That’s right we said it. Italy isn’t all about pizza. Okay, so it is a lot about pizza, but there is also pasta, risotto, caprese salad, prosciutto, and so much more to try too. That’s before we even mention the cheeses. Oh, and the deserts, the coffee and, of course, the wine. Our mouth is already watering just thinking about all the food the Italians have blessed us with. What we’re trying to say is there is so much to sample, we could eat at Italian restaurants in Birmingham every night of the week and never get bored. Luckily for us, the city is brimming with Italian eateries. So we’ve rounded up the most incredible ones the second city has to offer.
Buonissimo is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the Birmingham area, least alone Italian. Based in Harborne, it provides fresh, modern Italian food with a menu that changes every six months to stay seasonal. The award-winning Italian restaurant was one of the Top 50 restaurants in the UK for service in the 2018 Top Table Diners’ Choice Awards. Its signature dish has to be the crispy pork belly served with a red wine sauce, rustic potato croquette and carrots. But from seafood linguine to cuttlefish ink risotto, nduja bruschetta and prosciutto-wrapped scamorza, Buonissimo keeps Italian cuisine feeling fresh and up-to-date. No pizza though.
1 Albany Road, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9JX
Tropea is somewhere special among Italian restaurants in Birmingham. This intimate spot, in Harborne again, specialises in dishes to be shared. And, be it the braised octopus or the aubergine parmigiana, the dishes have been designed to put the focus on a star ingredient. Tropea uses only the finest, seasonal ingredients, which all either come from Milanese markets or local suppliers. The drinks menu is, almost, exclusively all Italian too, with classics such as Negroni, Americano, Birra Menabrea and a range of Old World wines to wash down the steady influx of plates you will be ordering. With its soft lighting and spacious seating, it should be a relaxed dining experience too. Tropea is only open evenings, Tuesday to Saturday, so making a reservation is advised.
27 Lordswood Rd, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9RP
3. La Galleria
A perfect summer spot thanks to its Italian-style alfresco dining. Of course Birmingham’s weather is a bit more temperamental than say Bari’s. But when has a bit of rain stopped us Brummies? La Galleria offers a varied selection of Italian meals made with only the finest ingredients.
All pasta is hand-made on site, while the pizzas are created before your very eyes at the open pizza bar. On top of this, you can sample a range of traditional Italian classics such as veal, risotto and pollo. So whether you’re after a light lunch in the sunshine or a hearty meal before a night out in Birmingham city centre, any day of the week, La Galleria is the place to be.
5A Ethel St, Birmingham B2 4BG
4. Laghi’s Deli
The award-winning Laghi’s Deli keeps a small menu that puts the emphasis on creating rich, passionately made pasta dishes, as well as a few Italian classics. The black spaghetti, with red prawns and scallops, is a feast to eat with eyes first, while the gigli arrabbiata is perfect for anyone who likes a kick to their food. You can also grab pizza at lunchtime, served between 12pm and 3, while traditional starters in the shape of calamari, caprese and bruschetta. For those with a sweet tooth, we recommend the tiramisu or cannoli. As one of the best Italian restaurants in Birmingham, the light and airy atmosphere goes a long way to bring a little bit of Bologna to Birmingham.
22-24 Islington Row Middleway, Birmingham B15 1LD
Tucked away in Brindleyplace leisure hub, you’ll find Cielo. An award-winning restaurant offering inventive and modern Italian. The stand-out dishes are where meat and fish take the centre stage, such as the juicy sirloin of beef topped with Gorgonzola and eye-catching grilled monkfish tail. Starters include all the Italian classics, while there are plenty of homemade pasta dishes on the menu too. There’s no doubt this is on of the best Italian restaurants in Birmingham. On Sundays, you can also scratch any roast dinner itch, as they do a less than Italian serving of roast strip loin of beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, glazed parsnips.
6 Oozells Street, Brindley Pl, Birmingham B1 2JB
6. The Proud Sicilian
The Proud Sicilian is a family continuation of one of Birmingham’s former favourite Italian restaurants, Valentinos, which sadly shut after 40 years following the death of owner Maurizio Guglia in 2018. It is not like other Italian restaurants in Birmingham, however. You can fill up your pantry and wine cellar at the shop, or grab a homemade ice-cream to enjoy on the go. It is a one-stop spot for all things Italian. The dining experience is as close as you’ll come to the Mediterranean in Brum, however. Sit among the olive trees and bubbling water fountain, and tuck into their all-day menu.
