Restaurants I Want To Try in Liverpool

To be honest, Liverpool surprised me with the decent eating given the ease you might find yourself in one of the chain eateries. I had a list of things I wanted to try, but didn’t get around to them. You’ll find this list below. If you have any good recommendations, I’d be keen about them as well.

  • Bistro Pierre – French food with some very good reviews particularly great value lunch deals.
  • Il Forno – An Italian restaurant apparently Antonio Carluccio and The Times approved of.
  • San Carlo – A fancy looking Italian restaurant with an impressive bar. I stumbled across this and it really caught my eye.
  • The Monro – The other gastopub owned by the same group.
  • London Carriage Works – Apparently run by the 60 Hope Street folks, this place got some pretty good reviews.
  • Penny Lane Wine Bar – Apparently some good food and drink although this apparently borders closer to pub food than restaurant food.
  • Mayur – Apparently award winning Indian food. I was going to try this place instead of Chao Praya, but the latter caught my eye more.
  • Lunya – A catalun inspired restaurant deli that looked really amazing. Tucked away near the Liverpool ONE centre
  • The Egg – A hidden away, Liverpool institution that serves vegan/vegetarian food.
  • The Italian Club Fish – A weird Anglicised Italian restaurant focusing on seafood.
  • Gulshan – Apparently listed in the Michelin guide, this Indian restaurant is a bit of a hike out of the city centre. Must be good.

Chao Praya

I’ll admit it was the look of the Palm Sugar Lounge that made me notice this place. Located at the very top of the Liverpool ONE centre, the Palm Sugar Lounge looks slightly out of place next to the fun park set up just on the other side of the park. Chao Praya is the restaurant on the other side of its fancy looking lounge.

Looking for some Asian, I decided on this one, craving some really spicy food and given that their website looked nice, their menu delicious and the restaurant well decorated, I figured it would be worth a shot. As I walked in, I noticed all the Thai chefs buzzing around the open aired kitchen and the number of Thai waiters and waitresses buzzing around. This looked to be a great sign.

I started with their Tod Mun Pla (fried fish cakes) for £7.50. Four juicy golden discs soon arrived with a sweet thai chilli dipping sauce topped with peanuts and a small side salad. Freshly cooked, I warily cut into them, conscious of how hot they might be fresh from the fryer. They cooked these golden discs perfectly cooked and had a perfectly bouncy texture without being excessively chewy.

I’m always taken by the opportunity to have Thai drunken noodle and this month’s special involved a small variation, Udon Pad Kee Mao, the same drunken noodle but instead of rice noodle, used the classic Japanese buckwheat one for £12. As you can see from the picture below, the pad kee mao was generously peppered with large chunks of seafood and vegetables although I think the strangest adaptation was the addition of button mushrooms – something I’d never had, nor never really recommend in a dish like this. The chilli intensity in this dish definitely hit the edge of my tolerance and I caught myself sweating in return. I’m interested to see how their “hot” curries compare to a dish like this. Very tasty though.

I had a look at the dessert menu but felt rather full after this large meal. With two beers, the total ended up £26 although I also left a cash tip. Service was friendly, the place popular with locals and the food delicious.

Name: Chao Praya
Found at: 5-6 Kenyon Steps, Liverpool ONE, Liverpool, L1 3DF, United Kingdom

The James Monro

I’d read about the The Monro being a very popular gastro pub although I saw that they also ran the James Monro located on the other side of town. I ended up in this part of town after deciding to walk back from the Liverpool Football Club tour, a pleasant but uneventful walk back into town.

At first glance, it certainly looked like a gastropub but I was concerned it wasn’t the gastro pub I’d read about. The interior looked really appealing and even though it had just opened, I could imagine it getting busier as the afternoon rolled on. After looking at the menu, it was definitely going to be fine with me.

Strangely didn’t serve any local beers (Cains being the local Liverpool brewery) instead offered a Hobgoblin beer made by a brewery in Oxfordshire (nowhere near Liverpool). Still the waiter offered me a taste for free and it was a reasonable ale.

I started with a rabbit and bacon risotto, definitely needing a bit of warming up after the cold and windy walk back into town. As you can see from the picture above, the serving was a very decent size and the flavour rich and delicious. There was plenty of rabbit throughout and the small side salad was a nice complement to texture and flavour.

Next up was the 8 oz steak served with huge chunky chips and a small side salad. Topped with a peppercorn sauce, the steak was perfectly cooked and the chips perfect. The steak was surprisingly filling as well and I just didn’t have space for dessert.

