Express & Star

Five of the best fine dining restaurants in Birmingham and Lichfield, according to a food critic

Takeaways and pub grub are all very well but sometimes the heart desires the finer things in life... especially during the festive period.

Below is a list of just five of the best fine dining restaurants on our patch.

But when it comes to "fine dining" it's sometimes difficult to know what top restaurant to spend your hard-earned cash at.

To make the decision-making process a whole lot easier, Express & Star food critic Andy Richardson has taken some time to outline five of the best fine dining establishments in the county.

You can find the list, which includes key information, a Star rating and links to the restaurant websites, below.

Please note that it's not exhaustive, and there are obviously plenty of other great eateries on our patch. Maybe they'll feature in the next list.

Five of the best fine dining restaurants

  • Upstairs by Tom Shepherd, Lichfield

When it comes to special occasion dining, our region is a two-horse town. There’s Lichfield. There’s Birmingham. And there are towns that don’t match the standard on offer in either of those. Oh yes, and before you complain, we know both are cities. Tom Shepherd holds Staffordshire’s only Michelin star. The restaurant has a beautiful apex-style ceiling and open kitchen – and stunning food.

Rating: 9/10

  • The Boat Inn, Lichfield

We make no apologies for promoting the brilliant Liam Dillon over some of his starrier contemporaries in Birmingham. The Staffordshire lad has been at the forefront of Lichfield’s gastronomic revolution thanks to his exceptional Boat Inn, where he shares globally-inspired dishes, great service and an abundance of local produce. A stand-out for this region.

Rating: 9/10

  • Adam’s, Birmingham

Adam’s has been described as being a Mayfair restaurant in the centre of Birmingham. The description is apposite. When it comes to high standards, exceptional service and a dreamy customer experience, it arguably tops the lot. Great food, a dazzling front of house team and a sumptuous dining room with artwork by Alex Echo make for a great experience.

Rating: 9/10

  • Opheem, Birmingham

Aktar Islam may well be the most exciting and most influential chef operating in our region. Opheem, his Michelin-starred restaurant, is part of an ever-expanding portfolio, which also includes a dine-at-home service. Brilliant flavours, mesmerising use of spices, stunning textures and a beautifully designed dining room combine with dazzlingly effect.

Rating: 9/10

  • Purnell’s, Birmingham

The Yummy Brummie, Glynn Purnell, has done more than any other chef to catapult the West Midlands to national prominence. His Michelin-starred restaurant, in the heart of Birmingham, has bags of personality – just like its chef-patron. Purnell’s food is as interesting and lovable as the man himself. With a great team, including head chef Luke Batch, he continues to lead from the front.

Rating: 9/10