Our Birmingham food scene is something to be proud of.
We have sustained some heavy losses due to the impact of lockdown, but we’ve also had some amazing gains – which is all the more remarkable considering the challenges the hospitality industry has faced.
From Japanese whisky bars and colourful cocktail havens to Korean DIY barbecues and a Portuguese Indian brunch spot, this is our pick of the places you should try.
And if you have visited any of the places on our list, tell us your favourite in the comments below.
This Korean BBQ restaurant opened in the unit formerly occupied by Natural Bar and Kitchen, which closed for good last year.
It serves up dishes – Korean BBQ style – with a centrally displayed grill on each table so diners can be the chefs and cook their own meats! We highly recommend you try!
24 Suffolk Street Queensway, B1 1LT
Despite the issues city centre independents have had to face during Covid, Medicine at New Street bucked the trend thanks to its takeaway treats.
Due to the eatery’s lockdown success, owner Simon Jones announced in October he was opening a second bigger place in the city centre – with a more extensive menu.
The new Medicine opened at the Mailbox earlier this year. Enjoy all-day brunch and lunch dishes as well as the same cruffins, cronuts, pastries and savoury baked treats the cafe has become famous for at its New Street branch.
Read more here.
Canalside restaurant Tex Mex chicken grill Perios opened in the former unit that housed Handmade Burger Company. It offers traditional Mexican and Southern Texan flavours. Choose from the likes of hola herbs, BBQ fiesta, mild chilli lime, hot chilli lime, Texan jerk, Americano’s Buffalo and Haberno chilli. There is already a branch in Shirley, Solihull, which has proven very popular with residents.
4T Brindleyplace, The Waters Edge, B1 2JB
The Vegan Kitchen
The Vegan Kitchen is a new plant-based eatery that has opened at Great Western Arcade.
The menu includes a variety of meatless burgers, wings and hot dogs.
Great Western Arcade B2 5HU
After years of operating as a street food truck just outside Pigeon Park, Habanero has opened its own restaurant.
This Mexican places joins The Vegan Kitchen at Great Western Arcade.
Dishes include burritos, tacos, burrito bowls, nachos and salads. Read more here.
Great Western Arcade B2 5HU
The Pineapple Club
At the end of the first 2020 lockdown, the Old Victorian Restaurant transformed into a very delightful contemporary Art Deco and characterful bar. The massive first-floor space looks dramatically different to its previous incarnation yet still retaining the Victorian vintage vibe. Bar owner Sam Boulton previously ran the award-winning The Vanguard at JQ ( which has been replaced by Ikigai).
Great Western Arcade B2 5HU
Jukeboxers duelling piano bar
Situated along the city’s famous canal, beneath the Utilita Arena, Jukeboxers brings non-stop live music – where the guests pick the playlist.
A spokeswoman said: “Featuring two back-to-back duelling grand pianos and an in-house band, this new venue promises to bring the feel-good vibes to any night out. Playing everything from The Jackson Five and Justin Bieber to The Beatles to Beyonce, guests are tasked with creating the perfect party playlist by requesting songs via the Jukeboxers app.”
There is also a range of cocktails to sip while you tap your feet!
Unit 1, Arena, Birmingham B1 2AA
Madeleine Bar at The Grand Hotel
Found inside the luxurious Grand Hotel Birmingham, this Parisian style bar was designed to evoke the bars you’ll find in the grandest hotels around the world.
This is very much a social occasion kind of place. Enjoy a night of magnificence as you sip on the bar’s house cocktails such as the Gin Couture or the Alpine Spritz.
Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2BS
Isaac’s at The Grand Hotel
Tucked around the corner of the hotel’s main Church Street entrance you’ll find Isaac’s.
This is a neighbourhood brasserie restaurant with a modern New York vibe. The menu is split into appetizers, entrees, steaks and ‘comfort food’ heroes such as hotdog with sauerkraut, macaroni cheese and burgers.
Appetizers include Maryland crabcakes and shrimp cocktail salad. The steak menu includes a sirloin New York Strip Steak 8oz served with bone marrow sauce and shoestring fries – authentically Big Apple style. There are some great cocktails on offer too including Old Fashioneds, Sazerac, Tom Collins and Margaritas.
A great place to catch with friends after work or for a hearty weekend lunch.
28 Barwick Street B3 2NT
Tierra Tacos opened just after the second lockdown replacing the JQ Coffee Cafe on Frederick Street opposite 1000 Trades pub.
