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 latest city guide is here to help! Paul Fulford, born and raised in Birmingham, was restaurant critic for the Birmingham Mail for 20 years, giving him an inside track on the city’s food culture. Here are his pick of the best eateries Birmingham has to offer...

    Best for special occasions...


    Best for: Special occasions
    Paul Fulford - writer

    Adam Stokes brings huge flair and skill to modern dishes that look and taste spectacular. The £35 three-course lunch menu is a snip; the eight- course tasting menu (£85) is a blow-the-budget meal with spot-on dishes such as lamb, miso, caramelised onions & fennel and an exciting riff on rhubarb & custard. 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.


    Best for: Special occasions
    Paul Fulford - writer

    There’s nothing noir about the airy and contemporary new Nordic look at this established Michelin-starred gem in Edgbaston. Dishes like crispy duck egg, parsley roots, cep, bacon & truffle and pineapple ravioli, 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.


    Best for: Special occasions
    Paul Fulford - writer

    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 heritage. Try the sashimi of tuna with sea herbs & sour soy or the elevated monkfish masala. His nine-course menu costs £88, and his Brummie tapas menu £55.


    Best for: Special occasions
    Paul Fulford - writer

    Chef Aktar Islam, a regular on TV, including Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen, pushes boundaries with his modern take on cuisine from the Indian subcontinent. They're true to their heritage, but he's not scared to use new techniques and ingredients, a £21.95 main course combining Hereford beef with bone marrow pakora, tandoori veal sweetbread & aromatic cashew gravy is a favourite. Try for a table on the mezzanine overlooking the restaurant below.

    Two Cats Kitchen

    Best for: Special occasions 
    Paul Fulford - writer
    Two Cats Kitchen
    This former pop-up is now housed permanently in an old jewellery workshop. Chef Niki Astley updates Baltic food to craft dishes full of flavour and substance, such as pork shoulder with caraway, kohlrabi, buckwheat, compressed apple & a sauce based on kvass, a fermented drink made from dark bread. Only a £42 seven-course tasting menu is served.

    Carters of Moseley

    Best for: Special occasions
    Paul Fulford- writer

    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. At £35 a head, the four-course Sunday lunch is a bargain, with main courses such as hearty but refined Aberdeen rump cap with smoked potato & bone marrow gravy. There are also some impressive vegetarian options including cauliflower, grains, seeds & truffle. Prices on the short but balanced wine list kick off at £23; there’s also a great list of craft beers including three from the wonderful Warwickshire brewery Purity.

    The Edgbaston

    The EdgbastonBest for: Special occasion
    Paul Fulford - writer

    French-born and trained 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 at £22 or indulge in a Krug experience at £102. Expect theatre and and stunning cocktails.


    Best for: Special occasions
    Paul Fulford - writer

    This teeny venue delivers bold flavours handled with care and imagination by chef-patron Richard Turner. The £35 four course lunch menu might feature mackerel, horseradish, rhubarb and nasturtiums, the £90 tasting menu Suffolk black-faced lamb, Roscoff onions, anchovies, ewe’s milk curd and sea vegetables.

    The Wilderness

    The WildernessBest for: Special occasions
    Georgina Kiely - Digital assistant

    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 everthing 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 5 course lunch tasting menu for £35.

    Best for casual dining and cheap eats...

    Digbeth Dining Club

    Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats 
    Paul Fulford - writer

    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, the Vietnamese and Cambodian dishes of Canoodle, Low ‘N’ Slow’s US- inspired barbecue and much more. Expect to pay around £6 per dish.

    Nosh and Quaff 

    Best for: Casual dining, kid friendly
    Paul Fulford - writer

    Get messy in the nicest possible way at this friendly bar and restaurant housed in a listed Victorian building that has been given an urban edge. Grab a smoked sausage hot dog for £13 or splash out £25 for fresh lobster from the tanks in the basement. Plastic bibs are provided, and you can ask for cutlery, but fingers are the way to go. Choose a table on the first floor overlooking Victoria Square, with its fine buildings, statues and bustle.

    Purecraft Bar & Kitchen

    PurecraftBest for: Casual dining 
    Paul Fulford - writer
    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 an UBU 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.


    Best for: Casual dining, Cheap eats, Kid friendly 
    Paul Fulford - writer

    Open for less than two years, this quaint, atmospheric Syrian coffee house, in the heart of Moseley, has already had to expand because it has proved so popular. Snack on freshly made kibbeh, shawarma, falafel, fatayer, kofta and houmous while sipping mint tea, Arabic coffee or the salted yogurt drink ayran. Generous meze platters are priced from £6.65.

    Sheereen Kadah

    Best for: Casual dining, Cheap eats, Kid-friendly
    Paul Fulford - writer

    Here’s 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. 
    Find Sheereen Kadah at: 543 Moseley Road, Birmingham B12 9BU. 0121 440 4641.

    Anderson’s Bar & Grill

    Best for: Casual dining
    Paul fulford - writer

    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 crisp sea bass with classic ratatouille and salsa verde.

    Original Patty Men

    Best for: Kid friendly, Casual dining, Cheap eats 
    Paul Fulford - writer

    These Birmingham street food legends are now permanently housed in a railway arch on the edgy edge of the city centre. Makeshift decor but well-crafted burgers, Big Vern’s Krispy Ring costs £7 and combines a patty with maple bacon on a grilled doughnut.


    Best for: Casual dining
    Georgina Kiely - writer

    This specialist wine bar has a range of over 600 bottles whichy ou can sample with your tasting card, at your leisure. Be sure to checkout 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.

    Cafe Opus

    Best for: Kid Friendly, Cheap eats, Casual dining 
    Paul Fulford - writer

    This little sister of Opus Restaurant is on the ground-floor of the Ikon art gallery. It offers the same quality as Opus but in simpler form, try the £7.95 omelette Arnold Bennett, a £6.95 fish finger sandwich or a £9.95 Brigham fish pie. Sit outside in summer.

    Min Min Noodle Bar

    Best for: Kid Friendly, Casual dining, Cheap eats 
    Paul Fulford - writer

    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 fragrant. Expect to pay £22 per head for two courses and drinks. 
    Facebook: MinMinNoodle

    Chung Ying

    Chung YingBest for: Kid friendly, Casual dining
    Paul Fulford- writer

    Open since 1981, this huge Cantonese restaurant 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 (ostrich) for the more adventurous. A set menu for two is available at £29.

    Keg & Grill

    Best for: Casual dining, Cheap eats 
    Paul Fulford - writer

    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
    Paul Fulford - writer

    Run by a Polish chef with a flair for Japanese food, this a beautifulspace with well-crafted food. Sit at the bar and choose a sharing starter of mixed sashimi for £13.50. They’ll even make you a sushi birthday cake.
    Facebook: Sushi-Passion


    Pearce’s Shellfish

    Best for: Cheap eats 
    Paul Fulford - writer
    Feast on oysters, cockles and whelks at the counter of this long established stall in the Bull Ring Indoor Market, Edgbaston Street.

    Peel & Stone

    Best for: Cheap eats
    Paul Fulford - writer

    ​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 eat
    Paul Fulford - writer
    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.....

    Bowketts of Oldbury

    Head to the Black Country for locally reared meat, proper sausages and pies.

    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. Great Western Arcade, Temple Row.

    Do you agree with Paul's best Birmingham eats? Let us know where your favourite places to eat are in the comments below...

    All recommendations have been reviewed and approved as of the 01 August 2016 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

    Comments, questions and tips

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    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:
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