Yorks Bakery Cafe – Stephenson Street, City Centre
The lovely Yorks Bakery Cafe venue on Newhall Street is dead and gone, but a Yorks brunch hasn’t gone forever. A new Yorks is soon to open on Cannon Street (I assume another restaurant-sized venue), and a new tiny and adorable version of Yorks has opened on Stephenson Street. Hemmed in by the building works surrounding Grand Central, and only open a few weeks, it already feels established and loved, the famous Yorks ambience transferred intact to the new location.
A cup of English breakfast tea is the same awesome collection of glass teapots for loose leaf tea, tiny milk bottles, and thick air force blue cups. We made the mistake of trying to drink our tea too soon – you really do have to let it steep – but eventually it produced the proper brown colour, and was delicious.
As this is Yorks on a miniature scale, they don’t offer the full brunch menu -no full English here – but what they do offer is cooked to absolute perfection. The eggs Benedict was far superior to the slightly burnt and overdone version of the dish I’d had in Newhall Street Yorks. This one had perfectly cooked muffins, delicious bacon, and two perfectly soft-boiled eggs. One of the best versions of the dish in Birmingham.
Toast came with a choice of honey and jam, and the artisan bread was crisp and flavoursome, served in a tin bowl on a wooden breadboard, in an excellent commitment to the hipster aesthetic for crockery.
Finally, and in surprising news for Birmingham cafes, Yorks Stephenson Street has no toilet at all. Whoever runs Yorks, based on this fact and the upsetting toilets in the Newhall Street location, does not appreciate nice toilets. Even the 8 Foot Grocer, which is built in a space between two real buildings, has a toilet. Luckily, Stephenson Street is right next to Grand Central, and it is only a short walk to the public toilets there, although you will almost definitely have to queue, and the soap in the Grand Central toilets is dispensed is weirdly aggressive shot, and is more unpleasantly watery than normal soap. But they are clean, close, and you will get to experience the magic of Grand Central as well, so maybe this works out for the best overall!
Price: pricey end – eggs Benedict £8, although this is one of the most expensive items given the reduced menu. Toast and jam £2.50, tea £2.20
Atmosphere and design: industrial hipster
Food: great quality ingredients, perfectly cooked
Toilets: none at all! Use Grand Central
Enjoyment: welcoming place to hang out, perfect for a coffee in an independent venue if arriving through Grand Central