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Chermoula carrots at Maray restaurant in Liverpool
Photograph: Maray

The 22 best restaurants in Liverpool you need to try

From stunning high-rise date spots to street food gems, here are the best restaurants in Liverpool to book right now

Rob Martin
Written by
Rob Martin

Whether you’re looking for a high-end dining experience with views of the Mersey, or a bustling veggie restaurant with tantalising plates to share with pals, Liverpool’s diverse and fast-expanding food scene delivers. Liverpool's international maritime heritage has informed so much of its culture, and here you’ll find cuisine from across the world, from Europe to Asia and on to America.

There’s food for every budget, too, whether you’re looking for simple street food to a blowout afternoon tea. So, if you’re hungry after a day exploring the city’s myriad brilliant things to do, here’s our ultimate guide to the best restaurants in Liverpool right now.

Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList. You can find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews restaurants here.

Best restaurants in Liverpool

What is it? Food, marvellous food in a historic Victorian building.

Why go? The Art School Restaurant is housed in what used to be a ‘home for destitute children’ in Victorian times. But these days you’re more likely to be chomping on a cheeseboard than writing on a chalkboard. The Art School Restaurant is all about exquisite, beautifully-prepared British cooking. We liked the twice-baked cheese soufflé with baby leaf spinach, Ormskirk leek and Wirral watercress, and the sumptuous roast breast of Scottish grouse with thyme-scented honey.

What is it? British produce transformed into photo-worthy dishes by a MasterChef winner.

Why go? Röski is the one for diners who’d like to sample the ‘next big thing’ in the food world. It’s headed by Anton Piotrowski, a former winner of MasterChef: The Professionals, and the menu makes inventive use of homegrown British ingredients. Everything’s immaculately presented – so bring your camera.


Panoramic 34

What is it? Get a head for heights and enjoy dinner with a view at Liverpool’s sky-high restaurant.

Why go? This should be your go-to if you’re looking to impress a date. Only problem is, you’re likely to get distracted by the views. Panoramic 34’s killer location on the thirty-fourth floor of the West Tower is the perfect match for its impeccable modern European menu.

The London Carriage Works

What is it? Popular Liverpool restaurant ideal for a graduation meal or afternoon tea.

Why go? The London Carriage Works is a name that regularly comes up if you ask locals what their favourite restaurant is. With a focus on produce from across the North-West, their menu is European fine dining done with simplicity and flair.

Time Out tip: If you’re in the market for something less fancy and more comforting, book in for afternoon tea and start dolloping on that clotted cream.


What is it? Italian deli, restaurant and cookery school.

Why go? This wonderful eatery, tucked away from the main Duke Street drag, is all you'd hope for from an excellent Italian restaurant. It offers great food, wine, coffee and desserts, whether you want a full three courses or you're just stopping by for a tasty afternoon snack. What makes it extra special are the Italian cooking classes you can join. Make your own pasta, your own sauce and then eat it. Genius! 

What is it? Beautifully crafted small plates (and some of the best veggie food in Liverpool).

Why go? Maray was born when a group of friends decided to bring the atmosphere of the fashionable Marais neighbourhood in Paris to Liverpool. Serving small plates inspired by Middle Eastern flavours, this trendy and intimate restaurant takes plant-based cooking to a whole new level. Maray also offers a tantalising selection of meat and fish dishes.


What is it? A bistro and bar that couldn’t be better located for a pre-theatre snack.

Why go? Before opening The Pen Factory, Paddy Byrne and Tom Gill ran the bistro at the Everyman theatre. They’ve now shifted just next door with this new endeavour, meaning they should still be your go-to pre-theatre option. The menu leans towards sharing plates, and if a whole bottle of wine is a but much pre-play play, try one of their many craft beers or ales instead.

What is it? Lebanese and Moroccan kitchen.

Why go? Now joined with its former neighbour Kasbah Café Bazaar, Backchich offers a wonderful mix of Lebanese and Morrocan cuisine. The staff always treat you as though you’re a guest at their own family table and the food is wholesome and bursting with flavour (think falafel, tabbouleh, hummus and shakshuka). It’s sure to warm you to the core if you visit on one of Liverpool’s frequent colder days.


What is it? Bright and bold Indian street food.

Why go? Mowgli was set up to challenge the idea that British ‘Indian food’ is limited to the high-calorie naans and chicken tikka masala you’ll find on hundreds of high streets. This is Indian food done the traditional way, and the long, diverse menu is full of healthy and aromatic options, with a particular emphasis on food for veggies and vegans.

 Down the Hatch

What is it? Veggie junk food for when you want to over-indulge.

Why go? Down the Hatch does veggie junk with a vengeance. Burgers, wraps, mac and cheese – you’re heading for a very happy seitan, tofu and halloumi food coma here. 

The Egg Café

What is it? Enter through the bright purple arch on Newington and you’ll find this lively, lovely vegan café.

