We spent two years living in Birmingham and have come to love the Brummy accent. It's so different from our Canadian accent that we haven't picked it up. We can hardly imitate it. Most of the people we've met in Birmingham have come from all over so they have all sorts of different accents. Birmingham is a multicultural city with people living there from all over the world. This is one of the things that makes Birmingham unique.
People in Birmingham tend to be friendly and relaxed compared to some other places in the UK. They have a bit of an underdog complex because of their accent and the city being known as just a concrete jungle. You may not be aware that Birmingham has tons of parks. It gets a bit annoying when people have no pride but they aren't snobby that's for sure. From our experience they are a social bunch and like to get together and hang out. They love to banter and they're quick witted from all their banter experience. The more you banter the better you get so be prepared.
Birmingham Vegans: "This is a group for vegans and vegan-curious in the Birmingham (UK) area. We encourage all our members to invite their non-vegan friends to join the group and to promote veganism in their lives in a friendly and positive way, helping to educate others on animal rights, nutrition and environmental sustainability."
This group is intended to be a friendly space which celebrates and promotes veganism. We welcome respectful interaction which shares vegan information and ideas, such as:
• Vegan product finds.
• Reviews and recommendations for local shops and restaurants.
• Local vegan events
• Non-vegan events that you think might be of interest to vegans (these may be removed at an admin's discretion).
• Requests for advice or support.
• Photos and posts about what being vegan means to you as an individual.
As large as Birmingham is, it has a long way to come to be as vegan friendly as it should be. That being said, it is definitely manageable for vegans and has a quite a few vegetarian/vegan establishments. What Birmingham lacks in fully vegan establishments it makes up in having many vegan options available at different non-veg restaurants around the city.
Vegan Grindhouse: Is a 100% vegan food truck that can be found in various locations around the city. Follow their Facebook to find out where they are next. If you like American style street food, you will love Vegan Grindhouse. Try their Original Grindhouse Burger or attempt the Death Proof II burger challenge.
Mr. Singhs Pizza: Only the best pizza we have ever had. Mr. Singhs is a vegetarian pizza place offering a wide range of vegan pizzas. They offer 'Vegan Pepperoni, Sausage, Meat Feast, Supreme, etc. as well as burgers, nuggets, and starters. Try their vegetarian supreme pizza with vegan cheese.
Cherry Reds Cafe: It has vegan breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, and wraps, all at reasonable prices. They also have a wide range of vegan drinks, from coffee with soya milk to vegan beer and cider. Try their jacket potatoes (baked potatoes) that you can fill with various vegan toppings.
Cafe Soya: Is a Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant that has a large vegetarian menu, that can mostly be made vegan. Try their Malaysian Rendang curry with mock chicken or lamb.
Wrap Chic: This is an Indian Burrito place. As you may have guessed, their burritos are filled with Indian curries rather than traditional Mexican fillings. There are two vegan options that they offer: the soya amritsari and a potato curry burrito.
3 Threes Cafe: This is a vegetarian cafe that offers all different plant milks for your hot drinks. They also have an assortment of vegan sandwiches and cakes. They have sandwiches like the BLT, Club, Ploughmans, Falafel, Chicken Salad and they are all vegan. Try their red velvet cupcakes.
Train: Rail card, if you live outside of the city centre, or enjoy exploring England. Getting a rail card gives you 33% off of all your train journeys. We have the Two Together Railcard. Check to see which one you are eligible for.
National Express: Though it can be quite expensive to take the bus- the local buses go to most places that you cannot get to by train or tram. Bus passes are a lot cheaper than paying for the bus everyday though. You can get week passes or four week passes.
Walk: Birmingham city centre is a pretty walk-able city centre. From one side to the other you are looking at around 30 minutes. It is unlikely that you would be walking from one side to the other though.
Super Drug: They have their own range of products that are not only cheap but vegan and not tested on animals. You can find toothpaste, deodorant, hair products, hair colour and everything else here.
Aldi/Tesco/Coop: There are many supermarkets in the UK that are great for vegans. Aldi is very reasonably priced and carries the cheapest hummus in town. Tesco and Coop have a wide range of vegan products. Coop is very good at labelling their products that are vegan.
Natural Healthy Foods/Vegan Store: 100% vegan shops offering a wide range of vegan products. Ranging from healthy foods to vegan junk food.
Lush/Body Shop: Both stores offer high quality vegan toiletries. This includes hand creams, soaps, shampoos, deodorant, bath bombs, body sprays. Lush is where you will find your handmade products.
Holland & Barrett: A chain of health food shops all over the UK. They offer supplements, vitamins, mock meats, nuts, etc.
Agencies: We have found work in Birmingham through recruitment agencies and directly through employers as well. Online job boards such as Reed and Indeed are useful for posting your resume/CV for employers and recruitment agents to find.
All of the times that we ended up getting interviews or jobs through an agency were because we submitted our CVs online or applied for a specific job online. The agencies tend to contact you if they have a job that suits you.
We did register at a few agencies that didn't have a job lined up for us and none of them ended up finding us any work. The registration process does take an hour or two plus travel time. Some of the agencies could be based on the other side of town where it will take you an hour to get to so registering could be an all day affair. We felt a bit disappointed the times we travelled far to register and then they failed to find us any work.
COST OF LIVING:
We shared a two bed house with another couple just outside the city centre that had a back garden, then later rented a bedroom in a flat in city centre. It was actually cheaper to live in city centre and pay a little more rent, than live in the outskirts and have to pay for a bus pass every month.
Month's Rent: £175/per person
Month's Bills: £90/per person (Including: Council Tax, Water, Gas, Electric, Mobile, Internet)
Month's Groceries: £130/per person
Month's Transportation: £60.50/per person (City Bus)
TV License £12/per month
As you can see, living in Birmingham worked out great for us and it could work out great for you as well. It is England's second city. It's much more affordable than London and a lot of other major cities. We found it easy to find work in Birmingham which was quite a relief. Birmingham is right in the middle of England which makes it great for seeing other parts of the UK. There is lots of vegan options available all over the city and they have an active vegan social scene. Visit Birmingham today or maybe even move there!
To Learn more about Birmingham, UK, Read about our time living in Birmingham 2015-2017.
For information on tourism in Birmingham, see our city guide.
What do you think of Birmingham? Do you think you would head there for a visit?