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There's so much to tickle your tastebuds in this northern gem of a city, it's hard to know where to start. Never fear – our Good Food city guide is here to help you eat like a local at the very best restaurants we can find. Like what you see? Why not check out our other city guides – we have expert recommendations for the best places to eat in Liverpool, Manchester, York and Newcastle.

Best restaurants in Liverpool at a glance


Maifest potato and roast pork

Best for: casual dining, special occasions
Located in Liverpool’s hip Baltic Triangle neighbourhood, Manifest is a haven of interesting wines, interesting music and interesting food. Chef and co-owner Paul Durand (who has worked at Moor Hall and Edinburgh’s 21212), opens the menu with fun snacks of sourdough and Lancashire whey butter or warm salt and vinegar crisps. But as you might imagine, given that CV, there is serious knowledge and skill evident knowledge throughout a menu of small and larger plates. The meat-free dishes of, for example, torched hispi cabbage, swede, chestnut, crispy shallots and green peppercorn sauce or a memorable combination of lightly-charred, buttery carrots, with pickled beetroot and hazelnuts, goat’s curd and carrot top pesto, are very clever in their engaging layers of flavour and texture. Larger plates from £22.

Buyers Club

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Best for: casual dining, cheap eats
It would be easy to overlook Buyers’ Club. Quite literally, given its location in Hardman Yard (in summer, a great spot in which to kick-back with a negroni or spritz), is hidden off Hardman Street in a way likely to fox visitors. Head through the archway and you will discover a boho bar-restaurant that is producing some of the best Italian food in the region (beef shin arancini, cacio e pepe butter beans, whipped ricotta). Its fresh, handmade pasta dishes sing with flavour. Think: pappardelle with pork and fennel sausage, squash, sage and pumpkin seeds, or porcini and walnut tagliolini. Mains from around £11.

Duke Street Market

Duke Street Market

Best for: casual dining, kid-friendly, cheap eats
Food halls are fashionable but few achieve the warm, friendly vibe of handsome Duke Street. Even when packed, it exudes a buzzy energy rather than feeling like a chore. Six kitchens keep regulars fed and entertained. Seafood lovers will be well-served at Kelp, Bone & Block’s prowess in the burger and steak game is firmly established, while Cahita’s Cubano sandwich is a multi-layered feast. At the time of writing, GSG Hospitality, the company behind Duke Street and impressive venues such as Bold Street Coffee, was about to launch Nord, a new restaurant with chef Daniel Heffy. It is one-to-watch. Mains from around £9.


Seafood Chowder from Barnacle

Best for: casual dining, special occasions
A collaboration between legendary Liverpool chef, Paul Askew (see Art School entry), Bone and Block’s Harry Marquart and chefs Kieran Gill and Jake Lewis, Barnacle – located on the mezzanine at Duke Street Market – is a sharp restaurant with a relaxed feel. Askew’s love of regional artisan producers and fine ingredients (Ormskirk leeks; Field 28 Rainbow Chard; 92 Degrees Coffee), is evident across an accomplished menu of slickly executed seasonal dishes underpinned by rigorous classical technique. Expect dishes such as venison terrine, endive, shimeji mushrooms and preserved lemon; smoked haddock chowder with cockles, samphire and dill; or Cumbrian ox cheek, mash and cavolo nero with a jus made using Neptune Brewery’s Seven Seas of Rye IPA. Two courses from £28.


Best for: casual dining, cheap eats
From the team behind Belzan and Burnt Milk Hotel, Madre is a colourful taco restaurant which, in summer, extends out into a popular courtyard beer garden, with regular DJ-led sessions and margaritas flowing until late. Whilst a party venue, dishes such as roasted bone marrow with salsa macha, onions and coriander or quesadillas made with Madre’s own green chorizo (a Mexican take on the Spanish sausage, flavoured with green chillies and coriander), are testament to the seriousness of its cooking. Do not miss the birria tacos of slow-cooked, spicy beef shin with Oaxaca cheese. Main dishes around £9 - £12

Xiao Long Bao @ eJoy Asian Foods (1 Myrtle Parade, Myrtle Street)

Best for: casual dining, cheap eats
More than a supermarket, eJoy includes a row of street food-style kiosks and seating, should you wish to eat-in, where you can enjoy a range of east Asian foods, from handsome Chinese roast meats to Japanese kara-age fried chicken, spicy, offal-based noodle broths to Korean bulgogi beef. The wontons, steamed buns and eponymous soup dumplings at Xiao Long Bao (try the pork and Chinese cabbage or pork and prawn versions), are a firm favourite with clued-up local foodies. Meals from around £6.


