If you're in Homewood...
At Home - This little shop in Homewood does everything from custom upholstery to silk floral. I could probably furnish ALMOST my whole house from this one store. One year I even bought my mom a wrought iron doormat (weird - yes, but she loved it).
The Ruby Begonia - This shop in Edgewood carries incredibly beautiful letterpress stationary and invitations. They can do everything from personal notecards to wedding stationary....all enviable.
Sam's Super Samwiches - "Samwiches" is not my typo. This has the world's best cheeseburgers. It's a teeny tiny little restaurant which is taken over by the large "kitchen" area but it's fun to order a burger, grapico and (delicious pellets of) ice to eat outside at the few tables, or inside at one of the few seats at the bar. It can definitely get crowded but it's delicious.
Soca - This store, which used to be downtown, is not located in the heart of Homewood. It houses a huge collection of jeans, and some cute tops, dresses and accessories - but be definitely pay attention to their return policy...it can be tricky.
Valley Cleaners - My family has been dropping our laundry at this cleaners since the dawn of time (or about 30 years ago) so I have to plug them. They're awesome. Right across the street from Homewood Park, I'm sure they were convenient 25 years ago when my parents had a baby house in Edgewood...but my dad would rather wash his own clothes with a bucket of soap than switch now.
Carriage House -
Bella Bridesmaids - Not only did I buy my Ball of Roses dress in this little shop, but I'll be forcing all of my bridesmaids to order from here too. They were so unbelievably helpful (even scouting out a broach for me to wear with my dress) and have the most amazing selection. Granted, they have some other stores, but I think they count as local...they certainly have a small town, worried about making you happy, feel.
If you're elsewhere....
The Commisary - On Overton, this shop is out on its own but it has some of the most unique pieces in Birmingham. They focus on furniture but also include fabulous accessories, gifts and jewelry. I bought a pair of gold earrings there that I wear all the time, and it takes A LOT to get me to change out my jewelry.
Firefly's and Fairtales - A children's shop filled with adorable clothes, a monstrous amount of hairbows and some precious art and frames for the nursery. It's a little ways down 280 (in Lee Branch) but it's really adorable!
Bellini's - This restaurant is in a shopping center with another location of Cantina and an Edgar's (more on that later) which is right down Highway 119, off of 280. I've never actually eaten here but the menu looks delicious...if a bit pricey. I wouldn't put it on here though if I hadn't heard good things. Let me know if any of you have visted.
Edgar's Old Style Bakery - Delicious. My mom loves their slaw but I'm more partial to the side of fruit. Order the Wild Turkey or the Cranapple Jack if you're there for lunch. Order cake, any kind, if you're there for a snack. There's a location in Pelham, one on 119 and the original in the Colonnade.
Zona Rosa (also known as Mexico Lindo) - This restaurant was originally located next to PT's on Hollywood Blvd but moved to the old River Market Deli building off of Overton after some genius decided to (try to) build some condos. It's my all time favorite. They have delicious food, for a good price (ESPECIALLY if you're comparing to the hoity toitiness of La Paz, Cocina Superior, etc.) Everyone should go.