Mailbox is one of Birmingham’s most stylish shopping destinations, housing the designer likes of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Emporio Armani, as well as one of just seven Harvey Nichols department stores in the UK. The Mailbox also acts as the base for BBC Birmingham, but it’s not just about the shopping and business elements here; Mailbox is also a great dining destination, home to a run of restaurants which range from charming independents to long-established chains.
If you’re planning a visit anytime soon, you can used our complete guide to Mailbox restaurants to help you choose which one you want to visit. Whether it’s a family-friendly joint or a bottomless brunch spot you’re after, there’s a Mailbox restaurant that can tick all of your boxes. Read on for a taste of what you can expect on your next visit.
What: A grill and cantina serving a globally-inspired menu
Why you should go: The only Red Peppers site in Birmingham (there are others in Esher and Teddington) boasts an intimate street-side terrace and an extensive, pocket-friendly menu. If you’re looking for variety, it’s difficult to argue with a menu that ranges from burgers and wraps to pasta and noodle dishes. There’s also a section of Red Pepper’s specialities which includes the wide-ranging likes of Thai green curry and chicken souvlaki, while desserts see a chocolate brownie drizzled with warm chocolate sauce and a strawberry ice cream sundae.
What: Affordable pizzas from a long-established restaurant chain
Why you should go: This canal-side space features a buzzy dining room with bare brick walls, cosy banquette seating and marble-effect table tops. The menu consists of a reliably good line-up of pizzas and pastas, and there are plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options too. Start with the signature dough balls or halloumi bites, before moving on to the likes of an American Hot or a Calabrese pizza. If you’re with the little ones, they can enjoy their own dedicated menu of mini pizzas and ice cream sundaes.
Harvey Nichols Brasserie
What: The legendary department store’s Birmingham outpost boasts an all-day restaurant
Why you should go: One of the chicest spaces at Mailbox Birmingham, Harvey Nichols Brasserie serves food from morning 'till night in a muted dining room that oozes sophistication. Stop by here from 10am to enjoy brunch dishes such as pancakes drizzled with maple syrup (a bottomless brunch is available on the weekend), while later in the day you’ll find pan-fried pork chops or a halloumi burger alongside a selection of international wines by the glass. There’s a traditional afternoon tea too, which you can pair with cocktails.
What: Spicy chicken and tempting sides from the ‘cheekiest’ chain in town
Why you should go: Famed for its flame-grilled peri peri chicken, the branch of Nando’s at Mailbox Birmingham boasts a crowd-pleasing menu of chicken on the bone, or in a burger, pitta or wrap. Each bit of chicken can be spiced to your liking (lemon and herb for the conservatives and extra hot for the brave), while you can pad out your meal with a selection of sides, such as garlic bread or fries sprinkled with peri peri salt. Free-flowing soft drinks and bottomless frozen yoghurt (ask the team for the flavour of the day) are further draws.
Gas Street Social
What: A restaurant and wine bar serving speciality drinks and a Euro-centric menu
Why you should go: Centred round the idea of sharing and socialising, Gas Street Social features large communal tables, cosy booth seating and a ‘snug’. Sticking with the theme, the food menu here is made up of grazing boards, small plates and stone-baked flatbreads, alongside stacked burgers, steaks and loaded fries for those who don’t feel like sharing. There’s also a daily bottomless brunch featuring typical dishes such as pancakes topped with bacon, and avocado on toast, all washed down with two hours of free-flowing Prosecco.
Miller & Carter
What: A much-loved steakhouse with a range of options to choose from
Why you should go: An afternoon of shopping can prove to be hungry work, and there are few better ways to satiate hunger pangs than with a mighty steak. At Miller & Carter, you’ll find a selection of 30-day aged British and Irish steaks, which are all served with parsley butter, seasoned fries, balsamic beef tomato and onion loaf. There are other dishes to choose from too though, such as smoky barbecue ribs or grilled seabass served with a lobster and Prosecco sauce, while a children’s menu means this is fun for all of the family.