Best for: Casual dining, special occasions
After earning Devon’s Treby Arms a Michelin star and jointly winning Masterchef: The Professionals in 2012, Anton Piotrowski opened his refined Rodney Street restaurant in 2017. Pretty, technically accomplished plates are served in a chic, grown-up room – think grey banquettes, statement chandelier and Robert Welch cutlery. Piotrowski shows his fun side, too, with sourdough and Bovril butter, and a 100-day-aged beef nugget with chip shop curry sauce. But a starter of hot smoked salmon with heritage tomatoes and burnt butter, and particularly his Strawberry Fields Forever dessert (a picture-perfect construction), leave a lingering impression of great elegance. Set lunch is £95, or request their 'express tasting menu' for £65. The set dinner menu is £95.


Bundobust containers of food and a burger on a plate next to a beer

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats
Despite the rivalry that exists between northern cities – particularly Manchester and Liverpool – they are happy to share great food, with many hip indies increasingly expanding along the M62 corridor. Go Falafel, pizzeria Rudy’s, burger slingers Almost Famous, and swanky Spanish joint, El Gato Negro, are notable imports from Manchester, while Leeds-based Bundobust is has found a home on Bold Street. This craft beer and Gujarati street-snack specialist has taken a huge first-floor space and decked it out in pastel shades and cool, kitsch design features. Its meat-free bhel puri, scrambled egg bhurji or tarka dhal are equally attention grabbing. If there’s a gang of you, just order the full menu: £105. Dishes from £4.


Best for: Casual dining

In many northern cities, the inner suburbs are the most interesting places to eat. Lark Lane in Sefton Park is one established foodie hub, but nearby, studenty Smithdown Road is on the up. Belzan is among those leading the charge, serving innovative sharing plates with a warm smile and zero pretention. It majors in natural wines, cocktails and sharp plates of, for instance, butter beans in beef dashi with parsley crema and cavalo nero, or lamb rump with feta, peas and strawberries. The ‘staff dinner’ is a clever riff on panzanella that boasted charred peppers and fennel on our visit. Large plates from £9.

Baltic Market

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats, child-friendly
Down in the Baltic Triangle, you’ll find a theme park of bars, restaurants and this street-food market that features an array of traders such as local pizza perfectionists Little Furnace, Middle Eastern kebab outfit Hafla Hafla, Patterson’s fried chicken and arepa sandwiches and more from Venezuelans, Noso. There are eight main traders, plus dessert, gin, beer and coffee bars. There is, literally, something to please everyone down here. Dishes from around £6.


Dish of green yoghurt, with some cream on top of brown

Best for: Casual dining, special occasions

A Georgian building, stylishly revived in muted greys, exposed brick and handsome dark wood furnishings, houses Twitter legend Gary Usher’s Wreckfish. It has wowed Liverpool with the same creative nous and truffled parmesan chips that put his Sticky Walnut, in Chester, on the map. Dishes such as maple-cured salmon with caramelised lemon, mustard yoghurt and pickled celery or butter-roasted chicken breast with charred leeks, creamed potatoes and a lemon, maple and mustard sauce, embody Wreckfish’s neat blending of classic and contemporary influences. Strong meat-free options, too. Two courses from £22.

Little Furnace

Little Furnace Gambosa

Best for: Cheap eats, child-friendly
Amusingly, there’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pizza cookbook on display in the kitchen, but there is nothing cartoonish about Little Furnace’s dedication to authentic Neapolitan pizza. Long-fermented bases are gorgeously blistered with char from a wood-fired oven, slathered in sweet tomato sauce and topped with impressive ingredients. This small, busy space on Smithdown Road has a cosy, friendly feel, its industrial interior design features meshing rather than clashing with ornate tiles and Neapolitan art. Pizza from £8.50.


Bustling restaurant

Best for: Casual dining, special occasions
This Bold Street venue serves Levantine small plates in a setting of glazed-brick walls, Aperol Spritz cocktails and dressed-down staff. Paired with harissa-spiked hummus and a radish-flecked tabbouleh, its falafels are verdant roundels of fragrant, herb-packed joy. Lamb kofta with smoked paprika tahini also impresses, as do specials such as pickled squash with Savoy cabbage, dukkah & labneh. Plates from £4.50.

The Art School

Best for: Special occasions
Paul Askew’s dishes – broadly modern British, underpinned by rigorous classical technique – continue to offer high levels of refined satisfaction. Sitting in this glamorous dining room, eating, say, hogget skilfully rendered in multiple variations, it’s easy to enjoy this pampering. Go on, spoil yourself. Four-course dinner with aperitif £85.


Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats
This neat, modest Japanese restaurant is a favourite with the city’s foodies. This is food of rare freshness, clarity and depth of flavour. Staples such as panko-crumbed tonkatsu pork, karaage fried chicken and udon noodle soups take on a renewed vigour, while the lunchtime bento boxes (try the crisp-skinned pan-fried sea bass) are lifted by vibrant pickles and sauces. Its bright, citrusy ponzu is a highlight. Meals from £8.95.

Free State Kitchen

Two stacked burgers and sides on a picnic table

Best for: Casual dining, child-friendly
Free State knocks out, as locals might put it, seriously boss burgers. The setting, a Georgian building that opens out onto a lovely ivy-clad courtyard garden, makes a pleasant change from all those dark, grungy dens where you might usually eat ‘dude food’. But the menu – hot wings, dogs, clam chowder, mac ’n’ cheese – very much fits the address: 1 Maryland Street. The cheeseburger is a triumph. Mains from £9.


Best for: Casual dining, special occasion, child-friendly

Obsessive about Spanish – and particularly Catalan – food, Peter Kinsella has created a deli/bar/restaurant where everything sings with flavour, from a butifarra sausage sandwich to the secreto Iberico, a densely piggy shoulder cut from those famous acorn-fed hogs. Deep-fried goat’s cheese Monte Enebro with orange blossom honey, and the mojama (air-dried tuna from southern Spain) are all excellent. There is also a second branch of Lunya, Lunyalita, on the Albert Dock. Tapas from £4.50.

Pen Factory

Best for: Casual dining, cheap eats
Friendly, casual warehouse bar-restaurant with good selection of real ales and gins. British and European sharing plates may include the likes of smoked haddock rarebit, pork chop with apple, kohlrabi and leaves or sea trout with salt-baked beetroot, beetroot emulsion, fennel and nasturtium. Larger plates from £10.


Multiple cups of tea with different leaves and flowers in them

Best for: Cheap eats, casual dining
Natalie Haywood’s Bold Street HQ continues to pack in the punters thanks to its on-point, affordable grub and lively vibe (it's an art/music hub as well as an all-day eaterie). The menu runs from jazzy salads, such as roasted sweet potato and feta, or lamb kofta with tzatziki and warm flat bread, to mains such as an eight-hour braised ox cheek ragu pasta. Mains from £11.95

10 Liverpool foodie essentials

Bold Street Coffee

1) Bold Street Coffee

Reliably excellent third wave coffee stop, covering all your cold brew and flat white needs. Also, great breakfast-brunch dishes and filled ‘buoy’ brioche buns.

2) Burnt Milk Hotel

From the Madre team, small shop and bar selling diverting new wave wines, coffee and a short menu of platters and plates, such as pesto-dressed burrata or a three-cheese grilled sanger.

3) Raggas

Much-loved Caribbean café and takeaway heading out of town on Smithdown Road. A top spot for favourites such as brown stew chicken, ackee ‘n’ saltfish, rice and peas, saltfish fritters and jerk chicken.

4) Hawksmoor

Liverpool has an abundance of architecturally incredible spaces (in this case, the grade II-listed India Buildings), of the kind Hawksmoor - acclaimed purveyors of British grass-fed steaks - love to transform into handsome dining rooms. They arrived in town late 2022.

5) Black Lodge

Next-level craft beer creators whose hip brewery-tap is one of the highlight’s of the Baltic Triangle.

6) The Egg

Cosy, bohemian loft café and art gallery, on the top floor of Newington Buildings, The Egg’s creative soups and gorgeous quiches are legendary among Liverpool’s vegetarians and vegans.

7) Delifonseca

Candice Fonseca helped pioneer Liverpool’s modern food scene and, in this restaurant and food hall, continues to do very tasty work. Food geeks will revel in the produce available, including British rare breed meats from in-house butcher Edge & Son, the multi award-winning Wirral legends.

8) Fritto

Italian bakery and snack bar on Smithdown Road, serving arancini, pizza, focaccia sandwiches and panzerotti, the deep-fried pizza pockets from Puglia.

9) Baltic Fleet

Splendid, stripped-back grade-II listed pub with terrific real ales and roaring log-burners in winter. If you like that kind of thing – historic pubs, excellent beer – The Ship & Mitre on Dale Street is also essential.

10) The Wild Loaf

Amazing bakery-café for organic and heritage grain sourdough loaves, doughnuts, modish sweet treats and a grilled cheese sandwich for the ages. Located just out of the city-centre in Toxteth.

Is there anywhere we've missed? Let us know in the comments below...

More northern city guides

The best restaurants in Liverpool
The best restaurants in Manchester
The best restaurants in York
The best restaurants in Newcastle

More UK city guides

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The best restaurants in Oxford
The best restaurants in Belfast
The best restaurants in Edinburgh
The best restaurants in Glasgow


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