When I choose to visit a city, as well as making decisions based on architecture, attractions and special interest (eg – quirky, unusual stuff that gets under my skin), food is fairly high on my list. I love to eat (I mean, who doesn’t), and a great cocktail or gin and tonic is never far from my mind at the end of a long day of sightseeing.
The thing is, I found out on my weekend break to Liverpool that it’s an incredible foodie city. Unexpectedly so. With options to suit every budget, every tastebud and every chosen tipple I made it my mission to get a good idea of what Liverpool has to offer gastro-travellers.
Here’s all the places I’d highly recommend trying when you are next in Liverpool!
Who wouldn’t want to visit an insane brunch location with an America/Canadian flair? If you’ve read my food guides for a while, you’ll know that for me, brunch is the most important meal of the day. So I was excited to finally get the chance to visit Moose Coffee, a small chain outlet with locations across Liverpool and Manchester.
Started as a response to the growing “American breakfast culture”, think pancakes, think waffles and think eggs. Think a gorgeous modern mountie vibe (if that is such a thing – have I just made up an interior design concept?), with an extensive menu of familiar favourites and some unusual choices.
We went for a round of flat whites, breakfast teas and fresh orange juices along side some unbelievably huge breakfasts. I have never been presented with such a huge plate of food in my life. Don’t worry, I polished it all off because it was awesome. I selected the Bronx Brunch, an incredible potato hash with chopped grilled sausage baked in, top with two perfectly cooked fried eggs. Mr S went for the Manolito, a twist on a classic huevos rancheros.Brunches, bars and epic small plate dining. Read all about the Liverpool food scene here!Click To Tweet
Castle Street Townhouse
We’d blown the budget somewhat on our Saturday night out in Chester, so when I was looking for a dinner option for our night in Liverpool, I had good value in mind. After a bit of a google search on what was in the area close to our hotel, and discounting all the usual chain restaurants I came across the Castle Street Townhouse and promptly booked a table at this chic restaurant/bar.
Priding itself on its “all day dining concept” it offers breakfast/brunch, lunch and dinner, with a separate formal dining area from its front of house bar. It was decidedly quiet on a Sunday night (although, everywhere we walked past was also very quiet, so I wonder in Liverpool is all partied out by then!), but the food and service was extremely good. I opted for a buratta salad to start, and an unusual hake fillet spinach hash with avocado and chorizo all washed down with a rather large glass of Rose.
They have an excellent gin menu, and a great £35 per head bottomless brunch offer with unlimited prosecco, mimosas or their fantastically named brunch punch. I definitely want to try this when I visit again!
If secret cocktail bars are your thing, you’ll absolutely want to book a table at Ex-Directory. An inventive cocktail menu alongside favoured classics (with some amazing sharer cocktails slung in for good measure) await you if you can get a table and actually find the place.
Without giving too much away, you enter through an unassuming red telephone box and head down to the bar. If you like novelty and secrets, you’ll love this.
Salt House Tapas
My blogger friend Sophie Cliff always has the best food recommendations, and when she spoke highly of Salt House Tapas I knew I had to give it a try. Mr S and I are huge fans of tapas, having a local family run Spanish restaurant on our doorstep that we visit frequently, so we wanted to see if Salt House lived up to our expectations.
We visited at lunchtime, and opted for the amazing set lunch menu set at just £12.95 for three tapas dishes and crusty bread. Between the two of us we ordered six dishes of chorizo, ham croquettes, calamari, their version of patatas bravas which came as triple cooked chips, pan fried padron peppers and a special dish of slow roasted belly pork which was basically like the best pork crackling I’d ever eaten.
The food was exquisite – truly the best meal I ate in Liverpool and I’d highly recommend their sangria to wash it all down with.
92 Degrees Coffee
Like many major cities in the UK, Liverpool does good coffee and 92 Degrees Coffee is among the best. Perfectly located just off Hope Street (so you can refuel whilst exploring the cathedrals), its Liverpool’s first micro roastery and coffee shop and if you are fussy about your coffee quality, you should completely pop by.
So often hotel bars can be bland and unwelcoming, just a place for business people to work from, not actively choose for a drink or bite to eat. NY Liverpool, based at The Aloft Hotel is completely different. Styled around the bars of New York, the NYL offers a full range of cocktails and spirits (I don’t mean to go on about gin selection but seriously Liverpool appears to get gin in a big way).
Set within the stunning surroundings of the former Royal Insurance Building, restored to its former glory, NYL offers a restaurant menu too which if we were to visit again we’d try.
Liverpool surprised me. I had no idea it would have such an incredible food culture, and with up and coming hotspots in the Baltic Triangle (I cannot wait to actually try something at the relatively new Baltic Market) there is so much more to try. I want to food hop down Bold Street (an amazing collection of fairly priced food outlets are here), and I’d love to grab a drink dockside. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried anywhere awesome in Liverpool, for my next visit!