Top 15 gastropubs in the Midlands and Shropshire
When it comes to gastropubs, we are simply spoiled for choice across the Midlands and Shropshire.
To help you pick the right restaurant for you, we've compiled a list of our top gastropubs throughout the region:
The Crown - Wergs
Described by our reviewer as having 'laid-back vibe, friendly atmosphere and great food', The Crown at Wergs is a traditional pub located in the historic town of Tettenhall. Mains on its menu range from burgers, to lobster brioche rolls, pies, souffles, pasta, fish and steak - and prices per dish range from £10.95 to £23.50.
"It's the kind of place that you want to make an effort for – if you pop in, get a little dressed up – it's more than just a bog-standard pub and to be fair, I think The Crown knows it," said reviewer Lisa Wright.
"There is plenty of room inside, with luxurious furnishings, huge tables for large groups as well as places to sit at the bar."
The Plough - Harborne
Listed as the top gastropub in Birmingham by TripAdvisor, The Plough at Harborne has had more than 320 'excellent' ratings by the site's reviewers and has also been awarded its Certificate of Excellence.
The eatery offers a huge range of pizzas, priced between £12.25 and £14, as well as a variety of burgers, and 'large plates' of fish, stew, chilli or pasta. It also serves roasts on a Sunday. It also has daily specials.
Oakley Arms - Brewood
The Oakley Arms is a new addition to rural Brewood, since being taken over in 2015, and sits just on the outskirts of the village - on the Kiddemore Green Road. the building which houses the restaurant, however, has stood in place since around 1834 and was formerly The Oakley House Country Club.
Food on the Oakley Arms' menu includes steak, salad, curry, pie and fish and prices range from £10.95 to £26.95. They also offer 'light bites', sandwiches and children's meals. Food is served from 12noon to 10pm Monday to Saturday and to 9.30pm on Sundays.
The Oakley also boasts a terrace overlooking a lake and is the latest addition to the Brunning and Price chain of pub restaurants.
The Golden Cross - Shrewsbury
Our reviewer Andy Richardson described The Golden Cross as 'reliable, enjoyable, good value and at times spectacular'.
"It's good enough to be a destination restaurant, the sort that people from the south, north, east or west of the county travel to," said Andy.
"The Golden Cross is, indeed, a uniquely lovable venue. One of Shropshire's finest pub-restaurants, standards have remained consistently high through the years. While once it promised an intoxicating mix of shabby chic and antique glamour, it's become more than a little luxurious in recent years. The 'shabby' no longer applies: it is, quite simply, chic."
Main courses at the eatery include steak, fish, gnocchi, chicken and pork belly - and are priced between £12.50 and £19.50. Other foods on offer are 'lunches', 'nibbles' and sandwiches.
The Woodman Inn - Claverley
"Simple, honest, lovingly prepared food in a friendly, intimate setting" - that is what our reviewer Mark Andrews had to say after visiting The Woodman Inn, before scroing the restaurant a solid five stars stating: "Anything less than five would be a travesty".
The eatery is located down a small lane near Bridgnorth, housed in a Georgian building dating back to 1858.
Meals on the main menu include lamb, chicken, pie and pasta, as well as a large range of fish and steaks.
The High Field - Edgbaston
After visiting The High Field, our reviewer Emily Bridgewater said the eatery boasted "good quality food and faultless service in smart surroundings."
"The place has been kitted out smartly with lots of walnut wood, tiled floors and on-trend grey and yellow furnishings," said Emily.
"The bar has a stylish 1920s feel with its high bar stools and Chesterfield-style armchairs, while the adjoining restaurant has a modern Scandi vibe."
This restaurant is listed as the second top gastropub in Birmingham and has been awarded the website's Certificate of Excellence. It serves a wide range of steaks, sharing platters, and mains - which range from bangers and mash to pan-seared sea bream and curried fishcake.
Windsor Castle Inn - Stourbridge
Windsor Castle Inn is listed as the top gastropub in Stourbridge by TripAdvisor - and the sixth top gastropub in the West Midlands.
Our reviewer Mark Andrews tested the steaks when he visited with his other half stating: "Both were of the highest quality, and superbly cooked, with the homemade sauces deserving special attention."
"The texture and flavour of the meat was faultless, and the generous, creamy helpings of the excellent sauces were just exploding with different flavours," he added.
According to the restaurant's website, the eatery uses fresh produce from local producers. They state all meat and eggs are free range from Worcestershire farms and that the fish is delivered fresh from the markets every morning.
