Aside from London, Birmingham is home to more Michelin-starred restaurants than any other English city. Here’s where to get the best food from budget eats to banquet feasts
Birmingham is fast emerging as a foodie destination for Britons and international visitors alike. From sizzling street food to fine dining in luxurious restaurants there is something for every palate. Here are our favourites…
Back in September, Adam Stokes brought home another Michelin-star to Birmingham, despite having only opened his restaurant less than six months ago. Located in the heart of the city and with a small setting of only 25 seats, Adam’s has a buzzing but personal atmosphere. United with the stunning selection of modern British food on the menu – Adam describes it as ‘familiar flavour combinations with modern inventive twists’ – the place provides the perfect amount of luxury for a reasonable price.
Grub’s up! Adam’s has two tasting menus from £45; a lunch menu is also available with three courses from £25. Vegetarians, vegans and other special dietary requirements must be highlighted at the time of booking. More info: www.adamsrestaurant.co.uk
With over 100 Balti houses in the city, which attract over 20,000 visitors each week, it’s difficult to know where to start when you’re after a curry in Birmingham. Pushkar offers diners a sleek, glamourous – but not tacky – atmosphere with classic Indian dishes. Head chef Bishal Rasaily has created a menu that mixes up traditional flavours with a modern twist. If you’re after something different, try the succulent Anglo-Indian duck roast or the Goa fish curry.
The owners and staff are undeniably friendly and the service is good to boot. If you’re in the mood, sample one of their cocktails – their selection of lassis will calm your palate, even after an extra hot curry.
Grub’s up! Pushkar is located on Broad Street in the city centre. Mains range from £7.25 to £15.95. The lunch menu offers three courses from £12.95. Book a table in advance. More info: www.pushkardining.com
From the outside you would be mistaken for thinking The Victoria is your average British pub. But with a classic interior mixed with an edgy atmosphere and Deep South cuisine this is anything but. From fruity cocktails to dark cask ales you'll find both classic and contemporary drinks, alongside 'mean burgers, jambalayas and Cajun sandwiches'. Not to mention its take on the classic British Sunday Roast – subject to availability – turn up early to get your fill. There are also plenty of options for veggies from the intriguing blackened halloumi to Brazilian curries. This is one of Birmingham's most happening hangouts – events are regular from live gigs to readings.
Grub's up! Located fairly centrally you'll find The Victoria straddling the corner of John Bright Street. Small plates from £4.75; mains from £8. More info: www.thevictoriabirmingham.co.uk
Street food has well and truly found its feet in Birmingham, with markets popping up across the city throughout the month. The city even launched its first official street food market, called Kings hEATh earlier this year. So, where to begin?
Habaneros is a must. Pick from pulled pork, pulled beef, chicken tinga or seasonal veg in a floury buritto or taco (or burrito bowl if you’re scrimping on carbs), smothered in your choice of toppings and salsas. What we want to know is, can you handle the Super Hot Habenero XXX sauce? Try it if you dare. For something slightly cooler – sample the Habanero Salsa, with peaches, herbs and spices.
Grub’s up: Habaneros can be found from 11.30am-3.30pm on Temple Row each weekday. Saturdays are spent ‘on the road’ so keep up-to-date with the website for their whereabouts. Mains from £4.50. More info: habvan.com
For a quick pick-me-up, lunch on-the-go, or an alternative afternoon tea, the Kitchen Garden Cafe is the place to go. A cool, hippy hang-out in the heart of the city's King Heath area, the cafe's website describes it as a 'tranquil oasis' – which it certainly is.
Choose from light bites for lunch – open goat's cheese omelettes or rosemary-roasted butternut squash and blue cheese salad make good options. Or for a larger meal, for hungrier visitors, the spicy bean and chickpea burger is a tasty choice! Alternatively, opt for one of their cheap All Day Breakfast options... bacon, sausages, poached eggs, mushrooms, hash potatoes... The choice is yours.
There's also a deli where you can purchase organic, fair-trade and locally sourced food and drinks. As if that wasn't enough, the cafe hosts events from live music gigs to comedy nights and poetry readings.
Grub's up! The lunch menu ranges in price from £3.95 for soup of the day to £9.95 for a Full English. Open Mon-Weds 9am-5pm; Thurs-Sat 9am-11pm; Sun 10am-4pm. More info: www.kitchengardencafe.co.uk
A firm favourite in Chinatown, Chung Ying Garden offer a massive range of dishes – there are over 400 to choose from – including lobster, crab and eel, fresh from a tank. For a more conventional Chinese meal, all the popular dishes feature from Dim Sum to Chow Mein. Open for over 25 years, the team here have built not one, but two, popular restaurants, which attract visitors across the Midlands.
Don't let the dated decor put you off – what they lack in interior design they more than make up for in cuisine. Their philosophy has always been, 'Variety, freshly cooked!' and it certainly is.
Grub's up! Chung Yin Garden can be found on Thorpe Street. Its equally-good sister restaurant can be found on Wrottesley Street. Set menus from £30 for two people; vegetarian set menu from £16 per person. More info: www.chungying.co.uk/chungying