Plenty of restaurants in Liverpool’s city centre are doing new and exciting things. This city delivers on cuisine from across the world — and our list showcases the best to visit in 2021.
1. Down the Hatch — Restaurants Liverpool City Centre
Some small restaurants in Liverpool are easy to miss. Go to the old townhouse lined Duke street and keep a lookout because to the unwary eye, this restaurant is near hidden.
If you’re lucky enough to find Down the Hatch first try, you’ll instantly smirk and realise the pun in the name. This restaurant is below street level; you literally have to step down the hatch of stairs to enter.
Indoors, the size of this restaurant may surprise you. Down the Hatch spaces out in a long room of leather booths and wooden tables. The ceiling’s wide green support beams make the interior look like an artist’s loft. Just because they’re underground doesn’t mean Down the Hatch has to be cramped and small.
The menu is likewise expansive. It’s for fans of weighty treats. TimeOut magazine put it neatly: this place does good food with a vengeance. As such, Beastly burgers and calorific mac & cheese pasta dishes are favourites here.
Down the Hatch has the bonus of a partnered bar upstairs. Above is Ripolin, a self-described “basement of cocktails” that specialises in making creative cocktails. The building is brimming with history (it was once a paint shop) and provides an ideal venue for anyone waiting on tables downstairs.
2. Maray — Restaurants Liverpool City Centre
This small-plates restaurant is a well-received charm. Located on Bold Street, it numbers one out of three Maray’s venues open in the city (the two others are on Liverpool docks and Allerton street).
A hyper-modern style gives this place a contemporary edge and is very fashionable. Furniture is made out of recycled materials — the tables, for instance, are made from reclaimed doors and disused sewing machines.
Most importantly the food follows suit. Rave reviews have lauded the success of Malay’s more experimental dishes. A dish of halloumi mixed with caramel sauce and peanuts is — as one review noted — another level of debauchery entirely. “One bite and our eyeballs rolled back in rapture.”
A passionate team of chefs and waiting staff run Malay’s ambitious three-chain venue. Staff are known to rhapsody over the ins-and-outs of meals — so if you’re a proper foodie, then Malay is heaven.
Maray is one of the top small-plate destinations in Liverpool via Instagram
3. The Italian Club — Restaurants Liverpool City Centre
Not all clubs are exclusive — and this one welcomes all with open arms.
The Italian Club at 81 Bold Street neighbours Malay, so if you’re looking for Liverpool’s best pasta recipes, this is the right place to go.
It has a partner restaurant further up near St. Luke’s Church that specialises in seafood, but this venue at 81 Bold Street boasts a greater variety of dishes, going for tradition mixed with foods to fit British tastes (including pizzas, burgers, and sumptuous puddings).
Low lighting and classic furniture give the club an ambient feel. Choose to go here and you’ll find your mood will warm to the authentic club experience.
4. The Egg Café — Restaurants Liverpool City Centre
There is no small-scale restaurant as vibrant and lively as the Egg. At home in a Victorian-era building, the first thing anyone will notice is the Egg’s eye-catching doorway: an unmissable magenta-purple arch that leads into a stair leading up to this fantastic second-floor café.
The colour scheme represents this venue’s artsy edge. Indeed, the café gets creative with its hands, offering visitors a one-hundred per cent homemade menu. If you’re looking for vegan food, this is the best place to stop. The Egg locally sourced ingredients from environmentally conscious suppliers.
The Egg also acts as a social hub, hosting meet-ups and events for locals. Among the best of small restaurants in Liverpool, this is an ideal spot for food fiends and creatives alike.
The Egg provides an ideal spot for food fiends and creatives alike via Instagram
5. The London Carriage Works — Restaurants Liverpool City Centre
Ten minutes away from the Egg sits the Street hotel, an ultra-sleek building in the heart of historic Liverpool, sitting beside some of its cathedrals. Inside is a simple hotel that favours a minimalist style. It’s also home to a multi-award-winning restaurant, the London Carriage Works.
As the name suggests, cuisine-wise, this restaurant does everything British. The building itself was once a carriage builder with roots in the mid-nineteenth century.
The menu focuses on local produce (London Carriage Works restricts their food sources to within 25 miles of the restaurant). Look out for British birds on the menu. Fish is also a must-try — a delicious halibut is on offer, one of the best in Liverpool — and with over 750 excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, this one can’t be missed.
6. Free State Kitchen — Restaurants Liverpool City Centre
This British take on American classics is well-known in Liverpool for its spacious dining areas, both in- and outside. The restaurant has outdoor picnic areas, including a secret garden with a yurt-like tent called the Winter Snug, providing an ideal spot for venue hire this winter.
The kitchen is just as surprising. Free State has won various awards for their daring interpretations of American homemade dishes. This isn’t a casual fast-food chain; rather Free State’s kitchen puts honest time and effort into providing a seamless guest experience.
Buffalo hot wings, Maryland crab cakes, Boston clam chowder — all examples of the top-rate cuisine available here in the heart of Liverpool’s cultural quarter.
7. Rӧski — Restaurants Liverpool City Centre
This is a crown jewel among gems.
Owner Anton Pietrowski previously won a Michelin Star at a previous business in the country — now he is dead-set on attaining Liverpool’s first star rating (the nearest star holders are in Oxton, a village in Merseyside).
The name itself may raise eyebrows. That’s because it’s an invented word, an amalgamation of Anton’s surname with his partner Rose.
It’s a cosy 30-seat restaurant so guest demand often makes Rӧski busy. However, don’t let that put you off. Rӧski has a unique and creative menu that soaks itself in Liverpool’s cultural background. Consider the scouse smoked bacon dumpling, for instance, or desserts with Yorkshire rhubarb — even the choice of builder’s tea ice cream.
“I want to provide great food in a relaxed atmosphere,” owner Anton once told a Liverpool newspaper. Rӧski’s carefully crafted dishes make it a definite contender for more awards — above all, it’s a must-try in 2021.
Rӧski gives its menu a regional twist via Instagram
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