Neighbourhood: Our guide to the best spots in Birmingham’s Westside
Peaky Blinders may have put Birmingham firmly on the global map, but the UK’s unofficial second city had already gained quite the reputation long before the popular Netflix series hit our screens.
With its buzzing nightlife, impressive array of top restaurants as well as museums, theatres and art galleries, it’s no wonder The Sunday Times named the city one of the best places to live in the UK in 2022.
The Westside district of Birmingham, in particular, is making a real name for itself with its swanky canalside cocktail bars and fine dining establishments attracting a young, hip crowd.
One of our favourite places to grab an afterwork drink is The Alchemist, located right by the water. Its infamous cocktails are not to be missed. It also has a large selection of wines, beers and ciders and a delicious food menu.
52 Gas Street is another great spot. This canalside bar is known for its live acoustic sets which take place every Saturday. It also runs cocktail masterclasses if you’re looking for something a bit different to do with a group of colleagues or friends.
There’s also The Distillery, which crafts its own gin on site. The perfect place to grab a drink, it also serves a great selection of food, including wood-fired pizza and roasts on a Sunday. Looking to try something a bit special one weekend? The Distillery’s bottomless brunch is available on Saturdays offering two or three courses and unlimited bellinis or prosecco.
The Canal House is the perfect place to grab a drink in the sunshine, with a substantial terrace overlooking the canal and an impressive food and drinks menu. It also hosts its popular Waterfront Music Festival every bank holiday Sunday, featuring live entertainment throughout the day.
If it’s a sports bar you’re after, head to Felson’s. With pool tables, shuffleboards, dartboards and dozens of TVs, it’s the perfect place to meet up with mates.
When it comes to food options, the Westside district doesn’t disappoint.
Our favourite brunch spot is Yorks, which serves the best avocado on toast in the city (in our opinion).
Another good breakfast place is Ju Ju’s Cafe. With uninterrupted views of the canal, this simple and laid back restaurant serves an eclectic menu including plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.
For something a bit special, try the award-winning Pushkar. This critically acclaimed Indian restaurant serves classic and contemporary dishes in elegant and sophisticated surroundings. It also has an extensive wine and cocktail menu.
There’s also Qavali, a fine dining concept serving dishes inspired by Turkish, Arabic, Persian and Indian cuisine.
If you’re after Japanese food, try Oko, which specialises in sushi, dim sum and sashimi. Choose from the à la carte, fixed or sharing menu or go for the bottomless brunch option.
For award-winning Thai, we love Siamais. It calls itself the ideal place for a ‘dual night out’ because you can choose to dine here or just go for cocktails if you don’t fancy eating.
If you’re on the hunt for some culture, the Ikon Gallery shouldn’t be missed. This contemporary art venue is free to visit and holds regular exhibitions, workshops, events and seminars.
You could also visit The Crescent, one of Birmingham’s oldest theatre companies. It hosts a wide-ranging programme of events throughout the year in its 300-plus seat main house and 100-plus seat studio theatre.
For a family-friendly day out, there’s the National SEA LIFE Centre, with the UK’s only 360 degree ocean tunnel and different zones including Penguin Ice Adventure, Bay of Rays and Octopus Hideout.
Finally, there’s Mailbox, home to BBC Birmingham and luxury department store Harvey Nichols. It also has an Everyman cinema and an assortment of other shops and restaurants.
Of course, if you’re in need of flexible workspace for your business, look no further than 10x at Brindleyplace. With private offices, hot desks, meeting rooms, as well as roof terraces, a bouldering wall and an onsite gym, this is flexible workspace like you’ve never seen before.
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