It wasn’t until now, writing this up, did I find out this place is also a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society otherwise I would have picked a scotch for dessert. I’m a little disappointed a gastro pub like this couldn’t celebrate more local brews, but the food was definitely worth visiting this place. I’d also be interested to see how it differs from their other place.

Name: The James Monro
Found at: 69 Tithebarn Street, Liverpool, L2 2EN

Barburitto Liverpool One

Burritos in Liverpool? Yup and this time provided by a growing chain apparently popular in the North of England. This can only be a good thing for the state of mexican food in the UK. You can find this burrito making join, Barburitto just outside the cinemas at the top of the Liverpool One complex.

Their store is a little daunting with the start of the queue at the door. This gives little time to actually think about what you’d like before lining up and ordering. Fortunately with much practice at places like Daddy Donkey, I was all set to order. The slow cooked pork is always a good test and despite wanting to have the spiciest salsa on the menu, the draw of the smoky chipotle (medium) drew me to order it.

They had a reasonable deal of a chicken burrito with corn chips and salsa and bottomless soft drinks (fountain-stlye) for £4.50 but I still opted for the pork burrito to see how it went. Served with beans, rice, lettuce for free, it’s another 50p to add mushrooms (the English twist) and another 50p to add peppers. I’m guessing it wouldn’t be extra if you went for a fajita burrito instead. Usual additional cost for the guacamole.

The verdict? A reasonably well made burrito with enough flavour to make it not worth trying again. The size was also very reasonable for a lunch time meal, although it’s not as big as the ones they make at Daddy Donkey. Unfortunately I didn’t really taste the smokiness of the chipotle salsa and I would definitely try to the hottest one next time.

Name: Barburrito
Found at: The Galleria, 14 Paradise Street, Liverpool, L1 8JF, United Kingdom

60 Hope Street

Being touted as one of the best places to dine in Liverpool left me no choice but to visit 60 Hope Street. Hope Street has a local reputation of being a street providing many gourmand choices, and 60 Hope Street owns a number of them, delighting people with their wares.

I arrived on a bleak, wet day where the Northern rains battered me from all directions. Stepping into 60 Hope Street, I noticed the bright and airy surrounds and the number of tables at 1:30pm still fairly well occupied. Admittedly most of them occupied by people I guessed well into their retirement. I was offered a selection from four types of bread (olive, sesame, white and brown) which went with the lovingly pressed butter (see the picture below).

Stopping in for lunch, I looked through the menu and it seemed such a shame not to try their great valued £19.95 for a three course meal with a bottle of wine between two. Although I dined by myself, the waitress still offered me the bottle of wine. I figured it would go to waste and asked if they had a half bottle when another solo diner, offered me a glass from their bottle, also observing that a full bottle would be too much. Still I think it’s very nice for them to still offer the bottle, suggesting that you can take it with you if you don’t finish it as well.

Despite being tempted by a number of the appetisers, when I saw the Pimm’s sorbet offered I had to choose that one. I think all the soups, salads and other things on the menu other places offered and I’d been thinking of making a Pimm’s flavoured ice cream. The temptation to compare what it was like was too great. As you can see from the picture, it was very well presented – a single scoop in a glass cone, nestled atop another glass filled with ice and garnished with mint. The brilliance of this meant the sorbet kept cold without being diluted. As refreshing as a palette cleansing dish, I didn’t pick up as much of the Pimm’s flavoured I’d imagined. Still the sorbet was smooth unlike the granita it could have been like.

My next dish was a fish with home made fries. The fish, a decent serving of haddock ended up encrusted in what tasted like polenta although I couldn’t taste the “herbs” the crust was meant to contain. The “salsa” was interestingly constructed with the elements of the salsa semi-stuffed into the bed of small tomatoes the fish sat atop. The chips were slightly more disappointing lacking any sort of crunch I would have expected.

Unexpectedly the last time turned out to the be the best, as I went for the Apricot Bakewell tart served with a vanilla creme fraiche. I’m surprised it took a while for this dish to come, but it seemed like they’d spent some time heating it up, but it was just the right warming temperature to finish off the meal. Sweet without being too sweet and very well made.

Service was amicable with tap water being topped up consistently throughout the meal. Slightly disappointed by a the execution of the first two dishes, but still great value. I would give it another go.

Name: 60 Hope Street
Found at: 60 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BZ, United Kingdom

Bold Street Coffee

One of the greatest downsides to travelling around England is the small chance of finding boutique coffee stores that know what they’re doing instead of overpacking, burning or simply using instant (ugh!) coffee. Sure, you have the chains but I’m always happy to give these more local stores a go. Doing a bit of research before heading to Liverpool, I had a small list of places that I wanted to try, and Bold Street Coffee seemed to be getting some good reviews. I figured if their coffee was as good as some of the photos on their site, then I was going to have a decent chance for a good cuppa.

