Exploring a new city
We understand navigating a new city can be overwhelming at times, so we’ve pulled together some information on our favourite places for food and drink for you to enjoy while staying at our Rotunda aparthotel in Birmingham. We strongly advise you to check each venue’s website ahead of going and to book in view of the current dining out rules.
In this section you will find:
Birmingham has an incredible choice of bars serving up some truly excellent cocktails. Whether you’re a fan of a classic or looking for something a little more experimental, you’re bound to find your new favourite bar right here in the city and possibly round the corner from Rotunda.
To get you started, here are some unmissable cocktail bars that are all a short walk, quick cab or a momentary tram ride away from your room.
Atelier c/o Robert Wood
16 minutes from Rotunda
This one is a little different…
Atelier is a stunning creative drinks studio and cocktail bar from award-winning drinks creator, Robert Wood and our favourite chef, Alex Claridge of Wilderness fame. You’ll find it in a beautifully restored factory in the Jewellery Quarter.
This brand new venue is open for just a few nights a week for only a handful of guests each evening so it’s definitely advisable to book in advance. In the name of research, I tried the 7 course cocktail tasting menu which was frankly spectacular. Spend the evening here if you’re looking for something you won’t forget in a hurry. Photo credit: Tom Bird.
Newhall Square, Newhall Street, B3 1RU
The Pineapple Club
7 minutes from Rotunda
Coming in at number 44 on the official UK Top 50 Cocktail Bars list, The Pineapple Club is a Staying Cool team favourite and must visit for cocktail connoisseurs. You’ll find this multi-award winning venue tucked away in the beautiful grade II listed Great Western Arcade – this might just be the most instagramable bar in the city!
The menu showcases innovative signature serves alongside a selection of classic cocktails but if you don’t find something you fancy – just ask, the team are happy to shake up an off-menu classic for you.
16 Great Western Arcade, B2 5HU
13 minutes from Rotunda
Located in the iconic Custard Factory, Passing Fancies is a brand new addition to the city that is already making a name for itself. Brought to you by a trio of award-winning bartenders, the team describe their venue as bringing ‘approachable luxury’ to Digbeth.
The menu is regularly changing but if the ‘Salt & Rye’ cocktail is on the list, be sure to give it a go (you won’t regret it!). The food offer is not to be missed either – this isn’t your standard selection of nibbles – the team at Passing Fancies have teamed up with Dan Sweet, former chef at Michelin-starred Simpsons Restaurant in Edgbaston.
30 The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, B9 4BF
Grain & Glass
27 minutes from Rotunda
Nestled in the heart of the historic Jewellery Quarter, Grain & Glass has a library of over 300 open whiskies…but this is not just a venue for whisky lovers. Unsurprisingly they do have a selection of excellent twists on the classic Old Fashioned but their house cocktails include some great options for gin and vodka lovers too.
It’s worth taking a look at their website to see what events they have coming up. You’ll find everything from cheese & whisky matching to fortified wine tastings. Often exceptionally good value and something a little bit different too.
75-80 Vyse St, Jewellery Quarter, B18 6HA
7 minutes from Rotunda
If you’re looking for super friendly service and a little slice of the tropics right here in Birmingham, you need to pop down to Jungle Bird. Expect fresh, bright and fun tropical themed cocktails – if a Piña Colada slush doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will!
If you’re in the market for a mocktail the team at Jungle Bird will make any of their cocktails into a mocktail. Feeling peckish? Their food menu is just as tropical as their drinks, taking inspiration from Polynesian cuisine.
Westside Two, 20 Suffolk Street, B1 1LW
40 St Pauls
17 minutes from Rotunda
Voted the World’s Best Gin Bar 2019, this quaint 24 seat venue is located on hip St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter.
With over 140+ gins, a fabulous cocktail selection plus wines and beers. We consider this a must visit venue when exploring the city.
40 Cox St, B3 1RD
Fox & Chance
7 minutes from Rotunda
There are lots of things I love about Fox and Chance. Firstly it’s table service only, so no lengthy queues at the bar. Secondly they’ve got a cracking indie playlist and the volume is set purposefully low so you can have a conversation without having to shout at your friends. Finally, they are dead serious about drinks. You can expect high quality cocktails, occasional collaborations with other venues and even a mean Irish coffee to warm you up on a cold day.
Fox and Chance is open late too, midnight for most of the week and as late as 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
45 Pinfold Street, B2 4AY
Our favourite places to eat and drink in Birmingham
Here are a few of our favourite venues for dining out in Birmingham. We try and test out out every venue ourselves before we recommend them and – unlike some hotels – we’re not on commission!
Fine dining with a twist!
Alex Claridge and his team serve up locally sourced gastronomic delights with story.
Booking ahead essential.
Land serves plant focused dishes with menus inspired by seasonal produce.
Located in the city’s beautiful Great Western Arcade, it’s a must visit for any veg lovers.
The Warehouse Cafe
This vegetarian restaurant is nestled on the first-floor of a converted warehouse.
