6th November 2023
With the joy that is our third national lockdown, I’m sure lots of us students are dreaming about eating out and getting crunk again in our honorary home – Liverpool. What better way to pass the time in lockdown than with reading LGSM’s own recommendations for the best food and drink spots Liverpool has to offer? We hope our top picks give you some inspo for places to visit post lockdown!
Public service announcement: you are about to become very hungry.
by Imogen Gill (LGSM Food and Drink Editor & 2nd Year English Literature and Communications and Media Student)
Boasting delicious middle-eastern inspired food, Hafla Hafla is the perfect choice for brunch with your housemates, date night or even a Sunday roast. The restaurant takes up an intimate little spot on Lark Lane. There’s a great chilled out and easy vibe as soon as you walk in. Plus, the ivy leaf wall makes the perfect backdrop for those all important food pics to give your Instagram followers major food envy!
I visited in October for an evening meal ordering the Crispy Fried Chicken Pitta (£8.75) which you can customise with extras such as crispy chickpeas (amazing!) and onions for no extra cost (along with optional extras for £1-£2). WOW. This dish was simply amazing. Other mouth watering dishes include their famous Hafla Halloumi Fries (£7.50) and the Lamb Kofta Burger (£9.50) amongst many more. There’s also some great vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options – take a look at the menu here. With a fantastic cocktail selection to accompany the delicious food, Hafla Halfa should be at the top of everyone’s list for eating out post lockdown! I can’t wait to visit again, try out the rest of the menu and enjoy a cocktail… or four.
Address: 73 Lark Lane, Aigburth, Liverpool, L17 8UP.
Website: Hafla Hafla
by Phoebe Leverett (LGSM Food and Drink Writer & 1st Year English Language Student)
Any restaurant that serves Italian food is a place I would go to. My true favourite one is Gusto Italian. It serves classic Italian dishes varying from sourdough pizzas to pasta and risotto. There are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options! All this is within a room with vaulted brick ceilings, wall mirrors and furnished with a retro vibe. Situated on the Albert Docks, it’s the perfect spot to just sit back, relax and eat some heart warming Italian food.
At Gusto my go to dish would have to be Pepperoni Salsiccia (£12.95) and if you’re in in the mood for spice you can add chilli for 40p extra. It would be rude not to get a pudding, right? Their incredible Sticky Toffee Pudding with Madagascan vanilla ice cream (£6.95) is my go to. So if you are looking for somewhere to try after lockdown – this is the one.
Address: Edward Pavilion, Liverpool, L3 4AF.
Instagram: @ Gustorestaurants
by Alice Bartholomew (LGSM Food and Drink Writer and 2nd Year English Language Student)
Whenever I’m asked for my go-to foodie spot in Liverpool, without fail, it’s always Maggie Fu. Located on Smithdown Road, Maggie Fu’s location is ideal for anyone living in the popular student area (especially if you don’t want to wear a mask over your freshly applied makeup on the bus!). Their Asian street food inspired menu contains classic dishes, such as Katsu Curry (£9.50), the veggie alternative Sweet Potato Katsu (£7.50) and the Shredded Crispy Chicken in Chilli Sauce (£9.00). I’m not exaggerating when I say I think about their crispy chilli chicken at least once a day – it’s honestly incredible. If you can’t wait until after lockdown, you can find Maggie Fu on Uber Eats for when you’re fancying a slightly fancier takeaway to brighten up this crazy January.
Address: 346 Smithdown Rd, Liverpool L15 5AN.
Website: Maggie Fu
by Rosie Howarth (LGSM Food and Drink Writer and 2nd Year English Literature and History Student)
Despite constant hassling from my mother that my inability to save money is only worsening, I have experienced my fair share of eateries since arriving in Liverpool last year. My favourite of those being Baltic Market. With ten food traders to choose from, and a well-stocked drinks menu – Kinder Bueno Espresso Martinis (£7.50 from Press Bros. Coffee)? Yes please! – it offers the perfect culinary experience for those who like to try a little bit of everything. My personal favourites were The Peppercorn (£9) from Beef on the Block; the Chicken Gyros (£7.80) from Christakis; and the Gangnam Style Korean Fried Chicken (£8.50) from Little Korea. They also offer a range of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options (have a look at the Wholesome Junkies menu) for the non-meat lovers among us, and typical crowd pleasers such as pizza and fried chicken.
Open Thursday to Sunday and situated on Stanhope Street near the docks, it’s the perfect place to take your parents if they visit for the weekend, or simply for a nice meal with friends. Their gift cards make the perfect birthday or secret Santa present for your housemate. Who knows, they might even treat you to a bevvy.
Address: Cains Brewery, Stanhope Street, L8 5XJ.
Website: Baltic Market
by Morgan Harris (LGSM Food and Drink Writer and 2nd Year English Language Student)
Salt House Tapas is not your typical student restaurant, but it’s definitely somewhere for an occasion. Whether that be a housemate’s birthday, a date, or a place to take your parents to when they visit (corona permitting of course), you’ll be sure to have a wonderful evening. At Salt House Tapas the food, the service, and the atmosphere never disappoint!
