May 19, 2024


General Line

Automatic Seafood, COOK OUT, Luna received 95 and above food service scores in Jan.

Luna Latin Cuisine Birmingham
Luna Latin Cuisine in Avondale. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Several Birmingham area restaurants including Automatic Seafood and Oysters in Lakeview, the newly opened COOK OUT and Avondale’s Luna Latin Cuisine received 95 and above on their health inspection scores in January 2021.

As a public service, since 2018, Bham Now has reported monthly Jefferson County Department of Health restaurant scores. In January, over 100 local establishments that handle and serve food were inspected by the health department. These places include: restaurants, schools, nursing homes, daycare centers, hospitals, grocery stores and concession stands.

In this story we feature local restaurants that scored 95 and above.

Where Did We Get the Scores?

Birmingham, Jefferson County Department of Health
Jefferson County Department of Health. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Food service inspection scores are updated regularly on the Jefferson County Department of Health website. The database is easy to access and it goes back several years.We estimate approximately 10-15% of the restaurant inspections score 95 or above, while most local school cafeterias, for example tend to score 95 or above. 

Who made the local restaurant honor roll this month? Here are some notable local establishments: 

Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Talk about making a splash! Get it? Automatic Seafood and Oysters was named a James Beard Finalist for best new restaurant in 2020. That’s like being named an Oscar nominee for best actor/actress for your first movie role. As you can see, not only is their food and service fantastic, so is their health inspection score.

COOK OUT on 24th Street – 100

Cook Out Birmingham
New Cook Out restaurant at 2411 3rd Avenue South in Birmingham. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Birmingham’s 2nd COOK OUT franchise opened in January 2021 on 24th Street South. The burger and shake joint is a favorite of Mayor Randall Woodfin who famously asked the North Carolina based company to consider locating here in the Magic City in a tweet. They did.  And now 2 1/2 years later we’ve got two COOK OUTs.  Let’s raise a glass of Cheerwine!

Luna Latin Cuisine – 97

An arepa burger served with fries
Luna Latin also serves arepa burgers! Photo via Luna Latin Facebook

Looking for Venezulean cuisine? Check out Luna Latin Cuisine in the Avondale neighborhood across from Avondale Brewery. It’s latin comfort food at its best. Have a meal and a cocktail in an old firehouse. 

Additional 95 and above scores:

Image may include: mediterranean salad with salmon
photo via

Jubilee Joe’s Cajun Seafood – 96

Baha Burger in Hoover- 96

Tazikis on Overton – 97

Ore Mercantile – 97

Santos in downtown Bham – 95

Bama Hot Dogs – 97

Ore Mercantile – 97

Right to Know

Visit Jefferson County Department of Health’s Food Service website for the latest scores. These food service inspections are invaluable and help keep us all safe. It is our right to know.

  • Pat Byington

    Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama’s Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama’s cancer risk and mercury standards.