The menu is a blend of British comfort food at its best and contemporary international flavours. Even carnivores will leave happy.
Dishoom pays homage to the Irani cafés and the food of Bombay.
A favourite of the Staying Cool team, Dishoom run an all day service from breakfast through to dinner, we’d recommend a visit whether it be for an Irani twist on a bacon sarnie for your breakfast meeting or an evening banquet with friends.
Delicious Italian small plates and a lively bar serving wine and cocktails too.
The service can be a little over the top but we’re still fans of this modern Italian with a twist.
Sushi Passion has been based in Great Western Arcade since 2014 and offers a traditional sushi bar experience.
They are recognised by the All Japan Sushi Association for authenticity.
We’ve not had the chance to try this Argentinian steakhouse in Brindleyplace yet but with Michelin-starred chef Aktar Islam at the helm you should be in for a treat.
The menu is based on authentic, seasonal, Argentinian dishes featuring the finest steaks, rare cuts of grass-fed beef from around the world and seafood.
You can also enjoy a Sunday Roast created with the flair which has made Aktar a household name.
Loki is both a wine merchant and tasting house. With a range of over 600 wines from boutique and rare producers to drink in or take away. They also have over 40 wines to try by-the-glass too.
The wine lounge provides an area to chill out and enjoy meat and cheese platters.
This newcomer to Birmingham city centre dining offers a Korean barbecue, curries, stews and hotpots at its Suffolk Street Queensway diner or to takeaway.
Aktaar Islam’s Opheem pushes the boundaries of Indian flavours with cooking techniques from around the globe.
Open Wednesday to Saturday, Michelin Starred Opheem is a must visit.
A headline-grabbing newcomer to the city centre, Vinoteca, at Chamberlain Square, is the largest wine bar in Birmingham and features a bar, restaurant, shop and outdoor terrace with wonderful views.
FAMILY FRIENDLY DINING
We’ve found some great child friendly eateries if you’re after inspiration when heading out for a bite as part of your family friendly city break at our Birmingham apartment hotel.
A colourful South American inspired restaurant and cocktail bar serving Latin-American flavours over two floors in Bennetts Hill.
With homemade nachos, burritos and sweet churros for dessert kids will be spoilt for choice.
Younger ones can enjoy a main, dessert and a soft drink from the children’s menu for £5.95.
The Indian Streatery
Set up by a family of foodies who honed their skills on Birmingham’s buzzing street food scene this chilled independent offers a menu inspired by traditional Indian street food.
Family favourites include The Indian Hot Dog, a marinated minced lamb sausage served in a roti wrap with Streatery slaw and the Cannon Hill Park Picnic inspired by long summers spent in one of the city’s favourite parks.
Short on time? Try the The Indian Streatery Express in the Bullring for a grab ‘n’ go lunch.
The Restaurant: 21A Bennetts Hill, B2 5QP
The Express: Central Street, St Martins Walk, Bullring, B5 4BU
Baked in Brick
With a real Mini hanging from it stylish walls kids will love this independent pizza and street food restaurant at the Custard Factory in the heart of Digbeth.
On Sundays they serve one of the best roast dinners in Birmingham and in the mornings you can pick up bread and patisseries from the in-house bakery.
Open Thursdays to Sundays, afternoons and evenings.
La Galleria Ristorante Italiano
La Galleria is located just off New Street (just a 3 minute walk from Rotunda). Providing a varied menu of freshly prepared dishes with the finest Italian ingredients.
They have a fantastic choice of pizzas baked in their authentic wood fired pizza oven. A big hit with the little ones.
Brunch in Brum
Here are our recommended Brummie brunching spots, that you may want to check out during your travels. Whether you’re after something healthy, hearty or hardcore, they’re all within walking distance of our Rotunda aparthotel in Birmingham city centre.
Something Special: Medicine Bakery+Kitchen
A short stroll up New Street from our front door, you’ll find Medicine. A fantastic bakery and gallery space with live events and exhibitions throughout the year.
They have a great selection of pastries, cronuts and cruffins, a staff favourite, as well as an all day brunch menu.
A Local Favourite: York’s Cafe
Located less than 5 minutes walk from Rotunda, York’s Cafe is a popular brunching spot with city centre business people.
Their award winning brunch menu is served until 4pm every day.
On the doorstep: Bill’s Bullring
Although it is part of a chain, Bill’s is just a minute’s walk from Rotunda and is definitely worth considering if you’re looking to brunch in a hurry.
Of course, you can always dine in the comfort of your own apartment at Rotunda. Check out our Dining In section.
Latest from the Blog
Birmingham Christmas Markets
All the info that you need on the Birmingham Christmas Markets in 2022.
Birmingham Restaurants – 5 Hidden Gems
Five of the best places to eat in Brum that are off the beaten path.
Michelin Star Restaurants Birmingham
Did you know that Birmingham has the most Michelin-star restaurants of any UK city outside London? Here’s all the info on Michelin’s top restaurants in Birmingham.