Grab a bite without breaking the bank
Being on a budget doesn’t have to mean missing out and just because it doesn’t come with the heavy price tag doesn’t mean it’s lacking flavour or quality. Whilst there seems to be a new place opening every week in Liverpool, the city’s appetite for great value food has never been bigger. In no particular order, dig in!
Where the most articulate of workers congregate, it only seems logical that a coffee shop would enter by its side to replenish the grafters. Located within The Baltic Creative, Unit 51 offers one of the best lunches in the city. We’re talking sausage and stilton sandwiches, bacon, fig and blue cheese bagels and a special board that changes daily.
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. The barrier between stranger and friend is often lost here, over delicious and affordable food.
The city’s premier brunch and luncheon spot, there’s good reason why people head to Dale Street every day of the week. Hash medleys, eggs to perfection and back bacon nearly as thick as the toast that rival any start to the day in the city. They’ve become famoose over the years their pancakes stacked skyscraper high and drenched in a cascading sea of maple syrup. One bite and you’ll see why.
Leaf started off as a tiny tea shop in Static Gallery. Over the years it has evolved into a community of like minded people that appreciate good quality food and drink in an imaginative environment. With over 40 loose leaf tea’s on offer, it provides a pretty incredible way to remain patriotic. The food is fresh, affordable and filling. The fresh soups of the day deserve a lot of attention.
Bold Street Coffee
With coffee so good, you could forgive Bold Street Coffee for seeing food as an afterthought. But that just isn’t the case. From incredible salads to pimped porridges, there’s something for everyone. The smashed avocado on toast with fresh crab and poached eggs is what your body needs.
HOST holds a semi-folkloric place in the culinary tableau of the city and its appeal is broad and sweeping. Although the door is covered in Michelin recommendations, their ‘Chop Chop’ lunch menu will be fair on the waist and the wallet. Take your taste buds on a tour of the Far-East with beef pho, chicken katsu, miso soup and more that’ll cost you just over a fiver.
Located on Bold Street is one of the city’s most beloved eateries; Mowgli. Inside you’ll find Indian food, but not as you know it. Remove every predisposition you had and head down for some chat bombs and Himalayan cheese on toast. They also have an Indian inspired chip butty that will change the game.
Quite possibly Liverpool’s best and smallest kept secret. Every day, for the last 7 years queues of people line up outside of a modest shop with an olde-worlde facade. There’s two reasons why they’re queuing up; the food and because the shop only fits about 4 people in. A fusion of Korean and Japanese food keeps the punters coming back and with that quality in comparison to the prices, who blames them.
A little bit of Lebanon on Liverpool’s doorstep. A treat for all the senses, the experience from start to finish is nothing short of magnificent. Snakes of beautiful lamb kofta meat doused in freshly made hummus, pickled cucumber and other veggies before being wrapped up in a fresh wrap is all yours for under a fiver. A Beirut bargain, make your next mezze here.
The Garden At Fact
On a clear day, through Garden’s bright and spacious facade, with the fresh plants and friendly staff, there’s sometimes nowhere better to be. A beautiful veggie cafe that can sometimes make you feel complicit in some kind of clandestine creative revolution. The falafel and tzatziki sandwich with a loose leaf tea is a winner.
Filter + Fox
A den of quality coffee & small plates by day, incredible wine, cocktails and cheese by night and vintage sounds throughout on the elegant Duke Street. They may be small but are proving size doesn’t matter. Their reuben is a delicious toasted sandwich with fresh pastrami, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese and their Vietnamese chicken banh mi is fresh and light.
The Moon & Pea
Almost ten years ago a little coffee shop on Lark Lane opened and it has had a cult-like following ever since. A place where you can stop off the crazy treadmill of life for a few moments and enjoy home cooked food in a lovely atmosphere. For the quality and portions size, Moon & Pea could get away with charging a lot more. The veggie burgers are insane, definitely get one.
Lox & Caper
Lox & Caper is the kind of place you rely on. You can come in, at any time of the day and any day of the week and be guaranteed a freshly made meal, a good cup of coffee and a smile. A dangerous trio that’ll have you coming back. We don’t know what it is they put in their hollandaise that makes it so special but we want to replace our taps with it.
Rococo gets its namesake and inspiration from the 18th century artistic style Rococo movement. This movement placed more emphasis on the elegant and ornate, something which is evident in this coffee house with its intricate gold mirrors and chandeliers on show. A hidden gem amongst the giants with fresh panini’s, sandwiches and a damn fine cup of coffee.
Upstairs At The Bluecoat
Built in the early 18th century, the Bluecoat is the oldest building in central Liverpool and has been designated as a Grade I listed building by English Heritage. Home to small businesses and a beautiful courtyard, there’s also a coffee shop upstairs worth a visit. Huge portions of fish and chips, endless bowls of scouse and all other plates of comfort food for incredibly low prices.
Situated on St James Street inside The Women’s Organisation, is Siren, the dream of life-long friends. Bright and spacious windows give the space a real natural light and is a lovely place to watch the world go by. For just over £6 you can get yourself a big hunk of halloumi with garlic mushrooms on a brioche bun with a side sweet potato fries. For similar prices you can get a whopping plate of vegan loveliness with their full vegan.
Why drink a bar dry when you can drink in a dry bar? Liverpool’s first dry bar does some wonderful things for people and is well known for being a retreat for the recovering. If that wasn’t enough, the kitchen are serving up huge portions of food at prices you feel guilty paying they’re so low.
Blink and you might miss it, The Baltic Fleet might be off the beaten track but good beer is worth walking for. The dockside pub has some fantastic history but isn’t left in the past as it is Liverpool’s only brewpub. You know what goes great with beer? Food. The Baltic Fleet knock out pans of scouse and blind scouse daily and for just a couple quid, what more could you ask for?
Panna is fun to say and even better to visit. Away from the humdrum of the business district there are a set of stairs that lead to a modest coffee shop that is ran by a Slovakian couple so nice that they’ll make you feel all gooey inside like one of their brownies. The space is inspired by the food they’ve eaten, the places they’ve been and the dreams they’ve had. It is modern, good-looking and they have some of the nicest sandwiches in the city.
Fancy saving money at places like The Egg, Rococo, HOST, Unit 51 and close to 100 more? Check out the Independent Liverpool Membership Card. It’s available at a special pre-order price of just £12 for one (usually £15) and £17 for two (usually £20). For a year of discounted discovery at some of Liverpool’s best independents, buy yours here.