The global championship of soccer ball is upon us.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a wall-chart and sticker book mega fan, or the only Mueller you know comes with a fruit corner… for the next few weeks missed penalties, worldies and millionaires with man bags are going to be hard to avoid.
Millionaires who in the main will be on a strict chicken and broccoli diet rather than the delicacies of their home countries. But what if you wanted to take your taste buds on a global journey this summer and enjoy a world cup of food? Liverpool boasts a hugely diverse scene – but how many of the World Cup countries can you eat your way around? Let’s give it a go…
Probably the easiest goal we’ll score. Taco your pick from Lucha Libre, La Parilla, Savina or The Tavern. It’s a game of three halves: breakfast at the Tavern, lunch at Lucha and dinner at La Parilla. Then roll us up like a burrito for a food induced siesta.
Lucha Libre: 96 Wood St, Liverpool L1 4DQ / The Tavern: 621 Smithdown Rd, Liverpool L15 5AG / La Parilla: 36 South Rd, Waterloo, Liverpool L22 5PQ
Etsu have been flying the Japanese flag with the best gyoza in town, California rolls groaning with the freshest ingredients and brilliant bento boxes for more than a decade. It’s fairly low key and hidden away near The Strand but definitely worth seeking out Izakaya and Miyagi also.
Etsu: 25 The Strand (Off Brunswick) L2 0XJ
There’s more to food in Germany than steins and brines, but in lieu of a German a la carte (we’re ready to visit if any German chefs want to set a place up…) head to Salt Dog Slims for steins, brines and good times. We’ve heard bratwurst ideas.
Salt dog slims: 79 Seel St, Liverpool L1 4BB
Not every city can boast a Peruvian Street Kitchen but thanks to Bold Street favourite Chicha you can enjoy lesser known South American specialities like lomo saltado, king prawn ceviche, pork belly with papaya and peanut crusted shoft shellcrab.
Chicha: 55 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4EU
In timely fashion One Percent Forest has recently brought a touch of Icelandic cool to the city (saving us from recommending a trip to a frozen food shop for a prawn ring). If excellent coffee, waffles with lingonberry jam and locally sourced gifts are your bag check these guys out in their new Woolton home.
One Percent Forest: 42 Allerton Road L25 7RG
We’re not sure mountains of meat are how Firmino et al prepare for matches, but there is something about the free-flowing food at Fazenda that’s reminiscent of the Brazilian style of play. Just as you’re tucking into a tasty lamb skewer up pops a waiter to turn your head with a prime cut of beef.
Fazenda: House, Exchange Flags, Exchange St E, Liverpool L2 3YL
There could only be one choice for this: Bakchich, firm favourite of Mo Salah. Strictly speaking it’s billed as Lebanese but since the Egyptian King moved to Liverpool he’s been getting a taste of home in the form of falafel and hummus. While you’re there try the Ful Medames – a traditional Egyptian breakfast that we’d happily bathe in anytime of the day.
Bakchich: 54 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4ER
Sadio Mane and Cenk Tosun have been known to pop in for a for a protein fix at Macello Meathouse, a South American steakhouse in Childwall. Prime cuts cooked on an open charcoal grill and sliced and seasoned in front of you, this place is a meat-lovers paradise. Meet on Brunswick St is also pretty epic.
Macello Meathouse: 16 Childwall Abbey Road, L16 0JN.
A featherblade at Wreckfish? Pot of tea at Leaf? Roast at Delifonseca? All worthy of representing their country. But it’s got to be fish and chips, and it’s got to be Steve’s. When England stumble out in the quarters get yourself a Steve’s fish, chips and curry sauce and all will be right in the world.
Steve’s: 6-8 Ashfield Rd, Liverpool L17 0BZ
The Liverpool love affair with Spanish food continues, we can’t get enough of bravas, chorizo and gambas – so we’re spoilt for choice with this one. Neon Jamon, Lunya, Salt House Tapas, La Finca Eivissa and Tapas Tapas all regularly smash it out the park.
If you haven’t visited this tiny Korean takeaway you’re missing out on some of the best food in the city. Hidden gems is over-used but the unassuming exterior of Chop Chop belies the taste sensation inside. Grab yourself a Mega Chicken, Bibimbap or Ramen and you won’t look back.
Chop Chop: 52 Fenwick St, City Centre, Liverpool L2 7ND
Malmo on Hanover Street do cracking smørrebrød – Danish inspired open sandwiches on dark rye smothered in tasty toppings like whipped blue cheese and bacon, smoked salmon and horseradish cream and roast squash and goats cheese. The eggs with homemade herb and tomato beans are great too.
Malmo: 65-67 Hanover Street, L1 3DY Liverpool
This place has been serving up little plates of Portuguese tapas for more than ten years. The sardines are legendary, the chorizo rich and deep with red wine flavour and the Portuguese tortilla proper tasty. Wash it all down with some tingly Vino Verde and you’ll be happier than Ronaldo in front of a mirror.
Cafe Porto: 14 Rodney St, Liverpool L1 2TE
Kasbah doesn’t just serve up flawless food it transports you to Morocco. Step through the door and it’s an assault on the senses: rich smells of incense and spices, a bright and bohemian interior and traditional music. An authentic slice on North Africa in the heart of Liverpool.
Kasbah: 72 Bold Street Liverpool L1 4HR
There’s an array of places in Liverpool with plenty of French va va voom (https://independent-liverpool.co.uk/blog/a-guide-to-french-liverpool/) but for a slice of authentic cooking head to Caveau for Coquilles St Jacque, Côte de Boeuf and Crépe Suzette. C’est magnifique.
Caveau: 59 Allerton Road L25 7RE
Kitchen, social space, coffee, rooftop bar, Hus embodies the relaxed shapeshifting vibe of the Stockholm social scene. Kick back with an open sandwich and the coldest of beers or head up to the roof terrace for a cocktail with a view.
Hus: The Tempest Building, 12 Tithebarn St L2 2DT
These cuisines currently don’t have a place to call Liverpool home, but you can get a taste of them elsewhere…
As far as we know there isn’t a Belgian restaurant in Liverpool but if you want to toast De Bruyne, Hazard et al you can get your hands on Belgium’s national dish moules frites – albeit it with an Italian twist – at The Italian Club Fish.
The Italian Club Fish: 128 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4JA
When we’re struggling to light a disposable BBQ we dream of being an Australian – masters of the grill, tamers of the flames. We reckon it’s best to leave the lighter fluid alone and head to Constellations where their garden will be one long BBQ party this summer. Grab a tinny and get involved.
Constellations: 35 – 39 Greenland Street, L1 0BS
So our World Cup food tour ends with 18 out of 32 countries covered. Not bad. We’d love to hear from you if you know any hidden gems serving up specialities from the remainder: Switzerland, Croatia, Serbia, Russia (St Petersburg why did you leave us?), Uruguay, Poland, Panama, Costa Rica, Iran, Columbia, Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia.
Words by Angela Barlow