This post is written in collaboration with Hotels.com. Hotels.com gifted me spending money towards this challenge but as always, all views are my own.
January. A month of looking back at all the excess that the final month of the year brought. Too much food consumed. Too much drink consumed. And too much money spent. It’s a month for hibernation. But when Hotels.com challenged me to give them the heads-up on the best places for eating out in Birmingham, I couldn’t resist!
Of course, for me it’s a hop, skip and jump into the centre of Birmingham (or “town” as we Brummies call it) but if you’re coming from further afield then make sure you check out this selection of hotels in Birmingham if you’re planning on making a weekend of it! You can even find tips on spending 48 hours in Birmingham here.
With so many new bars and restaurants springing up in Birmingham in 2018 this was a great opportunity to discover a new place for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So here’s my day in food – a.k.a A Brummie Home and Abroad’s Guide to Eating Out in Birmingham.
For breakfast, we chose Waylands Yard, whose owners opened a second coffee shop and cafe in Birmingham after the success of its inaugural location in Worcester. There are plenty of tables available when Mr Fletche and I arrive at 10am on a Saturday morning but it start to fill up by the time we leave. It’s vegetarian and vegan-friendly, and of course the ubiquitous avo smash makes an appearance. However, I had no doubt about my breakfast choice. After all, this place is famed for it’s eggy crumpets. Sticking with the egg theme, Mr Fletche ordered the eggs benedict pico de gallo. There are plenty of coffee options available – familiar and more specialised – and a good selection for the tea-drinker too. I am strangely fascinated by the “magic” teapots and glad that the staff are all too happy to explain how they work.
The food arrives. I stop playing with the teapot (although I order a second pot of hot water so I can get the required Boomerang). My crumpets are dipped in egg, and topped with chilli jam, spring onions, halloumi and fresh chillies. Being a carnivore, no meal is complete without a serving of meat so I request that my crumpets be accompanied by chorizo. And it doesn’t disappoint. There is a subtle kick in all the chilli accompaniments, yet a sweetness which pleases the palate. I clear my plate in record time. Mr Fletche munched his way through a perfectly oozing eggs benedict with streaky bacon, avocado and salsa on sourdough toast.
We enjoyed our breakfast at Wayland’s Yard Birmingham immensely, and will definitely be returning. You can find Wayland’s Yard on Bull Street, just five minutes walk from Snow Hill Station
Working full-time means that some Saturdays you just have to get on with the boring life admin stuff. Like getting your car serviced. I have a vague ETA of two hours or so to kill so I wander into town in the hope of completing the “new lunch venue” part of this challenge. I head towards Stephenson Street – home of Brum bloggers favourite Tiger Bites Pig. It is next door neighbour All Greek Street Food however which catches my eye.
There’s just a handful of tables and stool seating by the window; it’s an order at the counter affair and the staff bring the food to your table. It’s a simple menu, as offered by the best street food venues. You can opt for a wrap or a platter, with four different meat options, and vegan and vegetarian options too. There are also a selection of sides, including fries, dips and salad.
I chose the Classic Greek with chicken souvlaki, and a side order of fries. The fries were unnecessary as I forgot that a key ingredient of the Classic Greek wrap is, of course, fries. I may have overloaded on carbs. The pitta bread was warm and fluffy, the onions lightly fried and the chicken was moist. I found the sauce to be similar to the kind found on most chain fast food outlet burgers, which wasn’t totally unpleasant. The Classic Greek was £5.50, and the fries £2.50. so for £8.00 I had a tasty and filling lunch.
This was a solo lunch but I will definitely drag Mr Fletche in here soon to try one of their mixed sharer platters. Yes, it’s a construction site around the area at the moment with the new tramway (where in Birmingham isn’t?) but don’t let that stop you seeking out this tiny authentic but affordable place.
I’m so not on board with Veganuary. I like meat too much. And cheese. And other stuff which is not plant-based and is totally an animal product. Don’t @ me. But I’m pleased to say that rodizian grill specialists Fazenda also offer an extensive vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian selection which has me almost wishing I wasn’t so beholden to meat. Almost.
Birmingham’s Fazenda is the fifth to open in the UK, and is a kind of “all-you-can-eat” meat buffet with a handy red card/green card system to indicate to waiters whether you want them to continue serving succulent slabs of meat to you or not. And there’s an awesome salad bar with all sorts of exotic foods to pad out your plate so you don’t look like a total carnivore.
But the meat is the star here. My absolute favourites were the rump, served deliciously pink, and the honey and cinnamon glazed pork belly. I’m slightly hungover from the night before so I stick to water (lightweight) but there’s a decent wine selection too. The customer service was faultless, and I feel we were getting a 5* experience for 3* prices – always a winner in my book.
Tip: dine at lunchtime for a smaller cost but a still extensive food selection! To be honest though, the flat fee for the evening meal (£32.50) is probably comparable with a good steak elsewhere in the city, and all your starters/sides are included too!
It’s been fun to seek out new places to eat in Birmingham this January. And a great challenge for the year’s longest month 🙂 There are still so many new restaurants and bars to try, and whilst this will never be a foodie blog (there are so many great Birmingham food bloggers out there!) I’ll continue to keep you updated on why Birmingham should be your next UK city break of choice. Unless you’re from Birmingham of course. Cos that would be daft.
I’m Emmalene, a 40 something with a passion for travel, theatre, food, drink and the occasional accidental hike! I’m a born-and-bred Birmingham native so expect lots of Brum content on here too…