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Get out into the suburbs and head to South Liverpool and you’ll find a huge variety of places offering different cuisines, small and large plates and even a couple of fine dining gems tucked away.
Take quick drive out of town and Allerton, Woolton, Childwall and Aigburth have all got neighbourhood favourites and a dining scene that’s growing and getting better all the time.
Here’s our guide to the best places to eat out in South Liverpool.
Like the name suggests, this restaurant occupies a former stable block and courtyard, and now specialises in seasonally-changing British classics – think beer-battered fish and chips, burgers and steaks – with a few curve balls thrown in, such as Indian-style chicken kiev! When/if the sun shines, it’s got a summer gin terrace collab with Liverpool Gin too.
There’s so much good to say about Maray, it’s hard to fit it into one paragraph. Middle Eastern-inspired small plates are the staple of this Liverpool-born restaurant. After Bold Street, Allerton Road was its second site, and now there’s a third at Royal Albert Dock. The whole baked cauli with tahini, yoghurt and harissa is the stuff of veggie dreams.
The Tavern is a south Liverpool institution, paving the Smithdown Road way for almost three decades. Great for a casual family dinner with American-Mexican favourites like Cajun blackened chicken, spicy chillis and slow-roasted BBQ ribs, the Tavern’s star turn is its award-winning Full English Breakfast, voted the nation’s number one.
Opened 18 months ago by the team behind the then much-loved Filter & Fox on Duke Street, Belzan has since been deservedly shown some national food critic love. It’s only got a small number of covers, but small is beautiful, with a focus on local ingredients presented with flair. Plenty of vegan choices and two words to remember: burnt cheesecake …
If you’re back from a Spanish summer holiday, and really wish you were still there, then Neon Jamon is the place to go for authentic tapas right up there with any you’ll find. On Smithdown Place for the last seven years, this a fun night with friends or family, digging in to a table full of meats, fish, veggie, cheeses and charcuterie.
A near neighbour to Neon Jamon, East Z East is one for lovers of genuine Punjabi cuisine that won’t break the bank but will have your tastebuds zinging. Look out for the speciality meat, vegetarian or seafood kaharis, traditional desi dishes, and if you’ve got a decent-sized appetite then it’s worth giving the saffron biriyanis a go.
The Elephant is a landmark in Woolton Village, and since celeb chef – and top Scouser – Simon Rimmer and his business partner took over five years ago it’s become one of the city’s finest foodie pubs. There are regular one-off events where Simon pops up with his chef’s apron on, and it’s a very good call for Sunday roast.
Remember L’Alouette, from back in the day on Lark Lane, when it was pretty much the number one restaurant in Liverpool? Well you can relive those glory days thanks to Dave Roberts, head chef at the intimate Caveau in Woolton village which creates an absolutely top-class French dining experience. C’est tres magnifique!
Fittingly at number one Church Road, Spire is amongst the very best in south Liverpool and it’s got the awards to prove it. Serving modern British and European dishes, its success is down to a winning combination of imaginative food and superb service. Everything’s recommended, but the prix fixe dinner is excellant value.
The new boy in Allerton Road’s ever-growing scene, East River is a welcome addition whether it’s food or just drinks you fancy. It goes the distance from breakfast and brunch, through to street food buns and speciality bagels, plus small plates, salads and bowls. And there’s churros, with salted caramel sauce, which could never be a bad thing.
For the south Liverpool version of Italian cooking, like mama used to make (or she would have, if she’d been from Amalfi not Allerton), Cucina di Vincenzo is a must-go. Eating here feels like a joyous celebration, overseen by people with a genuine love of food. Try Orecchiette Vincenzo, or the Ravioli Cacio e Pepe for a real treat.
Go here for pizza and you’ll never not eat your crusts again. The team in Woolton Village reckon they serve the best pizzas in town and who’s to argue? They’re straight from the wood-fired oven, all made with fresh ingredients and there are five different bases to choose from including a healthy five-grain, and detoxing black charcoal.
Near The Tavern, in a part of Smithdown that’s getting busier by the week, Maggie Fu is an independent family-owned restaurant specialising in Asian street food. They’ve built up a big devoted following – in real life and on Instagram – thanks to dishes like their salt and pepper chicken and super-popular king prawn pad thai.
Still on Smithdown, Tiger Rock is the place to go for cool East Asian flavour-packed ‘hawker’ food, served in either small plates or big bowls. It’s a casual place to spend the night with mates, sharing lots of different Malaysian and Thai specialities, and they have a dedicated bellini menu as well which is enough to get anyone bonus points.
Perfect for breakfast, brunches and long lunches, Neighbourhood Café is the kind of neighbour anyone would love to find on their doorstep. It’s a great meeting place, and it supports local producers with a freshly made menu, including daily specials. Mains include Hood 3-egg omelettes, and the superfood salads are especially good.
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