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24 Locals that have changed the game of the Liverpool food and drink scene 

7 days ago

By Chris Grundy

24 Locals that have changed the game of the Liverpool food and drink scene 
24 locals who have changed the game of the Liverpool Food and drink scene

Get ready to explore the vibrant culinary landscape of Liverpool like never before! In this spotlight, we’re celebrating the heroes of our food and drink industry.

From innovative chefs and visionary restaurateurs to dedicated artisans, these individuals have left an indelible mark on the Liverpool food and drink scene. 

Check out these 24 remarkable locals who have redefined the city’s food and drink scene:

Baltic Market 

Liverpool food and drink scene - Credit: Baltic Market
Liverpool food and drink scene – Credit: Baltic Market

Baltic Market caters to diverse tastes, from the fussiest of friends to selective eaters, enthusiastic vegans to carnivorous connoisseurs, gluten-free diners, and those who are always hungry. 

Brought to us by Oliver Press (Independent Liverpool, PRESS BROS) and Tim Haggis (Hafla Hafla). Together they brought our city the market we never knew we needed. Paving the way for others to do the same concept. 

Bringing together independents from across the city into a urban style market. The food lineup is ever-evolving, but you can expect a wide variety, including stone-baked pizzas, tantalising halloumi fries, mouthwatering fried chicken, a delectable dessert bar, a well-stocked gin bar, and everything in between. 

On Saturday nights, you’ll often find a live band setting the stage or their resident DJ spinning some tunes to keep the atmosphere buzzing.

‘The Baltic’ is one of the most popular destinations in Liverpool, and certainly helped towards putting the Baltic Triangle on the map! 

Find out more here.


Nisha Katona. Credit: Yuki Sugiura/Peter Goodbody/PA.
Nisha Katona. Credit: Yuki Sugiura/Peter Goodbody/PA.

Nisha Katona’s insatiable passion was to create a restaurant that serves the authentic flavours of Indian home and street food, a vision that led her to establish Mowgli in 2014, after giving up her two-decade career as a Barrister. 

Born to Indian immigrant doctors in Ormskirk, Nisha wears multiple hats at Mowgli, serving as the founder, CEO, executive, and development chef of Mowgli Street Food restaurants. 

The very first Mowgli sprang to life on Liverpool’s Bold Street, followed by another in Manchester less than a year later. Nisha’s commitment to growth goes beyond business; she envisions Mowgli as a means to enhance lives in the cities they touch. 

This is achieved by creating job opportunities in a nurturing work environment, contributing to communities through charitable initiatives, and spreading the warmth of an authentic Indian home kitchen. 

Each year The Mowgli Trust raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity. Through The Mowgli Trust they sponsor a child in need for every full-time employee that they recruit. 

Through the Trust they currently donate up to £500k a year to their carefully chosen charitable partners.

Find out more here.

Stella Ice Cream & Desserts 

Liverpool food and drink scene. Credit: Stella Ice Cream and Desserts
Liverpool food and drink scene. Credit: Stella Ice Cream and Desserts

While the typical Brit indulges in nearly 9 litres of ice cream annually, you might be surprised to learn that one of the UK’s most renowned ice cream producers is situated right here, on our very own doorstep! 

Stella Ice Cream has been delighting taste buds with their delectable ice cream and frozen treats for many decades, and have recently marked their 20th year at their Knowsley location.

The Mancuso family have been involved in the ice cream trade for over 65 years, first serving up ice-cream from a hatch in the window of his café on Lodge Lane. What followed was a business which has now grown and diversified to become one of the North-West’s most respected operations.  

Although as an individual you cannot buy from them direct, you most probably have tried some of their tasty treats over the years, remember them larger and lime lolly ices off the Ice-cream man… yes that’s Stella! 

Find out more here.


Liverpool food and drink scene.
Liverpool food and drink scene. Credit: PICNIC

Launched in 2017 by its founders, Lauren and Sam, Picnic started as a health-conscious food delivery service. 

The brand quickly gained a following among locals, thanks to its stints at the Baltic Market and Grand Central Food Bazaar. In 2019, they expanded further by opening their first permanent restaurant on Smithdown Road. 

Sustainability is a key focus for Picnic. All ingredients are ethically sourced, 80% of the menu is vegetarian or vegan and all takeaway packaging is biodegradable or compostable, they focus on convenient, fast food with added health benefits. 

