Sadly, for most people, nights out have become completely interchangeable. The bars are all decorated the same, promote three lagers, and are most likely owned by one of three companies. The same goes for the food – most cuisine consumed on an evening is served at one of several major franchises. With the grinding down of the independent sectors of most major cities, the evening punter has been left with little choice other than accepting this status quo. However in Birmingham we’re lucky enough to have a thriving independent nightlife culture, where venues, restaurants, and watering holes all provide services and atmospheres which far exceed their big chain competition.
Like so many grand endeavours, a good night marches on its stomach. However there is no need to settle for traditional late night grub in Birmingham, thanks to the grand array of eclectic and modern gastronomic experiences which can be enjoyed. Yet with so much on offer it can be hard to know where to start, so here are three excellent jumping off points for any gourmand.
1. The Digbeth Dining Club. A street food extravaganza which takes place every Friday and last Saturday of the month. By forgoing the frills of a restaurant experience, here you can enjoy quality and delicious nourishment at a reasonable price.
2. Itihaas Curry house. An award-winning restaurant and favourite of celebrity chefs including Gordon Ramsay and Michel Roux Jr. In a city famed for great curry you must produce something special to stand out, and Itihaas does just that.
3. Alfie Birds. A three-tiered relaxed brasserie that offers everyone’s late night favourites prepared with love, using fresh delicious ingredients. Combined with a cocktail bar and live music venue, Alfie Birds is a one stop shop for a great night out.
After being fed and watered there are still plenty of independent options to wile away the wee hours.
Change up the traditional ‘dinner and a movie’ paradigm by swapping out the sterile multiplex for the Electric. This nationally renowned independent cinema is also Britain’s oldest. Beautifully maintained, it exudes a vintage class that will add that special something to a night at the pictures.
Where would Bond be without his cocktails? Ordering one in The Island Bar is the Birmingham answer. Hosting arguably the Midlands’ most comprehensive liquor and spirits collection, even the pickiest cocktail connoisseur will be hard pressed not to find something to tickle their taste buds at The Island.
After all the bright lights, head over to the Sunflower Lounge for a wonderful intimate music experience. Supporting upcoming local talent and touring acts, the atmosphere and acoustics are perfect for live music lovers. The delicious soul food bites are a hard to top bonus.
The rest is up to you
Birmingham is a thriving cosmopolitan metropolis, with new adventures and great night-time opportunities around every corner. So happy hunting the next big spot.