Best cheap eats
We’ve pulled together a selection of our favourite cheap but chic eats across Warwickshire, and included a few in Birmingham. If there are any more places you’d like to share please do add in the comments box…
Haddie and Trilby, 10 Regent Street, Leamington Spa
You can pick up freshly made soup served in a cardboard cup with two great big hunks of bread for £4 at this wonderful rustic artisan bakery. They bake the most delicious fresh bread and Focaccia – I bought Nigella Seed and Onion Focaccia for lunch earlier this week (you could also choose from potato and cheddar/beetroot, mascarpone and rocket or plain). If you have a sweet tooth they make the biggest meringues, croissants and pain-au-chocolat I’ve ever seen. So slightly carb heavy! Outside are a couple of pavement tables and there’s an eat-in area at the back. Every Thurs is sourdough pizza night, 6-9pm.
Dough & Brew, Brook St, Warwick
Tuck into brunches, (£2 for sourdough toast), light bites, a 12″ sourdough pizza for £9 or £5 for a pizzette if you prefer something smaller accompanied by lovely local craft beers and wines at this laid-back independent bar-cafe – voted winner in last year’s Muddy Award for Best Restaurant. It has as a real community vibe to it with events including Mother’s Mornings, Live Sports, Film Club and live music. Very child-friendly too. The stylish industrial-style interior is a mash-up of steel and turquoise velvet seating was designed by owner John Martin.
Kayal, 42 Regent Street, Leamington Spa
Two friends introduced me to the delights of authentic homemade Keralan cooking a few years ago. Kayal is one of the best restaurants specialising in South Indian cooking I’ve discovered locally – they do lovely fresh Dosa’s (rice and lentil pancakes), lots of seafood and vegetarian dishes. The £5.95 business lunch is a snatch and includes 3 little curries, rice, a Dosa and two coconut dips!
Giggling Squid, High Street, Stratford-upon-Avon and High Street, Warwick
Fancy Thai Tapas? An inventive tasty tapas-style menu, meaning lighter, more varied dishes that force you out of your green curry comfort zone. In Warwick The Giggling Squid is in a prominent high street spot in a beautiful warren of a building with a basement; while the Stratford-upon-Avon restaurant is inside a characterful historic building dating back to Tudor times, a short walk away to the RSC theatres.They are busy, buzzy restaurants and the lunch menu is very good value. Prices range from £9.95 for tapas sets (four dishes); one big dish from £7.50 and two dish combi from £7.95. Children can mix and match small plates, 2 for £5.95 with a £2 for a pudding. And there’s also a gluten-free menu.
Stonemonkey Yoga Studio and Cafe, 22 Binswood St, Leamington Spa
Book yourself into an excellent 1 hour 30-minute Ashtanga yoga workout with experienced teacher Digby Platt, then feel like you’ve earned a wholesome brunch, lunch or nourishing avocado shake at this eclectic great value-for-money vegetarian/vegan cafe just outside the town centre. Bonus – parking is free this side of Leam! Six-week beginner courses, one-to-one tuition and a yoga retreat to Kerala (in March 2019) are also available.
Thirteen Bakery, 19 Old Square, Warwick
Another very popular small independent craft bakery, just off the square in Warwick town centre, where you can pick up a loaf of Rye or Spelt Sourdough, a hand-crafted patisserie or inventive ‘cruffin’ and coffee for under £10. Get yourself a slice of cheese and lunch sorted!
Millennium Balti, Bath Street Leamington Spa
Mohammed Ahad was named Chef of the Year Midlands at the English Curry Awards 2018 at this Indian restaurant and takeaway. The Vegetable Pakora starter (£3.75), chicken tikka biryani (£8.25) and mixed vegetable curry £5.95 were particularly recommended.
