Contemporary society runs off it, we meet up with friends over it and it is arguably the most important meal of the day.
Liverpool isn’t short of coffee shops, that isn’t a debate, but, how many are serving it to its potential and giving the humble coffee bean the utmost respect? Risking our levels of anxiety skyrocketing through the roof, we took to The Ropewalks in a caffeine-fuelled search of the best cups of joe the city has to offer.
What and where is The Ropewalks we hear you say? Well, Bold Street was originally laid out as a ropewalk; a long thin area of land uses in the manufacture of rope, which was the catalyst for it to be known as ‘The Ropewalks’. Back in the 18th century, sailors used the street to measure out rope for the sailing ships needed for the busy port industry. Now it is a buzzing quarter, well known for thriving independents and it turns out, good cups of coffee.
Small plates and cocktails – Maray’s cool-Parisian themed restaurant is revered as one of the best places to eat in Liverpool. We’re pretty sure if a doctor was to examine us tomorrow we’d be 20% disco cauliflower (there’s a sentence we never thought we’d say). Amid their wonderful offerings, the brilliance of their coffee can sadly go unnoticed but don’t let it. It tastes as good as it looks and comes in one of the prettiest cups we’ve ever seen.
Bold St Coffee
No surprises here. Arguably and impartially, you’ll struggle to find a better cup of coffee in Liverpool, just as much as you might struggle to find a seat. It’s busy for a reason and the people of Liverpool flock in their thousands every week in search of their morning fuel, their afternoon boost and their post-work resurgence. Bold St Coffee are arguably the centre of Liverpool’s coffee speciality scene and must be one of the most popular destinations for dates, business rendezvous and catch-ups in Liverpool. They’re single handedly making the world turn round, one delicious cup at a time. Fancy more bang for your buck? Download Colu and start spending your Local Liverpool pounds. You get a 10% boost on however much you top up.
East Avenue Bakehouse
East Avenue Bakehouse oozes elegance. Much to the annoyance of customers trying to enter, you’re likely to block the front door by taking it all in when you first enter. The shop window is covered in a fantastic mural with racks of freshly baked bread and fresh herbs growing behind it with fresh flowers in slim vases on each table. There is also a flying bicycle that hangs from the roof that is in desperate need of an ET teddy attached to it. Whilst being well known for their bread, their coffee is not to be underestimated. This isn’t the kind of coffee you rush and burn your tongue with, it is a cup of stopping and smelling the flowers and relaxing in good company.
LEAF is the city’s premier tea emporium that offers a creative space to come together in but it isn’t a one trick pony. Whilst it has become famous for its tea, avid coffee drinkers still frequent. There’s always a great atmosphere at LEAF so the sound of business meetings, friends catching up and first dates. Large benches are juxtaposed against more intimate two seat tables, with the addition of the odd Victorian couch and armchair. It by-passes the typical imagining of an antiquated tea shop. Try the Matcha latte.
The best route to Beirut. Bakchich is quite simply a little piece of Lebanon that sits on the chic and quirky Bold Street in Liverpool. This most beautiful and lovingly crafted restaurant is, from start to finish an experience and flavour of the Mediterranean. Whilst known for its food, they also do a pretty mean Arabic Coffee and is one of the strongest coffees you can have. One cup of this and you’ll be running around talking hyperactive nonsense for hours. You may already do this but you’ll do it faster. These guys also accept the Local Liverpool pound so download the Colu app now and be rewarded for being a regular.
Filter + Fox
Their doors might not have been open for long but they have cemented themselves within the independent scene in Liverpool. Filter + Fox endeavours to provide a small corner of the ropewalks with quality coffee, wine and cocktails, accompanied by simple tasty food. The predecessors of the building were Duke St Espresso, an incredible coffee joint that kept the city of Liverpool caffeinated and Filter + Fox have done the building great justice with their coffee. That wafer that comes with it was literally built by God himself.
