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“Incredible variety -- a flavor-filled feast”

Niki's West Steak & Seafood
Ranked #27 of 954 Restaurants in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
Restaurant details
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Incredible variety -- a flavor-filled feast”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

We've been lunchtime fans of Niki's West for 25 years, and it still has the secret to Southern cooking wrapped up. Easily one of the two or three best meat-and-veggies you'll find across the South. Dozens of fresh salads, delightful vegetables and half a dozen meat and seafood entrees on a sumptuous steam line. Very quick service, a line that moves rapidly, and comfortable dining rooms. The price has risen significantly in recent years, and is about as high as the traffic will bear, but the crowds still come by the hundreds for a lunch that's hard to beat. Bring an appetite and enjoy. (They serve dinner, too, when they offer an upscale sit-down menu service with excellently prepared beef and seafood entrees.)

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Ollittap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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244 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Hoover, AL
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“So Many Choices…and They’re All Delicious!”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

Niki’s West Steak & Seafood Restaurant is located right across the street from The Finley Avenue Farmer’s Market, the main source of just-trucked in vegetables in Birmingham. So, is it any wonder that those fine, fresh vegetables make a short hop to Niki’s West, and within a few hours you can find them again on array at the most active and complete steam table I’ve ever seen? One of the most intense dining decisions I ever make is trying to think which moth-watering veggies at Niki’s I will NOT choose on my “meat and three” plate. You will notice the portions are much heftier than in most other restaurants, so a “meat and two” equates with a three veggies plate elsewhere. (Word of caution: the steam servers, although very polite, are quite insistent that you make you choice quickly and step to the left. Niki’s West prides itself in moving a sometimes extremely long cafeteria line through the hot line in an amazingly short time…and they do it with almost a military-style precision.)

Entrees change daily, but you can always find more than a half-dozen choices of fine meats and seafood. I like to swap them out, because I have yet to find one item that didn’t rate positively on my palate’s acceptability scale. I particularly enjoy the veal cutlet with tomato sauce, fried snapper, hamburger steak with onion and grilled Greek chicken. You will also find an enticing section of salads and desserts to round out your meal. As far as value for the money, you would be hard-pressed to find the variety of fresh, Southern-prepared vegetables anywhere, at any price that are awaiting you at Niki’s West. A meat and two (or three) plate for under ten bucks is a bargain indeed.

Besides the cafeteria-style ordering approach, a full-menu table service is available for those who want to forego all those tempting veggies on the hot line, although personally I think that features is the real draw to make that quick drive to the western side of Birmingham. So, if you’re a meat and potatoes diner, a seafood lover, or want to experience the largest and freshest selection of vegetables in the Southeast, set your GPS and head on out to Niki’s West, a long-time local family dining favorite. I can almost guarantee your first visit will certainly not

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jorcsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great Hot Line!”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

Niki's is an experience! I try to mentally prepare for the craziness of the hot line but I love it everytime. This last time I forgot my beloved corn but that's ok. I have tried just about every vegetable they serve. The only thing I haven't cared for is their green beans but I'm very picky about mine. Love their fried green tomatoes, okra, peas, corn, and of course those amazing yeast rolls! Try to eat here several times a year!

The line is crazy and the dining room is loud but it is all about the experience. I don't go to Niki's for a business meeting. I go for their delicous vegetables!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank LuckySevenTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“It is ok . . . But not really up to the reputation”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

It is greasy buffet food in a very LOUD dining room. I will eat there again but nothing special. After everything I had heard about it I was expecting it to be clean and newer looking. Friendly staff and ok food but kinda like a crowed hospital cafateria.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Brenda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Southern cooking at its best!”
Reviewed October 29, 2012

I have been eating at Niki's since I was a child. They have more choices than any other steam table I have ever seen. There is something for everyone (even a side salad and fresh fruit -at the end of the line). The best thing about Niki's is that they don't do frozen. My dad tells a story of not seeing Snapper on the line for awhile. So, he asked the owner if he had taken it off the menu. He was told that they learned that the Snapper they were being sold had been frozen so they had taken it off the menu until they could find a supplier who would deliver it fresh. That speaks volumes. Niki's is always on the top of my list of places to eat when I visit Birmingham.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SouthernGirlFromAla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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