The Steamhouse, Warwick St, Leamington Spa & 15 High St, Stratford-upon-Avon
A small but very welcoming independent bagel cafe and take-away. Filled bagels (£2.40 – £6.50 to take-away) and donuts are baked fresh every day, made from locally-sourced unbleached flour at Charlecote Mill. Plenty of choice. Great coffee too. Gets busy around lunchtime!
The Rustic Food Company, 129 Regent Street, Leamington Spa
Great fresh salad boxes all year round made up to suit you (£4), soup with a roll (£3.60) and freshly-made sandwiches (from £3.50) including Hummus Crunch and The Big Vegan as well as Handmade Scotch eggs vegetable and tuna bruschetta’s, goats’ cheese and caramelised onion pastries, and samosas. Gluten free lunch options include quiches, frittata, scotch eggs and sweet treats.
Taste of the Country, Shipton-on-Stour
A lovely and friendly local bakery-deli-grocery shop specialising in produce from the surrounding area and their own range of good value quality food all cooked and prepared at Alscot Estate near Stratford-upon-Avon from Cottage pie to their rather famous Gingerbread characters. Local produce includes Kevin Roles honey, David Jowett’s amazing cheeses, Ice cream from Broadway, cured meats from the Salt Pig in Chipping Norton, Cotswold Gin – the distillery is just 4 miles away – and local artisan ales from Cotswold brewery and Burkes beers. If you’re heading into the surrounding countryside for a walk and need a picnic – stock up here on the way!
Anderson and Hill, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham
Ex-chef Will Johns took over this glass-fronted deli which opens out into the most picturesque of Birmingham’s arcade several years ago. A multi-faceted food establishment it sells everything from dry goods and A&H-branded coffee at the corner entrance to a selection of top-notch cured meats, cheeses, Italian baked goods and a full lunch-menu too including half a sandwich £3.25 or a Veggie (artichokes, peppers, sun blush tomatoes and olives) for £4.95; one of 3 salads for £4.50 and freshly prepared soup of the day, £3.50.
Jyoti’s, 1045 Stratford Road, Hall Green, Birmingham
Long before the unstoppable rise of veganism and vegetarian food, this family-run was Birmingham’s first Gujarati vegetarian restaurant. It opened in 1977. Starters include bhel puri, patra – a Gujarati speciality of stuffed, rolled colocassia leaves and mogo chips – chillied cassava fries popular amongst the East African Indian community. Order the trio, and you’ll still have change from £10. Super friendly, it boasts 15 meatless starters and an incredible 72 main courses, plus a sizeable list of rice accompaniments. Celebrity diners range from Jamie Oliver to Antony Worrall-Thompson.
Original Patty Men 9 Shaw’s Passage, Digbeth, Birmingham
Enjoy the hip-hop-inspired fast-food puns while munching on a Cheezy-E burger or a Po Money, Po Mushroom (V) burger and Naked Fries for under a tenner. The eatery is under the railway arches in Digbeth and offers a tempting range of beers from locals Siren Craft Brew. A regular at award-winning weekly street food event, Digbeth Dining Club. (Wed – 5pm- 11pm (Wings Only); Thurs – Sat: 11.30am – 11pm; Sun: 11.30 – 8pm (or until they sell out).
Damascena Coffee House, 5 – 7, Temple Row West, Birmingham
A stone’s throw from The Ivy in a scenic square overlooking the Birmingham Cathedral of St Philip’s you’ll find this authentic Syrian coffee house and delicatessen where you can sip Turkish coffee, nibble on Baklava and imagine you’re a world away. It’s run by Anas Zein, a Syrian refugee, and they serve the most amazing hummus and homemade flat breads for just £3.95 as well as tasty mixed meze, fattuush salad, falafals and grilled halloumi. It’s such good value – extra flat breads (including gluten-free) are 30p each, there’s 17 different coffees (including Arabian Spiced), as well as teas and freshly-squeezed juices, plus 6 varieties of Syrian Baklava. Two more branches have opened in Moseley and Harborne.