It’s easy to walk past their store front because Bold Street seems to be one of those busy streets around Liverpool with lots of pedestrian traffic and with lots of glass frontage, easy to miss their signage when looking past it. Late (3pm) on a Saturday, the place wasn’t as full as it was when I returned during the week so I could enjoy a macchiato whilst seated.

I can’t remember how much the macchiato was, but I returned later (a good indicator) to have their flat white (a very reasonable £2.10) served in, I think, those lovely veg-biodegradable cups. Being a local cafe, it was nice to see them promote lots of the local events as well with stacks of flyers conveniently stacked on the bench used for patrons waiting for their take out coffees.

And, of course, most importantly the coffee was top notch – the best I had in Liverpool and would highly recommend people go here. Definitely adding to my list for when I return.

Name: Bold Street Coffee
Found at: 89 Bold Street, Liverpool, L1 4HF, United Kingdom

The Maritime Dining Rooms

I read about the Maritime Dining Rooms before heading to Liverpool and it had some very good reviews. Although open during the day for lunch and afternoon tea, its location atop the Maritime Museum gives it perfect waterfront views of the surrounding areas.

I ended up perched next to one window looking down at the majestic Albert Docks.

When I went on the Saturday for a very late lunch, it definitely didn’t feel very busy although they had at least ten or so different tables served. Service, attended by some very young-looking folk, ended up fairly reasonably – prompt and casual although I didn’t really expect too much. Considering the space of the dining room, it felt very empty although and cold although I could imagine it being filled up for a reception or good for an event hire.

The menu offered quite a lot of choice – many British dishes. I opted for a chicken and mushroom soup since sitting outside on the Mersey ferry ride left me slightly chilled to the bone. I followed this up with an asparagus spring risotto.

It wasn’t too long before the soup arrived, and as you can see in the picture above, it came served with a small sliced (fairly chewy and unmemorable) baguette although outsized by the enormity of the soup bowl. I immediately regretted ordering a heavy main meal when I saw what I would need to tackle before getting to it. Admittedly it didn’t look like the most appetising bowl of soup I’ve ever eaten, although the deep earthy aromas whifted up with each small movement of air. It was rich, creamy and full of flavour including some fairly large chunks of chicken. This alone made my lunch time completely worth the trip.

The risotto arrived a little bit after they took the soup. As you can see, the risotto came with a creamy asparagus ring and topped with more freshly cooked asparagus. The risotto was perfectly cooked and the chefs seasoned the dish perfectly for my palette (none too salty). Despite being almost defeated by the soup, the fresh flavours of this warranted all of this dish be consumed. So I did. Delicious.

The offered me dessert, but given I had eaten so much food, I didn’t attempt to look at the menu. The Maritime Dining Room is a real find, and despite lacking that buzzing atmosphere you might care for, the food alone is worth trying. Add in a Lancashire sarsaparilla drink and a tip and all of this was a bargain for £17.

Name: The Maritime Dining Rooms
Found at: Top Floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4AQ


Delifonseca is a split-floor store with the top floor reserved for a restaurant and the bottom floor dedicated to a delicatessen. I didn’t get a chance to really look through the delicatessen part as I arrived for an early dinner. Even when I arrived there at seven, many of the tables upstairs were either busy or had a reserved sign. I was still offered a table although told what time the other booking was.

Despite having menus, they have an extraordinary range of daily specials written up on a chalkboard, with at least three or four for each course one might like to think about.

You don’t see gumbo on the menu everywhere and when I asked my waiter for it, he hummed in approval. It was obviously a nice choice. I’ve never tried to make gumbo because I hear a lot of the work is in making the dark roux that is necessary for a really deep flavour. I have no idea whether or not they spent a long time making their gumbo but I do know that it really tasty. The sauce very dark and definitely tasted complex and filled with peppers, sausage and other things full of flavour. The prawns grilled on the side.

I opted for dessert over a starter, and decided on a hazelnut cake that they served with a huge scoop of chocolate ice cream and some brittle. As you can see from the picture above, the serving was very huge.

I really liked this place for the friendly service and the amazing quality of their food. With a large glass of red and a tip, I paid only £27 for the very generous portions.

Name: Delifonseca
Found at: 12 Stanley Street, Liverpool, L1 6AF, United Kingdom