It is helmed by the same team behind Tiger Bites Pig
The new restaurant specialises in “tortillas topped with vibrant and tasty toppings with a selection of traditional sides and less-traditional small plates accompanied with local and Mexican beers and agave cocktails!”
Other Mexican dishes include quesadillas, nachos, and Mole beef – pulled smoky beef brisket in a rich dark cacao sauce.
53 Frederick Street, B1 3HS
Experience Tokyo bar culture in Birmingham.
Ikigai replaced The Vanguard bar over 1000 Trades last year. The Jewellery Quarter venue is helmed by Luke Bensley, who previously worked at Opheem. Cocktails on offer include a selection of sake and shiso based concoctions in keeping with the Japanese ethos.
Pronounced EE-key-guy Ikigai, translated in Japanese, means a “reason for being” – making life worthwhile. It certainly does as its rated best for nightlife in Brum. Read more here.
16 Frederick Street, B1 3HE
This super quirky shop doubles up as a bar and cafe with garden area. It offers ” beer, art, food. furniture, cocktails, coffee, cake, music, tombola and ice cream”
It is open Wednesday to Sunday 11 am to 11 pm.
Walk-ins only. Enjoy!
1469 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JL
The Bournbrook Inn
The Three Horseshoes in Stirchley has been transformed into a very smart gastropub well worth a visit for the delicious food and drink on offer.
The Bournbrook quietly opened over lockdown last year. The menu is every comfort food lovers dream
It includes hearty pub snacks such as sausage rolls and chorizo scotch eggs as well as mains including beer-battered fish and chips, rump steak with boulangerie potato.
We highly recommend the beef cheek bourguignon with mash. You should also try the Sunday lunch menu.
We reckon the roast here may possibly be the best in town right now! And there is a great selection of wine on offer too.
1273 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2YT
This eatery opened earlier this month, replacing Boo Boo cafe on Lordswood Road.
Owners posted on social media: ” Imagine a relaxed sun-dappled cafe you stumble across exploring the side streets of Italy. That’s where we want to take you. “
Just the holiday escapism we all need as we head towards autumn.
A spokeswoman added: “In the evening, Tropea transforms into a relaxed and softly lit restaurant with a menu made up of small plates designed to share. Home to snacks, fresh pastas, seafood and regional specialities, the menu reflects the best and freshest of produce, from day-boat fish to venison.”
27 Lordswood Road, Harborne, B17 9RP
Estado da India
New neighbourhood eatery Estado da India opened on Harborne High Street in May – replacing the former Cafe Rouge site.
Named after the Portuguese State of India, which was founded in 1505 and covered the western state of Goa, Estado da India serves food that celebrates the Portuguese influence on Indian cooking since the 16th century.
It specialises in tapas-style small plates, which have proved a massive hit with Harbornites, judging by how busy the place is in the evenings.
Read our review here.
42-44 High Street, Harborne, B17 9NE
Kings Heath and Moseley
Korean restaurant Grounded Kitchen has opened on Moseley’s Alcester Road.
The brand, which was founded in Leicester, also has branches in Market Harborough and Loughborough. It is famous for its Korean inspired nourish bowls.
Bowls includes edamame and sweet potato, and shichimi chickpeas.
Other dishes include Buldak – a heavily spiced, barbecued chicken dish that originates from South Korea and Bulgogi beef – de of thin, marinated slices of beef grilled on a barbecue on a stove-top griddle.
119-121 Alcester Rd, Birmingham B13 8DD
Japanese fried chicken restaurant Karaage opened in the old Katsu Kitchen on Woodbridge Road, Moseley, in April.
Katsu Kitchen owner Yuji is now part of the Karaage team.Karaage refers to the traditional Japanese frying method. The chicken is lightly marinated, then coated in a traditional chicken breading with starch, among other ingredients, which helps it stick onto the chicken and form a crispy layer when deep-fried, fresh to order.
Also, expect Katsu Curry ramen, bao buns, teppanyaki, and of course Karaage chicken burgers.You can also enjoy alcoholic beverages such as Asahi lager, sake and Umeshu – a plum wine.
2 Woodbridge Road, Moseley, B13 8EJ
The Pub at Kings Heath
The JD Sports shop on Kings Heath High Street has been transformed into a restaurant and bar. The Pub @Kings Heath opened this summer, offering a range of beers, wines and cocktails served up in a very friendly atmosphere. A warm and welcoming addition to the Kings Heath pub scene.
165 High Street B14 7DJ
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