Ten of the best bars to visit in Birmingham
We’re sure there’s loads of benefits to doing dry January following an action-packed Christmas but, we’re not going to bother. How could we when they are so many amazing bars that could do with our support during such a quiet time of the year?!
In this article, we wanted to take a look at the very best bars in all of Birmingham. From those with more gin than you can shake a cucumber at to craft beer spots and, of course, the four very best cocktail bars in Birmingham, we’re hoping it inspires you to try somewhere new in 2023.
If your favourite bar didn’t make the list, please let us know in the comments below a little bit about it. We’d love to find even more brilliant little spots for the new year!
1) Passing Fancies – Digbeth
The Custard Factory spot serves a small number of dishes for diners, including Packington pork shoulder and ox cheek, but it’s the drinks that make it truly special. You’ll spot scientific-looking equipment around that contribute to one of the finest cocktail lists in the city.
A sophisticated Eton Spritz with strawberry, chamomile and bubbles will tickle your palette, as will the Adult Ribena, made with blueberry, cognac and orange. Then there’s a timeless classic, the espresso martini, made with precision and care.
30 Gibb Street, Deritend, B9 4BF
2) Bar Ikigai – Stirchley
This special little cocktail bar focuses on seasonal Japanese ingredients, perfect if you want to try something you’ve never tasted before. It’s still pretty new to Stirchley and yet those who have visited say it’s taken them ‘out of their comfort zone’ and ‘out of this world’ with spectacular drinks.
The bar is very minimalist and chilled-out. If you visited Ikigai when it was above 1000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter than you’ll already be accustomed to their overall vibe.
Matcha, melon, sesame and beetroot are just some of the flavours that the clever mixologists are playing with. Definitely worth a visit. Kanpai!
1266 Pershore Road, Stirchley, B30 2XU
3) 40 St Pauls – Jewellery Quarter
If you tried a different gin in 40 St Pauls every week, you would be able to try something new for almost three straight years without repeating! There are 140 gin options available in this intimate bar.
There are just 24 seats in 40 St Pauls and there are tasting experiences available if you want to learn more about gin. The gin, cheese and chocolate experience is £30 per person and it takes two hours.
You’re best to book ahead if you intend on drinking at this spot. Perfect for a gin lover who wants to taste something new.
40 Cox Street, B3 1RD
4) The Pineapple Club – Great Western Arcade
Another of the Top 50 Cocktail Bars, The Pineapple Club is a real jewel in Birmingham’s crown. The plush décor, lighting and ambience is wonderful, and the drinks are somehow even better.
Each drink on the menu supports a different cause, which adds an extra element to consider when you’re choosing. The Rum DMC supports black owned business and it features Equiano light rum, botanical liqueur and kiwi with crisp apple soda. Incredible.
And while we’re mentioning it, it’s worth considering Shibuya Underground, which is connected to the Pineapple Club. It’ll be closed for the first quarter of 2023 but it’s worth keeping an eye out for should it return. We went and found a hidden passage to Japan!
16 Great Western Arcade, B2 5HU
5) Couch – Stirchley
The highest ranking cocktail bar in Birmingham in the 2022 Top 50 Cocktail Bars list, Couch is in the heart of Stirchley, where independents are thriving. Service is always excellent, with staff enthusiastic about their craft and happy to make recommendations from their carefully-considered menu.
There isn’t tons of room in Couch but there is a covered and heated outdoor area in the back and they’ll always try hard to make space for you. Sitting at the bar is always a good time, especially if someone’s got a dog with them.
The cocktail menu is frequently changing, which is always exciting. This isn’t simply spirits shaken together off the back bar – it’s alchemy.
1466 Pershore Road, Stirchley, B30 2NT
6) Grace + James – Kings Heath
We’ve mentioned a number of cocktail bars on this list but Grace + James focuses more on wine! The list changes every day but you can always be sure that it’ll feature natural, organic and biodynamic drinks created by makers who care about not filling it with unnecessary chemicals, pesticides and additives.
There’s cheese and charcuterie from the UK and Europe that you can enjoy with it, and that’s available for takeaway too, if you’d rather snack and drink at home.
Like 40 St Pauls, you can enjoy tasting experiences at Grace + James, which is a great alternate gift for a wine lover. The spot is on York Road in Kings Heath so plenty to do if you want to extend the night.
23 York Road, King’s Heath, B14 7SA
7) The Cuban Embassy – Moseley
A little slice of Havana in Moseley, The Cuban Embassy is a great bar for live music and dancing until the early morning! There’s an upstairs and a downstairs bar and you can enjoy the sounds of brilliant musicians for free.
As far as drinks go, it won’t surprise you to learn that rum is on the menu! They stock more than 120 different varieties including premium options and rum-based cocktails.
Food is served in the form of tapas from Santi’s Kitchen. Options include garlic chicken thighs and arepa with sweet plantain for veggies. There are vegan options too, including a taco with sweet plantain and lentils.
23 St. Marys Row, Moseley, B13 8HW
8) Fox and Chance – City Centre
The fourth and final Brum bar on the Top 50 Cocktail Bars in the UK list, the menu at Fox and Chance includes imaginative drinks as well as well-done takes on the classics.
As well as good cocktails, you can do a bit of Irish whiskey tasting at the bar and there are beers too. There’s no food menu but the guys do serve little snacks to enjoy alongside your drink, including olives, crisps and pretzels.
The bar itself feels like an extension of your living room, with comfortable leather couches and dark decor for a snug and cosy vibe. And location wise, it’s perfect, just between New Street station and Victoria Square.
45 Pinfold Street, B2 4AY
9) Eden Bar – Gay Village
It’s the fun of Eden Bar that earn it a spot on this list. It might excel at boujee cocktails, but the welcoming environment, drag performances, quizzes and karaoke just makes for a great night.
This iteration of Eden Bar is a smaller version of the one that went before, which had a long history in the city. It closed in 2020 but owners Garry Prentice and Cal Eden kept the old spirit alive when they opened the new location.
It’s not expertly mixed drinks or sophisticated wines that earn Eden a spot on this list – it’s the heart!
42 Holloway Circus, B1 1EG
10) Cherry Reds – City Centre
We’ve mentioned Cherry Reds a lot in our lists this year, including on our guide to good places to eat in the city for just a fiver. And that’s because what it does, it does brilliantly.
Enjoy locally-brewed beers, great food and friendly service in the heart of the city centre. The independent hang-out is opposite the very trendy Brewdog, but the craft beers are better. There, we said it.
The vibe at Cherry Reds is ‘little home from home’ and that’s exactly how it feels. If you don’t want to get super dressed up and you just want good drinks in a chilled space, this is the bar for you.
88-92 John Bright Street, B1 1BN
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