Digbeth is a fascinating area of Birmingham, housing the city's oldest pub (dating back to 1368), the former headquarters of famous brands such as Bird's Custard (now The Custard Factory) and Typhoo tea (the soon to be regenerated Typhoo Wharf), as well as being the focal point for the Irish community in the city. These days it has a growing creative community which is reflected by the number of new bars, restaurants and entertainment venues that are opening in the area, as well as some amazing street art and graffiti.
Oona, one half of The PA Guide team, is a big fan of the area and has written a guide to her favourite places to hang out and some of the street art you'll see along the way.
Roxy Ball Room is a newly opened venue on Heath Mill Lane offering bowling, shuffleboard and beer pong (amongst other fun activities). Couple this with a menu of pizzas, burgers and nachos, a great drinks offering and some fab music and you've got a great night out!
The Clean Kilo is the UK's biggest zero waste supermarket. Located in the Custard Factory, the stock everything from cereals and fresh vegetables to fresh herbs and spice. Simply take along a clean container, fill it up with your chosen product, weigh it and take it to the till. The Clean Kilo also run regular talks and workshops on how to reduce your use of plastic and packaging.
Digbeth Arena is Birmingham's newest gig, events and festival space. Formerly used mainly for dance music events, the arena now hosts all music genres - this summer they've got gigs lined up from Orbital, Foals, Billy Ocean and The House and Garage Orchestra.
Ghetto Golf is an 18 hole crazy golf course tucked away in the corner of The Custard Factory. The emphasis is very much on the 'crazy' here - think neon graffiti, loud music and themed golf holes. You won't go hungry or thirsty either, they have a great cocktail bar and a BBQ themed street food menu. You can either pay as you go or pre-book one of their party or corporate packages which include a round of golf and drinks.
If you haven't tried the burgers at Original Patty Men yet, you are seriously missing out! OPM started out as street food vendors at Digbeth Dining Club (more on that later...) where they grew a loyal customer base (i.e. us!) who would queue for hours for one of their burgers. Their permanent restaurant, located just a stone's throw from Selfridges and Moor Street Station, opened in late 2015 and has been a popular destination for anyone in need of a dirty burger and fries ever since!
Kilder, situated next door to OPM, is a craft beer, natural wine and cider bar. As well as an extensive drinks list, Kilder serves a selection of tasty grilled cheese sandwiches, cured meats and snacks.
Award-winning street food event Digbeth Dining Club is a fantastic place for a post-work get together with colleagues or friends. Since opening in 2012, DDC has introduced some incredible food traders to the city's food scene, several of whom have gone on to open their own restaurants (Baked in Brick, Original Patty Men). An evening at DDC will usually comprises of around 6 different traders serving anything from tasty Caribbean cuisine to BBQ meats or indulgent cheesecake plus drinks and DJs. Keep an eye on their social media channels for news of regular festival collaborations and events at different locations across the Midlands.
The Night Owl is a soul and retro club located on Lower Trinity Street, just up the road from Digbeth Dining Club. Decked out with vintage furniture and named after the classic Northern Soul track by Bobby Paris, The Night Owl hosts Northern Soul nights as well as regular disco, indie and ska nights and live bands.
Situated in the courtyard of the Custard Factory, NQ64 is heaven for any fans of 80s and 90s gaming. The colourful space is filled with arcade games and consoles, purchase tokens alongside a great list of beers, cocktails and soft drinks and enjoy some retro gaming fun!
Birdies, next to Ghetto Golf, is a tropical beach themed cocktail bar, fashioned from shipping containers and decorated with palm trees and colourful walls. The venue features a cocktail menu with signature drinks, as well as a BBQ menu with in-house food vendor Apocalypse Cow.
The Old Crown on Digbeth High Street is a mere 650 years old and is Birmingham's oldest pub. The timbered building offers everything from coffee and cake during the day to cask ales and burgers or classic pub grub in the evenings. One of the most notable features is the enormous beer garden to the rear of the pub which is great for soaking up the sun while enjoying a few drinks in the warmer months. The Old Crown is also the starting point for the extremely popular The Real Peaky Blinders tour from Brum Tours which is hosted by local historian Prof. Carl Chinn.
The Floodgate is a social sports bar based close to The Custard Factory. A great venue for get together with friends, The Floodgate offers you the chance to try your hand at Curling, Baseball and PitPat table golf. There's a also a spacious bar and street food on offer. The venue also offers private hire for corporate events, hen and stag parties.
The Mockingbird is a fully independent cinema in the heart of the Custard Factory. Showing a range of current and classic films, the Mockingbird also hosts regular film quizzes bottomless brunches followed by screenings of iconic films such as Dirty Dancing, Grease and Clueless. The cinema can also be hired for private events, perfect for entertaining clients or a fun team night out!
Any board games fans out there? Head to Chance and Counters in the heart of the Custard Factory to pick from a selection of over 500 board games to play while enjoying a beer and brunch or some tacos.
Tucked away in the corner of the Custard Factory is Kanteen where you'll be able to order a healthy breakfast, brunch or lunch. Kanteen's food is prepared daily by their passionate chefs and all dishes are natural made without additives or preservatives.
Kanteen is now also home to Rico Libre Tapas, a popular Spanish restaurant. Get your tapas fix from 5pm until late Wednesday - Saturday.
Dig Brew Co is a craft brewery and tap room located just a short walk away from The Custard Factory. Open on Fridays and Saturdays, you can try a wide range of bottled or canned beers (as well as on tap) and their kitchen serves great sourdough pizzas.
Dead Wax is a vinyl and live music bar on Adderly Street. The bar boasts a collection of over 4000 LPs which you are free to mooch through and select your soundtrack while you enjoy some great beer and sourdough pizza.
Location: The Custard Factory
This beautiful wall by N4T4 is one of the most Instagrammed walls in Birmingham!
The Leicestershire artist and illustrator is inspired by aboriginal art and painted this incredible portrait for the recent High Vis Festival.
Take a walk around Digbeth and you'll find some of his older work too.
Location: Allison Street / Coventry Street
One of the first pieces of art you'll come across when walking to Digbeth will be this strange creature on the corner of Allison Street and Coventry Street. This striking piece, by internationally renowned artist Phlegm, was painted for the City of Colours festival back in 2016, I recommend taking a look at this strange creature up close as the detail is incredible.
Location: The Custard Factory
You can't miss this beautiful art nouveau influenced wall from Philth - it's right next to Baked in Brick!
Painted for the recent High Vis Festival, you can find two more enormous Philth pieces painted for City of Colours on one of the outer walls of Digbeth Arena on Bromley Street.
Location: The Custard Factory
Tucked away in the corner of The Custard Factory and just over the road from The Old Crown you can find a newly painted wall from local artist Annatomix. It depicts a cat (called Rhubarb!) stalking a mouse and is painted in Annatomix's signature geometric style.
Location: Lower Trinity Street
Just outside The Night Owl on Lower Trinity Street, you can find this amazing painting of Muhammed Ali by French artist Akse.
Manchester-based Akse paints photo-realistic portraits of popular culture figures and this wall was painted as part of the City of Colours festival in 2016.
Baked in Brick is another Digbeth Dining Club street food success, serving tasty pizzas and 24-hour marinated chicken tikka wraps from a 1964 Mini Cooper fitted with a wood-fired pizza oven and a charcoal fire pit under the bonnet. Founder Lee has since opened a permanent restaurant in the Custard Factory serving salads, charcuterie boards and sourdough pizzas. Take a look at the back wall where you'll find a full-size mini cooper crashing into the restaurant!