The Midlands plays host to a whole heap of fantastic independent eateries and bars. Rather than plugging money into chains, why not check our your local indie trader and help to support your community in the best way possible?

In recent years, Birmingham in particular has seen a surge in the number of places tapping into the casual dining sector – demonstrating a whole new way for consumers to enjoy their food and drink. We investigate some of the best independent spots in the local area; with traders who are wholly passionate about the food and drink they serve, having put their hearts and souls into their businesses. 

Baked in Brick

Street Food Royalty

Having started with a hand built wood-fired pizza oven and a shed at the bottom of a garden, it’s fair to say being named ‘Best of the Best’ at the European Street Food Awards is an impressive feat for the Baked in Brick team. The brainchild of owner, Lee Desanges, Baked in Brick has progressed massively in the three years that span between its conception and becoming the ‘Best Street Food in Europe’. 

Set apart from the thousands of other foodie ‘pop ups' that have emerged in recent years, Baked in Brick flaunts quirky renovated classic vintage vehicles (lovingly up cycled by Lee himself) and an inspired menu. The new 60-seater restaurant, based in Birmingham’s arty hub of Digbeth, serves artisanal pizza and charcuterie boards to be enjoyed in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere.

The Custard Factory, Gibb St, Birmingham B9 4AA

0121 740 1256

Holy Moly Macaroni

Bringing Mac Back

Headed by chef Anthony Duffy, Holy Moly aims to ‘bring back proper mac’ to the masses - or least, the people of Brum. With the bolshy tagline ‘you don’t consume our mac and cheese, our mac and cheese consumes you’, it’s difficult not to want to try a bowl of the cheesy pasta combo. 

Located in Grand Central, Holy Moly serves up a variety of macaroni options featuring the legendary four-cheese source, with extra tasty toppings such as crispy onions, chorizo and prawns. Mac not your thing? The restaurant offers Yardbird dishes including an intriguing fusion of chicken, waffles and maple syrup. 


Arch 13

Wines Without Ego

Having launched a brand new wine bar showcasing unique wines, great cheese and meat, Connolly’s Wine Merchants have created an ideal space for clients to enjoy perfect pairings between the two. Headed by certified sommelier Abigail Connolly, the only certified female sommelier in Birmingham, Arch 13 aims to create an unpretentious environment for customers looking to enjoy a cosy drink on an evening, or experiment with new grapes and flavours. 

The ever-evolving wine list has launched alongside a delicious cocktail menu, as well as a menu devoted to Madeira wines showcasing vintage bottles dating from 1968. The Connolly family has been shipping wine into Birmingham since 1906, meaning customers wholly trust their expert reputation. 

Extending her family’s heritage into the 21st century, Abigail is now heading the venture.

 

Head down to the annual Winter Wine Tasting organised by Connolly’s Wine Merchants on Thursday 1 November at The Library of Birmingham from 5.30pm – 8.30pm. Over 100 different wines and spirits (but mostly wine) will be available for tasting with a line up of special guests as well – the perfect place to try new beverages and buy Christmas presents for loved ones! Head to connollyswine.co.uk for more details. Tickets priced at £16.00. 

Connolly’s Birmingham, Arch 13, 220 Livery Street, Birmingham B3 1EU

0121 236 3837

Connolly’s Solihull, 379 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 1BQ

0121 709 3734

#arch13 @connollyswinejq arch13bar.co.uk

Grace and James

Natural Wine Experts

Haven’t heard of Grace and James before? Then get yourself down to Kings Heath pronto and discover this little gem nestled at number 23 on York Road (just opposite the Hare and Hounds). The neighbourhood spot is both a relaxed bar and deli shop, allowing customers to take their purchases home or enjoy a bottle in-house for a small corkage fee. 

The wine list is personally selected by the Grace and James team, changing every day to include Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines made by winemakers who respect the environment, avoid the use of additives, chemicals and pesticides and focus on delicious flavours.  

The thoughtful menu includes vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and other dietary requirement options – just ask the helpful team for advice and recommendations. Although it’s hard the best thing about this local independent (as there are just so many good things - like the trendy comfortable interior and décor, and great playlist) arguably the most notable feature is the expertise of the husband and wife co-owners. 

Because the small team chooses everything available in-store, any questions you might have about the products can be answered then and there. Monthly Wine Tasting events hosted by the husband and wife co-owners are a great way to be guided through the differences between Minimal Intervention, Natural, Organic and Biodynamic wines. 

A great new addition to Birmingham’s expanding independents scene. I will stop gushing now – but promise yourself to check out this charming bar! 

23 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7SA

graceandjames.xyz

 

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