• Charlsie Pecoraro

What should I do when I visit Mobile, Alabama? 10 places to eat, shop & tour when you visit!


Mobile has some hidden gems that folks visiting "Mobtown" should seek out! Here is a eclectic list of suggestions for you to enjoy!


#1 Cooper Riverside Park is nestled between the Mobile Convention Center and GulfQuest Maritime Museum on Water Street. It features a "front row" view of the Mobile River and some delightful statues including this one of D'Iberville.

Last Friday I was on a photo shoot with David Carpenter, owner of Upspyre. He is an "unofficial" ambassador for our area. It was his idea to venture to this little treasure and I am grateful he shared this location with me. There are plenty of comfortable benches to rest upon and a smooth path to stroll along the water. Adults and children will enjoy seeing the ships being built at Austal USA , the seagulls perched on the rails looking for food, and the green space to let off some steam. There is parking next to the convention center.

#2 The Hickory Pit in Semmes, is a short drive from downtown Mobile and oh, so worth it! Check out this club sandwich made on homemade sourdough bread from The Breadman Bakery. Insider tip: pick up a loaf to take home while you are at the restaurant! The "Pit" is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Portions are generous and they have something on the menu for everyone, including picky eaters! This is one of the places that locals love because of the southern comfort food served daily! The "Pit" has also been a favorite of celebrities passing through the Semmes area... so you never know who you might meet there. Outdoor dining is available now that the temperatures are dropping!

#3 Dauphin Island is definitely a spot you'll want to visit! There are several public beaches for you to enjoy. On the east end of the island you'll find historic Fort Gaines filled with memorabilia from this 150 year old fortress. I have fond memories of playing with my best friend on the grounds when I was a child.

The island is simple to navigate and has wonderful trails to walk, jog or bike. I suggest exploring via bikes since you can ride safely all over the island.

Fishing, boating and shelling are some of the fun things available to visitors. Your kids will enjoy finding hermit crabs in their natural environment on the West end of the island.

Be sure to walk through the lush grounds of the Indian Shell Mound Park while you are there. Beach homes, camp sites and condos available for rent if you decide you want to spend more time chilling out. It is a wonderful place to relax and unwind.

#4 7 Spice Grocery & Grill located on Airport Boulevard is an interesting dining and shopping experience. Honestly, it took me several years before I ventured past the Hookah's and Mediterranean spices to the spacious dining room in the back of the store. I am so glad that I listened to friends who encouraged me to "just try it". Folks, I dream of their lentil soup and Turkish coffee.

I've introduced Mobile natives and newcomers to this local spot. Everyone loves the food, the atmosphere and the friendly service. For families, there is a wonderful kids menu including some of the best French fries you'll ever eat! This is a great way to expose your family to a flavorful culture.

Insider tip: You will find spices at fantastic prices in the grocery!


#5 Play Cafe Mobile was created by Sydney Loper as a place for your "littles" 5 and under to play in a stimulating, safe space. She hasn't forgotten about parents and grandparents. Adults can relax with coffee and snacks in the "cafe" area while watching the children.

Children have so many options for indoor imaginative play including a dress up station and an ice cream cart! Be sure to follow her on social media by clicking here. She posts upcoming events and play times for your convenience. She just wrapped up a successful Halloween season and is focusing on making Thanksgiving extra special for children in the area! If you are traveling with small children, you'll want to secure a play time while you are in town!


#6 Domke Market Wine Bar & Gourmet Shop is a "don't miss" while you are in Mobile! Owner Brooke Goff is ready to help you find the perfect wines for your visit. Her welcoming space encourages folks to take it easy with a glass of vino while visiting with friends. She offers wonderful charcuterie boards and more for you to munch on.

An added bonus is that you can do some holiday shopping while you are there. Brooke excels at finding unique local offerings for her customers. She can even put together a beautiful basket of goodies for you to take home! She is located in West Mobile at 720 Schillinger Road., Suite 8


#7 The Mobile Museum of Art is surrounded by a lovely park filled with outdoor sculptures like this one. The cooler fall temperatures invite people to languish outdoors under the trees. This beautiful setting is family friendly.

