Liverpool is an incredible city bursting with life, soul and culture.
Yet its restaurant scene was non-existent only a decade ago with less than 20 `notable` eateries across the whole of the city. However, there has been a huge transformation in recent years.
Now, whatever your reason for being in the European Capital of Culture 2008, you will find delectable places to eat for every occasion, budget and taste.
If you're looking to eat on the go and don't want to spend a lot, then cheap street food eateries like pop-up restaurants, food trucks and canteen `style` restaurants are ideal.
Kick off your street food discovery session in the recently opened Baltic Market, a pop-up market which celebrates local independents. You can choose from local heavyweights such as Slim's Pork Chop Express and Pao!
Or just stop by and wolf down some sweet potato or halloumi fries with a falafel wrap at Hafla Hafla or indulge in a plate of mouth-watering vegan junk food from Down the Hatch! Piping hot Baltic Market food prices range from £3 to £10 for a meal.
Over on the bustling Bold Street (Liverpool's hub for independent stores, cafes and restaurants) is where you'll find a great number of other street food choices.
The well-loved Lebanese street food joint, Bakchich, which tops many lists of best places to eat in Liverpool. What's more, prices start from just £2.95.
Here you'll be able to enjoy hot or cold mezze and platters, shawarma wraps and meshawi charcoal grilled meats as well as mouth-watering Lebanese pizzas. This world-class eatery also does a selection of traditional Arabic breakfasts such as zaatar eggs, falafel, labnah and bread as well as organic porridge topped with pomegranate and orange blossom.
You should also check out the celebrated local favourite Mowgli's Street Food, a modern take on Indian home cooking and street food bursting with zesty flavours served in tiffin. A must visit for any foodie! Oh, and the Himalayan cheese on toast alone is absolutely legendary! There are two branches of Mowgli Street Food â€“ one on Water Street and the other on Bold Street.
Read this post from the Liverpool Echo listing 21 Liverpool street food eateries to try.
Veggie and Vegan
If meat and animal products are not part of your diet, then fear not: Liverpool caters for you too!
If you are an all-out vegan and do not wish to eat where animal products are served, then head straight to Next to Nowhere vegan cafe on Bold Street. Open on Saturday afternoons, it's a radical volunteer run social centre, frequented by hardcore animal activists and anti-capitalists. An interesting place to eat, read and debate.
The Egg on Newington near Central and Lime St station is a celebrated Liverpudlian veggie joint (there are also vegan options, including a full vegan Sunday roast!). Situated in a large, airy old Victorian building, the Egg offers wonderful views of Liverpool city centre and an array of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes, such as lentil and fennel bake, tandoori mushroom and spicy bean burgers.
For more options, check out this list of vegan and veggie eateries in Liverpool from Happy Cow.
Dinner for two
If you're in Liverpool on a romantic weekend away or simply want to sample some fine dining and enjoy an intimate ambiance for the evening, then you and your loved one should head to the Art School on Sugnall Street.
One of the most talked about restaurants in Liverpool, the Art School offers a high class culinary experience in an elegantly luxurious setting, where you will be waited on by staff so professional that their flowless service seems almost choreographed.
You will also get to eat beautifully presented dishes like: roast summer courgettes with Curthwaite goat's curd, tempura courgette flower, tapenade, confit tomatoes, smoked aubergine pureé. Desserts on the menu include things like rum-roasted pineapple and coconut Baked Alaska with wild strawberries, granola & fresh honey comb.
Another favourite for local couples is the independent Puschka on Rodney Street, which offers stunningly prepared and presented meals in a romantic setting - making it the perfect spot for date night.
Here you can sit down to one of restaurant's best culinary creations: a plate of honey, orange and star anise slow braised belly of pork with fines herbs, kale and cannellini bean cassoulet followed by liquorice panna cotta with blackberry jelly meringue.
The reviews are overwhelmingly positive and though the prices are higher than most Liverpool food spots, it's definitely worth it!
Child-friendly eateries for family meals
If you're visiting the city with your brood, you need to know which places offer the best kid-friendly meals and facilities.
Luckily there are a number of places that fit the bill in Liverpool, starting with The Tavern at Penny Lane Junction which won Liverpool's Most Family Friendly Restaurant three years running (2014-2016).
This family owned restaurant serves up mouth-watering Mexican and American BBQ dishes plus award-winning breakfasts in a cosy candlelit setting that includes gorgeous wooden furnishings.
There is also local favourite independent the Interesting Eating Company on Allerton Road. As the name suggests, this quirky place loves food and is passionate about concocting interesting plates of food to suit all palettes and dietary requirements (they are partnered with the Coeliac UK Liverpool support group so cater very well for gluten free diets). The food here is innovative and lovingly homemade and they host many family events as well as children's pancake parties!
Here's a list of Liverpool pubs with actual play areas for kids too.
Local and traditional favourites
You can't visit Liverpool without cosying up by a log burner at the famous and historic pub The Baltic Fleet and tucking into a steaming bowl of scouse (braised beef scouse stew, a now iconic dish enjoyed by sailors for hundreds of years).
If you want to make a night of it, spend an evening at a quirky hangout most beloved by locals called Camp and Furnace, a converted warehouse which serves arguably the best Sunday roast in Liverpool. It also hosts Nightgarden, a weekly event designed to combine food, drink, art and performance. Camp and Furnace was even voted second coolest restaurant in Britain by The Times.
If you're still in any doubt about Liverpool's incredible food scene, then read this list of 35 plates of food in Liverpool you need to try.
Where to Stay
After a long day sampling the delights that Liverpool has to offer, you will need the perfect place to enjoy your food coma in peace.
Hallmark Inn Liverpool is situated right in the heart of the city so not far to walk back from your foodie indulgences. With free Wi-Fi, beautifully decorated rooms and a cosy bar and lounge all within a Grade II listing building, this is where you'll want to be!
See what offers are available for this hotel here.