Mouth watering pastas, pizzas and risottos are all available to order, but the sharing antipasti boards truly shine with a selection of the finest cured meats, cheeses and focaccia – with a vegetarian option too. There is also regular live music playing. So pack those salsa shoes if you’re planning to head down.
73 High St, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9NS
7. Cucina Rustica
In the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, you’ll find Cucina Rustica. Specialising in bold yet simple dishes, which take influence everywhere from the very north of Italy down to south, it uses only traditional techniques to make its meals. Wild boar filled fagottini, or gnocchi with walnuts and gorgonzola, demonstrate perfectly how they allow key, top-quality ingredients to shine on the plate without much fuss. This is real, authentic Italian showcasing the depth and quality of food abound throughout the country.
24 Ludgate Hill, Birmingham B3 1DX
8. Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse
Yes, this is a pizzeria. But pizza is Italian too. What makes Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse so special, however, is their dedication to utilising their wood-fired pizza ovens across the menu. Offering a true taste of homemade Italian cooking, just like nonna used to make. Their terracotta bakes, such as Alicia’s take on the classic aubergine parmigiana, offer a hearty alternative to the world’s favourite food.
While, off of the sweet menu, you can order a Nutellina, which comprises Nutella and mascarpone on a sourdough base. There’s also a lemon curd version! Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse also hosts a bottomless prosecco brunch every Saturday, which for £30 also includes a main and a choice between a starter or dessert.
1377 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JR
9. Caffé Di Milano
Far from the rustic quality often associated with Italian cuisine, Caffé Di Milano exudes luxury dining. This doesn’t stop it from being one of best Italian restaurants in Birmingham, however. Quite the opposite. Its gold and cream interior lets you know the vibe instantly, as does a quick glance at the menu that serves whole lobster, fresh pasta, and a large selection of dolci and patisseries. The sharing platter of mini handmade Italian pastries and cannolis, filled with ricotta, fruits, chocolate and cream feels designed for date night. Perfect for those looking to add a little luxury to their dining experience. On the weekends, Caffe Di Milano transforms into a party with DJs and exclusive lounge experiences too.
The Arcadian, 70 Hurst St, Birmingham B5 4TD
10. San Carlo
San Carlo has become an iconic dining spot among Birmingham’s Italian restaurants and has numerous awards under its belt. Its first location opened 25 years ago, but the San Carlo Group now has Italian restaurants in London, Manchester, Liverpool and more. They even have restaurants in Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well. The original is still the best of its Italian restaurants in our eyes, however.
Using only quality ingredients bought from the markets in Milan each week, all dishes are focused on a sense of heritage, quality and consistency. All bases of Italian cuisine are covered, from meat and fish dishes, to pizza and pasta. To eat like an authentic Italian though, you must be willing to share. So indulge in the gran pasta, which involves sharing bowls of spaghetti frutti di mare or penne romanoff that are charged per person.
4 Temple St, Birmingham B2 5BN
11. Pasta di Piazza
Located in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Pasta di Piazza is a locals’ favourite. The stripped back, red-brick building, with flower baskets hanging outside, has all the rustic qualities we associate with traditional Italian food, like a proper Roma café. Making it easily on of our favourite Italian restaurants in Birmingham.
There are daily specials, using all fresh and locally sourced ingredients, as well as a considered range of Italian classics. Be it Fiorentina pizza or penne arrabiata, all our comfort food favourites are available. But it is Pasta di Piazza’s friendly and community spirit that has earned it such a beloved following in one of Birmingham’s most thriving districts. Now that’s the real taste of Italy.
11 Brook St, Birmingham B3 1S
Our stomach is rumbling after that rundown of the most incredible Italian restaurants in Birmingham. So whether you’re after fine dining or a rustic lunch, we’ve got you covered next time you’re craving the food of the Roman gods. There’s no excuse to order a pizza from your local kebab ever again. Bellissima!