Why Birmingham is a foodie's top weekend destination

From independent traders to Michelin-starred restaurants, Birmingham is a great foodie destination. Find out the best places to eat here.

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Written by our web team

4 mins read | December 20, 2021

Birmingham is famous for its Bullring, its music and its history (including the now-infamous Peaky Blinders), but the city also has a huge independent food and drink scene too. From curries to chocolate and new cuisines, this city is full of exciting destinations for foodies to get stuck into. So whether you're wondering where to eat in Birmingham on your day trip or are heading to the city just to experience its cuisine, here are some of the reasons why the capital of the Midlands is a true foodie destination.

Its Michelin-starred restaurants

There are currently five Michelin-starred restaurants in Birmingham, which means there are plenty of fine dining locations for visitors to enjoy. From top-quality Indian cuisine to the best of British produce, there's an experience to suit all kinds of tastes.

  • Opheem: owned by Saturday Kitchen star Aktar Islam, this restaurant's menu is designed to push the boundaries of Indian flavours. Mixing the traditions of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh with the influences that Aktar found from growing up in Aston, North Birmingham, one of the dishes includes the Great British Menu-winning fish course Kekda Kerala.

  • Purnell's: one of the city's most famous chefs Glynn Purnell established this chic, contemporary city-centre restaurant in 2007. Known affectionately as the 'Yummy Brummy', the bold and innovative flavours on the menu have meant that Purnell's has held its Michelin star for the last ten years.

  • Simpsons: having moved from the Warwickshire town of Kenilworth to a redesigned Georgian mansion in Edgbaston on the outskirts of Birmingham, Simpsons offers diners a contemporary take on British cuisine.

  • Adam's: set up by a husband and wife team in 2013, this restaurant prides itself on offering diners good food and wine in the centre of Birmingham.

  • Carters of Moseley: with menus changing on a daily basis, the dishes are inspired by the seasons, British landscape and culture. It also prioritises sustainability by sourcing local ingredients and minimising waste wherever possible.

Its range of cuisines

People from all over the world travelled to Birmingham to live and work in the city and brought their unique dishes and cuisine with them. From Spanish tapas restaurants to Japanese Sandos bars and the famous Balti Triangle, there are a huge range of independent restaurants across the city to suit everyone's tastes. The Jewellery Quarter is home to authentic Nepalese treats and homemade Caribbean food while Moseley boasts some of the best Peruvian and Syrian-Lebanese restaurants. In short, wherever you go in Birmingham, you'll be able to find something different to inspire your tastebuds.

Its weekly markets

Street food eating is a big trend in Birmingham, and there are weekly food markets that share the best independent traders have to offer. With a residency in the Rainbow Venues complex, Digbeth Dining Club is a local pioneer of street food culture and rotates its showcased traders every week. Also based in Digbeth, Taste & Liquor hosts a range of food and drink traders each Friday and the last Saturday of every month, with a 2-4-1 happy hour running 5-7 pm too. Alternatively, if you fancy heading out of the city centre, KingshEATh Streetfood Market and Moseley Farmer's Markets are great places to sample some of the best local produce and discover awesome independent traders.

It's the home of sweet treats

Bournville was an area of Birmingham that was famously created by the founder of chocolatier Cadbury's to house the factory workers who made the brand's bars and treats. Although its no longer a locally-owned business, visitors can still find out more about the chocolatier's history at the Cadbury World attraction. Plus, foodies can enjoy some sweet treats in the city centre too, including La Pop, Dessert Lab and the Little Dessert Shop.

It's got great places to drink too

Birmingham's cocktail bars and pubs are as wide-ranging and high quality as the city's restaurants. Indeed, some of the best pubs in Birmingham are also some of its oldest, with the Old Joint Stock and the Bacchus Bar being two of the most popular and historic - you could even imagine the Peaky Blinders sipping a scotch or two here.

If you prefer something more luxurious and modern, then there are plenty of unique and exciting cocktail bars to take your fancy. Couch in Stirchley offers laidback vibes and serves delicious signature cocktails while the Pineapple Club has a vibrant menu and a decadent Bottomless Brunch. Plus, both have been recognised in the Top 50 Cocktail Bar awards for 2022.

Book your foodie trip to Birmingham

So, have you decided where to go for a day out in England, Scotland or Wales? Whatever city’s independent shops you’ve got your heart set on, Avanti West Coast can take you there.You can book any train journey through our Journey Planner, even if the stations and services aren’t run by Avanti West Coast.

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