Liverpool, despite its fame, remains one of Britain’s best-kept secrets: overlooked, charming, and welcoming. This is where Liverpool Beatles supporters congregate, and the rest of the world is catching up. You’ll never be far from decent health, a good drink, or a good talk in this city awash in funky bars and exciting restaurants. Any culture vulture would be satisfied by world-class galleries such as the Tate Modern, which is located on the Albert Dock, and the Walker Art Gallery, which is located near St George’s Hall.
As you discover Liverpool, it’s emerging independent scene is paving the way for other cities to suit, thanks to the city’s forward-thinking creativity.
Here’s our city guide to discover Liverpool, which includes everything from the best music clubs and food markets to exclusive cocktail bars and theatres, as well as an exciting selection of independent stores.
Discover Liverpool : Cafes
Coffee is probably the most popular drink of the day, but learning where to search for a decent cup is key. Thankfully, Liverpool is home to a number of great coffee shops, like Bold Street Coffee. Despite being forced to relocate from Bold Street, they’ve returned to Liverpool’s popular independent quarter and should be one of your first stops while visiting the city.
You’ll skip the small doorway leading to Rococo if you’re not paying attention on Lord Street; upstairs, you’ll find a quaint, 18th-century-inspired café with chandeliers, gold mirrors, and other ornate fittings. Leaf is another famous café in the region, with an emphasis on its own loose leaf tea and an excellent brunch menu. Moose Cafe, meanwhile, is a renowned hangout in Liverpool thanks to its high-quality coffee and funky Moose-related memorabilia.
Discover Liverpool : Music venues
Music is at the heart of Liverpool’s nightlife, as it should be for the birthplace of The Beatles. The Shipping Forecast, Sound, Kazimier Garden, The Zanzibar, The Jacaranda, and EBGBS are just a few of the small venues where bands can get their start. Each of these spaces have smaller capacities than grand stadiums, but they’ve welcomed some of the most exciting up-and-comers as well as globally known musicians including Disclosure, The Libertines, Noel Gallagher, and Mark Ronson.
The Cavern Club is one of the most traditionally significant rock venues in the United Kingdom. The Cavern housed The Beatles, Queen, The Rolling Stones, and The Kinks in its heyday, and Cilla Black served in the cloakroom. In recent years, pop star Adele and Paul McCartney of The Beatles have performed on the show. Many local artists and travelling bands come through the area, so it’s a significant stop for them.
Electrik Warehouse, a famous Liverpool disco, is the spot to go if you want to dance until the wee hours of the morning. Expect three floors of amazing music that you forgot you love.
Discover Liverpool : Bars
Liverpool has some excellent bars, if you’re searching for a simple pint of local ale or a swanky cocktail. Salt Dog Slim’s, which is a hip, American-style hot-dog eatery by day and a buzzing craft-beer haven and bespoke cocktail bar with DJs by night. Upstairs, 81LTD, an obscure speakeasy, allows guests to register for an access code via the website. Santa Chupitos, a bar renowned for its $5 Shake and cocktail masterclasses, is a must-visit for lovers of experimental cocktails. Graffiti Spirits, Liverpool’s largest independent bar and restaurant company, operates all three of the above bars.
Caledonia is the place to go if you’re searching for a pint. Locals name it “The Cali,” and it’s one of the city’s strongest watering spots, offering cask ales and promoting a sense of community. A visit to the Baltic Fleet, a lovely Grade II-listed 19th-century Victorian boozer with a frequently revolving selection of cask ales, is also suggested.
Discover Liverpool : Restaurants
Go to Free State Kitchen, Nolita Cantina, or Death Row Diner for juicy burgers; the latter’s burgers are kept in place by a Chupa Chup lollipop. Amalia, whose pizzas were named the best in the UK at the Italian Awards, is the spot to go for pizza. Many finding a Mexican fix will fall in love with one of La Parilla’s two sites, while Lucha Libra is some of the city’s most highly regarded eateries.
One of Liverpool’s most famous restaurants, London Carriage Works serves up a modern twist on traditional foreign dishes including poached cod, roast chicken, wild mushroom and pea risotto.
Although international cuisine is delicious, there are moments when we just want a plate of classic British comfort food. The Dovedale Towers offers hearty mains including homemade pies and lavish roasts.
Discover Liverpool : Stores
Bold Street is host to one of the country’s most outstanding sets of stores. There’s plenty for everybody here, from contemporary homewares store Utility to designer menswear outlet Giancarlo Ricci to neighbourhood bookshop News From Nowhere and sustainable grocery business LIV.
Away from Bold Street, Cains Brewery Village has a smattering of retro stores, including Red Brick Antique, Bijou & Vintage, and Vintage Barn, which will equip you and your home with some hard-to-find classics. A variety of arts, crafts, culture, and design stores can be found at the Bluecoat, Liverpool’s artistic centre. Whisky Store on Colquitt Lane, The Little Macaron Shop on St John’s Road, and Liverpool Cheese Company in Woolton Village Retail Outlet are both good places to go for local food and drink. Still, at the end of the day, there’s nothing like curling up with a decent book and listening to a song you picked up from Dig Vinyl to unwind.
We hope you enjoyed this exclusive guide of exploring Liverpool.