Eating like a local in Birmingham means tasting dishes inspired from all corners of the globe, particularly South and East Asia. The West Midlands region is widely acknowledged to be the birthplace of the original pork scratching, which are served in almost all pubs. But Indian food, breakfast sandwiches, veggie bites, steaks, and Sunday roasts are all favourites with the locals in England’s second-largest city.

    Feast on fried pork faggots and pig’s trotters to taste cuisines that originated in post-war Birmingham, or head to one of the city’s household-name Indian restaurants for a spicy curry or balti. Alternatively, grab a table in a traditional pub or bar to eat British classics like pork pies, full English breakfasts and delicious sarnies.

    What are the best local restaurants in Birmingham?


    The Bull

    Feast on fried pork faggots, an old-school Brummie classic

    The Bull is a true local pub in Birmingham, serving a wide variety of affordable real ales and international lagers. Housed in a Victorian building, The Bull’s interior features a traditional wooden bar and a large dining area, with hundreds of mugs and ceramics hanging from the ceiling. Its extensive menu features Brummie classics like fried faggots (minced off-cuts of pork liver and heart wrapped in bacon), an assortment of homemade pies and plenty of tasty pub grub.

    The Bull doubles up as a bed and breakfast in Birmingham’s Jewellery District. And because pets are welcome to stay for free, it’s an ideal place to stay for domestic travellers. If you want to pick up a case of Birmingham-brewed real ale, you can walk to the Two Towers Brewery in a few minutes.

    Location: 1 Price St, Birmingham B4 6JU, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)121 333 6757


    The Mailbox

    A row of trendy restaurants, cafes and bars

    The Mailbox is a large shopping centre filled with boutique shops and lots of designer stores, including one of the nation’s only Harvey Nichols outlets. There’s also a row of around 20 restaurants serving dishes from across the globe, such as Miller & Carter (a steakhouse), Café Rouge (specialising in French cuisine) and Zizzi, a highly rated Italian restaurant.

    If you want to dine on a locally adored dish, we recommend trying the balti at Indico Street Kitchen, a restaurant that pays tribute to India’s street food vendors and the glamour of Indian cinema. Head to Indico between noon and 5 pm from Monday to Friday to grab your choice of curry with naan or plain rice for under a tenner.

    Location: 7 Commercial St, Birmingham B1 1RS, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)121 632 1000


    photo by Bs0u10e01 (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Harborne Kitchen

    Dine on modern British cuisine in a fashionable setting

    Harborne Kitchen is a contemporary restaurant with a ‘chosen’ menu of progressive British dishes. And, the presentation of the dishes and experience of the restaurant is just as good as the food itself. To sample several delights from this top-rated eatery, try the 6-course sample menu, which features Orkney Island scallop, maitake mushrooms and Loch Duart salmon. There’s also an extensive a-la-carte vegetarian menu.

    If you want a memento of your experience at Harborne Kitchen, you can buy signature bottles of Fir Gin, sourdough bread and delicious coffee beans. We recommend reserving your table well in advance, especially if you want the upscale Private Dining Room.

    Location: 175-179 High St, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9QE, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 6 pm to 11 pm, Saturday from noon to 3 pm and 6 pm to 11 pm (closed on Sunday and Monday)

    Phone: +44 (0)121 439 9150


    Lasan Indian Restaurant & Cocktail Bar

    An award-winning showpiece of the city's Indian cuisine

    Lasan Indian Restaurant & Cocktail Bar is popular with locals and visitors in Birmingham. As a city with one of the largest Indian communities in the UK, Birmingham has cuisines heavily influenced by the South Asian subcontinent. Lasan's menu includes dishes such as guinea fowl korma, Kashmiri lamb rogan and goat biryani, and also features a variety of unique cocktails.

    The nouveau Indian menu, contemporary interior and lively atmosphere have contributed to Lasan’s numerous accolades and awards. It won the Best UK Local Restaurant Award on Gordon Ramsey’s TV show, The F Word. It has also been featured in The Good Food Guide by Waitrose.

    Location: 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, St Paul's Square, Birmingham B3 1SD, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from noon to 2.30 pm and 5 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from noon to 11 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)161 234 1983


    photo by Haydn Blackey (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Jyoti's Vegetarian

    Affordable vegetarian bites inspired by South Asian cuisine

    Jyoti's Vegetarian was the first vegetarian Indian restaurant and takeaway to be established in Birmingham, and it’s been recommended by celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Antony Worrall Thompson. There are over 70 main courses on the menu, including a range of dosa, thali and masala dishes. And, most meals cost under £10.

    Jyoti's Vegetarian is less than 5 minutes on foot from Hall Green train station. If you want to try a signature delicacy, order the Jyoti Special Masala Dhosa, a rice pancake filled with potatoes, pineapple, onions, coconut chutney and vegetable source.

