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It doesn’t seem so long ago that Liverpool was abuzz with European City of Culture razzmatazz. Fame and fortune may have come on the cusp of recession, such has always been the city’s luck, but it has undoubtedly brought bags of rejuvenation money to this increasingly expanding metropolis.
The restaurant scene is now a lively and integral part of that development and offers a range of choices and styles – from Chinatown to the city’s Georgian Quarter, which is particularly big on stylish cosmopolitan eateries. The re-energised dock area is also peppered with good places to eat.
The more contemporary side of the city naturally attracts a lot of reputable chains such as San Carlo, and the brand-new Liverpool One development should increase choice even more. In short, there’s something interesting round every corner of this bijou and multicultural city.
One of the smartest addresses in town concealed behind a listed Georgian frontage, 60 Hope Street is the founding father of a locally based restaurant group with a high profile. Its upbeat style is matched by cooking that shows plenty of ambition and a feel for native produce. The wine list is a dazzling compendium of classy bottles from around the world.
A chance to dine among the frescoes of St Peter’s Catholic Church, this beautifully ornate building now houses one of the most spectacular restaurants and bars in the city. Despite the name, the menu covers just about everything from jerk chicken and pasta to Peking duck, while the pulsating bar deals in funky cocktails and Latin-influenced rhythms.
Situated in the centre of Liverpool’s trendy Georgian Quarter, there’s a vast array of zingy, freshly prepared pan-Asian food on offer at this lively and rumbustious home from home. Grazing and sharing are encouraged, the food is wholesomely flavoursome and the atmosphere crackles.
Chesterfields, standard lamps and retro furnishings set the scene at this popular canteen-style eatery that’s garnering a lot of good reviews. Brunch sandwiches, mezze platters and bigger dishes all get a look in, while drinks run from beers, wines and cocktails to more than 30 different teas. Live music upstairs.
A smart-casual, brasserie-style restaurant with big ambitions, the London Carriage Works delivers modern Euro-accented food in an easy-going setting of exposed brickwork and chunky oak floors. Enjoy anything from sharing platters and deli sandwiches to well-judged dishes such as thyme-scented sirloin of Lakeland beef with carrot purée. Tip-top wines too.
Squirrelled away behind the Empire Theatre, this understated Keralan restaurant offers a more delicate side to Indian food. Rogan josh and other curry-house standards are eclipsed by authentic dosas with sambar and coconut chutney, prawns in coconut milk with green mango and some interesting veggie specials.
A family-friendly Italian in the heart of Liverpool’s financial quarter, Olive deals in familiar hand-made pasta, wood-fired pizzas and rustic trattoria staples at very realistic prices. Anglo-Italian desserts, easy-drinking wines, friendly staff, rustic surrounds and an informally relaxed atmosphere complete the picture.
Imagine you’re in a glamorous 1970s martini ad as you settle into this stunning eyrie on the 34th floor of the West Tower. The jaw-dropping, 360-degree vistas are unbeatable and the place cuts it for everything from breakfast and afternoon tea to full-on evening bashes with bottles of fizz. The sleek interior is matched by flashy modern cooking.
Regionally sourced produce and a seasonally changing menu are the selling points at this funky boho eatery in the city’s Georgian Quarter. Expect lively ideas from home and abroad, although the food can come slowly from the tiny kitchen. Early-evening deals are much appreciated, as are decent wines and well-chosen craft beers from Merseyside breweries.
This buzzing Med-inspired restaurant and deli has expanded its premises three times recently to cater for demand, but it’s still rammed to the rafters. Pizzas are the kitchen’s forte and the pasta’s pretty good too, but also look for grills, salads and ideas from Spain and Morocco on the reasonably priced line-up. Breakfast is a popular shout too.