The Jewellery Quarter, which is just a 10-15 minute walk from the city centre, dates back over 200 years and is home to over 100 independent specialist retailers and craftspeople.
It is also home to a growing bar and restaurant scene. Our friend Milla Mutafchieva (@_rucola__ on Instagram) is a big fan of the area and has kindly written us a list of some of the Jewellery Quarter's finest places to eat and drink.
The Jewellery Quarter was love at first sight from my very first visit to Birmingham a couple of years ago. I met lovely people, played table tennis at the Lord Clifden and spontaneously stayed at Bloc Hotel for the night, waking up to a sunny May morning on Caroline Street. Got a coffee from The Eight Foot Grocer and listened as the owner shared his plans to open a pizzeria next-door. Little did I know that Otto’s would become my regular neighbourhood takeaway just months later.
When selecting The Jewellery Quarter’s finest, I decided to simply list the places I love in no particular order. JQ has something for everyone – from boutique cocktails to craft beer, from high-end cuisine to a Jamaican BBQ. All you need to do is stroll down the peaceful streets and get inspired. Oh, and probably book in advance.
1000 Trades might as well be your favourite spot around the neighbourhood. They cater for a variety of cravings: craft beer, cider, natural wine and different food every month. 1000 trades have a new food pop-up every month, so you’ll never be bored of their menu – I’ve had British, Spanish, French, Peruvian and Japanese food all under that one roof. Oh, and not to mention that the Sunday Roast at this place comes with a small jazz concert each week. Yes, it does.
The Vanguard is a cocktail bar and meadery, conveniently located right above 1000 Trades – you go through the same entrance door and walk up the stairs. Apart from beautiful and creative cocktails, at The Vanguard you can taste the forgotten British beverage Mead – it’s basically fermented honey, fruits, spices and grains (it’s much nicer than it sounds, I promise). It has a very peculiar taste that fits The Vanguard’s raw industrial feel in such a charming way.
The Vanguard has also been nominated for Best Cocktail Bar in the Midlands, so hurry and make your way there.
The Pig & Tail is such a hidden JQ gem. I usually visit for a casual tapas dinner, but, having recently tried their brunch menu, I now love this place even more. The standard eggs benedict toast is topped by pieces of an actual salmon steak and the gin cocktail selection is just beautiful. On a sunny day you can sit in their small backyard garden, although I do believe the quirky interior of The Pig & Tail is what adds up to the experience.
This will come as a surprise to no one. But to give a little background – when Two Cats Kitchen closed down last year, it was a true tragedy for The Jewellery Quarter. So, I was particularly delighted when Wilderness took over the venue. There is something special about that space that matches the spirit and curiosity of Wilderness perfectly. And, the best part? I get to visit 27 Warstone Lane again.
If you still haven’t, you simply must visit this restaurant. And when you do, make sure you get the drinks pairing – note: drinks, not wine. Every course will come with a crafted and perfectly matched cocktail. Yes, you will get drunk. Yes, you will love it.
If there is one thing The Jewellery Quarter was missing, it was a good Noodle Bar. Lucky Duck opened earlier this year to fill that gap. They specialise in noodles (homemade of course), but they also make a mean bao bun. Lucky Duck often do themed dinner events, so keep an eye on their Instagram for the next one.
Right, so this might not be a restaurant, but if you are like me and hate supermarket produce, you’ll find this deli essential to your life in The Jewellery Quarter. They stock Peel & Stone’s sourdough, have some great quality cheese and charcuterie and, most importantly, the best green olives stuffed with sundried tomatoes in town – you have my word on that one. They also do brilliant sandwiches during the day, so make sure you ask about the daily special.
This might as well be the best-kept secret in the whole of Jewellery/Gun Quarter! Hen and Chickens looks like a regular pub in a beautiful old building, one of many on that side of town. But, as soon as you enter this place you are completely overwhelmed by the warm, comforting aromas of eastern spices. You are immediately hungry. I’d love to suggest what to order, but if I have to be honest, you need to try everything! So, gather a big group of hungry friends and head down to this place. Thank me later.