PICNIC has been named best in the North West and will represent the region in the national final of the Uber Eats Restaurant Awards 2023. After making the top 10 back in 2022, they will once again compete with nine other restaurants for the national title, with the overall winner set to receive £100,000 to invest in their restaurant. 

The final will take place in London where the PICNIC team will meet and cook for industry experts including returning judge Bake Off’s Prue Leith, Chef Monica Galetti and Uber Eats General Manager Matthew Price. The overall winner will be revealed in October.

With a second restaurant opening in West Derby later this year, the team at PICNIC are already growing their brand to make their food accessible to even more customers.

Find out more here.

Papercup Project / Paper Cup Coffee 

Liverpool food and drink scene. Papercup project - (Michelle Langan centre)
Liverpool food and drink scene. Papercup project – (Michelle Langan centre)

Papercup Project is a Liverpool based charity, which aims to help rough sleepers and the homeless. It was founded 2015 by Michelle Langan, as a response to the growing homelessness crisis. In 2019, Papercup Project was award official charity status. 

They offer food, hot drinks, clothes and more importantly, support and advice. Their group signposts people towards the right services and support. 

The Papercup Project is made up of volunteers, who give up their time every week to help those in need, all year round.

Their coffee shop in Queen Square has a pay it forward initiative so you can give back to the community for those in need. Working with their partner training provider, The Learning Foundry, Paper Cup Coffee offers a chance to for people experiencing homelessness to develop skills, earn qualifications and build their confidence via a supported training programme based in the coffee shop. 

They are the only place in the Liverpool City Region offering this unique support!

Papercup can only continue the work they do with your continued support – Whether a one off donation or you’re looking for a cause to support regularly you can check out their JustGiving page here

Farm Urban 

Liverpool food and drink scene. Credit: Farm Urban
Liverpool food and drink scene. Credit: Farm Urban

Farm Urban is a social enterprise based in Brunswick, that focuses on promoting sustainable urban agriculture and food innovation. 

The organisation’s primary goal is to create a more sustainable and resilient food system within urban areas while also addressing broader issues related to food security, climate change, and community engagement. 

Farm Urban operates innovative vertical farming systems that allow them to grow a variety of crops in urban environments, using minimal space and resources. 

They place a strong emphasis on education and community engagement. They offer a range of programs and workshops to schools, community groups, and individuals interested in learning about sustainable agriculture, urban farming, and healthy eating habits. 

By growing fresh produce in urban areas, Farm Urban contributes to local food production, reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting food from distant farms. This also helps address food deserts and promotes access to healthy, locally sourced produce.  

Through their educational programs and community engagement, Farm Urban strives to empower local communities to take an active role in urban agriculture and sustainable living. They aim to inspire individuals to make healthier food choices and become more conscious of their environmental impact.

Find out more here.

ThinK Wine Group

Think Wine
Think Wine

In 2020, Kath Jones, the visionary behind ThinK, embarked on a two-year journey dedicated to crafting a Prosecco and Pinot Grigio Sparkling Rose that offers reduced calories and sugar content without sacrificing flavour. 

Inspired by her own sugar-related challenges, she recognised the absence of enjoyable low-sugar bubbly options in the market. This realisation fuelled her determination to create not only a solution for herself but also for others like you!  

Quality and taste means everything to them. Being Prosecco drinkers themselves, they’re so happy to be able to share their reduced calorie wines to other sparkling wine fans. 

ThinK Wine Group, a distinguished company based in Liverpool, and has earned numerous awards for its exceptional products. 

Their wines originate from Italy, crafted using the finest Treviso grapes, skilfully blended to produce exquisite wines. These wines not only offer a delightful palate but also boast refreshing, health-conscious benefits.

Find out more here.

Zest Limoncello

Credit: Zest Limoncello
Credit: Zest Limoncello

Andy Oyeneyin and Seamus Sullivan founded Zest Limoncello in 2020, becoming Merseyside’s only limoncello producer and supplier, and have taken the city by storm — with their range now in over 40 bars and restaurants. 

After experimenting with limoncello during lockdowns, the two cocktail barmen created the unique brand — offering a number of flavours such as original, lime, blood orange and blackberry. Most popular as a refreshing spritz (with Prosecco and soda), they have caused quite the ‘stir’ and have been endorsed by celebrity chef Paul Askew and Dragon’s Den star John Tague.

