95 or higher, while most local school cafeterias, for example, tend to score 95 or higher.

Featured restaurants

Mr. Chen's Homewood
Mr. Chen’s authentic Chinese restaurant. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Who made the local restaurant honor roll in April and May? Here are some notable local establishments:

Niki’s West – 95

west of niki
Comfort food at its best. (Niki’s West/Facebook)

A Birmingham institution, Niki’s West was founded in 1957 by the Hontzas family. One meat and three located near the Alabama Farmers Market—fresh vegetables are guaranteed. If you have a visitor in town, Niki’s is one of those must-visit places.

Ocean Restaurant – 96

Birmingham, Ocean Restaurant, Valentine's Day
Grouper starter with minced root vegetables, shrimp fritter with bacon and manchego cream. (Ocean/Facebook)

Ocean, on Five Points South, turns 20 this year. Winner of numerous accolades, including Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence and AAA Four Diamond Award for the past thirteen years, Ocean is a Magic City foodie destination.

Also – do you like oysters? Check out our Bham Now 2021 story about recycling Alabama Coastal Foundation oyster shells and efforts to expand the program to restaurants like Ocean.

Miss Myra’s BBQ Pit – 95

Miss Myra's BBQ Chicken
Far & Wide named the BBQ Chicken Sandwich with White Sauce from Miss Myra’s Bar-BQ as “Top Pick”. (Pat Byington / Bham Now)

Want to know where the best BBQ chicken sandwich in Alabama is? According to digital publication Far and Wide, it’s at Miss Myra’s. Incidentally, Miss Myra also introduced Alabama White Sauce to the Magic City in 1984.

Additional scores of 95 and above:

bham now
Freddy’s Wine Bar. (Jacob Blankenship / Bham Now)

Learn more

Birmingham, Jefferson County Health Department
Jefferson County Health Department. (Pat Byington/Bham Now)

Visit the Jefferson County Health Department Food Service website for the latest scores. Food service inspections help keep us all safe. Bookmark the page and stay tuned to our 95+ monthly stories.

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