Must visit restaurants in Birmingham

From the Michelin-starred marvels of celebrity chefs to the best burgers in Brum, we run through six Birmingham restaurants that are simply unmissable

Most people’s thoughts will immediately go to curry when seeing the words “Birmingham” and “restaurants” in close proximity to each other. There’s a very good reason for that association, and not one intended as any kind of slight on the diversity of the city’s cuisine. The Balti triangle is home to some of the finest Indian food you’ll find in the western world.

But if you solely seek out curry houses while in Birmingham, the only disservice is to your own self. The city’s restaurant scene is flourishing, now boasting five Michelin stars, two entries in The Sunday Times’ Top 100 and a whole host of contenders for both over the coming years. Join us on an exploration of the best restaurants in Birmingham.
It didn’t take long for Adam Stokes’ restaurant to earn a Michelin star. Reviews were stellar right off the bat and rightly so. What was initially intended as a two-year pop-up has now been firmly established as one of the best restaurants in the UK and a move to bigger premises on Waterloo Street has only enhanced the experience. It has allowed for the addition of a cocktail bar, perfect for an aperitif while you wait for your table, and a private dining room for special occasions. The cooking is endlessly creative and dishes are presented with maximum ‘wow’ factor in mind, without ever veering into style over substance. 
If it has more than a few challengers for the title of Birmingham’s best restaurant, Rofuto can at least remain unchallenged as its highest. Situated on the 16th floor of 160 Broad Street, this Japanese restaurant’s enormous windows offer panoramic views of the whole city to go with the Pan Asian menu of sushi, dim sum, sashimi, tempura and kushiyaki. Highlights include a pulled Iberico pork and kimchi gyoza and black cod kushiyaki, cooked on a robata grill.
Of course, you’d be remiss not to indulge in some of Birmingham’s exceptional Indian cuisine. If you’re looking for something that’s a bit different to your average curry house, Lasan is a bit special, so much so that Gordon Ramsay named it the best local restaurant in the UK, while The Sunday Times included it on their list of the UK’s top 100 restaurants. 
The Purnell of Purnell’s is Glynn Purnell, a name and face that will be familiar to fans of BBC cooking shows. Purnell followed numerous awards as head chef of Jessica’s in Edgbaston by opening his own joint on Cornwall Street and it has, unsurprisingly, won even more awards for the Birmingham born-and-bred celebrity chef, including a Michelin star and several ‘restaurant of the year’ awards. The food is undoubtedly of the highest quality but it’s the adherence to the dishes of Purnell’s youth that give it a unique slant. Choose from several tasting menus, including the endlessly inventive Brummie Tapas. 
Simpsons Restaurant
Holding on to a Michelin star for 15 years straight is no small feat, and that in itself is a signifier of the consistency and quality on offer at Simpsons Restaurant. Chef and restaurateur Andreas Antona was mentor to the aforementioned Glynn Purnell and has another rare talent under his wing in current head chef Nathan Eades. After a relocation and an extensive refit, Simpsons emerged looking like a dining room from Grand Designs and ready for another 15 years of success. The three-course lunch menu represents excellent value for food this good.
Original Patty Men
It can’t all be Michelin-starred all the time. That would get dull. Sometimes you want bread, meat and cheese in a greasy bundle and when those times arise, Original Patty Men is a sure-fire hit. Take yourself to Digbeth and indulge in Birmingham’s best burger, with excellent fries – topped with jalapeno slaw if you like – some white barbecue sauce (seriously, it’s a thing and it’s a very, very good thing) and a craft brew.
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