It’s traditional for Alabama Crimson Tide football players, coaches, students, alumni and fans to eat breakfast at the historic Waysider Restaurant before games. With a Christmas break for players to go home on Friday, players observed the tradition on Thursday morning.

They ate the traditional breakfast at the Waysider Thursday: Unique biscuits (ain’t nothing like ‘em no where”). Local honey. Country ham. Zeigler Bacon. Eggs any style. Sausage gravy. Coffee.

Tide players Alabama News
Photo: The Waysider Restaurant.

The Waysider was the favorite breakfast place of legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.” A table remains in the front corner of the Waysider where Bryant ate. It is complete with photographs and Bryant memorabilia, including a Bryant houndstooth hat on a bust of Bryant. Photos. Lots of photos. In fact, the entire eatery has dozens of photographs of Crimson Tide magic moments over the decades. There are classic Daniel Moore paintings of Crimson Tide memories.

The Waysider’s building was built in 1906 and was a residence. The restaurant started in 1948. 75 years ago. It is the oldest restaurant in Tuscaloosa that is still operating.

Heavyweight boxing champion Deontay Wilder, a Tuscaloosa native, is a frequent diner at The Waysider.

When national TV networks come to Tuscaloosa to cover major games, the broadcast staff usually come and eat at the Waysider. Sometimes, the video crews take footage there.

The Alabama Crimson Tide is steeped in traditions: “Roll Tide.” Big Al. “Rammer Jammer.” “Yea, Alabama.” “Dixieland Delight.” “Sweet Home, Alabama.” The Million Dollar Band. The cheerleaders.

One long-standing Alabama tradition is the Waysider Restaurant Breakfast of Champions.

The Waysider is located at 1512 Greensboro Ave. near downtown Tuscaloosa. More information here.

waysider christmas tree Alabama News
Photo: The Waysider Restaurant.
The Waysider Restaurant. Alabama News
Photo: The Waysider Restaurant.

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.