Best places to eat in Birmingham

The UK's second city has a diverse food culture that can be enjoyed on any budget, from Michelin-starred restaurants to street-food venues and cheap eats.

Birmingham canals

Looking for the best eats in Birmingham? Our city guide is here to help! Paul Fulford was restaurant critic for the Birmingham Mail for 20 years, giving him an inside track on the city’s food culture. Here's his pick of the finest eateries Birmingham has to offer.

Best for special occasions

Adams 

Adam Stokes brings huge flair and skill to modern dishes that look and taste spectacular. The £39.50 three-course lunch menu is a snip; the eight-course tasting menu (£90) is a blow-the-budget meal, with spot-on dishes such as Herefordshire beef tartare and English strawberries with a surprising secret ingredient. Choose a table in the stylish main room for a romantic meal, or book the chef’s table overlooking Stokes’ kitchen for a livelier experience. 
 

Simpsons 

There’s nothing noir about the airy and contemporary Nordic look at this established Michelin-starred gem in Edgbaston. Dishes like crispy duck egg, parsley roots, cep, bacon & truffle and pineapple ravioli, or meringue, raspberry & lemongrass ice cream (right) are on trend and have a lightness to them. Menus start at £45 for the three-course lunch, which includes half a bottle of wine. 
 

Lasan

Chef Aktar Islam is a regular on TV, including Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen. At Lasan he pushes boundaries with his modern take on cuisine from the Indian subcontinent. The dishes are true to their heritage, but Islam isn't scared to use new techniques and ingredients. Try for a table on the mezzanine overlooking the restaurant below.

 

The EdgbastonThe Edgbaston

Born and trained in France, Olivier Briault is creating magical afternoon teas with a twist at this smart art deco-style cocktail bar and boutique hotel. Go for the basic afternoon tea at £22, or indulge in a luxury experience with Krug champagne at £102. Expect a sense of theatre and stunning cocktails.
 

Purnell’s

Glynn Purnell comes over all cheeky Brummie when on TV, but he’s a chef with an audacious, winning touch who creates modern dishes that draw on Birmingham’s varied cultural heritage. Try the roast duck breast or the elevated monkfish masala. The nine-course menu costs £90, while the Brummie tapas menu is £60. 
 

Carters of Moseley

This small, relaxed and welcoming place in the fashionable suburb of Moseley landed its first Michelin star in autumn 2015, and rightly so. Chef-owner Brad Carter cooks technically accomplished, imaginative, modern seasonal food, while his partner Holly Jackson leads a polished front-of-house team. The amuse-bouche of chicken liver cereal is a star dish. There are also some impressive vegetarian options, including cauliflower, grains, seeds & truffle. Prices on the short but balanced wine list kick off at £23, and there’s a great list of craft beers, including three from the wonderful Warwickshire brewery Purity.  
 

The WildernessThe Wilderness

Alex Claridge and his team have created a small slice of nature in the middle of Birmingham city centre. The innovative menu is designed to evoke memories of everything from a quiet stroll through the woods to a childhood seaside holiday. Expect fresh, seasonal, British ingredients, paired expertly with a variety of specially crafted cocktails, craft beers and wine. Make sure you sample the tasting menu with the accompanying flight of drinks. Try the five-course lunch tasting menu for £35.
Reviewed by Georgina Kiely
 

Best for casual dining and cheap eats

Digbeth Dining Club
Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats 

Launched in 2012 in an industrial-cum-arty part of the city, this award-winning Friday evening venture goes from strength to strength. There’s a changing line-up of street-food artisans each week, including burger maestro the Meat Shack, Canoodle's Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes, Low ‘N’ Slow’s US-inspired barbecue and much more. Expect to pay around £6 per dish.
 

PurecraftPurecraft Bar & Kitchen
Best for: Casual dining

Pared-back, contemporary decor, skilfully made pub-grub classics, plus a range of fantastic beers – there’s lots to like about this buzzy venue. Pop in for a pint and snack on a beer-glazed pork pie and a few homemade pork scratchings, or settle down for something more substantial, such as an up-to-date reworking of chicken cordon bleu with salad & fries. Purecraft is universally popular, particularly with beer buffs.
 

