As a regular visitor to Birmingham often staying self-catering I often use the Food markets for fish, fruit, meat and vegetables. I have found them to be very good value and provide good quality produce. The Markets seem to provide a bigger variety of options than the city centre supermarkets that are the smaller convenience versions, for example, Tesco Express.
The Food Markets are all located just outside The Bullring Shopping centre, near to St Martin in the Bullring Church. You can access the area from China Town and also the steps opposite Birmingham New Street Train Station on Smallbrook Queensway. Search for Edgbaston Street on Google Maps and all are located here.
Birmingham Food Markets
The local Birmingham market options which I have sorted by type of produce.
Fruit & Vegetables
The Bullring Open Air Market is the venue for buying fruit and vegetables, located towards St Martin’s Church. There are many greengrocer stalls selling fresh produce, some sell by weight but the vast majority have plastic bowls to choose from. You can but all the stables used as well as more exotic fruits, vegetables and herbs.
My last visit I purchased a range of produce, including;
- Avocados about 10 for £10, some ripe others need ripening.
- Jersey potatoes, fresh and delicious.
- Bananas in different state of ripeness, about 12 costing a bargain £1.
- Radishes, a staple I use to add flavour to salads.
- Spring onions, again a flavourful option for salads.
- A big bowl of juicy red tomatoes all for £1.
- Cucumbers, 3 whole ones for £1, overkill maybe but use them to rest my eyes too.
- Mangos, a big bowl for again £1. I got a tip that biting into a ripe mango relieves stress, this seems to work for me.
- Aubergine, 5 of these for a £1, a staple I use to bulk up meals and use less meat.
There are also a few cheese stalls at the open market end, they usually have a good selection and some real bargains. Cheddar can be brought by weight or sometimes in special offer packs. I got 4 blocks of feta cheese last visit, ideal to crumble into salads amongst other things. Other cheese I have got over the last year include; Edam, Monterey Jack and herb infused red Leicester.
My favourite market as I love cooking fresh fish, this is the other side of the Rag Market from the open Market. There are quite a few fishmongers selling fish or shellfish here and have a good range. Fish is sold either whole, in steak form or filleted.
When purchasing whole fish I have always been offered to descale, gut and head and tail what I brought. Some recent buys include; whole sea bass, red snapper, salmon steaks, salmon fillets, a dressed crab, North Sea Bream and some other whole fish I don’t recall.
Located in the same building as the fish market, the meat market has many stalls, including halal and non-halal butchers. Meat is purchased by either weight or on presorted trays for either £5 or £10.
Bartering and negotiation often takes place at the butcher stalls, I often mix trays successfully to get more variety. There are more options for different meat cuts than supermarkets in general. They sell the staples like mince, steaks, chops and chicken breasts, thighs or legs. Bacon and sausages are also available at some butchers, I particularly like the offcuts for making soup, to use in a ragu or my favourite chunky bacon sandwich for breakfast. I got some delicious beef ribs and very big chicken breast on my last foray.