    Location: 1045 Stratford Rd, Birmingham B28 8AS, UK

    Open: Tuesday from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday–Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)121 778 5501


    photo by Pete Birkinshaw (CC BY 2.0) modified


    The Pig & Tail

    Taste British-style tapas in a retro Brummie bar

    The Pig & Tail occupies a Victorian building with a welcoming green façade. Inside, you’ll see walls decorated in floral wallpaper, a stylish tiled bar and a long, narrow but cosy dining area. Local favourites on the menu include homemade fries with bacon bits, British-style tapas and pork meatballs smothered in smoked paprika sauce.

    Head to The Pig & Tail between 11 am and 2 pm to order food from the brunch menu. The signature Pig & Tail Breakfast will certainly cure your hunger pangs. A pint goes great with the bar’s pork scratchings, which are widely believed to be a Brummie invention.

    Location: 12-13 Albion St, Birmingham B1 3ED, UK

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)121 212 9964


    photo by Adam Stewart (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Tattu Restaurant and Bar

    Relax in one of Birmingham’s quirkiest Chinese restaurants

    Tattu Restaurant and Bar is a contemporary Chinese restaurant with an intimate, dimly lit interior decorated with pink and purple blossoms as well as traditional Chinese ornaments. Here, you can eat modern Chinese dishes, sample a variety of uniquely blended flavours with sharing platters, and complement your meal with a signature cocktail. Popular mains include Chinese barbecue chicken, duck egg fried rice and Thai style monkfish.

    Tattu Restaurant and Bar is fairly exclusive, so it’s a good idea to book your table well in advance, and remember that this is an upscale diner – smart casual attire is expected. Taste the best of everything by ordering from the sharing menu.

    Location: 18 Barwick St, Birmingham B3 2NT, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)121 236 5556


    Andersons Bar and Grill

    A steakhouse famed for its Sunday roast

    Andersons Bar and Grill is one of Birmingham’s top-rated steakhouses that specialises in sharing steaks and barbecue packages. It’s retained many traditional decorative features, such as wooden roof beams and uncovered brick walls. It strives to source the UK’s finest, rarest and most sustainable sources of beef, which is cooked to perfection and served with sides like savoy cabbage and bacon, homemade chips, and tomato and basil.

    On the last Sunday of the month, Andersons Bar and Grill makes one of the city’s most delicious Sunday roasts in Birmingham, cooked in beef dripping (just how the locals love it). If you want to eat at home or purchase a gift for a foodie friend, you can order meat hampers to your doorstep.

    Location: 30 Mary Ann St, Birmingham B3 1RL, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from noon to 2.30 pm and 5.30 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from 4 pm to midnight (closed on Sundays, except the last Sunday of the month)

    Phone: +44 (0)121 200 2515


    Ju Ju's Café

    A local hot spot for delicious porky hash

    Ju Ju's Café is located by the Birmingham Canal Old Line with a large indoor and outdoor dining area. There’s also a beautiful terrace that overlooks the water, giving you a clear view of luxury apartments and a stream of colourful canal boats. As an all-day diner, Ju Ju's Café serves breakfasts, brunches, Sunday roasts and a selection of fruity cocktails, but the Brummie-classic porky hash (crushed potatoes with onion hash, bacon and sausage) comes highly recommended.

    Ju Ju's Café is just a few minutes’ walk from landmarks such as the Symphony Hall, Brindley Place and the Crescent Theatre. Except on Sundays, Ju Ju's Café remains open until 10 pm. Free street parking is available, though you might struggle to find a space during peak traffic times.

    Location: Watermarque, Canal Square, 100 Browning St, Birmingham B16 8EH, UK

    Open: Wednesday–Friday from 6 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and 6 pm to 10 pm (closed on Sundays and Mondays)

    Phone: +44 (0)121 456 3384


    photo by Elliott Brown (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Bull Ring Indoor Market

    Treat yourself to pig’s trotters and other ‘forgotten’ meat dishes

    Birmingham’s Bull Ring Indoor Market is one of the UK’s largest seafood and fish markets, but there’s also a wide selection of rare meat cuts, poultry, and produce. Though not so popular nowadays, pig’s trotters were once a staple of the Brummie diet, particularly during the war years. Now, you can find trotters along with ‘forgotten’ cheap but tasty meats like shanks, pork cheeks and beef brisket at various stalls.

    If you’d rather leave the cooking to somebody else, visit one of the many restaurants in the market. Otoro Sushi UK is one of the top-rated eateries with an indoor dining area. If you want to try some of the city’s finest cuts of cooked pork or a delicious pie, head to The Bullring Deli Limited, which also sells Birmingham-made pork scratchings.

    Read more

    Location: Birmingham B5 4RQ, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 5.30 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)121 622 0200


    photo by Elliott Brown (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    Joshua Saunders | Contributing Writer

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