Words: Mike P. Williams
Liverpool. Former European Capital of Culture, footballing epicentre, birthplace of a quartet of mop-haired musicians who got sort of famous in the sixties, and an architectural haven for those seeking something they can trace back through time. This much you do know. What you may not, however, is that since having huge sums of cash pumped into the surrounding area in 2008, a foodie scene has emerged that would put most cities to shame.
Here are 20 eclectic haunts well worth seeking out.
TriBeCa, 15 Berry Street, L1 9DFT
Situated centrally amid the hustle and bustle of Berry Street, if you’re after top-notch pizza and a heady atmosphere then you’ve come to the right place. Stone-baked bases and fresh toppings will catch the eye, but you’d be foolish not to leave room for the moreish desserts. Sync this all with a hefty cocktail selection, live sports and supremely laid-back atmosphere, and you’ve got a slice of the good life.
Camp and Furnace, 67 Greenland St, L1 0BY
Before we go any further we wouldn't be doing our job without noting that the Sunday roast served in Camp and Furnace is a meaty masterpiece. The Sabbath aside, there’s no bad day to visit this quirky converted warehouse sat a 15 minute walk from The Albert Dock. Regular events include Meatmarket, a steak and lobster supper followed by a disco, and Nightgarden, merging grub, art and technology and bangers - songs, not the type that goes with mash.
Almost Famous, 11-13 Parr St, L1 4JN
Arguably the best burgers in town, but don’t take our word for it. At one-time this turn-up-and-dine eatery was only open on select days but the good news is it now serves the juiciest meat patties all week long. The Triple Nom is a burger lover’s delight but more intriguing is the River Phoenix, which throws in Frazzles with streaky bacon, shoestring onions, and chillies.
Oh Me Oh My, West Africa House, 25 Water St, L2 0RG
While its grand tea house interior (the venue is built inside a former bank – though it shouldn’t do too much damage to your own account) is pleasantly airy, it’s the exclusive rooftop you’ll be heading to for a relaxing spot of grub while taking in the best view of the city’s Grade I listed Royal Liver Building. The menu’s largely made up of finger food so if you’re after something a bit more substantial you can’t go wrong with a pulled steak and caramelised onion filling combo.
Yukti, 393 Prescot Rd, L13 3BS
When you visit Yukti you aren’t just going to experience the authentic South Asian cuisine – you’re there to get a sense of the skill and artistry that goes into cooking. Situated just outside of the city centre – meaning a short taxi ride is probably on the cards – lies one of the city’s finest Indian restaurants. With moderate yet beautifully presented portions, the ambience is perfect if you’re heading out to celebrate in a sizeable crowd.
Neon Jamon, 12 Smithdown Place, Liverpool L15 9EH
You’ll be stuck for choice with their two city centre locations, but the one just minutes from the Albert Dock is ideal for city dwellers. It may not be much to look at from the exterior, but inside is a warm and welcoming place that’ll send your senses into overdrive with the incredible tapas on offer.
Lucha Libre, 96 Wood St, L1 4DQ
The tastiest Mexican street food in the most convenient of locations, Lucha Libre’s a vibrant and chilled out premises is literally a stone’s throw from Liverpool’s FACT, so’s perfectly situation for a pre or post cinema trip. Their most popular choice is the Street Food tray which gives a great taster of the menu, which spoils you with delectable mix of quesadillas, tacos & tacquitos.
Mowgli, 69 Bold St, L1 4EZ
Asian streetfood in its simplest, tastiest form, Mowgli was only founded two years ago by Nisha Katona and prides itself on healthy, vegan dishes. It’s a place that’s convenient to nip into for on-the-move food, with a minimalist but friendly interior offering visitors an appropriate place to indulge on as little or as much as required.
Red’s True Barbecue, 51 Hanover St, L1 3DN
For the carnivores out there, Red’s is a popular meat haven with Scousers, as you step into its BBQ house and inviting American aesthetic. From the Donut Burger to a full rack of succulent ribs, everything served here is cooked to perfection. And fear not; there’s plenty of dishes suitable for the vegetarians among us.
