Best for show stoppers
Just a 10-minute walk from the O2 Academy and Birmingham Hippodrome, Côte Brasserie is a good central choice if you’ve tickets for a show, especially if timings allow you to take advantage of their three-course set menu, available weekdays until 7pm. For £13.50 you could enjoy frisée aux lardons followed by bœuf en croute and a crème caramel dessert — there’s plenty of delicious French fare available. During the summer, ask for a table outside and dine al fresco.
Address: The Mailbox, 120-122 Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RX
For sample menu and reservations: www.cote.co.uk/restaurant/birmingham/
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Best for a city break
Near Birmingham’s Botanical Gardens in the leafy suburb of Edgbaston, Simpsons is a fine-dining venue that serves up creative dishes inspired by the seasons, such as Wiltshire venison with salt-baked celeriac, pickled walnut, apple and stilton. One of the city’s first Michelin-starred restaurants, diners recommend the three-course set lunch, which starts at £39.50 and includes a half bottle of wine. If it’s a special occasion, why not also book one of Simpson’s guest rooms — bedroom rates start from £150.
Address: 20 Highfield Road, Birmingham B15 3DU
For sample menu and reservations: www.simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk
Best for meat-free meals
On the doorstep of the city’s cathedral, independent shops, galleries and theatres, 1847 is a stylish bistro that gets the thumbs up from vegetarians and carnivores alike. Serving only meat-free meals, the innovative menu may include dishes such as tofu scallop, sweetcorn parfait and sour cherry compote — a three-course set dinner costs £28. Add a bottle of wine for £26 and you’re sure to impress a loved one.
Address: 26 Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, Birmingham B2 5HU
For sample menu and reservations: 1847manchester.com/birmingham/
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Best for traditional Italians
San Carlo, an Italian restaurant located in the heart of Birmingham’s city centre, has also won the hearts of locals and celebrities. Both regularly frequent the award-winning venue, eager to browse through the extensive menu comprising of 140 carefully selected dishes showcasing Italy’s finest ingredients — seasonal produce is often flown in to ensure authenticity. Carpaccio, shellfish, pizza, pasta, carne and a specials menu of fresh fish means you’ll be spoilt for choice. Once visited, you’ll certainly return for more.
Address: 4 Temple Street, Birmingham B2 5BN
For sample menu and reservations: sancarlo.co.uk/restaurants/birmingham/
Best for comfort classics
British favourites such as fish and chips, and comfort classics including a hearty, all-day full English breakfast, can be found on the menu at Tom’s Kitchen, a relaxed and informal restaurant owned by one of the UK’s most talented chefs, Tom Aiken. If time is precious, choose the express lunch menu or pop into the deli in the nearby Urban Room. If you’re able to linger longer, take it easy while enjoying weekend brunch or a traditional Sunday roast.
Address: 53 The Mailbox, Wharfside Street, Birmingham B1 1RE
For sample menu and reservations: tomskitchen.co.uk/birmingham-restaurant/
Best for tasting menus
Adam’s started off life as a ‘pop-up’ in a former sandwich shop. Fast forward six years and the contemporary British fine-dining restaurant is now located in grander premises in Birmingham’s city centre — and has a Michelin star to boot. Chef Adam Stokes is at the helm, and alongside his wife Natasha, the pair are now renowned for their bespoke and rather exquisite tasting menu. A three-course set menu is also popular with diners.
Address: New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street, Birmingham B2 5UG
For sample menu and reservations: www.adamsrestaurant.co.uk
Best for Brummies
Yet another Birmingham restaurant with a Michelin star (there’s a trend emerging), chef Glynn Purnell, or the Yummy Brummie, is the talent behind this chic fine-dining eatery occupying a city centre, redbrick Victorian building. Food on the menu is mostly British, however Glynn’s cooking also has influences from France and the Far East. Herefordshire beef, Brixham cod, Cumbrian sirloin and Wiltshire lamb are often à la carte choices, and there’s a selection of Brummie tapas too.
Address: 55 Cornwall Street, Birmingham B3 2DH
For sample menu and reservations: purnellsrestaurant.com/
Best for Indian joy
On the website of this Indian restaurant it states the ‘atmosphere pulsates with laughter and fun’, however we’re not sure if everyone was happy when Lasan featured on Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word! Today though, the restaurant receives rave reviews, with its authentic Indian cuisine and friendly vibe being highlighted. Mains on the menu include Kodiyal seabass, Kerala beef chilli and sweet potato kofta, all dishes claiming to be true to India.
Address: 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1SD
For sample menu and reservations: lasan.co.uk
Best for shoppers
Located in Grand Central shopping centre, Carluccio’s restaurant is the perfect place to relax and revitalise if you’re planning some retail therapy. And as it’s open from 8am (9am on a Sunday), you could even pop in for a breakfast of Italian French toast or asparagus benedict. The daytime set menu, two courses for under £13, is good value, and there’s an impressive selection of gluten-free options too. Another branch can be found at Brindleyplace.
Address: Grand Central Shopping Centre, Birmingham B2 4XJ
For sample menu and reservations: www.carluccios.com/restaurant/birmingham-grand-central/
Best for simple fine dining
Carters of Moseley
A drive outside of the city centre, but worth the effort, Carters of Moseley is, you’ve guessed it, a Michelin-starred restaurant. Here, however, you’ll find a team who focus on a restrained style of cooking, where nature is all important and attention is placed on wild foraged flora and fauna. The dinner menu claims to be simple, affordable and fun, using fresh seasonal ingredients and may include desserts of cherry blossom mousse and cider-soaked Tamworth fat cake.
Address: 2c St Mary’s Row, Wake Green Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 9EZ
For sample menu and reservations: cartersofmoseley.co.uk/
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