We stayed in Liverpool for a few days recently and enjoyed exploring the foodie scene. Here’s our Top 5 Recommends:
1 – for Coffee: The whole Third Wave, designer coffee shop culture is hitting Liverpool right now, meaning better coffee and delicious breakfasts! From the many places we tried Bold Street Coffee made the best Americano coffees using Ethiopian beans; the best (and most enormous) Canadian-inspired breakfasts were at Moose Coffee; back on Bold Street, the most designer styling was at the East Avenue Bakehouse; and the best place for a relaxing pot of tea day or night was at Leaf; finally the best breads and cake we found was at the Baltic Bakehouse.
2 – Mowgli Street Food: Food writer Nisha Katona opened this restaurant on Bold Street in 2014. Now it’s quickly becoming a chain with two in Liverpool, one in Manchester and two new sites in Birmingham and Leeds later this year. It feels similar to Dishoom in decor style, no reservations policy and small plates menu. The focus at Mowgli is on Indian street food including tamarind chat bombs and tiffin tins, with some cheeky Indian twists on a chip butty and cheese on toast. Our favourite dish was the Bunny Chow, a South African – Indian chicken and potato curry served inside a bread loaf (£8.95). They offer a vegan, gluten free and kids menu. Service is swift and friendly. Great range of beers, wines, cocktails and softies. If you can’t get a table at either Mowgli, then another Indian worth a visit is Sanskruti for their all vegetarian and vegan menu of dosas, chaat and curries.
Mowgli Street Food: 69 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4EZ & 3 Water Street, Liverpool L2 0RD
3 – Maray: Another Bold Street eatery – but this one’s won a place in the 2018 Good Food Guide. This cosy, 47 cover restaurant turns out some amazing small, seasonal sharing plates. It’s the kind of place you find in Dalston and Soho, distressed decor and eclectic Middle Eastern, Spanish and Skandi influenced dishes. Top dishes for us were Whipped goats cheese, honey, crisp and pickled beetroot; Mushrooms, celeriac and hazelnuts; Scallops, salt cod and fennel; Octopus, nduja and pickled courgette; Hake, kohlrabi and leeks. With dishes between £5 and £9, the lunchtime deal of 3 plates for £12.50 is a steal. There’s an emphasis on using local produce. All the dishes were cleverly put together and beautifully presented. Interesting wines by the glass and cocktails. Book a table well in advance, or they have a second, larger place in Allerton, Liverpool. If you can’t get in then on nearby Berry Street Neon Jamon serves fantastic Catalan tapas or try Roja Pinchos for Basque pinchos.
Maray: 91 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4HF
4 – Bakchich: Lebanese street food cafe, on Bold Street of course, first in a small independent chain – do you feel a theme developing here? Open from 8am to midnight, they offer everything from beans (foul) or eggs-based breakfasts, Lebanese mezze, grilled meat or veggie sharing platters, salads and wraps and grills, to a whole roast lamb (£240 and 24 hours notice!). It’s alcohol-free so they have a massive range of soft drinks including homemade lemonades, yogurt smoothies and fresh juices. Portions are big, so go with a good appetite.
5 – Petit Parle: Finally, away from the dominance of Bold Street, up near the docks and Liver Building is a tiny French bistro that could have fallen straight off the streets of Paris. It’s a dimly-lit ambiance so none of our photos worked out unfortunately. However, recommend it for the excellent fresh seafood – the Menai Strait oysters (3 for £5.40) were amazing served with a dash of rough French vodka, and Whole baked sea bream in garlic (£7.95) were fantastic value. The venison and red wine saucisson was meltingly soft and rich in flavours. The onglet steak and mini hache burgers were delicious. Wide range of wines and cocktails. The staff made a special effort to invent a mocktail to meet our requirements – and that was delicious too!
Petit Parle: 44 Fenwick Street, Liverpool, L2 7NB