Zest Limoncello supplies to some of Liverpool’s most reputable hospitality venues, such as Barnacle, The Art School, Luca and Justino’s, and many businesses say it has been a unique selling point. From just £13 per bottle and enjoyed either straight, on the rocks, in a spritz or in a cocktail, demand has increased due to its overwhelming popularity.

Andy and Seamus use the finest fresh fruit in their limoncello and have become a zero waste business — using the fruit syrup and skins to make seasoning, sauces, candles and wax melts. They also have a policy of giving customers £1 back for returned bottles — of which there are many due to it flying out!

Find out more here.

Down The Hatch

Down The Hatch
Down The Hatch

Down The Hatch (DTH) are redefining vegan food and pushing the boundaries with their 100% plant based home cooked soul food. Everything is 100% plant based, from their generous food menu to their cocktail specials. 

DTH was the first place in Liverpool to offer vegan junk food, and have gone on to win numerous awards, not just in Liverpool but the UK. Most recently they picked up the award for ‘Best Vegan Friendly Restaurant’ at the British Restaurant Awards. 

DTH is now also home to Britain’s first vegan chippy – the unforgettably named Woo Tan Scran – who relocated from their Lark Lane premises earlier this year. 

Find out more here.

The Fermentation Station 

The Fermentation Station
Credit: The Fermentation Station

The Fermentation Station (TFS) was born from a hobby at home to pass the long periods through lockdown.

The food & drink business is based in Merseyside & was founded by local couple Amy Yarker & Sam Watson during the 2020 pandemic. 

They are purveyors of fermented food & drinks which are small-batch, gut-loving and sustainably focused. 

Less than two years since launching The Fermentation Station has gone from strength to strength with their award-winning bread and butter pickles & sauerkraut being one of their most sought-after products. 

Whilst alternative fermenters are choosing to pasteurise their products or use inauthentic substrates to speed up their ferments, TFS has a ‘Probiotic Pledge’ ensuring that every product that leaves their kitchen will be packed with Live Bacterial Goodness. 

They’re committed to leaving as little environmental impact on our planet as possible, that’s why they work seasonally, and also why they work hard to ensure that their packaging is recyclable and/or compostable.

Find out more here.

Liverpool Food Network 

Louise Kissack
Louise Kissack

Liverpool Food Network (LFN) is the city’s first dedicated network to support food suppliers and independent hospitality businesses across the region.

Created by Louise Kissack, the networks aim is to support, promote, and connect businesses through personalised introductions, updates and events. 

Louise had previously spent over a decade travelling the world working for global brands including McDonald’s and Costa Coffee. 

Having worked in France, Russia, Mexico and Vietnam, she found potential in her home city of Liverpool and wants local businesses to benefit from the knowledge and network she’s built along the way.  

LFN members can also access business advice and discounted rates from some of the hospitality industry’s leading professionals including accountants, photographers, graphic designers, equipment suppliers, and food safety consultants.

Find out more here.

The Art School Restaurant

Chef Patron Paul Askew. Credit: The Art School
Chef Patron Paul Askew. Credit: The Art School

Paul Askew best known for his role as the Chef Patron at The Art School Restaurant. The restaurant, located in a stunning Victorian building, offers a fine dining experience with a focus on modern British cuisine. 

The Art School has received critical acclaim and awards for its culinary excellence over the years. 

Paul is known for his dedication to using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in his dishes. He is a strong advocate for supporting local suppliers and showcasing the rich culinary heritage of Liverpool and the North West of England. 

His commitment to the food industry and the Liverpool community has earned him a respected place in the culinary world.

Find out more here.

Simon Rimmer 

Liverpool food and drink scene. Simon Rimmer. Credit Lydia Wakelam
Liverpool food and drink scene. Simon Rimmer. Credit Lydia Wakelam

Simon Rimmer gained widespread recognition through his television career, which includes appearances on various cooking and food-related shows. One of his most prominent roles has been as the co-host of the popular Channel 4 show “Sunday Brunch,” which he presented alongside Tim Lovejoy.  

He has owned and operated several restaurants in the UK, which have contributed to the local food scene. His establishments often showcase his culinary expertise and unique take on British cuisine. 

Simon is also a consultant for Mission Mars who are the business behind brands such as Rudy’s and Albert’s Schloss.

He is also an advocate for vegetarian and vegan food, after setting up Greens with his friend and business partner, Simon Connolly over 30 years ago. 

