If there’s one thing Birmingham is known for, it’s the Balti Triangle. If you’re going to visit anywhere in the UK for a curry, then it better be Brum. With over 100 Curry Houses across Sparkbrook, Balsall Heath and Moseley attracting over 20,000 visitors a year, you won’t want to miss out on a delicious curry. Birmingham is renowned for its Balti – a spicy, aromatic Kashmiri dish served with boiled rice.
Balti and curry houses started popping up in Birmingham in the 1970’s and have been a popular haunt for locals and tourists ever since. The name ‘balti’ refers to the bowl that the curry is served in, and is thought to originate from the Urdu word balty, meaning ‘bucket’.
Asha’s on Newhall Street is an excellent place to experience Birmingham’s delicious curries. This award winning restaurant has fed the likes of Heston Blumenthal, Dara O’Brien and Jay Sean. Their selection of Tikkas, Bhunas and Jalfrezis will add a little spice to your life and leave you feeling full!
Vegan & Vegetarian
It’s estimated that over 1.2 million people in the UK are vegetarian, and since 2016 542,000 people aged 15 or over have adopted a vegan diet. A diet without animal produce is becoming much more common, so it makes sense for the UK’s second city to adapt. Birmingham has some delicious vegetarian and vegan cafes, eateries and restaurants that cater to vegetarian and vegan dietary requirements.
One of our favourites is Not Dogs in the Bull Ring. They offer breakfast, waffle fries, burgers and their infamous Not Dogs. The Vegan seitan based Not Dog with tiki masala, crushed popadoms and fresh coriander will satisfy the taste buds – follow that with their Hello Humous Waffle fries and you’re in for a treat!
If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan meal with a little class, then 1847 in the Great Western Arcade will please any appetite. Their menu focuses on natural foods without animal product and changes daily, from beer battered tofu and triple cooked fries to roasted cauliflower, pearl barley and miso risotto. But be sure to book a table in advance as it fills up pretty fast.
Doner Kebabs are often thought to be one of Britain’s best dishes, and when the first kebab shop opened in North London in 1966, they couldn’t have imagined the popularity of kebabs decades later. It is thought that an average of 1.3 million kebabs are sold in the UK every day, and there are over 20,000 kebab shops selling 2,500 tonnes of lamb and chicken doner meat a week.
However, a hearty meal isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think of a donor kebab, as it is often a post-pub favourite and hailed as one of the unhealthiest dishes you can eat. But when the kebab was invented in 1971 by Mahmut Aygun, it was never the intention for it to become a boozy snack. The doner kebab’s name originates from the Turkish work ‘dondurmek’ which translates to ‘rotating roast’ – the lean meat was then to be served with lettuce, onion, tomato and garlic dressing, all served into a pitta pocket.
With so many kebab houses flooding the UK, it can be hard to weed out the good from the bad, but don’t worry! Birmingham’s very own German Doner Kebab on Bull Street takes a healthy and innovative approach to one of Britain’s favourite dishes. Their Lahmacun – a traditional Turkish Pizza topped with lamb doner will please your hunger, and you’ll get to try something new as well.
Sushi and other Pan Asian dishes are becoming increasingly popular across the UK, with over 277 Japanese restaurants in London, it’s safe to say that sushi is sweeping the nation. Brits are learning to use chopsticks and master true sushi etiquette when tucking into delicious fish dishes. From Sashimi to Maki and Nigiri, there are many healthy options to choose from – but always make sure to go to an eatery selling fresh fish – that way you’ll get the best tastes!
Sushi is often thought of as a theatre food, because of the skill and talent it takes to create such intricate dishes. Sushi first came to Japan 2000 years ago, when Tokyo was known as Edo. In the early 19th century, street vendors ran mobile food stalls that would sell Nigiri sushi, but when the Great Kanto earthquake struck Japan in 1923, these sushi chefs were displaced throughout Tokyo and Japan, therefore popularising Sushi as a meal.
If you want to try some sushi, then Birmingham is the best place to go (aside from Japan of course!). If you want a relaxed experience, then try Toppoki on Hurst Street. With fresh sushi and delicious Korean dishes Wednesday to Sunday, it will be sure to tickle your taste buds. If you want a more high end experience that will give you the theatrical element of this Japanese dish, then be sure to visit Rofuto on Broad Street. With skyline views, talented chefs and stunning interiors, you will not be disappointed.
The UK is renowned for having a little bit of a sweet tooth, and dessert parlours are popping up all around the UK. As a nation, we have our fair share of delicious puddings, from spotted dick to apple pie and custard, and it’s becoming clear that we want to have our cake and eat it too. Even the first ruling Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth I (1558 – 1601) was notorious for her insatiable sweet tooth – she even cleaned her teeth with sugar paste! (It was believed that sugar held medicinal properties.)
But it’s not just British desserts that are taking the nation by storm – these dessert parlours are showcasing the sugary delights in America. From freakshakes to stacked maple waffles and towering sundaes, it isn’t hard to see why these venues are becoming so popular. That being said, you want to make sure you’re getting quality over quantity instead of a pure sugar rush.
Dolce Lounge on Corporation Street specialises in cookie dough and waffles, all made from scratch to create incredible flavours. From fresh berry waffles to Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cookie Dough and Red Velvet Cake you won’t ever want to leave, and your eyes will definitely be bigger than your belly.
If you happen to have somewhat of a sweet tooth and a drink, Birmingham is also home to some unique afternoon teas. From cakes and sandwiches accompanied by prosecco or bellinis to a Hendricks afternoon tea, your options are infinite.
With so many amazing eateries, pubs and restaurants for you to visit in Birmingham, why not make a weekend of it? When you book a couple of nights in Park Regis, you don’t need to worry about catching the last train home, or watch in envy as you sip your lime and soda because you’ve pulled the short straw being the designated driver. You can also indulge in a delightful breakfast before you explore Birmingham even further! Get in touch today to book your stay!