The 25 best restaurants in Birmingham that you need to try in 2024

St Phillip's Cathedral as seen from Orelle restaurant on the 24th floor of 103 Colmore Row in Birmingham city centre
St Phillip's Cathedral as seen from Orelle restaurant on the 24th floor of 103 Colmore Row in Birmingham city centre -Credit:Martin O'Callaghan / Birmingham Live

As people all over the world start to make their plans for 2024, sharing fresh resolutions, we've been adding to our bucketlist of places we want to eat out at in 2024. Old habits die hard.

We've had so much fun this past year serving up weekly portions of food and drink news to friends and readers through our emailer. The Brum Food Club newletter drops into inboxes every Thursday, free to our subscribers, a tailored read that focuses on our scene and we're hoping it gives you fresh inspiration of things worth trying.

From restaurant recommendations and dining ideas to reviews and news of new openings, sad closures and loads more to boot, be sure to sign up so you don't miss out. That said, for now, let's take a look at the 30 best restaurants you simply have to try (or try again!) in 2024!

1) Tropea

Tropea is just brilliant, an Italian cafe by day and a restaurant by night serving up fantastic dishes. We absolutely adored it when we went by to review, it featured in the Good Food Guide list of the 100 Best Local Restaurant and it's Michelin rated too.

University College Birmingham chefs Ben and Kasia run the joint and they serve fuss-free, modern Italian fare. The wines and cocktails are good too, but that Italian tapas-style food is unforgettable.

27 Lordswood Road, Harborne, B17 9RP

2) Land

Soon to expand into the unit next door, Land is one of the city centre's most exciting restaurants. Another one that got a glowing review from us, the plant-based restaurant offers fine dining at an affordable price, making truly special things out of quality produce, fresh from the land.

The food is international, with flavours from all over whipped into order by chefs Adrian Luck and Tony Cridland. Jay Rayner at the Guardian called it 'vegan cooking to file under thrilling', they've got two AA Rosettes, a Michelin nod and props from the Good Food Guide too.

30 Great Western Arcade, City Centre, B2 5HU

A bowl of food from Land
Plant-based fare at Land -Credit:Land

3) Indian Cafe Racer

Serving home-cooked Indian street food from a tiny kitchen in the back of a boozer, Indian Cafe Racer is a surprising spot dishing up food that's better than you'd expect when you show up and find it hidden behind a curtain. Read our review of it here!

It doesn't have any grand plaudits as such (it's the second best Indian restaurant on Tripadvisor, if that counts) but we really love their vibe, the attention to detail and the care that's put into the food. The Pan-Asian and Indo Chinese element means you can have lemon crab cakes with your chicken tikka!

The Duke of Wellington, 72 Bristol Street, Birmingham, B5 7AH

4) Simpsons

How could we possibly do a list of the best restaurants in Birmingham without mentioning this modern British legend in the game? Simpsons has been around for 30 years, serving fine fare from a Grade II-listed Georgian villa in Edgbaston.

It's had a Michelin Star for ages and it's no wonder. Whether you go all out on the tasting menu for a meal you'll remember forever or you just pop in for a quick lunch for a far more accessible price, this place is consistently turning out wonderful, special food. One to visit for a special occasion, definitely!

20 Highfield Road, Edgbaston, B15 3DU

5) Adams

Another of our Michelin Star-rated spots, Adams is one of our city's most beloved restaurants. And for good reason, the service is sublime, the contemporary British food unreal and it's one of only 49 restaurants in the world to have a three star wine list according to The World of Fine Wine.

If you fancy being in the heart of the action, get a seat at the chef's table and watch the masters at work. If not, choose a quiet corner and experience culinary bliss in peace.

New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street, City Centre, B2 5UG

6) Opheem

Opheem is special, not only because it was the first Indian restaurant outside of London to get a star, but because it's just really, really good. Aktar Islam's city centre spot takes you on a culinary tour of India on his tasting menus.

The seasonal menu changes all of the time so even if you've been once, it's worth it to return if you can. You won't find a more exquisite pakora anywhere.

65 Summer Row, City Centre, B3 1JJ

7) Purnell's

The third of our five Michelin Star restaurants to make this list, Glynn Purnell seems to turn everything he touches into gold. Not only is his Birmingham tapas place now on the Michelin Guide, but the restaurant he opened in Coventry is too.

