Stirchley in the south of Birmingham has quietly become one of the UK’s coolest neighbourhoods in recent years. The area is currently flourishing thanks to independent breweries, brilliant bakeries and Birmingham’s best food and drink destinations. But is as captivating for its sense of community as it is craft beers and cocktail bars. The soon-coming Stirchley Co-operative Development, a new home for affordable housing and local businesses, on Stirchley High Street is only testament to this. We’ve gathered just some of the very best things to do in Stirchley.
1-3. Booze it up at Stirchley’s independent craft breweries
Stirchley is lucky enough to have three amazing craft breweries locally. The Birmingham Brewing Company, Attic Brew Co and GlassHouse all have tap rooms in the area. So you’re never far from a cold craft beer, so you’ll have to settle for a weak, warm and flat pint again. Birmingham Brewing Company also runs brewery tours for you to see first hand how your beer gets from grain to glass.
Birmingham Brewing Company, Unit 17, Stirchley Trading Estate, Hazelwell Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2PF
Attic Brew Co., 29B Mary Vale Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2DA
GlassHouse, Waterside Business Park, Unit 6B, 1649-1652, Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 3DR
4. Grab a slice at Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse
Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse boasts a range of wood-fired, Italian style sourdough pizzas that make it one of the best Italian restaurants in Birmingham. What makes it so special, however, is a dedication to homestyle Italian cooking. Their terracotta bakes, such as Alicia’s take on the classic aubergine parmigiana, offer a hearty alternative.
1377 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JR
5. Shop at Stirchley Community Market
We said a large part of what we love about Stirchley is its community feel. Well it doesn’t get much more ‘community’ than Stirchley Community Market. The monthly food and crafts market started in 2010 as a partnership between Birmingham City Council, local arts group Stirchley Happenings, local bakery Loaf. It is entirely run by local residents and a great place to support Stirchley businesses. Expect anything from artisan preserves to freshly-baked breads, local fruit and vegetables to arts and crafts. It can be a little irregular, so always worth checking the website to see when it’s next happening.
Stirchley Baths, Bournville Ln, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JT
6-7. Pick up some baked goods at Stirchley’s brilliant bakeries
Loaf is a co-operative-run bakery freshly baked bread and pastries everyday. Next door, however, is where things get really interesting. That’s where Loaf runs its cookery school teaching bread-making and other skills. From classes on sourdough to viennoiserie, charcuterie to seafood, there are masterclasses for every level of home cook here.
Another of Birmingham’s brilliant bakeries is also in the area. Ten Four Bakehouse not only makes fresh bread, but lots of treats too. Pick up a selection of bun flavours, such as salted caramel, cheddar, Marmite, and the classic Chelsea bun. While their filled doughnuts are simply divine.
Loaf, 1421 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JL
Ten Four Bakehouse, Unit 11, Stirchley Trading Estate, Hazelwell Road, Stirchley, B30 2PF
Easily one of Birmingham’s best, and most unique, cocktails bars, Couch broke into the Top 50 Cocktail Bars list last year. Its menu changes every six months. Previous themes have focused on matching cocktail creations with iconic women in music, such as Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox, and their favourite TV shows, like Twin Peaks and The Simpsons. The only thing not surprising about Couch is that it never drops in quality.
1466 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2NT
9. Go east to Vietnam at Stirchley’s best restaurant
Few will argue against Eat Vietnam being the best place for dinner in the neighbourhood. The umami-packed traditional Vietnamese restaurant constantly reinvents its menu, so repeat visits are a must to keep up with an ever-changing menu. Barbecued pork shoulder served in a coconut curry, or salt and pepper tofu with noodles are our current favourites. But you have to try the Marmite and PB chicken wings (also served as cauliflower wings) for a serious savoury, flavour-bomb.
1422 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2PH
10. Soak up the graffiti in Stirchley Park
No neighbourhood is complete without a lush green space for the community. This small and hidden gem in the heart of Stirchley offers locals an escape from the hustle-and-bustle of the high street. Beloved by all, an art mural celebrating Stirchley’s history and community lines the edges of the park too. Just as beautiful as the trees and green grass the grow beside it.
Stirchley Park, Birmingham B30 2LA
11. Grab brunch at Caneat
Birmingham has some beautiful brunch spots about. But there’s only one place to go for your first meal of the day in Stirchley. And that’s Caneat. The neighbourhood cafe’s ever changing daily menu is full of surprises. But firm favourites include the watercress and baked potato soup served with cheese on toast and jammy seven-minute eggs with a gochujang mayo. Why not take a sneak-peak into their cake box before you leave? You never know what delicious bakes they rustled up that day. Be warned Caneat doesn’t do bookings though, it’s walk-ins only.
1397 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JR
12. Indulge with homemade Birmingham fudge
Sweetmeat Inc. makes fudge the sweet and simple way. It produces nine varieties of mouthwatering fudge, such as Irish cream, vanilla, coffee, turmeric and classic. Placing importance on quality over quantity, Sweetmeat Inc. cooks in small patches to ensure it’s making the best again and again. So pop down to their shop on Pershore Road to pop on of their sweet confectionaries in your mouth. You deserve it!
1420 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2PH
13-14. Unwind with a glass (or two) of wine
Continuing the neighbourhood’s fiercely independent spirit is the employee-owned independent bar and kitchen Cork and Cage. It stocks a regularly rotating selection of beers, ciders and spirits. But we love to visit for its stock of natural wines. If feeling peckish, Cork and Cage also serves a weekly changing food menu of seasonal dishes in the week. But if you’d rather grab a nice bottle of wine and just head home, we recommend going to Stirchley Wines. It offers something a little more special than your usual supermarket selections.
Cork and Cage, 1373 Pershore Rd, Stirchley, Birmingham B30 2JR
Stirchley Wines and Spirits, 1535/1537 Pershore Road, Stirchley, B30 2JH