What: Lively bar with a tempting menu of comfort food
Why you should go: Mailbox may be best known for shopping, but once the sun goes down it turns into a thriving party destination. If you’re looking to have drinks with friends, you can head to Pennyblacks and sample the wide range of cocktails, beers, spirits, wines, Prosecco and Champagne, while the sharing cocktails are great if you’re in a group. A DJ is on the decks from Thursday through to Saturday, while any hunger pangs caused by excessive dancing can be tempered with burgers, hotdogs and three-foot long pizzas.
What: Inclusive Italian food catering to a range of diets
Why you should go: Most people love nothing more than a comforting bowl of pasta or a delicious slice (or two) of pizza, so Zizzi makes sense as a pre- or post-shopping dining destination. The street-side terrace is great for a spot of al fresco dining in warmer weather, while Zizzi’s menu of tempting fare includes garlic bread topped with melted mozzarella and caramelised onions, alongside classic pizzas and pastas. Zizzi also has a children’s menu, as well as several options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners.
What: A classic French brasserie, serving an accessible all-day menu
Why you should go: The Mailbox Birmingham location of Côte Brasserie benefits from a charming garden, which is walled with foliage. Whether you sit out there or in the maroon and cream dining room, you’ll have access to a menu of pleasingly simple brasserie dishes – think the likes of French onion soup, roast duck breast with frites on the side, and desserts such as dark chocolate mousse or crème caramel. There are vegetarian, gluten-free and children’s menus available too, while Champagne, wine and soft drinks are all on-hand to drink.
What: Casual spot for Spanish tapas and drinks
Why you should go: Decked out in warm tones that conjure up images of the Med, Bar Estilo is perfectly placed for a post-shopping pit stop. The casual tapas menu features all the classics such as croquettas and octopus de Galicia, while those in search of something a little heartier can tuck into lamb tagine or paella. You can round off your meal with a helping of churros, while diners on a budget can make the most of the great value early evening menu, which is served daily until 7pm.
What: A Parisian-inspired bistro serving an all-day menu
Why you should go: Found upstairs at Mailbox Birmingham, this branch of Café Rouge benefits from a sun terrace and a private dining area which can be hired out for parties. The menu kicks off in the morning with the likes of croque monsieur and flaky croissants, before moving on to more substantial dishes at lunch and dinner – think moules frites, and breaded Camembert with a cranberry and redcurrant sauce. Set menus represent good value for money while you can keep the kids entertained with chicken goujons and mac ‘n’ cheese.
Chez Mal at Malmaison
What: The flagship all-day restaurant at boutique hotel Malmaison
Why you should go: Open to both hotel guests and the general public, Chez Mal serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, as well as bottomless brunch and hearty roasts on the weekend. In the stylish dining room, which boasts a pillar box red and navy blue colour scheme, you can enjoy a selection of pastries or a fry up for breakfast, while later in the day sees an internationally-inspired menu that features the likes of tiger prawn Penang curry or 28-day aged steaks served with truffle and parmesan fries.
What: Lavishly decorated bar serving cocktails and light bites
Why: With crushed velvet furnishings, dramatic chandeliers and splashes of burnt orange and royal blue, Aluna is a fun cocktail bar which mixes classic sips (Cosmopolitan, Espresso Martini) with the less conventional likes of a Marshmallow Daiquiri and the rather ominously named Cauldron of Death sharing cocktail. If you survive the bartender’s magic potions, you can tuck into the pan-Asian menu of light bites, which includes crispy duck rolls, a bao bun stuffed with beef and kimchi, and a Katsu chicken burger.
What: Stylish wine bar serving vegan street food
Why: Views over the canal and an eye-catching indoor fire pit aren’t the only things about Churchills that make it worth a visit on your next trip to the Mailbox. This is the place to be if you consider yourself a oenophile, as Churchills has over 300 wines, ports and Champagnes to choose from, as well as beers, cocktails and spirits. In 2019, Churchills welcomed vegan street food concept BA-HA to operate out of its kitchen, which means you can pair your glasses of vino with the likes of a jackfruit burger and vegan mac ‘n’ cheese.
If you want to explore more of Brum, take a look at our pick of the best restaurants in Birmingham.