In northwest Alabama, Florence and Muscle Shoals-—and nearby Tuscumbia and Sheffield—comprise what are commonly referred to as the Quad Cities or the Shoals. These quaint, unassuming towns contain plenty of beloved restaurants, chic stores, and historic sites dotting the streets. Florence and Muscle Shoals might seem like nothing more than small-town America, but the incredible Southern food, impressive history of music and arts, and thriving funky flair have put them on the map for all to enjoy.
Good Food, Old and New
In the small towns of the Shoals, both established, down-home restaurants serving traditional Southern food and newer eateries serving fresh takes on the classics are alive and well. Walking into Trowbridge’s, a fixture in Florence since its opening in 1918, is a welcome blast from the past. The local favorite’s mint-green stools and checkerboard floor, classic sandwiches from ham salad to pimiento cheese, and smiling servers at the ice cream counter remind guests of a simpler time. No matter which treat you choose—from the Orange Pineapple Ice Cream, which has been named one of the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama, to the decadent “Oh-My-Gosh” featuring a brownie, ice cream, and caramel completely covered in whipped cream with a cherry on top—a visit to this nostalgic shop is a must.