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Your guide to Castle Street in 2023

2 days ago

By The Guide Liverpool

<strong>Your guide to Castle Street in 2023</strong>

From its fascinating history – it has the oldest door front in Liverpool (McGuffie’s) – to its film star fame in big screen favourites like Florence Foster Jenkins with Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, Castle Street is a city scene stealer.

Headed by the Town Hall which signals the start of one of the busiest and most vibrant roads, Castle Street is a well-worn path for people heading into town or flocking to its popular bars and restaurants.

For, as well as an amazing heritage, Castle Street is creating a fabulous future, with food and drink venues and alfresco seating areas that have given it a European café-style vibe.

And with more to come, here’s where to head to on Castle Street this year…

Riva Blu

Whether you’re meeting your mates for a morning catch-up and Bottomless Brunch, getting the family together over a bowl of pasta, or getting glammed up for the evening to join the Cocktail Club, Riva Blu’s the perfect place.  Situated on the corner of Castle Street and Dale Street, it’s an authentic Italian restaurant. It’s in the beautiful Grade II listed building which used to be the Midland Bank, but these days it’s less about base rates and more about fabulous food from pastas and pizzas, to grills and fabulous fish dishes.

Book your table here.

Rudy’s

Once voted 10th best pizza restaurant in the world, Rudy’s is one of THE best places for fresh Neopolitan pizzas, and Castle Street was the first of three in the city (there’s now a Rudy’s in Bold Street and Albert Dock).  It specialises in fresh and traditional pizzas, following the artistry of pizza from Naples, and offering a relaxed and chilled atmosphere to enjoy them in.

Check it out here.

Point Blank Shooting

A state-of-the-art simulation shooting range launched in the former basement site of Olive, there are no real-life targets or graphic imagery, it’s all about speed and accuracy, giving you a chance to test your aim and trigger reflexes against your mates or your own personal best. You can get a drink or a bite to eat, with American classics likes pizzas and wings, and an extensive drinks menu including cocktails. 

Book in here.

Castle Street Townhouse

Since it launched six years ago, Castle Street Townhouse has become the heart of this great destination area, whether you’ve arranged cocktails with the girls, a romantic meal for two with your other half, or a fun night out with the family. You can’t beat its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, great food and drink – it’s Sunday Roast is a must – it’s amazing pavement seating area, surrounded by twinkling lights (and outdoor heaters!), and regular live music.

Check it out here.

San Carlo 

Popular with a few famous faces, this classy Italian serves all of your favourite dishes with fresh fish a speciality and a great grill section on the menu too – and it’s about to get even better. The restaurant on the corner of Castle Street and Cook Street is closed for around 12 weeks while it undergoes a £3.5million makeover to become the first of San Carlo’s new-look venues. Watch this space!

San Carlo

Book your table right here.

Salthouse Bacaro

Offering small plates with meat, fish and veggie dishes, to little pizzas, breads and desserts, you’ll rarely see this restaurant anything other than full. It’s another perfect place for any occasion, like a night out with friends and family for food or just a glass of wine or beer. The vibe is always chilled and the staff super-friendly.

Bacaro

Check it out here.

Bouchon

And, from the people who brought us Bacaro, is this French Bistro in what used to be Ruby & Rocket. It aims – and succeeds – in offering comfort food at decent prices throughout the day, and a busy bar where people can gather for food, drink, and chat. Menu highlights include oysters, classic French onion soup, charcuterie boards, and Sole Meunière, and delicious puds like tarte tatin and chocolate fondant. 

Take a peak.

Neighbourhood

Drink, dance, and dine, says Neighbourhood. ‘Grit meets glam’ with a globally-inspired menu and trendsetting cocktails. Famed for a party atmosphere with live entertainment every weekend, it’s got bottomless brunches, bottomless roasts, and bottle tables for big nights out (and a Happy Hour to brag about).

Book your table here.

Liverpool Gin Distillery

Set across four floors, Liverpool Gin Distillery offers visitors the chance to see its distillers in action – it produces its own Liverpool Gin on-site in a custom-built 600ltr copper still – while relaxing with a drink at the bar or taking a tour and making their own bottle of gin. It also has dark spirits from all over the world, whisky tastings, and a kitchen which boasts handmade pizzas, tapas, flat breads, and nibbles. 