Find out more here.

Graffiti Spirits Group Hospitality


Graffiti Spirits Group is an award-winning independent hospitality group with venues in Liverpool and Manchester.

Founded by Matt Farrell and John Ennis, these guys are responsible for brands such as Duke Street Market, NORD, Bold Street Coffee, and Salt Dog Slims. 

Matt is keen to elevate Liverpool as one of the UK’s leading hubs for gastronomic excitement and excellence, he’s passionate about new trends, local produce, and offering locals and visitors the perfect balance between quality and cool. 

With a passion for rare spirits and an in-depth knowledge of drinks garnered from extensive research trips around the world, John oversees the innovative cocktails, enviable drinks collections, quirky trends and impeccable service that has become synonymous with their bars. 

Find out more here.


Liverpool food and drink scene. Candice Fonseca
Liverpool food and drink scene. Candice Fonseca

Candice Fonseca began her career in the TV and film industry and as a consequence she lived and worked in a range of cities across the UK. 

It was during her travels that she realised that her way of shopping was vastly different to most people’s supermarket buying habits. So, after moving to Liverpool and noticing a gap in the market, the idea of opening a deli was sparked and Delifonseca was established in 2006.

Delifonseca is now renowned for an array of local produce and unusual titbits from speciality cheeses, coffee, wines and spirits, chocolate and much more. Whether customers are coming in for a treat or their weekly shop, they will find everything they need under one roof.

Find out more here.

Gabriella’s Kitchen 

Liverpool food and drink scene. Gabriella Margiotta
Liverpool food and drink scene. Gabriella Margiotta

Gabriella Margiotta was born and grew up in Southport. She holds the position of sous chef at her father’s renowned restaurant, Cucina Di Vincenzo, located in South Liverpool. Her culinary talents earned her a spot as a semi-finalist in the most recent season of MasterChef: The Professionals.

Gabriella is extremely popular on social media, sharing her recipes and cooking techniques with her followers to inspire them to more creative in the kitchen. 

You can follow Gabriella on Instagram here


Liverpool food and drink scene. Lunya
Liverpool food and drink scene. Lunya

Peter and Elaine Kinsella, are the duo behind the culinary gem Lunya. 

Together, they embarked on a journey to create a vibrant space where their shared love for food and drink takes center stage. Lunya is not just a restaurant; it’s a testament to their dedication, a showcase of their expertise, and a platform for spreading the joy of gastronomy to all who walk through its doors.

They source the finest artisan Catalan and Spanish ingredients and the highest quality local fresh ingredients for their deli, and are constantly striving for perfection. 

They also have their second site Lunya Lita which is located at the Royal Albert Dock. 

Find out more here.

Bay Tree Caterers & Cookery Academy CIC

Set up by Michelle O’Dwyer, Bay Tree is a Liverpool based organisation which provides support through cooking. 

Not only does Michelle provide an excellent catering service, she offers expert cookery classes for vulnerable people. During the pandemic she was hosting zoom cooking classes and providing recipe kits, so that people didn’t have to miss out.  

She is an advocate for food banks and helping those less fortunate. 

For more info click here.


Liverpool food and drink scene. Roski
Liverpool food and drink scene. Roski

Anton Piotrowski rose to prominence in 2012 when he won the prestigious cooking competition, “MasterChef: The Professionals.” His victory on the show catapulted him into the culinary spotlight and showcased his creative and innovative approach to cooking. 

Anton’s culinary style is characterised by a focus on modern British cuisine with innovative twists. He is known for his attention to detail, artistic presentation, and the use of unusual flavour combinations to create memorable dining experiences. 

Expect beautiful, creative cooking, exceptional drinks, and fantastic service – embodying a playful blend of tradition and innovation.

For more info click here.

Restaurant 8 

Liverpool food and drink scene. 8 restaurant
Liverpool food and drink scene. Andrew Sheridan

Chef-owner Andrew Sheridan relocated his immersive restaurant 8 from Birmingham to the heart of Liverpool, his hometown. 

The experience begins in the softly lit lounge, where you will enjoy meticulously crafted snacks and drinks. From there, guests descend to one of the two intimate, eight-seat counters, each accompanied by a dedicated chef. These culinary artists prepare dishes right before the diners, engaging in conversations about their creations, resulting in an immersive and interactive dining experience.

