Long gone are the days when coffee was just a morning kick-starter – now we need it all day long. The demands on coffee shops have grown, with them fast becoming informal meeting rooms and workplaces complete with wifi, comfy space, full-on breakfasts, snappy lunches and a decent set of grooves to keep us entertained. Here’s our pick of Birmingham’s best places to get your caffeine fix, and get some work done into the process. They all do great coffee as standard, so we’ve picked out what makes each place its own.
Urban Coffee Company
Set on the ground floor of the Big Peg building on Warcross Street (and directly in front of the currently-being-revamped Golden Square – more on that in a later issue), the huge glass window of Urban Coffee Company is great for a bit of Jewellery Quarter people watching. It’s also somewhere to catch a bit of sun while doing whatever business you’re thinking of doing. There’s seating inside and out, plenty of reading matter, high ceilings and loads of space with a ruggedly edgy urban feel. You’re very likely to hear Lana Del Rey and Lorde playing overhead among its armoury of laid back tunes.
More than a bakery really, but it does do rather fine cakeness. York’s also does great breakfasts and lunches and has the vibe of a San Francisco kitchen about it, with a busy kitchen atmosphere, ceramic tiled walls and chunky wood tables – all totally modern, of course. York’s is close enough to New Street to be a real city centre joint, but far enough away to be out of the reach of shoppers.
We wrote about York’s in a previous article, which you can read here
Madeleine was also the subject of a previous BRUMtastic review, which you can read here.
Part of Mike Nayla‘s empire in The Cube (he owns the Brazilian flesh fest of Rodizio Rico and the shrine to burger’n’shrimp, Bun and Bowl), Madeline has a wonderfully relaxed vibe with a high chance of Mendhellson being played overhead. It’s all part of the draw for a sophisticated and intellectual crowd maybe. The pastries are excellent in what is a sort of posh modern Conran-ish French farmhouse kitchen: all white chairs and wooden tables, lots of glass and angles and best flower display of any fooderie in the city.