Saint Kitchen

The Saint Kitchen logo, taken from the facade above the windows on St. Paul's Square.Saint Kitchen, on the south-eastern edge of St Paul’s Square in the Jewellery Quarter, has long been a part of Birmingham’s speciality coffee scene, starting life as Saint Caffé. I first visited in 2014, not long after it had undergone the transformation to Saint Kitchen, with the new owner, Will, a chef, combining Saint Caffé’s already excellent coffee with equally great food. I visited on several occasions while Will, along with head barista, Liam, was at the helm, before, in November 2019, Will passed the reins to the owners of Warwick Street Kitchen in Leamington Spa, who took over the business.

These days, Saint Kitchen continues to offer the same essential combination of great food (all prepared from scratch on site) and excellent coffee (Origin having replaced Extract when the Warwick Street Kitchen team took over). There’s a brunch menu that has a heavy emphasis on bagels which is backed up with a selection of cake, while there’s a house espresso (usually the Los Altos from Nicaragua) plus a weekly guest (also from Origin), available either a guest espresso or batch brew filter. You can sit outside at one of a handful of tables, or inside in the spacious interior.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • St Paul's Church, in the heart of St Paul's Square, seen here during my first visit in...
  • ... February 2014. Looking the other way, this fairly non-descript building is home...
  • ... to Saint Kitchen. However, it's undergone a little bit of a facelift since that first visit...
  • ... and now looks like this (from my latest visit in July 2021).
  • The new façade over the windows has jazzed things up a bit...
  • ... as has the new sign.
  • Meanwhile, the A-board welcomes everyone back after the enforced COVID-19 closures.
  • If you want to eat outside, there's a choice of three tables in front of the windows.
  • Alternatively, head inside, where this is the view.
  • The seating is all off to the left...
  • ... since all the seating around the counter area has been cleared away due to COVID-19.
  • The seating starts with a two-person table (in the foreground), followed by more tables...
  • ... which is perhaps more clearly seen from the opposite corner.
  • Let's start at the front, where this window-bar occupies both windows.
  • Next is a row of tables down the middle, running from windows to the kitchen at the back.
  • The remaining seating is against the left-hand wall. These tables (with Perspex screens)...
  • ... are at the front, while in the back corner, there's a solitary four-person table.
  • Neat sign and very much on point.
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot. During my most recent visit (in July 2021)...
  • ... you had to wait to be seated, although if you were ordering takeaway, you could...
  • ... go straight up to the counter to order. Check out the open kitchen to the left...
  • ... while the espresso machine is tucked away down the left-hand side of the counter...
  • ... with the coffee menu on the pillar at the corner of the counter.
  • Meanwhile, the current guest coffee is written up on the Perspex screening...
  • ... which is also used to describe all the cakes (and savouries on the bottom row).
  • Let's go all the way back to February 2014 and my first visit, when I had this piccolo...
  • ... and the amazing field mushroom soufflé with toast.
  • I was so impressed that on my return in August that year, I had it again, this time...
  • ... pairing it with a flat white...
  • ... and a rare glass of cold brew. Fast forward to my latest visit in July 2021 and there's...
  • ... another COVID-19 precaution: ordering is now done online by scanning a QR Code.
  • This takes you to the main Saint Kitchen menu.
  • There are plenty of breakfast and lunch options...
  • ... with an emphasis on bagels.
  • There's also a standard espresso-based menu...
  • ... as well as filter and other options.
  • I went for the house filter (black of course)...
  • ... to which I added a halloumi bagel.
  • Off we go! I like that you can track the progress of your order, although it's all brought...
  • ... to your table when it's ready. This was my halloumi (and avocado) bagel...
  • ... while I'll leave you with my house filter, the Santa Elena from El Salvador.
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Saint Kitchen is in the Jewellery Quarter, a 10-minute walk north of Birmingham city centre. Located in a ground floor unit of a rather unimpressive-looking building on the south-eastern side of a beautiful, green, leafy square centred on St Paul’s Church, it’s the perfect setting for a coffee shop.

The door is at the far right-hand end of Saint Kitchen with two large windows to the left. If you want to sit outside, there are three square two-person tables in front of the windows, partially shaded by the building in the morning and by two tall umbrellas in the afternoon.

Stepping inside, the counter’s dead ahead, taking up the back, right-hand corner of the room, while the open kitchen is to the left, behind an extension of the counter. This used to be hidden away behind a wall, but the Warwick Street Kitchen team had that knocked through, which helps create the sense of one large, open space.

On my most recent visit in July 2021, COVID-19 restrictions were still in place, with a sign by the door asking you to wait to be seated, although for takeaway, you can go up the counter, where there’s plenty of space if you need to wait to collect your food/coffee. The seating’s to your left, the seating between the door and the counter having been temporarily cleared away, which includes the handsome island bar to your left.

The seating starts with a two-person table in glorious isolation to your left as you enter, followed to the left of that by a row of three tables running front-to-back between the windows and the kitchen. There’s a single four-person table at the front, with a pair of two-person tables behind it.

Beyond them, against the left-hand wall, four two-person tables line a padded bench, each separated from its neighbour by a Perspex screen attached to the side of the table, another consequence of COVID-19. A four-person table rounds things off in the back, left-hand corner. The last of the seating (for now) is provided by the window-bar at the front, reduced by COVID-19 considerations to just two solitary stools.

Over the years, I’d had some lovely food and coffee at Saint Kitchen. You can see what I made of the field mushroom soufflé from my first visit in my original write-up, along with a pair of coffees: a lovely piccolo in a classic espresso cup and a flat white.

These days, you order and pay online, the menu accessed via a QR Code on the table, although there’s also a manual ordering process for those without the necessary technology. I had the halloumi and avocado bagel on my return in July. This was excellent, from the bagel itself to the toppings, the halloumi and avocado going particularly well together.

I also tried out the guest coffee, which was the Santa Elena, a naturally-processed coffee from El Salvador. I had it as the batch brew filter, being reward with a rich, full-bodied cup, rounding off a very welcome return to Saint Kitchen.

July 2021: this is an updated version of the original post which was published in August 2014. You can see what has changed in my Coffee Spot Update.

61A ST PAUL’S SQUARE • BIRMINGHAM • B3 1QS +44 (0) 121 236 2940
Monday 08:00 – 16:00 Roaster Origin (espresso + batch brew)
Tuesday 08:00 – 16:00 Seating Tables, Window Bar; Tables (Outside)
Wednesday 08:00 – 16:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 08:00 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 16:00 Payment Cards Only
Saturday 09:00 – 16:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 10:00 – 16:00 Power Limited
Chain Local Visits Original: 13th February, 6th August 2014
Update: 20th August 2018, 2nd July 2021

Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to Birmingham for more great Coffee Spots.

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