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A student's food and drink guide to Birmingham


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Birmingham, the UK’s Second City, is bursting with life and with its five universities you are sure to discover that there are a million (plus one) places which cater to student needs, offering discounts, late nights and early coffees.

But if you just moved here to start your uni adventure, so many choices of where to eat, drink and have fun might be a little bit overwhelming. Worry not, however, as we are here to advise you on some hidden gems which are certain to make you stand out of the freshers crowd.

For Food

1.       Original Patty Men

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The best burger-makers in town, the Patty Men are sure to offer you carefully selected and deliciously indulgent burgers and fries, plus a weekly special here and there. The little place might be a bit tricky to find, but especially for BCU students - it is going to be your local.

2.       Pasta di Piazza

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Maybe a bit pricey for a student budget, but an excellent choice if you want to surprise someone special. Tucked in a flowery corner in the city’s historical Jewellery Quarter, Pasta di Piazza can offer you a stylish experience which will caress your tastebuds.

3.       The New Soho Tavern

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If curry is your favourite you’ve come to the right town. And while Birmingham is famous for the Balti Triangle, you will find this little gem of a curry house tucked in the outskirts of the city centre. Chances are you’ll need to get a taxi the first time you go to the Soho Road tavern. But don’t be fooled by how secluded it is- the place has some of the most delicious curries in town to offer, portions are big, prices are cheap and if you haven’t tried Chilli Fries before- well, you have to.

4.       Big Bulls Head

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You might dismiss this place at first glance- a small old pub full of locals. But with low prices and hearty portions, you are sure to feel at home on a cold winter evening. Traditional Irish food and a good selection of beer - if you’re going to the Custard factory or the O2 Institute, give this little gem left from the old times a try.

5.       The Warehouse Café

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Specialising in vegan and vegetarian dining, with specials such as vegan kebab and vegan Sunday roast in a friendly and sunlit building, be sure not to miss them on your quest to sustainable living.

6.       The Eis Café

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Birmingham’s best kept desert secret - a teeny shop in the middle of Small Heath, which hides BIG surprises. And by BIG I mean cookie dough topped with tons of strawberries, chocolate, ice cream and sprinkles OR a giant milkshake topped with pretzels, donuts and whatever else you can think about. Stunning desserts are their specialty - take a look at their Instagram at your own risk.

For Drinks

1.       Cherry Reds

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Have a warming Mexican Hot Chocolate and maybe even an all-day breakfast and rainbow cake. Cherry Reds have a selection of teas, coffees and desserts for any taste, although you might find it hard to find a table during the busy weekend.

        Coffee Tales

Milkshakes, hot chocolates, smoothies, special lattes and teas, and ever-changing list of homemade deserts - this little Jewellery Quarter café will be a favourite to everyone who wants to have a warm cuppa and catch up on writing assignments.

 The Wellington


This old pub located in the city centre specialises in ales and you can be sure to find a vast selection, which is always changing. The pub doesn’t serve food but you’re more than welcome to bring your own and unwind in their back garden.

40 Saint Paul's

It wouldn’t be fair to not mention Birmingham’s very own award-winning gin bar. Cosy and elegant, you will experience personalised service and have all your gin questions answered, with the best gins for your taste selected for you.

      The Vanguard

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Introducing the Torino Sbagliato - Martini Rubino, Martini Ambrato with a splash of prosecco  Come and try it during our Cafe Torino event, available everyday between 4pm-7pm ---------------------------------- ----------------------- --------- --- - The UK’s First Cocktail Bar & Meadery! Open from 4pm Wed - Fri, 1pm Sat - Sun 16 Frederick St, Birmingham B1 3HE Reservations: --------------------------------------------------- #thevanguard #Hiphopandhoney #Brum #Birmingham #JQ #Jewelleryquarter #cocktailbar #cocktails #craftcocktails #1000Trades #IBbirmingham #drink #like4like #bar #mixology #martini #cocktailporn #Refusethestraw #instadrinks #cocktailrecipes #cocktailart #drinkporn #photooftheday

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The UK’s first cocktail bar and Meadery. Well, you won’t find a 241 deal here, but you’ll have the chance to sip on excellent and carefully balanced cocktails and a little forgotten beverage - Mead, the Vikings’ favourite. Planning a trip to the Jewellery Quarter? Well, you must stop by.

      The Alchemist

Love the idea of cocktails, which smoke, light on fire, bubble and change colour? Well look no further than The Alchemist, the place where all our Harry Potter dreams come true. With a periodic table of cocktails (yes, really) you are sure to have plenty of choice.

Of course, there are plenty of great places to visit in Birmingham, maybe even one for every day of the year. What are your Brum must-visit food and drink spots?

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