Not just home to good business – Liverpool’s Commercial District is bustling with some of the best places to eat in the city. From fine dining Brazilian style to cool Scandinavian-inspired hangouts and the city’s best vegetarian curry house, there’s something to satiate all needs and budgets. Here’s our pick of the best places to eat – all of which are within a ten minute walk from either Moorfields or James Street stations.
From hygge to interior design and murder mysteries – Scandi cool is on trend, but, in reality, those Northern Stars have always been ahead of the curve. Enter HUS: the bar/restaurant/café/venue on Tithebarn Street (just a stone’s throw from Moorfields) has the cool exterior and the warm atmosphere to live up to its Scandi heritage. Basement supper clubs, roof terrace barbecues, book swapping nights – they welcome you to their ‘hus’. Their menu changes regularly but you can’t go wrong with their classic meatballs and fries or mash combo, or a smorgasbord to share. There’s also a dedicated vegan menu chockfull of delightful small plates. With a relaxed atmosphere, it’s perfect for a family dinner (dogs are welcome too), an evening out with your significant other, or a catch up with mates over a couple of craft beers.
This veggie eatery tucked around the corner from Moorfields on Bixteth Street is one of the best curry houses in the city, never mind the Commercial District. Meat-lovers won’t believe just how good their jackfruit curry is – from the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the South Indian fruit to the perfectly balanced mix of fragrant spices. We reckon it could convert the most voracious of meat-eaters (for one night only, at least). As well as offering Gujarati and Punjabi mains, their menu takes inspiration from Indian street food and you’ll be spoiled for choice with their selection of dosas, dumplings and loads of vegan options too. Try their take on a pizza – the uttapam – a rice and lentil based pancake topped with tomatoes and spices. We can also guarantee that at least one person in your party will feel compelled to ask for a recipe – these guys really know how to do a curry.
If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese dining experience in the city, Etsu, nestled between Brunswick Street and The Strand, will transport you to Tokyo’s backstreets with its array of Japanese delicacies. Between their three highly skilled Japanese chefs – who collectively share over 70 years of culinary experience – and their knowledgeable waiting staff who are on hand to answer any queries about their cuisine, you know you’re in capable hands. With an extensive menu of rice, noodle and curry dishes, plenty of pescatarian, vegetarian and vegan options, and a mountainous array of mouth-watering appetisers, once you’ve been once, you’ll find yourself returning again and again to sample more of their delights. Space is limited too so we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
Experience a slice of Italian life in the heart of the city’s commercial district. The independent Old Hall Street eatery is housed in a grand Victorian building but its modern Italian décor will transport you to the sophisticated cool of 1950s Rome. Their stonebaked pizzas are baked on demand and – coeliacs rejoice – Trattoria 51 are the first restaurant in the UK to team up with DS-gluten free to launch a range of specially made gluten free pizzas. There really is something to satisfy all tastes but for seafood lovers, our top pick has got to be the Linguine Allo Scoglio – King Prawns, Calamari, Mussels, Samphire, Queen Scallops, White Wine, Garlic, Courgettes, Chilli and Tomatoes – take your first ample mouthful, close your eyes and we’re pretty sure you could be sitting on a terrazza overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Like everything else on the menu, it’s that good.
Good tapas can be hard to come by this side of the English Channel but La Viña are doing plenty to bridge this divide. On North John Street – in close proximity to Liverpool One and both Moorfields and James Street Stations – you can enjoy a delectable array of tapas in a cosy mahogany-hued room. Its surrounds strike the balance between being relaxed and brimming with atmosphere expertly, and their menu also strikes a similar balance between your usual suspects – patatas bravas, chorizo and seafood like calamari and prawns – and more adventurous takes like pork cheek and potatoes in truffle oil and rosemary. Their mains are phenomenal too – a range of speciality Ibérico beef and pork cuts served alongside caramelised shallot, slow-roasted vine-ripened tomato, roasted garlic chestnut mushrooms and a salsa verde de ajo. Our mouths are watering already.
Carnivores, this one’s for you. The cream of the crop of Liverpool’s offering of Brazilian restaurants, Fazenda is one luxurious dining experience that’s excellent value too – depending on how much your stomach can take. In a picturesque corner of the historic Exchange Flags, you can – literally – eat as much meat as you like. And it’s not just any meat either – fillet mignon rubs shoulders with minted lamb, rump steak, chicken thighs, gammon and much, much more, as servers with skewers make their way to your table and delicately carve as much meat as you like onto a plate for you. The generosity doesn’t end there either; before you’re presented with the revolving array of meats, you can head to their salad bar for the biggest and tastiest array of couscous, pastas, olives, cheese, vegetables, pickles we’ve ever seen outside a deli. Not one for the fainthearted – we recommend trousers with an elasticated waistband to make the most of this offer.
Not just a very sophisticated wine-tasting café, Veeno offers up a fine selection of antipasti, bruschetta, cured meats, select cheeses, paninis and salads. Specialising in spuntini – the Italian way to share a leisurely meal comprising of any number of wholesome and tasty dishes with loved ones – the café sources the finest ingredients from Italy so you know you’re getting quality produce. And, with all their wines originating from their family vineyard in Sicily, you’ll be in capable hands when it comes to selecting the perfect tipple to accompany your choice. Just around the corner from James Street Station, our top tip is embracing the Italian café culture: get a ginormous sharing platter, sit back and watch the world go by with a house wine in one hand. Bellissima.
Get to The Commercial District with Merseyrail
Whether your in the mood for some tasty tapas or just fancy a cheeky curry get there by train. Our return tickets start from just £1.95 and you’ll never pay more than £5.10 for an off peak ticket. Train travel is cheaper than you think!