Check it out here.

Co.Co.

Co.Co. is a new speciality coffee and cocktail venue on Castle Street. Serving fresh coffee and delicious fresh pastries from local independent bakers from 10am, it transforms into a relaxing and inviting bar at night offering expertly made cocktails.

Co.Co Castle Street

Take a peak.

Bobo

Serving Spanish and Portuguese-inspired drinks and snacks, menu highlights of this Iberian wine café include chorizo sausage rolls, fresh pastel de nata custard tarts, charcuterie and cheese boards, and jugs of sparkling sangria. With contemporary art and prints on rendered walls, it’s a modern take on the traditional tapas bar – and it does a weekend bottomless brunch with a twist.

BoBo

Have a look.

Viva Brazil

A meat-eaters’ paradise where you can enjoy a meal that’s a bit of an occasion – and a lot of fun. Passadors (meat carvers) move from table to table, offering cuts of meats all slow-roasted over a charcoal barbeque and expertly carved at the table. You control the service with a small double-sided disc on your table: green tells the passadors to keep bringing meats, while red says you’d like to take a break. 

Book your slot here.

Sanctuary Tap

If a pie and a pint is what you’re after then this is your Castle Street go-to, a small and cosy bar with a real pub feel. It’s got comfort food and really good prices, there’s live music in the evenings, welcoming staff – and a decent pint from Hawkshead Brewery.

Check it out.

Pasta Cosa

If a candlelit dinner is what you’re after then Pasta Cosa might not be for you, but if good Italian food at affordable prices is on the menu, then you can knock yourself out. It was launched in 2016 to offer just that with fresh pasta made to order and created ‘with a little bit of love’. It’s basic, bright and delightfully casual – and very busy.

Book a table here.

McGuffie’s

Proving the old adage, they don’t make diamonds the size of bricks, McGuffie’s is a small but beautifully created cocktail and coffee bar behind that ‘oldest shop front’ (it still bears the name of pharmacist John Rowland McGuffie who took over the shop in around 1840). If there was an award for cosiest venue, this would be right up there, and it’s got wine, cocktails, and the perfectly-pulled pint.

Take a look.

Black Barrel

The Black Barrel rum bar was inspired and created to give an introduction to the world of rum. You can expect everything from white rums, to deep caramelised sipping rums, as well as versatile punchy rums like Dead Man’s Fingers – alongside a Caribbean and Latin-inspired small plates food menu to go with them, a laid-back vibe, and live music.

Check it out here.

So Salsa

Another family-run restaurant adding to the mix of eateries on Castle Street, this time with quality fresh tapas dishes from cuisines across the globe, not just Spain. So Salsa first opened its doors in 2010 in Crosby, and over the last decade the restaurant has grown, leading to a new chapter and the second So Salsa which is creating a new fun and friendly vibe in the city and ‘aiming to always exceed customer expectations’.

Take a peak here.

iStay Apartments

If you want to stay in the middle of the action, spring/summer should see the opening of new iStay apartments in Castle Street. The group’s newest development will see a planned 33 apartments in a Grade II listed building at 17-21 Castle Street.  Each apartment will have quality accommodation and contemporary decor which respects the listed features. There’ll also be a lounge and boutique working area, with food and drink, on the ground floor.

And not quite Castle Street, but if you’re a super steak fan, only just round the corner are:

Hawksmoor

Ranked number one in the ‘World’s Best Steak Restaurants’, it’s famous for its charcoal grilled, 35-day dry aged steaks, award-winning cocktails, and spectacular interiors. It arrived in Liverpool in November and you’ll find it in the iconic Grade II-listed India Buildings.

Hawksmoor
Credit: Hawksmoor

Book a table here.

Gaucho

This award-winning steak restaurant has also opened its doors in the city at No 7 Water Street. The company’s invested a seven-figure sum to renovate the Grade II-listed building and create a stunning interior with a real wow factor, which matches the superb service and supreme steak experience.

Credit: Gaucho

Book your table.

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