Matou, Georges Pierhead, Pier Head, L3 1BY
Boasting visually stunning Thai food with excellent waterfront and inland views, Matou is Asian cuisine with a touch of class. Situated on the second floor of the Ferry Terminal, its meticulously prepared menu is complemented by the airy, swanky interior that’ll certainly give any visitors an upscale experience in more ways than one.
Etsu, 25 The Strand, L2 0XJ
Got a thirst for a fresh, authentic Japanese style food? You can’t go wrong with one of Liverpool’s highest rated yet modestly designed David Abe-owned restaurant. It’s a warm, welcoming, and vibrant way to dine on a number of Japanese curries and one of the few places in the city to do so.
Casa Italia, 36-40 Stanley St, Liverpool L1 6AL
If you’re after a truly unique Italian experience then this quaint family owned dining room is something that feels straight from the era circa The Godfather films, mainly because it is. Established over 40 years ago, it’s one of the city’s longest serving eateries and, aside from its freshly prepared, authentic taste of Italy, the likes of Paul McCartney, Kylie, and even Robbie Williams have popped in to sample.
Yee Rah, 14 Paradise St, L1 8JF
Patrons come here not just for the superb array of Thai fusion food on offer but for the pleasant, friendly staff too. Located in the heart of Liverpool ONE, one of its appeals is the varied and rather attractive lunchtime and evening menus that can be washed down with their inspiring cocktail options.
The Art School Restaurant, 1 Sugnall St, L7 7DX
For anyone who’s after something a little lighter and a bit different – scrap that, a lot different – then the Art School is fine dining like no other. Whether you opt for Northop wood pigeon with toasted hazelnut crumb, foie gras and plum puree or a tender Loin of Red Deer venison, it’s one of the few places that can boast about their culinary achievements tasting as good as they look.
Panoramic 34, West Tower, Brook Street, L3 9PJ
Few places in Liverpool offer such stunning views as you dine, which is why fancy grub combined with seriously stunning cityscape views make this one of the great eating experiences. While fresh fish is perfect for an evening visit, afternoon tea is one of the restaurant’s most popular attractions. Y’know, in case your mum’s in town.
60 Hope Street, L1 9BZ
A stylish place both inside and out, contemporary European is order of the day, where a smart yet casual setting will serve up anything from goats cheese and scallops, to tapas, to seafood. Unpretentious yet elegantly presented dishes elevate a potentially low-key evening out into something far more memorable.
Lox and Caper, 65-67 Hanover St, L1 3DY
A more casual place to grab a bite, this independent cafe on Hanover Street is a convenient stop-off for lunch. Only having existed since 2014, it’s not exactly a cosy and intimate place to dine; on the contrary it’s spacious and bright which is ideal during the heaving festive period, giving you that much needed breather to enjoy Eggs Royal (served on a bagel) and will keep you going through that last-minute Christmas present dash.
Saffron, 92 St John's Rd, Waterloo, L22 9QQ
Leave or Remain? Giroud or Mkhitaryan’s scorpion kick? With so many contentious debates threatening to polarise the nation into a state of anarchy, it's at least comforting to know Liverpool diners are fully in unison over their most popular eatery. Voted as the city's outright best place to visit on Trip Advisor, Saffon, specialising in Indian and Nepalese cuisine, is revered by locals and tourists alike. Trust us, the short trip outside of the city centre will be worth it.
Slim’s Pork Chop Express, L1 4BB
There are restaurants with talking points and then restaurants themed around Big Trouble in Little China. Slim’s Pork Chop Express, named after the freight-liner in the 1986 cult classic and festooned with Drew Strewzan artwork, is decidedly the latter. Sat adjacent to hot dog palace Salt Dog Slim’s on the increasingly trendy Seel Street, this two-tier smokehouse BBQ joint is all about the meat. Word to the wise if ordering for two: opt for a tray, which includes four pieces of Kornflake Chicken, half a rack of Baby Backs, coach bombay fries, BBQ corn, pickle slaw and sweet potato bread. It won’t help you achieve you the rock hard abs of eighties Kurt Russell but it will hit the spot.