If you’re trying to embrace more plant-based focused eating this year you may be starting with Veganuary. Those committing to this popular annual challenge avoid animal products for the month of January, with many choosing to keep to the vegan lifestyle thereafter.
Around 400,000 take up the plant-based challenge every year, with vegan food now being more widely available in restaurants than ever before. If you’re considering trying veganism you’ll be pleased to know there’s some great options in Birmingham if you’re planning on dining out.
From healthy salads to satisfying junk food, food writer Laura McEwan of Bite Your Brum has been scouring the city for the best plant-based bites to ensure going meat-free is delicious.
While some of the venues included aren’t exclusively serving vegan food, they have a good array for those choosing to take a break from the likes of meat and dairy. Here’s 8 of the best.
The best plant-based Birmingham restaurants for Veganuary
Land, City Centre
The best of plant-based in Birmingham, Land is a beautiful vegan restaurant hidden away within Great Western Arcade. The food is imaginative and delicious and the price point is more than reasonable for a more ‘fine dining’ type option - the eight course tasting menu is just £45. If you’re looking for a meat-free date night or celebration destination, this should be top of your list. Land is open Tuesday to Saturday and you can find more information including menus on the Land restaurant website. Booking advised.
Jungle Bird, City Centre
A colourful hideaway just 5 minutes walk from New Street Station, Jungle Bird is a tropical themed bar and restaurant with an entirely meat-free menu. Expect crowd-pleasing small plates (ideal for sharing with friends) inspired by the tropics colourful drinks and party tunes. If you like fruity cocktails and plant-based street food, this is the venue for you. The menus are all available online via the Jungle Bird website and walk ins are most welcome. Open Wednesday to Sunday.
The Wilderness, Jewellery Quarter
If you’re looking to make Veganuary a little more special it’s worth noting The Wilderness is offering weekly plant-powered dinners every Tuesday throughout January. You’ll enjoy 6 courses for £60 in a gorgeously gothic restaurant with a playlist you won’t find at any other fine dining venue. The dinners include dishes from an experimental vegan menu and can be paired with drinks including a no-booze flight should you be keeping in low or no alcohol this January. Head to The Wilderness Instagram page for information and links to events.
Serving up some of the very best plant-based street food you’ll find in Brum, BA-HA is perfect for those looking for a junk food fix. The multi award-winning team behind this much-loved vegan set up can currently be found at The Rainbow over in Digbeth, serving up massive burgers, loaded fries and flatbreads. The ‘wings’ made with oyster mushrooms are truly the perfect bar snack. This is also a great option if you’re looking for a meat-free bottomless brunch or Sunday lunch. Open everyday for walk ins and you can find menus and more via the BA-HA website.
The Vegan Kitchen, City Centre
Ideal for a low-key lunch in the heart of the city centre, The Vegan Kitchen offers freshly prepared and lovingly made light bites and hot boxes. Enjoy comfort food dishes such as mac n cheese, dirty fries, buffalo cauliflower bites, plus a host of decadent desserts. You can order for takeaway here too, so if you’re in a rush and just need a quick bite to eat this is a good option. Open Tuesday to Sunday, there’s more information about The Vegan Kitchen offering on the Instagram page.
Chung Ying Cantonese, China Town
One of the most established restaurants in China Town, this restaurant specialises in Cantonese dishes and has a huge veggie and vegan selection as well as one of the largest dim sum selections in the country, let alone the city. Diners can expect noodle soups, stir fried vegetables and both fried and steamed plant-based dumplings. Chung Ying Cantonese is open every day of the week from lunchtime into the evening and is also available on delivery apps. More information about the restaurant and the menus (included the dedicated vegan menu) can be found on the Chung Ying Cantonese website.
The Warehouse Café, Digbeth
Offering vegan and vegetarian dishes in a relaxed café, this venue is known for its community events as well as the food. House specials include the Seitan kebab but there’s a selection of burgers, curries and salads to enjoy, too. It’s licenced and there’s vegan wines available, although if you’re partaking in Dry January you’ll also find coffee with homemade cakes. Located a short walk from Moor Street Station, it’s open Tuesday to Saturday and you can find more information on the Warehouse Cafe website.
Café Soya, China Town
An all vegan and veggie menu is available here alongside the usual meat and fish selection, with a focus on Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. Expect hearty soups, stir fried rice, tofu dumplings and plant-based prawn toast. Located within Arcadian, this is a long time favourite of Brummie vegans, mainly thanks to its expansive plant-based menu and friendly service. Café Soya is open all day Tuesday to Sunday and more information including menus can be found via the Cafe Soya website.
Laura McEwan is the author of award-winning Birmingham blog Bite Your Brum. You can find her Instagram page here.