From picturesque waterside terraces to quirky urban spaces, Birmingham’s outdoor dining scene offers a host of alluring al fresco options. If your travels take you to the Second City, here are a few sun-kissed spots to consider booking.
Noel’s Bar and Restaurant
Occupying its own exclusive corner of the scenic Gas Street Basin, Noel’s Bar and Restaurant is made for outdoor dining on those hazy summer days. With a menu inspired by the fresh flavours of the Mediterranean, it’s an ideal spot for a breezy meal and a cocktail as the sun goes down. Order their spicy king prawns or the chargrilled chicken souvlaki for a taste of the long European summer.
Offering a slice of tranquil seclusion away from the city, The Bracebridge’s enchanting outdoor terrace overlooks the shimmering Bracebridge Pool in Sutton Park. Built for hazy summer afternoons, this idyllic al fresco spot is a perfect finishing point for weary walkers ready to relax. Choose from a menu covering everything from fresh flatbread sandwiches to hand-stretched pizzas. And don’t forget their signature dish – ‘The Bracebridge Prawn Cocktail’.
The Blue Piano
Escape the hum of the city in the peaceful climes of The Blue Piano’s charming courtyard garden. Located amid the leafy streets of Edgbaston Village, it’s in the heart of one of Birmingham’s hottest new neighbourhoods. One of the city’s more unique spots for al fresco dining, their South-East Asian menu features everything from Cambodia’s national dish, fish amok, to familiar favourites like beef rendang and tom yum soup.
Hidden away on a hillside corner of Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, 202 Kitchen brings a splash of colour and a whole load of soul to the city’s al fresco scene. With a large outdoor space decked out in bright pink, it’s a glamorous spot for sipping on cocktails in the sun. And if you’re in the mood for indulgent comfort food, check out their signature boxes featuring the likes of buttery chicken thighs, smoky pork ribs and chilli garlic prawns with a side of seasoned fries.
While they’re only taking walk-ins at the moment, Dishoom’s superb location on the newly refurbished Chamberlain Square is reason alone to pop by. Offering stunning views through to Victoria Square, few Birmingham restaurants offer a more alluring outdoor dining area. And with its host of seductive Bombay-inspired dishes, the wide-ranging Indian menu is sublime. If you’re here for breakfast, don’t miss their famous bacon naan.
Home to quirky architecture, creative businesses and jaunty street art, Digbeth has always been individual and Rico Libre’s new al fresco terraza in the colourful Custard Factory fits right in. Bring a bit of Spanish sunshine to your outdoor dining by indulging in some of Birmingham’s finest and freshest tapas. From grilled octopus in paprika sauce to fluffy chocolate churros, mix and match to your heart’s content. And don’t forget Thursday night is Paella Night!
The High Field
Turn up the style at the elegant High Field. Another member of the growing Edgbaston Village club, their vast outdoor dining space conveniently offers sheltered wooden huts and heated stretch tents for when the weather isn’t playing ball. Sourcing their food from the finest British produce, their English asparagus and Cornish lamb dish is perfect for spring and – if you’re here on a Sunday – ordering one of their epic roasts is a no-brainer.
Ed’s Diner – Barclaycard Arena
A popular spot outside the Birmingham Arena for pre-show food, Ed’s Diner’s outside terrace also doubles as a colourful slice of waterside Americana with some fine views of lively Brindley Place. Offering crowd-pleasing classics from across the pond including Coney Island Hot Dogs and fried chicken and waffle breakfasts, the retro stylings at Ed’s are timeless. Finish off your meal with an extra thick shake for that shamelessly indulgent American touch.
The Canal House
Few Birmingham dining spots capture the sun quite like The Canal House. Sitting in a picturesque location looking over the boats towards Gas Street Basin, it’s a fine place to soak in the city’s industrial history and watch the world go by while the sun beats down onto one of the city’s largest outdoor spaces. While offering classic comfort food such as lamb pies and cheeseburgers, it would be rude to visit and not try one of their famous hanging kebabs.
Fancy some vegan tapas? Created when eclectic curiosity store Ridding & Wynn teamed up with award-winning vegan kitchen Ba-Ha Vegan, Sobremesa is Digbeth to the core. And being located in the Custard Factory’s vibrant courtyard, it’s also in one of Birmingham’s coolest environments to eat al fresco. Mix and match everything from patatas bravas in a spicy homemade tomato sauce to crispy cauliflower wings with garlic mayo.
Visit OpenTable to discover more of the best restaurants in Birmingham.
This is a guest post from freelance travel writer James March. Based in Birmingham, he’s contributed to publications such as BBC Travel, Nat Geo Traveller, The Washington Post, Lonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveller. Find him on twitter @JMarchTravel.