Make no mistake, though. Purnell's on Cornwall Street is where he does his best work. He cooks mostly British stuff, but expect twists from the Far East and France too. Stunning.

55 Cornwall Street, City Centre, B3 2DH

8) Carters

The past year has been a strange one for Carters. Initially over in Moseley, where it gained a Michelin Star for really brilliant food, it's since been down in Evesham, cooking at the place where most of its produce was grown.

Now they're moving to a city centre skyscraper, but we're mostly excited to see what happens come summer. Brad Carter and Holly will be setting up shop in the city, and it's worth following them wherever they roam for seasonal food created using produce from as close to home as they can get.

103 Colmore Row, City Centre, B3 3AG

Eighteen at 103 Colmore Row
Eighteen at 103 Colmore Row -Credit:Carters

9) 670 Grams

Created by Michelin Young Chef Kray Treadwell, 670 Grams has changed a lot over the last year. It used to be a place to visit for the fine dining tasting menu experience but as of January, the boss is turning out tapas-style small plates.

The change began after Kray started whipping up Sunday roasts that brought him joy. Now, his eclectic cooking and fun dishes will accessible to more people, without the expectation of sitting down and having the lot as some fine dining sit-down meal.

4 Gibb Street, The Custard Factory, Digbeth, B9 4AA

10) The Wilderness

The Wilderness was one of only two Birmingham restaurants to feature in the Harden's Top 100 Best list for 2024. The home of rock n roll fine dining, Chef Patron Alex Claridge's place boasts a recommendation from the Michelin Guide and has three AA Rosettes.

Sophisticated but not stuffy, edgy but not obnoxious, it's exciting food served in a laid-back environment with a cool playlist. Keep your eye out for collabs through the year.

27 Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter, B18 6JQ

11) Le Petit Bois

A classic French restaurant, Le Petit Bois somehow makes you feel like Birmingham is right on the coast. Seafood is a speciality and Ben Taylor and his team are serving up Sunday roasts and a really reasonably-priced lunch menu too.

The setting is lovely, service is exceptional and those two AA Rosettes speak volumes.

145 Alcester Road, Moseley, B13 8JP

12) Verbena

A cool little restaurant in one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city, Verbena is a women-led restaurant serving modern British food. In an industry that seems to be male dominated, Verbena is supporting women in hospitality so lots of what you eat will be from women-led local suppliers too.

Another spot with small plates for grazing, prices vary from a very reasonable £4 for truffle tries to braised venison shank up at the £15 mark. Go there and head to Couch after for an after dinner cocktail!

1474 Pershore Road, Stirchley, B30 2NT

13) Chapter

An independent kitchen, bar and terrace in Edgbaston, Chapter is (like all good restaurants tend to be) obsessed with seasonality. Expect nature-led eats made from British produce with fresh catches from British harbours, fruit and veg with LEAF accreditation and free range meat.

That 100 Best Local Restaurants list we mentioned earlier? From the Good Food Guide? You'll find Chapter in there, representing Brum!

5 Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston, B15 3BE

Chapter in Edgbaston - picture shows a dining table inside with an orange sofa and artwork on the walls
Chapter in Edgbaston -Credit:Chapter

14) Harborne Kitchen

Self-described as informal, playful and contemporary, Harborne Kitchen serves mostly British cuisine, though nothing seems off the kitchen table providing it's fun. Chef Patron Jamie Desogus has created a few menus, from a full tasting experience to a 'five for £55' option that's a little more affordable.

Duck, cod and a dessert made with Horlicks can be found on the tasting menu, which should be considered for a special occasion. Treat yourself!

175-179 High Street, Harborne, B17 9QE

15) Orelle

Situated up atop a skyscraper, there's no convincing us that there's a more wonderful view of the city than the one you can have at Orelle. The food is elevated, though not overly expensive. It's so romantic, it's a wonder people aren't proposing to one another left and right, all day long.

That said, the French cuisine makes for a perfect table mate and the view is more stunning than any plus-one could ever be. Whether you're dining alone like our reporter was when she reviewed, or with others, it's a must-visit.

