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Five places to go for breakfast or in the case of those places opening later, brunch.
For an honest to goodness breakfast, Brewsmiths is the place to go. Regulars (the JQ Royalty) know what the 1B is (sausage pattie, bacon, poached egg, toast with jam/marmalade & filter coffee or breakfast tea) or indeed the 2B (a bigger version including baked beans).
Where they really excel is the good old 3B (bacon buttie) or 4B which includes tea/coffee. Plus there are pancakes, smoothies, porridge, the breakfast ciabatta or just toast with various toppings.
However, what puts Brewsmiths first on the list is their already legendary, bottomless coffee (£3) and teas.
Take: Your family
Look out for: Local Lashford & Son seasoned sausage pattie
Location: 214 Livery Street, B3 1EU (a couple of doors from the secret JQ exit from Snow Hill station) Days and times: Mon-Fri 7.30-3. Saturday 9.30-2.30.
Typical cost: £5 for breakfast with tea/coffee
Peel and Stone
Strictly speaking, it’s brunch as Peel & Stone don’t open up till 11.30. This is newest café that the Quarter’s residents are tweet-salivating over. Bought to you by the Soul Food Project, this little bakery outlet has two communal tables so get there early, grab any seat you can and be ready for a mouth-watering start to your Saturday.
The menu will vary each time but I enjoyed the egg served atop a chick pea concoction (rasel-hanot) and you could add some home smoked pork to that too, all washed down with hot brew bought over by Faculty Coffee.
Oh, and do check as they may not serve brunch every Saturday but you will come away with some freshly baked goodies which is more than consolation.
Take: Your out-of-town mates
Look out for: White chocolate doughnuts (to take away after breakfast)
Location: Arch 33, Water Street B3 1HL (It’s hidden but it is there) Days and times: Recommend you check social media but generally: Saturdays till around 2. Bakery open Tuesday to Friday 11.30-6pm. Saturday 10-4.
Typical cost: around £7-8 for breakfast with lashings of refill coffee
Boston Tea Party
This West Country business is established in the city centre and now also serves up a treat for Harborne dwellers. BTP has the most extensive menu for breakfast.
Choose from the old favourites such as pancakes, porridge or grapefruit or turn to the BTP specials kedgeree, chorizo hash or sourdough eggy bread with bacon or just some granola and toast.
There’s a lot more besides and BTP take their coffee seriously (they’re the only people I know to employ a ‘Head of Coffee’) and their tea selection comes from Bristol’s Canton Tea Co. Plus there are there are smoothies, milkshakes & jugs of homemade lemonade, alongside the Bloody Mary.
I’d love more places to offer my basic brunch staples of pancakes, waffles and bagels with peanut butter! (Please let me know of any others!)
Take: Everyone – there is something for all
Look out for: Beans on toast on the kids menu
Location: 190 Corporation St, B4 6QD or The School Yard, 106 High Street, Harborne. Days and times: Served all day. Open Mon-Sat 7am-7pm, Sunday 9-6pm. (Harborne 7-11pm – check serving times) Typical cost: £7.25 for the West Country Breakfast or sour dough toast with topping, £2. Coffee from £2.
Urban Coffee Co (JQ)
“Eggcellent Offers, Terrible Puns”
One of the forerunners to bring brunch to the city centre, Urban Coffee Co is the home of the Benedicts; Royale (salmon), Florentine (spinach), Funghi (mushrooms & caramelised walnuts) or plain, all on a toasted English muffin with hollandaise sauce.
Browse through the newspapers or a plethora of local magazines while you sip your brew of choice with a view of the shiny wedding cake like formation of the Library of Birmingham – although you’ll soon be looking out to the new Golden Square coming later in 2014.
Your breakfast will be cooked for you in the kitchen which also produces the Urban Brekkie (eggs, bacon, cherry tomatoes and croissant croutons) and the Eggs Diablo with sautéed chorizo, chilli and apple salsa and red chilli jam. Plus there are pastries and Danish that you can help yourself to from the counter.
Take: The significant other for some weekend time-out
Look out for: Eggs Diablo
Location: The Pig Peg, Warstone Lane, JQ, B18 6NF Days and times: Served 8-3pm Mon-Fri. 9-3pm Saturday and 10-3pm Sunday.
Typical cost: £7.50 for Eggs Funghi. Coffee from around £2.30. Sun-Thurs offer: any 2 classic brunches & 2 large hot drinks for £16.95.
A Kings Heath staple before it finally arrived in the city centre, Cherry Reds wants to be your ‘home from home for breakfast, lunch, beers, dinner, cocktails and partying’ and they’ll serve you cocktails at 10am.
The Hearty English is complete with black pudding and cherry tomatoes. What delights me though is their ‘diddy’ breakfast which I can actually finish; sausage, bacon, egg beans & toast for £4. There’s vegan and vegetarian versions too as well as breakfast sandwiches.
Alternatives are pancakes, porridge, fruit and toast – including topping choices of Nutella and peanut butter which I find strangely lacking in so many of our city’s cafes. (Again, I beg you to correct me if I’m wrong!)
Take: Anyone you’re meeting from the train; Cherry Reds is right around the corner from New St.
Look out for: the old parlor decor
Location: 88-90 John Bright Street. B1 IBN Days and times: Breakfast served all day: Mon-Thurs 7.30-10pm. Saturday 10am-10pm. Sunday 10am-10pm.
Typical cost: £6 for the Hearty Breakfast and your morning milky coffee starts at £2.20. Cocktails extra.
By Rickie J, Editor, founder and serial bruncher