A few weeks ago I mentioned on Twitter that I’d spent an afternoon eating and drinking around the city centre on my own. Yes, shock/horror people do that now. I happen to do it quite a bit, and in some ways I prefer it.
Quite a few people asked me for recommendations for where to eat alone in Birmingham without feeling like a sad case, so I’ve popped a quick read post together in the hope it helps someone.
So, why was I dining alone? On this occasion my husband was busy and I was hungover again just fancied a quiet afternoon. I work from home and I’m an only child, so I’m more than happy with my own company anyway. I packed a book and my headphones, picking out a few places I know well enough to know I’d be fine flying solo. For this post I’ve combined some of these (in no particular order) with some old favourites. I’ve only included places I’ve been to on my tod (at some point) in the interests of fairness, and included a variety of food styles from burgers to sushi.
Pinchos, Edmund Street
I first visited Pinchos with my mum, but I’ve since been back on my own many times. A Spanish inspired restaurant, it’s ideal for dining on simple cold and hot tapas dishes, and because it can only seat 28 it’s quite intimate, so you don’t stick out. There’s a tiny terrace out front, so come summer it’s a sunny afternoon people watching spot.
Arch 13, Livery Street
This gorgeous little wine bar/shop is a bit out the way, so it’s (usually) easy to grab a seat at the bar or a table for one. As far as lunch or a quick dinner goes you can’t beat their cheese and charcuterie boards, and the wine list is excellent. No one judges you for popping in alone during the day with your laptop or after work for a low key bite to eat.
Tiger Bites Pig, Stephenson Street
This might actually be Birmingham’s smallest place to eat, but the bao buns are insanely good. And because it’s only got a tiny bar to sit at you can easily pop in on your own. In fact, it’s often easier if you are alone. The team are lovely, the food is genuinely glorious, and it’s open for both lunch and dinner. Location means it’s ideal for a quick solo bite before/after a train.
Gaijin Sushi, Bristol Street
If you like sushi you need to know about Gaijin anyway, but it’s also a good option if you’re eating alone. The sushi itself is absolutely spot on and because you sit up at the counter you can watch all your food being prepared. Much fresher and special an experience than Yo!, I promise you.
Indian Brewery, Snow Hill
A bright and colourful space serving up Indian street food and no pretension. They’ll always try and find you a table and no one bats an eyelid if you’re on your own. There’s lots of small dishes that cost very little, so it can still be an economical option if you’re on your own.
Pint Shop, Bennett’s Hill
A relaxed bar specialising in beer and offering excellent bar snacks. The onion bhaji Scotch egg is a thing of beauty, and there’s plenty of little alcoves where you can read a book. There’s a low key restaurant upstairs, too, if you want something more substantial but don’t want to feel like you’re being stared at.
The Meat Shack, Thorp Street
If you like sexy burgers, a decent soundtrack and no one mithering you if you’re dining alone, I highly recommend The Meat Shack. Owner Paul doesn’t mess about when it comes to making insane burgers, and he doesn’t mind if you turn up hungover and on your tod in search of beefy salvation. I know this because I’ve done it – a lot.
Digbeth Dining Club, Digbeth
Probably the easiest place to eat dinner and drink on your own without anyone noticing (or caring). Lots of choice when it comes to food, a nice atmosphere and sometimes you even get some live music. It’s now open Thursday to Sunday.
The Wolf, Constitution Hill
If you’re at a loose end on a Sunday and fancy a roast dinner, you don’t need a plus one at The Wolf. A super relaxed pub in the Jewellery Quarter, I’ve often noticed people eating alone and just reading books or listening to music.
Kilder, Shaw’s Passage
Original Patty Men’s next door neighbour, Kilder is a great spot for a lonesome lunch. I sometimes take my laptop to work from this Scandinavian-esq bar, mainly because they make the best cheese toasties. Seriously – they’re grade A filth.
Disclosure: All food and drink included has been paid for by me. Words and pictures are mine.