Where To Eat In Birmingham

Birmingham is home to much more than the balti. From Eat Vietnam to Trentina, these are the best places to eat and the best restaurants in Birmingham.
Trentina
Trentina is an excellent Italian. Photograph: Jack Spicer.

If all you know about Birmingham is that it’s where Peaky Blinders is set, then you really need to buy a box-set of literally any other television programme that’s ever been made. And buy yourself a train ticket to Birmingham. Birmingham is the second-largest city in the UK and is home to some extremely good eats.

Yes, it’s widely known as the birthplace of the balti (and Jack Grealish’s calves) but the food scene offers so much more than that. There are Japanese sandos, family-run Malaysian joints, sourdough pizzas, and incredible Ethiopian dishes to be had if you know where to look. To help you with all that looking, we’ve written this guide on the best places to eat in Birmingham. It’s not exhaustive by any means. But like our guides to Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Margate, Brighton, Edinburgh, and Leeds, we’ve tried our best to offer a range of the restaurants that showcase what Birmingham is all about. You’ll eat and drink well at these restaurants, Mob.

16 Best Restaurants In Birmingham

1. Gup Shup

Group Gup

If you love a good sandwich then trust that Gup Shup is the number one spot in Birmingham to get your laughing gear around some of the city’s best sangers. They specialise in Japanese-style sandos and all of their fillings come lovingly wedged between soft and fluffy slices of shokupan bread. What you’ll find in those sandwiches ranges from traditional chicken katsu and tuna mayo to smashed samosas and spiced mutton keema. Gup Shup is bonkers, brilliant, and highly recommended.

16b Colmore Row, B3 2QD

2. Malaysian Delight

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Having been open for over 20 years, Malaysian Delight is one of the best restaurants in Birmingham and a great place to taste what Nyonya cuisine is all about. The service is always convivial and warm while the dishes that come out of the kitchen rarely, if ever, miss. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for a quick plate of Singapore noodles during your lunch break or booking yourself a hot and heavy session with some spicy lobster for dinner, Malaysian Delight has got you covered. A proper Brum icon.

8 Ladywell Walk, B5 4ST

3. Tropea

Tropea 16th May 151

Named after a scenic little town nestled on the Calabrian coast, Tropea is a restaurant that offers up a tasty slice of Italy to Harborne locals. Antipasti, pasta, seafood, and a spate of regional specialities are what’s on offer; fried courgette flowers, rabbit ragù pappardelle, and grilled lamb neck with white beans and salsa verde are just a few examples of the dishes that the kitchen is capable of. The chefs at Tropea are hungry for success and that really shines through in the cooking. Make sure to explore the wine list, too. It’s Italian (naturally) and an embodiment of what makes Italy such a special place to eat and drink.

27 Lordswood Road, Harborne, B17 9RP

4. Dishoom

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Sitting happy as larry right opposite Chamberlain Square, Dishoom is still a relative newcomer on the Birmingham food scene but it has fast cemented its place in the hearts, minds, and stomachs of the city’s many passionate diners. Dishoom Birmingham pays homage to Bombay's Swadeshi Market and the menu is just as sprawling, large, and packed with enticing sights and sounds as that bustling textile market. Classics like the keema pau and black daal do what they do best while the Birmingham special (a marinated lamb shank cooked in a rich, luscious sauce that’s served with Khamiri roti) is an excellent addition to the arsenal. An extremely consistent restaurant.

One Chamberlain Square, B3 3AX

5. WFC Whole Fried Chicken

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Whole Fried Chicken is an eatery that does exactly what it says on the tin. If you’re addled by a craving for craggy, golden fried chicken then paying a visit to Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter is a great place to start. And WFC is a great place to finish. The fried chicken burgers are some of the best in town but it’s the range of spices they coat the whole chooks in that show off what WFC does best. Honey, spicy pepper, black pepper, plum sour, and salted egg-style fried chicken are all on the cards. Coming back, again and again, to find out which spice mix is your favourite isn’t just advised, it’s inevitable.

65 Hurst Street, Birmingham, B5 4TE

6. The Wilderness

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The Wilderness is a modern British restaurant with a difference. That difference is (a) that it has My Chemical Romance-y black walls, and (b) that chef patron Alex Claridge has successfully managed to create a “culinary experience” which won’t have you rolling your eyes or shifting uncomfortably in your seat. The tasting menus at The Wilderness are designed to be playful and toy with your senses but they never let that err into try-hard territory or let a clever concept get in the way of deliciousness. No dish better sums up that approach than Ch-Ch-Changes – a banana dessert that echoes the album cover of The Velvet Underground & Nico and comes bursting at the seams with a banoffee filling.

