Deja brew? Jack Connor picks five city centre cafes you need to visit
Back in 2020, when the workers and tourists abandoned Liverpool’s city centre, the business district was quickly deserted. The days of snaking queues for local cafes, delicious menus and hot drinks were over forever, it seemed.
Fortunately, we were wrong, and normality was quickly restored. Liverpool’s favourite cafes are thriving once more and our love for a quality cafe shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it’s almost as if it’s downed two espressos back-to-back, with new places springing up every day. So, where to go?
To make the next time you head out in Liverpool a whole lot easier, we’ve curated some of our favourite spots in the city. Whether you’re a flat white, cortado, or a double-shot macchiato type of person, we suggest you visit any one (or all) of these incredibly cool cafes.
A city centre outpost, Chapters of Us is testimony to the subtle art of vegan cooking - their crown prince squash with harissa and cumin being my particular favourite. Specialising in the highest quality products from local makers, Chapter of Us feels like a community hub with its very own eatery and bar serving up treats such as their delicious labneh and muhammara with toasted sourdough, making it the ideal place to sit and romanticise your life.
Indeed, it’s hard not to gaze lovingly into Chapters of Us as you drunkenly make your way through the Baltic Triangle, returning on Monday morning as if duty-bound. But this nook of Simpson Street feels quietly at home, unbothered by its place set back from the madness. Let Chapters Of Us lead you gently by the hand from the neighbouring Baltic Market into a gorgeous space guaranteed to welcome you with open arms.
Best for: The Baltic Quarter
44 Simpson St, Liverpool L1 0AX
Liverpool is famed for awe-inspiring architecture, its friendly persona, and a touch of luxury that, at points, takes even the proudest Scouser by surprise. It comes as no shock then that Thoughtfully Cafe has become something of a city centre institution; a space that is architecturally stunning, friendly and luxurious.
A welcome change from the usual corporate chains, their expertly crafted menu - which includes everything from a gorgeous tarte boudaloue to their in-house specialty, kougin amann - is worth the visit alone. With freshly baked treats, such as vegan banana bread, and delicious sandwiches like the classic cheese toastie with fried onions and gherkins served up daily, the menu certainly leaves an impact. Quaint, rustic and charming. You’d be forgiven for wanting to keep Thoughtfully Cafe a secret just to preserve its unique atmosphere.
Best for: Liverpool ONE
15 Cleveland Square, Liverpool L1 5BE
Inside a Grade II-listed coach house just north of Liverpool’s historic Georgian Quarter sits COFFI, a cafe every bit as renowned for its views as it is notorious for its apple and cinnamon bakes. COFFI certainly boasts something special, be it the looming expanse of the Anglican Cathedral that immeasurably improves this already much-loved outpost or the convivial way they serve customers from their brick-clad bolthole.
Most importantly though, COFFI prides itself on its completely transparent value chain, championing quality produce and never compromising on its dedication to sustainability. Coffee can act as a familiar thread from farmers in Brazil to locals in Liverpool; and while it has the same sensual taste beloved by many across the world, COFFI is at the forefront of a sustainable revolution, one cup of their Friedhats Ethiopia blend at a time.
Best for: The Georgian Quarter
8 Pilgrim St, Liverpool L1 9HB
Set back on the road where Seel Street and Hanover Street meet, Root Coffee is ultra-welcoming, if not for their baristas serving up their signature hemp loose leaf tea on a regular basis, or for the fact that they’re dog-friendly too. With the race towards ultimate coolness through coffee constantly intensifying, combined with an insatiable desire to discover yet another type of milk, it’s easy to forget what a good cafe is supposed to feel like.
Delicious, absorbing, vibrant, Root is famed for its continental crossovers, be it the "Italian Job" bagel or the mouthwatering "Norway Meets Mexico" creation; while their sweet and sticky fig oatmeal cake continues to cause quite a culinary stir amongst Hanover Street regulars. Root Coffee continues to push against a culture based on pretentious coffee, so I implore you to go pay them a visit, if only for their specialist cream cheese brownies and their coconut iced matcha.
Best for: Ropewalks
52 Hanover St, Liverpool L1 4AF
Baby E specialises in delivering up good food and good vibes, and can be found in the basement of one of Liverpool's most iconic listed buildings: The Temple. With busy commuters, bustling cars and the beating heart of the business district to contend with, Baby E fairs pretty well, providing a welcome retreat for those knowledgeable enough to venture through its de facto curtain-door.
Baby E is large and open, with unspoiled views of their chefs working tirelessly to prepare your food, which includes the likes of crispy shredded ham served with dijon mustard, wonton char siu noodles, and their self proclaimed OG, bangers & hash. Indeed, from their delightful team to their devilish deli fridge and spacious sundeck, Baby E is absolutely not worth missing out on.
Best for: Business District
The Temple, 24 Dale St, Liverpool L2 5RL
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