569-571 Stratford Road, Sparkhill, 0121-766 7199
Customers followed the Joshis when they moved to bigger premises, to feast on their bite-sized pani puri and mixed vegetable pakora for starters, then masala dhosa stuffed with spiced potato or malai kofta, a mouthwatering vegetarian ‘meatball’ made with paneer. The menu also offers vegetable curries, thalis, lhassis and desserts. It’s friendly, inexpensive and unlicensed, so take your own beer or wine. Jamie Oliver likes it, too: he pops in when he’s in town for the Good Food Show. Heather Hills Birmingham

Cafe Ikon

1 Oozells Square, Brindleyplace, 0121-248 3226
There are very few vegetarian restaurants here, so I look for mainstream ones that offer a good choice. This is my favourite. You can eat and drink well for around £10 a head, choosing from Spanish-inspired, tapas-like dishes that are just made for sharing. There are enough combinations of potatoes, peppers, artichokes, beans, mushrooms and other veg to ring the changes on repeat visits. The house salad is enough for two, and the vegetarian paella is a dream, but so vast that bread beforehand is a mistake. …

The Warehouse Cafe

54-57 Allison Street, Digbeth, 0121-633 0261
A green oasis in the heart of the city. Choose from hearty soups, bean casseroles or handmade leek and tarragon sausages, mash and real-ale gravy, all served with various salads topped with dressings that bite. Hot apple strudel, ginger and apricot slice or ice cream sundae will satisfy the sweetest of teeth. Real people serving real food, with organic, local and fair trade leading the way. A fiver sees you well set up for the afternoon ahead. Chris Crean Birmingham

Mud Cafe

570 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, 0121-472 7790
If you’re looking for a superior lunch on the Selly Oak student strip, Mud offers posh veggie pasta and paninis for the budget-conscious. Freshly cooked dishes for a fiver are served on long, wooden tables by friendly, trendy staff at this light, airy, cool as a cornichon cafe. The star dish is the gorgonzola and broccoli pasta. While meat dishes are also available, Mud has a strong vegetarian bias. Lita Doolan Oxford

The Spice Merchant

Poplar Road, Kings Heath, 0121-444 1414
The best of the city’s new ‘up-market’ Indian restaurants is bright, contemporary and friendly. The food matches the high standards of the decor, being well-presented and full of flavour, with a wide range of vegetarian options: try vegetable balti, mushroom bhaji and saag paneer. Aloo gobi is particularly delicious, while the selection of side dishes, rice and breads will satisfy the hungriest of appetites. Wash it all down with a cool Cobra, on-tap. Families, couples and groups of all ages give the Spice Merchant a real cosmopolitan buzz in the middle of the suburbs.Carol Austin Birmingham


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s