27 Warstone Lane, B18 6JQ

7. Dough

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Occupying the kitchen at the Dig Brew Taproom, Dough is a pizzeria that divvies out big and beautiful 20” pies as well as hefty squares of Detroit-style pizza. They don’t play by the rules and there’s a couple of pizzas (like the Ghost of Zen Tuo – a goat’s cheese sauce base pizza that’s topped with pesto, crushed broad beans, roasted garlic, and Gruyére) which would probably make a Neapolitan weep. That being said, they’re totally delicious and the perfect thing to eat alongside some of Dig Bre’s excellent brews. Traditions be damned.

43 River Street, Deritend, B5 5SA

8. Blue Nile

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Excuse the pun but Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is home to some absolute gems. Nestled on Great Hampton Street, Blue Nile is an Ethiopian restaurant that serves a range of well-spiced and balanced meat and plant-based dishes. The menu is big. Like, really big. But everything from the misir wot to the kitfo is cooked and assembled with the same amount of love and care. A great place to take your vegan mates for dinner.

8 Great Hampton Street, B18 6AA

9. POLI

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Woodfired sourdough pizza, small plates, natural wine. That’s a list of things that I can always get on board with and POLI on York Road is somewhere you can shovel all of that into your gob. The pizzas are excellent, kissed with just the right amount of char, and the option to pair a pie with an order of lamb fat potatoes is simply too hard to pass up. POLI is one of the best restaurants in Birmingham for a casual date. Or a serious date. Both of them will go well.

21 York Road, King's Heath, B14 7SA

10. Bonehead

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Don’t take a vegan to Bonehead. Not because they’d have nothing to eat (there’s a cauliflower burger and cauliflower wings on the menu) but because the mere sight of one of their loaded fried chicken burgers will be enough to make even the strictest vegan reconsider their stance on eating meat. The Nashville hot is the way to go and, whether you’re going for wings or a burger, you can rest assured that you’ll leave with your lips buzzing happily.

8 Lower Severn Street, B1 1PU

11. Chennai Dosa

Is there an eating experience on this planet that’s more satisfying than breaking through the crisp exterior of a masala dosa to get at the soft and spicy potatoes inside? If there is, I want to know about it. And if there’s a better place in Birmingham to experience that masala magic than at Chennai Dosa then I really want to know where that is. Until then, you’ll find me on a table at this Dudley Road classic, slowly eating my way through the entire menu of South Indian eats. One of the best in the game.

445-447, Dudley Road, Smethwick, B18 4HE

12. Eat Vietnam

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Small in stature but always packed with regulars chowing down on fragrant bowls of food, Eat Vietnam is a staple for anyone in Birmingham looking for a proper taste of Vietnamese cooking. This no-frills restaurant is one of the best in the city when it comes to big flavours and affordable prices. The barbecue pork bun noodles are killer and an order of mala chicken wings is a must.

1422 Pershore Road, Stirchley, B30 2PH

13. Original Patty Men

Oak specs trays ice cream interiors 72

Want the best burger in Birmingham? Head on down to any of the Original Patty Men’s outlets in the city. Made using aged Longhorn beef patties, the burgers are always griddled fresh to order and best when eaten with crispy, salty fries. The specials are all worthy but, for my money, it’s the simple cheeseburger that’s the best of the lot. Patty, cheese, lettuce, pickle, onion, and OPM’s signature Boss Man sauce in a glossy bun? You can’t beat that.

9 Shaw's Passage, B5 5JG

14. Topokki

Friendly staff and tasty food are the two standout factors that make Topokki one of the best restaurant in Birmingham. This Korean joint is an ideal location for sucking down an ice cold bottle of Cass inbetween fiery spoonfuls of kimchi-jigae. Cheap, cheerful, and does what it says on the tin. What more could you ask for?

1C Hurst Street, B5 4TD

15. Trentina

Trentina 7
Good eating at Trentina. Photograph: Jack Spicer.

Having good produce is an important first step in cooking delicious food. Using Cobble Lane Cured charcuterie, meat from Dunwood Farm, and 00 flour from Shipton Mill, Trentina is a restaurant that has plenty of excellent produce to hand. What’s more impressive, though, is what the cooks do with those quality ingredients. Packington pork shoulder ragù and freshly baked focaccia are just a few of the stellar plates coming out the pass. It’s proper Italian food made with proper British ingredients. Even the stracciatella and mozzarella come from British dairy herds. Neat.

33 Mary Street, B3 1UD

16. Le Petit Bois

Pett

Classic French cuisine, when done right, is one of the world’s most fêted cuisines for a reason and Le Petit Bois is a reminder why the French have been top of the food chain for so long. Chef Ben Taylor’s bistro in Birmingham has got all the hits (moules marinière, duck rillettes, steak frites) on the tracklist and, boy, does it play them well. A meal at Le Petit Bois just feels… right. Share a côte de boeuf here with someone you fancy to let them know you mean serious business. They’ll be bloody smitten.

145 Alcester Road, B13 8JP

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