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In the Eighties and Nineties, it became home to local football superstars and had the nightspots to match. Then Formby lost it buzz when popular venues like Shorrocks Hill and The Gallery closed and empty shops littered the main village.
But with new bars, cafes and restaurants, the buzz is back.
Here’s our guide to some of our favourite independents.
The Beer Station
The perfect spot for a cooling drink following a walk on the beach, this family run micro pub is ideally placed opposite Freshfield train station. Heaven for real ale lovers, there is also a good range of wines, lager and spirits and you can grab fish and chips from the Good Catch across the road and eat them in the outdoor area while you watch the world go by.
This up-market breakfast and coffee spot in Freshfield recently added an ice cream hut to its offering and from the full tables nestled under the massive canopy, it’s clearly very popular.
Kitty’s Tea Room
A firm favourite for the last few years, you will find traditional breakfast, tasty toasties and a range of tempting cakes in this cute tea room. But be quick – Kitty is retiring and the café won’t be in its Freshfield spot forever.
Enjoy some of the best Indian meals with a modern twist in this spotless and friendly restaurant. For fish lovers, the Machli Molee seafood curry is a must.
Next door to the the Shantii, if you love Middle Eastern cuisine, this is the place for you. There is also a tapas bar attached that does midweek offers on cocktails and food.
Le Bistro Moulin
Great French food at good prices, the £19.95 two course menu is a must if you fancy a midweek treat. And the crème brûlée is to die for.
If ice cream and waffles are your thing, then head to Delish. The toasties with a generous portion of salad on the side are also a firm favourite and as a licensed café you can enjoy a glass of wine while you tuck in.
Gees is quite rightly regarded as one of the best brunch spots in Formby. With outdoor tables and great staff, you can while away an hour enjoying your full English or poached eggs and avocado.
This cosy family run café serves great breakfasts and lunch as well as gorgeous cakes and pies from Satterthwaites bakery. Keep an eye out for special weekend tapas nights that run from time to time – you won’t be disappointed.
The Tin Shed
This family run spot opened mid pandemic but nothing could stop it becoming one of Formby’s favourite watering holes. There’s always a friendly welcome from the team and a great range of beers to choose from.
With sushi, steaks and more on offer, this upmarket restaurant also boasts a lovely pavement café area where you can sip a glass of something cold from the impressive wine and beer list.`
A Formby institution, genuine Italian cooking in atmospheric surroundings. It’s hard to pick a favourite from the menu. Make sure you check out the specials too. Good value for great food. Generations of Formby diners can’t be wrong.
This upmarket coffee house is also a licensed evening bar. Its gorgeous window displays are always a local talking point with quality food and drinks to match.
Tucked away down a side street off the main drag, make sure you seek out this local gem. With home cooked food and cakes baked on the premises it’s homely and great value too.
The new kid on the block, housed in a former bank this upmarket bar and café has live music at the weekend and so far is proving a popular addition.
A firm favourite in Formby for years, Woodwards offers live music at the weekends to accompany its cocktail and drinks menu. Light snacks are on offer during the day and the pavement café is a great spot for people watching.
Ajab Gajab Café
With Indian street food and a bar open from 12 noon daily, it is worth climbing the steps up to this modern spot in the Gallery building.
The Hilal Balti House
A Formby institution, conveniently situated in the village, good value in quirky surroundings. The Lamb Shashlick comes highly recommended.
Great pizza, pasta and more. The restaurant made the most of lockdown by adding an outdoors shaded area. A great spot for Sunday lunch too.
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