100 Dishes in Alabama: Top O’ the River

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die list. But the other night Big J asked the girls and me if we wanted to ride with him to Anniston to keep him company. At first, we turned him down flat, but when he threw in dinner at Top ‘O the River, we changed our mind and decided it was worth the drive. If you’ve ever been to Top O’ the River, you know why.


With locations in Gadsden, Anniston, Lake Guntersville, and Pickwick Lake, Top O’ the River is one of the best seafood restaurants north of the Alabama Gulf Coast. They have their own local flavor, which is one of the most charming things about it. All guests are served an iron skillet of cornbread, a tin mug of coleslaw, and a bowl of pickled onions. Y’all, I realize that if you aren’t from the Deep South that might not sound appetizing. However, for those of us raised on the finer delicacies the south has to offer, you’l understand why I consider the appetizers a meal unto themselves.


And while we really SHOULD pack it up and go home after eating so much cornbread and slaw, we always order the seafood platter as our entree. It’s the biggest item on the menu, and I order it just so I can take home the leftovers and eat them for the next three days. I’m not kidding.


The seafood platter comes with fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, catfish fingers, sauteed crabmeat, stuffed crab, hushpuppies, and a baked potato. The food is fabulous, and the platter is the biggest thing you’ve ever seen. Like, you’re embarrassed when they bring it out because it’s so much food. However, you quickly get over it when you realize you get to eat like a king for days with the leftovers.


If you are not quite up to taking on the seafood platter, they do have smaller meals. My girls get the catfish dinner, which comes with hushpuppies and your choice of fries or onion rings. In keeping with the “large” theme, the onion rings are as big as my kiddo’s head. They are homemade and delicious!

Y’all get out there and try Top O’the River or discover the other delicious food waiting for you in Alabama. Let me know your favorite local spots!


  1. Ag Smith says

    Cannot find recipe for coleslaw

  2. Patty Arra says

    Can you tell me how to do the pickled onions

  3. Teresa N Click says

    I would like you picked onion recipe. Thanks

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