Veggie Foodie Guide to: The Birmingham Christmas Markets for vegetarians


Navigating the Frankfurt German Market in Birmingham City Centre at this time of year for vegetarians and vegans can be difficult.

The times I’ve been out with Ruth, family and friends and whilst the meat eaters have a array of fleshy delights us veggies are left eating cake and pastries and if we are being greedy Garlic Bread. Good but hey, we like Christmas too 🙂

Then of course it is easier for veggies to drink more at the market than eat some super independent food.

This year it appears their are though some jewels to be sought out and tasted. Yes, you have to search and yes you have to walk a bit, but it is worth it..trust me 😊

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The Birmingham Christmas market that stretches all the way from The Bull Ring up New Street into Victoria Square and onto the area around the Town Hall, and the Art Gallery up to The Hall of memory and up to the New Library of Birmingham and the Big Wheel.

The lower part from the Bull Ring to Victoria Square is the long running and expensive generally German Market which turns Birmingham tourist crazy for a month and makes Brum feel like a European city bathed in Christmas joy. It’s good fun and full of drinking dens, but little hot good veggie food.

The Frankfurt Market leads into the Birmingham Christmas craft markets by the Art Gallery which is much more independent and has a greater amount of food outlets that veggies can enjoy and stretches up to the New Birmingham Library.

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On wandering around the markets last week with my brother Pete (also vegetarian) we found a number of options.

Within the Birmingham craft market (further on from the Frankfurt Market) by the old Central library and Birmingham Art Gallery lie two good options to begin with for veggies.

First is Woktastic which serves noodles and a variety of Japanese dishes some veggie options. A good option. They also have a stand at Paradise Forum and restaurant too.

Then, nestled within the Christmas trees at the top of the steps lies The Mumbai Grill. For curry and a spicy kick it can’t be beaten. They have a vegetarian menu that includes a vegetarian platter, onion bhaji wraps, samosas, channa chaat, and a chana chickpea wrap. They also have balti chips.

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Then, further through the Paradise Forum over bridge past the Hall of Memory you will find local Pips Hot Sauce, a creperie, and a fully veggie and vegan falafel stall.

The falafel stand sells numerous falafel options, a veggie burger, and is the markets only completely 100% veggie option. Prices start from £4.50. It looks brilliant, and I can’t wait to try it. Their are falafel wraps, spicy Jalapeños, grilled Halloumi and other falafel dishes. See menu.

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Next door so to speak is a Creperie stand that sells sweet and savoury crepes and has veggie options on the savoury side. The creperie has outside tables and is popular.

Next door to the Creperie nearest the New Library of Birmingham is Pips Hot Sauce with vegan options.

Trader Pip Bradley from Kings Heath sells dishes such as sweet potato fries, nachos, salsa, jalapeños, guacamole, and vegan friendly sauces. Try a combination of the dishes and a few sauces maybe?

Pips Hot Sauce also sell gift packs of her superb sauces that can be brought as gifts. Well recommended.

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Back to The Frankfurt Market, their is a stand that sells pizza, and Italian sandwiches near the Town Hall and a stand in the centre near the fountain that sells a nice spinach and feta strudel. Plus, sweet ones too. One I’ve not noticed before.

Then last but not least is the aforementioned garlic bread stand, that is a delight. Try it with cheese, always a winner, but this year it seems not the only hot option. Stationed next to the long bar nearest to the Council House on Victoria Square.

As well as those hot food options their are a number of sweet food stands and some are brilliant. I will leave you to discover those 🙂

As always the Frankfurt Market divides opinions in Birmingham, but at least some independent and local food traders are involved in Birmingham’s Christmas Markets, and their is always Digbeth Diner and Brum Yum Yum to satisfy that independent street food demand.

If you get out into Birmingham have a good Market experience and eat, and drink and be merry, but watch those alcohol prices at The German Market that are quite steep compared to elsewhere. Their are a good selection of drinks at the craft market, near the town hall, including mulled cider, mulled wine and Pims.

Their is also a Hogan’s cider tent near the hall of memory with sofas inside. Looks great, very popular.

Have fun and thanks for reading and Happy Christmas. 🙂

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Library of Birmingham

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VEGGIEFOODIE GUIDE TO: CURRY RESTAURANTS


Today I’m introducing a new guide to my blog Veggie Foodie. This will be an occasional listing and musings on a different foodie topic. The list and guide isn’t a definitive but some of my favourites and recommendations to look out for.

To kick off, I’ve decided to look at Curry Restaurants in Birmingham, with a few from outside the area that i’ve come accross or visited.

Curry in its various guises is for many vegetarians and vegans their go to food. It is for me and often the first meal I have when I come back from a holiday abroad for instance.

For vegetarians, it seems it is the cuisine that we have the most options on the menu.

There are a number of pure vegetarian curry restaurants, sweet shops, and cafe’s in Birmingham

Deepalis: An Indian vegetarian restaurant in the Jewellery Quarter which is smart and offers a good range of dishes. Comes well recommended.