I encourage you to take some time and stroll through this museum and soak in some Vitamin D while enjoying the paved pathways serpentining through the grounds.

Many families pack a picnic lunch, grab the kids and their doggie and spend the afternoon here. Sometimes you'll find local musicians filling the air with their tunes. It is a wonderful place to walk, relax and catch up with your family.

Insider tip: The Charles Wood Japanese Garden filled with Koi fish is just a short walk or drive.


#8 Kyle's Kitchen Food Truck is one of the best in the biz! Owner Lacey Watson is a master of marrying flavors together for a satisfying lunch. Her handhelds include local favorites like the Turkey Ham Tumble Wrap, Pulled Pork and the BEST Grilled Cheese outside of my own kitchen!

Be sure to grab a couple of Lacey's delicious desserts. Her cupcakes, pies and cookies are unbelievably scrumptious!

Follow her page on Facebook by clicking here. She posts her upcoming locations!

In the meantime, you can order cakes, cupcakes and more from her during the week by calling 251-767-3975. You'll wow your guests during the holidays with something sweet from this lady!

Insider Tip: Homemade Italian Cream Cake


#9 Bellingrath Gardens for the holidays should be on everyone's list within driving distance. Imagine a place with over 1000 displays, 15 different scenes and 3 MILLION lights! The festivities begin the day after Thanksgiving. Even if you aren't here during this event, the gardens are incredible all year long. Click here for ticket prices and purchase information.

Insider tip: Wear comfortable shoes!


#10 Osman's Restaurant serves food that will WOW your taste buds. When you arrive at your destination you might question whether you are in the right place for fine dining. YES, you are! You'll be greeted at the door by Mickey, owner and culinary baker. Her husband, Osman is a culinary chef and can be heard in the kitchen tenderizing veal for his famous Schnitzel.

This enterprising couple escaped from war torn Bosnia with their two young children. They spent years in Germany before settling in Mobile. They opened their humble diner in 2000 and over the past 18 years they have expanded into one of our city's all time favorites.

Insider tips: Make a reservation, seating is limited. Try the Bosnian Cream of Wheat Cake

pictured on the right.

 

I hope you have discovered some new places to explore in Mobile! I've been here for over 5 years and am still finding unexplored territory. Enjoy your time in our hospitable city!

I am working on an extensive blog about "dog friendly" places along the Gulf Coast. This may end up being a monthly spotlight starring the "boss dogs" Lil Jack, pictured here, and his big brother Marcello. I have so many friends that like to travel with their fur-kids I thought it would be lovely to share some places that welcome them with open arms!

Jack is checking out the latest canine gear at Home Goods. Four people asked me who does his grooming and I was so happy to share Apollo's Paws contact information with them! Rebecca keeps our boys looking sharp for their tours around town.

 

Mangiano "Let's Eat"

Marcello was feeling left out and decided he "had to" share this recipe with you!

Italian Wedding Cookies, sometimes called Snowball Cookies are a family favorite!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, for coating


Preheat your oven to 350! In your mixer, blend the butter, sugar, salt & vanilla until creamy.


Sprinkle this mixture with the cornstarch then add in the sifted flour while blending at a low speed.


Stir in the pecans and you are ready to make your cookies!


Each cookie ball is about a tablespoon of dough. Scoop dough out and form a ball with your hands. Place on an un-greased cookie sheet. You can chill the cookies for up to an hour before baking, especially if they are spreading.


Bake for 13-15 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. They are meant to be cooked all the way through, not moist in the center.


While the cookie balls are still warm, roll them in the confectioner's sugar and let them cool on a wire rack. This part can be messy...think beignets at Cafe du Monde!


These little nuggets of heaven should melt in your mouth ~ Charlsie


 

Looking for things to do in Baldwin County? Check out this blog focused on Fairhope & Orange Beach. Click here to read!