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Photograph: Jack Spicer Adams
Photograph: Jack Spicer Adams

The 15 best breakfast and brunch spots in Birmingham

Granola bowls, pancakes and classic full Englishes: these are best breakfast and brunches in Birmingham

Lauren Potts
Written by
Kayleigh Watson
&
Lauren Potts
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From cultural venues to cracking pubs, Birmingham’s got it all. And its vibrant mix of communities and cultures lends itself to a fabulous food scene too. And what does that mean? Brunch. So much brunch. 

No matter what you’re craving, the city’s got you covered. There’s good old-fashioned full Englishes, American-style pancakes covered in maple syrup, and some fresh, fruity granola bowls on offer, so take a look below at our favourite places for breakfast and brunch in Birmingham. 

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This guide was recently updated by Birmingham based food writer Lauren Potts. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines.

Best breakfast and brunch in Birmingham

1. The Early Bird Bakery

One must heed the name of this brunch spot in Kings Heath and be standing outside its doors at opening time on the weekend because it operates a walk-ins only policy and is guaranteed to have a queue. So frighteningly popular is Early Bird that after five years on the high street it practically had no choice but to expand into the space next door. It means there’s now slightly more chance of devouring their delectable baked goods or sampling the newly-launched strawberry and yoghurt honey toast with hazelnut crumble, sumac roasted strawberries and mint brown butter.

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Stirchley is a suburb built on community spirit and it shows when you go to Caneat - the constant stream of customers has cemented its status as neighbourhood favourite. Where so many brunch places charge £10 and £15 a dish, it’s heartening that Caneat’s average between £8 and £9. The 7-minute eggs are a triumph in knowing the exact moment to whip them off the stove to serve just-set yolks so vibrant in colour they match the gochujang mayonnaise slathered on the toast. A liberal sprinkling of sesame seeds and coriander keep the dish both light and on the acceptable side of indulgent for something typically served before noon.

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3. Medicine Bakery

A firm favourite now with six outposts – and for good reason, Medicine’s baked goods have deservedly developed a cult following. As for brunch, the brioche buns make a prime platter for all manner of ingredients, including pumpkin falafel, harissa hollandaise eggs or its titular Medicine sandwich of bacon, fried egg, cheese and chipotle aioli, while vanilla french toast props its maple streaky bacon. Elsewhere, things get a little more heated with huevos rancheros. 

4. Lovelife

Lovelife moved into the warehouse vacated by Wine Freedom and warmed up the chilly, cavernous space with pink decor, velvet chairs and verdant greenery. Its brunch is Mediterranean-leaning, with lamb merguez or chilli and maple sausage served with patatas bravas and paprika-spiked beans; scrambled eggs brightened by za’atar, and avocado on toast with sumac onions. Cocktails get the same treatment – the summer sangria is not only blanco but spiked with ginger beer – while the signature juices promise equal zing. Fresh pastries line the counter, where you can also take away your coffee in an Instagrammable pink cup.

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  • Restaurants

Anyone who claims New Street station is the busiest place in Birmingham hasn’t been to Yorks at the weekend. Here, hungry Brummies tuck into brunch in stripped-back industrial surroundings well into the afternoon. Choose from a breakfast bar that includes homemade granola, bagels and as much freshly baked bread as you can get down you, plus an extensive range of egg-based brekkies.

6. Button Factory

A Saturday in the Jewellery Quarter can get off to no finer start than with bellinis and Prosecco at Button Factory’s bottomless brunch. It’s fortunate there’s plenty on the menu to keep one’s stomach lined and the Button Brunch Stack - a double-carb tower of hashbrowns and English muffin sandwiching a poached egg and smoked bacon - will certainly do the job. Sweet options come in the form of toasted banana bread with a smudge of maple bacon butter, while those who prefer breakfast with bite should try the green chilli shakshuka. For a more sedate morning there’s also a regular brunch menu - we recommend sipping a marmalade martini over avo and eggs.

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  • Restaurants

Sitting pretty in the suburb of Harborne, The Plough is one of Birmingham’s favourite pub-restaurants, with a lively atmosphere and fully occupied tables whether you visit on a Tuesday or a Sunday. Harborne High Street is lined with pubs, but The Plough wins hands down for a number of reasons. The venue manages to be both smart and relaxed at once, with that warm rustic feel that marks a good gastropub. The food and drink offer is varied and includes some excellent pizzas, delish burgers and brilliant brunches.

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Sharing a courtyard (and general ethos) with the neighbouring deli and organic farm shop, King’s Heath’s Kitchen Garden Café does a steady trade throughout the week. For the meat-minded, the smoked dry-cured bacon stands out and can be enjoyed as part of the full English or in a chunky breakfast sandwich. If fuel for the day is your primary aim and you arrive sufficiently hungry, try the Kitchen Garden’s take on classic Victorian breakfast staple kedgeree. 

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9. Maison Mayci

Artisan bread and Parisian patisserie are the order of the day at the Moseley and Kings Heath’s branches of Maison Mayci. As you might expect, the oeufs à la coque (soft-boiled eggs with soldiers) are a particularly popular choice with Maison Mayci’s junior following. You’d be forgiven for sticking to a basket of toasted bread (served with butter and jam) – it’s just that tasty.

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What started out as a vegetable co-operative has, over a decade or so, transformed into Bournville’s foremost brekkie hub and organic deli. With the most important meal of the day served alongside an array of homemade, wholesome staples from opening until closing, you’ll find young families, hangover nursers and ladies lunching, all sat shoulder-to-shoulder at Leverton and Halls. If the pancakes with crispy bacon and lashings of maple syrup are too sweet for your palate, the vegetarian breakfast is a first-rate choice.

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11. The Ivy Temple Row

While it is easy to overlook The Ivy’s mid-morning menu in favour of lunch and dinner, its brunch selection is varied and impressive. There are plenty of classics on the menu – eggs royales and benedicts or buttermilk pancakes with mixed berries – plus good options for the vegetarian and vegan crowd via asparagus, avocado and buffalo mozzarella dishes.

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Gas Street Social places a particular emphasis on the sharing and social aspect of eating. When it comes to the ubiquitous bottomless boozy brunch, it’s chosen to put the bellini centre stage. The classic Italian combo of prosecco with peach juice guarantees a morning buzz. Modest appetites might opt for a sweet helping of fruit pancakes, which come with banana, berries and clotted cream, or American-style pancakes topped with streaky bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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13. Grand Central Kitchen

Just around the corner from the train station, the Grand Central Kitchen has garnered a decent rep for its friendly service and generous portions. Favourites include the full English and curveballs like a cheesy omelette English breakfast. Unfussy yet arriving with a touch of flair, it’s the place to fill up on hearty grub before a busy weekend in town.

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Boston Tea Party is a friendly, family-run chain that has been growing exponentially up and down the M5 over the past few years. Arriving in Birmingham in 2013, this was a caffeinated shot in the arm of Corporation Street, occupying the huge space left by a giant Yates pub, and now also has a sizeable branch in Harborne too. If you’re not sucked in by the massive trays of home-baked cakes at the counter, then BTP’s vast menu covers everything from all-day breakfasts to mains including burgers, salads, toasted sandwiches, soups and a very good kids’ menu.

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15. The Botanist

While it may be part of a chain, The Botanist takes a pleasantly unconventional approach to its brunch offerings. Visitors can customise their meal from a range of menu options: scrambled tofu? Shakshuka? Smoked trout? Salmon pâté? Maple streaky bacon? Take your pick. And don’t forget to leave space for the baked goods and sweeter options.

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