16 Hall Street, Jewellery Quarter, B18 6BS

0121 265 4726

http://www.deepalisrestaurant.co.uk

They also have a smaller cafe in Sparkbrook:

1A Alfred Road, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B11 4PB

Sangam A vegetearian Cafe/sweet centre. Authentic curries, samosas, Pakoras, bhajis, to eat in and take away. Highly recommended.

334 Soho Road, Handsworth B21 9NA

Milan Sweet Centre: Vegetarian sweet centre, cafe and resturant. Good choices and always busy.

191 Stoney Lane, Sparkbrook, Birmingham B12 8HB. 0121 449 1617

Jyoti restaurant together with sweet centre is one of my favourites, offering 72 main courses and 15 starters, with an autthentic sweet centre to take away or eat in. Highly recommended. A favourite of Jamie Oliver. A personal favourite.

1045 Stratford Road, Hall Green, B28 8AS.

0121 778 5501. Booking can be made online at http://www.jyotis.co.uk

Pop Up Dosa: Making vegetarian dosa at home, at markets, at cafe. Offering cooking classes, and pop ups. See them at Ort Cafe in Moseley/Balsall Heath. See previous review on my blog. Superb.

@popupdosa

http://www.popupdosablogspot.co.uk

My favourite curry restaurants that are superb for veggies are:

Lasan Restaurant: Contemporary, stylish and delicious, high end curry that packs a punch in lovely classy surroundings near St Pauls Square. A treat at any time. See previous review.

Lasan, 3-4 Dakota Buildings, James Street, St Pauls Square, Jewellery Quarter, B3 1SO 0121 212 3664

http://www.lasan.co.uk

Pushkar Restaurant: beautiful Cocktails, great curries, superb service on Broad Street. Highly recommended for that touch of class and sophistication.

Pushkar, 245 Broad street, Birmingham b1 2HQ

http://www.pushkardining.com

0121 643 7978

Ashas delicious curries, good veggie choices, consistent service, good lunch time deal and cocktails. Lovely restaurant, in central Birmingham off Colmore Row.

Ashas Restaurant: Edmund House, 12-22 Newhall Street B3 3LX

http://www.ashasrestaurant.com

0121 200-2767

Itihaas restaurant Exquisite, Indian food, lovely colonial style environment with superb attentive service. Excellent vegetarian options. Recommended.

Itihaas also have a cafe in Selfridges Food Hall. Eat in or take away.

18 Fleet Street, Birmingham, B3 1JL

0121 212-3383.

http://www.itihaas.co.uk

Also to be recommended are:

Punjabi Rasoi:Authentic Cooking and attentive service in Acocks Green Birmingham.

Kababish: Long standing curry house in Moseley, excellent curries, consistent with good service. Next to the Patrick Kavanagh pub. Recommended.

Maharaja: Long standing and consistent. Old style service, and authentic curries. The saag paneer is superb. Next door to the Hippodrome on Hurst Street.

Raja Monkey cafe superb dosas, talis and curries. A lovely take away too. Owned by the Lasan Group.

Also on my radar are:

EastZEast new curry restaurant on Broad Street. Had good and tasty reviews. Good veggie options. ‘The home of Punjabi cooking’

Horseshoe: Refurbished old pub in Hall Green. Recommended by Paul Fulford of the Birmingham Mail.

Sylhet Spice on York Road, Kings Heath. Has a good reputation locally and also does takeaways. Always busy. Loyal regulars.

Imlees in Moseley, on the Alcester Road also has a good reputation and a bring your own bottle policy. Always busy.

Al Frash: On LadyPool Road, perenial favourite, balti dishes and bring your own.

Delhi 6: Sutton Coldfield favourite: Good reviews and recommendations. Good veggie options.

Street Food:

Becky’s Bhajis: Onion bhajis sold at food markets and street food days. Vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Outside Birmingham:

Mendhi Vegetarian Indian Restaurant in Droitwich Worcestershire. Comes recomended. Pure vegetarian curries.

Prashad vegetarian restaurant near Bradford Yorkshire: Gordon Ramsey favourite With a Superb cookbook. Always popular and run the Veggie hour on Twitter once a month.
One to visit.

Also in Yorkshire, North to be precise and Leeds to be exact, is an Indian vegetarian restaurant called Hansa. Which is Gujarati and run by all women. I have heard good reports. They have won
Cobra good curry awards, and also have a vegetarian Indian cook book like Prashad.

Bernares Berkeley Square London: A superb Indian Restaurant. High end and Michelin Starred. One of the best curries i’ve ever had in glam Mafair.

As I’ve said it isn’t a definitive list and I will add to it as I go along.

If anybody has any favourites that serve good veggie dishes please let me know either in the comment box below or via twitter @andydhare

Thanks for reading.

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Lasan Restaurant

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Pushkar Restaurant

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Pop up Dosa