Damascena
Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child-friendly

Launched in 2014, this quaint, atmospheric Syrian coffee house in the heart of Moseley has already had to expand because it proved so popular. Snack on freshly made kibbeh, shawarma, falafel, fatayer, kofta and hummus while sipping mint tea, Arabic coffee or the salted yogurt drink ayran. Generous meze platters are priced from £6.95.  
 

Sheereen Kadah
Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child-friendly

Here’s a throwback to the days before Birmingham’s balti houses began to tart themselves up – no-nonsense food, no-nonsense surroundings and no-nonsense prices. Menus are trapped under easy-to-clean glass, the flimsy cutlery is apt to bend and tableware is mismatched, but the food's good and robustly spiced. Expect to pay around £11 a head for two courses such as shami kebabs and chickpea and lamb balti. 543 Moseley Road, Birmingham B12 9BU; 0121 440 4641.
 

Anderson’s Bar & Grill
Best for: Casual dining

Located in an 18th-century cellar, this is probably Birmingham’s most atmospheric restaurant. Choose a steak – the 12oz Dexter sirloin chop at £20.95 is especially good – or the roasted sea trout for £17.50.
 

Original Patty Men
Best for: Child-friendly, casual dining, cheap eats 

These Birmingham street food legends are now permanently housed in a railway arch on the edgy edge of the city centre. It offers makeshift decor but well-crafted burgers – the Alabama slammer costs £7.50 and combines crispy chicken with a lime and ginger slaw, along with plenty of hot sauce.
 

Min Min Noodle Bar
Best for: Child-friendly, casual dining, cheap eats 

This family-run, unfussy cafe has funky decor and food that’s freshly prepared and brilliant value. The Vietnamese rolls stuffed with prawns, fish and seaweed are a joy, and the bowls of noodles are fragrant. Expect to pay £22 per head for two courses and drinks. 
 

Chung YingChung Ying
Best for: Child-friendly, casual dining

This huge Cantonese restaurant has been going since 1981 and is popular with Brummies, including the local Chinese community. The menu is vast and includes an enormous selection of good-quality dim sum available all day, standards like steamed duck in orange sauce, and lesser known specialities (such as ostrich) for the more adventurous. Mains from £10.
 

Keg & Grill
Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats

This small corner pub is tucked away in the city centre and serves Punjabi grills and curries at a bargain price, along with a craft ale or two. The large grill at £14.95 is a mountain of feistily-spiced meat that serves several people.
 

Sushi Passion
Best for: Casual dining

Run by a Polish chef with a flair for Japanese cuisine, this a beautiful space with well-crafted food. Sit at the bar and choose a sharing starter of mixed sashimi for £13.50. If you're here for a celebration, they can even make you a sushi birthday cake.
 

Pearce’s Shellfish
Best for: Cheap eats
 

Feast on oysters, cockles and whelks at the counter of this long-established stall in the Bull Ring Indoor Market on Edgbaston Street.
 

Peel & Stone
Best for: Cheap eats

​Find slow-leavened loaves, cakes and pies at this artisan bakery beneath the Midland Metro tramline at Arch 33, Water Street.
 

Prince of Wales
Best for: Casual dining, Cheap eats 

Visit this 150-year-old pub in Moseley for a Tardis of a beer garden, a wine shed, hot dogs and cocktails.
 

Where to shop

Loki
This specialist wine bar has a range of over 600 bottles for sale, available for sampling by anyone with a Loki tasting card. Be sure to check out the featured wines selected by the staff, from as little as 69p a snifter. The intimate lounge area upstairs is the perfect place to relax with a nice rioja and one of their cheese and nibble platters. Whether you're an established wine enthusiast or ready to sample them all to find your favourite, Loki's selection can't be beaten.
Reviewed by Georgina Kiely
 

The Whisky Shop
Buy rare and unusual whisky and whiskey from around the world at this small shop in a Victorian arcade packed with specialist retailers.
 

Do you agree with this list of best Birmingham eats? Let us know your favourite places to eat in the comments below...

All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of 6 June 2018 and will be checked and updated annually. If you think there is any incorrect or out-of-date information in this guide, please e-mail us at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com.

Comments, questions and tips

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EvieJones
30th Mar, 2017
This is a great list. I'd love to visit more of these places. I did visit one amazing Japanese Restaurant yesterday called Rofuto. Their menu is exceptional and the service is fantastic. This is the place: http://rofuto.co.uk/japanese-restaurant/
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