Nothing tells a city’s story quite like its food.
From tiny hamlet to fastest growing city of the 19th century, waves of mass immigration has put Birmingham on a truly global culinary map and Brummies are spoilt for choice when it comes to wallet-friendly eats – here’s a taster to get you started.
— Raja Monkey (@RajaMonkeyCafe) November 23, 2015
Part of the sophisticated Lasan family, Raja Monkey is the cooler younger sister, serving up Indian street food in a bustling road-side cafe setting. Feast on colourful, mouthwatering thali (a platter) and take advantage of the takeaway option. You can have your traditional tiffin box re-filled for just a tenner.
1355 Stratford Road, Hall Green, B28 9HW – rajamonkey.co.uk
Facebook / Rico Libre
This ex-greasy spoon in the backstreets of Digbeth has been revamped with a lick of bright green paint, but it’s not just the decor that’s had a face lift. With quail in mojo sauce and Adobo saltfish done Jamaican style – this is tapas, but not as we know it.
1 Barn Street, Digbeth, B5 5QD – rico-libre.co.uk
Facebook / Bistro 1847
This smart veggie and vegan outfit in the well-heeled, indie surrounds of Great Western Arcade are all about showcasing local produce – beet bourguignon and Brussel sprout frittata give a flavour of the inspired changing menu. Take advantage of Meat Free Monday, with 50 per cent off your total bill, all day.
26 Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, B2 5HU – by1847.com
The Queens Arms
— Queens Arms Bar (@queensarmsbar) June 13, 2014
Sausages are the star of the show at this bustling boozer on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter, courtesy of speciality butcher, Lashford’s. The range includes South African inspired Boerewors and a Black Country classic made with black pudding – mix and match with your mash. Comfort food at it’s best.
150 Newhall Street, B3 1RY – queensarmsbar.co.uk
Facebook / Cherry Reds
There are hearty portions abound at this independent cafe bar, with mismatched furniture and friendly staff lending a homespun feel. The all day breakfast is legendary – with veggie and vegan options available – and a wider menu of pub-style classics and interesting sharers caters for any hankering. Vegan cakes, too.
88-92 John Bright Street, B1 1BN – cherryreds.com
— Mankool Birmingham (@Mankool_Birming) May 16, 2016
There’s always some sort of party underway at this buzzing Chinatown staple, offering Vietnamese and Chinese plates. Honest and hearty, the family friendly restaurant delivers great value, and an extensive vegan menu is available (they do all sorts of things with soya). This place is great for noodles – try the papaya vermicelli salad.
Unit 2, Upper Dean Street, B5 4SG – cafesoya.co.uk
China Court Restaurant
Facebook / China Court
Housed in a historic complex, China Court has a ground floor Chinese bakery and spacious restaurant upstairs, extremely popular with the Chinese community and beyond. Dim sum is delivered with charmingly no-frills service – tick off your choices from a traditional menu that includes to-die-for Shanghai dumplings.
24 Ladywell Walk, B5 4ST – chinacourtbirmingham.co.uk
— Café Opus at Ikon (@cafeopus) February 14, 2016
Seasonal British classics are artfully served up in the contemporary surrounds of the Ikon Gallery, looking out onto the often sun-drenched Oozells Square – in the city’s bustling financial strict. Al fresco dining makes this the perfect spot to watch the world go by with afternoon tea, ringing up at just a tenner.
1 Oozells Street, Brindleyplace, B1 2HS – cafeopus.co.uk
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Main image: Facebook / Bistro 1847