Finding a lovely local restaurant in any neighbourhood is a must for getting to know an area. One the whole community can gather around, one that demands repeat visits and one that doesn’t cost a fortune to do so. Because as much as we love Birmngham’s Michelin restaurants, we’re not eating at one each week. (Our bank account wouldn’t cope.)
The Good Food Guide has recently been on the hunt for Britain’s 100 Best Local Restaurants of 2023. More than 37,000 restaurants were nominated by diners across the country, advocating for their beloved local haunts. These beloved restaurants, often the beating heart of their communities, were narrowed down to just 100.
The number one spot went to Tallow in Kent for its “simplicity of the set-up, the sheer deliciousness of the ‘unique monthly menus’, and the ‘excellence of the service’”. But if you’re looking for somewhere closer to home, look no further than Birmingham’s very own Tropea. The Michelin Guide-approved Italian restaurant in Harborne was named regional winner and best local restaurant in Central and East of England.
We’ve long considered it one of Birmingham’s best restaurants. But The Good Food Guide highlighted it as: “A true neighbourhood restaurant in a well-heeled Birmingham suburb, with a genuinely welcoming vibe and excellent Italian cooking from a talented, locally trained chef.”
Inspired by a picturesque town on the Calabrian coast, Tropea (pronounced Tro-Pey-Ah), the menu is heavily influenced by food sold on the streets of Italy. Each plate is designed around a star ingredient and includes snacks, fresh pasta, seafood and regional specialities reflecting fresh produce, from day-boat fish to venison.
Owners Ben Robinson Young and Kasia Piatkowska said: “We’re really touched and didn’t expect this at all. Thinking about it, Tropea is a restaurant that has been shaped by the neighbourhood and people of Harborne and Birmingham and we really feel Tropea is part of the community. What matters to us most is that every single customer that leaves Tropea has had a great experience and wants to come back. For us this award is recognition of the love and care the whole team put in: from the food to the service, to make that a reality.”
It wasn’t the only local Birmingham restaurant to make the cut either. Chapter in Edgbaston has also been featured among the 100 Best Local Restaurants thanks to its affordability and quality. “The modern eatery, flooded with light with well-spaced functional furniture and an open-plan kitchen”, was described as somewhere “you can drop in for breakfast, a cup of coffee, bar snacks or come for the full drill of lunch and dinner.”
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality said of the awards: “Local restaurants are so often the heartbeat of communities; providing jobs, generating economic growth and, most importantly, providing fantastic food. It’s brilliant to see such huge support from the public for their local restaurants and is deserved recognition of their hard work. This sort of support is invaluable as venues face ever-rising costs and is essential in keeping valued businesses viable.”
To see Britain’s 100 Best Local Restaurants by The Good Food Guide head here.