Garden at FACT
The beautiful boutique hideaway located in FACT is a wonderful place to drink coffee and watch the world go by. For the bookworms amongst you, we’d also highly recommend it as a place to read a book. We can’t ever remember venturing into The Garden At Fact without seeing someone there with a book. And another constant was that they always looked happy. There’s a little book shelf where the main focus is on mindfulness and wellbeing to quench your thirst for knowledge and there’s a pretty extensive tea range to just quench your thirst. Grab a coffee, plonk your page turner on a table and enjoy.
Cow & Co Cafe
Slightly and proudly off the beaten track is Cow & Co Cafe, a design store offering unique gifts and well-designed products, all carefully hand selected. They stock unique magazines from all over the world and as a good cup of coffee compliments flicking through them all so well, they popped a machine in there and put some talented baristas behind it. You’ll honestly struggle to find a more beautiful space in Liverpool for a coffee, we thought places like this only existed on Tumblr. The design is bordering OCD with how perfect and elegant it is. They searched all over the UK for the perfect coffee and found it 355 miles away from the leafy square they call home. Any cup of coffee with that much effort behind it is worth trying.
Muster Custom Coffee House
The Oxford Dictionary will tell you that ‘muster’ is a verb which can be defined as “collecting or assembling”, which is the inspiration for Liverpool’s newest coffee shop. Nestled nicely into Argyle Street is ‘Muster Custom House’, a lovely new coffee shop run by a couple provides a warm atmosphere and a good cup of coffee. The perfect respite from the chaos of shopping just over the road. Look out for the old school jukebox in the corner equipped with golden oldies.
Root Coffee are one of the new kids on the block in the ever-growing and effervescent Liverpool independent scene. Only just over a year old, each day they rise and grind to create a progressive coffee shop with an emphasis on developing the general public’s understanding and appreciation of speciality coffee. They have a beautiful bright and spacious space perfect for freelances, students and creatives. It’s pretty perfect for a date too. Look at that latte – beautiful, isn’t it? Put some time aside for you this weekend and go grab one. Fancy more good news? They’re also accepting the Local Liverpool Pound.
Love Thy Neighbour
The building Love Thy Neighbour calls home has been so many things over the years. Most recently, Central Perk, a Friends themed cafe is no more and has since converted to Love Thy Neighbour – Instagrammers paradise where everything is seen through a Mayfair filter. Love Thy Neighbour is all about organic and healthy food and their Matcha and Beetroot lattes are a very unusual and popular way to start the day.
The interior is reminiscent of the Nouvelle Vague period which made us feel like we were in 60s Paris, that is until you hear the DJ playing 90s East-Coast hip-hop in the evening – a sign that Tabac takes the best bits of history and incorporates it into their ethos. As well as dishing out hangovers, Tabac are the breakfast champions and know how to cure them. If it weren’t for their mugs of coffees and hash browns, we’re pretty sure we wouldn’t have made it out the other end of our hangovers. Spent too much the night before? Another 1 of the 100 businesses accepting the local pound – not bad this supporting local malarky is it? Download Colu here.
Hidden from the buzzing quarter that is Bold Street, on a road simply marked “Newington”, a maroon doorway in the Georgian style protrudes onto the pavement, next to which is a hand-painted sign boasting homemade vegetarian and vegan meals. These are the only indicators that you are in the vicinity of Liverpool’s number one vegetarian haven. Fortunately, once experienced, the Egg is never forgotten and repeat visits are a must. An elaborate vine leaf design, reminiscent of Grimm’s fairy tale illustrations, leads the way up a stairwell to a narrow double doorway in the same red-violet hue that gives access to the café – a large attic filled with wooden tables and all the ambiance of a monastery refectory.
Fancy discounts at places like Maray, East Avenue Bakehouse, Cafe Tabac, Cow & Co and close to 100 more? Get yourself an Independent Liverpool Membership Card. The card is usually £15 for 1 or £20 for 2 but we’re doing a huge sale where it’s only £12 for 1 or £17 for two. That’s an absolute bargain! The deal won’t last long so act fast. Grab it here.