Top 10 independent coffee shops in Birmingham

Friday is National Cappuccino Day, so why not celebrate by getting your caffeine fix from one of these fabulous independent coffee shops?

This fun, eclectic business has two Birmingham branches, plus two more in Solihull and Coventry, and sell an impressive range of drinks including hot chocolates, milkshakes and smoothies. Wheelchair accessible with comfy seats, free wifi and plenty of music, this independent coffee house is the perfect place to work, study or just have a good time with mates.

The self-proclaimed maker of “the best eggs benedict in Birmingham”, this cafe’s Stephenson Street branch is barely a stone’s throw away from Grand Central and Birmingham New Street Station. Customers can choose between the brightly-lit ground floor level or the warm and cosy basement, and there are plenty of coffees, teas and cakes to sample once you’re there. Their range of craft beers, wines and cocktails — already available at their Ikon Gallery branch-is down as “coming soon”, so keep an eye out for that too!

This one’s a true hidden gem of New Street (the actual street, not the station), lurking behind a discreet storefront between a Santander and a Halifax. On top of the packed food and drink menu, Medicine is also home to an art gallery, so you can browse the work of local, independent artists once you’ve had that energy kick from your coffee. But take the time to savour one of the many delectable-looking cakes first — in particular, the cronuts are to DIE FOR. Unfortunately, it can get a bit crowded at peak times; avoid Saturday lunchtime if you need a big table.

Harbourne is jam-packed with great places to eat and drink, and Boo Boo is no exception. It’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans, with a good chunk of the lunch menu easily convertible into the meat and dairy-free versions-you can choose between dairy or vegan cheese on top of your meat or vegetarian chilli, for example-plus, all their meat and dairy ingredients are free-range. On top of that, all employees are paid above the living wage, they’re firmly against zero-hours contracts and have pledged to go carbon-neutral by 2020. What’s not to like about this independent coffee shop?

Situated in Bristol Street, this one’s a bit of a walk from the city centre, but reportedly worth it for lovers of yummy, fresh, roasted-in-house coffee. And if you really like it, you can buy a bag of coffee beans-sourced everywhere from Kenya to El Salvador-to take home and impress your flatmates. The food menu’s a bit limited, though, so fussy eaters may want to look elsewhere.

Art-lovers assemble! This beauty is hidden away on the second floor of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (don’t worry, it’s free to enter). Selling everything from Full English breakfasts to Afternoon Tea, this one is in a big, gorgeously decorated space with lots of seating-perfect if you’ve brought lots of friends.

From the biggest to the tiniest, this little coffee shop in Piccadilly Arcade is well worth a visit-if you can find a seat. With infamously strong coffee, plenty of vegan bakes and well-trained baristas, it’s ideal if you’re looking for a cosy space to get your caffeine fix in (relative) peace.

Tucked away in City Arcade, Tilt is easy to look past, but once you’re inside, believe us, you’ll know. With its industrial-style decor, dimly-lit basement level and penchant for loud rock music, it’s the kind of place you’d expect anarchists or punk devotees to congregate but can fit a group of tea-drinking students just fine. Speaking of tea, if you’re not a fan of a chocolate flavoured brew or any of the other loose-leaf varieties, and it’s too late in the day for coffee, you can try one of their five (five!!!) hot chocolates or a craft beer. And of course, we can’t talk about Tilt without mentioning their crazy collection of themed Pinball machines-with those to test your skills, who needs Xbox?

You know you’re in the right place when one reviewer describes it as “the unofficial heart of the vegan community in Birmingham”. With its warm, brightly-coloured and comfy interior, 3 Three’s is the perfect place for some top-notch, reasonably-priced animal-free food and drink-they’re particularly proud of their vegan hot dogs! But if those aren’t to your tastes, there’s an ample selection of wraps, sandwiches, paninis and more- plus plenty of coffee, tea and a delicious in-house bakery. And they’ve even started serving vegan ice cream, but maybe wait until the warmer months to try that out! Brrrrr…

From unofficial vegan hotspots to the official best of the bunch. This Syrian coffee shop-which now has branches in the city centre, Jewellery Quarter, Moseley Village and Harbourne-is the proud 2019 winner of the prize for Best Independent Coffee Shop. And trust us, it deserves it, if you fancy treating yourself, then “your local, far away coffee house” is the place to go. You’re surrounded by glamorous, Middle Eastern-inspired decor, and the menu is packed with a dizzying variety of mouth-watering Syrian cuisine with plenty of halloumi, falafel and more for the veggies and vegans-plus enough hot katayif dumplings, baklava and milkshakes to satisfy your sweet tooth for days. (Or five minutes, in my case…)

Where’s your favourite indie coffee shop? Is it on this list, or did we miss one out? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to try out one of these gorgeous places on your next study break!

Originally published at on November 6, 2019.



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