103 Colmore Row, City Centre, B3 3AG

16) Trentina

If you like pasta, you'll love Trentina. They're dishing up small plates, pasta and British charcuterie in a sweet little spot in the Jewellery Quarter.

Sardines on toast, Packington pork chop and pasta made from Cornish flour, it describes itself perfectly: Italian with a British accent.

33 Mary Street, Jewellery Quarter, B3 1UD

17) Otto Pizza

You'll be hard pushed to find a pizzeria as wonderful as Otto down on Caroline Street in the Jewellery Quarter. Many try to take the crown, but Otto is almost completely unfaultable.

Dusty-bottomed pies topped with gorgeous flavours, brilliant puddings and really, really special service that will warm you up faster than the wood-fired oven. It's brilliant.

14 Caroline Street, Jewellery Quarter, B3 1TR

18) SOI 1268

Created by the team behind Buddha Belly, the street food smashers, SOI 1268 is another jewel in Stirchley's ever more glittering crown. It's authentic Thai food in a chill dining room.

Sit with friends and share plates filled with wings, enoki tempura and prawn toast, or perch on a stool and demolish a hot bowl of beef massaman before heading home. The flavours are incredible.

1268 Pershore Road, Stirchley, B30 2XU

Thai street food and more features on the menu at SOI 1268
Thai street food and more features on the menu at SOI 1268 -Credit:Tom Preece/SOI 1268

19) Gaijin Sushi

Once Birmingham's tiniest restaurant, Gaijin Sushi has expanded in size in the past year but it's reputation for wicked sushi is even bigger. They have a 'no expense spared' approach to sourcing 'the best fish in the world', and it's all prepared fresh before your eyes.

The menu can be a little bamboozling if you're not used to sushi, but the team is so friendly, they'll make some great recommendations that suit you if you ask the question.

78 Bristol Street, B5 7AH

20) Laghi's Deli

A little Italian haven just off the Five Ways Island, Laghi's Deli makes excellent Italian food. Of course there's pizza and pasta, coffee and pastry, but it's authentic and wonderful stuff.

Luca Laghi, who runs the joint, is from Bologna but he's not simply dialling it in with a bog standard bowl of bolognese. Lucky us.

22-24 Islington Row Middleway, Edgbaston, B15 1LD

21) Early Bird Bakery

A lot of our recommendations have been for sophisticated restaurants and sit-down dinners but Early Bird is wicked for weekend brunch, brilliant breakfast and lazy lunches. If you can face the queues, it's worth it.

Fortunately, this year they expanded so there's more space than ever. It hasn't stopped the queuing, but you have to wait for less time for those Turkish eggs, stunning buns and flaky pastry supremes that take the rest of the day to tackle.

28 High Street, Kings Heath, B14 7JT

22) Shababs

Once, a travelling local told us that one of the only things about Birmingham they miss when they're away in far flung destinations is late night curries at Shababs. A balti there is perhaps the most Brummie thing you could eat and they're really, really bostin.

It's a veteran of the scene for good reason. Proper balti, served properly with wicked naans.

163-165 Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook, B12 8LQ

23) Chakana

This place might not scream Birmingham but Chakana has become an important part of the city's culinary landscape. People travel from miles around to eat Robert Ortiz's food, given he learnt his trade in the Michelin Star restarants of Peru.

For food you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the city, visit Chakana. Their ceviche was recognised by National Geographic as one of the top ten places to try it in the WHOLE WORLD.

140 Alcester Road, Moseley, B13 8HT

24) Chung Ying Cantonese

If we're celebrating the best Birmingham restaurants, Chung Ying cannot be overlooked. Another of the veterans of our scene, this place is absolutely excellent for dumplings.

As far as Chinatown goes, this place is quintessential. It might look a little old these days, but what's wrong with that?! It's inexpensive, fast and should always be on your list of places to consider ahead of a show at the Hippodrome.

16-18 Wrottesley Street, Chinese Quarter, B5 4RT

25) Qavali

The British Restaurant Awards named Qavali the very best in Birmingham in 2023 and while we don't necessarily agree with its positioning at the top of the list, it definitely deserves a nod.

Up on Broad Street, the Indo Persian spot is just stunning, with ornate interior, a beautiful setting and perfectly pleasant food. The afternoon tea is fit for a king.

60 Broad Street, B1 2HJ