Stephanie Whalley checks out the restaurants and bars on Hope Street
STEEPED in stories dating back to the 1700s and, more recently, gaining the bragging rights of being named ‘best street in the country’ in the National Urbanism Awards, Hope Street – part of the city’s gorgeous Georgian Quarter – is a Liverpool must-go.
Celebrating the edible wonderland of independent bars, cafes and restaurants that have seen the melting pot dubbed ‘the Hope Street Quarter’
Given that it’s only about 600 yards in length, you wouldn’t think such a small stretch of road could stitch so rich and intricate a tapestry of cultural, intellectual and artistic history, yet in bygone times it was home to Britain’s largest workhouse along with the legendary Number 8 Hope Street, where countless corpses excavated from a nearby graveyard were kept ready to be sold to medical schools in Scotland. We could wax lyrical about Hope Street’s iconic residents (aside from the ghosts), from the Everyman Theatre and the Royal Philharmonic Hall to the majestic cathedrals standing at either end of the road like two elephantine bookends…
…however, we’re thinking with our stomachs here (typical, we know) and celebrating the edible wonderland of independent bars, cafes and restaurants that have seen the melting pot dubbed ‘the Hope Street Quarter’. So, without further ado, here are our favourite Hope Street hotspots to eat and drink…
The Philharmonic Dining Rooms
This one has made the edit not for its culinary prowess, nor its extensive menu of pub grub and sharing boards, but for its must-visit status and iconic back story. Built in 1898, the Grade II-listed building sits on the corner of Hope and Hardman Streets in all its Art Nouveau glory. Visitors are pulled in from all corners of the globe by its ornate Victorian decor and elaborate design – particularly the rose marble men’s toilets, which have become a bit of a Liverpool sightseeing landmark. If the city was a Monopoly board, The Phil would be a prestigious playing piece for sure. Stop by for the visuals and stay for the real ales, British pie selection and a side order of Smoked Applewood macaroni cheese.
The Philharmonic Dining Rooms, 36 Hope Street, L1 9BX
In the late 1800s, 13 Hope Street was inhabited by the Lang Pen Company – hence the abstract name of the popular bar and bistro. Today, it’s frequented by some of the city’s cooler clientele with a penchant for late-night dining, small plate sharing and regular doses of live music (Liverpool Jazz Club included). Led by Paddy Byrne, who was the brains at the helm of the former Everyman Bistro, the menu evolves daily (sometimes more than once a day) depending on the fresh ingredients available, with flavours that are geographically spread and plates designed to be eaten tapas-style and grazed on over conversation. Wines are all served by the 125ml glass to encourage drinkers to challenge their palate, but if vino isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of speciality beers, cask ales, continental lagers and bespoke cocktails to choose from. If the weather’s good, head outside into the herb garden; if it’s not so great, take a pew on the reclaimed furniture inside and warm up by the fire.
Pen Factory, 13 Hope Street, L1 9BQ
60 Hope Street - CLOSED
No Hope Street curation would be complete without the contemporary dining room and cafe-bar which takes its name from the Grade II-listed address at which it stands. The venue is effortlessly stylish and minimal in design, often embellished with an Insta-famous floral facade. Expect fine dining using carefully sourced British ingredients and, wherever possible, local produce. With affordable prices, 60 Hope Street somehow manages to achieve the perfect level between down to earth and elevated. The house menu of two courses for £24.95 or three courses for £29.95 features popular dishes such as mackerel with smoked almond and sherry, braised beef faggot with clotted cream mash, and a luxurious tonka bean brûlée. It’s also home to one of the most famous afternoon teas in town.
60 Hope Street, 60 Hope Street, L1 9BZ
Take a stroll along Hope Street towards the pile of concrete suitcases, using the sandstone Anglican Cathedral in the distance as your beacon, and you won’t miss Papillon. It’s a millennial-pink cafe and gastro pub as pretty as the French butterfly it’s named after. It’s a new kid on the block, only opening in the latter half of last year, and merges the cosy elements of your traditional public house with modern aesthetics and a contemporary dedication to sustainability. Expect natural wines from vineyards around the world, cask ales from local breweries, cocktails that look too good to drink, and bread and pastries from a bakery just down the road. A dog-friendly community hub, it’s also a great place to grab breakfast or some tip-top brunch until 3pm; perfect for any late risers among us.
Papillon, 31 Hope Street, L1 9BQ
What do you get when you combine a Brooklyn-style kitchen and bar with regular live music, a well-stocked gin parlour, award-winning cocktails and fireside seating? One of the most popular venues in town, that’s what. A firm favourite since 2013, Frederiks draws in both the day and the night crowd with its all-encompassing offering. Whether it’s small plates and artisan stonebaked pizzas in collaboration with Knead (our favourite is the brie, grape and oregano, believe it or not), or craft beers and Prosecco serves, Fred has got you covered. Make sure you check social media before your visit because we highly recommend trying to catch Hope Street Jazz there if you can.
Frederiks, 32 Hope Street, L1 9BX
The London Carriage Works
If you’re on the lookout for something special around this neck of the woods, look no further than The London Carriage Works. The venue itself was once a warehouse for coach and carriage builders, so be sure to check out the original signage above the door before you head on in to the modern dining room at Hope Street Hotel. With all kinds of impressive accolades – including two AA Rosettes and an AA Notable Wine Award – the menu is made up of international flavours using locally sourced ingredients. Start with something from the sommelier’s selection of aperitifs and the chef’s daily amuse bouche (just £3); wine recommendations also accompany all main meals. Dishes have deceptively basic names like ‘Pork’ but seriously sophisticated combinations of flavours like pork terrine with toffee apple, celeriac remoulade and pork scratchings fine-dining-style.
The London Carriage Works, 40 Hope Street, L1 9DA
Moose & Moonshine
This one surely needs no introduction, but any excuse to think about the famous buttermilk pancakes at this authentic American-Canadian restaurant and coffee shop is a welcome one. Replicating the best delis and diners from across the pond for over a decade now, Moose is the absolute totem of comfort food – and not one for the calorie-counters. Take your pick from a selection of hearty pancakes, waffles, doorstop sandwich stacks and specials then wash it all down with a cup of Moose blend espresso coffee. We recommend the Caboose cheese pancakes or the Liberty Moose scrambled eggs with pesto, pine nuts and cured ham on a toasted bagel. Plus, any place which serves milkshake for breakfast is a champion in our eyes.
Moose Coffee, Federation House, 88 Hope Street, L1 9BW
Concrete floors, Moroccan tiling, filament bulbs, fried halloumi and Technicolor cocktails… there’s certainly no scrimping on trend box-ticking when it comes to The Refinery. This place is fur coat and knickers though because it brings the style and the substance. At the epicentre of thespian action and the surrounding college and university campuses, this chilled-out bar and restaurant is a real hive of hedonism. By day, it’s a bright and airy eatery offering casual British fare in rustic surroundings. By night, it’s a seductive, candlelit bar serving wine, local gins, beers from microbreweries across the North West, and a selection of classic and theatrical cocktails including The Candyfloss One and the Colour Changing G&T.
The Refinery, Josephine Butler Building, Hope Street, L1 9BQ
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