Birmingham is a city that has much to discover, but it’s a hard task to do on an empty stomach. Eventually, you will have to make a quick pit stop, but that doesn’t mean your Birmingham experience has to be on hold. Here are some of the best places to keep the excitement going even as you take on a much-needed refuelling.
Most of the locations we featured have accessibility features, so that older people or those with mobility issues can make the most of their visit.
When it comes to light café lunches, few places can beat the Cosy Coffee Café found on Bristol Road South. It’s aptly named, as it’s situated within a home building eccentrically decorated with various knickknacks and oddments, and brightly coloured furniture. The compact décor helps everything seem a lot more intimate, but it may be a little too cluttered for those uncertain on their feet.
During holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, the place really comes to life with quirky decorations, which makes it worth visiting no matter the time of year.
The menu offers everything from sandwiches and baguettes, to cakes and coffees, to omelettes and paninis. The food is all locally sourced and homecooked, and the staff are friendly and eager to make you feel welcomed. Be aware that this is a dog friendly café, which is great for those who like taking their canine companions with them when out and about. Naturally this extends to assistance dogs too!
Take a walk down the canal, and you’ll come across one of Birmingham’s worst kept secrets. Although a recent addition to the city, The Distillery is already a hit with locals and visitors alike. By night it functions as a bar and lounge, but by day it’s also a great place to drop in for lunch.
The main draw is the gin bar, which is fully stocked with local, national and international varieties for those with a taste for it. Meanwhile, the menu tends towards rotisserie meats and wood-oven pizzas, which makes it a somewhat heavier choice than most for lunch. Consider it more of an experience in itself rather than a quick break, and expect to spend at least a quarter hour here at a bare minimum. A vegetarian menu is also offered.
Located within a former warehouse, the lounge and café are accessed by a flight of stairs with a bannister. The lighting, while atmospheric, is bolstered by large windows letting in daylight, and so is adequately lit. Even so, those with limited eyesight may need assistance at places.
For those who like their food to be ethical as well as delicious, consider having your lunch at the Veggie Chippy, just on New John Street West. As the name implies, it specialises in offering a vegetarian/vegan take on the classic British staple.
All its dishes are vegan or vegetarian friendly, using meat substitutes deep fried in batter in place of traditional meats. The food is cooked to perfection, with hearty thick cut chips and generous helpings of vegetables. The café offers three tables at which to sit down, but in true chippy style the dishes can be taken away to be eaten on the go.
Whether you are trying to cut down on meat or don’t want to eat it at all, the Veggie Chippy is sure to provide a hearty option for your lunch.
Finishing off with one of Birmingham’s many pubs, The Woodsman is found in a handsome red bricked Victorian building on New Canal Street. The interior is elegantly furnished with varnished wood panelling, offering a sumptuous and warm welcome. That said its dining area is spacious and well lit, with smooth and even flooring. Access is made easier with only the slightest of steps as well.
The Woodman offers traditional pub fare, such as fish and chips, various pies, Sunday roasts, sausage and mash, and soups of the day. The bar is stocked with a wide variety of drinks both hard and soft, so you can easily enjoy a local lager, a gin and tonic, or a glass of bitter lemon with your meal.
During warmer months seating is available outside, and dogs are welcome.
You may also be interested in the top things to do with your elderly loved ones in Birmingham.