Why go? Split over two levels in an old Victorian warehouse, this inviting vegan joint boasts a colourful menu of pasta, pitta sandwiches, fry-ups and stir-fries to suit all plant-lovers out there. The vast, open-plan café also doubles as a gallery.

What is it? A true taste of Italy – in one of the city’s homeliest restaurants.

Why go? If you want a restaurant that combines character and charm with brilliant pizza and pasta, then hotfoot it to the Italian Club. With its high ceilings and walls adorned with vintage maps, this much-loved Bold Street institution feels at once understated and lived-in. It also offers some of the best Italian food in the North West.

Time Out tip: Check out the vegan menu and gluten-free options to ensure no one misses out on a great meal.

Sapporo Teppanyaki

What is it? A Japanese restaurant where you can watch your (very delish) dinner being cooked right in front of you.

Why go? Sapporo Teppanyaki has three restaurants in England, but its first was in Liverpool. The open kitchen cooks a sizzling mix of traditional Japanese recipes (with a handful of western additions). Tuck into a steaming pile of yakisoba noodles or go lighter with sushi. Sake or Japanese whiskey is, naturally, a must.

Salt House

What is it? For a chilled-out, chatter-filled dinner, the Salt House has the tapas to keep you going all night.

Why go? Love tapas but bored of patatas bravas? Liverpool’s Salt House gives you the option (actually, loads of options) of ordering tapas done a little bit differently. Spanish flavours still rule, but the chefs don’t limit themselves to Iberia entirely. Instead, you get a thoroughly modern mash-up of international influences and ideas.


What is it? A New York-style pizzeria for when you need melted cheese and you need it stat.

Why go? Nothing says a trip to the Big Apple like a big slice of… oh hang on, you’re in Liverpool. Never mind, if you head to TriBeCa for pizza you can easily pretend you're Stateside and get your fix of garlic bread, olives, calzone and all the other good stuff (including a fair few veggie options).

What is it? A gorgeous, Italian-inspired restaurant in the Georgian Quarter.

Why go? Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter must be one of the prettiest parts of the city, and its namesake restaurant fits right in with its chic décor and laid-back atmosphere. Quarter’s menu offers the likes of fresh stonebaked pizzas, mezze-style grazing dishes and sharing boards that are so good you won’t actually want to share. Try to save room for dessert – their ice cream sundaes (including vegan options) are gloriously extravagant.

Hanover Street Social Brasserie and Bar

What is it? Quality modern European food in an unpretentious setting.

Why go? It’s all in the name at the Hanover Street Social Brasserie and Bar. When you want to catch up with a group of friends – and share some fancy food – book a table here. You’ve got the option of a three-course menu and wine, or a quick lunch, but whichever route you go down you won’t feel inhibited by a stuffy atmosphere.

What is it? Intimate Japanese restaurant you need to book for.

Why go? Etsu’s not the biggest of restaurants, which is partly what makes it a brilliant place an intimate meal. Book in advance and secure a table to enjoy its extensive restaurant. Wash a Japanese curry or a plate of ultra-fresh sushi down with Sochu.

Almost Famous

What is it? All-American burgers.

Why go? These tasty, tasty burgers might well make you temporarily lose all memory of table manners as you try, desperately, to cram one into your mouth. It might not be a first-date venue (unless you look your best with bacon ketchup on your chin) and they could certainly do with more veggie choices but this is, quite simply, burger brilliance. 

American Pizza Slice

What is it? American-style pizza that hits the spot after a long, boozy afternoon with mates.

Why go? You popped out after work to get ‘just one drink’ with a friend, but somehow that turned into two and two turned into three and three… well, now you’re really hungry and there’s zero chance you’re cooking. So you go to American Pizza Slice and guzzle the biggest, cheesiest slices of pizza you can pick up. Satisfied? Yes.


What is it? Classy Italian restaurant just around the corner from the Tate Liverpool.

Why go? Liverpool is a great city for a culture fix. But all that self-improvement can be hungry work, making Gusto, which overlooks the Tate, a handy option for quality dining after a gallery visit. There’s affordable set-price lunch and dinner menus, and they accept bookings for large tables.

What is it? A family-friendly restaurant serving Indian and Nepalese food.

Why go? Much more than your bog-standard British Indian restaurant, Saffron’s baltis, bhunas and chef specials come packed with flavour. There’s a lot of great seafood and vegetarian options too – something for everyone, hopefully.

Time Out tip: If you can't decide what to order, try the tandoori khajana – a selection of chicken, lamb and king prawns served in a sizzling sauce with naan.

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If the best things supposedly come in small packages, then our favourite treat meal – the hallowed afternoon tea – is doing nothing to disprove the theory. A decadent delight of finger sandwiches and tiny cakes, the only thing that should be bigger than your palm here is the lashings of prosecco served up on the side. 

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