This Spanish restaurant offers small plates from Malaga Fried Fish (£7.95), to Deep Fried Monte Enebro Cheese (£7.95), to Sliced Beef on Sourdough (£9.95). Whilst the menu might, at first, appear pricey, if you club together and split tapas between you it really doesn’t work out too badly. Situated on Hanover Street, it is the perfect location to squash that post-shop hunger. Adorned with beautiful fairy lights, candles, and dim lighting, this place really does feel like a special treat. Not only that, but it caters for a range of diets including vegan, gluten free and dairy free. The allergy checklist also seemed comprehensive, with little Nando’s-style flags placed on top of nut-free dishes.
Address: Church House, 1 Hanover St, Liverpool L1 3DW.
Website: Salt House Tapas Liverpool
by Naomi Adams (LGSM Writer and Ph.D. Student in Stylistics within the English Department)
Located on Wood Street, just a (pizza) stone’s throw from Central Station, Villa Romana boasts arguably the best in Italian dining that Liverpool has to offer. And I will argue stridently on that point: I’m a certified Villa Romanaic!
Decor- and food-wise, the vibe is rustic, trattoria traditional. For the former, think exposed-brick archways, terracotta tiles and checked tablecloths, with a roaring wood-burning fire the centrepiece of the festive season. For the latter, there’s an extensive selection of everyone’s favourite carb buddies, Pizza & Pasta, with a menu catering for vegans, vegetarians, Coeliacs (and gourmands!) alike. The ‘Four Seasons’ (Quattro Stagioni) pizza is certainly a five-star highlight (£9.95). Plus, who can complain when the classic Margherita comes so pillowy, and at £7.95-a-portion? The piece de resistance, though, is the wheelable dessert cart, or carrozza dei dolci (lit. ‘carriage of sweets’). Think of its counterpart on the Hogwarts Express (‘Anything from the trolley?’), with decadent tiramisu, panna cotta and torta di formaggi in place of pumpkin pasties and Bertie Botts’ Every Flavour Beans. It’s still pretty magical, though.
Address: 6 Wood Street, Liverpool, L1 4AQ.
by Zeenia Naqvee (LGSM Opinion Editor and 3rd Year English Student)
Whilst being located on city central Ranelagh Street disqualifies it from being a conventional hidden gem, I would definitely consider it overlooked in the sphere of Middle Eastern eateries. Whether you’re vegan/vegetarian or a shameless meat-eater like myself, there’s something for everyone. Accompanied by grandiose décor and ambient Turkish music, the setting is as much of an art gallery as it is a restaurant!
They also serve a multitude of cocktails if you like to indulge in a few pina coladas with your freshly charcoaled meat and halloumi. Or if you’re teetotal, you can sip on some authentic Turkish tea or an assortment of freshly squeezed juices. And if you’re not the biggest advocate of Mediterranean cuisine, there’s a vast array of western food on offer. You may choose to opt for the likes of pizza (from £6.90), calzones (all £7.90) or a Full English Breakfast (£7.49) which is served until 3pm! If you fancy some decadence, there is traditional Baklava pastry on offer (£3.80), in addition to well-loved classics like Hot Fudge Cake (£4.95).
Address: 45 Ranelagh St, Liverpool L1 1JR.
Website: Shiraz Palace and Shiraz BBQ
by Daisy Togonu-Bickersteth (LGSM Food and Drink Writer and 2nd Year English Literature Student)
One of my favourite food spots in Liverpool is Tiger Rock on Smithdown Road. It is an authentic Thai restaurant which is very reasonably priced so will not break the student loan! There are two restaurants in Liverpool one on Smithdown and the other in the City Centre, so either restaurants are accessible for all students in Liverpool. Tiger Rock has a really friendly and buzzing atmosphere thanks to the fabulous staff! They have an amazing variety of food including gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options. My favourites include Pla meuk Gatiam (£6.80) which is chilli and garlic crispy squid. There is also a gluten free option of this. As well, the Panag Het (£5.50) is a great vegan option, which consists of sauteed mushrooms cooked in a panang sauce!
The great thing about Tiger Rock is that you get a lot for your money, the portion sizes are big and nothing on the food menu is over £10. The style of the menu is similar to tapas, so it is great for big groups (post covid), so you can get a lot of little plates to share. The cocktails are delicious if you are planning a boozy dinner, a personal favourite is Tiger Martini which is £7.95! If you can’t wait for it to re-open, they are still doing takeaway during the lockdown! You know what to do…
Address: 607 Smithdown Rd, Liverpool L15 5AG.
Hopefully we will be back enjoying fantastic food and tremendous tipples very soon. Until then, we can only dream of the foodie goodness recommended by LGSM’s writers!
Feature Image: Unsplash
To find out the best food and drinks that Liverpool has to offer, and tasty recipes, check out some of our other articles!