The Dog and Doublet Inn - Stafford
Owned by the same firm as The Moat House at Acton Trussell, The Dog and Doublet Inn states it sources 'the very best local produce whenever possible' on its website - and offers a main menu, Sunday roasts, breakfasts and sandwiches.
Options on its main menu include salmon, lamb, pasta, chicken, seabass, steaks, duck, gammon and pies - and are priced between £9.95 and £16.95.
It is listed as the second best restaurant in Stafford by TripAdvisor.
Cromwells - Shrewsbury
"While other venues are all about dining, Cromwell's is a hybrid. Drinkers who prop up the bar and sup on real ales are just as welcome as those who want to talk turkey about crispily delicious celeriac rostis. And they've got some of the finest front of house staff in town," said our reviewer Andy Richardson upon visiting Cromwell's.
"There was nothing not to enjoy. A decent chef, warm atmosphere, value prices and great waiting team made our visit to Cromwell's an evening to enjoy."
The eatery has a range of food on offer, from salads and sandwiches, to pizzas, platters and meat from the grill.
Bamboo Wine Bar - Bridgnorth
Listed as the second top gastropub in Shropshire, Bamboo Wine Bar offers a wide range of food - and even has an entire menu devoted to pies. It also has separate daytime and evening menus.
Its evening menu includes burgers, steaks, fish and even bangers and mash, with prices ranging from £7.95 to £13.45.
Unicorn Inn - Ludlow
With a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and more than 250 'excellent' ratings from its reviewers, the Unicorn Inn has been praised for its wide-ranging menu and 'lovely' atmosphere.
The Unicorn Inn's website describes the eatery as 'bursting with character', with beamed ceilings, sloping floors, mahogany panelled walls and an open fireplace.
It adds: "No amusement machines, pool table, juke box or TV, just a sense of nostalgia of how inns used to be."
The Charlton Arms - Ludlow
Described by our reviewer as 'one of the very best dining pubs in the area', The Charlton Arms in Ludlow boasts an AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence.
"The menu is eclectic and fun, with bar snacks, starters, mains and puds," said reviewer Andy Richardson.
"The quality is exceptional – it compares with the county's best, giving such venues as The Fox, at Chetwynd Aston; and the Hundred House, at Norton, near Bridgnorth, a run for their money. The service is exceptional, with Cedric leading a busy, friendly and industrious front of house team."
The restaurant's menu includes haddock, pork, chicken, gnocchi and steak - and all dinner mains are priced between £12.50 and £21.50.
The Fox - Chetwynd Aston
"In recent years, The Fox has enjoyed wins from five respected guide books," said our reviewer Andy Richardson.
"Since 2007, it's featured in the Good Pub Guide, winning its County Dining Pub of the Year more times than any restaurant ought.
"It's a perennial feature of the AA Pub Guide, it never misses a spot in the Good Beer Guide, Alastair Sawday rates it as though it had some sort of divine right and even Michelin has included in its listing for the UK's best pubs."
The Fox - originally called The Fox and Duck - was built in the 1920s. Next door to the pub are the ruins of Lilleshall abbey, founded in 1143.
The Armoury - Shrewsbury
"The Armoury is exceptionally managed. The standards among its staff have never been higher. A winning blend of youth and experience is evident. Waiting staff and bar staff are warm, friendly and efficient," said our reviewer Andy Richardson, upon visiting The Armoury.
"They are well-drilled, too. Plates were cleared quickly, orders were taken politely and with speed while staff were attentive throughout the evening. A coolly-dressed, good-looking and polite team did their manager proud – and made eating a real delight."
With waterside views overlooking the river and a history dating back to the 18th century, this eatery has had many a use over the years - as an armoury through to a bakery.
The Armoury has been featured in the Good Pub Guide every year since 1998.
The Three Tuns - Bishop's Castle
This pub and brewery has been running since 1642 and serves a variety of real ales, stouts and wines.
Regular beers and ales brewed here include 1642, a malty, golden bitter with nutty and coffee flavours; and XXX, a renowned beer made from a recipe passed down the generations by the Roberts family. The brewery supplies roughly 150 pubs from Monmouthshire in the south to Warrington in the north, from Wales to Birmingham.
The food served at The Three Tuns is locally sourced and made from fresh ingredients, says its website. Booking is essential for those who wish to dine at The Three Tuns at weekends or during holiday periods.