Birmingham is quite the foodie-haven, home of the balti, pikelets and five Michelin-starred restaurants (more than any other city in UK, except London). However, you’ll probably find Michelin stars means pricey menus, and unless you’re rolling in the green, you probably won’t be making regular visits to any of the five. Fear-not cash strapped diners of Birmingham, we’ve found 10 of restaurants where you can dine for under £20.
Bar + Block
Why: Carnivores will enjoy the focus on reasonably priced steaks at this casual eatery, with five different 8oz cuts available starting at £11.95. An express menu available from 11.30am-5pm on weekdays, has staples such as Spanish inspired mussels, and a 6oz beef burger all under £10, with the option to add a range of drinks for a further £1. Other reasonable priced dishes off the main menu include a beer-battered cod and chips, and a vegetarian Thai green curry.
Where: 3-6 Waterloo Street, B2 5PG
Why: Despite the contemporary and slick execution, along with a promise of Italian fine dining, Cucina Rustica is affordable and rustic enough to give it a homely feel. Stick to dishes such as white crab meat with sun blushed tomato and tagliatelle from the pasta menu. Or alternatively a pizza such as the spicy sausage, red onion and mozzarella piccante, and you will have enough money left for antipasti or a dessert.
Where: 24 Ludgate Hill, B3 1DX
Gas Street Social
Why: A fun independent bar and restaurant in Birmingham’s Mailbox complex, Gas Street Social offers plenty of dining deals to savvy Brummies. Whether that’s a ‘Two for the price of one’ deal on vegan and vegetarian dishes on Tuesday or a steak and cocktail for £20 on Wednesdays. The set menu for three-courses is only £14.95 and includes ‘Gas Street Social meatballs’, salt and pepper squid for starters, or spicy peanut butter noodles, and a classic gammon steak for mains.
Where: 166-168 Wharfside Street, The Mailbox, B1 1RL
Why: Locanta’s location inside a 1776 farm house makes for a quaint atmosphere, especially since it was originally a thimble maker. The Italian cuisine which the restaurant has served since 2004 isn’t too pricey either. Pizzas such as the ‘sloppy Marco’ with spicy beef, chillies peppers and onions are all under £11.50. While pasta and risotto dishes include tortellini filled with mushroom for £10.50 or a butternut squash and goats cheese risotto priced at £10.95, sound delicious as they are thrifty.
Where: 31 Ludgate Hill, Pauls Square, B3 1EH
The Loft Lounge
Why: Just a stone’s throw away from the Birmingham Hippodrome is The Loft Lounge, what could be described as a distressed, industrial chic style restaurant and bar, with a little rustic thrown in for good measure. A thoroughly reasonable menu even includes affordable specials such as the barbary duck salad, or a ale battered cod with pea purée and hand cut chips both costing £11. We also like the sound of the roast beef, meatball and peperoni pizza, which also costs £11.
Where: 143 Bromsgrove Street, B5 6RG
The Lost & Found
Why: Inspired by Victorian explorer and academic, Professor Hettie G. Watson, this quirky bar and restaurant features strange paraphernalia such as bell jars, a botanical library and birdcages. A £7 lunch menu features crispy duck flatbread, and coconut, sweet potato and butternut squash curry. The all-day menu consists of wagyu beef burgers and mussels in a creamy garlic an white wine sauce, none of which will break the bank.
Where: 8 Bennetts Hill, B2 5RS
Milan Indian Cuisine
Why: Popular with hungry vegetarians and vegans, this Indian restaurant has something for any cash-strapped diner. The menu features all the usual favourites you can expect from an Indian including lamb rogan josh and methi chicken. Vegetarian dishes such as a vegetable jalfrezi, and cubes of paneer stir fried with peppers in a thick sauce of onions and tomatoes, all come under the £10 mark. This leaves money left over for desserts such as a mango and coconut delight.
Where: 93 Newhall Street, B3 1LH
The Old Joint Stock
Why: The Old Joint Stock pub is pretty unique; a grade-II listed building which was originally a joint stock bank, the building has since been converted to a pub and 100-seat theatre. Don’t let the opulent décor fool you however; the food here is quite reasonable. All the pie choices from steak & Fuller’s London Pride to a three bird roast of goose, pheasant and duck all cost £14. This includes vegetables and either mash, sweet potato fries or chips. Not bad.
Where: 4 Temple Row West, B2 5NY
Pasta di Piazza
Why: The last Italian on our list is Pasta di Piazza, a good value, authentic Italian with an emphasis on relaxing surroundings. It’s the set menu here that’s great value for money, with two-courses for £18.95. Options include oven baked mushrooms in a bed of tomato sauce, and deep fried whitebait for antipasti. Secondi Piatti features king prawns, mussels and seafood risotto, beef stroganoff, and fillet of salmon wrapped in parma ham.
Where: 11 Brook Street, B3 1SA
Why: Thai restaurant, Sabai Sabai’s Birmingham branch is just one of four across the Midlands. Its loyalty app offers discounts to thrifty fans, but the menu has plenty of affordable dishes for one off diners. Thai curries such a yellow curry of coconut milk, potatoes and onions, or a jungle curry of vegetables, sweet basil and hot and spice jungle curry paste, come with a meat of your choice and cost just £13.95. Noodle dishes such as phad Thai and drunken noodles are similarly priced.
Where: 25 Woodbridge Road, B13 8EH
Looking for the very Birmingham restaurants? Then take a look at our of list of the best restaurants Birmingham has to offer.