Going to the same bars can be repetitive and boring. Seeing the same faces, listening to the same music, scouring the same drink deals! Wouldn’t it be great to try something new? Something a little more secretive?
Birmingham has a pumping nightlife scene and it is easy to sniff out the most popular bars, clubs and pubs but what can be a little harder to come by are the bars that few people have heard of: the best ‘secret’ bars.
From bookcases to secret passwords and intimate dining experiences, we’ve done our research to discover the best of Birmingham’s secret bars.
If you’re travelling by train, we’ve included the easiest ways to get to each restaurant from Birmingham New Street Station. For great discounts on train tickets to Birmingham, book Advance tickets with CrossCountry.
You don’t get much more secret than needing a password to get into a bar and at Birmingham’s secret Speakeasy Bar, this is how you gain entry.
The bar is in the city centre, but we can’t tell you its exact location! You will only get directions once you ring the number and make a reservation. This is when you will be given a secret password to gain entry on the night.
A buzzer at the venue will call a bar host who will come and greet you, ask for the password and take you down to the basement bar.
Orange leather seating and a warming light creates a vintage vibe and as you sip on a cocktail chosen from the alluring list, you’ll be transported back to 1920s America, listening to jazz in your favourite speakeasy bar.
Because one secret speakeasy bar just isn’t enough! A historic former pub that closed 30 years ago has been reopened as a Peaky Blinders themed speakeasy bar.
That’s right Cillian Murphy fans, there’s an entire bar dedicated to the hit BBC2 gangster series is now open in Dale End, Birmingham.
Peaky Speakeasy has its own secret entrance – you can only get in by pulling on a bookcase – and has been built underneath a 1920s-themed Peaky Blinder pub, which opened in 2014 in Birmingham city centre.
Open from 7pm every night, the speakeasy bar hosts Peaky Blinder-themed evenings recreating the 1920s era with drinks, food and of course music!
If you go, be sure to order the whiskey-based Peaky Blinder cocktail and to wear your flat cap for an opportunity to feature in the Peaky Blinders Hall of Fame.
The Peaky Blinder is a quick 5-minute walk from Birmingham New Street station.
Since the early 20th century, the word ‘smultronstalle’ has been used to describe a place that people like to come back to and that is hard for others to find.
Hidden away in Birmingham’s City Arcade, Smultronstalle doesn’t advertise its location and requests visitors to book weeks in advance. On the day you have booked, you will receive a text directing you to its exact basement location.
Once inside, the bar is cosy and only has space for 10 covers. Visitors are seated around the bar for an intimate and immersive experience. The bar focuses on showcasing the very best seasonal ingredients and produce that Britain has to offer, through exquisitely crafted cocktails and delicate small plates.
For those who appreciate food and flavours, this secret bar is for you. To ensure that the best seasonal ingredients are showcased in full, drinks are only available as part of the tasting menu, and a 2-drink minimum rule is strictly enforced. Incredibly intriguing and refreshingly honest, Smultronstalle’s culinary cocktail journey will be unlike any other bar experience you’ve ever had.
Smultronstalle is located in City Arcade, just a 3-minute walk from Birmingham New Street station
40 St Pauls
All the 140+ gins at 40 St Paul’s have been hand-picked for their unique taste and quality. The bar serves a carefully curated assortment of show-stopping gin concoctions.
The bar commits itself to showing the very best of the gins on offer by boasting the finest ice and high-quality garnishes. Forget the simple classic slice of lemon! At 40 St Pauls, you can have everything from pink grapefruit to a cinnamon stick and they will all be served in the most sophisticated glassware.
The bar even makes their own tonic with a reduced bitterness, which they believe allows the true essence of your gin to be tasted.
If you fancy a cocktail, 40 St Pauls also brags a handsomely formed list of cocktails served in quirky goblets and garnished with fresh fruits, herbs and spices.
Nestled in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, 40 St Pauls has no sign but there is a distinct black door wearing a proud ’40’ house number.
This bar is definitely one for gin lovers and with only 24 seats, its best to book.
40 St Pauls is a 15-minute walk, 10-minute taxi ride, or 20-minute bus ride from Birmingham New Street station.
Bacchus Bar is a secret bar perfect for history buffs. Travel back in time at this medieval retreat, that’s nestled away in amongst the bars in Birmingham’s city centre. This eccentrically styled bar is one of the oldest in the city and its interior is reason enough to visit. Dating back to 1398, this is a pub that’s fully embraced the historical theme of the area; think elegant oil paintings, suits of armour, medieval archways and rich woodwork.
Those looking for something a little different in Birmingham will be intrigued by this charming and quirky medieval hideaway, under the busy streets of the city.
Journey through the ages as you sit and enjoy one of their well-crafted real cask ales.
Bacchus Bar is located in the Burlington Arcade, a minute’s walk from Birmingham New Street station.
Written by Abby