The cuisine draws inspiration from various corners of the world, offering a bold and distinctive flavour profile that showcases the utmost in quality ingredients as its foundation.

For more info click here.

Laura’s Little Bakery

It all began when the Laura Worthington’s eldest daughter requested birthday cupcakes back in 2010. Surprisingly, this marked Laura’s first step into baking. However, it quickly became apparent that there was a natural talent waiting to be unleashed. 

With a specialisation in delectable cupcakes and personalised celebration cakes, Laura’s Little Bakery (LLB) has become a go-to destination for those seeking sweet perfection for a variety of occasions, from birthdays to weddings and everything in between. 

LLB has been crafting delicious memories for almost 13 years, and Laura remains eternally grateful for the continued support of a community that has made her Little Bakery the epitome of quality cakes in Liverpool.

For more info click here.

Dave Critchely 

Liverpool food and drink scene. Chef Dave Critchley
Liverpool food and drink scene. Chef Dave Critchley

Chef Dave Critchley is a talented and accomplished chef known for his contributions to the Liverpool culinary scene. 

He embarked on his culinary journey at the young age of 15 and has since taken the helm at some of the North West’s most renowned restaurants. His impressive culinary career includes leadership roles at distinguished establishments such as Alma de Cuba (featured in the Michelin Guide), The Noble House (also listed in the Michelin Guide), and Australasia (another Michelin Guide honouree).

Prior to his role as Executive Chef Director at Lu Ban, Liverpool, Dave served as the Executive Head Chef at The London Carriage Works, the fine dining restaurant within the acclaimed Hope Street Hotel, boasting an impressive 2AA Rosette distinction and Michelin Guide recognition. 

Passion and determination are the defining characteristics of his craft, but beneath it all lies a meticulous attention to detail, a trait he imbibed from Master Wu, one of China’s most esteemed master chefs. 

Through a series of immersive visits to China, he had the privilege of studying under Master Wu, ultimately earning the honour of becoming his last apprentice. The profound teachings he received from Master Wu serve as an influence on his culinary creations, setting Lu Ban apart as a truly distinctive dining experience unlike any other in the country.

For more info click here.

Natalie Haywood

Natalie Haywood is the founder and Managing Director of the LEAF Group of companies based in Liverpool. Starting with £5k, she launched a small tea shop within a gallery almost 15 years ago. Since then, the company has grown to include a number of independent large multi-purpose venues across the city region, including OH MY OH MY and ONE FINE DAY, each hosting a multitude of public and private events alongside a wide-ranging daily offer of food and drinks.

The company’s ethos is Where There’s Tea There’s Hope also features a successful online and in-house tea shop selling tea around the world – almost 100 different varieties so far. The group currently has 180 employees and actively promotes working with local suppliers and partners.

Natalie has been in business from a young age. She started off working in her mother’s gift shop, and then as she grew older became fascinated with what makes people and customers tick. Natalie has a Business and Marketing Degree from Lancaster University.

On top of this, Natalie is active in the Liverpool hospitality scene, helping to create The Brink Café, the UK’s first dry bar (Patron: HRH The Duchess of Cambridge), sitting on the Business Improvement District board for many years and also helping Liverpool gain Purple Flag status (certificate of excellence managing the night-time economy).

For more info on LEAF click here.

Iain Hoskins 

Liverpool food and drink scene. Iain Hoskins
Liverpool food and drink scene. Iain Hoskins

Iain is responsible for bringing us three iconic Liverpool restaurants, Ma Boyle’s Alehouse and Eatery, Tempest on Tithebarn, and Nova Scotia. 

Ma Boyle’s, next to St. Nick’s Church, stands as a timeless alehouse and dining establishment that is over 150 years old. Meanwhile,Tempest on Tithebarn, brings a taste of New York-inspired charm to the scene, combining a trendy restaurant and vibrant bar experience, plus a stunning rooftop that is perfect in the Summer. 

Iain’s most recent establishment, Nova Scotia, is set in the stunning Mann Island building in the shadow of the spectacular Three Graces on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront Nova Scotia has the perfect location – the restaurant has utilised the extensive open-air drinking and dining space, as well as a beautiful interior restaurant and bar which looks out to the Museum of Liverpool and the city’s world-famous Docks. 

For more info on Ma Boyle’s click here.

For more info on Tempest click here.

For more info on Nova Scotia click here.

For more on the Liverpool food and drink scene click HERE.



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