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New York-style café Anderson & Hill. Photo: Verity Milligan
New York-style café Anderson & Hill. Photo: Verity Milligan

Food & Drink

Six great Birmingham restaurants

A trip to Birmingham isn’t complete without tasting a Balti. But the city offers plenty of other great eating options as well.

Marmalade. Photo: Verity Milligan


Right next to the Birmingham Library at the Repertory Theatre, Marmalade is a semi-circular room of beautiful lampshades hanging low over tables and Mediterranean­style geometric patterned wallpaper. It looks plush and expensive, but ­dishes such as the “subtle sea bass, served with tangy crushed potatoes” are a very reasonable £12.95.

Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Broad Street

The Queens Arms

One of several great pubs in the Jewellery Quarter, the Queens Arms has a long menu that you can deal with ­quickly by just heading straight to the sausages supplied by local butcher Lashfords. With names such as the Royal (smoked bacon and pork) and the Carlton (prime beef) and a side of mashed potato, they’re meaty enough and big enough to mean you’re unlikely to eat again that day.

150 Newhall Street

Anderson & Hill

Below the arches of the Great Western Parade, opposite the cathedral, a ciabatta sandwich from New York-style café Anderson & Hill is one of the city’s great lunchtime treats. Try the Iberian serrano ham with sweet roasted peppers that brings out the best of the sour and salty Manchego cheese.

Great Western Arcade, 7 Colmore Row.

Six Eight Kafe. Photo: Verity Milligan

Six Eight Kafe

Hipsters have had a big impact on the UK coffee scene. The staff at this tiny independent café look as if they’ve walked straight out of an indie film, while serving the best flat whites. The anti­podean coffee has just the right balance between strength and smoothness.

6/8 Temple Row


Having served Birmingham’s favorite dish, the balti, a curry cooked in a thin metal pan, for more than 40 years, Adil’s helped create what is now known as the Balti Triangle in the south of the city. Now a little posher in its décor, it still sells flat naan bread big enough to cover a small table, ready to be ripped up and used to shovel the rich, spicy food into your mouth.

148-150 Stoney Lane

The Custard Factory. Photo: Verity Milligan

Le Keux Salon

In the heart of the Custard Factory, the people at Le Keux have many different ways to take you back to the 1950s. There’s the kitsch décor complete with Marilyn Monroe posters and other pin-ups, Elvis and his contemporaries on the jukebox, experts in 1950s fashion doing makeovers in the beauty salon, and large jugs of thick, rich milkshake served in the café next door.

Zellig Building, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street.

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